Remember the Maine is a classic cocktail that combines rye whiskey with vermouth, cherry brandy and absinthe.
The cocktail is featured in Charles H. Baker’s “The Gentleman’s Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask”, first published in 1939, a travelogue where he documents his drinking experiences abroad during Prohibition.
REMEMBER the MAINE, a hazy memory of a night in Havana during the unpleasantness of 1933, when each swallow was punctuated with bombs going off on the Prado, or the sound of 3″ shells being fired at the hotel NACIONAL, then haven for certain anti-revolutionary officers.
The name of the drink refers to the USS Maine, an American naval ship that sank in Havana Harbour during the Cuban revolt against Spain, an event that was blamed by popular opinion on Spain which gave rise to the cry, “Remember the Maine, the Hell with Spain!”
For the drink, Baker he cites, “1 jigger of good rye whisky, 1/2 jigger Italian vermouth, 1 to 2 tsp of cherry brandy, 1/2 tsp absinthe” garnished with lime or lemon peel but we’ve adapted the recipe to be more whiskey forward. The absinthe lifts the sweet flavours while the Cherry Heering adds a cherry fruit and an underlying nutty note.
Remember the Maine Cocktail Recipe
- 60 ml rye whiskey
- 20 ml sweet vermouth
- 10 ml Cherry Heering
- 1 barspoon absinthe
Garnish: cherry or lemon peel
In a mixing glass add all ingredients and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with a cherry or lemon peel.
Or to use Baker’s words, “Stir briskly in clock-wise fashion—this makes it sea-going, presumably!”
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