Category Archives: Bourbon

Vintage Cocktails #39: The Boulevardier

While prohibition did more harm than good, one of its few benefits was the expatriation of some of the best bartenders in America. They journeyed far and wide, many of them landing across the Atlantic. Harry McElhone was one of those bartenders and he eventually found his way to Paris, where he opened Harry’s New York Bar. Here, he made a name for himself serving up pre-prohibition era cocktails. One of the benefits of being located in mainland Europe was access to a wide variety of previously unavailable spirits. Harry took to experimenting with great gusto and here is one of his creations out of his book, Barflies and Cocktails (1927). Many will note this drinks similarity to the Negroni, however the Negroni would not be seen in print for at least 2 decades after this drink. Barflies and Cocktails has been out of print for years, but thanks to the efforts of Mud Puddle Books, you can now purchase reprints of many great cocktail books including Barflies and Cocktails here. While the Negroni is by far the more popular cocktail, I think I prefer the Boulevardier.

The Boulevardier
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth

Whiskey Plum

A couple weeks ago, while thinking of what to make for myself, I remembered watching a video session with Charlotte Voisey in which she talked about using jams and jellies as ingredients when fruits are not in season. So I took her advice and mixed up a twist on the whiskey sour. To the basic sour formula I added 2 barspoons of yellow plum jam that was given to me. The yellow plums pair really well with the bourbon as they have somewhat of a resemblance to apricots. Cutting back on the simple syrup helps balance out the extra sweetness of the plum jam.

The Whiskey Plum
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 barspoons yellow plum jam

Vintage Cocktails #38: Fred Collins Fizz

Appearing in the New Guide for the Hotel, Bar, Restaurant, Butler, & Chef (Bacchus & Cordon Bleu, 1885), the following cocktail is what may be perceived as the precursor to the Lynchburg Lemonade. While the name doesn’t really tell you whether it is a collins or a fizz, (I would contend that it is possibly neither) it is a great drink either way.

The Fred Collins Fizz
2 oz Bourbon or Rye
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Orange Curacao
6 oz Lemonade

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