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.

Mady
Dry Gin - 1 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz
Crème de Cacao - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented by Charles J. Jaeger.
A White Lady sweetened with chocolate instead of orange.
N.C.R.
Light Rum - 2/3 oz
Dry Vermouth - 2/3 oz
Crème de Cacao - 2/3 oz
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks”, invented by Frank Meier for the National Cash Register Company.
The “N” refers to Noilly Prat vermouth; “C” is crème de cacao; and the “R” is rum. I’m using the standard Havana Club as the unspecified rum.
Barbara
Vodka - 1 oz
Crème de Cacao - 1/2 oz
Cream - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. A variation on the original Alexander cocktail, with vodka as substitute for gin.
It’s easy to blame everything on vodka, but sadly it is the only thing to blame here. This type of spirit-chocolate-cream cocktail work the best when a full-bodied spirit is the base, this is why brandy-based Alexander is the most popular version today; the vodka made it as bland as it can be. Funnily enough though, this is the first creamy drink I’ve enjoyed in the past few days.
The colour of crème de cacao doesn’t matter here, I chose the darker liqueur just because I wanted it to look a bit more chocolatey.
Montreal After Dark
Canadian Whisky - 2/3 oz
Kahlúa - 2/3 oz
White Crème de Cacao - 2/3 oz
Cream - 1 tsp
Green Crème de Menthe - 1 dash
Mix the cream and crème de menthe. Shake the whisky, Kahlúa, and crème de cacao together with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float the cream on top.
A drink from the “New Cocktails” section of the updated “The Savoy Cocktail Book”, one of the originals by Peter Dorelli.
A very tasty after-dinner dessert, a mix of whisky, coffee, and chocolate, with mint-flavoured cream on top. You can choose to stir the first three ingredients instead, since they are all clear spirits.
Tahitian
Rhum Barbancourt - 2 oz
Gold Jamaican Rum - 1 1/2 oz
Gold Puerto Rican Rum - 1/2 oz
Pineapple Juice - 1 1/2 oz
Lime Juice - 1 oz
White Crème de Cacao - 1/2 oz
Simple Syrup - 1/2 tsp
Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a collins glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a parasol.
An original creation by Beachbum Berry. Four ounces of rum is no laughing matter, when drank too fast, you will feel like you’re in Tahiti.
This is a wonderful blend of three different and complex rums, full of spice and fruit aromas, with an accented vanilla finish. The chocolate notes from the Barbancourt was brought out by the cacao liqueur, which makes a fine accompaniment to the upfront pineapple flavour.
Only Rhum Barbancourt 3-Star upwards should be used, with 5-Star (8-year-old) being your best choice. For the other two I’m using Appleton Estate V/X and Bacardi Ron 8 Años. 
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.