Ideal Cocktail – Sloppy Joes 1933 Cuban Variation

The Many Variations Of The Ideal Cocktail

The Ideal cocktail was invented by Hugo Ensslin and is printed in his 1917 Book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. The ideal cocktail is a grapefruit variation of the martini and you can see that in the way the cocktail changed over time. A classic martini as Hugo saw it was what we would consider today to be a sweet martini. Made of gin and sweet vermouth. It’s during this time and more so into the 1930s that the dry martini becomes far more popular. Modifying Hugo’s original version based on the sweet martini, Jose Abeal (owner of Sloppy Joe’s) substituted sweet vermouth for dry vermouth (like the dry martini) but makes up for the sweetness with a little bit of simple syrup. Grapefruit, dry vermouth and dry gin is a bit much and the drink needs a little sweetness to taste good. The result is a clean and herbal grapefruit martini more suited for a warm tropical climate.

Sloppy Joes Cuban Bar

There are 2 famous pre-revolution Cuban bars. Well I should say there are least 2 famous pre-revolution Cuban bars that printed books and provided future generations their recipes. Bar La Florida and Sloppy Joe’s Bar, both in Havana Cuba. Sloppy Joe’s was created by Spanish immigrant Jose Abeal. The 1936 edition of his book details his biography. Jose immigrated from Spain to Cuba 1904 where he worked as a bartender for 3 years. He then moved to New Orleans where he worked as a bartender for another 6 years and then to Miami where he bartender for another 6 years. Upon moving back in 1918 to Cuba he opened a liquor store and added a bar. When a few of his American friends came to visit they commented on how dirty his store was. “Why, Joe, this place is certainly sloppy, look at the filthy water running from under the counter.” They were commenting on how he let the melted ice just run all over the ground. His friends would call him dirty or sloppy Joe and the name stuck. From his liquor store and bar, Jose sold classic American and Cuban drinks, and Spanish and cuban food. One of the most popular food items he sold was a traditional Spanish picadillo sandwich. A loose ground beef sandwich where the beef is cooked with crushed tomatoes, Spanish olives, spices and herbs it became more commonly known as a sloppy Joe in the United States. Although Sloppy Joe’s Picadillo sandwich is nothing like the midwestern BBQ sauce covered, Manwich style sloppy joes most of us are use to.

A political revolution later and Sloppy Joe’s fell on hard times. Now owned by the state and American tourist prohibited from visiting, Sloppy Joes only stayed open for a couple more years. The 1959 movie “Our Man In Havana” starting Sir Alec Guinness features some of the last videos of Sloppy Joe’s in its prime before its business dried up. After a fire in 1965 the bar and store closed completely with no real intention to ever open again. In 2013 though the bar was restored, where it was, as it was, and currently sells the same drinks and food items as it did in the 1930s – 1950s.

The Most Important Part

There really is no special trick to this one, just shake it like you would any normal cocktail you shake. What is important is to get it as cold as possible so that the tart and dry herbal flavors are softened and chilled. Shake it till the tins frost over. Only then is the drink as cold as ice. If its under shaken or chilled its a bit too tart and it should be consumed fairly quickly. All drinks should be but this one more so.

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Ideal Cocktail – Sloppy Joes 1933 Cuban Variation

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Cuban
Servings

1

servings
Calories

239

kcal
ABV

23%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Ideal Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

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

Poets Dream – William Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

How Does The Poet’s Dream Taste

The Poet’s Dream taste like a slightly more herbal dry martini. A little less boozy but more complex with small amount of benedictine and orange bitters. My suggestion is to serve this cold as possible, stir maybe a couple seconds more usual and go easy on the orange bitters. A dash too much on the bitters and that becomes the overwhelming flavor. Like the dry martini this is kinda 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 amazing 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

Cafe Royal is absolutely 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 actually create most of the recipes in the Cafe Royal, he was actually 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 say he comb through more than 4000 recipes to find the best and most original ones from around England. This book is a monster and sadly normal 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 it’s single 1937 edition. The book was actually created and sold as a fund raising item for the UKBG healthcare benefit and Cafe Royal sport 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 and positioned the Cafe Royal Bar as being more edgy and experimental in their recipes when compared to other more traditional bars like The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. Cafe Royal was known for being an early pioneer in Tequila, mezcal, and vodka cocktails mixed with exotic fruit juices. Tequila and Vodka cocktails don’t really start becoming more common till the 1940s with the Moscow mule and the margarita. It’s actually easy to argue that the margarita was actually invented at the Cafe Royal in the early 1930s as their picador cocktail. In the books 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, its 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 – William Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

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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

Martini (Medium) | Classic 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

Medium Martini AKA The Perfect Martini

The last of the 3 main martinis, the medium martini is actually really good and combines the flavors of both the sweet and dry martini. The oldest printed martini recipe I could find is in the the 1888 edition of Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. His original 1882 edition does not provide a recipe for the Martini. The original martini recipe begins to appear between the late 1880s and 1890s and is essentially a pre-prohibition style Manhattan with Old Tom Gin instead of whiskey. Harry Johnson’s recipe is half Old Tom Gin, half sweet vermouth, a dash of orange liqueur, 2 dashes Boker’s (cardamom) bitters, 2 dashes gum syrup. If you look at my original pre-prohibition style Manhattan recipe they are almost the same, save for the Old Tom Gin. But the recipe begins to change over the next decade until it settles on the more generally accepted 2 oz Old Tom, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters with an expressed lemon peel. This is the standard martini up until the 1910s when the dry variation of the martini is invented and starts to get very popular. The original martini then becomes known as a sweet martini and a medium sweet version is also made that combines the two.

Now while most bartender by the 1910s through to prohibition know of the sweet and dry martini (Not all though, even books like Hoffman house from 1912 and Jack’s Manual from 1916 only have the sweet martini), not all seemed to do medium martinis. Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks only list the sweet and dry versions. It’s not till the mid 1920s that you start to see the medium martini recipe being printed. Starting in 1925 its books like L’art du Shaker by Dominique Bristol that begin printing medium martinis. The recipe for the medium martini is exactly the same regardless of the book. 1/2 dry gin, 1/4 dry vermouth, 1/4 sweet vermouth and most do not have a garnish for this drink. The exception to this is the Waldorf-Astoria’s recipe which has an expressed lemon peel and Spanish olive like the dry martini.

I chose to go with the Waldorf-Astoria recipe because I like the lemon oil and olive as a garnish. I think it makes the drink better. If you ignore the garnish the recipe for this cocktail is the exact same from the 1920 to the 1970s (I don’t own a cocktail recipe book from the 1980s). Somewhere after the 1970s this started to be called a perfect martini. I can’t find exactly when or by who but the name perfect martini is just as common today as a medium martini. For all 3 of my martini recipes I chose to go with the Savoy naming structure for martinis because it is the most clear and concise.

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Martini (Medium) | Classic 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

163

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic medium/perfect martini

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 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, and garnish with an Spanish olive

Notes

Double Barrel – 1895 George Kappeler’s Modern American Drink

The Mighty Double Barrel Cocktail

While not as alcoholic as a manhattan it has much more flavor. For this cocktail George Kappeler just put it all together. Both sweet and dry vermouth and both orange and angostura bitters. The recipe calls for just whiskey but with all the herbal flavors in this cocktail the spiciness of rye mixes well. Sadly this drink didn’t have much of a life outside of George Kappeler’s books and is absent from most any other book after. If you’re looking for an awesome drink that was forgotten by time give the Double Barrel a shot.

George Kappeler And The New York Holland House Hotel

Like the Waldorf-Astoria, the Holland House Hotel in New York had one of the best bars in the country. Interestingly both hotels were right down the street from each other Holland House on 30th and 5th and the Waldorf-Astoria on 34th and 5th, the present day location of the Empire State Building. Opened December 7th, 1891 the interior of the Holland house was considered its prized jewel. The New York Times in 1891 praised its beautiful carved marble interiors, ornate rooms, mosaic floors and describe the hotel as a marvel of bronze, marble and glass work. Managing the hotels cafe and restaurant Bar was one of the top bartenders in the New York George Kappeler. He’s credited with inventing many famous cocktail, a few still popular today, and was the first to describe a classic whiskey cocktail as being old fashion. He used the term old fashioned to differentiate from his other fancy and standard whiskey cocktails. George published his first cocktail book in 1895 and a updated second edition in 1906.

The good times did not last though and by the mid 1910s most of the wealthy New York clients moved further north to park avenue and the hotel started to fall on hard times. With the passing of the 18th amendment and the Volstead Act going into effect on January 17th, 1920 the hotels few remaining revenue streams dried up and the hotel was sold. The Holland house closed that same year and was converted to an office building. The interior was gutted to make room for office spaces and like the Waldorf-Astoria, a vital piece of american cocktail history was lost. Although unlike the Waldorf-Astoria the building is still standing on 30th and 5th next to Marble Collegiate Church. The grand interior is long gone but it’s still fun to see the façade of the once great Holland House.

The Most Important Part

Vermouth is obviously always important and worth sending a little more for to get a quality product but the whiskey you use will have the biggest impact on this cocktail. George Kappeler only wrote to use whiskey but I personally feel a nice spicy rye whiskey with a bit of burn works really well here. Bourbon is good but it ends up being too sweet getting lost in the mix. The strong herbal wine flavors of the vermouth, the earthy angostura bitters, and citrusy orange bitters are better balanced by a spicy rye. Also since its only 1 ounce of whiskey it needs to be a bit stronger and have some burn to offset the 2 ounces of vermouth.

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Double Barrel – 1906 George Kappeler’s Modern American Drink

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

152

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Double Barrel

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 1 oz Rye Whiskey

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into a glass.
  • Garnish with 2 maraschino cherries.

Notes

Chrysanthemum – Classic 1934 Savoy Cocktail

How Does The Chrysanthemum Taste

From The 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book, The Chrysanthemum is wonderful example of the kind of cocktails being invented in Europe during American Prohibition. 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, then try the Chrysanthemum. This is not an exaggeration. The taste of this cocktail absolutely blew my mind. It’s really that good.

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 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 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.

The Most Important Ingredient

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

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Chrysanthemum – Classic 1934 Savoy Cocktail

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

Vodka Martini – A Clean Classic 1960s Martini

The Vodka Martini came about in the 1960s. Vodka is relatively old historically (it has been around since the 12th century) but didn’t become popular for mixing in cocktails until the mid 1940s. This makes for a very clean Martini. I love good ol’ Gin Martinis but these are very good too. The Vodka martini was also James Bond’s drink of choice after his first love interest Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale died. After her death he never ordered another vesper cocktail again. He replaced it with the vodka martini.

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Vodka Martini – A Clean Classic 1960s Martini

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

186

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vodka Martini.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Vodka

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.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Yale Cocktail – present Day Variation of the 1800s Classic

The Original Yale To Present Day Variations

This drink dates back to the late 1800s and the oldest printed recipe I can find for it is from the 1895 book Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler. The original Yale Cocktail is 3 dashes orange bitters, 1 dash peyschaud bitters, a piece of lemon-peel, one jigger of Old Tom gin and a squirt of soda water. Another early version of the Yale, and the most referenced, is the Old Waldorf Astoria’s recipe of; A dash of orange bitters, 1.5 oz of Old Tom gin, 1.5 oz of sweet Vermouth and a squirt of soda water. These are fairly different recipes for the same cocktail both from around the same time but I will edge on the side The Old Waldorf here over George Kappeler. The Old Waldorf Astoria book makes a special mention under this cocktail that is their bar was one of the favorite weekend hangouts for Yale students. I imagine if any bar knew how to make the namesake cocktail of Yale, it would be the most popular Yale student hangout. That is why I have gone with the Waldorf recipe over the older George Kappeler Recipe.

The Yale Cocktail recipe stayed mostly consistent up until prohibition with the last one in this style being Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 recipe from his book Recipes For Mixed Drinks. After prohibition things start to get a bit weird and the sweet vermouth is replaced with dry vermouth and Crème Yvette and blue orange liqueur start to get added. One of the more modern variations uses Creme de Violette. Not to say these post prohibition recipes are bad, In fact the creme de violette one is pretty good, they are just not anything like the pre-prohibition ones.

Ivy League Universities And The Cocktail Named After Them

In the United States there is a collection of 8 universities referred as the Ivy League universities. Really the term is used to group the universities by their sporting league but it also eludes to their heritage. 7 of the 8 were universities prior to american revolution, Cornell being the odd man out, and hold themselves to a high esteem. There are 2 other elite pre-revolution Universities but they are too far from the others to be part of the same league. In fact the term Ivy League was first coined by a sports writer in the 1930s describing the upcoming football season.

Like any good sport rivalry, each university in the Ivy League also has a cocktail named after them. The Harvard and Yale cocktails are the most famous of the Ivy League cocktails and for good reason. They taste the best compared to the others and I actually prefer the more contemporary blue colored Yale Cocktail to the older ones. As you can also see I know absolutely nothing about team sports. I know there are balls and points but past that not much else. I was more of a D&D and Japanese manga kinda kid.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in this modern variation of the Yale is the Old Tom gin. Normal dry gin just doesn’t cut and makes the cocktail taste too much like just a blue colored dry martini. Old Tom gin gives a wonderful softness that works well with the creme de violette and makes for a floral, citrusy, and mildly sweet cocktail. Dry gin just overpowers the other flavors. The herbal notes of the dry gin end up competing with the floral and citrus flavors and end just mudding the flavor.

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Yale Cocktail – Classic late 1800s Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

240

kcal
ABV

30%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Yale cocktail named after the Ivy League School and sporting the universities iconic blue color.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1/2 oz Creme de Violette

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Old Tom Gin

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 and garnish with a lemon peel

Notes

Scofflaw Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry’s New York Bar Recipe

The Scofflaw was invented in 1920s Paris, France by a man simply known as Jock at Harry’s New York Bar. During prohibition there were a few European and South American bars that modeled themselves after the old American bars and turned up cool drinks like this.

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Scofflaw Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry’s New York Bar Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: French
Servings

1

servings
Calories

244

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Scofflaw.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Grenadine

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 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

Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry Craddock Recipe

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 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 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.

What Does The Satan’s Whiskers Taste Like

This is a very herbal and orange flavored cocktail. It’s good but it reminds me of a strong and herbal screwdriver or calvados cocktails. So if that sounds good to you then the satan’s whiskers is right up your alley.

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Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry Craddock Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

229

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Satan’s Whiskers.

Ingredients

  • 1 dash Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz Dry Gin

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.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Rose Cocktail – English Version of the Rose Cocktail

The oldest reference to the Rose cocktail I am able to find is from Robert Vermeire’s 1922 English cocktail book Cocktails and How to Mix Them He credits the invention of it to Sidney Knight in London at the Alhambra theatre (I have no idea who Sidney Knight is, nor could I find anything about him).

What sets the English version of this cocktail apart from the French (currant) and American (raspberry) is grenadine is used as the red fruit sweetener.

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Rose Cocktail – English Version

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

1

servings
Calories

156

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Rose cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp

  • Grenadine
  • 2 oz

  • Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz

  • Kirschwasser

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