Recreating the days gone by has always been mankind’s way of looking into a time travelling mirror. With old-fashioned furniture and homes in vogue, the old world really has a way of appealing to the senses. There is something about old-fashioned cocktails that comforts the soul and relaxes the mind. The Fifth Gear created by Jesse Vida at The Dead Rabbit in New York City is one such cocktail.
The recipe uses a single pot still whiskey: a quintessential style of whiskey making unique to Ireland, made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley distilled in a single pot. Whiskey made in this manner has silky and rounded mouth feel and full, complex flavors.
The Fifth Gear starts with a citrusy aroma giving way to a complexity of flavors. After the first sip, the drink reveals hints of grape and orange and matures into a malt taste that it derives from the whiskey, with a chocolatey touch from the crème de cacao. The drink evolves with every minute it spends in your glass and truly unravels into a beautiful piece of art. The cocktail also has a healthy amount of Italian Amaro, the flavor of which is thinly veiled with a balance of flavors from the other ingredients.
Mix your own Fifth Gear
In a mixing glass, take 30 ml single pot still whiskey and Italian Amaro each with 15 ml of Madeira, 8 ml crème de cacao, half teaspoon of crème de Banane, a dash of Absinthe, and a pinch of salt. Throw in some ice and briskly stir the mixture. Pour into a classic whisky glass and garnish with a bit of orange oil. A seat by the fireplace and you’ll enjoy this drink as it warms you to your soul.
The Suburban is more of an oddity—dashes of whiskey, rum and port mixed together in an atypical concoction. Most mixology manuscripts, whether classic or contemporary, will give you examples of several drinks that blend rum and brandy; and a few others that mix port and rum. You’ll even find combinations of rum and whiskey. But, all three together?
Interesting, isn’t it—a cocktail that is named after a legendary detective fiction writer?