Drinks

Chrysanthemum Cocktail

Chrysanthemum.

The Chrysanthemum Cocktail is a true masterpiece of vermouth, Bénédictine and a touch of absinthe that is unfortunately still far too unknown today.

50 ml Dolin Blanc vermouth
15 ml Bénédictine
1 dash (1,25 ml) Duplais Verte absinthePreparation: Stirred. Sprinkle with an orange zest.

Chrysanthemum. © Le Lion - Swetlana Holz.
Chrysanthemum. © Le Lion – Swetlana Holz.

The Chrysanthemum Cocktail first appears in Hugo Richard Ensslin’s book Recipes for Mixed Drinks. It is truly a masterpiece.

All we know beyond that is Harry Craddock’s statement that the Chrysanthemum Cocktail was well known and very popular in the bar of the ship S.S.Europa.

Chrysanthemum. © Le Lion - Swetlana Holz.
Chrysanthemum. © Le Lion – Swetlana Holz.

We find no indication of where the drink got its name. Obviously it is named after the chrysanthemum, but why should it be? What connects a drink published in 1917, which may have appeared in Hugo Ensslin’s first edition of his book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” in 1916, with a flower? If it had been fashionable to name drinks after flowers, we should have found more of them in his book, but this is not the case. So there must be another explanation.

Scott Joplin around 1903.
Scott Joplin around 1903. [5]

We came across something very interesting during our research. Scott Joplin dedicated his 1904 composition “The Chrysanthemum” to his wife Freddie Alexander, who died the same year. [1] [2] This piece was released on record in 1916. [2] Scott Joplin died in New York City on 1 April 1917 and was a respected composer and pianist of ragtime who was highly regarded. [3] The recording itself was made on record in 1916, but since Scott Joplin had been demented since 1916, it could be that he did not sit at the piano himself. In any case, we have found evidence that he recorded the piece on the Pianola, which was invented in the 1890s, and that this recording was then pressed onto a disc. [2] A pianola is a self-playing device for pianos in which prefabricated pieces of music can be played back on the instruments by means of perforated strips of paper known as music rolls or piano rolls. [4]

We believe the record sold successfully and was heard on Broadway, so the Chrysanthemum Cocktail was named after Scott Joplin’s ragtime piece. Here is the recording on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euM9giVINgg

Sources
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Joplin: Scott Joplin.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euM9giVINgg: Scott Joplin 1916 The Chrysanthemum.
  3. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Joplin: Scott Joplin.
  4. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pianola: Pianola.
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scott_Joplin_19072.jpg: Portrait of Scott Joplin. First published in St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper, June 7, 1903.
Chrysanthemum.
Chrysanthemum.

Historical recipes

1917 Hugo R. Ensslin: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Seite 12. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 dashes Absinthe.
1/2 Benedictine.
1/2 French Vermouth.
Stir well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve with a twist
of Orange Peel.

1930 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 47. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 Dashes Absinthe.
1/3 Benedictine.
2/3 French Vermouth.
Shake well and strain into cocktail
glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
*Well-known and very popular in the American
Bar of the S.S. “Europa.”

1933 Anonymus: O’Dell’s Book of Cocktails. Seite 147. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 dashes Absinthe,
1/3 Benedictine, 2/3 French Vermouth.

1933 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 47. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 Dashes Absinthe.
1/3 Benedictine.
2/3 French Vermouth.
Shake well and strain into cocktail
glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
Well-known and very popular in the American
Bar of the S.S. “Europa.”

1933 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 55. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 dashes anisette
20% benedictine
80% dry vermouth
Shake well, and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange
peel on top.

1934 A. T. Neirath: Rund um die Bar. Seite 166. Chrysanthemum-Cocktail.

Dieser Cocktail ist auf
Dampfer „Europa“ des NDL.
sehr populär.
3 D. [Dash] Pernod
1/3 Benedictine
2/3 Franz. Vermouth
Sch-.B. [Schüttelbecher] K. [Kirsche] Z. [Zitronenspirale]

1934 G. F. Steele: My New Cocktail Book. Seite 37. Chrysanthemum.

1/3 Benedictine
2/3 French Vermouth
twist Orange peel on top
3 dashes Absinthe

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 222. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 Dashes Absinthe
1/2 Benedictine
1/2 French Vermouth
Stir well with cracked ice, strain and serve
with a twist of Orange Peel.
Use glass number 1

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 46. Chrysanthemum.

Fr. Vermouth . . . . . . 2/3 jigger Benedictine . . . . . . . . 1/2 jigger
. Absinthe . . . . . . . . . 3 dashes
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, twist orange
peel over and serve.

1935 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston. Seite 34. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

1/2 Benedictine
1/2 French Vermouth
3 Dashes Absinthe
Shake well with cracked ice and
strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

1935 O. Blunier: The Barkeeper’s Golden Book. Seite 89. Chrysanthemum.

1/3 Benedictine
2/3 French Vermouth
3 ds. Absinthe

1938 Hyman Gale & Gerald F. Marco: The How and When. Seite 104. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

3 dashes Absinthe
1/3 Benedictine
2/3 French Vermouth
Shake well
Strain into Cocktail Glass

1953 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. Seite 47. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

1 oz. Benedictine
1 oz. French Vermouth
1 Teaspoon Absinthe Substitute
Shake well with cracked Ice and strain
into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 13. Chrysanthemum.

1/2 Dry Vermouth
1/2 Benedictine
3 Dashes Pernod
Stir well with ice and strain into
glass. Serve with twist of Orange
Peel.

1957 Henri Barman: Cocktails et autres boissons mélangées. Seite 33. Chrysanthème.

Timbale à mélange, glace
1/2 Vermouth français
1/2 Bénédictine
3 traits Pernod
Bien remuer en timbale et
passer dans verre à cocktail.
Zeste de citron.
Mélangeur électr. : voir note.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 251. Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

1 oz. French vermouth 1/2 oz. benedictine
. 3 dashes Pernod or Herbsaint
Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass;
twist orange peel over drink.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 253. Chrysanthemum.

Cocktail Glass Stir
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz Benedictine
Hiball Glass
1/2 oz Pernod
Orange peel

2010 Colin Peter Field: The Ritz Paris. Seite 106. Chrysanthemum. 5/10 Pisco; 3/10 Junmai rice wine; 2/10 Green Chartreuse.

2016 André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington: The New Cocktail Hour. Seite 61. Chrysanthemum. 60 ml dry vermouth (Noilly Prat); 30 ml Benedictine; 1 shy teaspoon absinthe; garniah: orange peel.

2016 Jamie Boudreau & James O. Fraioli: The Canon Cocktail Book. Seite 80. Chrysanthemum No. 2. 1/4 ounce absinthe; 2 ounces dry vermouth; 1/2 ounce Bénédictine; 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice.

2011 Jim Meehan: Das Geheime Cocktail-Buch. Seite 89. Chrysanthemum. 6 cl Dolin Vermouth Dry; 2 cl Bénédictine; 0,75 cl Absinth Vieux Pontarlier; 1 Spritzer Orangenbitter; Garnierung: Orangenschale.

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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