Drinks

B.O.B.

B.O.B.

B.O.B. is a digestif invented by Hendrik Albrecht and Mario Kappes. Its roots reach far into the 19th century. Furthermore, there are interesting connections to French bar culture and seafaring.

50 ml Park VSOP cognac
20 ml Bénédictine
20 ml Pierre Ferrand curaçao

Preparation: Prepare in a tumbler and serve with a large piece of ice.

The B.O.B. is a twist on the B&B. While the latter consists of “Bénédictine & Brandy”, the former is Bénédictine, Orange-Curaçao and Brandy, hence the name. The B.O.B. was created at Le Lion in Hamburg as a joint effort by Hendrik Albrecht and Mario Kappes. We were first served it by Hendrik at Le Lion on 19 April 2015. Hendrik told us that this drink was created shortly before our visit after Mario and he had dinner together, when both of them had considered that they would like to drink a B&B, but that it didn’t seem quite as appropriate to them at that moment. The result of their deliberations was to additionally add the Pierre Ferrand Curaçao to add an orange fruitiness. The drink is completely convincing.

B.O.B.. Hendrik Albrecht & Mario Kappes, 2015.

50 ml Park XO cognac
20 ml Bénédictine
20 ml Pierre Ferrand curaçao

At first, this drink does not seem to show much that is exciting. But as it turns out, the embedding of the B.O.B. in the historical context is very interesting. Aspects come to light that probably Hendrik and Mario had not thought of either.

The B.O.B. is a twist on the B&B. The B&B, as we have already shown in the related post, goes back to the French tradition of the pousse café. The same applies to the B.O.B., not only because it is a twist on the B&B, but also because there are comparable compositions for it in historical bar books that belong to the pousse cafés. The term pousse café comes from the French and translates as “digestive liquor” – exactly the purpose for which the B.O.B. was devised by Hendrik and Mario. It is also fascinating to discover that the B&B, or rather its predecessor, seems to have originated in Hamburg-Altona, and the B.O.B. in Hamburg-Altstadt, less than 4 kilometres away.

We found the oldest recipe reminiscent of a B.O.B. in Jerry Thomas’ book “The Bar-Tender’s Guide”, published in 1887:

Brandy Champerelle. Jerry Thomas, 1887.

(Use small wine-glass.)
Take 1/3 fine old brandy.
1/3 Curaçoa.
1/3 Benedictine.
3 dashes Angostura.

This is surprisingly similar to the B.O.B., even though Jerry Thomas uses different proportions, does without ice and additionally uses Angosturabitters.

But what is basically meant by a Brandy-Champerelle? First of all, it should be noted that it is a very variable drink for which there is no clear recipe. As an example, we will mention the following variations: In 1862, it is prepared by Jerry Thomas in “How to Mix Drinks” from equal parts of brandy, Bogart’s Bitters and curaçao. He points out to us that this is a delicious French drink: “This is a delicious French café”. In 1882, Harry Johnsson states in his “New and Improved Bartender’s Manual” that the drink is made with a quarter each of red curaçao, yellow chartreuse, anisette and cherry brandy or cognac. His subsequent explanation clarifies – as did Jerry Thomas’ reference earlier – what is meant by the term “Champerelle”. It is nothing other than a pousse café: “Care must be used in the preparation, so that the different liqueurs do not run together.” In 1884, Albert Barnes in “The Complete Bartender” prepares the drink using two tablespoons each of Chartreuse, Angostura Bitters and Brandy, also layered.

We can therefore conclude that the terms Champerelle and Pousse-Café are to be understood as synonymous with each other. It is therefore not surprising that, as with the B&B, the “Lexikon der Getränke” (Dictionary of Beverages) published in 1913 offers a variety of layered regimental mixtures similar to the B.O.B.. They consist of cognac (Asbach), a monastery liqueur (although it is not specified which one; it was certainly not Bénédictine, as this is explicitly stated in other mixtures) and various types of curaçao: triple sec, white or green.

The B.O.B. is also a good example of how different bartenders in different places independently had the same idea. It is true that in later years Thomas’ 1887 recipe is occasionally published (1889, 1900, 1929 and 1940). It cannot be said that it is a frequently cited drink. It also appears twice in the books, in 1903 and 1906, as Earthquake Calmer. If we define the term “Curaçao” a little more broadly, and also take into account other types of orange liqueurs and allow for minor twists, the list expands to include Fiesta (1930), Centric Cocktail (1933), Dumb Dora (1934), Dom (1935) and the Honey Moon Cocktail (1936). The version with orange juice instead of curaçao is called April Shower (1909) or Olympic Cocktail (1949). The interested reader can find the corresponding references in the appendix. In any case, it should be noted that there is only one reference for all of these latter drinks. It is therefore safe to assume that these variants were all created independently of each other.

Although the drinks mentioned so far are all quite similar to the B.O.B., there is only one which, although not in terms of quantity, corresponds to the B.O.B. in terms of its components, even if it is without ice, entirely in the sense of the pousse cafés. It is the Night-Cap, published in 1887 by Charlie Paul in his “American and Other Drinks”:

Night-Cap. Charlie Paul, 1887.

[This to be taken the last thing at night as a
Digester for other drinks previously imbibed. The
Recipe was given to Charlie by a very old Norwegian
Captain.]
Take a small wine glass; put in a liqueur-glassful
Of old brandy , ditto curaçoa, ditto of Benedictine;
Let them blend for a moment; then take off at a
Single draught, after which say – “Good Night.”

Isn’t it exciting that here too there is another reference to the B.O.B.? The Night-Cap was made famous by an old Norwegian captain, and the B.O.B. originated in an old port city. So both have a connection not only to French drinking culture, but also to seafaring.

The Sans Pareil published in 1937, on the other hand, is identical to the B.O.B., apart from the Angostura bitters:

Sans Pareile. R. de Fleury, 1937.

1/3 Benedictine D.O.M.
1/3 Curacao
1/3 Cognac
1 Dash Angostura

One may now argue whether all these drinks we found are similar enough to a B.O.B. to be considered the same, or whether they are different enough to be considered drinks in their own right. Also, whether the B.O.B. should actually be called Sans Pareile. For us, however, the drink presented here is associated with Hendrik, Mario and the Le Lion, and for us it is clearly a B.O.B.

B.O.B.
B.O.B.

Historical recipes

1887 Charlie Paul: American and Other Iced Drinks. Seite 52. Night-Cap.

[This to be taken the last thing at night as a
digester for other drinks previously imbibed.
The recipe was given to Charlie by a very old
Norwegian captain.]
Take a small wine glass; put in a liqueur-
glassful of old brandy, ditto curaçoa, ditto of
benedictine; let them blend for a moment; then
take off at a single draught, after which say —
“Good Night.”

1887 Jerry Thomas: The Bar-Tender’s Guide. Seite 38. Brandy Champerelle.

(Use small wine-glass.)
Take 1/3 fine old brandy.
1/3 Curaçoa.
1/3 Benedictine.
3 dashes Angostura bitters.

1889 Anonymus [Jerry Thomas]: The Bar-Tender’s Guide. Seite 32. Brandy Champerelle.

(Use small wine-glass.)
Take 1/3 fine old brandy.
1/3 Curaçoa.
1/3 Benedictine.
3 dashes Angostura bitters.

1900 Frank Newman: American Bar. Seite 46. Brandy Champerelle.

Prendre le verre n° 11, verser sans mélanger:
1/3 de curaçao,
1/3 de bénédictine,
1/3 de cognac.
Finir avec quelques gouttes angostura à la surface, servir.

1902 Charlie Paul: American and Other Iced Drinks. Seite 40. Night-Cap.

[This to be taken the last thing at night as a
digester for other drinks previously imbibed. The
recipe was given to Charlie by a very old Norwegian
captain.]
Take a small wine glass; put in a liqueur-
glassful of old brandy, ditto curaçoa, ditto of
benedictine; let them blend for a moment; then
take off at a single draught, after which say —
“Good Night.”

1903 Don. Wilkes: The Bachelor Book. Seite 17. Earthquake Calmer.

Into a small wine-
glass put one-third brandy, one-third curacao, one-
third benedictine, and three dashes of Angostura
bitters.

1906 A. Lyman Phillips: A Bachelors Cupboard. Seite 139. Earthquake Calmer.

In a medium wineglass put one-third each
of benedictine, brandy, and Curaçao, and
three dashes of Angostura.

1909 Carl A. Seutter: Der Mixologist. Seite 63. April-Shower.

In ein Fizzglas gebe man:
1 schönes Stück Kristalleis,
1 Likörglas Cognac,
1 ” Benediktiner,
den Saft einer Orange.
Dann langsam auffüllen mit Selterswasser, vorsichtig mischen mit
Barlöffel.

1909 Charlie Paul: American and Other Iced Drinks. Seite 42. Night-Cap.

[This to be taken the last thing at night as a
digester for other drinks previously imbibed. The
recipe was given to Charlie by a very old Norwegian
captain.]
Take a small wine glass; put in a liqueur-glassful
of old brandy, ditto curaçoa, ditto of benedictine;
let them blend for a moment; then take off at a
single draught, after which say – “Good Night.”

1912 Charlie Paul: American and Other Iced Drinks. Seite 42. Night-Cap.

[This to be taken the last thing at night as a
digester for other drinks previously imbibed. The
recipe was given to Charlie by a very old Norwegian
captain.]
Take a small wine glass; put in a liqueur-glassful
of old brandy, ditto curaçoa, ditto of benedictine;
let them blend for a moment; then take off at a
single draught, after which say – “Good Night.”

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Seite 151. Norwegian-Night-Cap.

In ein Cocktailglas gebe zu gleichen
Teilen Curacao und Benedictiner, brenne vor dem Ser-
vieren einen Augenblick an.

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Regiments-Mischungen. Seite 182. Inf.-Regt. (2. Nassau), Mainz.

1/3 Cognac-Asbach, 1/3 Curacao trpl., 1/3 Klosterlikör.

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Regiments-Mischungen. Seite 186. Inf.-Regt. (Hessen-Homburg), Bitsch.

1/3 Cognac-Asbach, 1/3 Curacao, w., 1/3 Klosterlikör.

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Regiments-Mischungen. Seite 188. Jäger-Bat., Hannover, Coslar i. H.

1/3 Cognac-Asbach, 1/3 Curacao, grün, 1/3 Klosterlikör.

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Regiments-Mischungen. Seite 189. Drag.-Regt. Prinz Albrecht v. Preuß. (Littau), Tilsit.

1/3 Cognac, 1/3 Bols-Curacao trpl., 1/3 Klosterlikör.

1913 Hans Schönfeld & John Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke. Regiments-Mischungen. Seite 192. Ulanen-Regt. (Westfäl.), Düsseldorf.

1/3 Cognac, 1/3 Bols-Curacao w., 1/3 Klosterlikör.

1929 Jerry Thomas: The Bon Vivant’s Guide. Seite 66. Brandy Champerelle.

Use small wineglass
One-third brandy. One-third curaçao.
One-third bitters.
This is a delicious French cafe drink.

1930 Gedelp: Los „cock-tails“ mas sabrosos. Seite 58. Fiesta.

Hielo picado.
Un tercio de copa de cognac.
Un tercio de copa de cointreau.
Un tercio de copa de Benedictino.
Nuez moscada.

1933 Antonio Josa: Cocktelera Universal. Seite 19. Centric Cocktail.

1/3 de Benedictine.
1/3 de Curacao.
1/3 de Coñac.
Añádase una corteza de limón.

1934 Jean Robert Meyer: Bottoms Up. Seite 5. Dumb Dora.

One pony of brandy, one pony of Coin-
treau, one pony of Benedictine or Curacao,
one or two dashes of orange bitters. Ice
optional.

1935 O. Blunier: The Barkeeper’s Golden Book. Seite 95. Dom.

1/2 Brandy
1/2 Benedictine
3 ds. Cointreau
3 ds. Fleur d’orange

1936 Raymond Porta Mingot: Gran Manual de Cocktails. Seite 246. Honey Moon Cocktail.

Usese la cocktelera.
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
Una cucharadita de jugo de limón.
Una cucharadita de Curacao Marie Bri-
zard.
1/2 parte de Benedictine.
1/2 parte de Cognac Bisquit V. O.
Agítese, cuélese y sírvase en copa de 90
gramos.

1937 R. de Fleury: 1800 – And All That. Seite 100. Sans Pareil.

1/3 Benedictine D.O.M.
1/3 Curacao
1/3 Cognac
1 Dash Angostura

1937 R. de Fleury: 1800 – And All That. Seite 225. Night Cap – No. 1.

Use a Small Wine
Glass
1 Liqueur Glass Old
Brandy
1 Liqueur Glass Curacao
1 Liqueur Glass Bene­-
dictine
Let them blend for a
moment.

1939 Ambrose Heath: Good Drinks. Seite 59. Night-Cap.

1 liqueur-glassful old Brandy
1 liqueur-glassful Curaçao
1 liqueur-glassful Benedictine
Blend for a moment, and say your prayers.

1949 Emile Bauwens: Livre de Cocktails. Seite 63. Olympic cocktail.

1/3 Cognac –
1/3 Jus Orange-
1/3 Curaçao –
Frapper au shaker et passer dans un
verre à cocktail.

1940 Pedro Talavera: Los secretos del cocktail. Seite 36. Brandy Champerelle.

Prepárese en la, copa núm 5:
1/3 copa de Curaçao La Campana.
4 gotas de Orange Bitter.
1/3 copa de Benedictino.
1/3 ídem de Coñac Martell.
Sírvase.

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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