Brandy - 2 oz
Orgeat Syrup - 1/4 tsp
Orange Curaçao - 1/4 tsp
Crème de Noyaux - 1/4 tsp
Angostura Bitters - 2 dashes
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
"Mikado" is one of the Japanese words for "Emperor". From what I can find, the this cocktail first appeared in Bishop and Babcock Co.’s "Mixed Drinks and How to Make Them", published in 1900; and back then, the Mikado was merely a twist on Jerry Thomas’s Japanese Cocktail, a drink consists of brandy, orgeat syrup and Boker’s bitters, whereas Mikado uses Angostura. Boker’s company was founded in 1828, it was the bitters of choice during the 19th century, but later its popularity was taken over by Angostura, and by the beginning of 20th century Boker’s is nearly defunct, eventually the company officially closed down in 1920.
This Mikado recipe above is from both “The Savoy Cocktail Book”, by Harry Craddock, 1930, as well as “The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them” by William T. Boothby, 1914. You can see how the drink evolved during that time: orange and almond liqueurs were added. In the Savoy Cocktail Book, 1 glass of brandy and 2 dashes of everything else were called for, which I’ve translated into 1/4 teaspoon. I found the result to be suitable for my tolerance of sweetness. You can take it up to 1/2 teaspoon if you don’t mind that, and let the flavours of these liqueurs and syrup become more noticeable.
If you cannot get your hands on crème de noyaux, use amaretto instead; and for the curaçao, use Grand Marnier.