1/3 Forbidden Fruit Liqueur. (1 tsp. Home Made Forbidden Fruit)
1/3 White Crème de Menthe. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Creme de Menthe)
1/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin)
(3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
The Savoy’s likely source for this gem of a cocktail was likely Harry McElhone’s 1928 “ABC of Cocktails”. In his book “Barflies and Cocktails”, he notes this is a “Recipe by Pete Ormart”.
I’ve no idea who Pete was or where he worked, but oof, that certainly sounds like a recipe for slightly grapefruity Mouthwash.
I did my best to slightly mitigate the damage by lengthening the recipe with French Vermouth and decreasing the amounts of the liqueurs, but it was still far too minty for me. Maybe just a glass rinse of Menthe would be enough?
Though, there is a bit of similarity between this and Harry McElhone’s original recipe for the White Lady:
1/6 Creme de Menthe
Shake well and strain.
So maybe he just liked that sort of thing, or at least thought White Ladies and Virgins did.
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.
Interesting insight from Randy of Cocktail Journal regarding the naming of the Tantalus Cocktail:
This may just be a coincidence but I’ve had a hunch that the Tantalus Cocktail was named for the mountain range of the same name on the island of O’ahu—where pomelo trees grow quite frequently. In Hawai’i we call pomelo “Jabong” or “bulook” and I think the variety is quite different from the ones found on the Mainland. It is much more bitter and there is far less fruit inside a very thick rind, totally unlike grapefruit and cocktail grapefruit. It doesn’t have the sweetness of starfruit either (at least the starfruit that I know of that grows in Hawai’i).
I just won a full pint of the old formula FF on eBay so soon I’ll be in the tasting club too… and noting that the flavor may have dissipated with age.
Cool, I didn’t even bother to google the name Tantalus, as I figured it had to do with the figure from mythology, but that’s interesting that it might have been named after the Tantalus Range of Mountains in Hawai’i!
I look forward to reading your tasting notes regarding Forbidden Fruit liqueur!
Underhill Forbidden Fruit Liqueur
Peel from 1 Marsh Ruby Grapefruit
Peel from 1 Cocktail Grapefruit*
Peel from 4 small Blood Oranges (golf ball size)
1 Tablespoon Cardamom Pods, crushed
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds, crushed
3/4 bottle Vodka
1/2 bottle Brandy
1/2 pound Orange Flower Honey
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Steep peels with spices in vodka and brandy for 2 weeks. Strain out solids and add 1/2 pound Orange Flower Honey and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Shake to combine. Let stand another week and rack off clear liquid from settled solids. Makes about 750ml.
As the Pomelo and honey based Forbidden Fruit is a truly lost ingredient, I have no choice but to attempt to make it myself. Fortunately, there’s only about 1 cocktail in the whole world which calls for it. Unfortunately, that cocktail starts with “T”, so I needed to get busy and make some Forbidden Fruit analog tout de suite.
I missed Pomelo season by a week or two, so am using blood oranges and a couple kinds of Grapefruit. I forgot to buy a vanilla pod, so used natural vanilla extract instead.
As a first (second, actually) try this isn’t bad, the sweetness about on par with Cointreau. I think in the future, I would leave out the ginger. It was a last minute impulse add. Initially it was all heat, but as the heat fades, it evolves into a menthol/camphor flavor which I am currently considering a flaw. A tad bitter, I may have over steeped the peels, or gotten too much pith when I peeled. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, as most orange liqueurs are aged significantly before being bottled.
*”Cocktail Grapefruit are exceptionally sweet and juicy. They are not actually a true grapefruit, but a cross between a Frua Mandarin and a Pummelo. This variety has a similar flavor to a grapefruit but is sweeter and less acidic. Cocktail Grapefruits are grown in the Central Valley of California and they are hand picked for the best quality.”