Friday, September 10, 2010

The Algonquin Hotel

Famed literary gatherings. Echoes of some of the world’s most celebrated cabaret singers. A singular environment of inspiration that spawned the creation of The New Yorker magazine. All of these things are impressive in their own right. More impressive still is that they all occurred at The Algonquin Hotel.
Today these traditions continue, just as they have for over 100 years. Step into the sanctuary of our lobby on any given evening, and you will find a diverse mix of New York’s cultural and artistic elite. Here, and within our famed Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar, martinis are savored, ideas are shared, insights arrived at, and the designs that result shape the cultural fabric of the city.

It was named after the famous Algonquin hotel in New York City although when exactly it was created is unclear. The hotel, built in 1902, was known as a "dry" hotel even before Prohibition. But the how's and why's of the Algonquin Cocktail's origin are not important when you're enjoying its fantastic fruit and whiskey taste.

The Algonquin Cocktail is a great "Martini" of your favorite rye whiskey, dry vermouth and pineapple juice.

35ml American Rye Whisky
15ml Dry Vermouth
25ml Pineapple Juice
dash of Angostura Bitters

Stir the whiskey, vermouth, and pineapple juice (be sure to use unsweetened) well with cracked ice (if you shake it, the pineapple juice will foam), then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Truth be told, we find that 2 or 3 dashes of Fee Bros. West Indian Orange Bitters (call 716-544-9530) does wonders for the drink. Failing that, a generous squeeze of orange peel will work almost as well.


* Peel from 4 lemons (removed in strips with vegetable peeler)
* 1/3 cup superfine sugar
* 2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
* 3 cups Plymouth Sloe Gin
* 2 cups fresh lemon juice
* 1 1/2 cups Coruba dark Jamaican rum
* 6 cups ice cubes
* 1 ice block
* 2 cups chilled brut Champagne
* Lemon slices


Place lemon peel strips in large bowl.
Add sugar and mash with muddler or wooden spoon to infuse sugar with lemon.
Add 1 1/4 cups raspberries and mash to blend. Pour in sloe gin, lemon juice,
and rum. Add ice cubes; stir to blend. Refrigerate punch 20 minutes.
Place ice block in punch bowl. Strain punch over ice block into bowl.
Add Champagne; stir to blend. Garnish punch with lemon slices
and remaining 3/4 cup raspberries. Ladle into punch cups.