Back to the Classics
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
It's time to speak out against the endangered status of the classic cocktails in the world's drinks jungles. Increasingly I find myself wondering what ever happened to this or that classic mixed marvel as old favourites disappear from the modern lexicon of serious drinks.
The cocktails I'm talking about roamed the lounges before B52 or slammers arrived on the bar scene. I admit some are late but not lamented. The 1930's Pink Lady comes to mind. It looks like Pepto-Bismol, only the medicinal compound tastes better to me. But many are worth resurrecting. And now seems to be the time for those cocktails to come back, easing the ache of our economic flu with a nostalgic tip of the hat to the roaring heyday of these drinks.
Watch for the return of White and Black Russians either with or instead of dessert, more muddling, restorative juice-based brunch cocktails, and – would you believe – 1940's pink gin (Gin and Bitters) to sophisticated bar and restaurant lists.
Here are three old darlings certainly worth keeping in the repertoire.
This cocktail recipe was recorded some time around 1850:
New Orleans Sazarac
- 2 oz. Wild Turkey Bourbon
- 1 oz. Pernod
- 1 sugar cube
- Angostura bitters
- Rinse an old fashioned glass with Pernod, then discard the Pernod.
- Place a sugar cube in the glass. Shake two drops of Angostura bitters on it.
- Add ice cubes and the Bourbon.
- Garnish with a thin zest of lemon.
It's a must when you can get fresh blackberries for the garnish (if you can't find Crème de Mure, substitute Cassis or Chambord):
- 2 oz. Plymouth gin
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. Blackberry Liqueur (Crème de Mure)
- Fill old-fashioned glass with crushed ice.
- Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Mix well.
- Top up with more crushed ice.
- Slowly pour Crème de Mure over the ice.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon and fresh blackberries. Serve with 2 short straws.
- 2 oz. Hendrick's gin
- ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- 5 oz. club soda
- Pour the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker ½ full of ice cubes.
- Shake well and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Pour in the club soda.
- Garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry. (My preference is to substitute a slice of cucumber for the cherry.)
For more information, you can contact Sheila at email@example.com.