Mikado – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Straight cognac with a dash of Angostura and 2 or 5 dashes of curacao, creme de noyaux, and orgeat to each drink. Shake with cracked ice. A twist of lemon over each drink. Decorate with a cherry.

By complete coincidence this is 10 months to the day since I had a Japanese cocktail, and this is merely an update on that drink, adding in nuttiness with the noyaux and orange with curacao for some reason. It slots into Embury’s book in the no man’s land at the rear of the book which is a shame as I love this drink, and the revised name.

Mikado is the title given to the Emperor of Japan, although in English speaking countries I suspect it stirs a memory of the Gilbert and Sullivan musical from the 1880’s. This was first performed at the Savoy and ran for a record 672 shows, what I found more amazing is that its estimated that by the end of 1885 some 150 different theatre companies were producing this show throughout Europe and North America, I guess in a world without cinema when a production goes well you try and get it everywhere.

I find the drink very easy to like, although the curacao gets lost somewhat, and I didn’t have noyaux so just upped the orgeat to 5ml, but I think even this isn’t quite enough. The Japanese cocktail is a better drink for me, and charmingly simpler.