Sometimes classic drinks almost hit the mark, but miss by an inch. That's how the Automobile Cocktail was for me. The combination of scotch, gin, vermouth, and bitters looked like an unlikely combo on paper, but I was willing to give it a go. While it almost worked, the various elements never quite seemed to come together. But thinking about what worked and what didn't made me wonder if I could tweak it into something more agreeable. Giving it a little French twist did the trick.
1 oz cognac
1 oz London dry gin
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Bigallet China-China Amer
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The nose is fairly subdued, but some grape from the cognac and brighter orange notes from the Bigallet peek out, with hints of bitterness from the gin and amer. The sip opens with moderate grape sweetness, sliding through bittersweet in the middle and bitter at the back as the gin and amer team up. The finish is long and lingering with juniper and spices.
4 hours ago