Prepkitchen Little Italy’s Dutch Hammer
  • Prepkitchen Little Italy’s Dutch Hammer
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Prepkitchen Little Italy

1660 India Street, Little Italy

While Southern California’s live oaks and palms show little of the colors that ignite the landscape of such northern neighbors as Washington and Oregon, San Diego bartender Adam Lockridge honors the harvest season by changing the leaves of his cocktail menu at Prepkitchen Little Italy.

In shifting from summer to fall, vernal to crimson, Prepkitchen’s cocktail menu, Lockridge says, seeks to capture autumn’s warm tones in such ingredients as orange peel, clove, juniper and sage — all of which can be found in one of the fall menu’s newest items, the Dutch Hammer.

Adam Lockridge

“I just came up with it today,” he says. “I’ve been playing with the idea in my head. I wanted to do a martini-lounge-style cocktail but with fall flavors in the old martini style — stirred and direct instead of citrusy and shaken.”

Unlike the more herbal English dry gins, the genever “showcases a clean juniper taste” and serves as the active ingredient in the mix, Lockridge says, even as the dry curaçao — recently gaining greater currency among San Diego’s bartenders — provides the hinge on which the whole concoction swings.

“It’s a cognac-based orange liqueur,” he says, “but with higher alcohol content and less sugar than, say, Grand Marnier....

“You’re going to get the herbal notes and juniper of the gin. But the combination of other flavors doesn’t mask the gin — they make it the star by boosting up the juniper and herbal notes in the genever. Then the clove comes through with the bitters and light notes of sage and orange from the curacao. It’s very balanced and very smooth.”

How to make it

In a pint glass or cocktail tin, muddle:

  • 1.2 oz. Pierre Ferrand dry curacao
  • 2 fresh sage leaves

Add:

  • 1½ Bols genever
  • 3 dashes Bitter Truth’s Jerry Thomas Own decanted bitters

Add ice, stir “about 13 revolutions,” strain into cocktail glass, garnish with a sage leaf.

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