Tag Archives: orange juice

The William Revisited

On my last post (over a year ago, whoops!) I gave a recipe for ‘The William’, an 1889 recipe for The Only William’s preferred whiskey sour.

At the time I was working on that drink I had to make a guess as to what Schmidt meant by pineapple syrup. I was recently reading Dave Arnold’s “Liquid Intelligence”, and decided to run The William through his formula for creating a balanced cocktail (in terms of ABC, sweetness, and acidity).

Based on the results of that math, it seemed what I needed for the pineapple syrup spot was 10 ml of something twice as sweet and twice as acidic as pineapple juice, or, ideally, 5 ml of something 4 times as sweet and acidic. So I think that when Schmidt referred to pineapple syrup, there’s a good chance he meant pineapple juice that has been reduced to a syrup, instead of pineapple juice with sugar added.

Trying the drink with this new syrup definitely improved it (it wasn’t a bad drink before, but it’s great now). So here’s my corrected recipe:

The William
60 ml whiskey (Bulleit Bourbon)
15 ml lemon juice
15 ml orange juice
5 ml pineapple syrup* (about 5 mL seems right)
Barspoon of superfine sugar
Shake well with ice; strain.

* Pineapple syrup – boil pineapple juice until it reduces to 1/4 it’s original volume.


Repeal Day Cocktail: The William

William Schmidt
“What is the best recipe for a whiskey sour?”

“The finest,” said William [Schmidt], “is what is known as ‘The William.’ Take the juice of half a lemon, juice of a quarter orange, a dash of pineapple syrup and a barspoonful of sugar. Don’t put any seltzer in, for that would spoil it, but add an ordinary drink of whiskey. Then fill the glass with shaved ice and shake it well; serve in a fancy glass, and there you have a drink fit for a king.”

-The Evening World. (New York, NY), 15 Nov. 1889.

In honour of Repeal Day I’m forgoing the Playboy Host & Bar Book and attempting to re-create a pre-prohibition cocktail invented by “The Only William”, William Schmidt, of ‘the bar by the bridge’. Schmidt was a prolific inventor of cocktails, designing hundreds of the course of his career. He was quite creative in naming them, as well, so he must have thought highly of this one to have named it ‘The William’. Strangely, despite bestowing this honour on it, this drink didn’t show up in his 1891 book ‘The Flowing Bowl’; it doesn’t appear in any other publications, paper or online, that I can find either.

The William
2 oz whiskey (Bulleit Bourbon)
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz orange juice
Dash of pineapple syrup* (about 10 mL seems right)
Barspoon of superfine sugar (I ground table sugar up with a mortar and pestle)
Shake well with ice; strain.

At first I tried it with Alberta Premium Rye Whisky, and it was just okay. Then I tried it again with Bulleit Bourbon and it was excellent. The hint of sour from the pineapple worked well with the lemon to give this enough bite to counter the sweetness of the orange and sugar, and the caramel and vanilla notes of the bourbon really shine through.  This one I will make again.

* Pineapple syrup – equal parts sugar and pineapple juice, heat just enough to dissolve the sugar.

Carrillo’s Honeymoon

I just made up a fresh batch of falernum yesterday and was looking for something to make with it. At first I was thinking about making a Frosty Dawn, but then I noticed that I’d been left with a bottle of brandy after our last party so decided to try a different drink from the same creator.


Honeymoon Cocktail
1 ounce brandy
1 ounce orange juice
¼ ounce Cointreau
¼ ounce Falernum
Shake over shaved ice and serve

It’s quite a good drink, though I think I prefer the Frosty Dawn by a little bit. It is a bit on the sweet side, and might be improved by replacing some of the orange juice with lemon.

This cocktail was created by Albert Carrillo in 1959 for the United Kingdom Bartender’s Guild competition in Los Angeles, where it won first prize and got Carrillo a trip to Copenhagen for the International Bartender’s Guild competition [source].

The similarities to his earlier drink, the Frosty Dawn, are obvious – nearly identical proportions, with orange juice and falernum as ingredients. This gives a fairly flexible formula for creating new drinks (four parts each spirit and OJ, and 1 part each liqueur and falernum), which I plan to play with a bit to see if anything sticks – I’ve got a promising lead already with gin and Ginger of the Indies liqueur.



1 oz. brandy
½ oz. aquavit
½ oz. orange juice
½ oz. lime juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass.

For this recipe I used D’Eaubonne V.S.O.P Napoleon Brandy, Okanagan Spirits Aquavitus aquavit, an organic Valencia orange, and homemade grenadine (using Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe). No garnish was indicated, so I used an origami Viking helmet.

This was quite good. The aquavit was showcased but didn’t take over, and there was just the right amount of sweetness (although if the orange were any less sweet I’d probably want to up the grenadine). The orange flavour stood up nicely as well, balanced by the sourness of the lime.

I haven’t seen this drink in any other book I’ve checked, but it turns up all over the place online (though usually as Fjord instead of Fiord) with the same ingredients in varying proportions.

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.



1½ ozs. tequila
½ oz. orange juice
½ oz. lemon juice
1 dash orange-flower water
2 teaspoons grenadine
1 slice orange
Shake tequila, orange juice, lemon juice, orange-flower water and grenadine well with ice. Strain over rocks in prechilled old-fashioned glass. Add orange slice.

I was looking through the Tequila section to find something to make for Cinco de Mayo. This one looked interesting, and had a Mexican souding name (the drink is named for a city in Jalisco, Mexico), so fit the bill nicely. Also it didn’t use any limes, which is good since they were in short supply around town.

For this recipe I used Jose Cuervo Especial Gold tequila, an organic Valencia orange, and homemade grenadine (using Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe). I changed up the garnish a bit as well.

At first I liked this. The orange-flower water comes through very nicely up front, but doesn’t take over, blending nicely with the agave and citrus flavours. Unfortunately, the finish isn’t nearly as nice, with a bitter, sour flavour lingering on the tongue. I’m sure there are ways to fix this one, and I think it’s worth saving, but it’ll take a bit of work.

I found a few other versions of this in books and online, all mostly similar. The main variation are ones that use an orange liqueur in place of the orange-flower water; I chose not to bother making any of those, though, since the orange-flower water was the thing I liked most about this one.

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.


La Jolla

1½ ozs. gin
½ oz. orange juice
¼ oz. dry vermouth
¼ oz. sweet vermouth
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass. […] One of the few inventions of the Prohibition era really worth retaining when made with fine gin rather than the notorious bathtub variety.

For this recipe I used G’Vine Nouiason gin, a Seville orange, Noilly Prat, and Cinzano Rosso.

Interesting drink. It has a distinct peppery note to it that I find appealing (which I think is coming from the G’Vine, a side to that gin that’s never really stood out to me before), and the balance drifts a bit to the sour side but not unpleasantly so. This recipe is a bit gin-heavy; the gin makes up 60% of the ingredients, whereas most recipes I’ve seen for the Bronx have the gin making up a half or less of the drink, and then various proportions of the vermouths and OJ make up the remainder. After flipping through it, I’m guessing this spirit-heavy balance will become a trend with the PH&BB. This is a drink I plan on making again with as many different gins, vermouths, and oranges as I can, but I won’t be using the Playboy proportions.

The Bronx has been around in some form or another since at least the first decade of the 1900s, so the write-up calling it a Prohibition era invention is a bit of a stretch.

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.

La Jolla

La Jolla

La Jolla
1½ ozs. brandy
½ oz. banana liqueur
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange juice
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled sugar-frosted cocktail glass.

For this recipe I used D’Eaubonne V.S.O.P Napoleon Brandy, Bols crème de Bananes, a Seville orange, and a plain old lemon.

I found that the sugared rim made the drink seem sour in comparison, but it improved somewhat once I got a section of the sugar out of the way. It’s not bad, but doesn’t really stand out. I don’t think I’ll keep this one in the rotation.

The recipe turns up in a few books and a few places online with just minor changes in proportion. I found a very different La Jolla online that might be related (it has brandy and lemon juice), but it’s different enough that the names could just be a coincidence. Online searches are hindered a bit by the fact that there is an apparently very popular furniture set called the La Jolla that includes a cocktail table.

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.