Elixir for the Soul

This is a blog about sophisticated drinking, because alcohol doesn't have to be a poison, it can be a medicine for the soul.

Shawn, 21. Currently studying foreign language at university in China. Researching about cocktails is one of my passions, and I hope this blog can introduce others to the true way of imbibing. Every drink on this page is mixed, tasted and photographed by me.

Feel free to ask.

Eastern Sin
Scotch Whisky - 2/3 oz
Cherry Brandy - 2/3 oz
Cointreau - 1/3 oz
Sweet Vermouth - 1/3 oz
Pineapple - 1 chunk
Muddle the pineapple in the shaker with everything else and shake with ice cubes, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented by J. Stoneham. Here is a drink that exceeded my expectation. Not overly sweet, thanks to my pineapple having a slight sourness; upfront cherry and pineapple flavour, very subtle smoky bitterness in the background.
Lord Suffolk
Dry Gin - 1 1/4 oz
Sweet Vermouth - 1/4 oz
Cointreau - 1/4 oz
Maraschino - 1/4 oz
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. I have no idea which “Lord Suffolk” this was named after.
All the flavours seem to work perfectly here, a little bit of orange, and a little bit of cherry, none of them are too dominating. The drink is sweet, which is to be expected, but enough to be sickening, compared to some of the other cocktails I have tasted composed of multiple liqueurs.
Fine and Dandy
Plymouth Gin - 1 oz
Cointreau - 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz
Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. Almost the same as a White Lady Cocktail, but with Plymouth gin instead of London Dry, and additional Angostura Bitters. Despite being fairly dry, this is a lot more smoother than the White Lady, the Angostura brings another dimension; I certainly enjoy it whenever Angostura is paired with something orange-flavoured.
White Baby
Gin - 1 oz
Cointreau - 1/2 oz
Lemon Syrup - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
"Some people substitute ink for the Gin and liquid blacking for the Cointreau and call it a Black Baby. But this is not advised."
Yeah… don’t.
This is from The Savoy Cocktail Book, merely a twist on the White Lady Cocktail, substituting “Sirop-de-Citron” (French for lemon syrup) for lemon juice. Unsurprisingly, unlike the refreshing, dry, and crisp White Lady, the White Baby is way too sweet for me; not to mention the preserved lemon syrup doesn’t taste nearly as good as fresh lemon juice. Although you can make fresh lemon syrup by combining lemon juice and sugar, but for a drink like this, I really can’t be bothered and went with Monin’s Glasco Citron.
Lemon syrup is much clearer than juice, so this drink can be stirred if desired.
Green Park
Gin - 2/3 oz
Vodka - 2/3 oz
Cointreau - 1/3 oz
Grapefruit Juice - 1/3 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From the “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented by P. Silvani. This is not to be confused with a cocktail of the same name, invented by Erik Lorincz of the American Bar, Savoy Hotel, 2011. Strong, sweet, and bland - all the things I don’t like in a cocktail. Although the basic idea does works, two spirits, Cointreau, and citrus juice, like a White Lady; 4 parts spirit to 1 part juice meant the base is going to be heavy, and if the base flavour works then it’s fine, but vodka and gin combo don’t perform well in this case. On the other hand grapefruit juice is simply not sour enough to match equal amount of Cointreau.
The original recipe called for “Latvia Rye Vodka”, technically Stolichnaya fits.
Royal Jubilee
Calvados - 1 1/2 oz
Cointreau - 3/4 oz
Lemon Juice - 3/4 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From the Café Royal Cocktail Book, it’s an original by Harry Craddock, but sadly not featured in the Savoy Cocktail Book for some reason, maybe this was invented after the Savoy Cocktail Book first published, considering Tarling’s book came out 7 years after.
It’s difficult not to mention two other drinks that are closely related to the Royal Jubilee. First one is the Sidecar of course, which is where it all began, and then it’s the Deauville. Sidecar contains cognac; Royal Jubilee substituted calvados (the French apple brandy) for the grape brandy; and if you combine the two drinks, you have the Deauville cocktail, having both spirits, and the best of both worlds.
If you’ve got bored of Sidecar (how can anyone?), try the Royal Jubilee. The good thing about calvados is its apple flavour will always be the first thing you taste, giving you an impression of sweetness. Alternatively a teaspoon of simple syrup can be added to cover up the thin texture and the slight dryness from the Cointreau, if you’re used to a sweeter drink.
X.Y.Z.
Light Rum - 1 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 3/4 oz
Cointreau - 3/4 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
New Orleans Sour is a name given by cocktailian Gary Regan to describe any Sour containing orange liqueur; you have your Sidecar (brandy), White Lady (gin), Silent Third (scotch), and Margarita (tequila). However Gary Regan could not find a rum-based New Orleans Sour, so in 2002 he created his own, the Missing Link, with dark rum as the base. Little did he know, there was a light rum based New Orleans Sour all along, it’s called the X.Y.Z.; not the most interesting name I’ll be honest, maybe that’s why it failed to register in people’s mind.
This drink can be found in most cocktail books during the 1930s, including the Savoy Cocktail Book. Bacardi rum was specified in most of them, but the Bacardi we have today are so very different from the original, so whenever you see Bacardi called for in classic cocktail books, (if you can) use Havana Club Añejo Blanco or Añejo 3 Años.
Adjust the recipe to your own taste, increase the amount of Cointreau to 1 oz, or use a teaspoon to 1/4 ounce of simple syrup if you want a sweeter drink.
Silent Third
Scotch Whisky - 1 oz
Cointreau - 1 oz
Lemon Juice - 1 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Everyone knows about the Sidecar, but Silent Third is not often heard of. This scotch Sidecar is delicious in a different way. Found in William J. Tarling’s “Café Royal Cocktail Book”.
1:1:1 was the original ratio for the Sidecar as well as Silent Third, which I personally don’t mind. 6:4:3 does a fine job to please the modern day drinker, it makes the base spirit stand out more, and make the overall drinker sweeter. 2:1:1 with a teaspoon to 1/4 oz of syrup can make the drink smoother and produce a better texture.
The ice garnish is something the Japanese bartenders like to do. After filling your shaker with ice cubes, stick a large lump of clear ice on top, then shake. It should turn the ice into a round shape. Open up the shaker after straining, and put the clear ice into your glass. Due to the shape and size, it shouldn’t dilution very fast, and works as a garnish.
Odd McIntyre
Brandy - 3/4 oz
Cointreau - 3/4 oz
Lillet Blanc - 3/4 oz
Lemon Juice - 3/4 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”, Odd McIntyre has the identical ingredients and ratios as the “Hoop La!” cocktail and Frank Sullivan cocktail, both from the same book. The drink also goes by the name of “Oh! Oh! Mac”, it is believed to be named after Oscar Odd McIntyre, a famous New York newspaper columnist (1884 - 1938).
You can either look at it as a Corpse Reviver No. 2 substituting brandy, and minus the absinthe; or a Sidecar with Lillet. As a Sidecar lover, I can safely say that the drink certainly doesn’t disappoint; the Lillet helps bringing down the sweetness of Cointreau, and lowering the overall alcoholic strength, so you have this milder version of Sidecar that’s well balanced between each flavour component.
Albertine
Kirschwasser - 3/4 oz
Chartreuse - 3/4 oz
Cointreau - 3/4 oz
Maraschino - 1 dash
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Found in William Boothby’s “The World Drinks and How to Mix Them”, 1934. Kirsch or kirschwasser is not commonly used these days, it’s a clear fruit brandy or eau de vie distilled from morello cherry juice. Now I have two different bottles of kirsch, one produced by a French company called Kuhri, it’s a real brandy with no added sweetener or flavourings; the other is Bols Kirsch, now this is a liqueur made from cherry juice, neutral grain spirit, a small amount of sugar, and various flavourings. Which to use? Always go for the former. Kirsch is suppose to be a spirit, not a liqueur.
The Albertine is a strong and sweet drink, perfect as an apéritif. I’ve gone with green Chartreuse, but I do believe the yellow version would probably work better in this drink, its mellower flavour would give more room to the orange liqueur and kirsch; otherwise green Chartreuse would be predominant, Cointreau’s orange flavour comes after, and eventually fades with a hint of cherry spirit supposed with maraschino.
Keep the maraschino to no more than two dashes. I’d recommend garnishing the drink with either a real maraschino cherry, or an orange twist.