Poets Dream – Try This Beautiful 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

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.

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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


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.
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Chrysanthemum – Amazing 1930s Savoy Cocktail

Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum

What Does The Chrysanthemum Taste Like?

From The 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book, The Chrysanthemum is a beautiful example of the kind of cocktails invented in Europe during American Prohibition. With heavier use of European liqueurs and favoring more complex herbal flavors over the more American spirit-forward cocktails, the Chrysanthemum is a beautiful, herbal, bright, and both lightly sweet and dry cocktail. If you are looking for something new that will become one of your favorites, try the Chrysanthemum. This is not an exaggeration. The taste of this cocktail blew my mind. It’s that good.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition ended, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

The Garnish Is Absolutely Important

The most essential ingredient in the Chrysanthemum is the expressed orange peel garnish. There is only one Benedictine so that easy and good dry vermouth is also necessary, but the subtle flavor the orange oil adds makes this a fantastic drink. The garnish is rarely what makes a drink, but with the Chrysanthemum’s case, it’s essential. If you do not have an orange for the peel, orange bitters work well. I think it tastes better with a dash of orange bitters instead, but an expressed orange peel is traditional.

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Chrysanthemum

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

1

servings
Calories

155

kcal
ABV

26%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Chrysanthemum.

Ingredients

  • 3 dashes Absinthe

  • 1 oz Benedictine

  • 2 oz Dry Vermouth

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass.
  • Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink and strain into a glass.
  • Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Notes


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.
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  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Vieux Carré – Make The Original Walter Bergeron Recipe

Vieux Carre
Vieux Carre

The History Of The Vieux Carré.

The Vieux Carré was invented sometime in the 1930s by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at the Hotel Monteleone’s cocktail lounge In New Orleans. It was first published in the 1937 book “Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to mix ‘em” by Stanley Clisby Arthur. The Vieux Carré is a beautiful cocktail that is both strong and herbal. It’s similar but much more complex than the famed New Orleans Sazerac. It’s hard to describe this cocktail without trying, but if herbaceous solid drinks are your thing, this is a must-try.

What Does Vieux Carré Mean?

Vieux Carre translates to “The Old Square,” referring to the New Orleans French Quarter. New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite places. Its history is both fantastic and terrifying. Many iron-laced balconies date back to the 1700s and predate the United States. You can drink at the same bars generals planned battles at and experience some of the oldest American histories. Not as museum pieces behind glass just to be seen, but by actually walking the halls, eating at the same tables, ordering at the same bars, and living in the same spaces, many historical events happened.

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Vieux Carre

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

1

servings
Calories

144

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vieux Carre.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Peychauds Bitters

  • 1 tsp Benedictine

  • 2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 2/3 oz Brandy

  • 2/3 oz Rye Whiskey

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 10 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Recipe Video

Notes


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.


Kentucky Colonel – Make A Strong Herbal Old Fashioned

Kentucky Colonel
Kentucky Colonel

The History Of The Kentucky Colonel.

The earliest publication of this cocktail is from the 1914 book “Drinks” by Jacques Straub, published posthumously by his wife, Marie Straub. That is the only publication I can find on this cocktail. None of his more famous contemporaries share this recipe, and I feel a bit iffy about Straub’s cocktail recipes anyway. Many famous cocktails are included in his book, but the recipes are all totally off the mark. None of the classic cocktails of the time matched what others were publishing. It feels like he copied no one, and no one copied him. While this cocktail is pretty good and one worth saving, I wouldn’t give it much historical weight or authority.

What Does The Kentucky Colonel Taste Like?

This is a beautiful cocktail, but it is very strong. I’m the only one I know who likes this drink, but I also am the only one who wants old, solid, and herbal drinks—the best way to think of this is an herbal Old Fashioned.

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Kentucky Colonel

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

1

servings
Calories

199

kcal
ABV

40%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a variation of the Manhattan with an herbal twist.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1/2 oz Benedictine

  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes


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.


Singapore Sling – Make Ngiam Tong Boon’s Original 1915 Recipe

Singapore Sling
Singapore Sling

The History Of The Singapore Sling.

The Singapore sling was invented in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon while working at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The Singapore Sling was listed as a simple gin sling on the cocktail menu, but its uniqueness garnered it the nickname of the Singapore Sling. Like Henry Ramos thought of his famous cocktail as standard gin fizz, the rest of the world saw it as a Ramos gin fizz.

Early cocktail history from Singapore is almost non-existent. The earliest documentation of the Singapore Sling comes from the 1939 “The Gentleman’s Companion, An Exotic Drinking Book,” where author Charles Baker jr. recounts his wild drinking adventures in 1920s Southeast Asia. The book’s structure is terrible and reads more like a man stroking his ego than a cocktail book, but It’s incredible a book like this exists. There are some fantastic and unique drinks in it I would like to incorporate when I have the time. In the book, Charles Baker jr. tells a story about him and a friend drinking Singapore Slings at the Hotel Raffles in 1926. The recipe he provides is substantially different from what you will find today. Different from the ones sold at the Ruffles Hotel today. The recipe he gives is more like a traditional sling, whereas most modern recipes are tiki-like. Not quite a traditional sling, but close enough. In the 1800s, Slings were another name for a toddy, and most 19th and early 20th-century cocktail books grouped the two. If you would like a detailed account of sling and toddy history, check out the “The History of Sling Cocktails” section below.

According to Charles Baker, Ngiam Tong Boon’s original recipe was equal parts dry gin, cherry brandy, and benedictine, shaken together and poured into a highball glass with ice. The drink was then topped off with soda water (that’s the weird part. A traditional sling uses standard water) and garnished with a lime peel.

Interestingly, this recipe appears in the 1948 edition of Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide but is named the Raffles Hotel Sling. The Singapore sling recipe listed in that book looks like the juice and syrup kind we are typically used to seeing today.

What Does The Singapore Sling Taste Like?

The Singapore sling is herbal, boozy, lightly sweet, and refreshing. It’s more similar to a Japanese highball than a sweet tiki cocktail. It’s delicious and something I can easily drink 2 or 3 of. The primary flavor in this is the Benedictine, while the other two spirits add backbone and fortification to the Singapore Sling. I vastly prefer this original Singapore Sling to the contemporary versions of it.

Is The Singapore Sling Tiki?

The original Singapore sling is not a tiki cocktail, but the modern recipes are tiki-like. The original Singapore Sling is mostly sling-like (technically, it should be classified as a highball), and over time it evolved into the juice and syrup-filled cocktail it is today. I have a feeling the Singapore Sling recipes filled with pineapple juice, grenadine, and such that we are used to today were invented in the tiki world.

The History Of Sling Cocktails.

Slings are a very old style of cocktail. Even in Harry Johnson’s 1888 edition of The Bartenders Manual, he comments under the cold whiskey sling that “This is an old-fashioned drink generally called for by old gentlemen.” The oldest cocktail book I could find to have a sling recipe is the 1862 Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas. He has three recipes for both hot and cold slings. Interestingly enough, he groups both slings with toddies. The only difference is slings have nutmeg grated on top, and toddies do not. Often most early cocktails started as medicinal drinks, and the brandy and gin sling appear in a few medical journals from the 1830s.

In the August 1832 Boston medical and surgical journal, on page 15, the author notes giving a patient 1 to 5 grains of opium with a hot brandy sling to treat spotted fever and malignant cholera. Further linking its history to toddies, I found a September 1845 court case of the Massachusetts Commonwealth vs. Chester R. White. He sold a toddy/sling to a Mr. Edwin T. Rogers without a spirituous liquor license. Mr. White argued that it contained an ingredient that was a spirit, but the mixed drink itself was not a spirit. Mr. White did not win the case, but the court documents’ wording of the drink is essential.

“It was sold in the form of gin and brandy, mixed with sugar and water so as to make what is called a toddy or sling.”

The court documents recognize toddies and slings as analogous to each other. In a case about the exact definition of a spirituous beverage, the court referred to the same drink as being called both a toddy or sling. Seventeen years later, Jerry Thomas would see toddies and slings as the same thing, and so did this court. This makes sense too. If you check out my Hot Toddy article, I describe how in the 18-century, toddies were used to administer medicines. Sling appears to be a later way of describing a toddy as a drink one throws back. I assume that this is perhaps due to how people often quickly drink medicine to avoid undesirable flavors. Etymologically the word sling entered English from the old Norse word “Slyngva,” which means to throw or knockdown, and this is the more common usage, but about the drink, the word sling comes from the German word “Schlingen,” which means to swallow. Webster’s American dictionary dates this usage of the word to have entered the American dialect around 1807.

The more popular Singapore Sling and Straits Sling bear no resemblance to the traditional sling. It seems they were referring to them as slings to be more for fun alliteration than to refer to how the drink should be consumed.

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Singapore Sling

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Singapore
Servings

1

servings
Calories

259

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Singapore Sling.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Kirschwasser

  • 1 oz Benedictine

  • 1 oz Dry Gin

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into a glass with ice.
  • Top off with soda water.

Notes


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.


Frisco Sour – Try This Delicious Herbal Whiskey Sour

Frisco Sour Cocktail
Frisco Sour Cocktail

Benedictine makes anything taste herbal, and this is an herbal tasting Whiskey Sour. Despite that description, it is good, and the Benedictine balances well with the rest of the drink. Don’t buy Benedictine to try this, but give it a shot if you have some.

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Frisco Sour

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

1

servings
Calories

213

kcal
ABV

33%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Frisco Sour cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Benedictine

  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes


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.


Bobby Burns – Make The Original 1930s Savoy Recipe

Bobby Burns
Bobby Burns

About Bobby Burn And His Poetry.

Bobby Burns was an 18th-century Scottish poet. Every English speaker in the world knows his poetry, who has celebrated Valentine’s Day, or attended a New Year’s party. Robert Burns wrote many famous poems and songs, but two of them are still commonly used today; Auld Lang Syne and Red, Red, Rose. Sung at the turn of the year, everyone knows the tune to Auld Lange Syne even if they don’t know the words. Written in 18th-century scot (a mix of modern English and Scottish Gaelic), the poem is bittersweet in its lyrics as it reminisces about the experiences shared between two friends. And Red, Red Rose is just that; everyone knows that. “Oh my love is like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June: Oh my love is like the Melodie, that’s sweetly played in tune.”

What Does The Bobby Burns Taste Like?

The Bobby Burns is a fabulous cocktail that tastes very similar to a Manhattan but with a slightly more herbal flavor. If you like manhattans, then this is a must.

The Most Important Ingredient.

Like the Manhattan, the essential ingredient in the Bobby Burns is the sweet vermouth. The other two ingredients are crucial too, but the sweet vermouth is critical. The sweet vermouth is where you have the most play and the most diverse flavors to work with. The sweet vermouth is what carries this drink and lends the most flavor. It has the most meaningful impact on the cocktail, so pick a good one.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

Opened in 1893 The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American style cocktails in London to the British upperclass. The American Bar has always been a high end bar but what really set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became it’s head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high end hotel bars, but Harry found himself out oIn 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition was ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book. f work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the american prohibition was coming to an end the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar and a year later they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934 The Savoy Cocktail Book documents all of the bars best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era, European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there though. A cocktail cost around $250 there and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

Here is the original Scots Auld Lang Syne and an English translation for fun.

Auld Lang Syne (Original Scots)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Auld Lang Syne (“Days Long Ago” English Translation)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And days long ago?

For days long ago, my dear,
For days of long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For the days of long ago.

And surely you’ll have your stein!
And surely I’ll have mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For the days of long ago.

We two have run about the hills,
And picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary mile,
Since the days long ago.

We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till supper time;
But the broad seas between us have roared
Since the days long ago.

And here’s my hand, my trusty friend!
And give me your hand too!
And we’ll take a good willed drink,
For the days of long ago.

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

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Bobby Burns

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

1

servings
Calories

186

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the amazing Bobby Burns cocktail from the 1934 Savoy Cocktail book.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Benedictine

  • 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz Scotch

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for about 10 seconds. You don’t want to over stir the drink as the cocktail taste better a little warmer and less diluted than normal.
  • Strain into glass and garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Recipe Video

Notes


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.


Straits Sling – Make Savoy’s Amazing 1930s Recipe

Straits Sling Cocktail
Straits Sling Cocktail

The Oldest Known Straits Sling Recipe.

I will preface this by saying this is the oldest recipe I could find so far. I looked through quite a few books between the 1890s to 1930s, and this is the first recipe I could find. I saw a few articles saying it was in the 1922 book Cocktails: How to mix them by Robert Vermeire, but I looked through that book and could not find it. So you will have to settle for this 1930s recipe, but this is a Savoy recipe, and the recipes from this book are almost always spot on. I have modified the recipe to be single-serve here, but they write it as a sizeable 6-person drink in the Savoy.

The History Of Sling Cocktails.

Slings are a very old style of cocktail. Even in Harry Johnson’s 1888 edition of The Bartenders Manual, he comments under the cold whiskey sling that “This is an old-fashioned drink generally called for by old gentlemen.” The oldest cocktail book I could find to have a sling recipe is the 1862 Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas. He has three recipes for both hot and cold slings. Interestingly enough, he groups both slings with toddies. The only difference is slings have nutmeg grated on top, and toddies do not. Often most early cocktails started as medicinal drinks, and the brandy and gin sling appear in a few medical journals from the 1830s.

In the August 1832 Boston medical and surgical journal, on page 15, the author notes giving a patient 1 to 5 grains of opium with a hot brandy sling to treat spotted fever and malignant cholera. Further linking its history to toddies, I found a September 1845 court case of the Massachusetts Commonwealth vs. Chester R. White. He sold a toddy/sling to a Mr. Edwin T. Rogers without a spirituous liquor license. Mr. White argued that it contained an ingredient that was a spirit, but the mixed drink itself was not a spirit. Mr. White did not win the case, but the court documents’ wording of the drink is essential.

“It was sold in the form of gin and brandy, mixed with sugar and water so as to make what is called a toddy or sling.”

The court documents recognize toddies and slings as analogous to each other. In a case about the exact definition of a spirituous beverage, the court referred to the same drink as being called both a toddy or sling. Seventeen years later, Jerry Thomas would see toddies and slings as the same thing, and so did this court. This makes sense too. If you check out my Hot Toddy article, I describe how in the 18-century, toddies were used to administer medicines. Sling appears to be a later way of describing a toddy as a drink one throws back. I assume that this is perhaps due to how people often quickly drink medicine to avoid undesirable flavors. Etymologically the word sling entered English from the old Norse word “Slyngva,” which means to throw or knockdown, and this is the more common usage, but about the drink, the word sling comes from the German word “Schlingen,” which means to swallow. Webster’s American dictionary dates this usage of the word to have entered the American dialect around 1807.

The more popular Singapore Sling and Straits Sling bear no resemblance to the traditional sling. It seems they were referring to them as slings to be more for fun alliteration than to refer to how the drink should be consumed.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition was ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

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Straits Sling

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

1

servings
Calories

245

kcal
ABV

26%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Straits Sling Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Benedictine

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1/2 oz Kirschwasser

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 2 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a shaker with ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour into the serving glass. Lastly add the soda water.

Notes


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.


April Shower – Make This Delicious Orange Cocktail

April Shower Cocktail
April Shower Cocktail

This is an Old Fashion style drink even though it is unique to the other Old Fashion types I have included. It’s still very booze forward, but the orange juice cuts the sharpness substantially. Think of this as a powerful Screw Driver.

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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.

April Shower

3 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

243

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the April Shower Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz

  • Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz

  • Benedictine
  • 2 oz Brandy

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes


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.


Honeymoon – Beautiful 1917 Hugo Ensslin’s Recipe

Honeymoon Cocktail
Honeymoon Cocktail

Invented by Hugo Ensslin and first written in his 1916 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks, this is a beautiful little drink. With a name like a honeymoon, you would think it would have honey in it, but it doesn’t. Not much to say about it other than it’s a pre-prohibition cocktail that uses apple brandy and benedictine together in a lovely way.

The Hotel Wallick History

Built in the 1880s as the “Hotel Cadillac” it was eventually sold to the Wallick brothers in 1905. Located on 43rd and Broadway (Times Square), the Hotel Cadillac branded itself as an exciting place for food, drinks, and entertainment. In 1913 the Wallick Brothers changed the name to “Hotel Wallick”, and relaunched the hotel where It became famous for its burlesque and cabaret shows. Unlike other New York hotels with famous bartenders that tended to appeal to older wealthy guest, the Hotel Wallick was a young businessman’s party hotel. It was during this period that many of Hugo’s famous cocktails such as the aviation, honeymoon, and paradise cocktail were invented. In 1919 (beginnings of prohibition) the hotel sold knowing its drunken party business was over and was renamed “The Cadillac” by its new owners. In 1933 prohibition was repealed but the country was already dealing with the Great Depression. While the hotel had managed to survive prohibition it was unable to weather the depression and closed its doors in 1939. The building was demolished in 1940.

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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.

Honeymoon

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

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

34%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the amazing Honeymoon Cocktail from Hugo Ensslin 1917 cocktail boob Recipes for Mixed Drinks.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Benedictine

  • 2 oz Apple Brandy

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes


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.