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.

Barbary Coast
Gin - 3/4 oz
Scotch Whisky - 3/4 oz
Dark Crème de Cacao - 3/4 oz
Cream - 3/4 oz
Build everything in a highball glass filled with crushed ice.
Every cocktail book would have a slightly different way to make this cocktail, but I generally classify them into two categories: the ones that were served in a tall glass with “cracked” or “shaved” ice, and those that were shaken and served up in a cocktail glass. This version I chose to follow is from the Savoy Cocktail Book, it gave a very vague instruction on the preparation method that simply read “serve in a highball glass.” Which I expanded into “stirring the ingredients with crushed ice in a highball glass.” Although normally whenever cream is present, it’s always ideal to shake it up, just because cream is that much harder to incorporate into other liquids; but in this case I think stirring vigorously like swizzling also works, this creates a nice layer of frost on the outside of the glass.
Think of the drink as an Alexander with additional scotch, as it is in many recipes served exactly like the traditional Alexander: up, with grated nutmeg. The scotch adds an interesting smoky flavour to this dessert-style drink, almost resembling coffee.
Alexander the Great
Vodka - 1 1/2 oz
Crème de Cacao - 1/2 oz
Coffee Liqueur - 1/2 oz
Cream - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From the Stork Club Bar Book by Lucius Beebe. This is the forerunner of drinks such as the Mud Slide, Orgasm and Screaming Orgasm etc. I feel bad even mentioning those names in the same post, but they are essentially just Alexander the Great with one or two ingredients replaced or added.
As Beebe worded it, “an improvement, as some may think, on the conventional Alexander cocktail is the brainstorm child of Nelson Eddy and he calls it ‘Alexander the Great’.” The classic Alexander is made of gin, cacao and cream; here vodka substituted for gin, and an extra ingredient that is coffee liqueur is added. The result is less complex in some ways, it lost gin’s botanical tone but replaced with coffee flavour; this is a fine after-dinner digestif.
For the coffee liqueur you can use the standard Kahlúa.
Use dark crème de cacao.
Shake very hard when it comes to drinks containing cream.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg if you can.
Itchiban
Brandy - 3 oz
Bénédictine - 1/2 tsp
Dark Crème de Cacao - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 3 oz
Egg - 1
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled highball glass. Grate nutmeg on top.
Christmas is roughly one week away, so I thought I should visit a more Christmassy cocktail, and no drink is more suited for the holiday season than the Eggnog. Think of the Eggnog as a mixture of Flip (egg) and Milk Punch (milk), because it’s essentially spirit, egg, milk, spices and sugar.
The Itchiban is from William T. Boothby’s The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them, 1934 reprint; it’s also known as "No. 1" Chinese Egg Nog. The word “Ichiban” is actually the Japanese word for “first” or “number one”.
The recipe is a direct translation of the original, back in Boothby’s days “one and a half jiggers” is the equivalent of 3 ounces and his “one spoon” is the same as one-half teaspoon. That doesn’t mean the drink can’t be tweaked to suit whomever drinking it. For example 3 ounces of brandy is slightly on the strong side, despite that milk and egg can mask the alcohol, you can reduce it to 2 ounces. Although the amount of Bénédictine and chocolate liqueur is enough to sweeten up the drink, but if you really wish to be able to taste them, raise the amount of each liqueur to 1 teaspoon or 1/4 ounce. Don’t worry about the extra sweetness, after all this is an Eggnog.
When dealing with egg, dry shake or beat the egg beforehand to emulsify it, then shake with ice. As for the egg smell, usually bitters are recommended, in this case the nutmeg alone is sufficient to cover it up.

Itchiban

Brandy - 3 oz

Bénédictine - 1/2 tsp

Dark Crème de Cacao - 1/2 tsp

Milk - 3 oz

Egg - 1

Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled highball glass. Grate nutmeg on top.

Christmas is roughly one week away, so I thought I should visit a more Christmassy cocktail, and no drink is more suited for the holiday season than the Eggnog. Think of the Eggnog as a mixture of Flip (egg) and Milk Punch (milk), because it’s essentially spirit, egg, milk, spices and sugar.

The Itchiban is from William T. Boothby’s The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them, 1934 reprint; it’s also known as "No. 1" Chinese Egg Nog. The word “Ichiban” is actually the Japanese word for “first” or “number one”.

The recipe is a direct translation of the original, back in Boothby’s days “one and a half jiggers” is the equivalent of 3 ounces and his “one spoon” is the same as one-half teaspoon. That doesn’t mean the drink can’t be tweaked to suit whomever drinking it. For example 3 ounces of brandy is slightly on the strong side, despite that milk and egg can mask the alcohol, you can reduce it to 2 ounces. Although the amount of Bénédictine and chocolate liqueur is enough to sweeten up the drink, but if you really wish to be able to taste them, raise the amount of each liqueur to 1 teaspoon or 1/4 ounce. Don’t worry about the extra sweetness, after all this is an Eggnog.

When dealing with egg, dry shake or beat the egg beforehand to emulsify it, then shake with ice. As for the egg smell, usually bitters are recommended, in this case the nutmeg alone is sufficient to cover it up.

Curzon
Light Rum - 3/4 oz
Cognac - 3/4 oz
Grapefruit Juice - 3/4 oz
Crème de Cacao - 1/4 tsp
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Some spirits are meant to be mixed together, like rum and brandy. The drink was invented by H. E. Jones, it’s dry, yet rich with flavour; with a slight hint of sweet chocolate in the background. Either white or dark crème de cacao can be used here, because colour is not a concern. Ideally garnish with a brandied cherry.
Deceiver
Gin - 1 1/3 oz
Yellow Chartreuse - 2/3 oz
White Crème de Cacao - 1 dash
Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
Stir gin, Chartreuse, and cacao with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, float bitters on top. Twist a lemon peel over the surface.
A drink consists of tequila and Galliano is what you would find when looking the phrase “deceiver cocktail”, but this gin version of Deceiver is in my opinion far superior. The recipe is similar to an Alaska cocktail, which contains gin and yellow Chartreuse; introducing chocolate flavour into it and you have the Deceiver cocktail. A lot of the time cacao would be replaced by crème de menthe, but nothing mixes better with Chartreuse better than chocolate.
This version above was found in William T. Boothby’s “The World Drinks and How to Mix Them”.
 I’ve chosen yellow Chartreuse so that the tiny amount of cacao would have a chance to make itself noticed. 
Use white or clear crème de cacao to not affect the colour; and I’d recommend 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon. 
The recipe didn’t specify what type of bitters to use, instead of the regular Angostura, I’m going with the Bitter Truth’s Xocolatl Mole, it reinforces the chocolate flavour.
Tower Isle
Light Puerto Rican Rum - 3/4 oz
Coconut Cream - 1/2 oz
Dark Crème de Cacao - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a cocktail glass.
What do you get when you combine chocolate and coconut? A Bounty bar! Wait what? No actually I’m talking about the Tower Isle found in Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica! 
Not much information was given in the book, except “circa 1956.” So yeah, helpful… But notice the similarity between this drink and the classic Alexander, which contains gin, chocolate liqueur and cream. The Alexander influenced many drinks to come, such as the Grasshopper, Pink Squirrel etc. Now switch light rum for gin, keep the cacao, substitute coconut cream for regular cream, and you have the Tower Isle. Needless to say, it would make a great dessert drink in a Tiki restaurant.
Even though Jeff Berry did mention to use a small cocktail, but the size of the drink is still tiny, it would make more sense if you double everything, and strain into a medium-sized cocktail glass or coupe.
Pub and Prow Hot Buttered Rum
Dark Jamaican Rum - 1 oz
Crème de Cacao - 1 oz
Hot Water - 4 oz
Butter - 1 tsp
Build everything in a pre-heated mug.
Hot Buttered Rum is a style of Toddy enjoyed in the cold weather; the standard recipe often includes rum, hot water, butter, sugar and spices. This particular version was created at the Pub and Prow Restaurant in Chicago. Not that different from the original except sweetened with chocolate liqueur, which you can use either dark or white coloured.
The recipe calls for one pat of butter, which I’ve translated into a teaspoon; but it’s really up to your preference, since butter doesn’t have any flavour, it does add a lovely aroma, so more the merrier.
Sweet Dream
Light Rum - 1/2 oz
Crème de Cacao (White) - 1/2 oz
Crème de Banane - 1/4 oz
Pineapple Juice - 1/2 oz
Cream - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
There are numerous drinks out there that go with this name; this particular Sweet Dream was created by Hank Riddle, who was sleeping in the jungle back in WWII, and went without sugar for three months, hence the name and the sweetness of the drink.
It’s a light and dessert-style drink, barely alcoholic with a nice aroma of pineapple and hint of banana at the finish.
Nutty Angel
Vodka - 1 oz
Frangelico - 1 oz
Baileys Irish Cream - 1 oz
Crème de Cacao (Dark) - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Twist on the Nutty Irishman, with added vodka for a kick, which also kills some of that over-the-top sweetness; some chocolate liqueur for an extra layer of flavour, which you’d would expect in such a creamy cocktail; and top it off with some freshly grated nutmeg, which makes it a complete and worthwhile after-dinner cocktail.
Pink Squirrel
Crème de Noyaux - 1 oz
Crème de Cacao (White) - 1 oz
Cream - 1 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This lovely dessert style cocktail is in the same trilogy with Alexander and Grasshopper, they all contain chocolate liqueur and cream, but it’s the base spirit or liqueur that defines them. Alexander is made with gin (Brandy Alexander with brandy), Grasshopper with crème de menthe and the Pink Squirrel is made with crème de noyaux.
Crème de noyaux, sometimes called crème de noyau or crème de almond (presumably so dumb English speakers can understand without knowing anything about bartending), is a red almond-flavoured liqueur made from apricot or peach kernels, it is very similar to the more well-known amaretto liqueur, in terms of flavour. You can substitute amaretto for crème de noyaux in a pinch, needless to say the drink won’t be anywhere near pink or sweet.
Again with the simple 1:1:1 ratio, it’s easy to twist it to your preference, say if you want a less sweet cocktail, just reduce both liqueurs to 3/4 oz, and increase the amount of cream; or if you want more almond flavour, simply raise the amount of crème de noyaux and decrease the other two, easy-peasy.