Jan 26, 2014

Sweet Home Alabazam

“Oh! That men should put an enemy in their mouths...

“Oh! That men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!” These few words, culled from a work of the immortal Shakespeare, must speak volumes in favor of those “Cooling Drinks” so artistically concocted to tickle the palate of mankind.

Leo Engel, 1878

This eloquent quote comes from the preface of Leo Engel’s American & Other Drinks, published in 1878.  The book contains the first known mention of the Alabazam cocktail.

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Some enthusiasts suggest that the cognac-based Alabazam is the predecessor to the more famous Sidecar.

There are numerous recipes for the Alabazam, and some call for up to a quarter-ounce of aromatic bitters! After some trial runs, I settled on the following recipe, most similar to Engel’s 1878 recipe.

Alabazam
1 1/2 oz. cognac
1 barspoon sugar
2 barspoons dry curaçao or triple sec (preferably Cointreau)
1 barspoon fresh lemon juice
1 barspoon aromatic bitters (I used Angostura)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain and serve.

The Alabazam is the perfect cocktail to enjoy at home, with a full belly, sitting in front of a warm fire.  Sweet Home Alabazam!

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Here’s a good Sidecar recipe just for kicks.

The Sidecar
1 1/2 – 2 oz. cognac
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 barspoon white sugar (optional)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain and serve.

Enjoy, Ryan

 

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tagged bitters, brandy, mixers, cocktails, cognac, graphic art...