Mint Juleps are the official drink of the Kentucky Derby…
The Fitzgerald Cocktail is one of those drink recipes that is good to have in your back pocket. I know that I always have it in mine. This is because the cocktail is extremely simple to make, yet always balanced and perfectly refreshing. It is also a recipe that allows you to easily introduce other flavors to change things up, though you can never go wrong the the original ratio.
You might guess that this drink was a favorite of someone famous, like F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I’ve heard that Gin Rickey’s were actually his preferred cocktail. This drink was created by Dale DeGroff and is featured in his book The Essential Cocktail. It’s a twist on a gin sour – and by “a twist,” I mean that it has a dash of Angostura bitters in it. You can easily see how much a dash or two of bitters transforms a cocktail in a recipe as simple as this one, adding spice and mellowing out some of the more aggressive flavors in whatever gin you’re using. The bitters also give the drink a pleasant pink/orange color. DeGroff recommends using Leopold’s, but I’ve been using Ford’s lately with excellent results. Experiment with a few rounds to see what you like – then experiment again the next time you’re entertaining.
2 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, then double-strain into a coupe and serve.