Cocktail Hacker

    Hack What You Drink

Knickerbocker Special

Posted by Reese on 2010-02-20 @ 09:00pm

I did a lot of experiments this week.  All with very good results though, I must say. I’ll start the discussion with the recipe that I started this week with, the one from the Savoy.  I tried Erik’s recommendation to muddle the pineapple and used Appleton V/X.  The result was a drink with a very mellow sweetness.  However, sadly, the sourness of the lemon juice is almost completely lost.  This recipe is certainly tasty, and you’d never guess that there is a full 1 1/2 oz of rum in there.  Not my favorite of the recipes though.

Next I’d like to discuss the recipe from Harry Johnson’s Bartenders Manual, but I can’t.  I wasn’t able to decipher the recipe in to something I could mix up.  Harry’s recipes call for wine-glasses as a measure.  In my searching (although not extensive) I wasn’t able to find out how that translated in to a unit of measure I could use.  So, I let it go by the wayside.  If any of you know what a wine-glass equates to, please let me know.

Knickerbocker (Harry Johnson)
1 oz Raspberry Syrup
2 Dashes Lemon Juice
1 Slice Pineapple
1 Slice Orange
1 Wine-glassful Rum
1/2 Wine-glassful Curacao

Finally, I experimented extensively with the recipe from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.  First a recipe, then my summarized thoughts.

Knickerbocker (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)
2 oz Rum
1/2 oz Curacao
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice

This is, very nearly, my favorite recipe.  I tried a few different rums and found them all to be good.  That said, my favorite two were La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc and Appleton V/X.  The rhum agricole gives you a more grassy flavor but there is no aged rum complexity present.  The Appleton V/X gives you more complexity from the barrel aging.  Appleton was my favorite, but I’d recommend you try your favorite rum as well.

Next, I found the sweetness of this recipe to be a bit too much for my tastes.  With the raspberry syrup and curacao you’re getting a lot of sweetness.  So, to make things a little more balanced I tried dropping both ingredients to 1/3 oz.  That was the perfect amount for either rum choice.  The balance is much better and the flavors from these ingredients is still present.  Now you know my favorite recipe.

Knickerbocker Special

Knickerbocker (Cocktail Hacker)
2 oz Rum (Appleton V/X)
1/3 oz Curacao
1/3 oz Raspberry Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
Orange, Pineapple and Cherry for Garnish

This is definitely one worth mixing up.  Good rum flavor.  Goes down very easy and has a great fruitiness.  Super tasty.