Drinks

Belmont Cocktail

Belmont Cocktail.

It doesn’t always have to be a Brandy Alexander if you want to enjoy a cream drink as a dessert. There is an equally good alternative: the Belmont Cocktail.

40 ml Rutte dry gin
30 ml cream
20 ml D’Arbo raspberry syyrup

Preparation: Shaken.

The Belmont Cocktail was first published by Hugo Richard Ensslin, i.e. in 1917 – or more likely already in the first edition of his work from 1916, which we do not have, however.

Unfortunately, it has not been handed down where it got its name from. So we have to think about it ourselves. In this case, it is not even that difficult. We have come across a story that may not be true, but it makes a lot of sense.

August Belmont in 1904.
August Belmont in 1904. [10]

We may assume that the name refers to something that was significant around 1916 or shortly before. We are convinced that it was August Belmont Jr.

August Belmont, who was born in 1853 and died in 1925, was a banker, horse breeder and owner of a horse racing stable. In 1902, he built the Belmont Park racetrack. The horse Man o’ War, bred by him, was the most successful American racehorse of the 20th century. Also in 1902, he founded the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), which operated the New York underground,  which he financed and built. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Belmont Hotel in 1908.
Belmont Hotel in 1908. [9]

In 1908, the Belmont Hotel, built by August Belmont, opened at 120 Park Avenue. It was designed by the same architects who designed the Grand Central Terminal right next door. With its height of 292 feet, the hotel was one of the tallest hotels of its time. August Belmont had a private underground station built in the basement of the hotel. He was the only person to ever own a private underground car. He called it Minola. His wife commented: “a private subway car is an easy taste to get used to.” In 1928, the hotel closed and was converted into an office building. In 1939 it was demolished. [1] [2] [4]

At the Belmont Hotel in 1906.
At the Belmont Hotel in 1906. [7]

It is very likely that the cocktail was named after August Belmont. Certainly not after him personally. A person like him certainly didn’t prefer a raspberry and cream drink, and we don’t see any reference to the racecourse either. But we do see a connection to the Belmont Hotel. One can well imagine that the ladies of high society, for example, enjoyed this easy-to-consume dessert drink in the Palm Garden of the hotel.

The Palm Garden at the Belmont Hotel, 1906.
The Palm Garden at the Belmont Hotel, 1906. [8]

So far, so good. We have no proof for this derivation. We like the story and find it credible. Let everyone decide for themselves.

Another aspect, however, speaks for the correctness of the assumption. So if the Belmont Cocktail is connected with the Belmont Hotel, which opened in 1908, how likely is it that the drink was known to Richard Ensslin, so that he included it in his book in 1916 and 1917? Very likely, because the Wallick Hotel, where Hugo Ensslin worked, can be reached from the Belmont Hotel after a short walk. It is about one kilometre away.

The Palm Garden at the Belmont Hotel, 1906.
The Palm Garden at the Belmont Hotel, 1906. [11]

Different variations of the recipe are published. We stick to Hugo Ensslin’s original recipe. This is perfect for us.

It is noticeable that the books published after him use grenadine syrup. Yet it is precisely the raspberry that makes this mixed drink so delicious. It is not until 1934 that Patrick Gavin Duffy again suggests raspberry syrup. In total, grenadine is called for 24 times in our recipe collection, but raspberry only 11 times. In modern books, the Belmont Cocktail is missing altogether. It has been forgotten.

The Belmont Cocktail is recommended to all those who would like to drink something other than a Brandy Alexander. It is not a cocktail in the classic sense, nor is it a classic mixed drink in the conventional sense. But it is a small dessert-like delicacy, rather reminiscent of a fruity, creamy dessert. But sometimes that’s exactly what you want after a good meal. So let’s have a Belmont Cocktail and imagine that we are in the Palm Garden of the Belmont Hotel in 1906 with the fine company of ladies, enjoying this creamy delicacy while chatting. It’s worth it.

Sources
  1. http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=26752: Belmont Hotel.
  2. https://untappedcities.com/2012/06/25/from-forge-to-skyscraper-the-story-of-120-park-avenue/: From Froge to Skyscraper: the story of 120 Park Avenue. By Benjamin Waldman, 25. June 2012.
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Belmont_Jr.: August Belmont Jr.
  4. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Belmont_junior: August Belmont junior.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interborough_Rapid_Transit_Company: Interborough Rapid Transit Company.
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood-Horse_magazine_List_of_the_Top_100_U.S._Racehorses_of_the_20th_Century: Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.
  7. https://collections.mcny.org/Collection/Hotel%20Belmont.-2F3XC580AFLA.html: Hotel Belmont. Date: 1906.
  8. https://collections.mcny.org/Collection/Hotel%20Belmont,%20Palm%20Garden.-2F3XC581NRA1.html: Hotel Belmont. Palm Garden. Date: 1906.
  9. https://collections.mcny.org/Collection/Hotel%20Belmont.-2F3XC5IOHIF2.html: Belmont Hotel. Date: 1908.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:August_Belmont,_Jr.,_Pach_Brothers_photo_portrait.jpg: August Belmont, Jr., American racehorse owner and breeder, Copyright 1904.
  11. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d3f0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99: The Palm Garden of the Hotel Belmont. 1906.
Belmont Cocktail.
Belmont Cocktail.

Historical recipes

1917 Hugo R. Ensslin: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Seite 8. Belmont Cocktail.

2/3 Gin
1/3 Raspberry Syrup
Pony of sweet Cream
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

1925 „Robert“ Buckby & George Stone: The Buckstone Book of Cocktails. Seite 13. Belmont Cocktail.

3/4 Gin, 1/4 cream, dash of Grenadine.
Shake and strain.

1930 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 27. Belmont Cocktail.

1/3 Grenadine. 2/3 Dry Gin.
1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1933 Anonymus: Hollywood’s Favorite Cocktail Book. Seite 5. Belmont Cocktail.

1/3 Grenadine
2/3 Dry Gin
1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1933 Anonymus: O’Dell’s Book of Cocktails. Seite 140. Belmont Cocktail.

1 teaspoonful Fresh Cream,
1/3 Grenadine, 2/3 Dry Gin.

1933 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 27. Belmont Cocktail.

1/3 Grenadine. 2/3 Dry Gin.
1 Teaspoonful Fresh Cream.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1933 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 44. Belmont Cocktail.

40% grenadine
60% gin
1 teaspoonful sweet cream
Shake well, and strain into cocktail glass.

1934 A. T. Neirath: Rund um die Bar. Seite 157. Belmont-Cocktail.

Savoy-Cocktailbook 1/6 Grenadine
. 1/6 Sahne
. 4/6 Drv Gin
. Sch-B. [Schütttel-Becher]

1934 Harry Jerrold Gordon: Gordon’s Cocktail and Food Recipes. Seite 79, Belmont Cocktail.

2 Gin
1 Grenadine
Cream -1 Tablespoon
Ice. – 25 Shakes. Strain into Cocktail Glass.

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 7. Belmont Cocktail.

2/3 Gin
1/3 Raspberry Syrup
Pony of Sweet Cream
Shake well with cracked ice and strain.
Use glass number 4

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 23. Belmont.

Gin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3 jigger Grenadine . . . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
. Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 spoon
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve.

1935 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston. Seite 13. Belmont Cocktail.

2/3 Old Mr. Boston Dry Gin
1/3 Raspberry Syrup
Pony of Sweet Cream
Shake well with cracked ice and
strain into 4 oz. Cocktail glass.

1936 Anonymus: Cocktails, Drinks and Snacks. Seite 3. Belmont Cocktail.

2 oz. gin
1 oz. Grenadine
1 tajblespoon cream
Ice, 25 sbakes, strain into cocktail glass

1937 Anonymus: Here’s How. Seite 20. Belmont.

1/3 Grenadine
2/3 Best London Gin
1 Teaspoonful of Fresh
Cream

1937 United Kingdom Bartender’s Guild: Approved Cocktails. Belmont.

33 1/3 % Grenadine.
66 2/3 % Dry Gin.
1 teaspoonful Fresh Cream.
Shake and strain into cocktail glass.

1939 Ambrose Heath: Good Drinks. Seite 23, Belmont.

2 Dry Gin
1/3 Grenadine
1 teaspoonful Cream

1940 Charles: The Cocktail Book. Seite 37. Belmont Cocktail.

1 teaspoonful of sweet cream,
1/6 gill of grenadine,
1/3 gill of dry gin.
Use the shaker.

1940 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 7. Belmont Cocktail.

2/3 Gin
1/3 Raspberry Syrup
Pony of Sweet Cream
Shake well with cracked ice and strain.
Use glass number 4

1944 Harrmann Burney (Barney Burke): Burke’s Complete Cocktail & Dining Recipes. Seite 79. Belmont Cocktail.

2 Gin
1 Grenadine
Cream — 1 Tablespoon
Ice. — 25 Shakes. Strain into Cocktail Glass.

1948 Hilario Alonso Sanchez: El arte del cantinero. Seite 338. Belmont.

2 Ginebra.
1 Granadina.
1 Cucharadita de Crema de
leche.
Hielo, batido 20 veces, colado
y servido en copa de
coctel.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 102. Belmont Cocktail.

1 oz. gin 1/2 oz. raspberry syrup
. 1/2 oz. sweet cream
Shake with crushed ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

1949 Emile Bauwens: Livre de cocktails. Seite 23. Belmont cocktail.

1 Cuiller Crême Fraîche –
3/4 Gordon’s Gin –
1/4 Sirop Grenadine –
Frapper au shaker et passer dans un
verre à cocktail.

1949 Harry Schraemli: Das grosse Lehrbuch der Bar. Seite 304. Belmont-Cocktail.

1 Barlöffel frische Sahne, 1/3 Grenadinesirup, 2/3 Gin.
Schütteln.

1950 Ted Shane: Authentic and Hilarious Bar Guide. Seite 47. Belmont.

1 part Raspberry Syrup 1 part Sweet Cream
. 2 parts Gin
Shake with crushed ice and strain.
Mother’s lunch.

1952 Charles: The Cocktail Bar. Seite 37. Belmont Cocktail.

1 teaspoonful of sweet cream,
1/6 gill of grenadine,
1/3 gill of dry gin.
Use the shaker.

1953 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. Seite 25. Belmont Cocktail.

2 oz. Old Mr. Boston Dry Gin
1 Teaspoon Raspberry Syrup
3/4 oz. Sweet Cream
Shake well with cracked Ice and strain
into 4 oz. Cocktail glass.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 36. Belmont.

2/3 Gin
1/3 Grenadine or Raspberry
Syrup
1/2 Jigger Cream
Shake well with ice and strain
into glass.

1957 Henri Barman. Seite 24. Belmont.

Shaker, glace
2/3 Gin
1/3 Grenadine
1 cuill. à thé crème fraîche
Bien frapper au shaker et
passer dans verre à cocktail.
Mélangeur électr.: voir note.

1965 Harry Schraemli: Manuel du bar. Seite 353. Belmont Cocktail.

1 cuillère à bar crème fraîche, 1/3 sirop grenadine, 2/3 gin. Agiter.

1966 Harry Schraemli: Le roi du bar. Seite 33. Belmont Cocktail.

Shaker. 1 cb crème, 1/3 grenadine, 2/3 gin.

1971 Anonymus: Tropical Recipes. Belmont Cocktail.

Cocktail Glass (Chill)
Mixing Glass, Fine Ice
1/2 Jigger Grenadine
1 ” Gin
1/2 ” Sweet Cream
Shake well and strain.

1973 Anonymus: 500 Ways to Mix Drinks. Seite 57. Belmont.

2 jiggers dry gin
1 jigger raspberry syrup
1 jigger cream
3 ice cubes
Blend 6 to 8 seconds, strain
and serve in cocktail glasses.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete barguide. Seite 225. Belmont Cocktail.

Cocktail Glass Shake
1-1/2 oz gin
1 oz cream
1/4 oz raspberry syrup
(or grenadine)

1979 Fred Powell: The Bartender’s Standard Manual: Seite 9. Belmont.

2 jiggers Gin
1 jigger Grenadine or Rasp-
berry Syrup
1/2 jigger Cream
Shake with ice and strain.

explicit capitulum
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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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