With high season just finding footing, the Naples social scene is poised to be packed with all types of events, from swank poolside soirees to black-tie affairs. But how does the hostess and host stand apart when pulling it all together? Infuse the menu with some Gilded Age inspiration and shake up these six cocktail recipes from the bygone era.
Named for the French 75mm field gun, this cocktail made its claim to fame at the New York Bar in Paris back in 1915, even finding a spot in Harry Craddok’s tome, The Savoy Cocktail Book, the bible of early cocktail making and a must for the hipster home bar.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. simple syrup
- Champagne (brut)
Shake gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in an iced cocktail shaker, pour into a tall glass and top with champagne. Stir gently and garnish with lemon spiral and cherry.
Another alum of Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book, Satan’s Whiskers is a devilishly fun cocktail to order, if by name only. Two variations made the pages of the classic bartending tome: straight, utilizing Grand Mariner; and curled, using any other orange curaçao.
Adhering to the same build-up and measurements, these cocktails are a tad taller than the typical cocktail glass (grab those up-sized versions) – perhaps reason for the name – while orange really drives the flavor of the drink: this is a drink that is tad heavy on fruit while not being too sweet.
Now, for those looking to imbibe on some Satan’s Whiskers, the school of thought goes: the curled version by day, straight by night. Drink accordingly.
- ½ oz. gin
- ½ oz. dry vermouth
- ½ oz. sweet vermouth
- ½ oz. orange juice
- 2 tsp. Grand Marnier*
- 1 tsp. orange bitters
Shake in an iced shaker and strain into a glass. Garnish with two long orange twists.
*For the curled version, swap Grand Mariner with any other orange curaçao, et viola.
A top competitor in foil and épée, the left-handed Lucien Gaudin was one of the greatest classical fencers of the twentieth century, winning gold medals for both weapons in the 1928 Olympics. Described as “poetry in motion” for his effortless and dexterous control of the blade, Gaudin’s dedication to the sword won him fame and, ultimately, was his undoing, committing suicide in 1934 at the age of 48 after wounding his thumb during a duel with a nonfencer.
The cocktail that bears his name is a variation of a personal favorite, the Negroni, with an added dose of complexity with Cointreau and dry vermouth. The rather bitter yet nuanced sip – perhaps an ode to Gaudin’s bitter end – is a great pre-dinner cocktail and definitely one to add to the repertoire.
Stir with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Parfait Amour was a rather popular liqueur with women. Translating to perfect love, Parfait Amour imbues a sweet, almost candied grape flavor, which alone can be a bit overpowering but when added to the Jupiter mix, a wet martini at its core, makes for an interesting drink with hints of citrus, rose and violet. As for the Jupiter name, that is something lost to obscurity, but may lay in the cocktail’s color: a light bluish, ash hue – probably more apropos of Neptune, but who’s counting.
- 1½ oz. gin
- ¾ oz. dry vermouth
- 1 tsp. Parfait Amour
- 1 tsp. orange juice
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.
Note: Revitalized by the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, author Ted Haigh advises to mix precisely – a heavy handed or too light pour of any one ingredient will create something rather undrinkable.
Resuscitated from Modern American Drinks, the classic bartending manual from George Kappeler and first published in 1895, when Old Tom gin was still in vogue, the Ford cocktail is a nuanced sip perfect for the gin lover. Though the name may have most thinking Henry Ford, the Ford cocktail was most likely named for Malcolm Webster Ford, a three-time American National Champion as “All Around Athlete,” essentially the decathlon of today, and quite the celebrity in his day (1880s) – think Bruce Jenner before the whole Kardashian experiment.
- 1 oz. gin
- 1 oz. dry vermouth
- 3 dashed Bénédictine
- 3 dashes orange bitters
Stir well with finely cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Another classic from The Savoy Cocktail Book [though referred to as Seventh Heaven Cocktail (No. 2)], the Seventh Heaven is a quick, simple gin sour cocktail with a little Florida twist – fresh grapefruit juice is always nice.
- 1¾ oz. gin
- ½ oz. Maraschino liqueur
- ¼ oz. grapefruit juice
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.