Allen (Special) Cocktail

Allen (Special) Cocktail

Dash Lemon Juice. (Juice 1/6 Lemon)
1/3 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
2/3 Plymouth Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass (and garnish with a cherry).

First, let’s not confuse the bright red Maraschino Cherries you get in Shirley Temples with Maraschino Liqueur. You should not make this cocktail by dumping the syrup from your cherries in the shaker.

You’re going to have to hunt down some real Maraschino Liqueur before attempting this or an Aviation.

Maraschino Liqueur is made from cherries; but, somewhat indirectly.

The nice folks at Luxardo, (Maraska and Stock also make Maraschino liqueurs,) make a whole fruit Maraska Cherry Eau-de-Vie, age it briefly in Ash wood barrels, sweeten it, and then bottle it.

This is somewhat unusual, as most liqueurs are made by simply soaking fruit in alcohol and then filtering and bottling.

What you get from this process is an interesting and distinctive funky flavor. The use of the whole fruit including pits, definitely contributes some nutty almond-like notes.

Second, if you’re familiar with classic cocktails, you’ll note a striking similarity between this cocktail and the Aviation Cocktail. In fact, the only real difference between many formulations of the Allen and Aviation is the reversed proportions. The Aviation is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Lemon Juice with a dash of Maraschino (and a dash of Violet Liqueur.) The Allen is 2/3 Gin and 1/3 Maraschino with a dash of lemon juice. This might seem a bit twiddly to us today, but, this sort of thing seems to have made a big difference to the drinkers of the early 20th Century.

In fact, I’d go on to say, that about 90% of the time when you order an Aviation in a modern bar, you’ll get something closer to an Allen than an Aviation.

In any case, the Allen cocktail is an enjoyable cocktail, and a fine feature for the Maraschino Liqueur.

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.