H.P.W. Cocktail

For a few years, maybe in the 1980s, Tanqueray made another gin supposedly based on a formula they made in the 19th Century. It was called “Malacca” and discontinued a number of years back.

Because many people feel it is the closest gin formula to a certain style of “Old Tom Gin” bottles are highly prized by booze aficionados, often drawing close to a hundred dollars on eBay. It is also one of the great white whales those of us who lurk in liquor store aisles keep our eyes out for.

Sadly, I still have never seen a bottle of Malacca Gin here in San Francisco. However, some Internet friends (Thanks Mike and Jenny!) ran across a few bottles and were kind enough to share. Who am I to say no?

H.P.W. Cocktail

1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth)
1/2 Tom Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Malacca)
(dash Mesquite Gum Syrup)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Drinks: How to Mix Them,” has an interesting note about the H.P.W Cocktail:

This cocktail was invented by the famous bar-tender “Charlie,” of the Racquet Club in New York, as a compliment to the prominent millionaire member of the Club, Mr. Harry Payne Whitney.

Millionaire is a bit of an understatement, as at his death in 1930, Harry Payne Whitney was estimated to be worth $62,808,000. His wife, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was no slouch either. Daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, she was a sculptor and patron of the arts who later went on to found the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Yep, that’s another perfectly fine Martinez type variation.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.