IMPROVED Whiskey COCKTAIL – Jerry Thomas ‘The Bon Vivants Companion’
Use ordinary bar glass
Two dashes of bitters.
Three dashes of gum syrup. Two dashes of maraschino. One dash of absinthe.
One small piece of the yellow find of a lemon, twisted to express the oil.
One small wineglass of whiskey.
FILL glass one-third full of shaved ice, shake well, and strain into a fancy cocktail glass, put the lemon peel in the glass and serve.
The flavor is improved by moistening the edge of the cocktail glass with a piece of lemon.
I’m continually surprised by how different some of these old drinks taste compared with how I expect them to, and this is no exception. Sometimes it almost seems like Jerry Thomas was involved with witchcraft or something considering the flavours that are teased out by what seems to be a ‘simple’ classic recipe. This recipe ‘IMPROVED’ by the addition of absinthe, maraschino and a lemon twist end’s up giving the drink an almost candied lemon flavour, the absinthe sits below the flavours, adding length and a little mintiness to it, the maraschino adds the candy and the lemon zest the overlying flavour pushing through the Old Fashioned waiting underneath. I wonder how many other combinations like this are possible, swapping out the maraschino for another liqueur, Benedictine or Chartreuse would be delicious.