Eric Alperin, of The Varnish in Los Angeles, took third place in our blind Vieux Carré tasting with his version, which follows a more spirit-forward formula than the original: three-quarters of an ounce of Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, one ounce each of Old Overholt Rye and Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, a quarter-ounce of Bénédictine and two dashes each of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters. It was deemed “super expressive,” rye-forward and, crucially, “not too thin.” The drink was garnished with a lemon twist and a cherry, the latter the judges’ only minor quibble. It was balanced and robust, and did not shy away from the heavy-hitting nature of the original.
- 1 ounce rye, preferably Old Overholt
- 1 ounce Cognac, preferably Pierre Ferrand 1840
- 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth, preferably Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 1/4 ounce Bénédictine
- 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: lemon twist, cherry
- Measure all ingredients into a rocks glass.
- Add a large ice cube and stir seven times.
- Express the oils of a lemon twist over the surface of the drink. Insert a fresh lemon lemon twist and a cherry.