Star – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Dash of Orange Bitters 

One-half Apple Whiskey 

One-half Italian Vermuth 


One thing I love about the Waldorf guide are all the images peppered through the book, some are definitely from an era devoid of political correctness, and are quite tasteless to the point of being unprintable today, others seem to catch more of the relaxed attitudes of the day, this one seems even more poignant when you consider that the book was printed during prohibition, and quite neatly captures just how ridiculous the whole thing was. Police aside, prohibition officers were some of the worst paid public servants during the 20’s, and an unsurprisingly large number ended up rolling around in expensive cars while covered in furs, diamonds and gold watches. More than just the odd pint of beer was changing hands for then law to look the other way, with one officer offered the equivalent in todays money of almost $16 million to overlook a local brewery just outside of New York. With this kind of money changing hands, it makes stories of people such as Elliot Ness and his untouchables even the more ‘heroic’.

I loved this drink, its incredibly simple, and includes one of my new favourite ingredients. It tastes just like you’d expect it to, although could possible have done with a little more applejack and maybe even a second or third dash of bitters. Its also one of those drinks which really reminds me of the versatility of Italian vermouth in these aromatic Manhattan style drinks, is there a spirit which won’t work in this arrangement?