Fourth Degree Cocktail

Fourth Degree Cocktail

1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Tanqueray Dry Gin)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp. Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Squeeze lemon peel on top.)

I was all set to say I preferred this cocktail with the proportions dried out a bit. I’ve made it in the past with 2 oz Junipero, 1/2 oz French Vermouth, and 1/2 oz Italian Vermouth and really enjoyed it. I’ve made that version for friends and they’ve really enjoyed it. Other times, I’ve made the equal parts version with different ingredients and not enjoyed it as much.

This time, for whatever reason, this particular combination of ingredients was fantastic. There was a cherry/almond flavor that seemed to come out of nowhere, blindsiding me, and daring me to replicate it. What do you call that? Flavor harmonics?

The Savoy version of this Harry McElhone Cocktail doesn’t include the lemon peel garnish, but it really takes the drink to another level. I don’t recommend skipping it.

In regards the name of this cocktail:

Robert Vermeire, in his 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” includes the Third and Fourth Degree in a group of cocktails along with the Martinez.

Saying, “The Fourth Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and a cherry, but 1/4 gill of Gin, 1/8 gill of French Vermouth, 1/8 gill of Vermouth should be used.”

About The Third Degree, he says, “The Third Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and an olive, but 2/6 gill of Gin and 1/6 gill of French Vermouth should be used.”

He gives the “continental style” of Martinez as:

Fill the bar glass half full of broken ice and add:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
3 dashes of Curacao or Maraschino
1/4 gill of Old Tom Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

Stir up well, strain into a cocktail-glass, add olive or cherry to taste, and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This drink is very popular on the Continent.

He uses the term “Continental” to differentiate from the English style of Martinez:

In England the Martinez Cocktail generally contains the following ingredients:

2 dashes of Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 gill of Plymouth Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

The whole stirred up in ice in the bar glass, strained into a cocktail-glass with a lemon peel squeezed on top. Olive or Cherry according to taste.

Odd that he uses French instead of Italian Vermouth in his Martinez, but I guess it was popular that way at this time in Europe and England.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.