Not every occasion calls for something as strong as a Martini. Sometimes you need a drink that's a little softer and more gentle, one that slowly works out the kinks from a long day yet has enough character and sophistication to make it clear you're not taking any short cuts.
There are several drinks that go by the name "Trilby;" I don't know where this one originated, but I really like it as an aperitif, and keep one at hand when preparing a weekend dinner. It's simple, yet elegant, and soft but not too much; if you're looking for an engaging pre-dinner companion, you could do a lot worse.
- 3 ounces dry vermouth
- 1 dash Cointreau
- 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
- 1/2 ounce whiskey (a blended scotch or nice bourbon work well)
Add the vermouth, Cointreau and bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for 20 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Gently pour the whiskey over a bar spoon so it floats on the surface of the drink, then twist a piece of lemon peel over the cocktail and use as garnish.