Monday, January 30, 2023


You know a lot of people say to me, ‘Geoff, what’s the secret of being a Cutting Edge Mixologist?’


         And I reply that all you have to do is take all the weird booze you have left over from Xmas, put it in an ice-filled shaker with a dash of this and a twist of that, and before you know it you’ve got yourself a Cutting Edge Cocktail.


Photo by Caroline Gannon

         In the above case the contents are home-made plum brandy, (not made in my home), some pineapple liqueur (Licor de Ananas), and gin, which is not strictly speaking weird or left over, then a squeeze of lemon and a dash of Angostura Bitters, shaken with ice and there you’ve got one helluva drink.  


Now obviously I’m not saying this is a unique or previously undrunk concoction – people can and do combine anything with anything, but the nearest extant recipe I can find for a drink like this is the Flying Dutchman as described in Jim Meehan’s The PDT Cocktail Book – which is a very good book indeed, though Meehan’s version includes maraschino liqueur which I would go a long way to avoid. 

In fact there are quite a few cocktails with the name Flying Dutchman that aren’t much like Meehan’s recipe or mine. So I’m going to call mine a Flying Nicholson.  


I think it’s a one off because I used up all the weird leftover Xmas booze and I don’t think I’m ever likely to have those same ingredients in the house, and in any case I’ve more or less forgotten the proportions.  So as Jim Webb and Richard Harris put it, ‘I’ll never have that recipe again.’


Incidentally, the Electric Room in Manhattan serves, or anyway used to serve, the Richard Harris Cocktail, made withJameson’s whiskey, Ginger Snap Liqueur (which I’d never previously heard of) apple juice, lemon juice and sugar syrup.  


Sounds and looks all right but on balance I think I might prefer a Flying Nicholson.

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