February is cold and fierce, especially for those under a blizzard warning this weekend. Sometimes the best thing to do is fight back at the weather on its own terms—with something equally chilly and bold.
Enter the Old Pal. Powered by a base of bourbon or rye whiskey, the drink has a firm foundation of flavor sufficient to support the other powerfully flavored ingredient, Campari, which gives the drink a brisk bitterness that's still rich and complex.
With dry vermouth playing the moderator's role to make the two alpha-dog ingredients play well together, the combination is strong and bracing—pretty much exactly what you need as the snow starts to fall.
And if you're thinking this drink sounds familiar, you're probably right. Swap the dry vermouth for sweet and you've got the Boulevardier. Hmm, I think I have a suggestion for the next round.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- Yield:makes 1 cocktail
- Active time: 2 minutes
- Total time:2 minutes
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
- 3/4 ounce dry vermouth
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- Garnish: lemon twist
Fill a mixing glass 2/3 full with ice. Add whiskey, dry vermouth, and Campari. Stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds, and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink and use as garnish.