Jacques Straub’s Cocktails of Old Chicago

The Calumet Club Cocktail, Burnt Brandy with Peach, the Reviver Flip, and more, from the son of a Swiss distiller and wine steward of the Blackstone Hotel.

Jacques StraubWhat with this month bringing us Chicago’s Drinker’s Guide, featuring Jeff Ruby attempting to find his signature drink, Duchamp’s Kris von Dopek explaining his semi-historically inspired Colonial cocktail, and other highlights (and today being Coudal Partners’ invaluable Friday Drink Links) I was curious what great Chicago bartenders of the past might recommend. One of the names I came across was Jacques Straub, son of a Swiss distiller, wine steward of the Blackstone, and author of Drinks by Jacques Straub. And he looked like someone you’d take cocktail advice from.

Fortunately, Drinks by Jacques Straub is available online, in a posthumous 1914 edition published by his wife, Marie. It starts with some wine advice, including some scientifically questionable suggestions for its application: Sauternes are “invaluable to convalescents after a severe illness, or when it is necessary to revive an organism extenuated by high fever, hemorrahage, or long fatigue”; Moselle “as a highly etheral wine is also very useful in cases of cerebral [!] and cardiac exhaustion”; “a glass of Port taken with a repast is a splendid invigorator.”

After that, he moves on to the cocktails and mixed drinks. A few I’m looking forward to trying:

Calumet Club Cocktail
3 dashes of acid phosphate
(hard to find, but coming back as a mixer)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/2 jigger bourbon
1/2 jigger Italian vermouth. Stir.

Sandy McKay Cocktail
1 white of egg
1 jigger dry gin
1/2 jigger Italian vermouth
1/2 jigger orange juice
1 barspoon grenadine. Shake. Serve in claret glass.

Burnt Brandy with Peach
Burn 1 jigger brandy with 1 lump sugar in a saucer
Place 2 slices dried peach in hot toddy glass
Pour liquid over the peach.

Angostura Ginger Ale
1 glass ginger ale
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Treasury Cocktail
1/3 jigger Italian vermouth
2/3 jigger dry gin
1 slice of orange. Frappé.

Reviver Flip
1 jigger sloe gin
1/4 jigger curacao
1 egg
Shake well. Grated nutmeg on top.

Related: The Museum of the American Cocktail (via @Coudal); Luis Buñuel’s dry martini recipe.

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