Light, crisp, herbal and dry, the Shafer’s Eureka is perfect for almost any season and any situation, but shines most when a delicate, session-style drink is in order. Plucked from the pages of Adam Ford’s excellent ode to the aromatized world: Vermouth, this cocktail is a wonderful avenue to show off an excellent dry. In fact, it leans so heavily on the flavor of the vermouth that we can’t recommend making this unless you have a nice one to build around.
The Shafer’s Eureka sports a pretty yellow color that mimics the forthcoming chamomile flavor and a beautiful jewel-like tone that works great in any cocktail glass. Lovely grape and chamomile notes come through in a floral woft that is very delicate. On the front of the tongue there is a very light tang and fruitiness. The finish is again very floral and ends with a lingering delicate complexity that shows off all the wonderful and unique flavors of the vermouth—the kind of notes that are typically overpowered in other cocktails. Whip this drink out when you are itching to show off a new bottle of dry vermouth or impress a cocktail-savvy friend who doesn’t want something too strong.
Reminiscent of the classic session sipper the Chrysanthemum, this cocktail similarly hinges on thoughtful bottle selection. We first tried this drink with Dolin dry—as that was all we had at the time—and the results were underwhelming, but we could see the potential. When we sought out a complex bottle of dry to underpin this cocktail, two immediately came to mind: Lo-Fi and Ransom. We went with Lo-Fi’s as a slightly safer option since the Ransom bottle has an intense dryness that we worried wouldn’t play nicely. The Lo-Fi wound up being an incredible selection with a semi-sweet, floral, and delightfully delicate touch that worked on every level of the experience. Adam Ford offers several recommendations for bottles as well: Atsby Amerthorn, Sutton Cellar Brown Label, and Uncouth Wildflower.