Satan’s Whiskers


Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Straight)

Of Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Carpano Antica), French Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin Blanc), Gin (1/2 oz Plymouth Navy Strength Gin) and Orange Juice (1/4 oz Valencia Orange Juice, 1/4 oz Sour Lemon Orange Juice), two parts each; of Grand Marnier one part (1/4 oz Grand Marnier); Orange Bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters), a dash. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.


Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail (Curled)
For the Grand Marnier in the foregoing Cocktail, substitute the same quantity of Orange Curacao (1/2 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao). Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

To be honest, I’ve never really been all that thrilled with the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail. It’s a great name, but all too often it isn’t a well balanced or interesting cocktail. Kind of like the Bronx, the quality of orange juice is almost a little too important.

The Saturday before, I headed down to the Farmers’ Market with the idle goal of finding some sort of interesting orange related fruit for the drink. Anything. Clementines, Satsumas, whatever. In my heart of hearts, I really hoped for some seville oranges, as one of the suppliers often carries them during their brief season. No seville oranges, but there was an odd box of small citrus marked, “Sour Lemon Oranges”. When I picked them up to look at them, the farmer woman said something like, good for salads and cooking! Give them a try!


The picture above shows them with a quarter of a navel orange behind. You can see they are quite small and quite seedy. The meat is off yellow and the inner fruit peel greenish. They are really sour. I think possibly even more sour than lemons. They made a pretty fantastic honey mustard marinade for a pork tenderloin.

Anyway, back to drinks.

The recipe is a bit odd, I can’t think of another in the book written in this “parts” style. I decided to base it on 1/4 oz “parts”, as that would get me near the usual 2 1/4 oz cocktails.

A fresh-ish bottle of Carpano gives this a nice spice to go along with the sweetness.

As far as the difference between 1/4 oz of Bols Orange Curacao and 1/4 oz of Grand Marnier, I’ll be darned if I could tell the difference with all the other ingredients in this cocktail. And since the gin is such a small proportion, I figured Navy Strength Plymouth wouldn’t be a bad idea. It definitely wasn’t.

Maybe Satan’s Whiskers aren’t so bad after all!

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.

4 thoughts on “Satan’s Whiskers

  1. an interesting interpretation. i wish i had that navy strength plymouth to try the drink with. i’d recommend the drink without the antica because its vanilla tones can overshadow some of the drinks other nuances. i think the curacao rather than triple-sec implies that the drink should take the sweet direction while having killer acidity. the sweet structure i end up with makes me want to stir.

    overall i feel everything should add up to a elusive, seductive shade of orange. i wish i could get you some of the cape verdean orange liqueur.


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