“He spake, and round about him called the clouds
And roused the ocean, – wielding in his hand
the trident, – summoned all the hurricanes
Of all the winds, and covered the earth and sky
At once with mists, while from above the night
– Homer, The Odyssey: Book V
“Don’t you take that tone of voice with me, young lady. As long as you live under my ocean, you’ll obey my rules!”
– King Triton, son of Poseidon, father of the Little Mermaid
Robert Hess, aka Drink Boy, conceived this cocktail at the turn of the millennium. The Trident is a nautically-inspired interpretation of the Negroni that was born out of the pursuit of creating a drink using Fee Brothers’ peach bitters. Hess interchanged the Negroni’s ingredient triumvirate – strong, bitter, and sweet – with ingredients tantamount in flavour, but originating from far-flung, seafaring countries.
If you remember your Greek and Roman mythology, Poseidon (or Neptune), God of the Sea, wielded a mighty three-pronged spear, which he used to conjure up wrathful storms, incite saltwater springs to magically well up from the ground, and, presumably, roast three hotdogs simultaneously. Hess had previously found that swapping the gin for aquavit produced pleasing results, so decided he’d take this theme a bit further and, given his penchant for obscure ingredients, transpose the other two prongs of the Negroni flavour profile with lesser known substitutes. Add a couple dashes of peach bitters (a somewhat rare ingredient itself) and – opa! – the Trident.
- 1 oz. Aalborg Jubilaeums Akvavit
- 1 oz. Cynar
- 1 oz. Romate Fino Sherry
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach bitters
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass along with ice and stir the usual 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass while screaming, “release… the Kraken!” at the top of your lungs. Garnish with a lemon twist and devour the cocktail like Ketos Troias devoured the peoples of Troy. Mmmmm, vengeful.
The Trident is marvelously balanced between bitter, semi-sweet, and herbaceous. The caraway/dill and orangey notes of the aquavit play off of the quinine flavour of the artichoke-based amaro and the fruit depth and intense yeasty character of the sherry. Very interesting indeed. I’d like to try this one again, but switching up the akvavit and sherry – perhaps a Norwegian aquavit and an amontillado sherry – to see what effect this has on the drink.
I’ll leave you with a final thought from a crab, wise beyond his years:
“Life is much betta, down where it’s wetta – unda da sea!”