Poets Dream – Try This Beautiful 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See our affiliate policy for more info.
Poets Dream
Poets Dream

What Does The Poet’s Dream Taste Like?

The Poet’s Dream taste like a slightly more herbal dry martini. A little less boozy but more complex with a small amount of benedictine and orange bitters. My suggestion is to serve this as cold as possible, stir maybe a couple of seconds more than usual and go easy on the orange bitters. A dash too much on the bitters becomes the overwhelming flavor. Like the dry martini, this is a hard drink to make. Not because it is complex but because it is so subtle and unforgiving if you don’t get it right. This drink can be excellent if done right, and the flavors are kept in check when measuring and stirring. But it can also be pungent if you get a little heavy-handed on the bitters. It’s easier to start small on this and gauge the taste, adding a little more of the benedictine and bitters as you continue making more.

William Tarling’s Cafe Royal Book And Its Influences.

Cafe Royal is massive. I can’t find exactly how many recipes are actually in this book, and I’m not going to count, but my best guess is around 1200. William Tarling did not create most of the recipes in Cafe Royal; he was the president of the UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guild) and head bartender of the Cafe Royal in London. He instead compiled some of his own bars’ top recipes and the recipes of other UKBG into a single source. In his introduction, he says he combed through more than 4000 recipes to find the best and most original ones from around England. This book is a monster, and sadly ordinary folks like you and me will probably never own it. Sure there are limited reprints from time to time, but there were only 1000 original copies made in its single 1937 edition. The book was created and sold as a fundraising item for the UKBG healthcare benefit and Cafe Royal sports club. Healthcare didn’t become universal till 1948 in the UK. We’re still waiting here in the US.

William Tarling was known for experimenting with new ingredients. He positioned the Cafe Royal Bar as more edgy and experimental in its recipes compared to other more traditional bars like The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. Cafe Royal was an early pioneer in Tequila, mezcal, and vodka cocktails mixed with exotic fruit juices. Tequila and Vodka cocktails don’t start becoming more common till the 1940s with the Moscow mule and the margarita. It’s easy to argue that the margarita was invented at the Cafe Royal in the early 1930s as their picador cocktail. In the book’s preface, William Tarling argues that there needs to be more originality and variety. Martinis and Manhattans are great but just as one tires of eating the same dinner night after night; it’s monotonous to drink the same drinks at every party. Have some fun and try channeling your inner William and try something you wouldn’t normally drink.

Recipe Resources

Advertisements
Advertisements

Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Poets Dream

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

115

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Poet’s Dream

Ingredients

  • 1 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 2 dashes Benedictine

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass, express an lemon peel over the top,

Notes

Advertisements

Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.