Chocolate –  Old Waldorf Bar Days

(Claret glass)

One pony of yellow Chartreuse

One pony of Maraschino

Yolk of one Egg

Shake well; strain

This again is somewhere near the front of the Waldorf book, I can remember flipping through here a couple of months ago and jotting down must try drinks, this was one. There aren’t many drinks with chartreuse in, let alone drinks with my preferred yellow chartreuse, so always keen to try one.

This is also one of those drinks (like a coffee cocktail) where the name and the ingredients don’t seem to make sense.

Maraschino is an ingredient that sometimes seems to be in every cocktail before 1920. It pop’s up in the original Manhattan, Aviation, Last Word, Martinez and Hemingway Daiquiri, and when I was in Havana in 2001 every daiquiri at La Floridita had maraschino inside. It gets around. In fact the only reason I haven’t made more cocktails with maraschino so far this year has been the absence of a bottle at home, something I’m remedying next week. The first Maraschino was produced in Croatia 250 odd years ago, and is a distillate of small sour cherries from the dalmatian coast. It was so popular at one stage that British royalty would send warships from their bases in Corfu and Malta to pick up shipments of it. To me it has a flavour somewhere between cherry and almond. It has sweetness and flavour, but not reminiscent of your classic cherry. 100 years ago bartenders knew how to use it, these days it only really makes appearances in classics instead of forging a path of its own. The main Maraschino on the market in the UK these days is the Luxardo brand, a tall green bottle wrapped in straw, which has become a little iconic in cocktail bars.

This to me is another wow. I decided on a Nick and Nora glass instead of Claret, as I think it looks so much better right to the rim, I’ve also added grated nutmeg on top. The flavour does remind me of chocolate, and the egg lends body to the drink. It is a little on the sweet side for me, so would be much better as a post dinner drink, or with another spirit to give it a bit more punch and dial back the sugar, pink pepper gin maybe, or a rum? In fact I could imagine this working with most other spirits, and this will be really fun to experiment with.