Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pago Pago

Pago Pago

Pago Pago
1½ ozs. golden rum
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon green Chartreuse
¼ teaspoon white crème de cacao
½ oz. pineapple juice
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass. Pineapple comes through beautifully.

For this recipe I used Ron de Jeremy, Meaghers crème de cacao, and canned pineapple juice.

Just based on the ingredients I figured this would be a very tasty drink. But unfortunately the Playboy Host & Bar Book cuts the key flavour ingredients down to a sixth of their amounts in the traditional recipe, and it just ends up bland.

The original recipe, as recovered from 1940’s The How and When by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry uses ounces instead of teaspoons for the Chartreuse and cacao, as well as muddling fresh pineapple chunks instead of using pineapple juice. I tried a second one using the classic proportions (but still using canned pineapple juice, since I didn’t have an fresh pineapple handy) and it was a huge improvement.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

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Kirsch Cuba Libre

Kirsch Cuba Libre

Kirsch Cuba Libre
1½ ozs. kirschwasser
½ lime
Iced cola drink
Put three large ice cubes into a tall 14-oz. glass. Add kirschwasser. Squeeze lime above drink and drop into glass. Fill with cola. Stir.

For this recipe I used Schloss Kirsch and Coke.

This wasn’t too bad. I thought that the kirsch, being pretty dry, would cut the sweetness of the cola, but it somehow comes off as even sweeter than straight Coke. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise, I’ve never been that big on cherry cola either. I would happily serve this one to a cherry cola fan, though. I prefer the traditional Cuba Libre to this by far, even after the Rum & Coke bachelor party incident of ’96.

There are a few variations of this floating around online, but they’re all basically the same thing. Very few of them specify exactly 3 ice cubes like this one, though.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

Beachcomber
1½ ozs. rum
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Triple Sec
¼ teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.

Since this recipe didn’t specify any specific kind of rum, I whipped out my bottle of Ron de Jeremy. I also used Meaghers Triple Sec, and Luxardo maraschino. I only rimmed half the glass so I could taste it without the extra sugar.

This was really nice! I was surprised by how well the maraschino stood out – the drink starts out all citrus and rum, but slides into the maraschino flavour at the finish. I didn’t find the sugared rim as off-putting as I usually do, either-  it just added a little extra sweetness whenever I wanted.

There are a lot of variations of the Beachcomber out there, many involving being served over crushed ice. I’m glad the Playboy one is served up, since I don’t think the flavour would stand up to any extra dilution. I’ve seen mentions of possible earlier dates, but the first concrete citation for this drink that I know of is from “Trader Vic’s Bar-Tender’s Guide” from 1947.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Canadian Cocktail

Canadian Cocktail

Canadian Cocktail
1 ½ ozs. Canadian whisky
½ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. curaçao
1 teaspoon sugar
2 dashes bitters
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass or over rocks in old-fashioned glass.

For this recipe I used Gibson’s 12-year, and Cointreau instead of curaçao. I also used simple syrup in place of sugar, for easier mixing. Since this recipe calls for non-specific bitters, it was the perfect time to pull out my recent batch of homemade Calamansi bitters*.

Not a really complicated drink. The whisky flavour is quite mild in this one, and it leans towards the citrusy. It might be a bit more interesting with a spicier bitters – some of the versions I’ve found online use orange bitters (which the Calamansi bitters are a good substitute for) and some use Angostura.

There’s a cocktail by this name in “Modern American Drinks” by George J. Kappeler (1895) which is just a Whiskey Cocktail (whiskey, gum syrup, and bitters) made with Canadian whisky. “The Savoy Cocktail Book” (1930) and “1700 Cocktails for the Man behind the bar” by R. de Fleury (1934) both have recipes by this name with Jamaican rum as the spirit and with the proportions of curaçao and spirit inverted. Most of the modern books I’ve checked, and most websites, have a similar recipe to Playboy. It almost looks like the modern Canadian Cocktail is a conflation of the two different historical Canadians.
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Calamansi Bitters

*Calamansi Bitters
14 calamansi, halved
1 c. 100-proof vodka
½ tsp gentian
1 star anise, crushed
1 cardamom pod, crushed
¼ tsp coriander, crushed
1/3 c. sugar
Squeeze calamansi juice and seeds into vodka. Add in calamansi rinds and herbs. Let stand 2 weeks. Strain out solids, return liquid to jar. Boil solids in 2/3 c. water. Caramelize 1/3 c. sugar, and add it to water with solids. Let cool. Add caramel water with solids back in to jar with alcohol infusion. Let stand 5 more days. Strain and bottle.

These bitters manage to be sort of the inverse of orange bitters – instead of being citrus over a base of bitter herbs, the bitterness is up front with a very bright citrus tang underneath.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Salty Dog

Salty Dog

Salty Dog
2 ozs. vodka
½ oz. unsweetened grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt
Shake vodka, grapefruit juice and lemon juice well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle drink with several generous dashes of salt.

For this recipe I used Luksusowa vodka.

I kind of expected this to taste awful. I guess that means I was pleasantly surprised, since it actually tasted like nothing. All the flavours cancel out, and what is left may as well be slightly bitter water. This would be a good drink for people who don’t like the taste of alcohol, I suppose, since that gets covered up quite well.

As near as I can tell this drink originated sometime in the 50s or 60s. It can be made with either gin or vodka, and usually the salt is put on the rim instead of right in the drink. It’s also usually a highball, with twice as much grapefruit juice as vodka instead of one quarter the amount.

Cocktail? More like cockfail!

Wait, no, that’s a terrible tag line.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Floridian

Floridian

Floridian
1 ½ ozs. dry vermouth
½ oz. Forbidden Fruit
1 teaspoon Falernum
2 ozs. grapefruit juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1 slice lime
Shake […] well with ice. Strain over large ice cube in prechilled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lime slice.

For this recipe I used Noilly Prat dry vermouth, homemade Forbidden Fruit (current version is a pomello honey liqueur mixed equal parts with triple sec, but I’m still working on it), homemade Falernum (Kaiser Penguin’s recipe), and Bitter Truth orange bitters.

Very refreshing! Also pretty mild – I figure it comes in somewhere around 10% – so I can see it being pretty easy to toss these back all afternoon.

I haven’t seen this drink in any other book I’ve checked. It turns up a few places online. It’s possible this is a variation on the Floridita Margarita – replace the vermouth with tequila and there’s a certain resemblance.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Vermouth Maraschino

Vermouth Maraschino

Vermouth Maraschino
2 ozs. dry vermouth
½ oz. maraschino liqueur
½ oz. lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1 maraschino cherry
Shake […] well with ice. Strain over large ice cube in prechilled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with cherry.

For this recipe I used Noilly Prat vermouth, Luxardo maraschino, and Victoria Spirits Twisted & Bitter orange bitters. I garnished it with a homemade brandied cherry.

This was quite good. A little bit on the sour side, but in a good way. The vermouth dominates, so this isn’t one for the haters, but it’d be a good starter vermouth drink for those just beginning to acquire a taste.

This cocktail doesn’t show up in any of my other books. The only recipe I can find online is at CocktailDB, and it’s identical except it is served in cocktail glass instead. It’s a pretty classic cocktail style, though, like a Casino but with vermouth in place of the gin.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.