After a brief break for some busy times at work we’re back with the Apollo Cocktail. Space Season is a way for me to indulge a couple of nerd areas for me in one go, space and cocktails. What’s not to love?
The Apollo Program
Apollo was the 1960s to early 70s program that took humanity to the moon. It was the third NASA space capsule, carrying 3 passengers to earth and then lunar orbit.
The Mercury capsule was a single seat and Gemini was two seats, though both only flew in earth orbit. Apollo capsules were launched atop the Saturn V and smaller Saturn 1B rocket systems.
Creating the Apollo Cocktail
To create an Apollo Cocktail I want to play on the three man crew aspect with a three ingredient cocktail. These more simple cocktails were certainly in vogue at the time and are experiencing a resurgence in the current cocktail scene.
I’m a huge fan of the Negroni, which is perhaps the quintessential three ingredient drink. The Boulevardier is a great simple twist on that too, with a whisk(e)y taking the place of gin in the drink. Both normally use an aperitivo like Campari or Aperol, a sweet vermouth in addition to the gin or whiskey.
Traditionally as well, the drinks are normally based on a 1:1:1 ratio of ingredients, which many bartenders will tell you is the perfect balance.
How can that always be right? The brands are not specified, and each has its own character. There is no way you can say that every Gin or whiskey, vermouth and aperitivo needs the same proportions without tasting each combination, and also everyone’s tastes vary. Do what tastes good, and don’t worry about convention.
Apollo Cocktail Recipe
I don’t want the drink to be fussy, so I’d personally serve this on the rocks, but it could just as easily be stirred with ice and strained into a chilled coupe glass.
I’ve substituted the vermouth for Montenegro Amaro which has a really great complexity and a sweetness that you wouldn’t expect. I’m also using Kamm & Sons aperitif which is dry and similar to Suze.
Kamm & Sons is a relatively modern product created by bartender Alex Kammerling, but what could be more appropriate that modern for a project that was as cutting edge as a trip to the moon?
Stir the ingredients with ice and garnish with a grapefruit twist on the rocks.