Astor Hotel Special
Dry shake everything without the Club Soda and then reshake it again with ice. Double strain into a Coup and top with the Club Soda. Express a Lemon Peel over the foam and discard it.
After the very lengthy review of all of the Fever Tree Sodas and Tonics I figured I’d post some of the odd cocktails I made for it in new posts since there really was no room for them there. As mentioned there, this is a classic and I couldn’t pass on a drink with Absinthe and Egg Whites.
I found this drink, like so many others, on the utilitarian Kindred Cocktails page when I was looking for something to make with Club Soda as it’s not an ingredient I ever really use that much. In the description it mentions that the particular recipe posted was taken from The Gentleman’s Companion Volume II Being an Exotic Drinking Book. Luckily, a little while back, I found a collection of vintage cocktail books online in the EUVS Library that I proceeded to collect and hoard as I’m wont to do with digital media. Among those books was, of course, said Gentleman’s Companion Volume II Being an Exotic Drinking Book from 1939 for which I indeed found this Astor Hotel Special on Page 12.
Of course there is a little translating to be done with the measurements from many old cocktail books. The person who transposed it to the Kindred Cocktails page assumed a Jigger to be an ounce and a half which is generally accepted as far as I know. I did, however, want to see if there were any other interpretations online. High West has a version on their page that swaps out Cognac for their Bourbon (o.k.) and reduces the Absinthe to a simple wash (bad). It also cranks up the Lemon (bad) and the Luxardo (good) while also adding Sugar (more bad). This wouldn’t do at all.
Over on a site called Cocktail Quest, the blogger there made a few attempts at this classic starting with the original, hated it, adjusted it, hated that, then revisited it making it something a little more to their taste. While I disagree with their taste, I did up the Lemon Juice a wee bit from a half teaspoon (barspoon) to a whole as I also wanted to use a full Egg White with this drink and it seemed like the right thing to do. I also liked their idea of expressing the Lemon oils over the foam and I must say that it really made the aroma lovely.
The complaints on the Cocktail Quest site was that the original version was too murky brown with no significant foam and an overwhelming licorice aroma and flavor from the Absinthe that overwhelmed the other ingredients. Not knowing which brand of Absinthe they used though when on some other posts that the brand was listed, Absinthe Verte de Fougerolles was used. I’ve unfortunately never tried it, but it seems to have gotten some decent reviews. I didn’t really seem to have these problems as I expected the color, I cheat and use a milk frother to get those egg whited all sorts of frothy and Butterfly Absinthe has always seemed to mix well with everything.