One of my Twitter buddies, Aaron, who blogs at The Gin is In (@TheGinIsIn) has done a couple of posts in the last day or so on the Pegu. His first post is part of his Cocktails by Consensus series, where he looks at older cocktails whose recipes have become… scattered with time as different people tweak them. He looks at Pegu recipes from various sources, including such world-famous cocktail writers as Dave Wondrich and, um, me.
Come on, player….
I didn’t say I was very world famous. Or world-respected. Or even regionally respected…
And those aren’t your recipes. The main one is Paul Harrington’s, and the egg white version is how Peter Dorelli made it for you.
Or even respected on my own blog, apparently.
Anyway, Aaron brings up some salient points that are good to keep in mind when working on your Pegus. The most important is that it is very important not to overdo the orange liqueur, whether it be Curaçao, Cointreau, or (shudder) triple sec. Read his post for a full rundown of where different “experts” are on the drink, and how their positions alter the flavor. His post also reminds me that I need to update the main recipe page here to discuss the use of orange bitters.
The second Pegu post, done as a followup, is a tasting of the drink with Oxley Dry Gin. I haven’t tried that one myself, but it has an old-school, juniper-forward formulation. Aaron is (obviously) a gin guy to begin with, and he enjoys the shading the Oxley gives. He also discusses various orange bitters possibilities, and provides the video I embedded above. As always, read the post for yourself. It is short and on point.
I haven’t done much with heavy juniper gins, at least in Pegus, for a while, but I’ll hearken back to my post on another rather on the nose gin, Broker’s. When I wrote that, my own love for gin was still in its infancy, and I didn’t particularly like what Broker’s did in a Pegu. I like it rather more now. That’s not important, but what we can learn from it is. Pegus are lovely cocktails with both juniper-forward London Drys, and more citrusy New Americans, but while the basic flavor remains largely the same with either type of gin, the character changes dramatically. A big, old-school London Dry style of gin makes for a much more assertive, manly drink. It’s bracing and stimulative. Lighter gin Pegus are a bit gentler.
I have long contended that Pegus, along with Aviations, are great cocktails to use when worming gin into the repertoire of the avowed non-gin drinker. In the case of both drinks, though, it is well to keep in mind that you should stick with the lighter products when you are ginvangelizing.