Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | February 6, 2009

The 44

On Inauguration Night, I went to a party hosted by Derek Brown, Owen Thompson, and a number of other DC Craft Bartending Guild members. One of the events was a recipe submission contest, with the theme being a cocktail to honor President Barack Obama. I ended up having the winning submission, but since one of my ingredients in the recipe wasn’t available at the party, we weren’t able to sample the drink. Here’s the recipe of The 44, in honor of our forty-fourth president.

The 44
2 parts Applejack
1 part sweet vermouth
dash Angostura bitters
dash Orange bitters
Float Hope (aka champagne)

Pour ingredients except for champagne over ice and stir. Serve in a cocktail glass. Float about 1 oz of champagne on top.

This week I stopped by The Gibson while Derek was behind the stick. Neither of us had found the time to try The 44, so we decided to make it at the bar. The drink actually turned out much better than I thought it would. It had an intense apple spice, with the strong apple tones merging with the wormwood of the vermouth to give it added punch. In hindsight Derek and I thought Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters would probably be better suited than the Angostura/orange combination.

Derek decided to try another version of the cocktail with the Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters. Here’s what he came up with.

The Second Term
2 parts Applejack
1 part port
dash Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Float champagne

Pour ingredients except for champagne over ice and stir. Serve in a cocktail glass. Float about 1 oz of champagne on top.

This is an entirely different drink. The 44 had a cider color, while The Second Term has a deep purple hue from the port. The drinks were so different, we figured they couldn’t share a name. Since both were in honor of Obama, I figured The Second Term would work for Derek’s creation.

It was fun making these drinks with Derek. In my experience it’s rare to have two first-try hits in a row, but I think we walked away from The Gibson Wednesday night with two solid new cocktails.

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