Gin Cocktails - how to make an Aussie Amber Room
Gin is the perfect spirit for creating great cocktails at home. Infinite combinations of botanicals give gin endless flavour possibilities and its boozy base makes sure the spirit stands out when you mix it.
The Amber Room cocktail is a classic, spirit forward drink that plays so well with the flavours in the gin that you choose.
So when you pick your gin for an Amber Room, remember the botanicals will really reach out in the cocktail.
There are two versions of the Amber Room cocktail. The original, which isn’t the one we’re making today, is equal parts gin, vermouth and green chartreuse, and was built in layers in the glass known as a ‘pousse cafe’ cocktail.
But the later one, adapted by Stephan Berg—a cocktail barman in the Bitter Truth in Berlin in 2007 uses a 50/50 martini style to play with this original recipe and is simply stirred over ice.
Here’s how to make an Aussie Amber Room:
20ml Australian craft gin
15ml Aussie red vermouth
5ml Aussie dry vermouth
7ml elderflower liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all ingredients well over ice then strain into a cocktail or coupe glass. Garnish with a sliver of lemon peel.
The result is a cocktail that's balanced, complex and smooth. It's a beautiful golden amber drink whose sweetness is tempered by sharp sourness, it's floral without being overpowering, and the botanicals from the gin create a lovely dynamic.
Which gins and vermouths to use
For this cocktail, lighter, citrus-forward gins work best rather than spicy or savoury gins. Having said that, at a push any good-quality Aussie gin will do.
Our recommendations for the Amber Room #2 are:
As for vermouth, there are plenty of great Aussie options on the market. It’s also worth just trying this cocktail with 20ml of red vermouth and not worrying about the touch of dry, which makes this drink even easier to make.
These are the Aussie vermouths we’d recommend for the Amber Room #2:
There are some Aussie companies making orange bitters, though the one made by Angostura is easy to find in most bottle shops.
For the elderflower liqueur, we used St Germain, which is not Australian-made. We couldn’t find a suitable Aussie version of this. You could use an elderflower cordial or syrup instead at a pinch.