Vintage Cocktails #66: The Twentieth Century Cocktail

First appearing in the Cafe Royal Bar Book (1937) this next cocktail was created as a tribute to the most famous passenger train in the world, the 20th Century Limited. Traveling between Grand Central Station New York and LaSalle Street Station Chicago, this luxury train was the epitome of class and comfort. In 1938, industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss was commissioned by the New York Central to design streamlined train sets in Art Deco style, with the locomotive and passenger cars rendered in blues and grays. This new design eventually became one of the most famous passenger train designs in history.

So to go along with a lavish and comfortable train ride, we need a cocktail to match, and this one is right on the money. At first glance, a simple derivation of the Corpse Reviver #2, this cocktail is liquid delight. Bright citrus flavors pair well with the gin, while the lillet and cacao dance around in the background. You should really give this one a try. Sadly, this cocktail appears in few other bar books and has, for the most part, been lost for all time. Cheers!

The Twentieth Century Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

4 thoughts on “Vintage Cocktails #66: The Twentieth Century Cocktail”

  1. I think a good creme de cacao makes all the difference. In my experience De Kuyper clear creme de cacao makes a drinkable, but not very memorable 20th Century. It tastes much too artificial and plastic-y.

    I am wondering which ones of the creme de cacaos out there are any good. Most of them seem to be made by the ‘rail liqueur’ companies like Bols or De Kuyper, you know, alongside the nameless, brandless triple secs.

    Any recommendations?

  2. Hey Dennis- terrific cocktail here. While a completely different animal for the most part, have you ever had Nathan Weber’s 30th Century Man? The name simply reminded me of it, but it’s a fantastic cocktail with Ardbeg 10yr

  3. The best CdC that is reasonably available is Marie Brizard. It was a great step up from the bottom shelf Leroux that we had (Leroux, Dekyuper, and others are barely passable).

    Otherwise, your options are making your own (chocolate infusion + simple syrup) or hunting out Mozart Dry (apparently amazing, but unsweetened so you’d have to add sugar to make up for that).

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