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Cocktail Hour: The Abbey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2016

Here is a recipe which arrives to us from W.J. Tarling’s, Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (Coronation Edition) which was published in 1937. An interesting point about the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book is that Mr. Tarling used the left side margin to credit the ‘inventors’ of many of the cocktails. Presumably, the cocktails which are not credited in the book were well-known servings at the time and either did not need to be credited or the creators of these cocktails were unknown to Tarling.

The Abbey is one of these cocktails whose creator was not credited, and today there is very little information about where the cocktail originated. Modern versions of the cocktail often substitute Vermouth for Lillet (as I have done) or eliminate the aromatized wine altogether from the recipe.

The Abbey SAM_2436The elimination of aromatized wine from the recipe is probably because this serving only works well with fresh vermouth. Many persons (and unfortunately many bartenders) do not realize that aromatized wines will begin to oxidize immediately after being opened and exposed to the air. They can undergo a very undesirable change in the matter of only a few weeks. This oxidized flavour has a deleterious effect upon both the vermouth and the cocktail.

However, if fresh Vermouth is used, the Abbey Cocktail is quite wonderful.

The Abbey

2 oz Pinnacle Gin
1 oz Lillet (Sub Fresh Vermouth)
1 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
orange peel garnish

Add the first five Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon zest twist

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review of Pinnacle Gin will publish tomorrow as the Gin Binge continues.


2 Responses to “Cocktail Hour: The Abbey”

  1. Frederic said

    Also appears in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book; I remember a bartender making it for me with the preface that it was the first drink (A-to-Z) in the Savoy. Not sure if it appears anywhere earlier than that.

    • Thanks Frederic 🙂

      I haven’t gotten myself a copy of the Savoy Cocktail Book yet (it is on my to do list) so I was unaware that the Abbey Cocktail was included. I remember reading somewhere that the cocktail may have actually made an appearance in a cocktail book published in France somewhat earlier than that, but I was unable to find any sort of confirmation. It’s a pity that much of the history of mixology remains undiscovered and/or currupted by time.

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