Posts Tagged ‘lemon juice’

The Knickerbocker

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

There are other drinks that appear under this name — Trader Vic’s Knickerbocker Cocktail is just a dry martini with a dash of Italian vermouth — but the Knickerbocker below is a 2:1:1 that proves to be ideal for a mellow summer afternoon. This is, specifically, the Knickerbocker à la Monsieur, from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. Haigh traces its first appearance to Terrington’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks of 1869, wherein a version for the fairer sex was also outlined.

1 1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. Jamaican rum
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. orange curaçao
1/2 oz. raspberry syrup

Shake with crushed ice, strain into a glass filled with same.

The Knickerbocker isn’t a drink that shows its alcohol, as the raspberry syrup is more than a match for the light rum. Haigh calls for 2 oz of Virgin Islands rum, but I happen not to have any, and so use a light Barbados with a bit of Jamaican, to instill more rumminess to the affair. I’ve followed Doc’s suggestion of using Smucker’s Natural Red Raspberry Syrup. While not quite up to my own definition of “natural,” it does the trick nicely. Of course, dropping a viscous half-ounce slug of pancake syrup into your mixing glass is likely to set anticipatory teeth on edge, but press on to make a happy discovery: the otherwise cloying syrup will be perfectly countered by that tart ounce of lemon juice. It’s a well-balanced, fruity sweet-and-sour.

Served over crushed ice, the Knickerbocker gets longer with time at no detriment to drinkability. Indeed, a few judiciously-applied squirts of seltzer from the outset can be quite salutary, in that they contribute some effervescence and make a bit of a cooler of it. Regarding methods of preparation, Haigh would have us stir the ingredients directly in a collins glass or goblet, but I’ve found the raspberry syrup resistant to stirring. Shaking will ensure homogeneity, and thus no syrupy surprise at the bottom of the glass.

Between the Sheets

Monday, August 15th, 2005

Having found unexpected pleasure in the Monkey Gland, it seems wise to reserve judgment about other winkingly-named vintage drinks, in the hopes that some rise above mere novelty. And how better to honor the stimulating promise of the Monkey Gland than to move directly to third base with another salacious standard of the 30’s, the Between the Sheets?

1 1/2 oz. Cognac
1 1/2 oz. white or gold rum
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. lemon juice

Shake, strain, and garnish with a twist.

I can’t put a date to the drink, but Charles Baker’s 1939 Gentleman’s Companion — after a circuitous tale involving riots, stonings, tommy guns and girls being crushed to death by falling masonry — attributes the Between the Sheets’ origins to a certain Mr. Weber, keeping bar at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. It is, Baker declares, “totally sound, and already quite famous throughout the Near East.” His recipe, incidentally, calls for equal parts of everything.

The recipe above is from Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks, which in turn derives it from David Embury’s in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Embury suggests using lime as an alternative to the lemon, and calls for a gold rum. I’ve mixed the Between the Sheets with lemon and lime, Bacardi and Mount Gay Eclipse, but no variation manages to please. All are too tart by half, with nothing to really back up the citrus.

Embury may be a looming legend of mixology, but I confess that his recommended expression of the Between the Sheets was the one I committed to the sink. In this, I am in accord with Patrick Gavin Duffy, whom Wondrich notes flagged the BTS as being one he “personally [did] not recommend.” I deem it a cocktail to avoid.

Note: Other variations may yet prove palatable. Old Mr. Boston’s recipe calls for a scant 1/4 lemon’s juice, which addresses my concern about the tartness. Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts (1949), on the other hand, presents a “Between-Sheets” comprised of 1/3 cognac, 1/3 crème de cacao, 1/3 cream, a dash of bitters, a teaspoon of sugar and a bit of lemon peel — just cognac and the garnish in common.

Pisco Sour

Saturday, March 12th, 2005

1 1/2 oz. pisco
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 egg white
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake well with ice and strain.

This Pisco Sour is a lovely, silver, frothy affair thanks to the egg white. It’s mighty refreshing as well — not at all too sweet. Don’t omit the Angostura unless you absolutely must, as it adds a welcome complexity to the drink. The recipe above is from CocktailDB. Other recipes call for making a blended drink of it, but as with the Ramos Gin Fizz, I prefer to shake-and-strain for a shorter, smoother, less watered-down drink. I also just don’t like blenders much. They harsh my mellow.

I made the above with Alto del Carmen Reservado, a Chilean pisco. Note that Peru lays claim to originating pisco and there’s a bit of kerfuffle between the two countries regarding just whose traditional beverage it is and where Chilé gets off calling their stuff pisco, what with the eponymous city of Pisco being Peruvian and all.

Doray Sour

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

Fill large Bar glass ⅔ full Shaved Ice.

3 dashes Gum Syrup
4 dashes Lemon Juice.
1 dash Lime Juice.
1 teaspoonful Abricontine or green Chartreuse.
½ jigger Tokay or Sweet Catawba Wine.
½ jigger Brandy.

Stir well and strain into a fancy Sour glass; dress with Fruits; dash with Apollinaris or Seltzer; top off with a little Claret and serve.

Continental Sour

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

Fill a large Bar glass ⅔ full Shaved Ice.

1 teaspoonful Bar Sugar dissolved in little Water.
Juice of ½ Lemon.
1 jigger of Whiskey, Brandy or Gin, as preferred.

Shake; strain into Sour glass; dash with Claret and serve.