Columbus Cocktail

Columbus Cocktail.

Forget about the Trinidad Sour and all the other mixed drinks you know where Angostura bitters play a starring role; because the Columbus Cocktail puts them all in the shade.

40 ml Dolin Blanc vermouth
20 ml Angostura Bitters

Preparation: Shaken. If you like it stronger, you can increase the Angostura proportion, for example to 40% (45 ml vermouth, 30 ml Angstura Bitters), or use an Italian vermouth.

If you search through the old books, you will find several different mixed drinks called Columbus Cocktail. The oldest is published by Johann Abraham Grohusko in 1908. It consists of 60% Ballor Vermouth and 40% Hostetter’s bitters. Ballor Vermouth was an Italian vermouth from Turin, made with various Alpine herbs. [1-92]

Two years later, Johann Abraham Grohusko wrote that Italian vermouth should be used. Jacques Straub, however, disagrees in 1913, because he uses a French vermouth and has increased its proportion; and he uses Angostura Bitters. Both authors agree, however, that the drink must be shaken during preparation. This instruction is correct, because shaking does indeed change the flavours in a way that mere stirring does not.

Unfortunately, not much more can be said about this drink. The sources are silent, and in the 1930s its recipe was forgotten. It is not known whether the drink was named after Christopher Columbus, after a place called Columbus, of which there are several, or perhaps after something else entirely.

Nevertheless, an unconditional drinking recommendation goes out at this point. Enjoy it! This mixed drink deserves to be made more popular again.

  1. Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual on the Vintage and Production, Care and Handling of Wines, Liquors, Etc. A Handbook of Information for Home, Club, or Hotel. Recipes for Fancy Mixed Drinks and When and How to Serve. New York, McClunn & Co., 1910.
Columbus Cocktail.
Columbus Cocktail.

Historical recipes

1908 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 26. Columbus Cocktail.

60% Ballor Vermouth
40% Hostetter’s bitters
Fill glass with ice.
Frappe, strain and serve.

1910 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 38. Columbus Cocktail.

60% Italian Vermouth
40% Hostetter’s bitters
Fill glass with ice.
Frappe, strain and serve.

1913 Jacques Straub: A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks. Seite 18. Columbus Cocktail.

2/3 Jigger French Vermouth.
1/3 Jigger Angostura Bitters.
Shake Well.

1913 Jacques Straub: Drinks. Seite 23. Columbus Cocktail.

2/3 jigger French vermouth.
1/3 jigger Angostura bitters. Shake well.

1915 https://archive.org/details/ldpd_11290337_000?q=%22columbus+cocktail%22 Henry Waterson: The History of the Manhattan Club of New York. Fiftieth Anniversary. 1915. Seite xlii. Columbus Cocktail.

More famous drinks have been invented at the
Manhattan than at any other place in the country 1

1 None ever invented was so popular as the “Sam Ward.” This was a crea-
tion of the famous Uncle Sam Ward, and is made of yellow chartreuse, cracked
ide, and lemon-peel. The celebrated Manhattan cocktail was inaugurated at
the Club. This consists of equal portions of vermouth and whiskey, with a
dash of orange bitters. Some of the later drinks are:

The Columbus cocktail, composed of orange bitters, acid phosphate, calisaya,
whiskey, and a dash of orange.

1915 John B. Escalante: Manual del cantinero. Seite 13. Columbus Cocktail.

(Colombus cockteil)
Echese la necesaria cantidad de hielo en pedacitos para
mediar el vaso, y agregúese:
Cerveza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 copa.
Ginger Ale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 copa.
Mézclese todo con una cuchara, cuélese en un vaso me-
diano y sírvase.
Nota: Este es un cocktail “refresco” muy apetecido
en el verano.

1916 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 44. Columbus Cocktail.

60% French Vermouth
40% Angostura Bitters.
Shake well.

1920 Anonymus: Good Cheer. Seite 11. Columbus Cocktail.

2/3 shot French vermouth.
1/3shot Angostura bitters. Shake well.

1930 Gerardo Corrales: Club de cantineros de la Republica de Cuba. Seite 34. Columbus Cocktail.

2/3 vermouth Francés.
1/3 Angostura. Bátase bien.

1931 John: Happy Days. Seite 41. Columbus Cocktail.

60 per cent French Vermouth
40 per cent Angostura Bitters.
Shake well.

1933 Harry Todd: Mixer’s Guide. Seite 20. Columbus Cocktail.

Two-thirds jigger French vermouth.
One-third jigger Angostura bitters.
Shake well.

1933 Jacob Abraham Grohusko: Jack’s Manual. Seite 57. Columbus Cocktail.

60% dry vermouth
40% angostura bitters
Shake well.

1934 Anonymus: A Life-Time Collection of 688 Recipes for Drinks. Seite 21. Columbus Cocktail.

1 jigger French Vermouth Shake well
1 jigger Angostura Bitters

1937 Anonymus: Hotel “Lincoln” Coc-tail Book. Seite 24. Columbus Cocktail.

2/3 PICARD vermouth.
1/3 Angostura bitters.
Shake with fine ice, strain
Shake and serve.

1965 Harry Schraemli: Manuel du bar. Seite 388. Columbus Cocktail.

1/3 limejuice, 1/3 apricot-brandy, 1/3 rhum. Bien agiter.

1966 Harry Schraemli: Le roi du bar. Seite 74. Columbus Cocktail.

Shaker. 1/3 jus de limon (lime-juice), 1/3
apricot-brandy, 1/3 rhum.

1972 Trader Vic: Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. Seite 147. Columbus Cocktail.

1 ounce Barbados rum
1 ounce apricot brandy
1 ounce lime juice
Shake with ice cubes. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

2017 Charles Schumann: Schumann’s Bar. Seite 77. Columbus Cocktail. Saft einer Limette; 2 cl Apricot Brandy; 4 cl golden Rum.

explicit capitulum


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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