Saturday, September 19, 2015

cubano cocktail

3/4 oz Gin (1 1/4 oz Bluecoat)
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Pineapple Syrup (1/2 oz)
2 dash Kümmel (1/4 oz Helbing)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Last Saturday after my shift, I was looking through a few old cocktail books for a nightcap. The one I ended up selecting was the Cubano from Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide which seemed like an interesting tropical and spiced Martini variation. I had also spotted it in Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them, but I had passed over the recipe for it just said "pineapple" which gave the impression of a shaken juice-driven drink. I later discovered that the Cubano Cocktail first appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book with a few dashes of "Charbreux" also in the mix. My curiosity about this ingredient led to this Cocktaildb explanation that links references to this ingredient to solely this recipe:
Charbreux: Defunct term cited in bar books which is theorized to have been a corruption/typo for Les Peres Chartreux, the name given to Chartreuse during the period 1903-1940 when it was produced solely in Tarragona, Spain. The only reference to this product with this spelling was in a drink named the Cubano. Its first appearance was in the Savoy Cocktail Book (London 1930). In 1934, "Cocktail Bill" Boothby listed the recipe in his guide with the ingredient entirely eliminated, as did Trader Vic in 1947. Ever since, (as here,) "Charbreux" only shows up in recipe lists which draw from the Savoy book - or from the books which drew from those books!
A little Green Chartreuse in the mix would not have hurt, but that was not the recipe that I had spotted that night. In the glass, the Cubano shared juniper and caraway aromas with a hint of pineapple. On the sip, sweet tropical fruit transitioned into gin and kümmel spice on the swallow with a pineapple finish.

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