In a recent newsletter, I encouraged readers to use the delicious four-ingredient Death & Co. Voyager cocktail as a template for experimentation. Although I already wrote up a rum-based riff on the drink, I thought it would be useful to make another one using only ingredients we’d already covered in this newsletter.
Once again, the underlying idea is the same: Create a riff on the structure of the Voyager — a quasi-Manhattan built out of aged aquavit, cream sherry, banana liqueur, and a pricey, unusual amaro — using mostly ingredients that are not in the Voyager.
In my previous newsletter, I argued that the sweet sherry/banana liqueur combo was the core of this drink. And I still think that’s true.
But I also don’t think that combo is strictly necessary to make a delicious drink. So in this case, I decided to switch to a heavy, spice-forward sweet vermouth instead of sherry, since more readers are likely to have a bottle on hand. I did, however, stick with the banana, which regular readers will recognize from the Rescue Team I wrote about earlier this year.
Honestly, it’s pretty great. Not quite as delicate or surprising as the original, but a bit richer, a bit bolder, and a bit darker. It’s a testament to the soundness of the original drink, and its structural flexibility. And it shows, yet again, how you can start with one drink template and produce a wide array of tasty derivatives.
And because, yes, I still love Isaac Asimov, I named this one:
Fantastic Voyage II
¼ ounce Giffard Banane du Bresil
¼ ounce Ramazotti amaro
¾ ounce Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
1 ½ ounces Rittenhouse Rye
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
Add ice, then stir until chilled.
Strain over a large rock into a single-old fashioned glass.
Garnish with an orange peel.