Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A cocktail book that helped start a movement...

Over the past five years, there has been a resurgent interest in the classic cocktail. Cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and New York all contain new bars specializing in pre-prohibition drinks.

One of the books that helped spawn the movement is titled "Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails." Originally published in 2004 by Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail, the book contains a multitude of very interesting cocktail recipes and the histories behind them. Haigh recently re-released an updated and expanded version that contains additional recipes, pictures, and resource sections about the locations of obscure ingredients.

While the recipes provide for hours of bar tending or home mixology fun, the stories are entertaining and provide useful background. The book makes a great read, or a fun conversation starter on an airplane.

Online bookstores such as Amazon.com currently carry the new version.

Of the included cocktails, one of the more fanciful recipes in name and taste is below, supposedly created by J.P. Morgan, of banking fame.

Alamagoozlum Cocktail (for 3 servings):

1/2 egg white
2 oz genever gin (Junipero or other strong gin also works)
2 oz water (melted ice can suffice)
1 1/2 oz Jamaica rum (preferably Wray & Nephew Overproof white rum)
1 1/2 oz Chartreuse (green or yellow)
1 1/2 oz gomme syrup (simple syrup)
1/2 oz orange curacao (Cointreau works)
1/2 oz Angostura (not an error)

Shake, strain into three glasses. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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