Drinks

Alexander 1908

Alexander 1908.

The B&B (Brandy & Bénédictine) is quite well known. Its relative with rye whiskey, however, is hardly known. Reason enough to introduce it here.

60 ml Jack Daniels Rye
20 ml Bénédictine

Preparation: Stirred.

If you look at the historical recipes in which whisky and Bénédictine are the main ingredients, you will notice that there are several variations. In addition, a bitter, a lemon or orange zest, lemon juice or even curaçao is used.

We found the following variations with rye whiskey or generally with whiskey (although in these cases it is not possible to say exactly which one was meant). We have not included drinks with bourbon in our collection.

  • Alejandria Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine + orange zest (1928, 1930, 1947)
  • Alexander Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine + orange zest (1908, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1927, 1934, 1934, 1977), Rye + Bénédictine + orange zest + ice cube (1916)
  • Doctor Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine + mint (1934)
  • Frisco Cocktail: Whiskey + Bénédictine + lemon zest (1930, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1938), Bourbon + Bénédictine + lemon zest (1946)
  • Honeymoon Special: Rye + Bénédictine + curaçao (1936)
  • Maxim Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine + orange zest (1910)
  • Monte Carlo Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine (1966, 1973), Rye + Bénédictine + bitter: (1938, 1940, 1944, 1944, 1948, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1965), Rye + Bénédictine + bitter + lemon zest (1946), Whisky + Bénédictine + bitter + lemon zest (1930, 1934), Bourbon + Bénédictine + bitter (1938), Whisky + Bénédictine + lemon juice + bitter (1963), „Rock & Rye“ + „Delecta“ (1965)
  • Reggie Cocktail: Rye + Bénédictine + bitter (1927), Whisky + Bénédictine + bitter (1937)
  • Thunderstorm: Rye + Bénédictine + bitter (1937, 1937)
  • Whisky Scaffa: Rye + Bénédictine + bitter (1907, 1927), Rye + Whisky + Bénédictine + bitter (1936)

The question we want to ask ourselves is the following: What do you call this drink made from rye and Bénédictine? We can see from the list of names that there is a certain confusion. For us, only the drinks made with rye are interesting at this point, because that is the focus of this post. Since we like drinks that are as simple as possible and we are of the opinion that the combination of rye whiskey and Bénédictine does not need to have bitters added to it, the variants with bitters are also omitted for us.

This leaves many fewer names for further consideration. Firstly, the Whisky Scaffa – which, although it contains bitters, we want to consider briefly here, because the combination of Rye and Bénédictine (and bitters) is first published in 1907, where it is called Whisky Scaffa. One year later, in 1908, the Alexander Cocktail followed. The latter lacks bitters and is made with rye, Bénédictine and orange zest; one recipe serves it with ice cubes. The Alejandria Cocktail can be considered identical; here the name was apparently merely adapted for the Spanish-speaking public. The Maxim Cocktail from 1910 also corresponds to the Alexander Cocktail, but it is only published once.

Bitters, we have already written, do not belong in the drink for us, because we like it better without. Others seem to have seen it the same way, because originally the bitter is missing and first added to the Rye-Bénédictine combination in 1927.

Looking at this limited selection, one could conclude that the drink we are talking about today must actually be called Whisky Scaffa, because under this designation – if we disregard the bitters for a moment – we find the oldest publication. However, the name is wrong, because a scaffa is something quite different.

David Wondrich defines the scaffa as a drink consisting of a spirit (brandy), maraschino and/or another liqueur, in Harry Johnson’s case, for example, maraschino and chartreuse, layered on top of each other, with bitters, or also, as in Jerry Thomas’ case, with raspberry syrup. So a scaffa is basically nothing other than a pousse cafe. [1]

For the interested reader, we cite Harry Johnson’s recipe from 1882: [2]

One-quarter glass of raspberry syrup
One-quarter glass of Maracbino
One-quarter glass of Chartreuse (green)
top it off with brandy, and serve.
This drink must be properly prepared to prevent the
different colors from running into each other, but must
each have a separate appearance.

Albert Barnes also confirms the layering of ingredients: “As in the Champerelle, do not allow the liquors to run together.” [3]

So, as we can see, Frank Newman has performed a scaffa that is actually a “degenerate” scaffa and has nothing much to do with our drink.

So, historically, the only option is to use the name “Alexander Cocktail” for our drink. We propose to do without the addition “cocktail” because no bitters are used and in order to avoid confusion with the drinks consisting of Rye, Bénédictine and bitters. Unfortunately, the name “Alexander” has now already been given to the drink made from gin, cream and crème de cacao. This cream drink was first published in 1913, so it only has the more recent naming rights, but since it is now commonly called Alexander, and this should not be changed, we suggest the addition “1908” for the Rye-Bénédictine drink, just as it became customary for the Cosmopolitan 1934.

Sources
  1. http://chanticleersociety.org/forums/t/729.aspx: David Wondrich, 17. August 2009
  2. Harry Johnson: Practisches, Neues und Verbessertes Handbuch für Barkeeper, Salon- und Hotelbesitzer, Küfer, Weinbauer, Hausfrauen etc. enthaltend practische Winke und Anweisungen für Barkeeper, vollkommen correcte Rezepte aller gemischten Getränke der gegenwärtigen Zeit, Listen sämmtlicher Bar-Artikeln und Utensilien, Regeln zur Behandlung von Liquors, Bier, Ale, Porter, Wein und Cider in Fässern sowohl als auch Flaschen, etc., etc., mit einem Anhang der Anleitung zur Erzeugung von Wein und Cider. New York, Samisch & Goldmann, 1882.
  3. Albert Barnes: The Complete Bartender. Philadelphia, Crawford & Co., 1884.
Alexander 1908.
Alexander 1908.

Historical recipes

1907 Frank Newman: American-Bar. Seite 108. Whisky Scaffa.

Verre no 11
Prendre le verre no 11, verser doucement sans mélan-
ger:
1/2 verre à liqueur de bénédictine,
1/2 verre à liqueur de rye whisky.
2 gouttes d’angostura à la surface.
Servir.

1908 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 14. Alexander Cocktail.

(Use bar glass.)
75% rye whiskey
25% Benedictine
1 piece of ice
Twist of orange peel.
Stir and serve.

1910 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 24. Alexander Cocktail.

(Use bar glass.)
75% rye whiskey
25% Benedictine
1 piece of ice
Twist of orange peel.
Stir and serve.

1910 Rodolph Rose: Toasts Wines and how to serve them. Seite 5. Maxim Cocktail.

(Use Bar Glass)
Three-fourths Rye whiskey.
One-fourth Benedictine.
1 piece of ice.
Twist of orange peel.
Stir and serve.

1913 Jacques Straub: A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks. Seite 9. Alexander Cocktail.

3/4 Jigger Rye Whiskey.
1/4 Jigger Benedictine.
Twist Orange Peel on top.
Stir.

1914 Jacques Straub: Drinks. Seite 17. Alexander Cocktail.

3/4 jigger rye whiskey.
1/4 jigger Benedictine.
Twist orange peel on top. Stir.

1916 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 34. Alexander Cocktail.

75% rye whiskey
25% Benedictine
One piece of ice. Twist of orange peel. Stir and serve.

1920 Anonymus: Good Cheer. Seite 8. Alexander Cocktail.

3/4 shot rye whiskey.
1/4 shot Benedictine.
Twist orange peel on top. Stir.

1927 Adolphe Torelli: American Drinks Dictionary. Seite 181. Whisky Scaffa.

Dans un petit verre
flûte, verser doucement en parties égales sans les
mélanger: Bénédictine et Rye Whisky, un trait
d’Angustura dessus.

1927 Anonymus: El arte de hacer un cocktail. Seite 6. Alexander.

3/4 whiskey americano.
1/4 Benedictino.
Cascara de naranja exprimida.
Bátase bien.

1927 Marcel Requien & Lucien Farnoux Reynaud: L’heure du cocktail. Seite 61. Reggie Cocktail.

1 trait Angustura, 1/3
Bénédictine, 2/3 Canadian club Whisky. Frapper à la
timbale.
Communiqué par R. J. VIEUXBLED (barman de
l’Union intéralliée Paris).

1928 Pedro Chicote: Cocktails. Seite 101. Alejandria-Cocktail.

Prepárese en cocktelera:
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
1/4 vasito de benedictino.
3/4 – de whisky.
Exprímase una corteza de naranja.
Agítese bien y sírvase en copa de cocktail.

1930 Pedro Chicote: Le ley mojada. Seite 91. Alejandria-Cocktail.

Prepárese en cocktelera:
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
1/4 vasito de benedictino.
3/4 — de whisky.
Exprímase una corteza de na-
ranja.
Agítese bien y sírvase en copa
de cocktail.

Pedro Chicote - La ley mojado, page 91. Alejandria.
Pedro Chicote – La ley mojado, page 91. Alejandria.

1930 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 41. Frisco.

Whisky . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . 1/4 jigger
Stir well in bar glass with lump of ice, twist lemon peel over top and serve
with spoon and ice water chaser.

1930 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 60. Monte Carlo.

Whisky . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . . . 1/4 jigger
. Angostura . . . . . . 2 drops
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, twist lemon or
orange peel over and serve.

1933 George A. Lurie: Here’s How. Seite 36. Frisco.

Whisky . . . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . 1/4 jigger
Stir well in bar glass with cube of ice, twist lemon peel
over top and serve with spoon and ice water chaser.

1934 Anonymus: A Life-Time Collection of 688 Recipes for Drinks. Seite 12. Alexander Cocktail.

3/4 jigger Rye Whisky Twist orange peel on
1/4 jigger Benedictine top. Stir

1934 Anonymus: Angostura Recipes. Seite 14. Doctor Cocktail.

as mixed hy HANS NEUMANN at
HOTEL McALPIN
3/4 Rye. 1/4 Benedictine
Sprig of Fresh Mint

1934 G. F. Steele: My New Cocktail Book. Seite 21. Alexander.

75% Rye Whiskey
25% Benedictine
twist of Orange Peel

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 74. Frisco.

Whisky . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . 1/4 jigger
Stir well in bar glass with lump of ice, twist lemon peel over top and serve
with spoon and ice water chaser.

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 117. Monte Carlo.

Whisky . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . . . 1/4 jigger
. Bitters . . . . . . . 2 drops
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, twist lemon or
orange peel over and serve.

1936 Anonymus: Cocktails, Drinks and Snacks. Seite 15. Honeymoon Special.

2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Benedictine
3 dashes Curacao
Ice, 25 shakes, strain into cocktail glass.

1936 Frank Meier: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks. Seite 87. Whiskey Scaffa.

In cocktail glass: a dash of
Angostura Bitters, half Bene-
dictine, half Bourbon or other
Whiskey; stir and serve.

1937 R. de Fleury: 1800 – And All That. Seite 93. Reggie.

1 Dash Angostura
1/3 Benedictine D.O.M.
2/3 Whisky

1937 United Kingdom Bartenders Guild: Approved Cocktails. Thunderstorm.

Invented by Fitzgerald (Fitz).
50% Canadian Club.
50% Benedictine.
2 dashes Angostura Bitters.
Shake.

1938 Anonymus: The Cocktail Hour. Seite 14. Thunderstorm Cocktail.

1/2 “Canadian Club” Whisky
1/2 Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake.

1938 Bud Caroll: Popular Drinks of Today. Seite 14. Frisco.

Whisky . . . . . . . . 3/4 jigger Benedictine . . . . . 1/4 jigger
Stir well in bar glass with cube ice. Twist lemon
peel over top and serve with ice water chaser.

1938 Hyman Gale & Gerald F. Marco: The How and When. Seite 114. Frisco Cocktail.

2/3 jigger Whisky
1/3 Benedictine
Stir well
Strain into Cocktail Glass
Twist Lemon Peel over top

1938 Hyman Gale & Gerald F. Marco: The How and When. Seite 127. Monte Carlo Cocktail.

3/4 jigger Whiskey
1/4 Benedictine
2 drops Angostura Bitters
Shake well with ice
Strain into Cocktail Glass

1940 Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Seite 42. Monte Carlo Cocktail.

2/3 Rye Whiskey, 1/3 Benedictine, 2
dashes Angostura Bitters. Shake well
with ice. Strain into cocktail glass.

1944 Crosby Gaige: The Standard Cocktail Guide. Seite 39. Monte Carlo Cocktail.

2 ounces Rye
3/4 ounce Benedictine
Dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with cracked ice.

1944 Nick Thomas: Bartender’s Friend. Monte Carlo.

1 oz. Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Benedictine
1 dash Angostura
Bitters
Shake with Ice.
Strain into Cocktail
Glass.

1946 Bill Kelly: The Roving Bartender. Seite 37. Monte Carlo Cocktail.

1 dash Angostura bitters
1/2 oz. benedictine
1 oz. whiskey
Stir and twist lemon peel.

1946 Lucius Beebe: The Stork Club Bar Book. Seite 79. Frisco Cocktail.

2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. benedictine
twist of lemon peel
Stir and serve in 3 oz. cocktail glass.

1947 Pedro Chicote: Cocktails mundiales. Seite 100. Alejandria-Cocktail.

Prepárese en cocktelera:
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
1/4 vasito de benedictino.
3/4 vasito de whisky.
Exprímase una corteza de naranja .
Agítese bien y sírvase en copa de cocktail.

1948 David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Seite 241. Monte Carlo.

1 part Benedictine
2 parts Rye
1 or 2 dashes Angostura to each drink
Shake with cracked ice.
This drink is a bit on the sweet side. It can be im
proved by adding 2 parts lemon juice and increasing
the rye from 2 parts to about 4 or 5. Compare the
Kentucky Colonel, page 237.

1953 David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Seite 250. Monte Carlo.

1 part Benedictine
2 parts Rye
1 or 2 dashes Angostura to each drink
Shake with cracked ice.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 102. Monte Carlo.

1 Jigger Rye Whiskey
1/3 Jigger Benedictine
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake well with ice and strain
into glass.

1957 Henri Barman: Cocktails et autres boissons mélangées. Seite 64. Monte Carlo.

Shaker, glace
3/4 Canadian Club Whisky
1/4 Bénédictine
2 traits Angostura
Bien frapper au shaker et
passer dans verre à cocktail.
Mélangeur électr. : voir note.

1963 Luigi Veronelli: I cocktails. Seite 188. Montecarlo Cocktail.

1 bicchiere e 1/3 di rye whisky
1/3 di bicchiere di bénédictine
1/3 di bicchiere di succo di limone spremuto dalla
sola polpa
2 gocce di angostura bitter
ghiaccio a cubetti
Riempire lo shaker fino a 1/4 della sua altezza con ghiac­-
cio. Aggiungere il succo di limone, il rye, il bénédictine e
l’angostura. Chiudere lo shaker, agitarlo vigorosamente,
farlo riposare un secondo, riprendere infine ad agitare ma
lentamente. Servire subito.

1965 Anonymus: John de Kuyper’s Complete Guide to Cordials. Seite 14. Monte Carlo.

2 ounces De Kuyper Rock and Rye
3/4 ounce De Kuyper Delecta
Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

1965 Robert London & Anne London: Cocktails and Snacks. Seite 52. Monte Carlo Cocktail.

1 1/2 ounces rye 2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 ounce Benedictine
Shake well with cracked ice. Strain into cocktail glass.

1966 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail and Wine Digest. Seite 70. Monte-Carlo Cocktail.

2 oz. Rye. 3/4 oz. Benedictine.
Stir with Ice and strain.

1973 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail and Wine Digest. Seite 70. Monte-Carlo Cocktail.

2 oz. Rye, 3/4 oz. Benedictine. Stir with Ice and strain.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 184. Alexander.

There is one recipe for an Alexander listed in a bar book from the early 1900’s that
calls for: 3/4 jigger of rye, 1/4 jigger Bénédictine, and an orange peel!

explicit capitulum
*

About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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