The Little King Cocktail

This drink was invented by Otto Soglow, and named after his long-running comic strip The Little King. It appears in Ted Saucier’s 1951 book, Bottoms Up, and seemed, I thought, like a promising use for applejack, an ingredient with which I have had only marginal success. It is yet another in a whole series of drinks (like the Pendennis) based on a 2:1 ratio of gin to apricot brandy, with, of course, other ingredients also appearing. I have altered the quantities, though not the proportions, of the recipe given by Saucier because, well, a quarter-jigger is 3/8 of an ounce and that’s just not a convenient measurement. Sue me. The Recipe: 1.5 oz. gin .75 oz. apricot brandy .75 oz. applejack or apple brandy The juice of 1/2 a lemon Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass Little King Cocktail Aaaaand…meh. Once again, applejack (or in this case apple brandy) kind of let me down. The whole thing ended up tasting a bit medicinal, and was overly sour (so either use small lemons, or dial it back to a quarter-lemon’s worth of juice). Well, okay, it wasn’t as bad as that last sentence makes it sound. I mean, I finished the thing. Three livers.

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