The big question when preparing an Alaska cocktail is the choice of gin. Though most bars make it with London Dry gin, the earliest known recipe for the drink calls for Old Tom gin, a sweeter form of the spirit that was common in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is the recipe found in “Drinks,” a 1913 book by the bartender Jacques Straub, and favored by Jim Kearns, an owner of Slowly Shirley, a cocktail bar in Greenwich Village. "The orange bitters adds a nice, dry, citric note to the end, keeping the cocktail from becoming too sweet,” Mr. Kearns said. While Straub’s instructions do not call for a lemon twist, Mr. Kearns added it anyway, because it “complements the orange bitters so nicely.
- Serves: 1 person
- 2 ¼ounces Old Tom gin, preferably Hayman’s
- ¾ounce yellow Chartreuse
- 1dash orange bitters
- Lemon twist, for garnish
Step 1In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the gin, Chartreuse and bitters, and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze the lemon twist over the drink’s surface and drop it into the glass.