Saturday, August 29, 2009


1 1/2 oz Whiskey (Rittenhouse Rye)
1 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 Orange, Juiced (approx 1 1/2 oz)
1 dash Raspberry Syrup (1 tsp Strawberry Shrub)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
A few days ago, I was flipping through the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and found the Japalac with the description, "So styled in compliment to a salesman who sold a product of that name; not because it would enamel a digestive apparatus." While pondering this cocktail, I remembered that it was in Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. Haigh gives a less cryptic history of the name: a quick drying gloss stain that used a Japanese drier base to achieve this effect. Ted's recipe specifies rye whiskey and interestingly he keeps the orange juice and raspberry syrup levels the same but only adds half as much whiskey or vermouth. Thus, his pre-Prohibition styling of the recipe shifted the recipe to be much more juice oriented. Haigh's recipe calls for an orange twist which we added to the Old Waldorf recipe. I swapped strawberry shrub for the raspberry syrup to make the drink more Andrea-friendly. Overall, the Japalac had a very old fashioned flavor to it, and it reminded me of a dry whiskey Orange Blossom (equal parts gin, orange juice, sweet vermouth) cocktail.

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