Kiss in the Dark

Submitted by John on Sun, 09/03/2017 - 05:38
Kiss in the Dark, sweet version

I can find no history on this libation, but an online search finds many hits, all with essentially the same simple recipe: equal parts of gin, dry vermouth, and "cherry brandy". 

"Why the quote marks?" you ask. Well, it's complicated.

According to Ted Haigh's authoritative Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails when this cocktail was probably created, cherry brandy meant cheap brandy with sweet cherry flavor and red color. If it is more recent, then cherry brandy could mean an excellent all-natural eau-de-vie or a fine Austrian schnaps, or even kirschwasser. All of the latter are flavorful but much less sweet, and colorless.

I tried it both ways, first with the sweet red Dutch Cherry Heering, and then with the cherry eau-de-vie from Westford Hill Distillers in Connecticut.

Kiss in the Dark, dry version

I really didn't care for the sweet version. I found it pretty but cloying and not very interesting. Any kisses in the dark that I had under such circumstances never amounted to anything lasting.

The dry version was much more interesting and thought-provoking, although it was visually no more appealing than a Martini. Well, there you have it: after a trying week, I find greater refreshment in "interesting and thought-provoking" than I do in "sweet and visually appealing".

1 Servings
Preparation time
5 minutes
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.