.

Classic Cocktails in Real-Life: Tasty and Terrible

The 1957 version of a cocktails book takes on the 2007 Barnes and Noble title that attempts to resuscitate classic drinks. Some might be better off dead.

When we combined our catalogues of singles-survivalist life, my boyfriend and I each had something that looked like a book of very special, effort-heavy drinks. I would be willing to bet money that neither one of us has ever referred to either book.

I like looking at them nonetheless, and as AMC's Mad Men debuts the first episode in Season Four tonight, it might be nice to make yourself (or your patrons, if you're working) one of these vintage delights as you enjoy the 10 p.m. premier.

My boyfriend's book, Classic Cocktails, came out in 2007, and is an 82-page handbook of 315 recipes for cocktails. Like mine, his book as vintage images and stylish fonts, along with snazzy, snazzy drink recipes. Like mine, his keeps to a relative alphabetical order and includes standards like the Side Car, Sazerac, Screwdriver, Stinger, Manhattan, and my favorite, Whiskey Sour.

My book, The ABC of Cocktails, was released in 1953, 1957 and 1962, striking right about that time when Mad Men is to have taken place. It came from Peter Pauper Press in Mount Vernon, and was pilfered from my mom's cookbook collection. It has 60 pages, and just 130 recipes for drinks, a reasonable amount to memorize, if you tend bar. Unlike his, it explains a bit about the basics of how to sweeten and measure liquors, as well as how to make variations of the basic martini and Manhattan.

My boyfriend's book does not have rhymes about the benefits of drinking alcohol or delicately drawn drunken-looking images throughout the book. 

The cocktails in his book include the Godfather (the movie came out in 1972), and the Havana Cocktail, wheras mine has the Rhett Butler and the Scarlett O'Hara, as well as the Cuban Apricot, Cuban Dream, Havana and Havana Club cocktails.

My book also has the Lafayette, Leviathan, Lotus Club and Little Colonel...historical and literary references, some of which I, the modern reader, had to look up, that have been long forgotten by Classic Cocktails.

The old book also has the Japanese and the Mikado, the Russian Diplomat, Katinka, and the Russian...obviously not made for our 2007 sensibilities. It also has the Jersey City and Jersey Sour, versus the Leprechaun, Malibu Bay Breeze and the Monkey Wrench in Mike's book. The internationally-ready tone of the newer printing does not make room for these sometimes regionally oriented, sometimes downright xenophobic-sounding drinks.

Unlike mine, his was released for mass distribution and key placement on displays at Barnes & Noble  (who published it) and Urban Outfitters-style stores.

For all of you who don't have my lovely 1962-version of a cocktail book, I have included some images (rhymes and all) and I'll translate some of my favorites.

Ultimately, it's good many of these drinks went out of style. Modern access to all kinds of exotic fruits, preservatives and liqueurs make it easier to deliver a tasty and broad-appeal cocktail to a drinking public. And consuming raw egg whites, despite my higher-than average curiosity, is still something I'm probably going to skip on my bucket list. But sometimes, like when you're watching AMC on Sundays, it's fun to ignore modern-era englightenment. (Thankfully none of these recipes call for lard.)

Clover Club
[Named for a Philadelphia mens club that predated Prohibition and met in the Bellevue-Stratford hotel as early as 1911. The captains of industry gathered there, but the drink lost popularity, as have many raw-egg concoctions these days.]
6 parts Gin
2 parts Lemon Juice
1 part Grenadine or Raspberry Syrup
1 Egg White to each 2 drinks
Shake all ingredients except Gin with crackted ice. Add half the Gin, shake again, add rest of Gin, shake, and strain.

Habitant
[Derived partly from the maple syrup in the drink, partly from the evergreen juniper, this one is named for the French settlers that farmed along the St. Lawrence. I will be trying this, as I'm always looking for ways to use maple syrup.]
5 parts Gin
1 part Italian (sweet) Vermouth
1 part Maple Syrup
3 dashes Lemon Juice per drink
Shake with ice, strain into glass.

Third Rail
[Not sure, but we're expecting this one could knock you sideways in a flash.]
5 parts Gold Label Rum
1 part Italian Vermouth
1 part French Vermouth
1 part Orange Juice
"A Bronx with Rum instead of Gin." Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass, put a twist of orange peel inside each glass.

Isle of Pines
[According to Bon Appetit magazine, which suggests pomegranite juice, the drink is named for Isle of Youth, in Cuba, a place that inspired Treasure Island and Peter Pan. Travel to Cuba ended with the U.S. embargo on Feb. 7, 1962.]
4 parts White Label Rum
2 parts Grapefruit juice, unsweetened
1 part simple syrup
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Japanese
6 parts Cognac
1 part Orgeat or Falernum (tropical mixer)
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Mikado
1 part Brandy
1 dash Bitters per drink
2 dashes Curacao, Oregeat and Creme de Noyaux (almond liqueur) per drink
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass. "Variations can be made by substituting dashes of other flavorful liqueurs."

Tovarich
[A remnant from the Cold War-era, tovarich means "comrade" in Russian. The drink may be named for a 1937 Warner Bros. comedy.]
6 parts Vodka
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Kummel (it may be tough finding this in a bar - it's a dessert flavoring with caraway seed, fennel and cumin.)
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Russian
3 parts Vodka
1 part Creme de Cacao
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

Russian Diplomat
1 jigger of Brandy per drink
1 dash Bitters per drink
Champagne
Shake the Brandy and bitters with ice, strain into pre-chilled Champagne glass. Fill glass with chilled Champagne and add twist of lemon peel.

Opera
3 parts White Label Rum
1 part Dubonnet (white or red French apertif wine)
1 dash Lime Juice per drink
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass; twist a piece of orange peel over each glass.

Tropical
4 parts Jamaica Rum
1 part Lime Juice
1 slice Pineapple per 4 drinks
1 dash Grenadine per drink
"Spring a pineapple slice with sugar, and beat in a blender with other ingredients and ice. Serve unstrained with short straw in champagne glass."
[This drink has been overrun by so many tropical-flavored liquors it's no wonder it has gone out of style.]

Silver Bronx
6 parts Gin
1 part Italian Vermouth
1 part French Vermouth
1 part Orange Juice
1 Egg White to each 2 drinks
Shake all ingredients except Gin with cracked ice, until foamy. Add half the Gin, shake again. Add balance of Gin, shake, and strain.

Scarlett O'Hara
6 parts Southern Comfort
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Cranberry Juice or Grenadine
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass or mix with ice "in an electric blender" pour unstrained, serve with short straw in Champagne or large cocktail glass.

Rhett Butler
6 parts Southern Comfort
1 part Lime Juice
1 part Lemon Juice
1 part Curacao
Shake with ice, pour into cocktail glass, or mix with shaved ice in "an electric blender" and pour unstrained, and serve with a short straw in a Champagne or large cocktail glass.

September Morn
[Think of this as our modern-day Fuzzy Navel or Sex on the Beach...if only peach schnapps existed back then. No doubt this cocktail, named for a 1913 controversy surrounding the nude painting by Paul Émile Chabas of the same title, was trying to get that lovely, titillating experience of America tasting the apple.]
6 parts White Label Rum
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Grenadine and simple syrup
1 Egg White to each 2 drinks
Shake all ingredients except Rum with ice, until foamy. Add half the Rum and shake again. Add balance of Rum, shake again, and strain.

Ward Eight
[Originated in Boston 1898 at the Gilded Age restaurant's bar, Locke-Ober, reportedly celebrating the election of Democrat Martin Lomasney to state legislature.]
6 parts Rye Whiskey
2 parts Lemon juice
1 part Orange Juice
1 part Grenadine
Shake with ice, and strain.

White Gin Sour
6 parts Gin
2 parts Lemon Juice
1 part simple syrup
1 egg white to each 2 drinks
Shake all except Gin with ice, until foamy. Add half the Gin and shake. Add rest of Gin, shake and strain.

Virgin
3 parts Gin
1 part Forbidden Fruit
1 part White Creme de Menthe
Shake with ice and pour.
[You would need a decent substitute for the Forbidden Fruit, a now-defunct brandy-based liquor that was orange and grapefruit flavored with honey in it, to make this. Or operate your own distillery.]

Vodka White Spider
2 cubes of ice
3/4 oz. White Creme de Menthe
1 1/2 oz. Vodka
Pour all into an old-fashioned glass. Drop in lime quarter and stir slightly. "A fine summer drink before or after dinner."

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something