Sunday, October 14, 2012

Exhibit #117: The Old Waldorf Bar

“Back in softer-boiled days…New York boasted many well run and well known bars, and one in particular that was famous all over the world. Everybody from everywhere who wanted the best of drinks, made according to the best traditions of the American School, found his way to it when he reached New York and carried away memories of it. In far-off Shanghai, in Peking, in Singapore, in Melbourne, in Capetown, in Johannesburg, in Aden, in Calcutta, an American traveler was sure to find in a local club or hotel somebody who would boast of having had such-and-such a cocktail in the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar.”
-Albert Stevens Crockett, Historian of the Old Waldorf-Astoria

Ampersand Cocktail $9
Equal parts cognac, Old Tom gin, Carpano Antica vermouth, a couple dashes of orange bitters, up, garnished with a couple dashes of curacao.

Marguerite $6
Old Tom gin, lime juice, and ginger ale, tall and on the rocks.

Turf Cocktail $8
Two parts oude genever (Holland gin) to one part Carpano with a dash of Angostura, up. There are many variations of this drink, but this is how they did it at the Waldorf, and is arguably its best incarnation. The variety stems from the fact that there were “Turf Clubs” in most major cities, bars where sporting men could talk (and wager) racing without disturbance, and seemingly many of them came up with a house cocktail bearing this name. “At times a good half – possibly two-thirds – of the crowd in the Bar were interested in racing.”

Van Dieman $11
Equal parts rye whiskey, dry vermouth, yellow Chartreuse, and Swedish punsch, up.

And a couple interesting ones from across the pond, chez Café Royal:

Weekly Special $8
2 parts dry gin and grapefruit juice to 1 part each dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur, up.

White Horse Cocktail $8
White Horse scotch (an old blend that includes single malt from Lagavulin, Caol Isla, and Talisker), dry vermouth, a little Benedictine, Angostura bitters, up.

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