Vintage Cocktails #20: The Blue Moon

Bearing a striking resemblance to the Aviation, the Blue Moon, is likewise a floral cocktail which contains hard to find ingredients. Whereas Creme Yvette, a proprietary violet liqueur, was once a staple of many bars, it has been unavailable in the US for decades. Recently, spirits importer Haus Alpenz has begun importing an Austrian brand of a similar product, creme de violette, which has allowed us to recreate several of these forgotten drinks.

Most drinks with the word “blue” in name will have the blue curacao ingredient. Curacao is an orange-flavored liqueur that is distilled clear, and can be found in blue, green, orange or red incarnations, all of which taste the same. Blue is the most popular.

Contrary to the above statement, this cocktail’s beautiful hue comes from the creme de violette. It has a delicate floral aroma and a light refreshing taste. I recommend a big bold gin to pair nicely with other flavors in the drink. As a side note on the blue curacao, I’m pretty sure I bought a bottle of that stuff for the first cocktail party I ever had, and have not used a drop of it since.

The Blue Moon
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Creme de Violette
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Garnish with a Lemon twist

Vintage Cocktails #19: The Japalac Cocktail

First appearing in the Old Waldorf Bar Days (1931), the Japalac cocktail is uniquely named, in that it is named after a fast drying, enamel paint!  I am not really sure as to what the inventor of said cocktail was thinking when he named this drink.  It probably would not have been my first choice.  Seriously, picture this.  You walk up to the bar and say, “Bartender.  I’ll have a lacquer enamel.”  It sounds horrifying!  Nonetheless, this is definitely a cocktail worth trying, despite the name.  It is also a great example of pre-prohibition cocktails.  Strong and small, meant to be consumed quickly.  It’s such a shame that cocktails have become a way to consume large amounts of sugar and flavored vodkas, rather than the culinary masterpieces that they were meant to be.

The Japalac Cocktail
Juice of 1/4 orange
3/4 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz rye whiskey
1 tsp raspberry syrup
garnish with an orange twist