In 1813, Joseph Noilly created his first recipe for what will become the immortal French dry vermouth, Noilly Prat. A whisper of Noilly Prat in gin is the quintessential Martini; no other recipe for a Martini will do here in the Firewater Lounge. But likely you have heard of and/or mix your own great Martinis. So, let's give you another classic but largely unknown drink that contains Noilly Prat, the complex and enigmatic 19, which is one of the few drinks in history named with a number. The subtle layers of sweet herb and fruit provide an interesting, some might say challenging, experience. The odd ingredient for most here is kirsch, which is morello cherry brandy. Dekuyper makes kirsch and it is widely sold in Wisconsin supermarket liquor stores. Also in the recipe is absinthe. If you do not have the money (or palate) for it, a dash of either Peychaud bitters, ouzo or another anise liqueur will do as a substitute.
Oooooh. Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby on the same day. How can we contain our excitement? Like we need two reasons to drink! Anyway, Cindy has been asking me to bring a recipe that more people would have the ingredients for. So, when I found out that the classic Derby Special fits this mold, I was glad to give it a try.