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Drink of the Week:

Text and illustrations copyright Craig Mrusek Illustration & Design

Leatherneck Cocktail

2 oz. blended whiskey
3.4 oz. blue Curacao
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Green Man

1 measure Irish whiskey
1/2 measure blue Curacao
1 measure fresh lemon juice
1 dash egg white

Shake all ingredients with a little ice until well frosted. Pour into a medium-sized tumbler or glass and fill up with more ice.

     I normally stick to one recipe at a time, but on this outing I'm compelled to do a two-fer. I was paging through Alex Barker's 1001 Cocktails and a drink called the Green Man caught my eye. The list of ingredients looked familiar, and I was wondering...hadn't I seen this drink masquerading somewhere else under a different name?
     Almost. I realized it bore a decent resemblance to the Leatherneck Cocktail from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. This obviously left me with only one course of action: try 'em both in an old-fashioned taste test!
     Up first was the Leatherneck. The first thing I noticed was the spiffy green-with-a-bit-of-blue color. This is a drink that would not look out of place being sipped by someone/something on an episode of Star Trek.
     The whiskey (I used Canadian Club) definitely takes a back seat to the lime & Curacao. Despite this, the flavor still comes through somewhat, and using the blended stuff here is a good move. The milder tone of blended whiskey meshes better with the other two ingredients. Something like Bourbon or rye would be a bit too sharp here.
     Also, the Leatherneck has an almost "proto-tiki" taste but still retains a classic cocktail character. A festive quality is grounded in whiskey warmth, resulting in a great interplay between the fruit flavors and the base spirit. Its got a short ingredient list and simple preparation, but it's flirting with a tropical vibe. The best of both worlds in many ways.
     The Green Man also pours a nearly identical blue-green color. The egg white adds the barest touch of froth, but if you don't have any chicken fruit handy, don't worry...it won't be missed.
     The whiskey (in this case Jameson's) is nearly undetectable. The other ingredients eclipse it, with the lemon ending up the dominant flavor...I'd reduce the amount of lemon juice a bit to balance things out a bit more. However, left as it is, this would be a good recipe for someone who doesn't like their drinks to come on too strong.
     Overall, it's a matter of personal preference. I'd recommend the Green Man for anyone who likes their drinks on the citrusy side and not too boozy. That being said, it comes off a little lackluster when compared to the Leatherneck, which definitely has more depth. But I suggest trying them both for yourself.
     And while you're at it, rent one of those great 50's sci-fi flicks where our men in uniform go toe-to-toe with the flying saucer jockeys. How can you say no to that kind of symmetry?

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