It is another Mixology Monday and our hosts, Joe and Dinah (aka Metagrrrl) over at Bibulo.us, have chosen 19th Century Cocktails as the theme. Thankfully this theme is pretty straight forward because I’ve been pretty busy lately.
For this month, I relied on Harry Johnson’s “Bartenders’ Manual” which was originally published in 1882!
The first cocktail I decided on is called the “White Lion.” Here is Mr. Johnson’s instructions:
1 small table-spoonful of sugar;
2 or 3 dashes of lime or lemon juice, dissolve well with a little seltzer;
1/2 pony-glass of raspberry syrup;
1/4 pony-glass of curacao;
Fill up glass with shaved ice;
1 wine-glassful of St. Croix rum.
Stir up well with a spoon; ornament with the fruits of the season; serve with a straw.
This drink is known for a great number of years in South America.
Alright, where to begin? First off, I have no clue how much a pony-glass or a wine-glass measures to contemporary standards. Harry Johnson himself provides a little guidance by telling us that while he used wine-glass as the measure, he is really referring to a gigger. Arlight, that helps a bit. In recreating this drink, for better or worse, I decided to substitute for the wine-glass measure two fluid ounces. I also treated the pony-glass measure as a fraction of the wine-glass. Here is how my interpretation breaks out:
1 scant tablespoon of simple syrup
3 dashes lemon juice
1 oz raspberry syrup
0.5 oz Creole Shrub
2 oz Mt. Gay Eclipse
Shaken; served in rocks glass with fresh ice.
Seeing as I didn’t have “fruits in season” or shaved ice at my disposal, I decided to shake and strain over fresh ice. The resulting drink is pretty good. It is definitely on the sweet side, but also has a nice rummy kick to it. All together not unpleasant. It is certainly a drink where the ratios could be played with to reach your desired effect – less sweet, more orangey, less raspberry, more rum, etc.
The second cocktail I decided to try was the “Klondyke Cocktail,” also from Harry Johnson.
3/4 glass full of fine-shaved ice;
3 or 4 dashes of bitters (Boker’s genuine only);
1/2 wine glass of applejack;
1/2 wine glass of French vermouth;
Stir up well with a spoon, strain into a cocktail glass, putting in a medium-size olive, squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and serve.
Of course, like above, a few liberties had to be taken. I used the same ratio converstion I mentioned earlier. Additionally, while I have no doubt as to the greatness of Boker’s genuine bitters, this is a now defunct product. However, this gives me the perfect opportunity to use my new bottle of The Bitter Truth’s Jerry Thomas Own Decanter Bitters! Plus, honestly, I don’t like olives and I abhore olives in a cocktail. Unless pre-chilled, an olive is like a heat bomb that just loves to warm up my perfectly cold libation. So yeah, anyway . . . .
This is a pretty tasty, if not too exciting cocktail. The lemon twist makes the drink, in my opinion. But the fruitiness of the sweet vermouth plays nicely with the applejack and the whole thing is pretty smooth.
My apologies for not having any photographs of these drinks. My SD card seems to be slowly corrupting itself and I’ve been too lazy to find a replacement.
I want to thank Joe and Dinah again for hosting. Hope you enjoy all the 19th Century cocktails!