Third Degree Cocktail

Third Degree Cocktail

A peek into the always exciting night life of a cocktail blogger.

Third Degree Cocktail
2/3 Burrough’s Plymouth Gin. (3/4 oz Plymouth Gin, 3/4 oz Bols Genever)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
4 Dashes of Absinthe. (1 tsp Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe Superior)
Shake well and strain into old-fashioned whisky glass.

We discussed the Third Degree a bit when we made the Fourth Degree Cocktail.

To recap, Robert Vermeire, in his book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” considered both the Third and Fourth Degree cocktails to be variations on the Martinez. About the Third Degree he states, “The Third Degree is a Martinez Cocktail (Continental Style) with a dash of Absinthe and an olive, but 2/6 gill of Gin and 1/6 gill of French Vermouth should be used.”

The recipe for the Martinez (Continental Style) is as follows:

Fill the bar glass half full of broken ice and add:

2 dashes Orange Bitters
3 dashes of Curacao or Maraschino
1/4 gill of Old Tom Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

Stir up well, strain into a cocktail-glass, add olive or cherry to taste, and squeeze lemon-peel on top. This drink is very popular on the Continent.

He uses the term “continental” to differentiate European style Martinez’ from the “English” style Martinez, which is as follows:

2 dashes of Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 gill of Plymouth Gin
1/4 gill of French Vermouth

The whole stirred up in ice in the bar glass, strained into a cocktail-glass with a lemon peel squeezed on top. Olive or Cherry according to taste.

Interesting that all of Vermeire’s Martinez call for French Vermouth!

In any case, since it uses Plymouth Gin, the Savoy Third Degree appears to be more closely based on the “English” Martinez, than the “Continental” version.

As we discussed earlier, there is some new evidence regarding the early 20th Century version of Plymouth Gin, in that it is said to have been “flavour[ed] with the wash of whisky distilleries”.  What that exactly means, will have to wait until I am able to taste a vintage sample, but until then, I am splitting the difference in the drinks which call for Plymouth Gin between Bols Genever and modern Plymouth Gin.

The fairly large pour of Absinthe in this cocktail, causes it to be the dominant element.  Luckily the malty character of the Genever brings a bit more interest to the party than simple, modern, GNS based Plymouth would.  While I favor the Fourth Degree slightly, this is also quite a tasty beverage!

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.