As noted earlier, I was lucky enough to pick up a bottle of kola tonic a little while ago. Dr. Cocktail's writeup of the Filmograph Cocktail in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (an excellent, excellent read that's worth picking up) caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Cola is a flavor I really like, but after what is probably too much diet soda consumption, regular colas tend to taste too sweet to me. (Fentimans' Curiosity Cola is the standout, followed by Boylan's Cane Cola, not that you asked.) I was very intrigued to try the taste of cola in a cocktail, rather than the usual soft drink form.
Getting back to the Filmograph, I took Doc's suggestion to switch out the sirop de citron (he writes "substitute fresh lemon juice unless you like to drink maple syrup out of the can"), but wound up with a pretty sour drink that wasn't too balanced. I've noticed, though, that the lemons at my local supermarket seem to vary in acidity; perhaps it's something to do with the time of year, or maybe they source them from different places at different times? (In the spirit of further research, I guess I'll just have to make myself some Filmographs year-round and compare. Modern living is entirely about sacrifice for the common good.)
Dropping the lemon juice from 3/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce didn't seem to make much of a difference, so I abandoned that tack. Instead, I upped the kola tonic from 1/2 ounce to a full ounce, and got a Filmograph that I enjoyed very much indeed. The kola tonic is richer and more complex than straight cola syrup, and it blends well with the brandy and lemon, creating a very nicely-balanced drink. (The only problem with them is that I don't want to drink them in the evening, as the caffeine will keep me up till all hours.)
- 2 oz. brandy
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. kola tonic
Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge.
(Sorry to have been away so long, by the by: a long, hectic week has intervened, with parental visits, much tour-guiding, and not enough cocktailian, um, "research." This should be rectified, and soon.)