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.

Ink Street
Canadian Whisky - 2/3 oz
Orange Juice - 2/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 2/3 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
You thought the Ward Eight cocktail was tart with only a teaspoon of grenadine, this is just a more extreme version: now you don’t even get that tiny bit of syrup to “counteract” the lemon; orange juice became the only thing keeping it from the unpleasant zone. It’s a good drink for when you needed a shot of vitamin C.
Inclement Weather
Irish Whiskey - 1 oz
Mandarine Napoléon - 1 oz
Honey - 1 tsp
Lemon - 6 quarters
Orange - 2 quarters
Muddle the fruit in an old-fashioned glass. Dissolve the honey in whiskey and pour everything over the fruit. Fill with crushed ice and churn. Garnish with orange and lemon wheels.
Invented by Philip Duff of the Door 74, Amsterdam, as an “Irish Caipirinha”.
The recipe from “Beachbum Berry Remixed” wasn’t exactly very detailed, it uses vague words like “Place lemon triangles in an old-fashioned glass until the glass is one-quarter full, then fill the glass to the halfway point with orange triangles…” So this is my interpretation of it, and it seemed to have worked quite well.
Use a large old-fashioned glass for this, at least 12-ounce or more. You can always be a bit more generous with the lemon quarters (or “triangles” as the book would prefer to call it), considering the amount of sweeteners in this one: an ounce of mandarin liqueur and 2 barspoons of honey (changed it into a teaspoon, I don’t think you need any more than that). Mandarine Napoléon can be replaced by Grand Marnier if the former is unavailable, but the result will be far less interesting.
Overall the drink is tasty, a blend of orange, lemon, mandarin and honey flavours mixed with smooth Irish whiskey. A little too sweet to begin with, but the crushed ice should resolve that in no time.
Margaret Rose
Gin - 2/3 oz
Calvados - 2/3 oz
Cointreau - 1/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/3 oz
Grenadine - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented J. W. Fish.
Normally a Sour of this sort would use a 2:1:1 ratio, whereas here it is 4:1:1. The problem with 4:1:1 is that sometimes the spirit can become overpowering, but that’s still largely down to personal taste. This cocktail however, balances perfectly. You get that evident apple flavour mixed with gin’s botanical and floral notes in the beginning; then the sweet yet slightly tart citrus from Cointreau and lemon kicks in; grenadine not only added that slightly colour to make it a “Rose”, also helps to boost up the dry Cointreau’s sweetness. All in all a delicious and complex Sidecar-esque cocktail.
Jubilee Joy
Bourbon Whiskey - 1 oz
Grand Marnier - 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented by Fred Gage.
Simple orange-flavoured Sour based somewhat on the Silent Third, but instead of smoky scotch and a dry Cointreau, you have a sweet bourbon; mixed with a cognac-based Grand Marnier. Much more complex.
Moll
Gin - 2/3 oz
Sloe Gin - 2/3 oz
Dry Vermouth - 2/3 oz
Orange Bitters - 1 dash
Gum Syrup - 1 dash
Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
In contrast to yesterday’s Silver City, the Moll cocktail is a fine example of how a good liqueur makes this formula work. Sloe gin is far more interesting than orange liqueur, rich in botanicals, flavoured with sloe berries, it’s a wonderful balance of sweet and bitter. Due to this dryness, the recipe listed orange bitters and sugar as optional ingredients; orange bitters does make a good addition, but personally I prefer this drink drier, without sugar/syrup; if necessary 1 dash should suffice.
Silver City
Dry Gin - 2/3 oz
Dry Vermouth - 2/3 oz
Grand Marnier - 1/3 oz
Cointreau - 1/3 oz
Absinthe - 1 dash
Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
From “Café Royal Cocktail Book”, invented by Andrew Clark.
I wasn’t really expecting much. Although I like this sort of formula, but how good the drink is depend entirely on how good the liqueur is; and orange-flavoured liqueurs are not exactly what I would call interesting.
The the actual result exceeded my expectation. Two orange liqueurs, one that’s more complex, the other slightly drier, is a fine combination; with the bitterness of the vermouth, and the subtle hint of absinthe, made this a fairly enjoyable drink. A little less liqueurs and more vermouth and gin would improve it for me.
Brainstorm
Irish Whiskey - 2 oz
Bénédictine - 1 tsp
Dry Vermouth - 1 tsp
Squeeze an orange peel on top. Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
Pungent, dry and smooth; the herbal Bénédictine helps bringing out Irish whiskey’s smokiness, the vermouth balances out the sweetness of the liqueur.
Presto
Brandy - 1 1/3 oz
Sweet Vermouth - 1/3 oz
Orange Juice - 1/3 oz
Absinthe - 1 dash
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
One of those orange juice + vermouth cocktails, similar to the Bronx, even closer to the Maurice/Minnehaha cocktail in terms of the absinthe part, with brandy instead of gin. If you enjoy brandy-based Manhattan, this one should be very pleasant.
Dubonnet Fizz
Dubonnet Rouge - 2 oz
Orange Juice - 1 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/3 oz
Cherry Brandy - 1 tsp
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled fizz glass. Fill with soda water.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
Not your traditional Fizz: fortified wine as base and orange as citrus, the teaspoon of cherry brandy is surprisingly upfront, balanced out with a small amount of lemon juice. Light and refreshing, perfect in the morning.
White Lady (Original)
White Crème de Menthe - 2/3 oz
Cointreau - 2/3 oz
Lemon Juice - 2/3 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails”. If you believe that Harry MacElhone was the real inventor of the White Lady, then this is the original version from Ciro’s Club, London, 1919; later MacElhone replaced crème de menthe with gin in his Harry’s Bar, Paris, 1929.
Quite enjoyable, I found the orange and mint combination pretty interesting; but compared to his latter version, this White Lady is a little too sweet, less refreshing, and lacking a solid base.