With the annexation of new territory by the United States, the nimble-fingered dispenser of liquid refreshments finds it incumbent upon himself to extend his repertoire, while the devotee of Bacchus has thrust upon him newly and strangely compounded assuagers of thirst.
From Cuba, from Porto Rico, from the Philippines and from the Sandwich Islands come liquid fancies—some native, some invented by residents of more extended experience,—but one and all different from the cocktails, punches, flips and juleps of our native land.
First of all must be considered Pimento, that fragrant stimulant with endless possibilities, known so well in Cuba. A glass well filled with ice, a lime well squeezed, a dash of Pimento, a spray of seltzer or club soda, the mixture well stirred, and you have a fizz which many think better by far than one of gin or whiskey.
Molasses or brown sugar takes the place of syrup in the drinks of Porto Rico and Manila. They give a peculiar flavor much liked by the natives, but which is not always appreciated by others. In any of the recipes given, gum syrup may be substituted for molasses if desired, although in some cases it is the latter which gives the distinctive flavor.
A typical Porto Rico cocktail is made from a pony of Jamaica rum two or three dashes of molasses and one dash of Pimento, all stirred with ice and strained into a thin glass.
Another tropical cocktail has for its base one-third part vanilla cordial; to this are added two-thirds brandy and a dash of Pimento. The oil from a bit of lemon rind adds zest to the tipple, and is squeezed from the top after straining.
Rice wine is not unknown in the States, although in no great demand. Mulled it is quite popular in the Philippines, where, under a warm sun, its intoxicating effects are fully appreciated.
A gun-barrel is generally used by the natives in preparing the mulled portion,—a superstition prevailing that the drink thus compounded absorbs some of the peculiarly effective fighting qualities of the gun and gives strength accordingly.
More intoxicating than rice wine is barley ale. Old and experienced drinkers have been brought to grief by a couple of glasses of this palatable intoxicant. It is sometimes mixed with lemon juice to deaden its effects, but for the average American the fascinating flavor is destroyed by such treatment.
Sandwich Islanders are extremely fond of cocoanut milk, but the American and English residents improve on the natural flavor by adding a liberal dash of brandy and shaking the whole with ice.
Samoans have a fermented drink made from Awa root, which, however, is not popular with whites who have once experienced its effects. According to report, one glass is sufficient to put the average man under the table, while three or four glasses have been known to put seasoned drinkers to bed for a week.
A favorite cocktail in Havana is made of one-quarter Curaçoa, one quarter maraschino, one-half brandy, a few drops of lemon juice and a dash of Quino bitters. The mixture must be well stirred with ice and strained into thin glasses.
Curaçoa and maraschino in equal quantities is a favorite cordial. It is served alone or with a dash of Quino bitters on top. These bitters are much used in the West Indies in all drinks. They are a pleasant stimulant and excellent stomach tonic and are made from the bark of a tree resembling Cinchona.
Guirdilec is made in some parts of the Sandwich Islands. It is prepared from sugar cane. The cane is chopped into pieces an inch or so in length and placed in a trough exposed to the sun. Water is added from time to time as fermentation progresses. When this has reached the proper stage the mass Is distilled over a slow fire.
To impart new sensations to a hardened palate a moderate use of Mequano is recommended, but long-continued use of this tipple results in the complete shattering of the nervous system.
The manufacture of Mequano is carried on principally in Honolulu. Native coffee is roasted and crushed, then mixed with an equal part by weight of molasses and water. The mass is allowed to ferment and the wine is then distilled.
For “long” drinks residents of the Philippines have compounded two delicious beverages which vie with one another for preference in the popular taste. Both are new to Americans, although the ingredients are readily obtainable here. The foundation of one consists of cinnamon, cloves and nutmegs, with strips of orange and lemon peel, the juice of an orange and a lemon, three ponies of brandy, one of rum and a like quantity of Conichuaro. These ingredients should be placed in a bowl for two hours, after which the liquor may be drawn off, iced and served.
The other “long” drink is made by taking equal parts of all the fruits available—limes, lemons, oranges, bananas, pineapples, pears, peaches, grapes, figs, raisins and berries. They are crushed together in an earthen mortar, water is added, and the whole is boiled for twenty minutes. After being allowed to cool and settle, the clear liquor is drawn off. To every quart of liquor add two ponies of brandy, one pony of Curaçoa, one pony of maraschino and a dash of rum, mix thoroughly, strain, and bottle for future use. Serve with cracked ice.
Pulque, the warmest drink that ever trickled down the throat of mortal man, is strictly a Mexican production and has been a standard beverage with the natives of our Sister Republic ever since the beginning of their written history.
It is made from the juice of the cactus, and legend has it that the secret of the great strength of pulque is in the age of the plant, only old century plants being used. The duty of $2.35 per gallon imposed by the United States government has been the chief reason why this beverage has never been introduced north of the Rio Grande. Whenever a love-sick Mexican swain wishes to wreak vengeance on his hated rival he first partakes freely of this decoction and then he considers himself as brave as a lion. It is also claimed that pulque is the greatest builder of the finest castles ever seen in the air. A Swizzle is a famous West Indian beverage, and all English-speaking residents of those beautiful islands delight in partaking of this delicious decoction.
A long glass of cracked ice, some sugar, lime or lemon juice several dashes of Angostura bitters and a jigger of the desired brand of liquor stirred thoroughly with a swizzle-stick (a small stick with three prongs like a tripod), and filled up with club soda. An egg is sometimes added after being thoroughly beaten. Any kind of liquor may be used with this drink.
A Panama Cocktail is an ordinary cocktail with a dash of Tobasco sauce added.
Selections from the book “The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them. Standard Authority. Compiled By Hon. Wm. T. (Cocktail) Boothby. Premier Mixologist. Pacific Buffet, Pacific Building San Francisco, Cal., 1908”