Alaska (Straub’s 1914 recipe)
The origin of the cocktail known as the Alaska dates back to 1914. It was first documented in a recipe book called Straub's Manual of Mixed Drinks, written by a bartender named Jacques Straub.
Unfortunately, not much is known about the exact history and background of the Alaska cocktail. The recipe itself is quite simple, consisting of gin, yellow Chartreuse, and orange bitters. It is believed to have been inspired by the classic Martini, with the addition of Chartreuse to give it a unique twist.
Chartreuse is a herbal liqueur produced by monks in the Chartreuse Mountains of France. It was first created in the early 18th century and is known for its complex flavors and vibrant green color. In the Alaska cocktail, the yellow variety of Chartreuse is used, which has a milder and sweeter taste compared to the green version.
The use of orange bitters in the Alaska cocktail adds a subtle citrusy note and balances out the herbal flavors from the gin and Chartreuse. The combination of these ingredients creates a bold and aromatic cocktail with a sophisticated taste.
Over the years, the Alaska cocktail has gained popularity among mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts. It has become a classic drink that showcases the versatility of gin and the unique flavors of Chartreuse. While its exact origin may be shrouded in mystery, the Alaska cocktail continues to be enjoyed by many who appreciate its distinctive blend of ingredients.
STIR all the ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
- Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for top-shelf spirits, fresh fruits, and premium mixers for a more refined and balanced cocktail.
- Measure accurately: Invest in a jigger or measuring device to ensure precise measurements of all ingredients, maintaining the cocktail's intended ratios.
- Chill the glassware: Place the serving glass in the freezer for a few minutes before making the cocktail to ensure it stays cold throughout the drinking experience.
- Properly stir: Follow the recipe instructions when it comes to stirring. For the Alaska cocktail, gently stir the ingredients until well chilled and properly mixed.
- Use fresh ice: Never reuse melted or half-melted ice cubes; always start with fresh ice for optimum chilling and dilution.
- Garnish creatively: Add a touch of elegance with a lemon twist or a brandied cherry. Garnishes enhance the overall aesthetics of the cocktail and can impart a subtle fragrance.
- Experiment and adapt: Modify the recipe to suit your personal preferences. Adjust the proportions of the ingredients or try different spirits to create a cocktail that resonates with your taste.
- Appreciate and savor: Take the time to fully enjoy your carefully prepared cocktail. Appreciate the flavors, aromas, and craftsmanship that went into creating it.