If there’s one city that deserves the title Capital of Cocktails it’s the city that never sleeps, New Amsterdam, the melting pot, Gotham, the big apple
tini; New York City. Because of this there’s barely a part of NYC that doesn’t have a cocktail named after it. Usually that’s particular boroughs or neighbourhoods but this time we’re zooming in on a particular street. Park Avenue runs close to Central Park and is also home to the Waldorf Astoria (301), itself an important edifice in cocktail history. The Park Avenue is by no means a well known drink and is one of many resurrected by Ted Haigh in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. Not every recipe in the book is particularly accessible as there are many peculiar ingredients to navigate but the Park Avenue is both simple and rather tasty with one caveat: The original recipe felt just a bit out of balance to me. We certainly shouldn’t be afraid of modifying old school cocktails as there are perfectly good reasons that older recipes may need adjustment. Certain ingredients may have been reformulated over the years to be less or more sweet or may have become more or less flavourful. Fruit in particular has been continually bred to be sweeter and therefore it’s hard to know what 1940s pineapple juice tasted like – anyone who is old enough to have tried it being unlikely to still have enough marbles to remember. In this case the problem was that the vermouth was overpowering the pineapple and gin components and therefore I’ve taken the liberty of cutting the sweet vermouth by a quarter ounce and boosting the pineapple juice by the same amount. As a result we can taste each ingredient and balance is restored.
2oz / 60ml gin.
1oz / 30ml fresh pineapple juice (or at least unsweetened).
0.5oz / 15ml Italian/sweet vermouth.
2 teaspoons (10ml) dry curacao (other orange liqueurs would be fine).
Shake with ice and strain* into a chilled cocktail glass.
Toast the Capital of Cocktaildom – NYC.
*Although I forgot to for the picture, this is a cocktail which benefits from the extra smoothness of double straining.