Coffee Cocktail

Coffee Cocktail

The Yolk of 1 Egg.
1 Teaspoonful Sugar or Gomme Syrup.
1/3 Port Wine. (1 oz?)
1/6 Brandy. (1/2 oz?)
1 Dash Curacao.

Shake well, strain into a small wineglass, and grate a little nutmeg on top.

The name of this drink is a misnomer, as coffee is not to be found among its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted.

The Savoy recipe for the Coffee Cocktail doesn’t make much sense to me. Small, quite sweet, and very eggy. Notably, it is the only Savoy recipe I’ve noticed so far, where the fractions don’t add up to a whole. Typo? Evidence that the fractions are actually portions of some standard measure rather than the total volume of before chill liquids?

Thanks to the DrinkBoy forums, Dale DeGroff, and Darcy O’Neil, I recently found out it is originally from Jerry Thomas’ book.

Thomas’ version is as follows:

Coffee Cocktail.
(Use a large bar-glass.)
Take 1 tea-spoonful powdered white sugar.
1 fresh egg.
1 large wine-glass of port wine. (2 oz?)
1 pony of brandy. (1 oz?)
2 or 3 lumps of ice.

Break the egg into the glass, put in the sugar, and lastly the port wine, brandy and ice. Shake up very thoroughly, and strain into a medium bar goblet. Grate a little nutmeg on top before serving.

The name of this drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found among its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and hence probably its name.

Makes more sense, though uses a whole egg and leaves out the Curacao.

Of particular interest, is the fact that Craddock (or the Savoy editors) leave out the critical, “and bitters,” from the comments. So, we see Thomas (or whoever wrote his copy) discriminating a traditional “Cocktail” as containing bitters, while the Savoy pointedly does not.

I split the difference and semi-accidentally upped the booze to port ratio:

Coffee Cocktail

Coffee Cocktail

The Yolk of 1 Egg.
1 Teaspoonful Caster Sugar.
1 1/2 oz Ficklin Old Vine Tinta Port.
1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac.
1 Teaspoonful Brizard Orange Curacao.

Shake well, strain into a small wineglass, and grate a little nutmeg on top.

Very nice. I will have to go back and redo it with the proper amounts of port and brandy.

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.

3 thoughts on “Coffee Cocktail

  1. Not sure if your understanding of ‘The Big Question regarding the intended size of the recipes from the Savoy’ has changed since last Aug, but I just got a replica of ‘Barflies and Cocktails’ wherein in Harry explains: “The most practical article for measuring purposes is a ‘gigger,’ which used to be in general use in America. The ‘gigger’ is of silver plated metal, cone-shaped at both ends to contain 1/3 and 2/3 of liquor…” The unitless fractions in his recipes frequently do add up to one, but often don’t, much more often than Savoy. So often that they can’t all be mistakes. 1/3 and 2/3 of an ounce?

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