Sunday, April 29, 2012

Exhibit #99: Rollin' with Leo

Leo Engel was the author of an early cocktail book, American and Other Drinks, published in London in 1878 when Engel was running the American Bar at the Criterion in London – which remains open to this day. I’m not sure how it was that Engel left New York for England in the 1870s, but he no doubt brought his copy of Jerry Thomas’ book, from which most of Engel’s book is cribbed. However there is a brief section of “Leo’s Specialties” at the back of the volume, and these are some interesting drinks indeed:

Alabazam Cocktail $7
Martell VSOP cognac, Grand Marnier, a teaspoon each of Angostura, sugar, and lemon juice, up. Complex, spicy, a fine canvas for a full on punch of bitters.

Criterion Flip $8
Red wine, egg, sugar, cayenne pepper, up.

Girard Flip $8
Milk, Martell VSOP cognac, egg yolk, crème de noyaux, and a dash of cayenne, up. “So styled after the famous grotesque dancers of that name, being their favourite beverage when thoroughly exhausted after their terpsichorean eccentricities.”

Kohinoor $10
Champagne, club soda, Benedictine, egg, raspberry syrup, up. “Look heavenwards and drink – result: bliss.”

Ladies’ Blush $8
Old Tom gin, crème de noyaux, and a few drops of absinthe, up with a sugar rim. “Favourite drink among the fair sex.” But don’t let that or the name keep you away, it may be on the sweet side, but is no lightweight. We are omitting the additional sugar from the recipe.

Saddle Rock $7
Buffalo Trace bourbon, orange slices, lemon juice, sugar, crushed ice.

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