While searching for a cocktail to use my Sirop de Citron in I came across the Santa Fe Cocktail at 12 Bottle Bar. There I learned that they had done a variation on this cocktail substituting Sirop de Citron for lemon juice which is in the original recipe. For reference, here is the original recipe from the Playboy Bartender's Guide.
1.5 oz brandy
.5 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz dry vermouth
1 tsp lemon juice
Shake well with ice. Strain into a prechilled sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.
Note the sugared rim (which I also found a reference to in Jones' Complete Barguide). I suspect the sugar is on the rim to counter the lemon juice which is not paired with a sweetener in the drink. This original recipe sounds very interesting and I will have to try it sometime. But I tried the 12 Bottle Bar variation with the following results.
At first I thought it was a little flat. Maybe it was my Sirop? It is homemade and seems to have plenty of zip to it. Or maybe my grapefruit juice?
I have found bitters almost always make cocktails better for me - especially when I can make grapefruit juice more interesting with it's namesake bitters from the Bitter Truth. This is a neat trick with a cocktail if you have a complementary bitters available.
Juice in a drink works in tropical or Tiki drinks, rocks or Boat drinks. Orange and grapefruit juice in a cocktail can flatten them out for me - it's just a personal thing. So a dash or two of orange or grapefruit bitters (respectively) snaps up these types of cocktails for me nicely. This is especially helpful in cocktails which consist of 3-5 oz of liquid that will warm rather quickly (warm juice - yuck).
So I have added grapefruit bitters to my variation of the Santa Fe Cocktail. Let me know what you think.