Part 43 (or 22? 86?) in an ongoing series investigating the adventures and secondary effects of the great exodus of expat American barmen during Prohibition. As has often been the case, the bar book of London’s Café Royal will be ground zero for our excavations. That it still has treasures to give up to us after all the digging we’ve already done is a blessing for the thirsty and adventurous.
B.I.F. Cocktail $9
The Rusty Nail’s granddaddy, but with a dash of Angostura and a higher proportion of scotch whisky to Drambuie scotch liqueur, and served up instead of on the rocks. We’ll pour the old White Horse blend for the whisky, as I’m a firm believer that the right call here is for some smoke. If you want to really go full throttle, we can pour it with Laphroaig for an extra $3. Oh, and the B.I.F.? That’s British Industries Fair… a trade show with its own cocktail.
Equal parts ginger liqueur and gin with half as much lemon and orange juices, up. If you’re looking for the most approachable drink on tonight’s list, this is it.
Café de Parke $9
Four parts dry gin to one part anisette, a bit of cream, egg white, up. A variation of the Café de Paris that increases the proportion of anisette, which the drink can bear given the mellowing influence of egg white. Nevertheless, anise is the star player in this botanical bouquet.
Celebration Special $8
Equal parts Der Lachs goldwasser, Cointreau, and dry gin with a dash of lemon juice, up.
Commodore Cocktail $7
A tart rye whiskey cocktail: 4 parts rye to 1 part lime juice, dash of simple, orange bitters, up.
At base this is a pre-Prohibition perfect Martini, but instead of orange bitters a couple dashes of cherry brandy and bourbon are added. Given that, it’s all about liquor choice to make it sing – we’ll go Beefeater, Carpano Antica, Dolin dry, Cherry Heering, and George T. Stagg Antique barrel-proof bourbon. Whether this was the preferred tipple of French psychologist Émile Coué (pictured), or simply inspired by the 1920 publication of his Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion, we can only wonder.
Creole Cocktail $13
How about 2 parts Carpano to 1 part St. George absinthe? You know you want it.