How to make an Alaska Cocktail
The Alaska is a close relative of the Martini and shares a common profile being crisp, refreshing and bold. It was originally invented in the 1900s and is thought to be from South Carolina, though no-one knows why it’s called an Alaska. Originally the cocktail used Old Tom gin but by the time it turned up in Harry Cradock's famous “The Savoy Cocktail Book” in the ‘30s London Dry had replaced the Old Tom.
It’s a nice, simple cocktail to make being just gin, Yellow Chartreuse and bitters. The Chartreuse brings strong almost acerbic herbaceous flavours and these are added to by the orange bitters which bring citrus and more botanicals. Round it off with the lemon peel and you get a cocktail that many find too botanical and bold. An option, therefore, is to add some amontillado sherry which brings sherry’s rich nutty flavours to the cocktail and smooths out the other contents.
As with any Martini, you need to be using top quality gin - it’s got nowhere to hide! Try more juniper forward or herbaceous gins too as they will enhance the other ingredients. Brooklyn, Sipsmith, Plymouth, Roku, Bombay Sapphire gins all work well.
But as with any Martini (or near Martini), the fun is in experimenting!
INGREDIENTS🍸 45ml Brooklyn Gin
🍸 15ml Yellow Chartreuse liqueur
🍸 2 dashes orange bitters
🍸 Lemon peel
🍸 optional: 10ml Amontillado Sherry
TO MAKE🍸 Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice
🍸 Serve in a champagne coupe or small cocktail glass
🍸 Garnish with a thin lemon peel twisted over the glass