Cocktail Spotlight } Tabard Inn's Old Hickory

The Tabard Inn’s head mixologist Chantal Tseng confesses that the world of fortified wines is her soft spot. That admiration becomes clear when you sip her Old Hickory cocktail — an addictively warming combination of French vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters and maple syrup, topped with an orange twist. Tseng discovered the original recipe in Robert Hess’ book "The Essential Bartender's Guide," and rumor has it that President Andrew Jackson was particularly fond of the drink.

Tseng’s variation on the recipe adds a delightful dash of maple syrup, an addition she believes “sings” with the original. Since vermouth is the star of the drink, Tseng needed it to be as high quality as possible. Her choice — Dolin Dry and Dolin Rouge, two fortified wines she says “make drinks taste fresher,” “more complex” and “prettier.”

The Old Hickory cocktail is available through November and makes for a perfect aperitif. Pair it with Tabard's charcuterie or artisanal cheese plate — you won’t be disappointed. For those new to vermouth, this cocktail is a perfect introduction. For the vermouth lover, you know what to do.

You can find more of Tseng’s creative concoctions in the inn’s restaurant and lounge. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Tseng rolls out a list of four featured cocktails, giving connoisseurs something new to look forward to each week.

Here's how to whip up an Old Hickory at home.

Old Hickory
courtesy of Chantal Tseng

1.5 ounces Dry Vermouth

1.5 ounces Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

0.5 ounce maple syrup (Tseng uses Canadian maple syrup)

orange twist

Add ingredients over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Ashlie Hughes is pursuing her longtime dream of writing about food and travel. During her free time she enjoys trying new restaurants, searching for the perfect cocktail, and daydreaming about traveling the world. She currently writes a column titled The Aperitif and other articles for