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Metropole Cocktail Variations: Putting a Twist on a Classic

Metropole Cocktail Variations: Putting a Twist on a Classic

The Metropole cocktail was earlier misidentified by mixology writers as a riff on the Manhattan drink. Each ingredient in the Metropole contributes to the makeup of the drink differently than what it does to the Manhattan. The vermouth and the bitters in Metropole give it a drier profile. 

Before delving into Metropole variations, let's peek at what made up the original drink.

Metropole - Original Version

The cocktail, which first appeared in George J Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks, used equal parts cognac and vermouth. It was a subtle adaptation of the 1884 Metropolitan Cocktail. 

Metropole Cocktail Variations: Putting a Twist on a Classic

Ingredients

45 ml Cognac
45 ml Dry vermouth 
1 dash Orange bitters
2 dashes  Gentian-based bitters
Cherry, for garnish

Instructions:

Take a saucer glass and keep it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Take a mixing glass and add cognac, vermouth and bitters with cracked ice. Stir well to combine and then strain into the chilled saucer glass. Garnish with a cherry. 

Variations of the Original Metropole Cocktail

1. Metropole - Contemporary Version

Since modern mixologists wanted at least one of the ingredients to be the star of the drink, they chose to alter the proportions of cognac to vermouth. Instead of one part each, the drink now had two parts cognac and one part vermouth. This version is closer to the classic Sazerac than Metropolitan cocktail and makes for a great no-fuss after-work drink.

Ingredients

60 ml Cognac
30 ml Dry vermouth 
1 dash Orange bitters
2 dashes  Gentian-based bitters
Orange Zest (option)
Cherry, for garnish
Orange Twist, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Take a saucer glass and keep in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Take a mixing glass and add cognac, vermouth, and bitters with cracked ice. Extract the oil from the orange zest (optional). Stir well to combine and then strain into the chilled saucer glass. Garnish with a cherry. 

2. Rough Waters By The Coral Sea

This version comes from the Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s MO BAR. It is made using cognac, bitters, sweet vermouth and aged in neutral, salt-cured American oak barrels. It uses edible squid ink coral for garnish. 

Since the ageing barrels aren't accessible for many home bartenders, the recipe below uses saline solution to make the drink. It skips the squid ink for garnish as that would not be easily available. Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients

For The Saline Solution:

½ teaspoon Sea Salt
2 tablespoons Room temperature water

For The Cocktail:

45 ml Cognac
20 ml Sweet vermouth
2 drops Saline solution 
2 drops of Aromatic bitters

Method

For The Saline Solution:

Take a bowl and add both ingredients and stir until salt crystals dissolve, for about two minutes. Use a dropper to add to drinks.

For The Cocktail:

Take a mixing glass with ice and add cognac, sweet vermouth, bitters, and saline solution. Strain the drink into a chilled cordial glass.

Metropole Cocktail Variations: Putting a Twist on a Classic

3. Metropole - David Kennedy's Version

This drink is a variation of Metropole as devised by David Kennedy, who was a bartender at New York's Pouring Ribbons. He uses the structure of the classic cocktail and adds to its flavour by adding sherry and drops of oil from a lemon peel. This version skips elaborate garnishes.

Ingredients

60 ml Cognac
20 ml Cream sherry
15 ml Sweet vermouth
1 teaspoon Brandy 
1 teaspoon Demerara Syrup (2 parts Demerara Sugar:1 part Water)
Expressed Lemon Peel, for garnish

Method

Take a mixing glass with ice and add all the ingredients to it. Stir well to combine. Strain into a coupe glass. Twist a lemon peel over the glass to express the oils, then discard the lemon peel.

4. Two O'clock At The Metropole

Ingredients

45 ml Cognac 
30 ml Dry vermouth 
10 ml Pineapple syrup
10 ml Maraschino cherry syrup
2 dashes Gentian-based bitters
Lemon Twist, for garnish

Method

Take a mixing glass with ice and add all the ingredients. Stir to combine and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

While it's great to learn about alcohol, it is important to also consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.