|2 fl oz||Cognac VSOP|
|1⁄6 fl oz||Red curaçao liqueur|
|1⁄6 fl oz||Raspberry (framboise) sugar syrup|
|1⁄12 fl oz||Luxardo Maraschino liqueur|
|2 dash||Angostura or other aromatic bitters|
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in red above.
A splash of floral red curaçao, raspberry syrup and the merest touch of maraschino delicately flavour and slightly sweeten this spirit-forward brandy-based cocktail.
Beware making this cocktail with more widely available orange curaçao rather than red curaçao as this produces a very different tasting and looking cocktail.
Named after the East India Company, this recipe is adapted from the earliest known reference to an East India cocktail in Harry Johnson's 1882 Bartender's Manual which stipulates the use of red curaçao rather than the now more commonplace clear or blue curaçao. This recipe, including the use of red curaçao, is repeated in O.H. Byron's 1884 The Modern Bartender's Guide, and in the 1900 updated edition Johnson's Bartender's Manual where he specifies "putting in a cherry or medium-sized olive" in addition to the lemon zest twist. Tellingly he also adds, "This drink is a great favourite with the English living in the different parts of East India."
The East India doesn't appear in any notable cocktail books published after 1900 until Johnson's 1882 recipe appears almost verbatim in Thomas Stuart's 1904 Stuart's Fancy Drinks and how to mix Them and then again in Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender.
The East India survives pretty much unchanged from Harry Johnson's 1882 recipe until the 1920s when the East India No.2 emerges. The East India No.2 works much better with orange (rather than red) curaçao.