As I’ve probably said before, the Golden Age of Cocktails was probably the 1920’s and 30’s, when exotic recipes were devised to hide the taste of the bathtub hooch that passed for spirits in Prohibition America.
But the cocktail dates to before then, and it’s fun to try some whose Belle Epoque origins are suggested by their names.
One of the these is the Vanderbilt.
The Vanderbilts were one of the richest families in America at the turn of the twentieth century, their fortune built on the steamship and railroad empire of their patriarch, the impressively monikered Cornelius Vanderbilt (commonly known as The Commodore).
The Commodore’s fortune at his death was the equivalent of $143 billion today. The Vanderbilt cocktail, invented for one of his descendents in 1912, is also very rich.
1 1/2 msr cognac
1 msr cherry brandy
1/2 msr sugar syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist and two maraschino cherries.
As I said, this is very rich – it’s full bodied, quite sweet (but not sickly) and feels really rather indulgent.