Harvard – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Named after a school for young men, whose site is contiguous to the Charles River, in a suburb of Boston. Alumni who drank it sometimes lost the “Harvard accent.” 

Dash of Orange Bitters 

Two-fifths jigger Brandy 

Three-fifths Italian Vermuth 

Stir; strain; fill from siphon

Harvard University is a monster, it’s the US’s oldest university, first established in 1636, and has churned out 8 US presidents, 157 Nobel laureates, 10 academy awards, 48 Pulitzers and 108 Olympic medals. Its also home to the worlds largest private library system, home to over 18 million books. And home to the largest endowment of any university, just over $37 billion, sitting in investments, and growing at a rate of about 3% per year, doing very little. Sure, its protecting the universities future, and sure, it lost almost 30% in the financial crisis 9 years ago, but its still $37 billion not really doing any good, which considering the brilliant minds Harvard churns out on a regular basis seems somewhat criminal.

I’ve made this drink like a cooler versus a Manhattan, online there are lots of reviews of the drink, all of which opt for a cocktail glass with a dash of soda on top, which isn’t how I’ve read this. ‘fill from siphon’ to me means to fill the glass to the top with soda, which sounds like a long drink. Having said that there is no reference to ice so who knows.

If it is a short drink, the proportions above are heavily on the sweet side, and it would need to be swapped back to a 2 parts Brandy to One-part Italian, which is an entirely different drink. The extra sweetness from the vermouth does help it stand up to the soda, so again I really think this works better as a long drink.

And it’s a great long drink, last summer Antica formula and soda became my go to drink, so this is really the same but with a bit more punch, and with the sweetness dialled down a little with the brandy.