Vintage Cocktails #68: The Golden Dawn or The Aunt Emily?

Named after the forgettable Rogers and Hammerstein opretta, our next drink was reportedly created by Thomas Buttery, head barman of London’s Berkeley Hotel, and has the distinction of being named the “World Finest Cocktail” in a contest in 1930. However, there is some confusion about the recipe for this drink. The Golden Dawn has two different published versions. The proportions for the drink as printed in the Cafe Royal Cocktail (1937) and UKBG Guide to Drinks (1953) state equal parts calvados, gin, orange juice, and apricot brandy. The version as printed in The New York Times and The Times (London) is slightly different, calling for larger amounts of the calvados and gin, while decreasing the orange juice and the apricot brandy. To make things even more intriguing, Charles Baker, in Jigger, Beaker and Glass (1939), lists an identical cocktail featuring equal parts calvados, gin, orange juice, and apricot brandy. Baker notes that this drink (The Aunt Emily) was the creation of Sloppy Joe, in Havana, Cuba.

Either way, this cocktail was lost to the ages of time. Which is a pity, as it is a fairly decent drink. Fruity, while still being fairly dry and sophisticated, this is one drink that stands miles above the sugar filled fruitini’s that are being served in many bars today. If only more people would turn to drinks such as these instead of vodka based alcopops.

Golden Dawn
3/4 oz Calvados
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Apry
3/4 oz Orange Juice

Vintage Cocktails #67: The Calvados Cocktail

First appearing in print in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), this next cocktail bucks the trend of many prohibition era cocktails by being bright, lively and fresh. And while at first it seems to be a fairly simple cocktail, the addition of a whopping 3/4 oz of bitters quickly takes simple out of the equation.

Utilizing Calvados as a base spirit, this drink is light and refreshing without being overly sweet. The extra helping of bitters actually work splendidly, creating a fantastic balance. Cheers!

The Calvados Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Calvados
1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Orange Bitters

Spirits Review: Dry Fly Washington Bourbon

Dry Fly is a distillery that seems to be bound and determined to push the envelope while still retaining the highest standards possible. Every product they have released has been distilled to a fantastic level of quality, while breaking out of the molds that most seem bound and determined to stay in. They have a vodka that is not flavorless, a gin that includes hops and apple in the botanicals, and a whiskey made from winter wheat.

This last weekend marked the Seattle release of Dry Fly’s newest product, a 101 proof Bourbon distilled from corn, unmalted wheat, and barley, and as luck would have it, I happened to be driving though Seattle right as it went on sale. Unfortunately for those who were not in Seattle or Spokane for the releases, all 480 bottles were sold within hours, and I am told that the next release is not until late next year. But, back to the bourbon.

This is not your average bourbon, perhaps having more in common with your great-great-grandpappy’s bourbon. Aged for only three years, this golden liquid is bold and in your face. The aromas are packed with spices and a faint oakiness. On the tongue, you get big sweet flavors of caramel and vanilla, the alcohol hiding in the fringes, despite the hefty proof. The flavors fade out with a long spicy finish laced with cinnamon and oak. All in all, a fantastic bourbon that will only continue to improve with age. Cheers to Don, Kent, Patrick, and the whole Dry Fly family for another fantastic product!

Today the first bottle of Dry Fly Bourbon ever produced, sold at an eBay charity auction benefiting the Spokane chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities for $2650!

Rating: ★★★★½