Pegu Club Cocktail (via Andrew Willett)

1 13 oz Gin
23 oz Curaçao (see Willett's note below))
1 bsp Key lime
1 ds Bitters, Angostura
1 ds Orange bitters
1 twst Lemon peel (as garnish)
Instructions
Stir, strain, goblet, twist.
Notes
Unlike the contemporary Pegu Club, this is structured as a cocktail, in the original sense, rather than a sour/daisy (fancily sweetened sour). Basically this means less juice. Willett provides alternative ratios of gin to orange liqueur: 3:1 (credited to McElhone, 1922) and 1:1. This ratio is credited to Craddock, 1930 (the Savoy). Willett calls for less lime juice (though not much less) than older sources.
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5 Comments

I love the cocktails with

I love the cocktails with little twists of variations. I am sure this one will be no different. I love how you put a little history in here as well, and the laymen's term (less juice).

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Greetings! Thank you for

Greetings!
Thank you for mentioning me in connection with this old drink and presenting it here in its original form as an alternative to the more modern re-working of it.
I thought that I would mention that I had up-dated the article to explain what I mean by "liqueur of bitter orange peel." In as much brevity as I can manage, all true Curaçao liqueur is made of the peel of the special variety of the bitter orange that grows on the island of Curaçao. Traditional Curaçao liqueur uses only that type of peel, making it rather bitter, and thus needing a lot of sugar to balance it. The triple-sec ('triple dry,' in French) variety of Curaçao liqueur was made to allow for a less-sweet product by using part bitter orange peel and part sweet orange peel. Cointreau is the most famous brand of triple-sec Curaçao liqueur, and was originally described exactly as such on the label. Combier l'Original is also a triple-sec-type liqueur of bitter orange peel, and was also originally called "Curaçao blanc, triple-sec," like Cointreau), but modern Combier is made with bitter orange peel from Haiti, instead of Curaçao, and therefore is not Curaçao liqueur, strictly speaking (and according to French labeling law). Because not all liqueur of bitter orange peel is made of the peel of the Curaçao orange and some of them are still quite good (like Combier), I call it "liqueur of bitter orange peel" in all of my recipes. This also allows the mixer to select either the very-bitter-and-very-sweet traditional variety, or the less-bitter-and-less-sweet triple-sec variety.
My original post can be found by following the link below:
http://elementalmixology.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/the-pegu-club-aint-the...

DrunkLab's picture

Hello Andrew/Mr.

Hello Andrew/Mr. Willett,

Thank you for the further information; it's quite useful. I appreciate your research and the rigor with which you always present it. I tend to be a bit less exacting than you in casual usage (I figure that nearly a century of use of "cocktail" as a generic term for an alcoholic mixed drink renders that usage valid), I find your standards refreshing and your research invaluable. Cheers.

It is definitely valid to use

It is definitely valid to use language as most users have done for the better part of a century.
The collateral damage, in this case, is that when you want to refer to a traditionally-correct cocktail, it is almost impossible to be understood.
In 1900, if you asked a bar-tender for a Rum Cocktail, he would understand it to be a specific drink. He might ask you which sort of bitters you might want in it. He might also ask you whether you wanted it 'soft' (with sugar syrup and stirred through ice and strained) or 'old-fashioned' (starting with dry sugar and then served on-the-rocks). Whatever he asked or assumed, you would be able to get the Rum Cocktail.
Today if you go into all but a very few bars and ask for a Rum Cocktail, the bar-tender will not realize that you are asking for a specific drink. He or she might ask you, "What do you mean, Rum & Coke, Piña Colada, Daiquiri..." and might even be annoyed in mistaking your request as being too vague.
About seven years ago, my wife was able to get the Bourbon Cocktail at Seven Grand in downtown Los Angeles. A couple of years and staff incarnations later, she tried again. The bartenders at that whiskey-focused, supposedly pre-prohibition-type bar had no idea what she was talking about. When she explained it to them slowly and deferentially, they thought that she was telling them to stir and strain an 'Old-fashioned' (as if that were only one drink, rather than the old way to make a cocktail out of any liquor) and told her that they would not violate such a hallowed drink from tradition in the way she was suggesting. Such ignorance from those who wrap themselves in the pretense of American mixological tradition is breath-taking.
Imagine a future time when the perceived sophistication of the word 'sushi' has caused its over-use to the point that it means nothing more than any food that is vaguely Asian. Too bad for anyone trying to get the real thing then.