Vintage Cocktails #35: The Palm Beach Special

Hailing from the 1940′s, the Palm Beach Special is a New York style cocktail with a name more fitting to a cocktail from Miami. While grapefruit is less acidic than either lemon or lime, it still is bold enough to balance out the gin and vermouth.

The Palm Beach Special
2 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth

Vintage Cocktails #34: The Lion’s Tail

This last weekend I was able to attend the Art of the Cocktail in Victoria, BC. One of the sessions I attended was “The Oddballs” presented by Ted Haigh, aka Dr Cocktail. During his session, cocktails were created on the fly using rather unusual ingredients such as rootbeer schnapps, J├Ągermeister, and cider vinegar. During the session I realized that I hadn’t gone through Vintage Spirits in a while, so here we are with our next installment. I have chosen the next cocktail for it’s rather unusual ingredient as well.

The Lion’s Tail hails from the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (1937), and includes an ingredient by the name of pimento dram. Now what on earth is pimento dram and why would anyone want to put it in any drink? Well, contrary to the visual pictures of those horrid stuffed green olives, pimento is actually a spice made of the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant, or as many know it today: Allspice. Although it is seen in many types of Caribbean and Middle Eastern cuisine, it is usually not thought of as a beverage ingredient. However, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove flavors of the allspice actually pair very well with many whiskeys and rums, and work well in many holiday themed beverages.

The Lions Tail
2 oz Bourbon Whiskey
3/4 oz Allspice Dram
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 tablespoon Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stocking a Home Bar

Many of you would love to start a home bar, but don’t really know where to start. One of the most often recommended ideas is to start with a cocktail that you like, buy the ingredients for that and then work from there. Using those items you can discover new cocktails utilizing the same ingredients, or make similar cocktails while adding a bottle at a time as needed for additional drinks.

Another way is to buy the basic 4 spirits (gin, vodka, rum, whiskey) and discover what you can make from there. Brian over at Digital Mixologist has put up a great post on getting into cocktails for $100. It is a great list of ingredients, and I probably couldn’t have said it any better..