20th Century

20th century.jpg

Just a little out of the ordinary ...

Frequent readers already know that I’m s sucker for the classics from the first few decades of the last century. Their inherent bravado and a slight sense of naughtiness lingers about them still.
Recently, a friend gave me a new book for my cocktail shelf, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, by a guy named Ted Haigh who bills himself as Dr. Cocktail. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?
The promise is fulfilled. I’ve been working my way through a list of wonderful drinks with crazy names and interesting ingredients, slightly updated, but true in spirit to the originals. 
One of my favorites so far is this aptly named delight. Gin, always a favorite of course, combines with the gentle sweetness of Lillet, and sour lemon juice in a classic spirit/sweet/sour combination. But what lifts this out of the ordinary is the addition of a bit of Crème de Cacao(!). Just a hint of chocolate flavor changes everything and elevates the drink to standout status.
In case you were wondering, it doesn't taste like chocolate. It just tastes a little bit out of the ordinary … and verygood. As Dr. Cocktail says in the book, “it goes down like light, zingy lemonade, but in the aftertaste there is an ethereal sense of chocolate.” 
Try this one! You’ll be glad you did!

20th Century

  • 2 ounces gin

  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc

  • 1 lemon juice

  • .5 oz white (meaning clear) crème de cacao

Combine all the ingredients and shake ‘til it’s good and cold, and serve it straight up.

A word about ingredients

Lillet is a French, Bordeaux wine-based aperitif with a soft, slightly sweet flavor. It comes in three varieties, blanc, rose, and rouge, but the blanc is the classic and the best. Lovely to sip on the rocks with a slice of lime, but also used in cocktails now and then.

Crème de Cacao is chocolate-flavored liqueur, and is available from several brands like Hiram Walker and DeKuyper. It comes in two varieties, brown and white. The white is clear and a bit lighter in flavor. That’s the one to use in a 20th Century.