On Tuesday afternoons, I’ll often go down to the bar and mix cocktails with Gene. Today, I taped him making a Barbara West cocktail.
I realize now that I should have given more commentary as he’s making the drink. It seemed very loud in the restaurant at the time, but I come through loud and clear.
We sourced the recipe from Ted Haigh’s book:
2 oz. gin (we used Seneca Drums)
1 oz. Sherry (we used Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
I can’t seem to find much on the etymology of this cocktail, though Ted notes you could order a “Creole with bitters” and end up with a Barbara West. On the CocktailDB, I found a recipe for a Barbara East.
Gene’s comments at the end of the video about the drink being tart are because we had just finished making a Bebbo Cocktail before taping (more on this later). An easy way to play around with this drink would be to change the Sherry. Amotillado is dry and nutty and worked well, but I could see substituting an East India or an Oloroso style if you were looking for a touch more sweetness.