Last night we sampled the East Indian Cocktail (not to be confused with the East India Cocktail of greater popularity on Google). As you may recall, the East Indian calls for equal parts French vermouth and Sherry, with a dash of orange bitters, shaken well and strained into a cocktail glass. It was chosen as a foil to the Duke of Marlborough Cocktail from last week, which follows almost the same recipe substituting sweet [Italian] vermouth for the dry variety.
One taster’s first sip elicited an exclamation regarding strength of libation, but maybe it was due to the extreme unexpected heat of the day. With half the glass given up to sherry, I did not find the East Indian to be nearly as strong as most Savoy cocktails (my mind wanders to the Bijou).
The East Indian maintained some spiciness from the sherry, but—as expected—was a bit lighter and less sweet than the Duke of Marlborough due to the dry [French] vermouth. I prefer the Duke of Marlborough, which was more refreshing (despite a fuller taste) and quaff-able than the East Indian. On the other hand, the East Indian went pretty nicely with the spicy ginger shrimp I had for dinner.
End of story: I vote for the Duke over the East Indian.
Up next? Moving on to the letter F, page 70
2 Dashes Absinthe
1/3 French Vermouth
2/3 Dry Gin
1 Sprig Fresh Mint
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.