The Polo Cocktails

The Polo Cocktail is an interesting bird. It isn’t featured in the earliest version of Jerry Thomas’s Bon Vivant’s Companion, but both versions are described in the Savoy Cocktail Book. My versions come specifically from Trader Vic’s Guide, but the proportions have been adjusted to make an actual drink, not like those tiny things Trader Vic recommends. Most versions of the Polo Cocktail described on the web call for gin, along with a barspoon of orange juice and a barspoon of lemon juice. These are another, more modern version of this classic.

The Polo Cocktail #1 and #2 are described by the Underhill Lounge/Savoy Stomp,and his proportions are the same as Trader Vic’s. There, he says that the Polo Cocktail is a version of the martini, and he’s right. The #1 is a perfect martini with the addition of a bit of lime juice. It sounds weird, but this drink works. I actually like a Perfect Martini (that’s perfect, as in 1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part dry vermouth), and the addition of lime makes it into something much more refreshing. While the Perfect Martini is drinkable, it isn’t a cooler by any means. Like a regular martini, it is more of a “difficult to drink” kind of drink. Kind of like alternative or difficult listening music. I like it, and I appreciate it, and I savor it, but I only want so much of it. The addition of lime makes it much more easy listening.

 To make a Polo Cocktail #1, combine

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
  • 1 oz dry vermouth (Noilly Prat)
  • 1/4 oz lime juice

Stir and strain into a chilled glass. The lime juice called for in most books is 1/3 of a lime, but I can never tell what that means, so I just measured mine. Heck, the limes we get here tend to be very small and not very juicy, so I figured a third of a lime is something like 1/4 oz. Who knows, though?

Like I said, this drink is refreshing.

The Polo Cocktail #2 isn’t so refreshing. To make one, combine

  • 2 oz gin 
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. This one is similar to the one found on most current website, except the proportions of juices is larger. This drink is merely okay. It’s like a Gin Buck with a mixture of grapefruit and lime. Sure, it’s pretty good, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. I would go for the Polo Cocktail #1 any day. 

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