Oriental Cocktail

My apologies for things being a bit slow around here the last week or so; the wife and child and I made a lightning run across the desert to Palm Springs for Modernism Week. Which, if you’re into that sort of thing, is what they call a good time. Anyway, we’re back and can hopefully get back on a more regular schedule.

This one caught my eye…well, because all I had fruit-wise was three limes, and I was making drinks for four people. With my options thus truncated, I scoured the Savoy Cocktail Book until an appropriate recipe was at hand.

Like many of these vintage recipes, this is another one that uses fractions, but also a more specific measurement.

1/2 rye whisky

1/4 sweet vermouth

1/4 curaçao

The juice of 1/2 a lime*

Combine in a shaker with ice; shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

So…that’s all well and good, but how do you correlate half a lime with the other, non-specific measurements? Common sense, really, along with minor adjustments for taste. I went with two ounces of rye, and thus one each of the other liquors. I think this turned out to be exactly right, although this could probably be made with 1.5 ounces of rye and 3/4 ounces each of the other two and not suffer unduly. But, then you’re drinking less, so…


Hey, look, it’s sort of an orange-y brown just like almost every other drink!

This was surprisingly good, actually. Not that it sounds like it wouldn’t be good, but it was better than I was expecting. The curaçao and lime proved the dominant flavors, with the rye providing a nice alcohol base, and the vermouth sweetening things up just a bit in whatever ways the curaçao hadn’t already done. It’s got a vaguely Tiki-ish flavor, in fact, with a nice mix of sweet and sour flavors, though sour is the more prevalent of the two. Four livers.

* A good lime should yield between an ounce and an ounce and a half of juice – so the juice of half a lime will usually be around half an ounce or a bit more. If you’re getting way less than that, use the whole lime. If you’re stuck with one of those abnormally dry little bastards that just turns into a striated pulp when you juice it, well, you’re out of luck. You need better limes. And sometimes, you get a gusher that might give you two or more ounces of juice. In any case, a good rule of thumb is “the juice of half a lime” should be 1/2 to 3/4 of an ounce.


2 thoughts on “Oriental Cocktail

  1. Pingback: Seventh Heaven | propercocktails

  2. Pingback: The Millionaire | propercocktails

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