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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 02/18/2011

Cocktails That Complete Me: Maiden's Prayer
and Satan's Whiskers

By Jason Wilson
IMG_5572_opt.jpg Satan's Whiskers (Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post)

We were talking gin (and tonic, of course) in this week's Spirits column, and as I near the end of my Cocktails That Complete Me project, I tried two gin cocktails from The List this past week. Namewise, the cocktails are polar opposites: Maiden's Prayer and Satan's Whiskers. In execution, however, they're very similar.

You'd think a drink like Satan's Whiskers would be scarier than this: equal parts gin, Grand Marnier, orange juice and both sweet and dry vermouths. Satan's Whiskers is just a Bronx Cocktail with less gin and the addition of the orange liqueur.

Now, around the turn of the 20th century, the Bronx Cocktail was a popular and somewhat controversial cocktail. President William Taft once raised eyebrows in 1911 by ordering one at breakfast. What was unique was the radical addition of orange juice, which until then had not been used as a mixer -- it was basically, a perfect martini with an ounce of OJ. According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the drink was the Cosmopolitan of its day, loved by the masses and abhorred by the cognoscenti.

One can surmise, then, that the diabolically named Satan's Whiskers is just an even more approachable, even orangier recipe, perhaps to appeal to those who declared other cocktails too strong. There's an awful lot of orange in here: orange liqueur, orange bitters and orange juice.

IMG_5591_opt.jpg Maiden's Prayer (Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post)

The Maiden's Prayer has similar -- and even more nefarious -- origins. This turn-of-the-20th-century version of the Bronx was created as a "chick's" drink, so named by some wag with less-than-savory intentions for his date. "Whether or not we approve," writes Wondrich, "such drinks exist." In offering his recipe for Esquire, he adds: "Dude? Be nice."

Both Satan's Whiskers and Maiden's Prayer will appeal to people who enjoy more sweet (but balanced, not cloying) and less obviously strong (but still boozy) drinks. Anyway, both taste like a more sophisticated and complex screwdriver. Some may follow President Taft's lead and replace their Sunday brunch mimosas with one of these.

Satan's Whiskers
1 serving

There's an awful lot of orange in this early 20th-century cocktail: orange liqueur, orange bitters and orange juice. Adapted from a recipe in the July/August 2008 issue of Imbibe magazine.

Ice
1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash orange bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, Grand Marnier, orange juice, vermouths and bitters. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.

Maiden's Prayer
1 serving

This was a turn-of-the-20th-century version of a "chick's drink." It's like a sophisticated screwdriver. Adapted from a recipe by David Wondrich, on Esquire.com.

Ice
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
Twist of orange peel, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, Cointreau and juices. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the twist of orange peel.

By Jason Wilson  | February 18, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Spirits  | Tags:  Cocktails That Complete Me, Jason Wilson  
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