The Modern Cocktail

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243 calories

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The Modern Cocktail image

Serve in

Coupe glass


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 Rutte Sloe Gin
1/2 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1/6 fl oz Giffard Sugar Cane Syrup
1 dash La Fee Parisienne absinthe
1 dash Orange Bitters by Angostura


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.


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 reader who brought all this to our attention.

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