There are many cocktails that rightly claim to be classics, either through age, combination of ingredients or both. However it was interesting to find that is a definition of what makes a cocktail a classic: it has to appear after the publication of Jerry Thomas’s 1862 Bartender’s Guide (which contains traditional cocktails) but before the end of Prohibition in the U.S. in 1934; cocktails that come after this date are, by definition, moderns. Anyway, this cocktail appears in Harry Craddock’s 1930s Savoy Cocktail Book (and if you don’t have a copy, you really should have). Sadly, there are no notes accompanying any of the recipes in Craddock’s book, so we have no clues about the story behind this drink, but according to the definition above, then the Classic cocktail is genuinely a classic. The drink has a lovely warming hit, backed up by the citrus notes of the triple sec and lemon juice, and the taste is like a grown-up and more satisfying margarita. I think it’s an undiscovered classic, and deserves a wider audience. Despite my love of Manhattans, this is very high on my list of all-time fantastic, but cruelly under-rated, drinks.
1 oz. of brandy (Hine Antique here)
1/3 oz. of maraschino (Briottet Marasquin here)
1/3 oz. of Curaçao triple sec
1/3 oz. of lemon juice
Dashes of orange bitters (Fee’s, here)
Glass: Large Champagne glass, rim frosted with sugar
Shake well over lots of ice
Serve in coupe, garnished with a twist of lemon zest.