Modernista Cocktail: Scotch, Rum, Swedish Punsch, Herbsaint

The Modernista Cocktail comes from Ted Haigh’s book Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits. To make one, combine with ice:

  • 2 oz scotch
  • 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Herbsaint
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

It’s a complex cocktail that uses no sugar, just what comes from the rum and Swedish Punsch, so be warned: it isn’t a sour. It’s a stout drink that is surprisingly balanced with a slightly bitter finish. While it isn’t my favorite cocktail, it’s an interesting additional use for Swedish Punsch, a difficult cocktail ingredient. Haigh calls it a “challenging, yet sophisticated cocktail,” which is right.

For a different take, try it without the orange bitters, or only put one dash. The two dashes make it a bit too bitter, so I tried it with one dash, and it was just right. Without the bitters at all, it’s too simple, and nothing comes to the front, neither the Punsch nor the bitterness.

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