Friday, September 16, 2011

Exhibit #76: Prohibition Era British Drinks

Continuing last week’s theme of cocktails that feature ingredients with an emphasis on herbs, roots, smoke and dark fruit, here are a few examples from across the pond. Given the great diaspora of American bartenders during this time, it’s quite likely at least a few were concocted by our expats.

Eastern Sin $8
This one has much in common with the resurgent Blood and Sand cocktail: scotch, Heering cherry liqueur, red vermouth (Carpano), and Cointreau, shaken up with a small piece of pineapple. This one is a little more booze-forward than the B&S and a bit more dry as well.

Lilac Domino $9
Calvados (apple brandy), dry gin, yellow Chartreuse, crème de violette, and a little lemon juice, up. A little on the sweet side but there is much to savor and untangle here. Incidentally, a fine example of Continental drink-making – whereas American bartenders were often loathe to mix more than two liquors, wisely using additional ingredients as secondary or tertiary accents, the Europeans eschewed such classicism and let the booze fly, a trend very present today among American ‘mixologists.’

Mississippi Mule $8
Dry gin (Beefeater), our house-made ratafia (armagnac flavored with spices and dark fruits), and lemon juice, up. This predates the Moscow Mule by a few decades, but shares no similarities beyond their names.

Nervo-Knox $7
One of those rare pre-WWII vodka cocktails: Chopin rye vodka, blue curacao, lemon and lime juices, up. Think of it as an early, more complex Kamikaze…in color. Inspired by the British acrobatic comedy team of Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox, also members of the Crazy Gang troupe who were active both on stage and the British screen.

Ostend Fizz $8
Kirschwasser (dry, young cherry brandy) and ratafia on the rocks, with club soda. Fizz #50 in the countdown.

Sylvan Cocktail $8
Equal parts Chopin rye vodka, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice, up. The original recipe calls for Aurum, a delicate, cognac-based orange liqueur from Italy. Unfortunately it is not imported here, nor easy to locate in Europe, so we are subbing Grand Marnier, another brandy-based orange liqueur. Kind of a rye vodka Sidecar.

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