Blue Train Special Cocktail

Blue Train Special Cocktail
(6 People)

Fill the shaker with cracked ice and pour into it 1 glass of Brandy (1 oz Korbel VSOP) and 1 glass Pineapple Syrup (3/4 oz pineapple juice, 3 tsp superfine sugar, stir to dissolve). Shake carefully, and then add 3 glasses of Champagne (3 oz Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava). Give one or two more shakes and serve without further delay.

As usual, I am halving the recipe by assuming two ounces per “glass” and then making half. This one seemed a bit small.

I’ll give decoding this my best.

Blue Train likely candidates.

1) South African luxury train.
2) Train from Paris to Calais, “Le Train Bleu”.
3) “Splendid Belle Epoque restaurant in the heart of the Gare de Lyon railway station.” Also, “Le Train Bleu”.

You may remember a certain Barney Barnato from the Barney Barnato Cocktail. When Barney Barnato died, he left his two year old son an heir to his millions. When this son, (Joel) Woolf Barnato, grew up, he became quite the bon vivant. His enthusiasms included car racing, Bentleys, drinking, and parties. He and his friends were called “The Bentley Boys”. They competed in various European motor races. In fact, Woolf Barnato won the Le Mans race three times out of three starts, a record that has not been beaten to this day.

In March of 1930, Woolf Barnato was at a party in Cannes. Some speculation arose about the speed of the cars among the attendees. Many wondered if it was possible for someone to race the famous express rail, “Le Train Bleu,” and beat it from Paris to Calais. Woolf pooh poohed this idea, and said his custom Bentley could get to London before the train got to Calais. Bets were laid and Woolf wagered 200 pounds he could get to his favorite club in London before The Blue Train arrived in Calais.

The next day, when “Le Train Bleu” left the Paris station, with the assistance of a second driver, Barnato departed simultaneously. Barnato reached Calais the next morning at 10:30 AM, and took his car on the ferry across the channel. He arrived at the Conservative Club on St. James Street 4 minutes before the Blue Train arrived in Calais.

I would guess a champagne cocktail or two might be in order.

From then on he called his custom Bentley “The Blue Train Special”. He even had a bar built into the dashboard.

The cocktail is rather tastier than I expected. Sweet, fizzy, and slightly exotic. Just the ticket for a Bright Young Thing during London’s exuberant 30s.

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.

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