No mincing words here – this gin concoction is potent. Heavy on both alcohol and flavor, the Ampersand gin cocktail a delightful and beautiful gin drink. Or brandy drink, depending on your take of things.
The orange flavors can be picked up from the curacao liqueur, like Cointreau, that you use, or you can always substitute a triple sec if you have that. Highlight these light citrus flavors with an orange garnish.
- 1 Oz. Old Tom Gin
- 1 Oz. Cognac Or your favorite brandy
- 1 Oz. Sweet vermouth
- .25 Oz. Dry curacao liqueur You can substitute a triple sec if you like
- 2 Dashes Orange bitters Angostura is a fine choice.
- Orange peel for garnish
- Chill your coupe glass.
- Mix all of your ingredients into a shaker, with ice.
- Strain into your coupe glass, after you toss the ice.
- Garnish with orange peel.
All of the options for the Ampersand gin cocktail!
The first “option” you could play with is Curacao or triple sec.
Both are orange liqueurs, created from neutral spirits. Cointreau is a popular triple sec, and closely related to the island based Curacao, but with French roots. Grand Marnier, also French, is also a triple sec, but is created with brandy instead of the sugar cane alcohol in Curacao or triple secs. The brandy beginnings give Grand Marnier a sweeter flavor, which does influence the overall sweetness of a drink.
And what about Old Tom gin?
This Old Tom style of gin is a stepping stone between the London Dry varieties of gin, which are obviously dry, and the much sweeter Dutch genever styles of gin. The history of gin has you covered on the details of Dutch and London styles.
There is great variety in the newer Old Tom gins, with varying flavors and degrees of sweetness. Most have malts and sugars added to give color and create unique tastes. I used Ransom Old Tom for this drink, it turned out perfectly.
The Ampersand definitely does better with an Old Tom gin. It can also add color to your cocktail, depending on the gin brand you pick.
And the cognac vs. brandy?
This is rather like champagne – you call your brandy cognac if it’s from a particular region in France. All cognacs are brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.
All brandy is made by distilling fermented fruit juice, either from grapes or another type of fruit. Cognac is only created from particular white grapes.