Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


July 2011

Vintage Cocktails #66: The Twentieth Century Cocktail

First appearing in the Cafe Royal Bar Book (1937) this next cocktail was created as a tribute to the most famous passenger train in the world, the 20th Century Limited. Traveling between Grand Central Station New York and LaSalle Street Station Chicago, this luxury train was the epitome of class and comfort. In 1938, industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss was commissioned by the New York Central to design streamlined train sets in Art Deco style, with the locomotive and passenger cars rendered in blues and grays. This new design eventually became one of the most famous passenger train designs in history.

So to go along with a lavish and comfortable train ride, we need a cocktail to match, and this one is right on the money. At first glance, a simple derivation of the Corpse Reviver #2, this cocktail is liquid delight. Bright citrus flavors pair well with the gin, while the lillet and cacao dance around in the background. You should really give this one a try. Sadly, this cocktail appears in few other bar books and has, for the most part, been lost for all time. Cheers!

The Twentieth Century Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
3/4 oz Lemon Juice


Lillet & Bitters

Lillet Blanc is a brand of French aperitif wine. It is a blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle) and 15% macerated liqueurs, mostly citrus liqueurs from the peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and the peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti. Lillet belongs in a family of aperitif known as quinquina because of the addition of a liqueur of Chinchona bark from Peru which contains quinine. Other fortified wines in this category would be Byrrh and Dubonnet. Lillet is matured in oak casks and while it has been produced since the late 19th century, the current formulation (which contains less sugar and quinine) dates from 1986.

Normally I am not really one for drinking wines, but as I had opened the Lillet for a couple of vintage cocktails, I didn’t want it to go to waste. As it is a little on the sweet side when consumed straight, I added a generous amount of bitters. This has now become one of my favorite things to drink as an apertif before dinner. Cheers!

Lillet & Bitters
4 oz Lillet Blanc
4 dashes Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Lemon Bitters

MxMo LIX: Beer Cocktails

Once again it is time for Mixology Monday. This month is being hosted by Fredric over at Cocktail Virgin Slut, and his topic is Beer Cocktails! Taken from his announcement post:

While beer being used as an ingredient in modern cocktails has gotten a lot of press as of late, this is not a new trend. Beer has played a historical role in mixed drinks for centuries. For example, it can be found in Colonial drinks like the Rumfustian, Porter Sangaree, and Ale Flip. While many of these drinks are not seen in modern bars save for craft cocktail establishments, other beer drinks are though, including the Boilermaker, Black Velvet, and Michelada. And present day mixologists are utilizing beer with great success including Kelly Slagle’s Port of Funchal, Jacob Grier’s Averna Stout Flip, and Emma Hollander’s Word to Your Mom. Bartenders are drawn to beer for a variety of reasons including the glorious malt and roast notes from the grain, the bitter and sometimes floral elements from the hops, the interesting sour or fruity notes from the yeast, and the crispness and bubbles from the carbonation. Beer is not just for pint glasses, so let us honor beer of all styles as a drink ingredient.

I for one am a fan of beer cocktails. I have already done a couple of beer cocktails such as Pirate’s Gold and In Flanders Fields. And today I am feeling extra generous so I am going to give you all a two for one special.

For the first drink, my beer element will be incorporated in the form of a beer syrup. I really like using the beer syrup as it can be used as both a sweetener and a bold flavoring element. Beer syrup is essentially a beer reduction with a load of sugar added to it. You can make it from any type of beer, but usually a beer with a distinctive flavor works the best. This particular cocktail utilizes a Belgian Trippel syrup paired with Benedictine. The bold flavor of the demerara rum provides a great backbone as well.

The Dutch Monk
2 oz Demerrara Rum
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Beer Syrup

The second drink uses beer as a prominent ingredient. It is rich, flavorful and packs a punch. A base of rye whiskey is coupled with Grand Marnier and orange bitters and topped of by a generous portion of Imperial Stout. The orange flavors of the Grand Marnier and bitters couple very nicely with the rye, as well as the chocolate notes in the stout.

The Outlaw Czar
2 oz Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/8 oz Orange Bitters
6 oz Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

So there you have it. Two beer cocktails to quench your thirst. Different styles of beer highlighted in different styles of cocktails. If you are interested in finding more beer cocktails, head over to the Cocktail Virgin Slut in a couple of days and check out the roundup of this months MxMo entries. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Cheers!

Vintage Cocktails #65: The Corpse Reviver #2

This cocktail is all that remains from a whole family of cocktails created with the purpose of a morning pick-me-up in mind. In the late 19th, early 20th century, it was not all that uncommon to enjoy a cocktail first thing in the morning to “revive the corpse” as it were.

While there was a whole family of these drinks, there are really only two in existence today, and only one of those is worth trying. Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), comments that “four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.” Now, I’m not sure that anyone needs four of these in quick succession, but it is a fantastic drink for sure, and one of my favorites. Ironically, when I was in New Orleans, a city steeped in classic cocktail culture, this was one drink that I had a difficult time finding a bartender that could make a proper one for me.

Anyways, this is an excellent cocktail to use as an introduction to the classics. It has a slightly tart, herbal flavor, with a sweetness that is at the same time dry and clean. I highly recommend that you give this one a try. Cheers!

Corpse Reviver #2
1 oz Gin
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 tsp Absinthe

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