Food and Drink

Brandy Cocktail

Next up in Lommebogen is the Brandy Cocktail. Try Googling that one. Yeah, you get all kind of brandy cocktails, but it’s impossible to find hits for the Brandy Cocktail. So, this is just going from what is in the three books, without any modern research. I’m just not that patient or persistent, especially when all three books are pretty much in line, and it is a very fine cocktail as is from the 1930s. This is pretty much what it states—it’s a brandy in cocktail form. Back in the day “cocktail” pretty much meant a shot of liquor with a little sweetener and some bitters. Our three books do diverge a tiny bit though on the specifics.

Brandy Cocktail

The Recipe

  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 2-3 dashes of simple syrup or curaçao
  • 2 dashes of bitters (Café Royal)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Tasting

Lommebogen was the simplest recipe, just calling for brandy with a little simple syrup added. Savoy only changed it up by replacing the simple syrup with curaçao instead. The Café Royal went more classic in definition by adding the bitters, and it followed along with the Savoy’s curaçao. I made all three of these variations, in two drinks, to get a sense of them. It’s pretty darn subtle. I made the Lommebogen first, which was a fine drink. Then I made the Café Royal and Savoy. So as to not tear through my cognac, I simply made the Savoy version and tasted directly from the mixing glass before I added bitters to complete the Café Royal version. With such a simple cocktail I did prefer it with bitters to give it a little extra oomph. I didn’t really discern much difference between the curaçao and syrup as the sweetener, so that’s a toss up for me. I actually enjoyed this cocktail more than I thought I would, and I’d add it to my regular cocktail list. The hint of sweet and the aroma and tweak of the bitters gives a twist to a classic glass of cognac. Subtle and surprisingly delicious.

This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender’s notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen.