Even though it’s probably only been a few months since you last ordered a drink at your local bar, when you look back on that moment today, it probably seems as exotic and exciting as hiking the Alps or bungee jumping in New Zealand. And so our Zoom cocktail parties continue. When home-bartending, it can seem like there are two classes of cocktails: two- or three-ingredient drinks that sit somewhere between “it’ll do” and sublime simplicity, and more elaborate drinks that involve labor-intensive ingredients of varying degrees. And then there’s the Dreamweaver, a bridge between the two.
Before the pandemic shut down Chickadee, a sweet, laid-back sanctuary in the Boston Design Center, a cornerstone of the industrial Seaport District, the Dreamweaver was a stalwart on the menu. (As of this column’s publication, Chickadee was expecting to reopen later this week for takeout.) And its popularity will easily carry over to your front porch/fire escape. The drink employs Old Tom gin as its base, a full-bodied grain spirit layered with herbaceous notes that, as owner/general manager/beverage director Ted Kilpatrick puts it, “is never bothered when it’s brightened by citrus elements.” That citrus component here comes in the alluring shape of an aromatic tea-infused vermouth. The small effort it requires to make bright, lemony infusion pays out in spades.
If, like me, you’ve found yourself inclined toward unfussy cocktails at home, the Dreamweaver will let you stay on that path of simplicity but dangle just enough flavor bling to remind you that times in the bars of our collective distant memory will ultimately return and the craftsmen like Ted will resume creating the engaging drinks that today exist only in bargoers’ dreams.
Makes 1 drink
1 ½ ounces lemon-tea-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth (or any white vermouth). To prepare, add two heaping tablespoons of herbal lemon tea to 12 ounces vermouth. Let sit at room temperature overnight. Strain through a coffee filter. Alternatively, use any herbal tea and lemon zest.
1 ¼ ounces Ransom Old Tom gin (or any old tom gin)
½ ounce Suze
1. Pour all ingredients over ice and stir about 10 seconds.
2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Adapted from Chickadee
Liza Weisstuch can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @livingtheproof.