Wednesday, 30 May 2007

All 108 cocktails with absinthe from the Savoy Cocktail book ... plus a few more!

UPDATE (February 2013): I have compiled a Pinterest board with photos of every one of the Savoy Hotel absinthe cocktails.

Absinthe cocktails? Here is one of the longest lists of cocktails containing absinthe that I have ever seen, and it comes from The Savoy Cocktail Book* (first published 1930). It is recommended that you do not try all of these in one session, or even in one month!

Most of the photos here come from Erik Ellestad's superb Savoy Stomp blog. Essential reading! Thanks, Erik.

Links for all cocktails are now provided: just click on the name; I will add key ingredients to each cocktail to allow "at-a-glance" searching. Some of the older links (pre-dating the US re-legalisation of absinthe in 2007) may list pastis, anis, anisette or Pernod as an ingredient: of course you may now use absinthe instead (unless you are reading this in Vanuatu!)

Here are the first two pages of the Savoy list: rather scarily, the first page contains three cocktails with absinthe.

It was probably this page that got me started on the idea of compiling this list. Luckily, perhaps, most other pages do not have so many absinthe drinks!

Here we go with the first two: the Absinthe Cocktail and the Absinthe (Special) Cocktail:

1. Absinthe cocktail: with Angostura bitters
2. Absinthe (Special) cocktail: with gin, orange bitters and Angostura bitters.
3. Absinthe Drip Cocktail: with water and sugar

4. Apparent Cocktail (see above): with gin and Dubonnet.
5. Atty Cocktail: with gin, French vermouth, and creme de violette.
6. Bitter Cocktail: with gin, green Chartreuse and lemon juice. (A drink made for 6, sometimes called The Biter)

7. Blackthorn Cocktail: with Irish whiskey, Angostura bitters and French vermouth (shown above).
8. Block and Fall Cocktail: with calvados, brandy and Cointreau.
9. Bombay Cocktail (2): with Cointreau, brandy, French vermouth and Italian vermouth.
10. Brazil Cocktail: with Angotura bitters, French vermouth and sherry.

11. Brunelle Cocktail (see above): Gin, Lemon Juice
12. Bunny Hug Cocktail: with gin and whisky.
13. Cabaret Cocktail: with Angostura bitters, gin and Dubonnet or Lillet blanc.
14. Castle Dip Cocktail: with apple brandy and peppermint liqueur
15. Choker Cocktail: with whisky. (Made for 6)

16. Chrysanthemum Cocktail: with dry vermouth and Benedictine.
17. Cordova Cocktail: with gin, sweet vermouth and cream.

18. Corpse Reviver (2): with gin, Cointreau, Lillet blanc and lemon juice. Here is my version!
19. Deep Sea Cocktail: with gin, dry vermouth and orange bitters.
20. Dempsey Cocktail: with gin, apple brandy and grenadine.
21. Depth Charge Cocktail: with Lillet and gin.
22. Dixie Cocktail: with orange juice, gin and dry vermouth.
23. Dream Cocktail: with brandy and Cointreau.
24. Du Barry Cocktail: with gin, dry vermouth and bitters.
25. Duchess Cocktail: with dry vermouth and sweet vermouth.
26. Dunhill’s Special Cocktail: with orange curacao, gin, sweet sherry, and dry vermouth
27. Earthquake Cocktail: with whisky and gin.

28. E. Nos Cocktail: with gin and dry vermouth.
29. Eye-opener Cocktail: with egg yolk, light rum, curaçao, crème de cacao, and sugar
30. Fascinator Cocktail: with gin, dry vermouth and mint leaves.
31. Fourth Degree Cocktail: with gin, French vermouth, and Italian vermouth.
32. Gasper Cocktail: with gin and sugar.
33. Glad Eye Cocktail: with peppermint white liqueur.
34. Harry’s Cocktail: with gin and sweet vermouth.
35. Hasty Cocktail: with gin, dry vermouth, and grenadine.

36. Irish (or Irish Whiskey) Cocktail: with Irish whiskey, curacao, maraschino, and bitters (see above).
37. Jeyplak Cocktail: with gin and sweet vermouth.
38. Johnnie Mack Cocktail: with sloe gin liqueur and dry Orange curacao liqueur.
39. Knock out Cocktail: with gin, dry vermouth, and creme de menthe.
40. Kup’s Indispensable Cocktail: with gin, sweet vermouth, and dry vermouth.
41. Ladies’ Cocktail: with whisky, anisette, and bitters.
42. Lawhill Cocktail: with whiskey, dry vermouth, maraschino, and bitters.
43. Linstead Cocktail: with whisky, pineapple juice, sugar, and lemon juice.

44. London Cocktail: with orange bitters, gomme sirop, and gin.
45. Macaroni Cocktail: with Italian vermouth.
46. McClelland Cocktail: with sloe gin liqueur and triple sec.
47. Maiden’s Blush Cocktail (2): with gin and grenadine.
48. Martini (Special) Cocktail (Serves 6 people)
4 glasses of gin, 1.5 glasses Italian vermouth, A third of a glass of Orange-flower water. Before shaking, add a dash of Absinthe and one or two dashes of Angostura Bitters.
49. Maurice Cocktail: with gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and orange juice.
50. Melba Cocktail: with grenadine, light rum, lemon juice, and Swedish punch.
51. Merry Widow Cocktail: bitters, vermouth, Benedictine, and gin.
52. Millionaire Cocktail (2): with curaçao, grenadine, whisky, and egg white.
53. Minnehaha Cocktail: with gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and orange juice.
54. Modern Cocktail (No. 1): with dark rum, orange bitters, whisky, and lemon juice.
55. Modern Cocktail (No. 2): with sloe gin liqueur, grenadine, orange bitters, and whisky.
56. Monkey Gland Cocktail: with gin, orange juice, and grenadine. Nice article from the San Francisco Chronicle.
57. Moon-raker Cocktail: with brandy and peach brandy.
58. Morning Cocktail: with Angostura bitters, brandy, and Italian vermouth.
59. Morning Glory Cocktail: with gum syrup, curacoa, Boker's bitters, brandy, and whisky.

60. Nick’s Own Cocktail: with Angostura bitters, Italian vermouth, and brandy.
61. Nine-Pick Cocktail, with 2/3 Absinthe, 1/3 Gin, 1 Dash Angostura Bitters, 1 Dash Orange Bitters, 1 Dash Syrup.
62. Nineteen Cocktail, with 1 Dash Absinthe, 1/6 Dry Gin, 1/6 Kirsch, 2/3 French Vermouth, 4 Dashes Syrup.
63. Nineteen-Twenty Cocktail
64. Nineteen-Twenty Pick-Me Up Cocktail
65. Olivette Cocktail Use absinthe, not anisette.
66. Pansy Cocktail
67. Pauline Cocktail
68. Peggy Cocktail
69. Phoebe Snow Cocktail
70. Piccadilly Cocktail
71. Plain Sherry Cocktail
72. Plain Vermouth Cocktail
73. Presto Cocktail
74. Queen Elizabeth Cocktail
75. Rattlesnake Cocktail
76. Ray Long Cocktail
77. Saucy Sue Cocktail
78. Savoy Hotel Special Cocktail (No. 1)
79. Sazerac: with cognac (or rye whiskey) and Peychaud's bitters.
80. Self-Starter Cocktail
81. Some Moth Cocktail
82. Special Rough Cocktail
83. Suisse Cocktail
84. Temptation Cocktail
85. Third Degree Cocktail
86. Third Rail Cocktail (No. 2)
87. T.N.T. Cocktail
Several other absinthe cocktails on this page.
88. Trilby Cocktail (No. 2)
89. Turf Cocktail
90. Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 1)
91. Tuxedo Cocktail (No. 2)

92. Ulanda Cocktail
93. Victory Cocktail
94. Weesuer Cocktail
95. Which Way Cocktail
96. Whip Cocktail
97. White Lily Cocktail
98. Whizz-Bang Cocktail

99. Yellow Parrot Cocktail
100. Yokohama Cocktail
101. Yolanda Cocktail
102. Zazarac Cocktail
103. Morning Glory Fizz
104. Absinthe Frappé Half way down the page.
105. The Gangadine Cocktail. This one nearly got away, since the Savoy lists the ingredients as 1 Teaspoonful Framboise Syrup, 1/3 Oxygenée Cusenier, 1/3 White Mint and 1/3 Gin. Pre=prohibition, Oxygenée Cusenier was indeed an absinthe, but post-prohibition it was re-formulated in the direction of a pastis. It is possible that Harry Craddock could have meant either of these. Erik Ellestad uses absinthe in his re-creation, so I will go along with him.


The three that got away, including one that was first published in the 1934 Edition, and two that I missed. After 105 cocktails, I should be allowed to have missed just one or two!

106. Gun Cotton Cocktail (from the 1934 edition)
107. Moonshine: Gin, Vermouth, Maraschino (serves 6)
108. Yellow Daisy: Gin, Vermouth, Grand Marnier (serves 6)


I especially like the Absinthe Frappé and, of course, the Sazerac. I also love the Absinthe Sour, not specifically listed here, which I first tasted in Shanghai in May 2005. What are your favourites?

It is interesting that these cocktails were being served in London around 1930, given that absinthe sales in France were banned from 1915. Exports of remaining French absinthe stocks continued after 1915, and legal production of absinthe shifted from France to Spain. So Londoners could have been enjoying pre-ban French absinthe or French-style absinthe produced in Spain, or illegal absinthe from France or Switzerland. Indeed the Lancet of 1930 refers to absinthe being imported into the UK between 1921 and 1929 from Spain, France and Holland (the last may have originated elsewhere, e.g. Switzerland. In any case, those bottles would be highly prized by collectors now. But in the "carpe diem" days of 1930, it seems, judging by this cocktail list, that absinthe drinkers had other things on their minds!

* A footnote on the book's author: Harry Craddock was born in the UK, then emigrated to the USA, becoming a US citizen. He left the USA during Prohibition and joined the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London, in 1923. Craddock was one of the most famous cocktail barmen of the 1920s and 1930s. Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” was published in 1930, and is still in print today. Craddock invented a number of classic cocktails possibly including the White Lady, and popularised the Dry Martini. (Source: Wikipedia).

Update July 2007

I have aded here two very recent UK creations to complement the 104 1930's recipes. I like both the idea and the taste of the first: a very modern cocktail (the Caipirinha) using a timeless ingredient (absinthe). I have yet to try the second. WARNING: If you don't like burning absinthe, don't read the second recipe!

Clandestine Caipirinha (as served at the London Bar Show)

Glass: Old fashioned/ small rocks

50ml La Clandestine Absinthe
12.5ml Ice water
5 wedges of fresh cut lime
1 bar spoon muscovado sugar
Crushed Ice

Using your small rocks/old fashioned add the bar spoon of sugar, 50ml Clandestine and 12.5ml ice water. Using the spoon, stir the contents allowing for all the sugar to seperate. Squeeze and drop the 5 pieces of lime in to the drink and once again use the bar spoon to stir the contents. Finally fill the glass with crushed ice and stir all ingredients through the drink, making sure that all flavours are perfectly mixed together.


Steamers Boat (as served at Adrian's Bar, 82 West Nile Street Glasgow, Scotland)

Glass: Chilled Flute

Orange zests soaked in Clandestine for 3 days and brown sugar (covered with clingfilm)
25ml La Clandestine Absinthe
Champagne of your choice

In a brandy balloon, add 2 of the absinthe soaked orange zests with some of the brown sugar and 25ml Clandestine. Usinge a lighter, light the Absinthe and start swirling the glass allowing the sugar to caramelise and some of the alcohol to burn off. After about a minute blow out the flame and using a hawthorn strainer, transfer into a chilled flute. Top up with Champagne and garnish with a flamed absinthe soaked orange zest (beware as this can be slightly dangerous!).

Both recipes created by Darroch of Black Tie Bartending.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Genuine Swiss absinthe?

It is interesting to see how some companies like to claim that their absinthe is Swiss or that it is based on an old Swiss recipe. Here are two examples:

According to their website "Logan Fils - La Blanche is made according to the old traditional recipe that was acquired in Switzerland from the region of Val-de-Travers where Absinthe was invented. Swiss La Bleue is distilled from carefully selected herbs and made from eau-de-vie, distilled from selected wine. It comes crystal clear in the bottle and turns milky when ice cubes are added. Our Swiss La Bleue is carefully balanced as to its taste and is just slightly bitter."

I have been told that it is not Swiss. Is it?

And here is another:

With this copy from one of the many sites that sells it:-

"Originally based on a Swiss recipe this Czech Absinthe has no artificial color or preservatives, and contains 100mg of the psychoactive thujone adored by some of the world’s most notorious artists and writers. Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway…Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson and Eminem are just a few who used and drew inspiration from this original Absinthe and its effects."

I'd be interested to see this Swiss recipe but also wonder why, with the distilling heritage they have in the Czech Republic, they needed to get the recipe from Switzerland. And I'd be interested to know how Van Gogh could have drunk this particular absinth as claimed.

Finally some related updates .. A sighting in Moscow and an interesting use of a domain name to re-direct web traffic intended for one of the first absinthes to legally enter the USA.

Seen in Moscow, 2007:

Does the eye look similar? Especially with the words "La Fée" underneath? As far as I know, this product has nothing to do with the more famous La Fée absinthe range.

I found a different type of brand/trade mark "borrowing," in fact an incorrect domain name registration and re-direction, recently: type in "" and see where it takes you .... Anything to do with Lucid absinthe? No.

Are these fair and normal practices at work here? Probably not.

Comments on my blog

I have received a number of anonymous comments on my blog. I have replied in the comments section, but think it is important to discuss these issues more openly.

So to my anonymous correspondents:

If you believe in what you say, why do you need to be anonymous? Tell me and my readers who you are, or email me directly at if you prefer to have a confidential discussion.

There is a note on the blog that says, "The opinions expressed here are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of or associated companies."

I have worked in the drinks business for more than 15 years and my views are based on that. I do not make negative comments here on the merits or taste of Czech absinth: in fact I recognise the very responsible attitude of Hill's and some of the moves made by Oliva absinthe (although this is NOT Swiss absinthe as the label suggests).

So what specifically do you object to in this particular blog entry (the one about Czech absinth)?

1. I have re-quoted another blog.

2. I have quoted from Hill's and Oliva's websites.

3. I have commented as many others have done before me on the marketing done, maybe by others, for Czech absinth. Absinthe is not a drug, nor is it a "panty remover." I am delighted that some Czech absinths recognise this and talk much more about quality nowadays.

If the marketing is done by people who are not Czech, can't you stop them doing it?

Why don't you tell me and my readers who you are, so that we can have a real direct conversation about this.

Tell me what is incorrect in the blog article about Czech absinth and I am quite ready to change anything that is wrong.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Czech Absinth

There are some interesting developments on Czech "absinth," a style of product that many purists would say should not be called "absinthe."

Let's look at those developments one-by-one:

Blog published May 18th, 2007

An excellent post from Oxygénées' blog.

Which closes: "In short, I’ve no problem with Czech absinthe. I’ve a problem with the dishonest way much of it is marketed."

I'd like to look in more detail at some the issues raised by Oxy. I've commented earlier about the thujone/hallucination issue: so who is making these claims and who is not?

Many of the thujone/hallucination claims seem to be made by those promoting King of Spirits (KOS)and King of Spirits Gold (KOSG), discussed previously here. Some of the sites involved appear to be run in America, probably by Americans (so called "affiliate marketing" where the site takes a percentage of the click-through sales). It may well be that it is Americans who are responsible for this marketing, but normally brand owners would want to control what advertising their affiliates and overseas partners operate.

In fact the main Hill's Absinth site takes a very responsible attitude and seems to have only passing reference to thujone. It also states, "One scientist trying to work out what absinthe did to the French, who by 1910 were drinking 36 million litres a year, calculates that the amount of thujone per glass was, and is, so small, you would likely fall off your chair before hallucinating."

Oliva Absinth is a new absinth from the Czech Republic that states on its site, "Yes, we make the best Czech absinth (actually, the ONLY authentic Absinthe from the Czech Republic).... Bohemian Absinth has gotten a bad reputation, and rightly so. Almost every absinthe buyer's guide recommends avoiding all absinthe that is spelled without the "e" (absinth) to buy absinth. It seems like the Green Fairy left Bohemia generations ago. In fact, she was only hiding!" And the representative of Oliva has been very happy to come to the main absinthe forums, to talk to and to listen to what absinthe lovers say. As a result, there is far more emphasis on quality and far less emphasis on thujone on this site. On another issue, however, why does Oliva's label state "absinthe suisse," when it is clearly not from Switzerland?

Another point about the thujone/hallucination marketing: as far as I know (based on two trips to Prague), this is not used in their marketing in the Czech Republic, but only in the unregulated world of the internet. Maybe someone from the Czech Republic could confirm if this is the case.

I have another issue with the the marketing of Czech absinthe that is mentioned briefly by Oxygénée and that is its alleged aphrodisiac side, seen in the "ultimate panty remover" style of advertising that has been used by at least two Czech absinth companies (or their affiliates).

In major drinks markets, advertising is tightly controlled or at least partially self-regulated by industry associations (Discus in the USA, Portman in the UK). The panty remover ads would never get past these industry associations due to their hints of sexual success. For absinthe to take its place as a major drink, it does need to conform to drinks industry standards. To condone such advertising is to restrict absinthe's role to that of a niche drink that will never gain broad public acceptance. It also demeans women everywhere, and I am sure a Czech woman would find it as offensive as an American woman.

Again I doubt that such advertising is used in the Czech Republic: it is used on the internet because the companies can get away with it. It's reminiscent of cigarette companies who can't advertise in the West, and thus head to Asia and promote there with campaigns that would not be allowed in countries where there are, rightly, much stricter controls.

And of course, in all this, it is worth noting that absinthes that focus on product quality have no need to hype thujone or to hint at sexual success.

Signs of Change

A forum friend sent me this evidence of a Czech absinth site changing its message recently. Before:-

And after:-

Mmm. Not totally convinced. Drug innuendoes replaced by aphrodisiac claims!

Is it coincidence that there is heated debate on various blogs, that the launch of Lucid is imminent, and that these subtle changes are happening?

A heated forum debate from May 19th onwards

Tom Hill comes to the Wormwood Society!

The debate is still ongoing at the time of writing, but we're still all talking to each other! Will this have a happy ending? Read the debate to find out ...

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Real Absinthe Blog is changing ...

I'm in discussion with a couple of other absinthe lovers about some changes to the Real Absinthe Blog.

This follows an ongoing discussion at the Wormwood Society about creating an Absinthe Magazine which combines news, the continued drive for higher standards in the market place (no more thujone-hyping or ultimate panty dropper advertising, please), reviews of a wider range of absinthes, and arts-related coverage. This blog seems to be well-placed to evolve into an online magazine ... not that we envisage high advertising revenues or subscription fees!

We are still discussing details but if any of my readers have any suggestions or comments, feel free to add them below.

Monday, 7 May 2007

La Clandestine Links

Edited and updated March 2014.

Absinthe Information

The Real Absinthe Blog Global absinthe news, hundreds of cocktail suggestions, key facts, and best practice for bartenders and events.

Follow La Clandestine on:-

Facebook For regular absinthe news from around the world.
Twitter For absinthe headlines: the most followed absinthe profile on Twitter.
Pinterest Pictures of how to make and drink absinthe: the most followed absinthe profile on Pinterest. Details and links to all 108 cocktails made with absinthe in the 1930 Savoy Hotel Cocktail book.
Instagram Cocktails and snaps.
You Tube A collection of information and entertaining videos
Google+ Get more involved with absinthe and with absinthe lovers around the world.
Linked In Connect with Artemisia, the company responsible for making La Clandestine and other absinthes available around the world.

La Clandestine is the most widely available premium quality absinthe in the world: it is available in the USA, UK, Canada, much of Europe, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Not quite so "clandestine" nowadays! See "Where to buy La Clandestine" and see separate pages for the USA and the rest of the world.

Contact alanATlaclandestineDOTcom if you need help finding it locally or if you are a potential distributor and want to discuss working together in your market. In addition to La Clandestine, we offer Angelique Absinthe, Butterfly Absinthe and other specialities.

Here is a short history of La Clandestine, some information about Charlotte Vaucher who created La Clandestine in 1935, and the Wikipedia article on La Clandestine.

La Clandestine in the New York Times: November 2004 article featuring Claude-Alain Bugnon, the distiller of La Clandestine.

And one of our favourite videos:-

For more information, come to

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Boveresse Festival of Absinthe June 2007

June 2007 sees the 10th annual Absinthe Festival in Boveresse, Val-de-Travers, the birthplace of absinthe. If you haven't booked your accommodation yet, you may have problems unless you are willing to sleep on a distillery floor, or simply find a bar to drink the night away!

Here's a historic photo of the harvest in the Val-de-Travers many years ago:

Here's a photo from a recent festival (clue: the sun is shining)

and finally here's a photo of some celebrities from the world of absinthe at the Clandestine distillery as they take a few minutes out to watch Claude-Alain Bugnon at work.

No prizes are on offer, but if anyone wants to provide a caption for this photo, please go ahead and comment!

For further details of the June event, see the festival site.

Updated on June 13th: the timetable for the event.