Rule 37: Satan’s Whiskers

The 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich, posted on Modern Drunkard Magazine’s website, chronicles a wonderful collection of guidelines for the intrepid imbiber. One in particular that I personally try to follow is Rule Number 37, “Try one new drink each week.” As the Lady Friend and I convene for cocktails on a weekly basis, this provides a perfect excuse to try something new, and dig ourselves out of our respective margarita and whiskey sour ruts.

I usually accomplish this during the week, as I indulge in a Monday night cocktail ritual, whereas the Lady Friend does not generally drink on school nights. Though she occasionally whines about my adherence to Rule 37, Brannigan’s Law is like Brannigan’s Love: hard, and fast. The line is drawn… no more margaritas until a new drink is attempted. Through the tyranny of my house rules, she has discovered other tequila cocktails, such as the Tequila Old-Fashioned, the Prado, the Paloma, and el Diablo, which would have otherwise gone untasted. For my own challenge, this past week has introduced me to a wonderful new acquaintance, Satan’s Whiskers.

Satan’s Whiskers (Curled)

– 1/2oz gin (I used Beefeater London Dry)

– 1/2oz dry vermouth

-1/2oz sweet vermouth

-1/2oz orange juice

-1/3oz orange curaçao

-2 dashes orange bitters (Fee Bros)

-Shake, strain, serve. Garnish with orange peel.

I found the recipe in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, a great book of odd cocktails from Back in The Day, and a great reference for fulfilling the requirements of Rule 37. It was a holiday gift one year from the Irish Lad and Wifey, and included a card which read “to you and yours,” though someone had edited it with a thoughtful, personal touch.

How lovely.

The drink, however, was wonderful. I was a bit wary as to what equal parts of these ingredients would yield, but it all worked quite well. Though the gin is present, it doesn’t take command of the drink. A combined full ounce of vermouth really rounds out the gin, and the orange flavor is not as prevalent as expected. This is definitely a drink that moves and changes in your mouth for several moments after you swallow, with an enjoyable complexity. Not that I expected Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh to lead me astray, but some of the concoctions in his book are rather unusual. Satan’s Whiskers will certainly be making another visit soon.

Sidenote: The book notes that Satan’s Whiskers can be prepared one of two ways: curled or straight. The difference is that the straight version uses Grand Marnier in place of curaçao. An amusing tip from the book mentions to “…sip our Satan’s Whiskers curled if it’s still light outside and straight if it’s not.” Fantastic.

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