Some interesting and diverse cocktails, mostly of late 19th century derivation, that didn’t quite make it onto the last few menus…
Appetizer à l’Italienne $8
2 parts Carpano Antica vermouth to 1 part Fernet Branca with a dash of absinthe, up.
I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up $8
Cognac and champagne with a few dashes each of Fernet and orange curacao, on ice. I.B.F. stands for International Bar Fly, an organization started at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1924, and is devoted to “the uplift and downfall of serious drinkers.” The organization still exists today. Members have included Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Sinclair Lewis, Franklin Roosevelt, Gene Kelly, Noel Coward, Burt Lancaster, Thornton Wilder, Marlene Dietrich, and many others.
The Kaleidoscope $10
Equal parts absinthe and Carpano Antica vermouth, with dashes of Benedictine, crème de cacao, Luxardo maraschino, and orange curacao, up. Courtesy of “the only William” Schmidt, 1891, and very much in keeping with his baroque style…though there isn’t any crème de roses or ice cream in this one. Boy did that man love to put ice cream in drinks!
Parisian Cocktail $7
Equal parts dry gin, dry vermouth and crème de cassis, up. From the Old Waldorf, late 19th century. I suppose it’s the dark fruit of the liqueur, but for some reason this cocktail reminds me of darker Belgian ales in the aftertaste. A little on the sweet side, but all the flavors penetrate.
Roy Howard $8
2 parts Lillet Blanc to 1 part each cognac and orange juice with a couple dashes of pomegranate syrup, up. Mr. Howard (as in “Scripps-Howard”) was a lifelong newspaperman and champion of a free press. His relation to his namesake cocktail is unknown.
A fine cocktail we have visited previously. Rye whiskey, dry vermouth, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, and orange bitters, up. Some of you may have watched Ken Burns’ “Prohibition” documentary last week and perhaps recall the story of a newspaper having a contest to name law-breakers of the period. “Scofflaw” won. Within a week, expat barman Harry McElhone invented this cocktail to commemorate the ridiculousness back home.