cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

speaking of shamrock shakes / / poetry, man!

my cocktail du jour from the other night approximated a shamrock shaken not stirred:

alexander's sister

1 oz gin (i used bombay sapphire)
1 oz creme de menthe - green (i used mr. boston)
1 oz heavy cream

shake over cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

dust with nutmeg.

the name appears to be based on the drink being a slight variation on the original alexander, the history of which at difford's guide follows:

the original alexander, equal parts gin, crème de cacao and cream, is thought to have originated in the twentieth century, certainly before 1915, evidenced by an equal parts recipe appearing in hugo ensslin's 1916 'recipes for mixed drinks.'

historian barry popik's website lists several plausible origins for this drink. the first being a cutting from page 11 of news section of the 3rd october 1915 philadelphia (pa) inquirer. "the head bartender has even gone so far as to invent an alexander cocktail, which he is reserving to be served during the world series." this referred to the racquet club and the 1915 world series which was won by boston beating philadelphia. the bartender created the drink in honour of philadelphia pitcher grover cleveland alexander (1887-1950).

alternatively, a newspaper column dated 21-march 1929 by new york columnist walter winchell links the origin of the alexander cocktail to troy alexander, a bartender at a new york pre-prohibition lobster restaurant called rector's and claims that troy created his eponymously named cocktail for a dinner celebrating a successful advertising campaign.

the advertisement depicted phoebe snow, a fictitious railway traveller, wearing a snow-white dress featured in an advertising campaign for the delaware, lackawanna and western railroad (dl&w) to promote the company's use of clean-burning anthracite to fuel its locomotives.

coal-fuelled trains frequently covered travellers with black soot but dl&w owned vast anthracite mines in pennsylvania so could legitimately claim that their passengers' clothes would arrive clean after a long journey. the first advertisement depicted an image of phoebe snow, supposedly a young new york socialite who frequently travelled to buffalo, new york wearing a white dress and a short poem:

says phoebe snow
about to go
upon a trip to buffalo
"my gown stays white
from morn till night
upon the road of anthracite"

the popular advertisements first appeared at the turn of the 20th century and ran for nearly seventy years. phoebe became one of america's most recognized advertising mascots. the alexander became a prohibition favourite as the cream and nutmeg garnish helped disguise the rough taste of homemade 'bathtub' gin.


Tags: cocktail du jour, poems, shakes

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