If you are among those expatriates assigned to Beijing by your company or Embassy and are unhappy about it, then I have the cocktail for you.
The Alfonso Special is named after Spain’s King Alfonso XIII, who was exiled in 1931 and spent his final decade in France and Italy, where I assume he enjoyed a few drinks. (He’s not to be confused with “The Fonz,’ shown here on a bike, a phone and the cover of, well, not exactly The Rolling Stone.)
A few weeks ago, I went to Q Bar early and asked co-owner / bartender George to give this cocktail a try. It was my attempt to move beyond the normally dry drinks I favor and to something sweeter. It was a success and I’ve since introduced this cocktail to my friends.
The Alfonso Special
1 measure Grand Marnier
3/4 measure dry vermouth
3/4 measure gin
4 dashes of sweet vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters
Stir (with ice) and strain.
Other recipes call for 1.5 measures of Grand Marnier and varying amounts of dry and sweet vermouth.
Note that sounds like it’s related to alcohol, but really isn’t: King Alfonso was from the royal House of Bourbon.