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Twelve Mile Limit – The Bartenders Got it Right

Posted by Reese on 2010-03-20 @ 10:15pm

There’s no doubt that the lawmakers got a lot of things wrong during Prohibition.  The bartenders, on the other hand, were right.  The Twelve Mile Limit definitely exemplifies that statement.  The drink is well balanced, extremely flavorful and, overall, tremendously pleasing.

Twelve Mile Limit

In this week’s picture I decided to share a bit of my insanity in the form of my cocktail notebook with you.  So, on that note (pun fully intended), I’m going to let my notes do some talking about this drink.  “First off, the color is incredible, a deep burgundy red.  Really looks very regal.”  And that it absolutely does.  This drink uses a lot of grenadine, at least in comparison to the amount you typically see in cocktails.  I, of course, reached for my homemade hibiscus grenadine.  The result is a deep red that is truly striking.

“The aroma bears the rye and brandy very nicely.  The rum is a bit lost however.”  Again, very true.  Though I think there are a couple reasons for the rum getting a bit lost.  First, the rum I picked at first (Flor de Caña) is very smooth, but also quite light.  This drink definitely needs a bit more boldness.  So, to change it up I tried Wray and Nephew Overproof for the next mix.  Wrong answer.  The alcohol flavor was much too bold.  For try number three I reached for a rum recommended by Rum Dood for this drink, Montanya Platino.  The fact that Montanya is a Colorado rum is just icing on the cake.  The Dood was definitely right, this is a great rum for this drink.  Though it was still a light for my tastes.  So, let’s talk about that second point.  I think the rum can be bumped up a bit.  For my preferred recipe (below) I increase the rum to 1 1/2 oz which brings its flavor more to the forefront.

Twelve Mile Limit (Cocktail Hacker)
1 1/2 oz White Rum (Go Bold)
1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1) Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice
2) Shake until combined and well chilled
3) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

A couple quick notes on this recipe.  First, by adding more rum I’ve pumped the alcohol content up to 2 1/2 oz.  That puts this drink solidly into the formidable foe category.  So, like most formidable foes, be cautious in your consumption.  Second, that extra 1/2 oz also lessens the depth of the red color a bit.  I’m okay with that.  Adding more grenadine is an option, but I’d rather not have that additional sweetness, so I go without.

A final bit of discussion, the Three Mil(l)er.  I tried it and I’d like to call shenanigans on myself.  This drink is certainly related to the Twelve Mile Limit and it may have come before, but the relationship is more that of an older cousin than a parent.  I mixed up the Three Miller recipe from the Savoy.  It’s much drier than the Twelve Mile Limit, but that’s to be expected since the only sweetener is 1 tsp of grenadine compared to 3.  The lemon juice flavor is really only an accent; at 1 dash you don’t even pick up the sourness.  Lastly, with 1 1/2 oz of brandy and 3/4 oz of rum this drink is all about the brandy.  It’s the center of the aroma and the flavor.  So, while related to the Twelve Mile Limit, this drink is a completely different beast.  Still worth trying though.