The Turf looks like an improved wet Martini with the addition of Maraschino and Absinthe, although it actually pre-dates the modern Martini. The Maraschino adds just that little touch of sweetness and the absinthe, even though it’s just a couple of dashes, gives the drink a little earthiness. The oldest reference to this cocktail goes all the way back to Harry Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual in 1882. Like a lot of cocktails from that time, it’s gone through some changes but is still a tasty drink.
Most recipes will specifically call for one of three, the one best suited to the balance of the drink and it’s flavour profile. If you are making a cocktail that calls for a cherry brandy (ie. the Singapore Sling) then I’d recommend utilising either Kirsch or Cherry Heering.
The Bobby Burns was first featured in the book 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar with 3 variations. A combination of Scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth and a liqueur – no. 1 calls for Dom Benectine, no. 2 calls for Maraschino liqueur and no. 3 calls for Drambuie.
The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is a surprisingly smooth mix of rye whiskey (preferably Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey), Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, a touch of sugar and Angostura Bitters.