Taste Test: The Journalist

March 7, 2008

perhaps we can all go get one after graduation next friday as we will be qualified journos!
– bex

Hey, bex, xclnt idea to go for a drink. In our graduation drag?

But, I would recommend caution when it comes to The Journalist, or at least finding a bar with a v.good cocktail mixologist. This is not a drink to let loose around amateurs.

I had a couple earlier this week at a local bar (no names coz I don’t want to upset anyone at the Brooklyn) and to be honest, I was a tad disappointed.

When I say “tad” I been bloody disappointed. The colour was good; the ingredients were pretty much top shelf- Bombay, Cointreau and Martini vermouth(s)

[Is the plural of vermouth “vermine”?]

But the mixing was ordinary. The drink was warmish, while a great Martini is chilled beyond cool and I expected a great kick, but all I got was a sweetish, warm lolly-water drink. it lacked bite and even the addition of a triple-olive stick with a twist didn’t seem to lift it beyond the “gin ordinaire”.

I’m sure that Frank Moorhouse and his friend Voltz would strongly disapprove of The Journalist; it would rank alongside the other “fad” concoctions and “crazy drinks” that they both detest.

However, I am not easily deterred and I intend to persist until I can make this drink my own.

On a slighlty different note, I enjoyed Moorhouse’ “memoir” Martini, and at the time I thought it was a reasonably true account of some aspects of his life. So I was very disappointed to come across this old bit of news while I was googling him today.

It seems that the “memoir” may actually be a work of fiction, in the news story linked above Moorhouse refers to himself (or is it a character in the “memoir”) as “the demented narrator-author”.

That’s almost as disappointing as a lukewarm Journalist.


A "new" Martini: The Gin and the Journalist

March 4, 2008

One of the things I love about teaching is learning from my students. Hat tip to Quinn for telling me about The Journalist.

I suppose a purist would scoff, but it is a distant relative of the Martini – at least it’s based on Gin and Vermouth.

It’s a take on the whole dry/sweet thing and I must say I am constantly surprised at the number of bar staff who think it’s OK to make a Martini with sweet vermouth – “Bianco”.

Personally I find the combination distasteful, but rarely send it back. I much prefer the traditional dry Martini.

However, The Journalist is on my menu for the next Brooklyn visit.

Quinn brought me a photocopied page from his cocktail recipe book, here’s the author’s review of this unconventional Martini.

I’ve never been a supporter of unnecessarily complicated cocktails but this one seems to succeed against all the odds.

The Journalist defies convention [you’re right about that mate] but is great as a palate-cleansing aperitif.

The sweet/dry theme is repeated twice, with the sweet and dry vermouth, then the triple sec and lemon juice.

Definitely a good pre-dinner drink to order at a bar, but if you’re making it at home watch the measurements carefully, it’s a drink that needs to be very finely balanced.

On the web you can find plenty of recipes for The Journalist, some use Curacao instead of Triple Sec. I’m sure you could substitute Vodka for Gin too. You know the rules “Choose your poison.”

But what’s with this glass, it just ain’t right:
Journalist

I much prefer the conventional frosted Martini glass, so much more refined.

If you’re willing to try The Journalist, send me a note, rate it.

Here’s the recipe with Curacao (from Cocktail Database), use Triple Sec and/or Vodka if you like.

The Journalist
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
1 1/2 oz gin (4.5 cl, 3/8 gills)
1/4 oz sweet vermouth (6 dashes, 1/16 gills)
1/4 oz dry vermouth (6 dashes, 1/16 gills)