Whist Cocktail

Whist Cocktail
1/4 Bacardi Rum. (1/2 oz Havana Club 7 Year)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Calvados. (1 oz Calvados Montrueil Reserve)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

This is a delightful drink that has been known in the West Indies for countless years. It might be described as a West Indies “Sundowner”.

Not quite sure why all these West Indies cocktails are showing up all of a sudden, but here’s another.

Described as a “Sundowner”, according to the Wiktionary, that means, “A cocktail consumed at sunset, or to signify the end of the day. A cocktail party in the early evening.”

Being 3/4 booze, this is a pretty stiff way to start the evening’s entertainment.

The cocktail called for “Bacardi Rum” for which I’d usually use a dry Cuban Style Rum. But I figured with the Italian Vermouth and Calvados, it wouldn’t hurt to use something with a bit more character.

I’ve always enjoyed the Havana Club 7 in Manhattans, it has just enough rough character that it makes sense to take the edges off with a bit of vermouth. Works here, lending a bit of aged character and sweetness to the drink.

Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. It derives from the 16th century game of Trump or Ruff, via Ruff and Honours. Although the rules are extremely simple, there is enormous scope for scientific play.

Apparently originating in the early 17th century, the now obsolete adjective “whist” and variant spelling “wist” (in which the word wistful has its roots), meant quiet, silent, and/or attentive. The adverb wistly is also defined as meaning intently.

In its heyday a large amount of literature about how to play whist was written. Edmond Hoyle, of “According to Hoyle” fame, wrote an early popular and definitive textbook, A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. It is important to note that this game, called “French ruff” by Charles Cotton, is similar to √©cart√©. English ruff-and-honours, also described by Cotton, is similar to whist. If we admit that ruff and trump are convertible terms, of which there is scarcely a doubt, the game of trump was the precursor of whist. A purely English origin may, therefore, be claimed for trump (not la triomphe). No record is known to exist of the invention of this game, nor of the mode of its growth into ruff-and-honours, and finally into whist.

Huh, now that I think about it, the Whist Cocktail is very similar to the Corpse Reviver No. 1, with Rum instead of Brandy. Well, if you start your day gaining steam from a Corpse Reviver No 1, I guess it makes sense to end it quietly, with its cousin the Whist Cocktail.

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.