Gee, what is it about today that has me writing about this particular cocktail?
Well, first, I’d like to offer this up as a little homage and thank you to the long-suffering folks at Windham Brannon who labor each year to do my taxes, whilst I labor to retain my title as Most Needlessly Difficult Client™. (How am I doing this year, Mary Beth?)
Second, I’ve been having a few of these recently anyway, triggered in the experimenting by Rowan’s Bronxathon at Fogged In Lounge.
As Rowan detailed in all 17 posts, the Bronx (a hybrid sour and aromatic cocktail) is a practically infinitely variable drink. But among the very best modifications is the “Bronx Wit’ Bitters”, a.k.a. The Income Tax. I can’t decide whether it is one of the most or least appropriately named cocktails around.
I’d say it’s pretty appropriately named!
My Tax Days are usually bitter.
Yes, though mine wasn’t too bad this year. Unfortunately, one of the earliest aphorisms I coined was, “A bad April 15th means it’s been a pretty good year.” I’m afraid I’m not alone in having a “good” Tax Day in 2011.
Alternatively, it is inappropriately named because the damn thing is delicious. Frankly, I think the name is the main reason a drink this interesting and accessible never really returned to popularity after the end of Prohibition.
The other reason I wanted to write about The Income Tax is that it is a wonderful illustration of the power of bitters. A basic Bronx does very little for me as a drink. It’s muddled, inassertive, and just a bit dull. Just two dashes of Angostura takes that same drink and wakes up each and every flavor therein, without really imparting any actual, you know, bitterness. It’s lovely. Try one after you let the mail chute close behind your envelope this year.
- 2 parts London dry gin
- 1 part dry vermouth
- 1 part sweet vermouth
- 1 part orange juice
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine with ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously with one hand while balling the other into a fist and shaking even more vigorously in the direction of Washington, DC. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.
As a final note, I’m not sure which is more important to be fresh in this drink, the vermouths or the OJ. Play it same and make sure all three are.