Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


May 2010

Vintage Cocktails #25: Milk Punch

Well, here we are. One Quarter of the way through Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I have tried many a drink that I otherwise would never have tried, and have purchased many an ingredient that I have wanted, but never had the need for. Really, if I had the money, I would buy the whole liquor store. It is that cool. Enough rambling and on to the drink.

The Milk Punch is traditionally a breakfast (or dessert) cocktail. I think it functions well in both applications, as well as for a hot summer day. I have actually had this drink many times, but usually around the Christmas season, as the blend of dark spirits and nutmeg go well with the holiday atmosphere. The milk punch is refreshing, with the brandy providing a nice backbone, and the rum adding its flavors along the edge. I prefer using a super dark rum such as Cruzan Blackstrap or Goslings Black Seal for the extra molasses flavor, but any dark rum will do fine. One note on preparation: if you shake this drink, you will get a nice thick foamy layer on top. If that is not your preference, you may also stir the drink, just make sure it still gets mixed up well.

Milk Punch
1 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Dark Rum
2 tsp Simple Syrup
2 dashes Vanilla Extract
4 oz Whole Milk


Vintage Cocktails #24: The Leatherneck Cocktail

An odd variation on a sour, this cocktail combines a base spirit, orange liqueur, and citrus. It doesn’t really stand out, taste wise, but what it lacks in the flavor department, it makes up for with it’s looks.

Extra points to whoever can tell me where the name from the following cocktail originates. Also, sadly I am proved mistaken in my assumption that no real cocktails use blue curacao. I was wrong and will humbly reinstate my bottle back to the shelves of the liquor cabinet, rather than being buried in a box on the floor of my garage.

The Leatherneck Cocktail
2 oz Blended Whisky
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Vintage Cocktails #23: The Pink Lady

In Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, the following drink is presented as the Secret Cocktail. It is actually a Clover Club cocktail with the addition of a single ingredient. While the drink has with a lovely pink hue, it is actually a great drink and I think would be more popular if it wasn’t for the name.

The Pink Lady
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Applejack
Juice of half a Lemon (about 1 oz)
1 Egg White
2 dashes Pomegranate Grenadine

Would you walk into a bar and order a Pink Lady?

Vintage Cocktails #22: Crimean Cup A La Marmora

Found within the pages of Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide (1862) this drink is named after the sixth prime minister of the Kingdom of Italy, who was also a hero of the Crimean War. The original drink was meant as a punch for around 30 people, but here is presented as a drink for two. The Crimean Cup is reminiscent of a Mai Tai, with some extra sparkle and funk provided by champagne and maraschino liquer. I would recommend this in its original quantity for a summer gathering.

Crimean Cup A La Marmora
2 broad slices of Lemon Peel
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Jamaican Rum
2 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
4 oz Soda Water
3 oz Champagne

Vintage Cocktails #21: The French 75

Created during WWI and named after the 75-millimeter M1897, a French field artillery weapon, the French 75 packs a wallop.  Some controversy surrounds this drink as some would contend that it should be made with cognac rather than gin, as cognac would have been more readily available in France at that time. However, true cocktail aficionados will hold to the drink being made with gin. I agree completely. The cognac version tastes ok, but pairing gin with lemon and champagne really brings the drink alive. Also, don’t be skimpy with the gin or lemon. It should be the base of the drink, not the icing on the top. This is a delicious summer afternoon or brunch cocktail, but beware, as a couple of these will smack you in the face like an artillery shell.

The French 75
2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Vintage Cocktails #20: The Blue Moon

Bearing a striking resemblance to the Aviation, the Blue Moon, is likewise a floral cocktail which contains hard to find ingredients. Whereas Creme Yvette, a proprietary violet liqueur, was once a staple of many bars, it has been unavailable in the US for decades. Recently, spirits importer Haus Alpenz has begun importing an Austrian brand of a similar product, creme de violette, which has allowed us to recreate several of these forgotten drinks.

Most drinks with the word “blue” in name will have the blue curacao ingredient. Curacao is an orange-flavored liqueur that is distilled clear, and can be found in blue, green, orange or red incarnations, all of which taste the same. Blue is the most popular.

Contrary to the above statement, this cocktail’s beautiful hue comes from the creme de violette. It has a delicate floral aroma and a light refreshing taste. I recommend a big bold gin to pair nicely with other flavors in the drink. As a side note on the blue curacao, I’m pretty sure I bought a bottle of that stuff for the first cocktail party I ever had, and have not used a drop of it since.

The Blue Moon
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Creme de Violette
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Garnish with a Lemon twist

Vintage Cocktails #19: The Japalac Cocktail

First appearing in the Old Waldorf Bar Days (1931), the Japalac cocktail is uniquely named, in that it is named after a fast drying, enamel paint!  I am not really sure as to what the inventor of said cocktail was thinking when he named this drink.  It probably would not have been my first choice.  Seriously, picture this.  You walk up to the bar and say, “Bartender.  I’ll have a lacquer enamel.”  It sounds horrifying!  Nonetheless, this is definitely a cocktail worth trying, despite the name.  It is also a great example of pre-prohibition cocktails.  Strong and small, meant to be consumed quickly.  It’s such a shame that cocktails have become a way to consume large amounts of sugar and flavored vodkas, rather than the culinary masterpieces that they were meant to be.

The Japalac Cocktail
Juice of 1/4 orange
3/4 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz rye whiskey
1 tsp raspberry syrup
garnish with an orange twist

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