Tough day at work and I'm in the mood for a stiff drink with a splash of effervescence. I leafed through The Gentleman's Companion: Vol II and found just what I was looking for, THE MID-OCEAN HIGHBALL. Mr. Baker refuses to acknowledge this drink as a "highball", he writes "contrary to native title is a legitimate fizz, being an exotic from Bermuda." He is partially right. I wouldn't classify this cocktail as a fizz anymore then I would call it a highball. There is no citrus and only chilled soda to taste. Also the gin, cognac, and vermouth seems wasted in a highball glass. So I went with serving the "highball" err I mean "fizz" in a chilled coupe.
THE MID-OCEAN HIGHBALL
1 jigger of old Tom gin (I used Hayman's Old Tom Gin)
1/2 jigger cognac (I used Hennessey)
1/2 jigger of French vermouth (Noilly Pratt)
2 dashes of orange bitters (Regan's)
Shake well with cracked ice, strain into chilled highball glass and add chilled club soda to taste. Twist on a bit of green lime peel. (I stirred the drink).
Where to get this drink? Good question. I have never seen it on a local cocktail menu; I assume they still serve it at the Mid-Ocean Club in Hamilton, Bermuda. However, if you aren't game to hop the Pan American clipper, there is one place one could ask for the Mid-Ocean and get served proper - St. John Frizzel's Fort Defiance in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The man knows his Baker cocktails.