There's something elegant about an equal-parts drink. You've likely made your share of Negronis, but here's another worth exploring, made with cognac, Old Tom gin, and sweet vermouth, and seasoned with orange bitters. The drink appears in The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, and some say the name refers to the ampersand in Martini & Rossi vermouth, though we find the drink is especially delicious made with Carpano Antica. Some recipes also include orange liqueur in the mix, though we prefer the drink without it.
This stirred cocktail is luscious and smooth, with a little candied-orange sweetness and a hint of vanilla. The gin adds an herbal backbone but this is really a drink that will appeal to lovers of brown spirits.
Why this Recipe Works:
- Old Tom gin adds essential rich texture and a touch of sweetness to the drink—we've tried it with other gins and the results were sharper and slightly thin. If you can't find Old Tom gin at your local liquor store, you could try adding a few drops of simple syrup.
- 1 ounce cognac
- 1 ounce Old Tom gin
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Add cognac, Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, and bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve immediately.