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Cocktails for the Lazy: Saratoga

My favorite cocktails to make at home have a few things in common:

- Not many ingredients. If I want a fancy complicated drink, I'll go to a bar and be served by a professional.

- Easy-to-remember proportions so I don't have to look up the recipe. When I'm pulling out books to make drinks, it feels like work. 

- No fresh ingredients. I have nothing against fresh ingredients, it's just that I tend to run out of them. Even citrus, which I can purchase on a two-minute walk from my front door. But that would mean I would have to put on pants.

Drinks that qualify in this category include the Manhattan, Martini, Negroni, and drinks with bottled beverages like tonic and soda water, as I always have those around.

Long story finishing up: I found another one to add to my repertoire: the Saratoga. I tried one for the first time last night at the SF Cocktail Week closing party. While the Saratoga normally calls for rye whiskey (and it would, being a Jerry Thomas-era recipe), last night they made it with Yamazaki 12 year old scotch and it was delicious. Versatile, too? I'm in heaven.

Saratoga Cocktail

1 ounce rye whiskey (or scotch, it seems)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce cognac
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


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Blair Frodelius

I'll be in Saratoga this Wednesday night, but I doubt anyone even knows how to make one these days. :)



What is the correct garnish for the Saratoga?

Camper English

The garnish is a lemon "slice" according to Jerry Thomas, but I'd go with a peel.


Hmmm, considering it's one cognac past a manhattan, I'd say an orange peel would go even better. Flame it for a scotch saratoga?

Stephanie Rosenbaum

Interesting. In the 1950s-era Guide to Pink Elephants, a Saratoga is brandy, bitters, pineapple juice, and maraschino liqueur. Where does your version come from?

Camper English

Jerry Thomas, late-1800s.

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