It takes just two words to make the 52 Cocktails crew very, very happy but, surprisingly, those two words are not ‘free cocktails’. No, the magic words are ‘The Everleigh’. The Everleigh is our bar of choice in Melbourne, but we won’t bore you with the ever-growing list of reasons why. Just go there, and revel in the old-world-yet-unpretentious atmosphere, the table service that makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the room, the glorious displays of vintage cocktail shakers and vintage cocktail books (drool) and, of course, the ridiculously good, meticulously well-made cocktails. Basically, it’s heaven. (And if we ever hear the words ‘free cocktails’ and ‘The Everleigh’ in the one sentence, we’ll know we’ve died and gone to heaven!)
On a recent visit we tried a Queen Elizabeth cocktail and it was so delicious and sophisticated that we decided to try to recreate it at home. Two recipes with the same name appear in The Savoy Cocktail Book (just one of the many on display at The Everleigh, and the subject of a recent meeting of the bar’s Vintage Cocktail Book Club. Yes. This bar is so cool it has a book club dedicated to vintage cocktail books. If you have even a passing interest in books, cocktails or drinking and a fun night out, I highly recommend you attend a meeting.) One Queen Elizabeth recipe calls for curacao, vermouth and brandy; we made the other version, as follows. It’s light and refreshing yet complex and herbaceous – more so when it’s made by a bartender at The Everleigh.
As with most of the recipes in the fabulous Savoy Cocktail Book, this one is light on instructions, so we’ve taken the liberty of adding our own (in parentheses).
1 dash absinthe (we used this to rinse the glass, though the original instructions indicate you just add it to the shaker along with everything else)
1/4 lemon juice (we used 15ml)
1/4 Cointreau (we used 15ml)
1/2 dry gin (we used 30ml Bombay Sapphire)
Chilled cocktail glass
Shake all ingredients with ice (unless you’ve already used the absinthe to rinse the glass) and strain into glass.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Easy – but even easier, and most definitely more refined and delicious, if you simply order one at the Everleigh.
This version appears in The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock (first published 1930 by Constable & Co; this edition published 1987 by Spring Books), with additional instructions by the 52 Cocktails crew.
PS No, this article was NOT sponsored by The Everleigh. Though if they feel like it they are welcome to…