The Ines Cocktail

First, a big huzzah!!! to Paul for hosting a deliriously fun Mixology Monday. I haven't had time to browse through all the blog love, but somewhere in between this post and compiling my recipes into book format, I plan to.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've got a backlog of drinks I'd like to write about, starting with one of the weirder cocktails I know. This one, like so many others, was introduced to me via Ben Dougherty at Seattle's iconic Zig Zag. It graced the menu at Union for a hot second, until the seasons changed and found itself elbowed aside.

The history behind The Ines Cocktail is slim. All I know is that it won a 1982 bartender challenge in Portugal, whipped up by Alain Nevers of France. Ben found it in an out-of-print cocktail book, then made one for me.

1 3/4 oz gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz amaretto

Stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass
Add one green olive as garnish

After Ben made it, he watched me taste it, furrowed his brow and said something like "it's pretty interesting, isn't it? It's good..."

Interesting is a good word for it. It's an odd little bugger. The combination of Amaretto and gin and an olive seems to throw people off, yet it works, darn it. Something about the sweet-almond flavor of the Amaretto and the saltiness of the olive creates an ethereal flavor I've never tasted in a cocktail.

Just about every bar has the ingredients (Christine even had me instruct a bartender at a casino how to make one). Rather than buying Amaretto for this one drink, I'd recommend you jot the recipe down and teach your local bartender how to make it. It's worth the effort.

Drinks like The Ines are hopefully what this site can be about....saving really good cocktails from the scrap heap.


Robert Heugel said...

I think "interesting" is definitely the word. I will have to give it a try soon. I think though that you bring up an excellent point; what are some interesting/quality cocktails that can be made at nearly any bar? In this case, the vermouth might be problematic, but could feasibly be made anywhere. I do so many specialty/rare ingredient drinks that people sometimes ask me what is something I can show them that they can order anywhere. For more "masculine" drinks this can be especially difficult to come up with at times. Somebody on eGullet was talking about this recently and thought your posts kind of showed a drink that you could order anywhere. Anyway, cool drink - I will definitely give it a glass.

Dr. Bamboo said...

Keith- do you have any recommendations for a style/brand of gin for this one?

keith waldbauer said...

Robert - That is an interesting point. All the Manhattan and Martini variations aside, there are, I would think, more than we think. I'm like you (and apparently, reading Paul's article in Imbibe, many others) in that I'm so into obscure ingredients I forget that there are probably thousands of hidden/forgotten cocktails that you could have even at an airport bar. Like The Ines. I'm curious what you think of it.

Doctor - I haven't put The Ines through its paces, but at Union I use Plymouth. Tanqueray seems to work too. Then again, since the amaretto and the olive are the real show here, maybe most gins would work. It actually is a real tough drink to F up. Come on up to Seattle, brother, and we'll do a sampling (in between G&T's, that is....

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