Monday, June 28, 2010

little king

Juice 1/4 Lemon (we used 1/2 oz, perhaps 1/4 oz?)
1/4 jigger Apricot Brandy (3/8 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/4 jigger Applejack (3/8 oz Marquis de Saint-Loup Calvados)
1/2 jigger Gin (3/4 oz Beefeater 24)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I garnished with a lemon twist. Perhaps a 2 oz jigger was meant instead of a 1 1/2 oz one.

On Monday night while drinking the St. Germain, I began to flip through Ted Saucier's Bottom's Up. A recipe that stood out was cartoonist Otto Soglow's drink, the Little King. Soglow was a cartoonist active from 1919 until his death in 1975 whose works used to fill the pages of The New Yorker magazine. The Little King was one of his better known series that he started in 1931. While there were better images of the Little King and photos of Otto Soglow, this one contained both; moreover, it is very in tune with the mood of Saucier's tome:
I am not sure if Soglow took inspiration from the classic Royal Smile and subbed apricot liqueur for grenadine and changed the proportions, or if he found a different royal inspiration for the Little King (*). For a nose on our drink, I got mainly apricot aromas and Andrea noticed the lemon more. A dry apricot flavor was on the first part of the sip with apple and gin on the swallow, and overall, the drink had a robust complement of fruit notes. Our lemons were much larger than what was available when the Little King was created. While we were in the mood for a crisp drink, scaling down the citrus to 1/4 oz or so might yield something closer to what Soglow intended.
(*) Postnote: In the comments section, Erik Ellestad pointed me to the Prince's Smile Cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail Book. It is essentially the Little King except the lemon juice is specified as a dash.


erik.ellestad said...

Check the recipe for the "Prince's Smile".

frederic said...

Thank you! I made a postnote on the Little King post with a link to your Prince's Smile entry.