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.

"Everybody’s Irish"
Irish Whiskey - 2 oz
Green Chartreuse - 2 tsp
Green Crème de Menthe - 1 tsp
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green olive.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
"Created to mark, and now in great demand on, St. Patrick’s Day. The green olive suspended in the liquid, looks like a gibbous moon."
Similar to the Shamrock cocktail, with French vermouth removed. To my surprise I actually enjoyed this one more than the relatively more balanced Shamrock, partly due to increased Chartreuse perhaps.
Shamrock
Irish Whiskey - 1 oz
Dry Vermouth - 1 oz
Green Chartreuse - 1 tsp
Green Crème de Menthe - 1 tsp
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. For Saint Patrick’s Day on Monday.
Not a bad drink, mostly dry, lightly sweetened with liqueurs. Chartreuse worked brilliantly with Irish whiskey, but I’m not all that keen on crème de menthe; I also feel the same way about any mint-flavoured liqueurs and syrups, they all taste like Listerine.
I don’t usually use dyed cherries, but only for this occasion.
Alexander’s Sister
Gin - 1 oz
Green Crème de Menthe - 1 oz
Cream - 1 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
A relative to the Alexander cocktail, although it’s called the Alexander’s Sister, but it’s more like the child of Alexander and Grasshopper. Stronger and drier than the Grasshopper since chocolate liqueur is replaced with gin, but it still makes a fine digestif. Garnish with a mint leaf or nutmeg. Either the green or clear version of crème de menthe can be used, it doesn’t affect the flavour.
Caruso
Dry Gin - 3/4 oz
Dry Vermouth - 3/4 oz
Green Crème de Menthe - 3/4 oz
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This Martini-style variation is said to have been created at the Savoy Hotel for the famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. This nice emerald-coloured cocktail is not only great for St Patrick’s Day, it is also perfect as an digestif; not quite so sweet and creamy as your usual after-dinner drinks due to the vermouth, it provides some balance for the ultra-sweet mint liqueur.
Fallen Angel
Gin - 1 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz
Green Crème de Menthe - 2 dashes
Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
"It has never been made quite clear as to whether this is intended to be taken by the Angel before or after falling; as an encouragement or as a consolation." - Harry Craddock
I tend to agree with the former, sipping a drink with this much bite, even I would have “fallen” from heaven.
This classic concoction can be found in many cocktail books back in Craddock’s day, including the “Café Royal Cocktail Book” by W. J. Tarling, “The World Drinks and How to Mix Them” by Bill Boothby, and “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” by Harry MacElhone. None of them specified which type of crème de menthe other than MacElhone, he called for green, which I assume the rest would have chosen the same. Crème de menthe is not so much a sweetener as it is a flavouring and colouring agent; despite the small amount, it certainly made itself heard, or tasted in this case; its greenness provides a slight tint to the overall colour of the drink.
You have a choice of using lemon or lime for the drink, in books “the juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 lime” is called for, which is confusing to say the least. One lemon contains roughly 1.5 oz of juice, while half a lime only has 1/2 oz, now that’s quite a difference; no matter how you interpret the amount, it’s safe to say that 2 dashes of crème de menthe is not going to balance out the sourness by a long shot. I prefer keep the amount of citrus juice to 1/2 oz and adding an extra teaspoon to 1/4 oz of simple syrup just to cut down the sour edge, but still leaving the drink on the tart side.

Fallen Angel

Gin - 1 1/2 oz

Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz

Green Crème de Menthe - 2 dashes

Angostura Bitters - 1 dash

Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

"It has never been made quite clear as to whether this is intended to be taken by the Angel before or after falling; as an encouragement or as a consolation." - Harry Craddock

I tend to agree with the former, sipping a drink with this much bite, even I would have “fallen” from heaven.

This classic concoction can be found in many cocktail books back in Craddock’s day, including the “Café Royal Cocktail Book” by W. J. Tarling, “The World Drinks and How to Mix Them” by Bill Boothby, and “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” by Harry MacElhone. None of them specified which type of crème de menthe other than MacElhone, he called for green, which I assume the rest would have chosen the same. Crème de menthe is not so much a sweetener as it is a flavouring and colouring agent; despite the small amount, it certainly made itself heard, or tasted in this case; its greenness provides a slight tint to the overall colour of the drink.

You have a choice of using lemon or lime for the drink, in books “the juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 lime” is called for, which is confusing to say the least. One lemon contains roughly 1.5 oz of juice, while half a lime only has 1/2 oz, now that’s quite a difference; no matter how you interpret the amount, it’s safe to say that 2 dashes of crème de menthe is not going to balance out the sourness by a long shot. I prefer keep the amount of citrus juice to 1/2 oz and adding an extra teaspoon to 1/4 oz of simple syrup just to cut down the sour edge, but still leaving the drink on the tart side.

Fu Manchu
Light Rum - 1 oz
Lime Juice - 1/2 oz
Green Crème de menthe - 1 tsp
Sugar Syrup - 1 tsp
Orange Curaçao - 1 tsp
Triple Sec - 1/2 tsp
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled sour glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a green maraschino cherry.
The original cocktail was created by the English novelist Sax Rohmer, who is the one that came up with the villain Dr. Fu Manchu. Sadly his recipe was lost, and all we know is that Rohmer insisted this drink to have a evil jade colour. Many bartenders tried to recreate this drink, and the recipe above is the best-tasting one chosen by Jeff Berry.
The recipe itself strange, both curaçao and triple sec? I don’t even know… Just think of it like a minty Daiquiri, in a twisted form of course, sweetened with sugar, mint liqueur and two orange liqueurs.sounds like a mess, but actually doesn’t taste too bad, mint seems to be the primary flavour throughout, with slightly delicious tartness. The problem I have with the drink is the fact it’s too small, the entire volume of liquid after shaking is no more than 4 oz, I’d recommend doubling everything in the recipe and use a slightly bigger glassware.
There seems to be quite a lot of confusions with small measurements, some say 1/4 oz is equal to 2 teaspoons, and others think 2 teaspoons is 1 tablespoon… All wrong of course, so here are the correct translations:
1 tsp = 5 ml
1/4 oz = 7.5 ml = 1/2 tbsp
1/2 oz = 1 tbsp = 15 ml = 3 tsp
1 oz = 30 ml = 2 tbsp
I hope this cleared things up.
Rather than using a sour glass, which looks very similar to a champagne flute but much smaller in volume and size, I’m using a small speciaty champagne flute, which in my opinion look a little more elegant; but you may also use any coupe or cocktail glass.
Beachbum didn’t point out what sort of light rum to use, so feel free to choose any, maybe Puerto Rican, Virgin Islands, or Cuban etc.

Fu Manchu

Light Rum - 1 oz

Lime Juice - 1/2 oz

Green Crème de menthe - 1 tsp

Sugar Syrup - 1 tsp

Orange Curaçao - 1 tsp

Triple Sec - 1/2 tsp

Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled sour glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a green maraschino cherry.

The original cocktail was created by the English novelist Sax Rohmer, who is the one that came up with the villain Dr. Fu Manchu. Sadly his recipe was lost, and all we know is that Rohmer insisted this drink to have a evil jade colour. Many bartenders tried to recreate this drink, and the recipe above is the best-tasting one chosen by Jeff Berry.

The recipe itself strange, both curaçao and triple sec? I don’t even know… Just think of it like a minty Daiquiri, in a twisted form of course, sweetened with sugar, mint liqueur and two orange liqueurs.sounds like a mess, but actually doesn’t taste too bad, mint seems to be the primary flavour throughout, with slightly delicious tartness. The problem I have with the drink is the fact it’s too small, the entire volume of liquid after shaking is no more than 4 oz, I’d recommend doubling everything in the recipe and use a slightly bigger glassware.

There seems to be quite a lot of confusions with small measurements, some say 1/4 oz is equal to 2 teaspoons, and others think 2 teaspoons is 1 tablespoon… All wrong of course, so here are the correct translations:

1 tsp = 5 ml

1/4 oz = 7.5 ml = 1/2 tbsp

1/2 oz = 1 tbsp = 15 ml = 3 tsp

1 oz = 30 ml = 2 tbsp

I hope this cleared things up.

Rather than using a sour glass, which looks very similar to a champagne flute but much smaller in volume and size, I’m using a small speciaty champagne flute, which in my opinion look a little more elegant; but you may also use any coupe or cocktail glass.

Beachbum didn’t point out what sort of light rum to use, so feel free to choose any, maybe Puerto Rican, Virgin Islands, or Cuban etc.

Union Jack
Grenadine - 1/2 oz
Maraschino - 1/2 oz
Green Chartreuse - 1/2 oz
Layer the three liqueurs in the order given in a liqueur glass, or pousse-café glass.
Found in The Savoy Cocktail Book. Now, unless you have been living in a cave since you were born, you would know the colour of the Union Jack. It’s red, white and blue, not green, so what’s going on there? I assume either blue curaçao wasn’t available at the time or it doesn’t float very well on top of maraschino. Like all the other pousse-cafés, it’s not the flavour that matters but the presentation (I doubt many people enjoy sipping liqueurs neat), and flavour is not great: the green Chartreuse is too strong (55% ABV), maraschino is too rich, and the grenadine is too sweet; mixing them up doesn’t help.
Leprechaun’s Delight
Vodka - 2 oz
Crème de Cacao (White) - 1/2 oz
Crème de Menthe (Green) - 1/4 oz
Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green maraschino cherry.
St Patrick’s Day doesn’t only have to be about lagers and stouts, although Ireland isn’t wellknown for its cocktails and mixed drinks, it doesn’t hurt to spice things up a bit for those who don’t drink beers.
The drink was created by Dale DeGroff, it’s easy to see where it came from: vodka, chocolate and mint liqueurs, otherwise known as Chocolate-Mint Martini. Compared to so many other minty chocolaty drinks out there, this really isn’t that special. Now I’m not going to speak ill of these modernised so-called “Martinis” all over again, but let’s just say they’re not my thing. However these drinks seem to please most keen vodka drinkers out there, therefore it should be considered a decent choice on St Patrick’s.
Ideally you should garnish with a green maraschino cherry (not the usual red), the colour matches the occasion. Green cherries also contain mint flavouring, which makes them suitable for any casual minty drinks.
Harrington
Vodka - 1 1/2 oz
Cointreau - 1/4 oz
Green Chartreuse - 1/8 oz
Sitr everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange zest.
Created by Paul Harrington, originally it’s a cocktail with no name. Robert Hess named it “Harrington” after its inventor. It’s subtle and sweet, the flavourless vodka allows orange flavour from the Cointreau and herbal flavour from the Chartreuse to stand out despite their small amount. A better way to measure the 1/4 oz and 1/8 oz is by using a set of measuring spoons: 1.5 tsp and 0.75 tsp.
Last Word
Gin - 1/2 oz
Green Chartreuse - 1/2 oz
Maraschino Liqueur - 1/2 oz
Lime Juice - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
A classic cocktail rediscovered by Murray Stenson, a bartender at the Zig Zag Café in Seatle. It’s an easy cocktail to make, everything in equal proportion, you may increase the amount of ingredients according to your glass size. For example use 3/4 oz of everything if your glassware is roughly 5 oz; 1 oz of everything if the glass is about 6 oz.
Tart and refreshing, whilst sweet and herbal. The sharp flavour makes this a brilliant apéritif. Don’t save this as your last word.