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

1 part Curacao 

2 parts Lemon Juice 

3 parts Gold Label Rum 

5 parts Whisky 

2 parts Cognac 


Some recipes call for sugar syrup in addition to the curacao. Also, some recipes make one or another of the rum, whisky, and cognac the dominant base with only a few dashes of the other two.

The name of the hat comes from a play of the same name in 1882 written for Sarah Bernhardt it predates the play Trilby for 3 years, it was obviously an era where if you wanted to launch a new hat you spent a lot of time greasing the palms of play writes, and hoping they came up with a catchy name.

The drink first appears not long after the play was launched, I suspect it was named after the play not the hat as play writes also seemed to be responsible for a lot of drink names as well as hat names……… The drink seemed to be quite popular for a while, appearing in most decent guides, all with similar proportions and ingredients until its popularity along with the hats started to wane in the 1950’s. The hat was quiet until Indiana Jones re-invented it, although with that franchise quietly passing I’m not sure who will rescue the hat, and drink from oblivion.

This was a delicious sour (not the delicious sour, but you get the idea), at first, I didn’t notice the Embury 8-2-1 recipe, until I was pouring everything out. To make life easy and simple to measure 1 part is 10ml for me, which means I end up with very strong drinks, as I suspect Mr Embury did. This also nicely fills up a standard cocktail glass, so I doubt Embury was using smaller measures as then his glass wouldn’t be full, and you can imagine the scene this would cause. The spirits work nicely in harmony with each other, I still struggle to get my head around more than one, let alone 3 different spirits in one drink, but I’m getting there, and the drink is different enough from a sidecar or any of his other recipes to make it interesting. I added 1-part sugar syrup as well, which was about ½ a part to much, 2 teaspoons would be more than enough I think, but without this I think it would be too dry, and lacking in flavour.