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Italian Cocktail

Sally took another sip and regarded him with amusement, dark eyes wide, fine eyebrows almost disappearing into her fashionable crisp bob.

‘It’s Fernet and absinthe, mostly. Shall I order you one? It’s rather bitter; not many like it.’

1 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/4 oz absinthe or to taste

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain; serve up in a cocktail glass.

Red vermouth was known as “Italian” vermouth in the 1920s; hence the “It” in Gin & It.

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Blood & Sand

‘A Blood and Sand, please,’ someone said to the barman. Sally turned and looked down the bar, startled not just by the unusual and intriguing order, but the voice giving it—young, female and American.

3/4 oz. blended Scotch
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
3/4 oz. orange juice (blood orange if possible!)
3/4 oz. Cherry Heering liqueur

Shake with ice & strain; serve up in a cocktail glass.

Named for the sensational 1922 Rudolph Valentino film, this drink is unexpectedly delicious. The original recipe calls for equal parts of all ingredients, but modern mixers often double the Scotch to make it a little stronger and less sweet.

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Blood Bronx

They’d seated themselves at one of the chrome and glass tables, and a waiter arrived almost instantly with two Blood Bronx cocktails.

‘I guess we’ve become regulars…’

1-1/2 oz. dry gin
3/4 oz. white vermouth
1/2 oz. blood orange juice

Shake with ice & strain; serve up in a cocktail glass.

A Martini variant developed in 1906; the name supposedly refers to the Bronx Zoo (and the imaginary animals one might see after a few drinks). The version with blood orange juice appeared in print by 1934, so it was doubtless in the repertoire of fashionable bartenders by the late 1920s.