The Modern Cocktail

Difford's Guide
User Rating (17 ratings)

Serve in a

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Luxardo Maraschino cherry

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 1/2 fl oz Dewar's 12 Year Old Scotch whisky
1 1/2 fl oz Sloe gin liqueur
1/2 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1/6 fl oz Sugar syrup 'rich' (2 sugar to 1 water, 65.0°brix)
1 dash La Fée Parisienne absinthe
1 dash Orange Bitters by Angostura
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Review:

A pleasantly fruity sweet n sour cocktail with equal parts scotch and sloe gin liqueur shaken with lemon juice and a dash of absinthe. The quality and freshness of the sloe gin makes or breaks this cocktail.

History:

Adapted from an early 20th-century recipe recorded in Charles S. Mahoney's 1905 The Hoffman House Bartender's Guide. Charlie Mahoney was the head bartender, and indeed celebrity bartender, at New York's Hoffman House Hotel.

Mahoney's inclusion of The Modern in his revered book ensured it would be picked up and made by future generations of bartender. However, he didn't create this cocktail and for decades the identity of the drink's inventor remained unknown. That was until December 2017, when Doug Stailey revealed (via his Twitter feed @LibationLegacy) that John E. Haas, a bartender from Bradford, Pennsylvania (1873-1909) was the true originator of this delicious cocktail. The evidence he'd uncovered lay in a column in the National Police Gazette, December 17, 1904. Sadly, little else is known about the life and times of John E. Haas.

Thanks Doug. And thanks to David Wondrich for bringing this to the attention of a wider audience. And special thanks to Scott Bennett, the discerning drinker who brought all this to our attention.

Nutrition:

One serving of The Modern Cocktail contains 231 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.5 standard drinks
  • 19.25% alc./vol. (38.5° proof)
  • 21.3 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.
Buy direct from
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