Despite what appears to be an outrageous dose of bitters, the flavors of this version mesh very happily. The nose is nearly all about the bitters—both spicy and fruity, with bark, cinnamon and some of the citrus coming to the fore. On the tongue, the more earthy and bitter aspects of the Angostura come through, and still dominate the drink, but the long flavors are more about the lemon and brandy.
The balance is directly affected by your choice of bitters, of course. Engel actually specifies Angostura, and his choice is a good one. But I can tell you from experience that the Alabazam is a natural playground for aromatic bitters. If you’ve got ’em, flaunt ’em; you’ll get away with it here.
|1½ oz brandy (Remy-Martin VSOP Cognac)|
|¼ oz Angostura bitters|
|½ oz Curaçao (Ferrand)|
|¼ oz lemon juice|
|½ oz simple syrup (1:1)|
Preparation: How to make an Alabazam (based on Engel’s 1878 original)
- Shake all ingredients with ice until cold; strain into a chilled cocktail stem. (No garnish.)