Harry’s Cocktail

Harry’s Cocktail

1/3 Gancia Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth)
1 Dash Absinthe. (1/3 tsp. Lucid Absinthe)
2/3 Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
2 Sprigs of Fresh Mint.

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. Serve with a stuffed olive.

Sorry, didn’t think to add the olive until after I took the picture.

For some reason, which doesn’t quite make sense to me, this didn’t do much for me. This completely puzzles me, as Sweet Vermouth, Absinthe, Gin, and Mint should pretty much be a gimme. I’m not sure if it is the Vya, the Lucid, the Beefeater’s, or a combination of the above that didn’t work.

I mean it certainly seemed to have enough potential.

I should probably just go back and re-make it with Tanqueray and Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth…

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.

4 thoughts on “Harry’s Cocktail

  1. I just visited Argentina where Gancia is ubiquitous in the form of something called ‘Gancia Aperitif Americano’ (or similar). It’s a very pale gold, very light flavored vermouth with a sweet orange taste, slight bitterness, and a faint resemblance to Martini & Rossi Bianco (but far less sweet, heavy, and intense). Could a product more like this be what is intended?

    Something along the lines of cutting Lillet with Bianco might come vaguely close, but it’s a pretty subtle flavor. That thing you substitute for Lillet (Conchia Americano??? – I’m too lazy to go search) might also work, though to me Gancia was very reminiscent of Martini and Rossi Bianco, though in a more muted (and frankly more drinkable) form.

    According to Italian tourists in Argentina this type of Gancia was popular in Italy about 40 years ago but is not much drunk now. It is supposedly still widely stocked though.

  2. Interesting thought, Seamus! Gancia does still seem to exist and they make a number of products including the Americano you mention. I’m guessing, though, that the Gancia Americano is closer to the Vergano Lulli Americano than the Cocchi Americano, if for no other reason than it appears to be red. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell none of the Gancia products currently make it into California.

  3. Yeah Eric, after posting here yesterday I went the Gancia website to take a look and saw that their Americano is red.

    The stuff in Argentina was a pale straw color though, and also says ‘Americano’ on the label (if you squint at the sideways scrawl you should be able to make it out). The bottle is also green rather than clear. You can find a pic of the Argentinian stuff below.


    No idea what the story is here. I see the Gancia website does not even list Argentina among the countries they distribute to.

    My guess is that the Argentinian Gancia is made under license in Argentina rather than being imported, and may be (or at least approximate) an old formula that has been discontinued in Italy.

    The Argentinians make a fair few ‘obscure’ products under license. A couple of Dutch genevers are made under license in Argentina (including Bols Oude), and there are numerous locally produced ‘Fernet’ style bitters (including Fernet Branca I think).

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