Well the reviews are in, and after the first episode, there seems to be a strong divide between those who think Discovery Channel’s newest show “Klondike” is either pure gold or still hunting for it. One thing everyone should be able to agree on is the perfect drink for the show: something a bit old, something involving whiskey, and most importantly something absolutely delicious. From the classic Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, comes the perfect cocktail, the Klondike.
- 2 oz Makers Mark
- 2 oz Vermouth
- ginger ale
- (optional) garnish with an orange wedge
Pour the Maker’s Mark and vermouth over ice into a Collins glass. Top off with ginger ale and stir till chilled. Garnish with an orange wedge and serve. For a fun and slightly unexpected twist, I recommend replacing the vermouth with fresh squeezed orange juice (if that isn’t available, any brand that isn’t made from concentrate will fit the bill sufficiently). I saw this adaption on Difford’s Guide, and although this cocktail boasts a hefty dose of whiskey, the orange juice and ginger ale tone down the tones of the whiskey a bit making this drink enjoyable for even those poor souls who don’t normally like the taste of whiskey. While the adapted orange juice version is fruitier and hides the whiskey, I personally prefer the nuance in the original Klondike. Make both and see which you prefer!
Although Maker’s Mark is the brand of choice for this cocktail, it is actually not my favorite option. When recipe’s call for Maker’s Mark, they most often simply mean that you should use a wheated bourbon (ie a bourbon distilled from a mash containing a lot of wheat). Weller Special Reserve and Weller Antique 107 are both available for around $20 or less, and Weller 12 Year is right around the same price point of Maker’s Mark ($25-30). If you can get a hold of a bottle, Weller 12 Year makes for a great experience that will elevate this simple cocktail to a new level. Happy sipping and enjoy the show!
Total cost per drink? ~$1.35