Vanderbilt

Difford's Guide
User Rating (12 ratings)

Serve in a

Nick & Nora glass

Garnish:

Lemon zest twist (discarded) & skewered Luxardo maraschino cherry

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.

Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Review:

Tangy, rich cherry and hints of vanilla fortified with brandy.

My previous specs for this cocktail were to serve in a coupe glass and called for a generous 67.5ml (2¼oz) cognac, 22.5ml (¾oz) cherry brandy, 5ml (1 bar spoon) sugar syrup, and aromatic bitters. In July 2022, in a quest for some semblance of sobriety, I reduced the volume of this boozy late-night treat back by a third to better suit a Nick & Nora glass.

History:

Adapted from a recipe in Robert Vermeire's 1922 Cocktails: How to Mix Them which gives the origin of this cocktail as being at "the Kursaal" in Ostend, Belgian, where, as the name would suggest, it was made for a member of the wealthy Vanderbilt family. However, Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American railroad tycoon cited by Vermeire died in 1877 so this cocktail is more likely to have been made for his great grandson, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877–1915) who died as a passenger on the RMS Lusitania ocean liner when it sunk by a German U-boat torpedo during WWI.

VANDERBILT COCKTAIL.
Fill the large bar glass full of broken ice and add :
3 dashes of Gum Syrup.
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.
¼ gill of Old Brandy.
¼ gill of Cherry Brandy Rocher.
Stir up well and strain into a cocktail glass, add a cherry and a lemon-peel squeezed on top.
This drink was first made at the Kursaal in Ostend during a visit of Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American millionaire, who was drowned on the Lusitania during the war.

Robert Vermeire, 1922

The Vanderbilt also, notably, appears in Harry Craddock's 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book.

VANDERBILT COCKTAIL.
3 Dashes Syrup.
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
¼ Cherry Brandy.
¾ Brandy.
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Harry Craddock, 1930

Nutrition:

One serving of Vanderbilt contains 163 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.3 standard drinks
  • 29.37% alc./vol. (58.74° proof)
  • 18.5 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
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