Yale Cocktail – Make This Beautiful 1895 Recipe

Yale
Yale

The History Of The Yale Cocktail.

The Yale cocktail 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. There are two main recipes for the Yale, this one and the Waldorf-Astoria recipe, and they are both very different drinks. They differ because the Waldorf-Astoria recipe is half Old Tom Gin and half sweet vermouth instead of a dash of Peychaud bitters. While the Old Waldorf-Astoria book was printed in 1935, it documents the recipes used by the bar between the 1890s to the 1920s. Therefore both Yale recipes are from the same period, and the two recipes are also both from New York. They were just two different recipes from two different bars.

Cocktails Inspired By The Ivy League Universities.

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

Like any good sports 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 a good reason. 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 kind of kid.

About 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, and mosaic floors and described the hotel as a marvel of bronze, marble, and glasswork. Managing the hotel’s cafe and restaurant Bar was one of the top bartenders in the New York George Kappeler. He’s credited with inventing many famous cocktails, a few still popular today, and was the first to describe a classic whiskey cocktail as old-fashioned. He used the term old-fashioned to differentiate it from his other fancy and standard whiskey cocktails. George published his first cocktail book in 1895 and an 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 on January 17th, 1920, the hotel’s 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.

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Yale Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

189

kcal
ABV

24%

Total time

3

minutes

Make a classic Yale cocktail

Ingredients

  • 3 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1 dash Peychaud Bitters

  • 1.5 oz Old Tom Gin

  • 1 oz Soda Water

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 glass and garnish with a lemon peel, then discard lemon peel.
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Violet Fizz – Make This Velvety Smooth Lavender Cocktail

Violet Fizz
Violet Fizz

The History Of The Fizz.

The oldest reference to the Violet Fizz is from the 1895 Book Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler. His original version calls for raspberry syrup instead of creme de Violette. Although most later versions call for creme de Violette instead, it makes for a better drink. Fizz cocktails didn’t appear until the 1880s when they were first printed in Jerry Thomas’s 1887 edition of the Bartenders guide, and sadly they never really caught on as a style or left the United States. They have anywhere from 5 to 8 different ingredients, they take time to make, and they are difficult to make right. These are qualities bartenders don’t want to deal with, especially on a busy night. They have their place but typically only in high-end bars that can afford bartenders skilled enough and tend to run slower. The last detail to date in this cocktail is the creme, de Violette. Creme de Violette stopped being imported into the United States at the start of prohibition and never returned till 2007.

What Does A Violet Fizz Taste Like?

The violet fizz is one of the most amazing cocktails I have ever tasted. It tastes like aviation in fizz form, with the creme de Violette even more subtle. The old Tom (which also dates the drink) provides a nice sweet gin flavor to the cocktail that dry gin wouldn’t. Imagine drinking a gentle violet meringue gin dessert.

How To Get Egg White Right In Cocktails.

Cocktails with egg whites are difficult cocktails to get right, and anyone who says otherwise is projecting a false image. Everyone who has made a fizz has had one of these pops open on them while shaking, only to make a mess. The best advice I can pass on to making any fizz cocktail is it comes down to 2 things; Technique and chemistry. A common technique that works very well is using a dry shake. A dry shake is shaking all your ingredients together without ice first to make forming the foam easier. The foam will still form with ice, but you will work twice as hard for half the result if you shake with ice first. The first shake is only about 20-30 seconds of vigorous shaking, but this is the part that forms most of your foam. A little tip here is to wrap a kitchen towel around the seal of your shaker because no matter how strong you are or how tight your grip, it will pop open a little. As the egg whites unfold, they can expand up to 8x their original size, thus increasing the pressure inside the shaker and forcing small amounts of the sugary egg mix to squirt out. Wrapping a small towel around the shaker will catch this and keep things clean.

Next and more important is chemistry. You have to get the science right for egg whites to foam properly. Denaturing/unfolding egg protein into a meringue is more science than brawn, and a friend of mine who is a baker once gave me this advice for how she made meringue at the bakery.

  1. Keep it room temperature.
  2. Use an acid to help break the proteins hydrogen bonds and unfold it in addition to beating it.
  3. Use sugar to stabilize the foam from collapsing and to form smaller bubbles.

A mistake I made for a long time was using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake, I’m still starting with cold ingredients. So take the eggs out and let them come to room temperature first. Cold egg protein is much more stable and difficult to break apart than if it is at room temperature. The next tip is to use acid. Bakers will use cream of tartar as the acid helps accelerate the denaturing process along with beating it. In the cocktail, we use lemon or lime juice. It is much, much harder to form a foam without using an acid. The last bit of advice is to use sugar to stabilize the foamed protein from collapsing. A sweet liqueur alone isn’t enough. I’ve tried making fizzes with just liqueurs for sweeter alone, and they have never formed a good foam. This needs real simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz, what will happen is the foam will develop, but it will collapse back into the liquid just as fast, and you will be left with a thin layer of lame bubbles on top. It will still taste the same and be good, but that beautiful foam will be gone, and for these drinks, the large foam head is the garnish. The sugar makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble foam.

Cocktails with egg whites are some of the most elegant and sublime cocktails, but they are not the easiest to make. Eventually, you can get to a point where you can make them correctly and consistently, but it can take a while and many failed attempts. Hopefully, the tips I gave help shorten that journey. There are a lot of tips and tricks out there for making fizzes, and I tried to keep mine reasonable and realistic, but see what works for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and still, I have the occasional one that doesn’t foam up well, even though I make them all the same. It’s just the nature of the egg sometimes, and I accept it and make it again.

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Violet Fizz

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

1

servings
Calories

416

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Violet Fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg White

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/3 oz Half u0026 Half

  • 2/3 oz Creme de Violette

  • 2 oz Old Tom Gin

  • 1.5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker without ice. Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when it is not cold.
  • Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.
  • Lastly gently add the soda water to maintain its carbonation.
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Pink Gin – Traditional Recipe & History

Pink Gin
Pink Gin

The History Of The Pink Gin Cocktail.

The history of the Pink Gin cocktail is mainly tied to the history of Angostura Bitters. Native to South America, the bark of the Angostura plant was traditionally used to treat stomach issues, break fevers, and help with diarrhea. In the early 1820s, the German doctor Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert moved to Venezuela, where he worked serving the Spanish army. Using the local Angostura plant, he developed 1824 a medicine he called “Amargo Aromatico” to treat stomach issues. In 1850 he began mass-producing his aromatic bitters and exporting them to other counties. Most spirit and liqueur history is medical history (For example, gin was initially invented by the dutch as a kidney medicine). It was common to take concentrated and inedible medicine, like Angostura bitters, and mix them with a lengthener, making them less intense. Alcohol, as you can imagine, was a trendy mixer and genever was one of the most popular spirits in England during the 1850s. While most pink gin recipes today will use dry gin, it was most likely first mixed with genever and soon after old tom gin.

Should Pink Gin Be Made With Dry Gin, Old Tom, Or Genever?

The pink gin cocktail was most likely first made with genever and not dry or old tom gin. Old tom gin and dry gin were both invented around the 1860s, and dry gin didn’t start to become popular to mix with till the late 1800s. Genever predates both spirits by 200 years as the Dutch began distilling it in the mid-1600s. So again, it was most likely the first mix with genever since the others didn’t exist around the creation of the cocktail. It’s pretty good with genever too, but it’s better with old tom.

The version mixed with genever would appeal to someone who sips gin straight. The herbal and alcohol flavors are very strong, and the barrel-aged flavors of the genever help balance that, but there is no sweetness to cut it. The old tom version, I feel, is perfect. The sweetness of the old tom balances perfectly with the herbal and strong alcohol taste and makes for an enjoyable cocktail with little change to the original recipe. Mixed with dry gin, the drink is way too intense. It needs sugar; it just needs something else to soften it. Maybe it could be shaken?

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Pink Gin Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

162

kcal
ABV

40%

Total time

3

minutes

A classic cocktail that taste pretty good but is still quite strong and flavorful and not for people do don’t like the taste of alcohol.

Ingredients

  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 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.

Notes

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Old Tom Cocktail – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Old Tom Cocktail
Old Tom Cocktail

The Old Tom Cocktail is another classic 1800s cocktail from Jerry Thomas’s 1862 bartending guide. Whether it’s the Old Tom Cocktail, Whiskey Cocktail, Brandy Cocktail, Gin Cocktail, etc., they all are the same except for a different base spirit. If you’re a fan of the Old Fashion but curious to vary it up a little with a different spirit, give it a try.

Recipe Resources

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Old Tom Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

267

kcal
ABV

37%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Old Tom cocktail from the 1862 edition of the bartenders guide by Jerry Thomas. 

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 2 dashes Orange Liqueur

  • 1 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 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.

Notes

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Astoria Cocktail – Waldorf-Astoria’s Namesake Cocktail

Astoria Cocktail
Astoria Cocktail

The History Of The Original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The original Waldorf Hotel was opened in 1893 by William Waldorf Astor of New York. Named after the town of Waldorf, Germany, the Astor Families’ ancestral home, the Waldorf was the apex of luxury New York hotels at its opening. A few years later, in 1897, as a bit of humorous rivalry, William’s cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, would open the Astoria Hotel right across the street. John built the Astoria in the same renaissance revival style and even commissioned the same architect, but made sure to make his hotel a little bit bigger than William’s Waldorf Hotel. Named after the town of Astoria, Oregon, The city founded by John Jacob Astor senior in 1811, the Astoria Hotel was an even more beautiful version of the Waldorf. Fun facts: Astoria, Oregon, is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains and the location of the film Kindergartner Cop, starring the great Arnold Schwarzenegger. Also, John Jacob Astor IV helped develop early versions of the turbine engine, wrote sci-fi books, and was one of the most famous Americans to perish with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

The rivalry was short-lived, though, and the two hotels joined together almost immediately, forming the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1897. Opened on the Waldorf side of the hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria bar was one of the top bars in New York, serving wealthy socialites. From 1897 to 1919, the Waldorf-Astoria bar stood as a testament to the pre-prohibition elite bar scene and helped solidify many of the American classics we know today. With the closing of the bar in 1919 and many of the New York elites moving further north, the hotel’s image became dated, and its current structure and location needed to change too. In 1929 the company sold its hotel on 5th and 34th to Empire State Inc. and began constructing the more modern Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue. The original hotel was demolished and replaced by the Empire State Building. Hoping to preserve the legacy of the original hotel’s bar, the company’s publicist, Albert Crockett, managed to collect and publish most of the bar’s classic cocktail recipes in part IV section A of “The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.” He added popular present-day (1934) cocktails in Section B but maintained that section A of the book had all the original recipes from the hotel’s old days.

What does the Astoria Taste like?

Like the old-style martini, the Astoria is lightly sweet and herbal with subtle orange oil flavors. It’s a fantastic drink. The sweetness of the Old Tom gin pair perfectly with the dry vermouth (better than dry gin, in my opinion) and does have an old-time feel to it. If you’re looking to taste some history, you should try the Astoria.

Don’t Stir The Astoria Too Much.

The most important part of making the Astoria is not to mix in a mixing glass with ice for too long. Ice-cold cocktails are excellent, but there is a sweet spot of chill and dilution. Ice from a freezer is typically 0°F (-18°C), and a cocktail at this ABV will maybe freeze around -10°F. So it will absorb as much melted water and coldness as you’re willing to stir it for. If it’s too cold and diluted with melted water, it will taste flat, and the intense chill will conceal the full taste from your tongue. Although if it has too little water and is warm, the flavors won’t open up, and it won’t be crisp. It’s about finding balance and the ingredient’s sweet spot for dilution and chill. For a drink like this, try around 10-15 seconds and adjust more or less depending on the taste. The ingredients are pretty straightforward enough to combine, but it’s a matter of how they are connected.

Recipe Resources

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Astoria Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

229

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Astoria Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 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 about 10 – 15 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass and serve neat.

Notes

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Martinez – Classic Recipe & History

Martinez
Martinez

The Origins And History Of The Martinez Cocktail.

So I might be wrong on this one. Still, from all the various pre-prohibition cocktail books I have, I feel that the Martinez is the British carry-over of Harry Johnson’s original 1888 martini recipe. The recipes are almost identical, even down to the optional ingredients, and I only see the Martinez in my British books. None of the American ones have it. Again I could be wrong, and maybe there are a few puzzle pieces I’m missing, but if it is not the same cocktail, then whoever first made a Martinez was reading Harry Johnson when they first made it.

The Martini was first published in Harry Johnson’s 1888 New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. His first recipe was 2 or 3 dashes of gum syrup, 2 or 3 dashes of Boker’s bitters, one dash of Curaçao, 1/2 wine glass of Old Tom Gin, and 1/2 wine glass of Italian Vermouth. Very different from what you think of a martini. Over the next decade, the Martini changes to what is now considered the sweet martini, and overall the field seems to settle on that recipe. Even Harry Johnson changes his Martini recipe to match the newer ones. But that older version seems to have lived on or changed its name in Europe. The British book by Farrow and Jackson, “Recipes of American and Other Iced Drinks,” has an almost spot-on recipe to match the first martini. Even a Spanish book “El Arte del cocktelero Europeo,” also from 1912, has a Martinez cocktail but no martini. The London Savoy has one but not the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Again I may be wrong and missing information, but what I have seen and the current evidence leads me to at least believe this may be the case.

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Martinez

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

1

servings
Calories

203

kcal
ABV

24%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Martinez

Ingredients

  • 1 dash Cardamom Bitters

  • 2 dashes Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Old Tom 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 a maraschino Cherry.

Notes

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Martini (Sweet) – Early 1900 George Kappeler Recipe

Martini (Sweet)
Martini (Sweet)

The History of the Classic Martini.

The oldest printed martini recipe I could find is in 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 appears 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, two dashes of Boker’s (cardamom) bitters, and two dashes of 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. By 1900 George Kappeler is making it this way. Waldorf-Astoria is making it this way (they decide to be edgy and add a Spanish olive to theirs). Even Harry Johnson updated his recipe to this with his updated 1900 edition. In Britain, Harry Johnson’s original 1888 martini recipe lived on as the Martinez, as seen in Farrow & Jacksons’ 1912 Recipes of American Drinks and the 1934 Savoy cocktail book.

I used George Kappeler’s recipe and not Harry Johnson’s. Even though the 1888 Harry Johnson recipe is older, the George Kappeler one is the first time we see the generally accepted canon sweet martini recipe used. I also feel the George Kappeler version of the original/sweet martini is the best form compared to others. As far as names, I’m using the Savoy Name for this cocktail as I feel Savoy had the most straightforward and understandable names for the three styles of martini. To George Kappeler and Harry Johnson, it was just a martini as the dry and medium variations had not yet been made.

This was the only version of the martini until the 1910s, when the dry variation of the martini was invented and started to get very popular. This martini becomes known as a sweet martini, and a medium sweet version that combines the two is also made. The sweet martini is still in public knowledge but nowhere near as popular as the dry martini. Most switch the two and think the dry martini is the original, and the sweet martini is a more recent variation of the dry martini.

The Most Important Part.

The most important part of the original sweet martini is you have to use old tom gin. There is no point if you don’t have old tom gin, and dry gin is not a substitute. Prepare this like a regular martini with a lemon peel and no olive, or add olive and discard the expressed lemon peel if you want to make it as they did at the Waldorf. And if you don’t have old tom gin, make something else.

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Martini (Sweet)

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

1

servings
Calories

284

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the original Martini.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz Old Tom Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for about 15 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass and garnish with an expressed a lemon peel.

Notes

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Tom Collins – Fantastic 1882 Harry Johnson Recipe

Tom Collins Cocktail
Tom Collins Cocktail

What Is The Difference Between The John Collins And Tom Collins?

While probably not invented by Harry Johnson, his 1882 Bartenders Manual is the oldest printed book I could find to mention the Collins cocktail. Many sources say it was created in 1814 at Limmer’s Old House in London, but who knows. There is no documentation of this, and all the sources that state this seem to reference each other circularly. The oldest concrete evidence of this cocktail is the Harry Johnson one. It seems both the John Collins and Tom Collins are invented around the same time, and the Bartenders Manual gives a pretty definitive recipe for both the John and Tom Collins. His John Collins recipe calls for genever (dry gin doesn’t start to get mixed into cocktails till the end of the 1800s/early 1900s), and his recipe for the Tom Collins calls for Old Tom gin. Harry Johnson’s collins recipes and names are clearly defined, but unlike Harry Johnson, Jerry Thomas’s 1887 Bartenders Guide does not follow his recipes. The Bartender’s Guide doesn’t even mention the John Collins but instead uses the name Tom Collins for every variation of the collins. It has three different recipes for the Tom Collins. A Tom Collins whiskey, a Tom Collins brandy, and a Tom Collins genever. It doesn’t mention the Tom Collins with Old Tom gin and calls the one made with genever a Tom Collins.

To further complicate this, in 1885, a British cocktail book called “The New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef” by Bacchus and Cordon Bleu has a recipe for what they call a Fred Collins. Their Fred Collins Recipe is a Whiskey Collins with orange liqueur instead of simple syrup. Their Collins section states, “I should be glad if our caterers would agree what it is to be perpetually named. One Barkeeper calls it a John Collins – another Tom Collins. Harry and Fred are all members of the same family.” They then say they prefer the Fred Collins name, thus credence to Jerry Thomas’s version of the Collins in that the name is more a style than a specific drink. Hell, there was a Harry Collins we have never seen. The Savoy Cocktail Book does the same thing and has both a Dry Gin and Whiskey Tom Collins. Although The Savoy does say that a Tom Collins made with genever is instead called a John Collins.

While The Harry Johnson uses the names as specific cocktails, the Bartenders guide and others seemed to use the collins as a cocktail structure more than a specific recipe. Similar to the Rickey, Daisy, or Fizz, the collins is used to describe a structure of 2 parts base spirit, 1 part citrus, 1 part sweetener, and 4 or 5 parts carbonated beverage. Harry Johnson influence has been permanent and the collins is ultimately both. It is both a specific cocktail like Harry Johnson pushed and a cocktail archetype like others believed. looking at its influence as an archetype there are many popular cocktails which are structurally a collins that you would not think of as a Collins. The Adios Motherfucker, Mojito, French 75, Paloma, etc, are all just fun variation on the Collins form.

The Brief But Memorable History Of The Tom Collins.

The Tom Collins is enjoying a bit of a renaissance since Old Tom Gin is starting to become more regularly found in liquor stores again. Even though it was only around for a few decades and some major cocktail books back in the day left it out. Harry Craddock, Jerry Thomas (posthumously), George Kappeler, and a few others write about it, but major works like the Old Waldorf Astoria and Savoy make no mention of any Tom or John Collins. The oldest literary reference I could find to it was the 1882 Bartenders Manual which is the earliest reference to either the Tom or John Collins. I’ve read many articles saying the John Collins came first and the Tom was a variation, but I can’t find one without the other. Wikipedia says the oldest reference to a collins cocktail is in the 1869 Steward and Barkeeper’s Manual by Jesse Haney & company. Still, I looked over that whole book and never found the recipe they reference. Granted, I don’t have all the vintage cocktail books ever written, but I probably have a couple hundred more than any reasonable person, and the furthest back I can find the collins is by Harry Johnson.

Sadly this Old Tom cocktail was only on people’s radars for maybe 30 years. Haymans stopped manufacturing Old Tom in the 1930s, I think, and by the 1910s, most works refer to any collins cocktail as a Tom Collins and say you can use any base spirit with the drink. This harkens back to the Jerry Thomas book that called a collins made with whiskey a Tom Collins whiskey, or one made with brandy, a Tom Collins Brandy. This shows that the Tom/John Collins lived on as a cocktail structure more than a specific recipe. The name Tom Collins was being used even though no one was saying it needed to be mixed with Old Tom Gin.

Since Haymans started manufacturing Old Tom again in 2007, the classic spirit is becoming very popular now. The Tom Collins has become all the rage (It is a delicious drink, so it’s understandable), but back in the day, outside of Harry Johnson and a couple of others, It was kind of just a name to refer to a type of cocktail. In the late 1800s, a guy would maybe walk into a bar and ask for a Tom Collins, and the bartender would ask what spirit he wanted, and the guy could say whiskey, and the bartender would know what he meant. Obviously, I was not of drinking age or even alive during the late 19th century to verify this last statement. It is simply my interpolation based on how publications and literature used the name and the recipes they provided at different points in time.

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Tom Collins

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

1

servings
Calories

363

kcal
ABV

8%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Tom Collins.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Old Tom Gin

  • 5 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 filled with ice. Lastly add the soda water.

Notes

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Ampersand Cocktial – Recipe & History

Ampersand Cocktail
Ampersand Cocktail

The History Of The Ampersand Cocktail.

You may not have heard of the Ampersand Cocktail, and that’s not surprising. The Ampersand recipe only appears in the 1935 Old Waldorf-Astoria bar book. The Ampersand was most likely invented at the Waldorf and never spread beyond their bar. By the time they printed the recipe in 1935, the key ingredient, old tom gin, had already been discontinued by Haymans. Without one of the key ingredients, the Ampersand faded from knowledge, which is unfortunate because this drink is pretty awesome. Interest in old tom gin cocktails resurged once Haymans began producing old tom gin again in 2007. Other gin manufacturers also made limited runs of old tom style gin for a bit. Still, Hayman’s is the originator and currently the only manufacturer constantly producing this style of gin. With old tom around again, the Ampersand cocktail was rediscovered and is definitely a top-tier cocktail.

The History Of The Original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The original Waldorf Hotel was opened in 1893 by William Waldorf Astor of New York. Named after the town of Waldorf, Germany, the Astor Families’ ancestral home, the Waldorf was the apex of luxury New York hotels at its opening. A few years later, in 1897, as a bit of humorous rivalry, William’s cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, would open the Astoria Hotel right across the street. John built the Astoria in the same renaissance revival style and even commissioned the same architect, but made sure to make his hotel a little bit bigger than William’s Waldorf Hotel. Named after the town of Astoria, Oregon, The city founded by John Jacob Astor senior in 1811, the Astoria Hotel was an even more beautiful version of the Waldorf. Fun facts: Astoria, Oregon, is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains and the location of the film Kindergartner Cop, starring the great Arnold Schwarzenegger. Also, John Jacob Astor IV helped develop early versions of the turbine engine, wrote sci-fi books, and was one of the most famous Americans to perish with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

The rivalry was short-lived, though, and the two hotels joined together almost immediately, forming the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1897. Opened on the Waldorf side of the hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria bar was one of the top bars in New York, serving wealthy socialites. From 1897 to 1919, the Waldorf-Astoria bar stood as a testament to the pre-prohibition elite bar scene and helped solidify many of the American classics we know today. With the closing of the bar in 1919 and many of the New York elites moving further north, the hotel’s image became dated, and its current structure and location needed to change too. In 1929 the company sold its hotel on 5th and 34th to Empire State Inc. and began constructing the more modern Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue. The original hotel was demolished and replaced by the Empire State Building. Hoping to preserve the legacy of the original hotel’s bar, the company’s publicist, Albert Crockett, managed to collect and publish most of the bar’s classic cocktail recipes in part IV section A of “The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.” He added popular present-day (1934) cocktails in Section B but maintained that section A of the book had all the original recipes from the hotel’s old days.

Recipe Resources

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Ampersand

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

1

servings
Calories

233

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Classic Waldorf Astoria Amersand Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 2 dashes Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Old Tom Gin

  • 1 oz Brandy

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Notes

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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.