2 oz Genever <Bols>
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
Few dashes Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktial glass. Garnish with orange twist.
This passed weekend I stumbled upon Spinal Tap on TV. I came in on the scene of them going over reviews of their earlier albums, which is pretty close to the beginning. Next thing I know, they’re going on their reunion tour in Japan and the movie is over. It was even on a channel with commercials, which is a testament to how much of a classic it really is.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know there are more jokes to be found after every viewing (if you haven’t seen it, stop reading and go watch it!). Sight gags and wordplay abound, all on a backdrop so rich in detail it sucks you into their world. They particularly had a way with names; whether it was their own characters (David St. Hubbins is both quintessentially British and perfectly rock and roll), former bandmates (R.I.P. Peter James Bond and Ross MacLochness), the aforementioned albums, or their various previous band incarnations. What does this all have to do with cocktails? Don’t worry, I’ll get there.
While thumbing through my copy of Mr. Boston one night, a combination of gin, Grand Marnier, and sweet vermouth in the Londoner caught my eye. I think I had just bought a bottle of Genever, so I decided to swap that out for the gin. Obviously this drink needed a name with a British bent, and what better than the Tap’s “Gimme Some Money” era moniker, the Thamesmen (check out Ed Bedgley Jr on drums!). Unfortunately, after I had made that drinks sometime last year, I didn’t have Grand Marnier in my bar for a bit. But now the planets finally aligned. After picking up a bottle a few weeks ago, I catch Spinal tap on TV and there is only one drink to write about this week.
The Thamesmen starts off very malt forward thanks to the Genever. The theme is continued as Grand Marnier adds its warm sweetness. Surrounding everything is grapes and oranges from the Grand Marnier and Punt e Mes, with the latter providing some much needed bite at the end. Some whiskey barrel aged bitters give this devil its horns. This version is definitely more dark and brooding than the brighter gin based Londoner, which makes sense given the band that inspired the name.
I’ll leave you with my favorite Spinal Tap song, musically speaking. Though the sight gag is pretty good too.