The Win-Win

The Win-Win is served in a martini glass, and garnished with a long, red pepper.

Comfort Food vs. Experimentation

If I’m being totally honest, tonight was a night where I wanted the cocktail equivalent of comfort food. Give me mac ‘n cheese in a glass, not a spontaneous invention that would further sap my already-depleted brain power, without any guarantee of success.

That being said, I also felt extremely motivated to use up some bottles, folks, per our Pandemic Pub rules, so I was pretty hell-bent on using Dry Vermouth tonight. So goodbye, comfort food. Though vermouth isn’t usually a drink I associate with my comfort, please note that this isn’t my nemesis Rosso Vermouth we’re talking about here! Dry Vermouth and I get along a lot better.

I have to say, though, that I certainly never thought about centering a cocktail around Dry Vermouth before. So there was a game afoot.

I’ve had nothing but good luck with jalapeño brine, especially recently, so I wondered if I could work that in too…and lucky me if I could do that, because that might mean I could finish up a second bottle as well.


Meeting of the Minds

Before committing to a whole shaker full of ingredients, I decided to test the waters. I poured a little teeny-tiny amount of both the Dry Vermouth and the Jalapeño Brine into a shot glass, to taste this possibly unholy combination.

To my great surprise, I felt like I had something going on here!

I needed another ingredient, though, but which? Sugar? More spice? I thought a light Japanese whiskey might work, so I added a little dash of that, in the same proportion. It did work, but suddenly the whiskey wanted to take over (as whiskey is wont to do). I decided to go with these three ingredients, but to dial back on the whiskey.

What do you know? A really nice drink that’s perfectly balanced, somehow. It’s not too spicy, though there’s a little kick. I can’t isolate the taste of either the whiskey or the vermouth; they both just cooperate. What a revelation. If I really concentrate, I can taste the whiskey, but it’s a team player for sure.

The Verdict

This was a total win! I would definitely make this again.

Plus, it was nice to have a simple, three-ingredient cocktail. You know me; I’ll throw in everything but the kitchen sink in an effort to either create something tasty, or save something that could have been tasty but went too far…

I debated about serving the drink whiskey-style, in a lowball glass with ice, but since I was being kind to myself tonight, I thought I’d treat myself to a martini glass. I honestly prefer an elegant martini glass, for nearly any drink, at almost any time.

So I chilled a glass and folks – I didn’t regret it for a second. I sipped my delicious creation, from exactly the kind of glass that I like, as I unwound from a pretty crazy day at work. After quite a bit of massaging here, and positioning there, my work dilemma had also resulted in a win-win, though I must say that inventing this cocktail was much easier.  

Work problem solved: win-win.

Two bottles gone: win, win.


  • 1.5 oz dry Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz Hot & Sweet Jalapeño Brine

  • .75 oz Japanese Whiskey

  • Garnish: long red pepper from jalapeño jar


  • Add all but garnish to a cocktail shaker with ice; shake until satisfied.
  • Garnish, and toast your wins today.
  • Cheers!
Enjoyed on February 4, 2021


  1. Elizabeth02/05/2021 | Reply

    Huzzah! Well done!

    • admin02/05/2021 | Reply

      Thanks, sweetheart!

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