This episode we are talking about Milk Punch, which in newer recipes resembles a boozy milkshake. As the recipes get older, they get, let’s say slightly more unusual. This is the oldest drink that we have covered so far, with origins dating to at least the early 1700s, probably earlier. Going back to these early recipes, we learn about women’s roles as brewers, distillers, wine-makers, and home-doctors during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Join us as we talk a whole lot about milk, like probably more than you ever wanted to hear about it. In addition to combining citrus and milk and pasteurization, we dive into the old-timey medicinal benefits for things like fleas and something called the Pissing Evil. Fair warning, this one gets pretty gross. Like running milk through a hair sieve gross.
The recipe is:
1 ounce brandy
½ ounce dark rum
2 teaspoons simple syrup
2 dashes vanilla extract
4 ounces whole milk
For as many times that we have said that there aren’t a whole lot of Scotch cocktails, we have another one for you! This one also has the name of a person, which sometimes is helpful like the Lucien Gaudin and sometimes unhelpful like the Barbara West. We are somewhere in the middle with The Mamie Taylor. This cocktail is Scotch, lime juice and ginger ale, and was often noted as being a refreshing summer drink.
Mamie Taylor was an operatic singer who seems to have been involved in musical theater and plays around the end of the 19th century. While not famous per se, must have been of some note to someone in order to get a whole drink named after her.
Join us as we discuss how this drink may have been a product of Washington correspondents, how no one reads anything before reposting it on the internet, and William “The Only William” Schmidt claiming that he actually invented the drink way before it became popular.
The recipe is:
2 ounces of Scotch
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
At first glance, you might say that this cocktail has an unusual combination of ingredients, featuring gin, Campari, French Vermouth and Cointreau. And then you realize it is a Negroni with Cointreau. Oh well, there are only so many ingredients!
The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail on the surface seems like a perfect cocktail to be able to research because, someone’s name! As our Barbara West episode showed, it isn’t always going to be that easy. In this case, we Gaudin, a champion, left-handed, French fencer, happened to be more of a household name than our vague Ms. West.
Join us as we discuss whether this drink was something Gaudin was a fan of, or if he was lending his name to a book to add a celebrity endorsement. This episode takes us into the world of championship fencing, the Olympics, and duels! No joke, 20th century duels were a thing. History, you so crazy.
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 ox dry vermouth
The Lion’s Tail cocktail is one of just many, many recipes originating from the Café Royal Cocktail Book (1937), that never really appeared again until very recently. Most of the ingredients are pretty standard, with the exception of Pimento Liqueur, more commonly known as Allspice Dram nowadays.
We discuss this rum-based liqueur’s Caribbean origins, strong Christmas flavor, and unusual pairing with bourbon instead rum. In this episode, the name of the drink leads us to a long history of the lion as a symbol of Britain, and a whole lot of twisting of its figurative tail.
So join us as we explore the use and origins of this phrase “twisting the lion’s tail” with the nineteenth century Irish on both sides of the Atlantic, a resurgence of the phrase in the 1920s and 1930s, and key points of Ireland’s relationship with Britain that led to all this talk about doing stuff with lion’s tails. The recipe is:
2 ounces of bourbon
¾ ounce of Allspice Dram
½ ounce of lime juice
½ tablespoon of simple syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
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.