This sublime drink was a favourite of British settlers during the early quarter of the twentieth century, drunk across the island-nation in gentlemens’ clubs and in colonial homes by groups of bored housewives. Nowhere, however, was the cocktail so well concocted than where it was originally mixed – the Raffles Hotel.
Apparently that still holds true today, although, from what I’ve been told, the drink is so popular that the drink is now premixed at the beginning of each day to save time. I can’t help but think that this would be detrimental to its and in any case, watching the barman work his magic is part of the fun of ordering a cocktail. Here’s the original recipe so that you can knock one up fresh from the cabinet.
You will need: London Dry Gin, Cherry Brandy, Cointreau, Bénédictine liqueur, grenadine, pineapple juice, lemon juice, Angostura bitters, high ball glass
Mix 40mls of gin, 20mls cherry brandy, 5mls each of Cointreau and Bénédictine and 10mls of grenadine into a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake vigorously and strain into glass
Top up with chilled pineapple juice and squeeze half a lemon into the glass
Add two dashes of bitters and stir
Garnish with pineapple and a cherry, put on your best white linen suit and panama then get a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen going with your mates and toast to a time when you really could be proud to be British.