Charleston Cocktail

When I was growing up, my Mother would tell me stories of her parents when they were younger.

She thought my grandfather was the best dressed and most handsome man she knew. Apparently he was quite the snappy dresser, as she always remembered his spotless spats.

My grandmother, I’m told, was a bit of a flapper.

They apparently did well enough and had a lot of fun until the depression caught up with them.

By that time, they had three kids and no real prospects.

For them, the only help they got, came from a very conservative church.

No dancing, no cards, no drinking.

They took this very seriously and chose to live their life in accordance with that church.

By the time us grandkids hit the scene, that was how we all grew up.

Some of us have drifted away, and some of us have stayed with the flock.

This Savoy Cocktail Book cocktail, I assume named after dance of the same name, reminds me a bit of the colorful, carefree stories of my grandparents’ early days of marriage.

Charleston Cocktail

1/6 Dry Gin (1/2 oz Boodles Gin)
1/6 Kirsch (1/2 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
1/6 Maraschino (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/6 Curacao (1/2 oz Senior Curacao of Curacao)
1/6 Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Cinzano Vermouth)
1/6 French Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake (stir, please – erik) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Regarding the video, I seldom count time or mixing strokes when I am stirring a cocktail, I just look for the consistency of the drink. I was a bit shocked, upon viewing the video, that I stirred for nearly a full minute. Cocktail was very cold and didn’t seem over-diluted to me; but, then, as I am using a mixing glass chilled in the freezer and cracked ice at approximately 5 below zero. I probably need to stir for a full minute to get any water into the cocktail at all! Also, forgot to turn off the music, so you have the pleasure of listening to a portion of Louis Sclavis’ 2005 recording, “L’imparfait des langues”.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

11 thoughts on “Charleston Cocktail

  1. I *love* the soundtrack. I think you should forget to turn off the music more often :)

    Is that really cinzano vermouth? looks like the Carpano from here.

  2. Good eye!

    I had a couple different “takes” and on this version, I did use Carpano.

    I found I preferred the Cinzano, though, so that’s what I put in the recipe. I really like Carpano Antica; but, thought something in it didn’t quite work with the flavors of the Charleston Cocktail.

  3. Wow!

    The aroma is outstanding. This is quite sweet, but the coldness makes it all better. The finishing gin taste (I used Plymouth) is phenomenal.

    I ended up using Noilly Prat French and Martini and Rossi Italian.

    I guess I don’t hate kirsch after all …

  4. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Rick!

    With all those ingredients, it is almost like a tiki drink!

    What orange liqueur did you use?

  5. I’ve been trying to find a recipe for a cocktail using Kirsch that is anything more than ok for ages – I will definitely be trying this one out!

  6. Well, after stumbling into a lot of egullet strings on cocktails in which you featured prominently, I learn you are a neighbor here in Bernal Heights! No, I don’t need to borrow a hammer but I was hoping you’d share what local SF liquor stores stock Senior’s Curacao of Curacao. None of the stores I usually frequent for obscure booze seem to carry it. When my girlfriend was in Paris a few months back I had an easier time finding directions on the web to the store there that sold creme de violette than I have had trying to track down Senior’s curacao here. Not wanting to throw out the dragnet and troll stores arbitrarily I’m hoping you can focus my search a touch. I’m sure the bottles are hiding right under my nose.

  7. Hi Mahon! Yep, been in Bernal Heights for 6 years now. If you need a hammer, cup of sugar, or dash of Absinthe, drop me a note.

    John Walker & Co sometimes have the Senior Curacao in stock and are familiar with the brand. I special ordered the white from them, as at the time they only had the blue and orange varieties.

  8. Hello blog post from 5+ years ago! So I made this cocktail tonight after finding the recipe on CocktailDB and thinking it would be a good (if somewhat busy) use of my fresh bottle of Luxardo maraschino. I used essentially the same spirits you did (same vermouths, same kirsch, same maraschnio, but Bluecoat gin and Ferrand dry curacao) and am quite pleased with the outcome. This is one of those drinks where all of the elements play surprisingly well together without any one obscuring or dominating the others. I can pick up the botanical notes from the gin as readily as the earthy sweetness of the maraschino, which is accented nicely by the dry cherry kirsch. I honestly wasn’t expecting that much from the drink but it’s turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Cheers, –Eric

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