Thursday 19 December 2019

The joy of recycling

There is no doubt that some manufacturers put more money into the packaging than the product, and sometimes I get wine or spirits in a bottle that I can't bear to throw away. My Hibiki Japanese blended whisky was one such, but I'm pleased to say that I have found a noble reuse for the vessel. Mrs H.'s aunt Pam recently mentioned how much she missed the cocktails her husband Ray used to prepare—I previously posted about the Claridge Cocktail and my investigations into it and its origins, but here was an opportunity to put that Hibiki bottle to good use. I rustled up a bottle's worth of Claridge using the original proportions of 2 parts (Tanqueray) gin, 2 parts (Noilly Prat) vermouth, 1 part (Sainsbury's) triple sec and 1 part (Briottet) apricot brandy. Still a bit sweet for me but it is more balanced than I remember—you're able to taste all the ingredients, including the herbal bitterness of the vermouth. I worked out the ABV and I hope that at 29–30% it'll be stable enough for the vermouth not to oxidise between now and Christmas, or whenever the last drop is consumed… I'm encouraging them to keep it in the fridge.