The Huntington Special Cocktail

Another from Ted Saucier’s 1951 book Bottoms Up, the Huntington Special takes its name from Pasadena’s venerable Huntington Hotel, which is still going strong after more than 100 years (the original building was torn down, but the current building is a near-replica, and the grounds are fantastic – worth checking out if you’re in the LA area). Whether the drink dates from the pre-war or postwar era, Saucier does not say; if I had to guess, I’d say postwar, since it sort of straddles the line between classic cocktail and Tiki – but then, many prewar cocktails pulled off the same trick even before Tiki was a thing, so who knows?

The Recipe:

The juice of one lime

1/4 tsp. simple syrup

1 oz. pineapple juice

1/2 oz. creme de violette or Creme Yvette

2 tsps. Jamaican rum (I used Smith and Cross navy strength)

1 oz plus 2 tsps (1 1/3 oz.) brandy

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Huntington Special Cocktail

The lime and pineapple give this drink much the feel of a Tiki libation, and dominate the proceedings, with the other ingredients taking a decidedly back seat in the whole affair. It’s a tad on the tart side, so if you prefer your drinks a bit sweeter, you could punch up the simple syrup to 1/2 or even a whole teaspoon. In any case, it’s a fine little beverage without being especially memorable. My only beef with it is for a drink with so many ingredients, it doesn’t have much complexity. But quite tasty nonetheless. Four livers.


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