Satan’s Whiskers

By Robert Hess

An old and unfortunately forgotten cocktail, and one of the first which I learned which required the mysterious ingredient "orange bitters". It is a great drink to use to introduce people to "gin" cocktails. If you use "orange curacao" instead of Grand Marnier turns this into a "curled" version.

Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 oz Hendrick's Gin

3/4 oz dry vermouth

3/4 oz sweet vermouth

1/2 oz orange juice

1/2 Grand Marnier

dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Instructions

  • shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass
  • garnish with a cherry
  • Comments
    blair frodelius 16 Feb 2009
    8:42 am

    Robert,

    Definitely one of the best cocktail names ever!  I’ve had both the “straight” and the “curled” versions.  I think the Grand Marnier gives a darker tone to the drink.  In any case, I like to add two long orange twists to the glass to make the “whiskers”.

    Cheers!

    Blair

    Natalie - The Liquid Muse 16 Feb 2009
    9:09 am

    This looks absolutely scrumptious!  I wish I could make one now… its only 10 am… is that bad?

    Small Screen Colin 16 Feb 2009
    9:12 am

    It does have orange juice in it…...

    Matt 16 Feb 2009
    2:32 pm

    Just tried this. It’s actually a really nice drink, very unique I think. Although I think it does have a bit too much of a vermouth taste to it. Next time I am going to try less.

    Robert Hess 16 Feb 2009
    3:33 pm

    Matt, it can depend on what vermouth you used, as well as how fresh it is. I use Noilly Prat for dry vermouth, and Martini & Rossi for sweet, and I keep my vermouth in the refrigerator once it has been opened.

    Kimberly Patton-Bragg 16 Feb 2009
    3:34 pm

    I can’t wait to try this one tonight. Not only do I also love turning people onto gin, but also vermouth. Man, you even mention vermouth to some people and you would think I suggested a curdled milk rinse. Vermouths are elegant and complex. I love them and I have a sneaking suspicion that if the non-believers would unwrinkle their noses and give them a try, they would weep from their years of misplaced judgement.

    dimitrios zappas 17 Feb 2009
    10:51 am

    hello Robert, From Duplex to Bronx, from Bronx to Jimmie Lee to Johnson, from Johnson to Bijou, from Bijou to Satan’s Whiskers….
    From a trip into “THE OLD WALDORF ASTORIA - Bar Book”
    and what i like from all of this? a Bronx offcourse, no question…

    Matt 17 Feb 2009
    1:11 pm

    Well Robert, after finishing the drink last night I actually have to change my opinion. I think the vermouth amount was perfect. It really added a depth and complexity to the drink that I wasn’t expecting. I think this will go into my usual rotation.

    I used Hendrick’s as well (all I had on hand). I wonder how well it would work with other gins.

    MichaelO 20 Feb 2009
    12:17 pm

    Robert, love the new look of the site

    Brandon 21 Feb 2009
    11:18 am

    Robert,

    I haven’t had an opportunity to fire this one out… yet… Tonight may be the night…

    However, I’m curious… I haven’t picked up (nor found) Angostura Orange (yet)...  How does Mr. Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 fair in this cocktail?

    Best,
    - Brandon

    PS: Love the new additions & contributors!

    Robert Hess 22 Feb 2009
    6:31 am

    Angostura, Regans, and Fees, while each are an “orange bitters”, each also is quite different from the other. While they produce a nice orange note to their drinks, they do so in different ways, and with different characters. I haven’t come across a drink yet which I feel should be made only with one or the other, so if you only have one of them, it isn’t a problem. But I’d also recommend that you think about picking up each of them.

    Brandon 22 Feb 2009
    6:45 am

    Robert,

    Thanks for the reply! 

    I’ve played around with Fee’s and “Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters” for some other cocktails…  So I may definitely have to give it a whirl for multiple rounds… (nothing wrong with that right?)

    Colin was kind enough to point me to the “clickable” link to purchase through kegworks, so I’ve actually got a bottle of the Angostura Orange on its way…  I’m very excited. :)

    Thx again for the reply!

    Ruben 27 Feb 2009
    2:26 pm

    There’s also a relatively young bitters company in Germany named “The Bitter Truth” and their product range includes TBT Orange Bitters. Great bitter in my opinion, but I have to admit that I didn’t try any other orange bitters yet.

    I have seen Robert use The Bitter Truth Orange Flower Water for his Ramos Gin Fizz :D


    Regarding the drink: I don’t have Grand Marnier here and am also not willing to buy it solely for this cocktail, can Cointreau fix the hole? Grand Marnier contains Cognac, right? How about a mixture of Cognac and Cointreau?

    Ruben

    Robert Hess 27 Feb 2009
    3:02 pm

    Ruben,
    Yes, “The Bitter Truth” also makes an orange bitters, although it’s a little hard to find here in the states. It has a fairly robust and complex flavor, closer to the Angostura Orange Bitters than the Regan’s or the Fees. And there is also Hermes Orange Bitters, made by the Suntory company in Japan, but even harder to find than The Bitter Truth.

    Technically, you could use any “orange flavored liqueur” in place of the Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier “is” an orange curacao (just a top-of-the-line one), just as Cointreau is a triple sec. But amongst those four different products, you could use any of them for this drink, with the difference I suspect being fairly slight.

    Dinah (MetaGrrrl/Bibulous) 2 Mar 2009
    6:06 pm

    I just updated our current bitters collection in an annotated Flickr picture. Mouse over the bottles for tasting notes.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinah/3319858309/

    (Also, I recommend photos like this which you can bookmark in the browser on your phone so you don’t buy duplicate bottles. ;) )

    shana keefer 15 Mar 2009
    11:25 am

    Hi Robert!  I was curious if you have any recommendations as to where I could find unique cocktail glasses for the bar I work in.  I specifically like the champagne saucer style as used in your cocktails the Cabaret and Ritz Bijou.  Nice glassware is so hard to find, I was hoping you could at least point me in the right direction.  Thank you for your time.

    Robert Hess 16 Mar 2009
    8:26 am

    The old “Glassware” conundrum.

    Most the the glassware I am using this season are glasses that I picked up from various antique stores, which unfortunately doesn’t work well for commercial bar applications when you want to use standardize glassware.

    The specific glasses you mention from the “Cabaret” and “Ritz Bijou” are glasses which I got from my grandmother’s estate, And are indeed lovely and unique. I too wish I could find more of them.

    A “coupe” style glass which I see being used all over the place in Europe, is manufactured by “Luigi Bormioli”, and is part of the “Michelangelo” line. #C40 (7.5 oz champagne coupe) as well as a smaller version #C48 3.5 oz Sherry. I’ve tried a couple of times to get some of these here in the US by going through a restaurant supply company, but they always give some lame excuse about these being discontinued (even thought I KNOW they aren’t), which I think is just there shorthand for saying “we can’t be bothered”. So here in the US we are stuck with either countless/lookalike variations of the “V” martini glass, or having to resort to custom glassware which is overly expensive.

    U-Place Mike 20 Mar 2009
    3:29 pm

    Has anyone found Angostura Bitters being sold retail in the Puget Sound area.  Given that you can find Angostura Aromatic bitters in darn near every grocery store, mini-mart and espresso stand around hear I would have thought that it could be found somewhere.  My job lets me travel the area so distance isn’t an issue.  Thanks!

    U-Place Mike 20 Mar 2009
    3:30 pm

    Oops, the first line should read “Angostura Orange Bitters”.

    Robert Hess 22 Mar 2009
    12:59 pm

    Mike, the only place in the Puget Sound area that I know of that has Angostura Orange Bitters, is DeLaurenties at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Angostura is working hard at rolling out their bitters, and you should soon be able to find it available at more locations.

    Steve Rosenthal 6 Apr 2009
    4:33 pm

    Hi Robet,

    I just tried this drink.  Very nice, fragrant, and smooth.  I made a few substitutions, though.

    I found some blood oranges at the store, so I used blood orange juice, which has a great flavor and a great deep red color.  Really nice looking in the glass.  I also couldn’t let that beautiful peel go to waste, so I garnished with a twist instead of a cherry.

    I also went the reverse on vermouth:  Noilly Pratt for sweet (which I prefer over Martini) and M & R for dry.

    Lastly, I couldn’t find the Angostura Orange Bitters at my local BevMo, but they had Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters.

    Maybe I should call this “Satan’s Bloody Nose.” <g>

    Best,

    —Steve

    Robert Hess 7 Apr 2009
    4:04 am

    Steve,

    It’s great to experiment with these drinks, and to find ways to add your own personal touches to them.

    Ruben 8 Apr 2009
    4:20 am

    The best “not-so-well-known” cocktails I’ve had for a while. Thanks again for sharing.
    I made it with the following ingredients:

    20ml Tanqueray No Ten
    20ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
    20ml Carpano Antica Formula
    15ml fresh Orange Juice
    15ml Giffard Premium Curacao Triple Sec (way better than Cointreau in my oppinion, didn’t have Grand Marnier)
    2 Orange Zests
    2 dashes TBT Orange Bitters

    Scott S 9 Apr 2009
    5:03 pm

    Robert,

    If you really wanted something like this but only had aromatic bitters, would you use those instead or leave out the bitters all together?

    Of course I know the correct answer is to make something else, but I’m still curious on your thoughts. . .

    Robert Hess 10 Apr 2009
    4:20 am

    Scott, if you don’t have orange bitters, the real correct answer is to pick some up! :->

    We are fortunate enough these days to have several different brands to select from. When I first encountered this recipe, there was only one brand of orange bitters being made, and it was almost impossible to find. Which of course made this cocktail rather problematic.

    What I ended up doing in those days was simply making sure to squeeze a hefty orange peel over the drink, which I felt would get ‘some’ of the character of orange bitters into it.

    doug marshall 3 Aug 2010
    1:52 pm

    Glassware anyone?  I found these online but they are in a case of 48.  Anyone want to
    split up a case??

    http://www.instawares.com/saucer-champagne-classic-4oz.lac412916.0.7.htm?LID=GRBR&srccode=cii_5784816&cpncode=22-74470200-2

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