A wonderful Martini riff, and one of my personal favorites, from iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in NYC. It is named after the "Astoria" hotel, which opened in 1897 and was originally a separate hotel next door to the Waldorf. They merged that same year, though both were demolished in 1929 to make way for the Empire State Building and rebuilt at the hotel's current location on Park Avenue in 1931. Sadly, the hotel's bar "Peacock Alley" (named for the corridor that connected the two hotels) is temporarily closed for renovations which are planned to last 3 years. Let's hope it's not a day more.
In the 1935 Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, this drink has inverted proportions to what I call for here, 2 parts vermouth 1 part gin, which makes a delightful vermouth-based aperitif. Though I was first introduced to the drink with the gin out in front, and still prefer it that way. There's more flavor to go around, and it's still on the lighter side. For the old tom gin, use something and unaged, like Hayman’s or Gin Lane.
2 oz unaged old tom gin
1 oz dry vermouth
dash orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a chilled mixing glass. Fill with ice, stir for 18-25 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.
If you make an Astoria, let me see! Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.