Saturday, February 26, 2011

Prize Winners part two

Last week we sampled a group of three prize-winning drinks from London 1933-1935 – still available this week and listed at the bottom of this menu. Tonight we'll add three more prize-winning drinks from the same period, mostly from the continent:

Leo’s Special $8
This one took the prize in Madrid in 1933. By Leo Schwabl. Dry vermouth, apricot liqueur, champagne, orange bitters, on the rocks.

Sifi $8
A person who went only by ‘Romaine’ took this one to the winners’ circle in Frankfurt, 1934. Gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, a bit of grenadine, egg yolk, up.

Perfect Lady $8
London 1936, by S. Cox. A variation on the White Lady with peach brandy stepping in for Cointreau: two parts Beefeater to one part each peach brandy and lemon juice, egg white, up.

London Cocktail Competition Winners 1933-1935:
One thing that is clear - these guys really liked the combination of gin and Grand Marnier, as each of the three years’ winning cocktails featured these two liquors as a base. The Red Lion and Cliftonian both begin with equal portions, while the Royal Romance has twice as much gin to liqueur. But those similarities can make for an interesting night of drinking, as each cocktail exhibits how much of a change a third ingredient or change of measure can make. Note that even the 1936 winner listed above (the Sifi) still did not stray far from that gin/orange liqueur base – just Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier.

Red Lion $8
1933's winner is composed of equal parts Beefeater and Grand Marnier, with half measures of orange and lemon juices, up with a sugar rim. By Arthur Tarling of the Café Royal. Surely he was a relation of head barman William Tarling, though I don't know what sort. It is the only one of the drinks presented that had any legs as far as being republished or propagated by others.

Royal Romance $7
1934. Two parts Beefeater to one part each Grand Marnier and passion fruit juice, with a dash of grenadine, up. By J. Perosino.

Cliftonian $8
1935. Equal parts Beefeater and Grand Marnier, with one-third measures of Swedish Punsch and orange juice, up. By Bert Nutt.

Next week: our annual Mardi Gras tribute to the fine drinks New Orleans has contributed to the cocktail canon!

1 comment:

  1. My name is Susan. Arthur Tarling who created Red Lion was my maternal grandfather. He was indeed a relation of William Tarling - they were brothers. Arthur died in 1974 and I believe William - or Bill, as he was known - died in the 1990's. The original gin Arthur would have used to create Red Lion was Booth's Gin and the correct recipe was published in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book which was compiled by Bill and published in 1937.

    The BBC Antiques magazine plan to publish an article on Arthur Tarling and Red Lion in their April edition.