Moonraker Cocktail

Moonraker Cocktail

Moonraker Cocktail
(6 People)

Pour into the shaker 2 glasses of Brandy (3/4 oz Lustau Reserve Brandy), 2 of Quinquina (3/4 oz Lillet Rouge) and 2 of Peach Brandy (3/4 oz Massenez Creme de Peche). Add 3 dashes of Absinthe (drop or two of North Shore Sirene Absinthe), shake (I stirred) vigorously and serve.

Moonraker seems like such an evocative name, I have always wondered a bit what it referred to. The two main possibilities seem to be a certain type of sail or a reference to a British folk tale.

The Legend of the Moonrakers (link to swindonweb site)

A pair of Wiltshiremen, engaged in smuggling brandy, hide a barrel of the contraband from the excisemen in a nearby pond and when they return at some later time, in the dark, they are caught in the act of raking the barrel back to land. They immediately claim that they are trying to rake cheese – the reflection of the moon – from the pond and the excisemen, amused by the apparently simple-minded rustics, leave them to it.

Why on earth Ian Fleming would name a book about a plot to use a nuclear weapon to destroy London after this legend, I have no idea.

I was also puzzled by the use of the generic term “Quinquina” for an ingredient. Notes to friendly cocktail experts unfortunately yielded no results, leaving me to rely on my own google-rific conclusions. When examining the results of an image search for “Quinquina” almost all the products which come up seem to be dark or red colored. Dubonnet Rouge comes up quite frequently, but it seems there were a number of other Quinquinas available.

Some friends were cleaning their liquor cabinet and gave me a barely used bottle of Lillet Rouge. Thought it would be appropriate, given the results of my searches.

Used Peach Liqueur, as I don’t really have anything else peachy in the house. Hard to say if this should be peach eau-de-vie, aged peach brandy, or peach liqueur.

With the peach liqueur, this is a pretty sweet cocktail. It is, however, pretty tasty. If you were casting about for after dinner options, you could certainly do a lot worse.

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.