Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week [No. 4]

Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week [No. 4]

By Andrew “the Alchemist”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

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It’s Sunday, and time for another edition of the Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week!  I wanted to make this an all George Kappeler edition, but no drink fitting the succulent genre is found in his book.  That genre seems to have emerged just before prohibition.

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Pre-prohibition Ensemble of the Week:

BRANDY CHAMPARELLE (á la Kappeler)

Vessel: 2 fl-oz. stemmed cordial goblet

Build in separate layers in the vessel:

→ ¼ fl-oz. maraschino liqueur

→ ¼ fl-oz. premium traditional Curaçao liqueur (creole shrubb is the best modern analog)

→ ¼ fl-oz. yellow Chartreuse™ liqueur

→ ¼ fl-oz. brandy of choice (Cognac brandy is recommended)

Garnish with a few drops of Angostura™ aromatic additive bitters

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

Note: only the lack of dilution keeps this drink from being a bittered sling (a.k.a. cocktail).

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Pre-prohibition Sling of the Week:

DUNDORADO COCKTAIL

Vessel: 4½ fl-oz. glass cocktail goblet

Combine in a mixing glass:

→ 1 fl-oz. old tom gin

→ 1 fl-oz. premium sweet vermouth

→ 1 bsp. Calisaya™ grand bitters

→ method ice

Stir for just under two minutes to mix, chill and dilute

Strain into the vessel

Garnish by twisting a strip of lemon zest over the drink and then dropping it in

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

Note: Calisaya™ was used in American drinks before prohibition, but has not been available for a long time.  It is now being made again in Oregon according to an original Italian formula from the 1800’s.  It is only available in Oregon at the present time.  It is fortunate that I was in Oregon recently.

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Pre-prohibition Posset of the Week:

BALTIMORE EGGNOG

Vessel: 10½ fl-oz. glass banquet goblet (chilled)

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1 fl-oz. verdelho Madeira wine

→ ½ fl-oz. brandy of choice (Cognac brandy is recommended)

→ ½ fl-oz. pot-still Jamaica rum (Smith & Cross™ is recommended)

→ 1 pinch. powdered cinnamon

→ 1 tbsp. superfine sugar

→ 1 whole ‘large’ egg {without the shell}

→ 1 fl-oz. heavy cream

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously for at least fifteen seconds to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the vessel

Garnish with an freshly-grated nutmeg

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

Note: I have modified the recipe by using a specific amount of heavy cream instead of a vague amount of whole milk

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Pre-prohibition Punch of the Week:

KNICKERBOCKER SOUR

Vessel: 5½ fl-oz. glass sour goblet (chilled)

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1¾ fl-oz. pot-still Jamaica rum (Smith & Cross™ is recommended)

→ ¼ fl-oz. premium traditional Curaçao liqueur (creole shrubb is the best modern analog)

→ 1 fl-oz. freshly-pressed Eureka lemon juice

→ 1 dsp. superfine sugar

→ ¼ fl-oz. pineapple syrup

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously for at least twenty seconds to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the vessel

Garnish with an authentic maraschino cherry on a skewer

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

Note: Kappeler calls this the Knickerbocker Punch, but since he serves it without ice and does not add any water or other fluid weak ingredient, I will call it a sour.

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Pre-prohibition Grog of the Week:

SOUTHERN COOLER

Vessel: 13½ fl-oz. tall glass tumbler

→ entire paring of Eureka lemon peel (artfully spiraled up entire tumbler)

Insert straw

→ 5 fl-oz. service ice (5 full-ounce cubes)

Build in the vessel:

→ 1 fl-oz. Bourbon whiskey

→ 1 fl-oz. pot-still Jamaica rum (Smith & Cross™ is recommended)

→ ¼ fl-oz. simple 1:1 sugar syrup

→ 6 fl-oz. plain soda

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

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Pre-prohibition Succulent of the Week:

ORANGE BLOSSOM (á la Waldorf-Astoria)

Vessel: 5 fl-oz. glass wine goblet (chilled)

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1 fl-oz. old tom gin

→ 1 fl-oz. premium sweet vermouth

→ 1 fl-oz. freshly-pressed orange juice (Valencia or navel)

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously for at least twenty seconds to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the vessel

Garnish with a quarter-wheel slice of orange

Enjoy!

From: The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book – by Albert Stevens Crockett (1935)

{This drink is from the main layer of material in Crockett’s book, which he states came from the original recipe book in his possession that had been used in the hotel’s bar until it closed in 1919.}

Note: depending on how long before 1919 this recipe was added to the repertoire of the Waldorf-Astoria, this may be the oldest recipe for a drink named the ‘Orange Blossom’ that is based on gin and made succulent with orange juice.

Basic Portions – the Cup, the Gill, the Jigger

In traditional, pre-prohibition, American bartending, any mixed drink should be made from the same amount of alcoholic product that would be served if un-mixed.

The traditional portion of beer is the cup, or 8 fl-oz.  This would seem too small a portion to many modern customers.

The traditional portion of wine is the gill, or 4 fl-oz, which would also seem small to many modern customers.

The majority of mixed drinks, however, are based on liquor, for which the traditional portion is the jigger, or 2 fl-oz.  The device used to measure this amount, or parts thereof, is also called a jigger.  Previously, this amount was also called the wine-glass.  The following quotations indicate the traditional or pre-prohibition meanings of the terms wine-glass and jigger.

The Oxford English Dictionary – 1928:

“Wineglassful. – The contents of a full wine-glass; the amount that a wine-glass will hold, usually reckoned as 2 fluid ounces.”

George Kappeler – Modern American Drinks – 1895:

“A jigger is a measure used for measuring liquors when mixing drinks; it holds two ounces.  A pony holds half a jigger.”

Cuyler Reynolds – The Banquet Book – 1902:

“Jigger. – The contents are equivalent to 2 ounces”

“Wineglass. – The contents are equivalent to 2 ounces”

C.W. Williamson – The History of Western Ohio and Auglaize County – 1905:

“The quantity varied from a jigger (two ounces) to sixteen jiggers per day, and the contractor who offered the greatest number of jiggers per day was able to secure the largest number of hands.”

[This excerpt is from the portion of the book covering the construction of the Erie Canal.  The parenthetic explanation above is in the original text.  Whiskey is what was offered to the workers in the number of jiggers mentioned.]

The American fl-oz. is functionally equal to 30 ml.  Thus the traditional American jigger is functionally equal to 60 ml.

When making a single-portion mixed drink with multiple liquors according to pre-prohibition practice, their total volume should still be 2 fl-oz.. This allows for advantageous selection of service vessels.  For example, the Rye Cocktail, being a jigger of rye whiskey, a teaspoon of fine sugar, a scruple (two dashes) of bitters and just over a pony of water (from stirring with method ice), will fill the traditional 4-½ fl-oz. capacity glass cocktail goblet nicely.  The Manhattan Cocktail (essentially a fancy Rye Cocktail sweetened with vermouth wine instead of sugar) would have been served in the same cocktail goblet in the classic period of the American bar, and thus was always made with the whiskey and the vermouth together totaling 2 fl-oz.  Other than that, the old sense of the jigger as the basic, total amount of liquor allowed bartenders to develop real familiarity and control over proportions of alcoholic-to-non-alcoholic ingredients within each genre of drinks.  This has been sadly lost to the memorizing-of-recipes approach.  Always working with the jigger as the basic amount allows one to stop wasting mental power in memorizing and to start thinking about everything else going on in a drink.

Sometime during or after prohibition, the art of proportioning multiple liquors within the 2 fl-oz. jigger was largely-abandoned and mostly-lost due to various causes, not least among them calling all drinks cocktails and forcing them into cocktail goblets.  I think that the jigger as an amount should be restored.  Unless sheer inebriation or the maintenance of alcoholism is the goal, one jigger of liquor will contain plenty of alcohol for one mixed drink.  This traditional amount also presents enough volume for mixing liquors in just about any desired proportion.

In a ‘one-to-one’ drink, 1 fl-oz. (30 ml.) of plain liquor(s) will be modified with 1 fl-oz. (30 ml.) of fancy liquor(s).

In a ‘two-to-one’ drink, 1-⅓ fl-oz. (40 ml.) of plain liquor(s) will be modified with ⅔ fl-oz. (20 ml.) of fancy liquor(s).

In a ‘three-to-one’ drink, 1-½ fl-oz. (45 ml.) of plain liquor(s) will be modified with ½ fl-oz. (15 ml.) of fancy liquor(s).

In a ‘five-to-one’ drink, 1-⅔ fl-oz. (50 ml.) of plain liquor(s) will be modified with ⅓ fl-oz. (10 ml.) of fancy liquor(s).

In a ‘seven-to-one’ drink, 1-¾ fl-oz. (52.5 ml.) of plain liquor(s) will be modified with ¼ fl-oz. (7.5 ml.) of fancy liquor(s).

When making a drink with equal parts of three liquors, ⅔ fl-oz. (20 ml.) of each is appropriate.

Many other variations are possible and often desirable.  Some drinks are made of 1 fl-oz. (30 ml.) of the base liquor modified by ½ fl-oz. (15 ml.) each of two modifying liquors.  Other drinks are made of ½ fl-oz. (15 ml.) each of four liquors.

When adjusting proportions between spirits and sweeter liquors (such as liqueurs, fortified wines or aromatized wines) within in the traditional jigger, one must be aware that the sweetness of the finished drink can be greatly affected.  Many ‘one-to-one’ or ‘two-to-one’ drinks are not additionally sweetened with sugar or syrup, while some ‘seven-to-one’ drinks are.

When a liquor is added to a drink in any amount of less than ¼ fl-oz., its function is usually more as accent than modifier, and need not be measured as part of the 2 fl-oz. jigger.

For a look at the ‘jiggers’ used in my courses that allow for any traditional and desirable split of the traditional American jigger, click on the following link:

https://elementalmixology.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/elemental-mixology-bar-tools-kits/

For as chart of traditional units of measure (of volume, mostly) that goes far beyond the jigger, click on the following link:

https://elementalmixology.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/traditional-units-of-measure-pertaining-to-mixology-3/

Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week [No. 3]

Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week [No. 3]

By Andrew “the Alchemist”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

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It’s Sunday, and time for another edition of the Pre-prohibition Drinks of the Week!

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Pre-prohibition Ensemble of the Week:

The GARDEN OF EDEN

Vessel: 2 fl-oz. stemmed cordial goblet

Build in separate layers in the vessel:

→ 1/2 fl-oz. crème Yvette liqueur

→ 1/2 fl-oz. apricot-flavored brandy liqueur {I recommend Marie Brizard™ ‘Apry’}

Enjoy!

From: The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book – by Albert Stevens Crockett (1935)

{This drink is from the main layer of material in Crockett’s book, which he states came from the original recipe book in his possession that had been used in the hotel’s bar until it closed in 1919.}

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Pre-prohibition Sling of the Week:

The (OLD-FASHIONED) INIMITABLE COCKTAIL

Vessel: 5-1/2 fl-oz. (or larger) old-fashioned glass tumbler {chilled}

Build in the tumbler:

→ 1 cube of sugar {standard 1 tsp. size}

→ 1-3 fl-dsh. Peychaud’s aromatic additive bitters

→ 4 drops freshly-pressed Eureka lemon juice

→ ~ 1/4 fl-oz. flat water {or more, depending on taste, or the proof of the spirit}

Muddle until the sugar is dissolved and cocktail water is created

Add:

→ 2 fl-oz. service ice {2 full-ounce cubes}

→ 2 fl-oz. old tom gin

Garnish by twisting a strip of lemon zest over the drink and then dropping it in

Briefly stir the drink in its tumbler

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

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Pre-prohibition Posset of the Week:

The LALLA ROOKH

Vessel: 5 fl-oz. glass wine goblet {chilled}

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1 fl-oz. Cognac brandy

→ 1 fl-oz. pot-still Jamaica rum

→ 3/4 fl-oz. vanilla syrup

→ 1 fl-oz. heavy cream

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the goblet

Garnish with an authentic maraschino cherry on a skewer

Enjoy!

From: Modern American Drinks – by George Kappeler (1895)

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Pre-prohibition Punch of the Week:

The MIDDLETON

Vessel: 5-1/2 fl-oz. glass sour goblet {chilled}

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1-1/3 fl-oz. pot-still Jamaica rum

→ 2/3 fl-oz. genever

→ 1 fl-oz. freshly-pressed Eureka lemon juice

→ 2/3 fl-oz. grenadine {authentic pomegranate syrup – use more, if desired}

→ 1 dsp. egg white {1 dessert-spoon = 2 teaspoons}

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the goblet

Garnish with an authentic maraschino cherry on a skewer

Enjoy!

From: The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book – by Albert Stevens Crockett (1935)

{This drink is from the main layer of material in Crockett’s book, which he states came from the original recipe book in his possession that had been used in the hotel’s bar until it closed in 1919.}

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Pre-prohibition Grog of the Week:

The BILLY TAYLOR COOLER

Vessel: 13-1/2 fl-oz. tall glass cooler tumbler

→ 5 fl-oz. service ice {5 full-ounce cubes}

Build in the tumbler:

→ 2 fl-oz. dry gin

→ 1/4 fl-oz. freshly-pressed Key lime juice

→ 6 fl-oz. charged water

Insert straw

Garnish with a full-wheel slice of Key lime

Enjoy!

From: Drinks – by Jacques Straub (1914/1948)

Note: many people call this a “Gin Rickey,” but since it also has its own unique, pre-prohibition name, I have chosen to use it.  There is reason to suspect that the original Rickey was based on American rye whiskey.  In 1914 the default lime used in bars in the U.S.A. was the Key lime.  A good, room-temperature Key lime will yield up to 1/3 fl-oz. of juice.  The source indicates the “juice of 1/2 a lime.”  That would be about 1/6 fl-oz., which I have rounded up to the more-easily-measured 1/4 fl-oz.  I recommend using either the juice of half a Key lime or 1/4 fl-oz.

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Pre-prohibition Succulent of the Week:

The EDDY

Vessel: 5 fl-oz. glass wine goblet {chilled}

Combine in a mixing tin:

→ 1 fl-oz. dry gin

→ 1 fl-oz. dry vermouth

→ 1 fl-oz. freshly-pressed orange juice {Valencia or navel}

→ plenty of method ice

Cover with half-tin and shake vigorously to mix, chill, dilute and aerate

Finely-strain into the goblet

Garnish with a quarter-wheel slice of orange

Enjoy!

From: The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book – by Albert Stevens Crockett (1935)

{This drink is from the main layer of material in Crockett’s book, which he states came from the original recipe book in his possession that had been used in the hotel’s bar until it closed in 1919.}