In the U.S. of today the term liberal has very specific connotations. What did it mean when the Liberal Cocktail was created in the 1890s though? Was the creation a celebration of or jab at late 19th-century liberal ideals? If you had that label, what were you fighting for?
Join us as explore the concept of liberalism and its meaning during the early 20th century. We also discuss the Liberal Cocktail, its standout ingredient Amer Picon, and the nearly complete disappearance of both. In the case of the cocktail, we take a look at whether a backlash against liberalism may have been the real cause of its disappearance. The recipe is:
¾ ounce of whiskey
¾ ounce of Italian vermouth
3 dashes of Amer Picon (or Torani Amer)
1 dash of orange bitters
First printed in Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up cocktail guide, this drink is not well represented and probably not well liked but nevertheless we did our 82nd episode on it. It first appears nearly simultaneously with the introduction of blue curacao on the market, it's recipe in Saucier's book, and a Bols ad for blue curacao roughly around 1951. It seems to have been given a spotlight for a short time by Bols and a couple of wheeling-dealing PR agents, Ted Saucier and Frank Farrell, who both did a stint in the Marines. It's an interesting little tale of cocktail invention in the Mad Men era.
But we didn't leave it at that. We did a full assessment of understanding the origin of the word leatherneck and how it came to be applied to the personnel of the U.S. Marine Corps and then we told the stories of how the U.S. Marine Corps came to be and some of the amazing adventures they had in their early years. Truly cinematic stuff.
The drink is:
2 oz blended whiskey
0.75 oz blue curacao
0.5 oz lime juice
First off, the drink is frightening in aspect. We kept referring to it as green alien blood. The taste was pretty horrid as well. We sat in the bar trying to figure out why anyone would make this drink if it wasn't a prank...and then it hit us. The Leatherneck Cocktail tastes like salty leather. So nobody would ask to drink a cocktail that tastes like a sweaty leather collar, but if someone proposed that they could make a drink that tastes like briny hide people would still be impressed that that could be delivered. Granted its a parlor trick that works once and then it's retired...however, once we understood what the cocktail was all about, some members of the tasting team started to appreciate its complexity.
Going into production of this episode I didn't think there was going to be much to discuss. This one ended up like a hidden gem...probably emerald...or maybe more sapphire.
A name like the Jupiter Cocktail immediately evokes images of the enormous planet with the great swirling storms and the Roman king of the gods, with thunderbolt in hand. The cocktail indicates power, something greater than all. I would expect ten different kinds of liquor served in a barrel, full of lighting, and on fire…or it could be just a martini with some Parfait Amour and orange juice.
Join us as discuss this stormy-colored drink and its standout ingredient Parfait Amour. We also try to figure out whether the inspiration was a god, a planet, or maybe even a World War I ship.
The ingredients are:
1 and ½ ounces gin
¾ ounce dry vermouth
1 teaspoon Parfait Amour
1 teaspoon orange juice
Jasper’s Jamaican Planter’s Punch is a more contemporary take on an old drink called simply, Planter’s Punch. Resembling punches of the colonial-era, Planter’s Punch appears to have originated in the Caribbean in the early to mid-1800s. Where exactly in the Caribbean is the question, since most references just point to the “West Indies.”
The unusual thing about this drink is that there did not seem to be a standard recipe. Rum, lime, and sugar were the common ingredients among Planter’s Punches, but the rest of the recipe varied greatly.
Join us as we explore whether this punch could be a product of Jamaica, or from a neighboring island nation. We also take a look at its relation to other types of colonial punches, and try to figure out what the Planter’s in the Planter’s Punch means.
Do you like cocktails that are named after a 19th century varnish? Then step right up to the bar and order a Japalac Cocktail. That’s right folks, nothing says quenching your thirst like old lacquer!
This recipe shows up first and only in Albert Stevens Crockett’s Old Waldorf Bar Days (1931). It was another creation of Johnnie Solon, of Bronx Cocktail fame. Was Johnnie famous for anything other than creating the Bronx Cocktail? Well, Crockett will tell you he was also known for a Mint Julep that took 30 minutes to make! This episode explores why a cocktail named after varnish wasn’t picked up by other bartenders at the time, historically sexist advertising methods, and what actually may have been going on at the Waldorf Bar with Mr. Johnnie Solon.
Juice of ¼ orange
¾ ounce dry vermouth
¾ ounce rye whiskey
1 teaspoon raspberry syrup
Combine in an iced cocktail shaker, and shake and strain into a small cocktail glass
The Jack Rose Cocktail ingredients look like a deconstructed fruit bowl, bringing together Applejack, lemon juice (or sometimes lime juice), and grenadine. Dating back to the early 20th century, Cocktail Bill Boothby appears to have brought it to print, but attributes it to New York bartender R.H. Townes.
The name is a bit of a mystery. Is it a pairing of the jack in Applejack and its rose color? Or from a type of rose? Maybe it was created in reference to the gambling house owner and alleged member of the mafia, Jacob Rozenzweig, AKA, Baldy Jack Rose?
Join us as we explore the origins of the drink, and what it might be named after, and the corrupt underworld of New York in the early 1900s.
It is hard to imagine why you would want to name a drink after something that the great majority of the world hates, but here we are with the Income Tax Cocktail. Harry Craddock appears to be the person who wanted to remind people that the government is coming for your hard-earned money, so you should probably drown your sorrows.
This drink does not show up in very many places, but is often said to be just a Bronx Cocktail with Angostura bitters, which in turn is said to just be a perfect Martini with orange juice. So it is, and we don’t have a lot to go on with the cocktail itself. So our attention is turned to that exciting topic, TAXES!
We dive into the origins of income taxes and the 16th Amendment that made it all possible. This one actually turned out to be much more of a tangled web than we anticipated, involving the temperance movement, farmers, WWI, and President Woodrow Wilson. So join us as we explore this cocktail with an unfortunate name, and the possibility of income taxes being the real cause of, and end of U.S. prohibition.
The Honeymoon Cocktail seems to first appear in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1917), and contains an unusually sweet and fruit-based combination of ingredients, calling for Apple Brandy, lemon juice, curacao, and Benedictine. We take a look at what Benedictine is and how the Honeymoon Cocktail encountered a swapping out of the Apple Brandy for Calvados and more Apple Jack.
We also explore the history of honeymoons, where the term originated, and origin myths surrounding this tradition in relation to marriage.
With very few appearances in cocktail books, or really anywhere, it is probably fair to say that the “Have a Heart” cocktail didn’t make much of a splash at all. It seems originate from, and really only appears in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual (1934).
The quotation marks allude to it being the title of something, but of what is hard to say. Some say that it is after a film of the same name, but the publishing of the drink recipe is the same year the movie came out, so maybe not so much. We take a look at the possibility of it being named after a 1917 musical, and Duffy’s connection to the theater prior to prohibition.
PGD has made so many appearances in our podcast, but we never really explored his book and how it came to be. So we discuss the man, the book, the legend and how he might have encountered a whole lot of actors in his days as a bartender.
The recipe is as follows:
1 and ½ ounces gin
¾ ounces Swedish Punsch
¾ ounces lime juice
¼ ounce grenadine
The product of a cocktail competition in London, the Golden Dawn is a boozy drink, almost entirely made up of Calvados, Brandy, and Gin. A newspaper article from 1930 mentions that cocktail purists were not happy with this drink winning the competition, simply because of the addition of fruit juice. We delve into the idea of what a cocktail is and isn’t, where the argument may have started, and why anyone really cares.
Some point to the origin of the name deriving from a Rodgers & Hammerstein operetta, but it most likely received its name from the orange juice and grenadine giving it the color of a sunrise. Since it would be difficult to tackle the history of sunrises, we explore the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, because Golden Dawn.
This spiritualist group largely influenced occultism in the 20th century, had a membership that included a number of well-known people of the time, and was semi-revolutionary for a secret society by allowing women to become members. One of the most notable members was Aleister Crowley, who rose in the ranks quickly, had a falling out with one of the founders of the Golden Dawn, and how the two allegedly engaged in psychic battles for years.
So join us as we discuss this pretty cocktail/not cocktail, as well as magic, mysticism, controlling nature, and Crowley’s goth kid poetry.
3/4 oz Calvados
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz apricot-flavored brandy
3/4 oz orange juice