Tag Archives: Calvados

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

Vintage Cocktails #61: The Widow’s Kiss

This next drink is an interesting one. Using an Apple Brandy as the base and pairing it with an equal amount of complex herbal liqueurs, one would think that this cocktail would be a jolt of over-stimulation. This is thankfully not the case, as the combination seems to balance itself out nicely, creating a drink that is rich, earthy and complex, without being overly sweet. My personal preference would be to up the base spirit by a tad, but it is excellent just as it is. A perfect cocktail for after dinner while sitting in overstuffed chairs with friends. Cheers!

The Widow’s Kiss
1 1/2 oz Calvados
3/4 oz Chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #45: The Diki-Diki Cocktail

Reportedly created by bartender Robert Vermiere in 1922, this cocktail’s namesake may be a famous 1920′s circus midget. I’m not really sure why one would name a drink after a midget, but hats off to him for creating this drink as it is wonderful. A simple blend of apple brandy, rum based liqueur, and grapefruit, this drink has both me and my wife longing for the summer. I chose a ruby grapefruit for this drink as it is lighter and sparkles more than white grapefruit. Cheers!

Diki-Diki Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

Vintage Cocktails #43: Honeymoon Cocktail

Through the holidays my quest to conquer all the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails seems to have stalled. Here it is, the middle of January, and I’m pretty sure it’s been over a month since I posted my last vintage cocktail. So here we go.

First appearing in Recipes for Mixed Drinks (Hugo Ensslin, 1917), this drink was one of the signature drinks of the LA’s Brown Derby restaurant chain. There are a number of different versions, which feature variations on the brandy used in this cocktail. Early versions call for Apple Brandy, while Applejack is specifically called for in some later books. Calvados, French oak-aged Apple Brandy, was called for many bar guides of the same time period as those calling for Applejack. While either will work well here, if you are going with the Applejack, make sure it is the Laird’s Apple Brandy, and not the regular stuff. Otherwise, spring for the Calvados. Your taste buds will thank you.

This cocktail has rich apple and citrus flavors, which are highlighted well by the herbal notes of the Benedictine. For the Curacao, I used Clement Creole Shrubb, which worked extremely well with the other spirits. I highly recommend the use of it wherever curacao is called for. Cheers!

The Honeymoon Cocktail
2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Lemon Juice