spirit possession, Uncategorized

Christmas Spirits II: Faded Glory


(This is part of a drink-by-drink Christmas eve exploration of Charles H. Baker’s 1939 cocktail compendium book, The Gentleman’s Companion)

(Apologies for the lengthy and uncharacteristic intermission between drinks, but two of our party were dispatched to retrieve “nacho fixins” and an N64 gaming system with 007 Goldeneye, both soon-to-be Christmas Day staples.)


Good rye, or bourbon, 1 jigger
Gomme syrup, 1 tsp
Curaçao, 1 tsp
Cognac, 1 jigger
Orange bitters or Angostura, 3 dashes
Absinthe, 1 tsp.

Mixing technique seems to be torn between stirring in a bar glass with ice, straining into a whisky glass, and adding a little seltzer topped off with a twist of lemon peel – or stirring in the same bar glass, and turning into an old fashioned glass, a squirt of club soda, and a twist of peel.

Again, opted for no ice because, again, we weren’t anticipating it would hang about long enough to be warmed by the ambience. Agreed by all in attendance to be a solid and respectable cocktail, although stock limitations demanded we substitute a cheap but serviceable 10-year-old Italian brandy for the cognac. Ultimately it conveys a surprising delicacy for all the brutish and elbowey spirits involved, although to its discredit there is a slight hint of Mr. Clean on the nose. Opted for classic Angostura in lieu of orange bitters, but upon further consideration suspect that orange was the way to go.


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