Queen Charlotte Cocktail

Yet another Baker drink with a tropically inspired name! This one is named after Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands, which itself was named after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel, queen consort to the Danish King Christian V. Yep, Denmark had at least one colony in the Virgin Islands. Who knew? Today it appears that the city and its gorgeous colonial buildings are completely overrun by cruise ships and duty-free shopping. I’m guessing the modern-day cocktails kinda suck, too.

Only in the world of Charles H. Baker, Jr., would a drink that features up to 6 ounces of red wine be identified as one “for them as likes their likker weak” and “of a mildness which even a Quaker miss could not shy at!” Read More »

Posted in 5 Stars, Baker Drinks, Grenadine, Lemon, Lemon Soda, Lime, Raspberry Syrup, Wine (Red) on September 11, 2011 – 1:37 pm | Comments (3)

Barranquilla Green Jade

I’m starting to wonder if there’s an inverse correlation between the quality of a Charles H. Baker, Jr. narrative and the quality of the corresponding drink. Take, for example, the Barranquilla Green Jade. Please. Here’s the narrative that precedes the recipe:

This amazing jumping-off town for emeralds, oil and gold in Colombian hinterlands, has already been described; how the ancient Spanish town rubs elbows with the most modern American practice. We have fond recollections of one charming hostess in Barranquilla who served us whole shrimps boiled in deep olive oil, bits of popcorn tossed in garlic butter, little fritters of plantano, and many strange tropical, chilled, fruits: mangoes, carissas, mangosteens, Surinam cherries, rose apples, mawmees, heaven only knows what else with long Latin names!

Just reading that makes me wish I were Baker. (And if you know what a “mawmee” is, I’d like to hear from you.)

Would that the drink were as compelling. But I think you all know what’s coming by now. Read More »

Posted in 1 Star, Baker Drinks, Cherry, Crème de Menthe (Green), Egg White, Gin, Mint on September 5, 2011 – 7:55 pm | Comments (0)

Curaçao “Pontoon Bridge”

We’re getting close to the one-year anniversary of Pineapple Drink Night, so I guess I’d better go ahead and blog about the third and final drink of the evening.

Baker writes: “We snupped this during the spring of 1933 when circling the Caribbean for reasons not pertinent to drink-making.” This is actually the least interesting part of his convoluted story, except for the invented word “snupped,” which is quote-worthy if anything is. I plan to snup each and every one of my drinks and engage in all manner of snuppery from here on out.

Read More »

Posted in 4 Stars, Baker Drinks, Cherry, Cognac, Cointreau, Lime, Orange Bitters, Pineapple on August 28, 2011 – 10:03 pm | Comments (1)

Still on hiatus

This whole “coming off hiatus” thing is taking way longer than I expected. I’m mixing up Baker drinks again, though, and plan to start posting soon! I won’t specify a date this time, so I don’t have to be embarrassed when I fail to meet it.

In the meantime, you can check out an original creation on my girlfriend’s weblog. Mmmmmmmm, Batavia Arrack.

Posted in Throat-Clearing on August 9, 2011 – 8:07 pm | Comments (0)

Another brief hiatus

Whoops! As soon as I posted the last drink, my life took another turn for the crazy. Please stand by while I pack all of my earthly possessions into boxes and move them a couple of miles across town.

See you again sometime in May!

Posted in Throat-Clearing on April 22, 2011 – 7:48 am | Comments (0)

In the news

I’m excited and flattered to report that this weblog was recently mentioned in a roundup of cocktail geeks blogging their way through books. Here’s what cocktail writer Camper English said about my project: “Poor, poor soul. You know most of those drinks are kinda bad, right?” I know all too well.

Posted in Throat-Clearing on March 29, 2011 – 7:21 am | Comments (0)

Admiral Schley Punch

Oh, hello there! I’m back from my longer-than-intended hiatus and excited to share more of Charles H. Baker’s drinks with you.

When last I posted, I promised “[a]n extremely delicious drink that doesn’t require any weird ingredients.” And I’m here to deliver exactly that in this post, the second of three from Pineapple Drink Night!

The extremely delicious drink in question is the Admiral Schley Punch, supposedly named after William Scott Schley. Wikipedia’s entry for Admiral Schley is excruciatingly dull, so let me save you some trouble by quoting the only part that’s worth reading:

In that book, the author referred to [then-]Commodore Schley as a “caitiff, poltroon and coward.”

“Caitiff” and “poltroon” are both synonyms for “coward,” but I wholeheartedly endorse this phrase in spite of its redundancy. I think I just really like the word “poltroon.”

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Posted in 5 Stars, Baker Drinks, Bourbon, Lime, Rum, Sugar on March 29, 2011 – 7:15 am | Comments (2)

Martinique Crusta

The Gentleman’s Companion includes an uncommonly large number of drinks that specify fresh pineapple as a garnish, and as mentioned previously, I’m trying to stay true to the garnishes that Baker recommends. That gave me a perfect excuse to host a Pineapple Drink Night for a couple of friends! Not that one needs an excuse to host a Pineapple Drink Night. Now that I think about it, I ought to be hosting at least one of those a week, simply because they’re awesome.

Anyhow, we kicked off Pineapple Drink Night with the Martinique Crusta, which Baker sampled in Fort-de-France, Martinique, in 1929. The crusta—which dates back all the way to 1840, an awfully long time for a cocktail—is traditionally served in a sugar-rimmed glass, with a spiral of lemon peel curled up inside the top. Baker calls for a completely different, and very weird, preparation: Read More »

Posted in 3 Stars, 4 Stars, Angostura Bitters, Baker Drinks, Lime, Maraschino, Rum, Simple Syrup on January 18, 2011 – 6:47 am | Comments (1)

Red Snow

Baker dates his acquisition of this recipe to “[t]he summer before several nations besides the Spanish undertook to alter the map of Spain to suit their own ideas.” I’m guessing that means 1935, just before the Spanish Civil War, which led to Francisco Franco’s ascent to power. As is often the case, Baker’s coy historical reference masks a period of terror—as many as a million people died in that war, and it was during the Spanish Civil War that Germany bombed Guernica, which inspired Picasso’s famous painting. All in all, 1939 was a rough time to be writing a cocktail book.

All of which stands in stark contrast to this drink, which Baker describes as “a Luscious & Pleasant Thing for Summer“: Read More »

Posted in 4 Stars, Baker Drinks, Grenadine, Lemon, Nutmeg, Orange Flower Water, Wine (Red) on January 17, 2011 – 7:20 am | Comments (1)

Bengal Lancers’ Punch

After running out of St. Cecelia Society Punch on New Year’s Eve, I was forced to throw together another tasty libation for my liquor-loving guests. Fortunately, I had already tried out a single-serving version of Baker’s Bengal Lancers’ Punch, so I was equipped with a perfectly adequate substitute.

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to add the lime garnish called for by the recipe. That’s what happens after you’ve helped finish an entire bowl of rather strong punch, I suppose.

Read More »

Posted in 5 Stars, Baker Drinks, Champagne, Club Soda, Cointreau, Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Rum, Sugar, Wine (Red) on January 7, 2011 – 9:05 am | Comments (1)