Colombo “Flying Fish”

Baker reports that this drink “Was Taken into the Fold on a Memorable Night in Ceylon.” By “memorable,” does he mean that he only had a couple of drinks that night for once, instead of, like, 50? Ooh, zing.

Um, enough unwarranted snark. Here’s the drink:

  • 1 jigger gin (2 oz Beefeater)
  • 1/2 pony yellow Curaçao and 1 dash peach bitters, or 1/2 pony Cordial Médoc (1/2 oz Cointreau and 1 dash Fee Brothers peach bitters)
  • 1/2 tsp maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)

Shake with ice, then serve in a Manhattan glass garnished with a slice of orange.

I used Cointreau because I have yet to find a Curaçao that I actually like. Pity I didn’t have any Cordial Médoc, though. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it on offer anywhere, including Cask, my go-to spot for obscure liquor.

Anyhow, I think Baker probably had a memorable night in Ceylon because of the excruciating sweetness of this drink. As written, it’s nearly undrinkable. But I sensed that there was a good idea at its core, if only it could be dried out a little. My first impulse was to add some citrus juice, but that’s always my first impulse whenever I’m formulating a cocktail, and I’m trying to change things up a bit. My second impulse was to cut down on the Cointreau, but then the cocktail would be edging towards a big glass of gin.

After an ill-fated experiment with 1/2 tsp of acid phosphate, I successfully dried this out by adding 3/4 oz of Noilly Prat French vermouth. With the vermouth, this was actually quite a good drink! The orange and peach flavored the drink instead of serving as its backbone.

With the added vermouth, I’ll definitely be making this one again.

Colombo "Flying Fish" (Original): ★★☆☆☆ 

Colombo "Flying Fish" (Modified): ★★★★☆ 

2 Responses to “Colombo “Flying Fish””

  1. Jeff says:

    Just learned that Cointreau is, in fact, a variety of Curaçao. Oops.

  2. Jeff says:

    Also: I recently discovered that a Manhattan glass is a martini glass, not a rocks glass. So If you make this drink, serve it in a traditional v-shaped martini glass, which makes a hell of a lot more sense.

    This is a learning process for me, people. Bear with me.


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