The Internet has been great for the cocktail movement, but it does muddle things sometimes. To wit, definitive cocktail recipes can be impossible. There are classics that are so ubiquitous, their “official” recipe is pretty much settled, but plenty of other cocktails have alternate (I hesitate to call them “wrong”) recipes floating around. Call it the Wikipedia effect; fact-checking cocktails is almost impossible, and anyone can post a recipe on a website and call it “official.” (Present company excluded, of course.)
This week’s recipe is a great example. I’m getting my version (which, I’m assuming, is as old as any other one around) from a 1936 cocktail book. I like it; its base is a mixture of brandy and whiskey (kind of like the Saratoga, a Manhattan variant we’ve covered), and it has just enough rum and curacao to make the whole combination interesting. My notes don’t show the recipe specifying a type of rum, but you’d almost certainly want to use dark rum here — a white rum wouldn’t contribute any flavor to the mix.
But this recipe is far from “official”, as a quick Google search reveals.
One recipe calls for a cocktail with Scotch, amaretto, and orange juice — essentially a Godfather made into a highball. That version’s also listed on CHOW. Another, from Imbibe magazine, is a more complex creation, and basically a sweeter version of an Old-Fashioned with a bit of thyme. Another site suggests that recipe, paired with a pear-vodka cocktail, is a Fedora. The Internet Cocktail Database sticks with basically our version of the cocktail, though, adding just a bit of lemon juice and sugar.
That’s not a bad tweak, and I’d suggest you try it at some point, but I’ll stick with the primary-source recipe here. The scotch-and-OJ concoction doesn’t sound terrible, either (and seems to have been adopted by more than one source), and at some point I might play with it a bit. This drink, though, seems to hearken back to the era when one would pull on a fedora before heading out for a night of cocktails. (That era is, of course, gone — as such, please refrain from pulling on a fedora before you head out to the bar. You’ll just look goofy.)
- 1 oz. brandy
- 1 oz. rye
- .5 oz. dark rum
- .5 oz. curacao
- Build in a rocks glass or cocktail shaker over ice; stir to combine, and serve, pouring the drink into a rocks glass if built in a shaker.