|Famous whiskey insurrection in Pennsylvania (1880). Courtesy of NY Public Library.|
In the meantime, let's talk about the 1794 Cocktail. It's a delicious riff on the Boulevardier, composed of rye, Campari, sweet vermouth, and bitters. The original Boulevardier is a Prohibition-era drink made of bourbon or rye, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It is basically a whiskey-based Negroni (which is equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth).
The beauty of the 1794 Cocktail (which I understand was created by Dominic Venegas at "Range" in San Francisco) is that it allows for welcome variation in ratios. Campari is incredibly intense, and in my opinion, works better in the 1794 as an element of the drink rather than an equal partner. You also want a nice, spicy, solid rye that will stand up to the Campari while complementing it. Ryes I use in this are Wild Turkey 101, Rittenhouse 100, or Redemption Rye - all work well.
Vermouth-wise, I am happy using Noilly Prat Rouge, but even better is Vya sweet vermouth (out of California). You could try Carpano Antica Formula, but it's flavor is also intense and might be a bit much with the Campari. However, the beauty of this drink is that you can play around with the ratios and ingredients and see what happens.
As for the bitters in this drink, I read about using Bittermen's Xocolatl Mole Bitters from the Cocktail Virgin blog (which in turn credits "John from No.9 Park," a Boston restaurant). It just so happens that I received a bottle of this very bitters as a gift from close friends. It was a good excuse to experiment with this unusual but very pleasing cocktail - and I am incredibly glad that I did.
You'll find spiciness in the rye and a fruity note from the vermouth and Campari - cleanly undercut by the Campari's bitter finish. Surprisingly, the Xocolatl Mole bitters add a delicious undertone of gingerbread that suits this drink beautifully. It would be worth trying other bitters (orange would be a good match) as well.
A final note: My spouse, who cares not for Campari, loves this drink. So do not let any bias against that ingredient prohibit you from trying this!
The 1794 Cocktail
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 1/2 oz Campari
- 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 or 2 drops of Bittermen's Xocolatl Mole Bitters