It may be possible to make bricks without straw —that is a question for brickmakers to decide. Certainly it is not possible to make cocktails without ice. Innocent of ice, the drink may be an aperitif or anything else you choose to call it, but a cocktail it is not. Ice, then, is the chief requisite, and unless otherwise specified in the recipe it should be chipped or cracked into small pieces, not shaved. Shaved ice melts too quickly with an unpleasantly diluting effect on the cocktail. First catch your ice then, and the remainder of the process is fairly simple.
Although it is more convenient to use a proper shaker, the lack of one need deter no ardent spirit. A wide-mouthed glass bottle with a tightly fitting screw top, such as is used for bottling fruit, supplemented by a strainer, will serve the purpose in an emergency. Even an ordinary jug with a swizzle stick to stir the mixture will answer quite well. By-the-bye, a swizzle stick should be included in the drink mixer’s outfit, since it is called for in certain recipes, and no other utensil will take its place.
But to return to the shaker. The best type is that shaped like a jug or coffee-pot, the spout being fitted with a screw-cap and the stopper with a good cork. This kind of shaker does not leak as do so many of the ordinary type, and the spout and handle facilitate pouring out. Also it is more decorative in appearance. One should never forget that the charm of cocktail-making, or any other ritual connected with eating and drinking,, lies in nicety of detail. The pleasure of the eye should precede that of the palate.
In mixing the cocktails given in this book, the ingredients should be poured into the shaker in the precise order given. In many cases the success of the drink depends on the observance of this direction; alteration of the order may change the entire character of the cocktail, for flavour is an exceedingly subtle thing. In every case, unless otherwise directed, the ice must be added last of all. The authors have, for convenience sake, avoided using an arbitrary measure such as the jigger; in its stead they have chosen as a measuring unit one of the glasses in which the cocktail is to be served. Glasses vary in capacity, and the jigger measure may cause the hostess the embarrassment of making either too much—which in the case of a popular cocktail is a fault, if anything, on the right side— or too little, which from the convivial point of view is that crime worse than a sin: a blunder.
The cocktail should be well shaken, stood a minute to frost and shaken again, after which it should be poured out at once. If any guest comes late to the feast his portion should be poured out with the rest. If left in the shaker the remaining ice will melt and dilute the cocktail of that dilatory one until it is a libel on the name. If desired, the shaker can be emptied, the extra glass or glasses poured back into it and the receptacle set in a cool place, preferably the ice chest, until required, when it should again be shaken.
Some cocktails may be made up in large quantities and kept bottled ready to be iced and shaken, but do not attempt this with any cocktail of which fresh or bottled fruit juice, jelly or anything of a syrupy nature is an ingredient.
When vintage wines are to be served with dinner, it is a good plan to serve with the cocktail tiny sandwiches or some otheHight hors dceuvre, in order that the palate may not be spoiled for the delicately flavoured wines to follow. Very small and thin pate de foie gras sandwiches or caviar sandwiches with the merest squeeze of lemon on each are suitable, also olives, salted nuts, biscuits plain or cheese, cheese straws, or small rolled slices of brown bread-and-butter, with or without a tiny strip of pimento in the middle. No hostess should forget that a choice wine has always the right of way; nothing must be allowed to destroy or even lessen the delicacy of its bouquet. By providing hors cPceuvres with the cocktail, choosing the cocktail itself with regard to the dinner wines, and allowing a short interval to elapse between the cocktail and the serving of dinner, the danger can be avoided.
The cocktails selected for publication in this book have all been tested and approved. Some have been contributed by friends whose generosity irr imparting their cherished recipes the authors gratefully acknowledge, the others are the original invention of the authors themselves. Recipes belonging to clubs have that fact mentioned in the name. For general convenience, recipes which in their original form made cocktails for two, four, five, or more persons have been standardised, so that every cocktail in this book provides for six persons unless otherwise stated.
In making punch the sugar should be melted in water, boiling water if the punch be hot, and added to the mixture as a syrup.
From the book “Drinks-Long & Short” by Nina Toye & A. H. Adair. London: William Heinemann, Ltd.. First Published, 1925. Printed in Great Britain by Woods & Sons, Ltd., London, N. 1