Drinks

Vanderbilt Cocktail

Vanderbilt Cocktail

There are cocktails that are very special because you associate them with a special moment and a special person. For me, the Vanderbilt cocktail is one of them, and I have fond memories of my visit to the Shepheard in Cologne when Frank Thelen first prepared this cocktail for me.

60 ml Park XO Cognac
25 ml Cherry Heering
1 dash Angostura Bitter

Preparation: stirred.

The Kursaal in Oostende, about 1895.
The Kursaal in Oostende, about 1895. [1]

This drink was first made at the Kursaal in Ostend during a visit of Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American millionaire, who was drowned on the Lusitania during the war.” [2-46] as Robert Vermeire reported in 1922.

In another book by Robert Vermeire, probably published in 1938, he is even more specific and lets us know:  “This cocktail was created in 1912 by “Guido” in the Kursaal in Ostend on the occasion of the visit of the American millionaire Colonel Cornelius Vanderbilt. The latter died on the Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine in May 1915.[3-49]

– „Ce cocktail fut créé par « Guido » au Kursaal d’Ostende, en 1912, à l’occasion de la visite du colonel Cornélius Vanderbilt, millionnaire américain. Ce dernier a péri sur le Lusitania, coulé par un sous-marin allemand en mai 1915.[3-49]

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt. [7]

But unfortunately Robert Vermeire made a mistake. None of the Cornelius Vanderbilts, there are four of them, died on the Lusitania. Rather, it was Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. [4] [5] [6]

The RMS Lusitania was operated in the transatlantic trade between Liverpool and New York City from 1907 and was the largest ship in the world until her sister ship Mauretania entered service. On 7 May 1915, she was sunk by the German Imperial Navy submarine SM U 20 off the south coast of Ireland. 1198 people lost their lives. [8]

RMS Lusitania in 1907.
RMS Lusitania in 1907. [9]

The original recipe, as published by Robert Vermeire, calls for equal parts brandy and cherry brandy rocher, with a little sugar syrup added as well. This allows only two conclusions: Either the Vanderbilt Cocktail was originally an extremely sweet affair, or the Cherry Brandy Rocher was very low in sugar, which is why some additional sugar syrup had to be added. Perhaps someone among you can provide information? Maybe someone knows more about Guido, the inventor of the drink? Then get in touch!

In any case, we have reduced the proportion of cherry brandy so that the sweetness does not interfere; Harry Craddock did the same for the first time in 1930 with a ratio of 3:1.

Sources
  1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Kursaal,_Ostend,_Belgium,_ca._1895_(3063883757).jpg The Kursaal, Ostend, Belgium, ca. 1895.
  2. Robert Vermeire: Cocktails. How to Mix Them. 1922.
  3. Robert Vermeire: L’art du cocktail. Bruxelles, without year.
  4. https://homebars.barinacraft.com/post/151335939968/vanderbilt-cocktail-drink Vanderbilt Cocktail – Its Namesake Will Surprise You.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_Vanderbilt_(disambiguation) Cornelius Vanderbilt (disambiguation).
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Gwynne_Vanderbilt Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alfred_Vanderbilt..JPG Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (October 20, 1877 – died May 7, 1915) was a sportsman and a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family.
  8. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Lusitania RMS Lusitania.
  9. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Lusitania_book_image1.jpg RMS Lusitania.
Vanderbilt Cocktail
Vanderbilt Cocktail

Historical recipes

1922 Robert Vermeire: Cocktails. Seite 46. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

Fill the large bar glass half full of broken
ice and add:
3 dashes of Gum Syrup.
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.
1/4 gill of Old Brandy.
1/4 gill of Cherry Brandy Rocher.
Stir up well and strain into a cocktail-
glass, add a cherry and lemon-peel squeezed
on top.
This drink was first made at the Kursaal
in Ostend during a visit of Colonel Cornelius
Vanderbilt, the American millionaire, who
was drowned on the Lusitania during the
war.

1924 Carlo Beltramo: Les cocktails et les boissons américaines. Seite 44. Vanderbilt cocktail.

Se prépare dans le tumbler à moitié rempli
de glace en morceaux: Quelques gouttes d’an-
gostura bitter, 1 cuillerée à thé de sirop de
sucre et parts égales de bon cognac vieux et
de Cherry brandy. — Bien remuer et servir
dans un verre à cocktail avec ime cerise et un
zeste de citron.

1930 Anonymus: Cocktails by „Jimmy“ Late of Ciro’s London. Seite 79. Vanderbilt.

1 part Brandy
1 part Cherry Brandy
2 dashes Angostura Bitters per cocktail
Sugar to taste
Squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and
serve with a cherry.

1930 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 166. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3 Dashes Syrup.
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Cherry Brandy.
3/4 Brandy.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1930 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 84. Vanderbilt.

Brandy . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 jigger Cherry Brandy . . . . . . 1/2 jigger
Sugar Syrup . . . . . . . . 2 dashes Angostura . . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry,
twist lemon peel over and serve.

1931 Dominique Migliorero: L’Art du Shaker. Seite 71. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

2 traits d’angostura, 2 traits de curaçao, 1/2 Cherry
Brandy, 1/2 Cognac.

1932 Jimmy: The Green Cocktail Book. Seite 79. Vanderbilt.

1 part Brandy
1 part Cherry Brandy
2 dashes Angostura Bitters per cocktail
Sugar to taste.
Squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and
serve with a cherry.

1933 George A. Lurie: Here’s How. Seite 83. Vanderbilt.

Brandy . . . . . . . . . . 1 pony Cherry Brandy . . . . . . 1 pony
Sugar Syrup . . . . . . 2 dashes Angostura . . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add
Maraschino cherry, twist lemon peel over and serve.

1934 Harry Jerrold Gordon: Gordon’s Cocktail and Food Recipes. Seite 55. The Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3 Brandy
1 Cherry Brandy
Gum Syrup, 2 Dashes
Angostura Bitters, 3 Dashes
lce. – Stir. Strain and serve.

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 172. Vanderbilt Hotel Cocktail.

3 Dashes Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1/4 Cherry Brandy
3/4 Brandy
Stir well in ice and strain into glass.
Use glass number 1

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 171. Vanderbilt.

Brandy . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 jigger Cherry Brandy . . . . 1/2 jigger
Sugar Syrup . . . . . . 2 dashes Bitters . . . . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry,
twist lemon peel over and serve.

1935 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston. Seite 133. Vanderbilt Hotel Cocktail.

1/4 Old Mr. Boston Cherry Nectar
3/4 Old Mr. Boston Apricot Nec­-
tar
3 Dashes Syrup
2 Dashes Bitters
Shake well with cracked ice and
strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

1935 O. Blunier: The Barkeeper’s Golden Book. Seite 145. Vanderbilt.

3/4 Brandy
1/4 Cherry Brandy
2 ds. Angostura

1936 Anonymus:- Cocktails, Drinks and Snacks. Seite 34. Vanderbilt Special.

3 oz. Brandy
1 oz. Cherry Brandy
2 dashes simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Ice, stir, strain Into cocktail glass.

1936 Bill Edwards: Drinks. Seite 68. Vanderbilt.

1 part Brandy
1 part Cherry Brandy
2 dashes Angostura Bitters per cocktail
Sugar to taste
Squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and serve
with a cherry.

1936 Frank A. Thomas: Wines, Cocktails and other Drinks. Seite 192. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

4 1/2 glasses brandy 1/2 teaspoon angostura
1 1/2 glasses cherry liqueur bitters
1 teaspoon sugar syrup

1936 Raymond Porta Mingot: Gran manual de cocktails. Seite 374. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

Usese la cocktelera.
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
Una cucharadita de jarabe de azúcar For-
tuny.
3 gotas de Bitter Secrestat.
1/2 parte de Cherry Brandy Marie Bri-
zard.
1/2 parte de Cognac Bisquit V. O.
Agítese, cuélese y sírvase en copa de 90
gramos.

1937 United Kingdom Bartenders Guild: Approved Cocktails. Vanderbuilt.

3 dashes Gum Syrup.
2 dashes Angostura Bitters.
50% Old Brandy.
50% Cherry Brandy.
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a cherry
and lemon peel squeezed on top.

1937 William J. Tarling: Café Royal Cocktail Book. Vanderbuilt.

3 dashes Gum Syrup.
2 dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/2 Old Brandy.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.
Add a cherry and lemon peel
squeezed on top.

1938 Robert Vermeire: L’art du cocktail. Seite 49. Vanderbilt.

Verre à mélange:
3 traits de sirop de gomme.
2 traits d’angostura bitter.
1/2 fine.
1/2 cherry brandy Rocher.
Remuer à la cuiller et passer dans le
verre. Ajouter cerise et presser pelure de
citron dessus. Ce cocktail fut créé par
« Guido » au Kursaal d’Ostende, en 1912,
à l’occasion de la visite du colonel Cornélius
Vanderbilt, millionnaire américain. Ce der-
nier a péri sur le Lusitania, coulé par un
sous-marin allemand en mai 1915.

1940 Charles: The Cocktail Book. Seite 92. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

2 dashes of Angostura bitters,
3 dashes of sugar syrup,
1/8 gill of cherry brandy,
1/8 gill of brandy.
Use the mixing glass.

1940 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 172. Vanderbilt Hotel Cocktail.

3 Dashes Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1/4 Cherry Brandy
3/4 Brandy
Stir well in ice and strain into glass.
Use glass number 1

1943 Jacinto Sanfeliu Brucart: Cien Cocktails. Seite 65. Vanderbilt-Cocktail.

Póngase en un vaso mezclador unos pe-
dacitos de hielo y añadir:
1/2 Cherry Brandy Rocher
1/2 Coñac
2 golpes Jarabe de Goma
2 golpes Angostura Bitters
Agítese bien y sírvase en copa da cocktail
con una guinda y exprimiendo corteza de
limón.
— Cocktail célebre en el Kursaal de Ostende durante
la estancia del Coronel Cornelio Vanderbilt. —

1944 Harmann Burney Burke (Barney Burke): Burke’s Complete Cocktail & Drinking Recipes. Seite 55. The Vanderbilt Special.

3 Brandy
1 Cherry Brandy
Gum Syrup, 2 Dashes
Angostura Bitters, 3 Dashes
Ice. — Stir. Strain and serve.

1948 Hilario Alonso Sanchez: El Arte del Cantinero. Seite 366. The Vandervilt Special.

1 parte de Cherry brandy.
3 partes de brandy.
2 chorros de jarabe de sor-
go.
3 chorros de Angostura Bi-
tters.
Hielo. Revuélvase» cuéle-
se y sírvase.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 90. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3/4 oz. brandy 2 dashes sugar syrup
3/4 oz. cherry brandy 2 drops Angostura bitters
Stir with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

1949 Emile Bauwens: Livre de Cocktails. Seite 91. Vanderbilt cocktail.

3 Traits Sirop de Sucre –
2 Traits Angostura Bitter –
3/4 Cognac –
1/4 Cherry Brandy –
Frapper au shaker et passer dans un
verre à cocktail.

1949 Harry Schraemli: Das grosse Lehrbuch der Bar. Seite 453. Vanderbilt-Cocktail.

3 d. Zuckersirup, 2 d. Angosturabitter, 1/4 Cherry-
Brandy, 3/4 Cognac. Kurz schütteln und in grosses
Cocktailglas seihen.

1952 Charles: The Cocktail Bar. Seite 92. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

2 dashes of Angostura bitters,
3 dashes of sugar syrup,
1/8 gill of cherry brandy,
1/8 gill of brandy.
Use the mixing glass.

1953 Anonymus: The ABC of Cocktails. Seite 55. Southampton.

4 parts Brandy
1 part Cherry Heering or other
Cherry Liqueur
1 dash Bitters per drink
Stir with ice, and strain.

1953 Anonymus: The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks. Seite 86. Vanderbilt.

1/2 Brandy.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
2 Dashes Angostura.
2 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
Serve with Cherry.
Twist Lemon Peel.
Stir and Strain.

1953 David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Seite 264. Southampton.

1 part Cherry Heering
4 parts Cognac
1 dash Bitters to each drink
Shake with cracked ice. A twist of lemon over each glass. The original
recipe also calls for sugar syrup,but the liqueur makes the drink more
than sweet enough without the sugar.

1953 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. Seite 146. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3/4 oz. Old Mr. Boston Wild
Cherry Flavored Brandy
1 1/2 oz. Old Mr. Boston California
Brandy
1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Bitters
Stir well with cracked Ice and strain
into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

1955 Anonymus: The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks. Seite 86. Vanderbilt.

1/2 Brandy.
1/ 2 Cherry Brandy.
2 Dashes Angostura.
2 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
Serve with Cherry.
Twist Lemon Peel.
Stir and Strain.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 26. Vanderbilt Hotel.

3/4 Brandy
1/4 Cherry Brandy
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Sugar Syrup
Stir well with ice and strain into
glass.

1957 Henri Barman: Cocktails et autres boissons mélangées. Seite 95. Vanderbilt.

Timbale à mélange, glace
3/4 Cognac
1/4 Cherry Brandy
2 traits Angostura
2 traits sirop de sucre
Bien remuer en timbale et
passer dans verre à cocktail.
Mélangeur électr. : voir note.

1957 Lawrence Blochman: Here’s How. Seite 68. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3 parts cognac 1 part cherry cordial
2 dashes grenadine 1 dash Angostura
Shake with plenty of ice, strain.
Amy Vanderbilt, who writes a nationally syndicated
column on etiquette, modestly disclaims having invented
the Vanderbilt cocktail, which has been around longer than
she has. Probably named for the Commodore, she says.
Incidentally, Miss Vanderbilt, queried about the etiquette
of Martini-drinking, says it is not correct to flip the seed of
your Martini olive across the room at your cocktail partner.
Nor at anyone else.

1959 Fernando Gaviria: EI Coctel y Sus Derivados. Seite 67. Vanderbilt.

Prepárese en cockielera:
Unos pedacitos de hielo.
Unas gotas de Jarabe de Goma.
Unas gotas de Angostura Bítlers.
Una parte de Cherry Brandy.
Tres partes de Coñac español.
Bien batido, sírvase en copa de cocktail.

1960 Anonymus: The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks. Seite 87. Vanderbilt.

1/2 Brandy.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
2 Dashes Angostura.
2 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
Serve with Cherry.
Twist Lemon Peel.
Stir and Strain.

1965 Aladar von Wesendonk: 888 Cocktails. Seite 68. Vanderbilt.

2/3 Montesquieu Armagnac
1/3 Cordial Medoc
2 dashes Grenadine
1 dash Angostura
im shaker mit viel Eis schütteln
und abseihen

1965 Anonymus: The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks. Seite 88. Vanderbilt.

1/2 Brandy.
1/2 Cherry Brandy.
2 Dashes Angostura.
2 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
Serve with Cherry.
Twist Lemon Peel.
MIXING GLASS.

1965 Harry Schraemli: Manuel du bar. Seite 476. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3 dashes sirop de gomme, 2 dashes angostura, 1/4 cherry-brandy,
3/4 cognac. Agiter brièvement.

1966 Harry Schraemli: Le roi du bar. Seite 169. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

Shaker. 3 d sirop de gomme (ou assu-
grine), 2 d angostura, 1/4 cherry-brandy,
3/4 cognac.

1972 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston. Seite 103. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3/4 oz. Old Mr. Boston Wild Cherry
Flavored Brandy
1 1/2 oz. Old Mr. Boston Five Star
Brandy
1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Bitters
Stir well with cracked ice and strain
into 3 oz. cocktail glass.

1976 Anonymus: International Guide to Drinks. Seite 66. Vanderbilt.

1/2 brandy
1/2 cherry brandy
2 dashes Angostura
2 dashes gomme syrup
Serve with cherry
Twist lemon peel
Mixing glass

1976 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 166. Vanderbilt Cocktail.

3 Dashes Syrup.
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1/4 Cherry Brandy.
3/4 Brandy.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 423. Vanderbilt (Hotel).

Cocktail Glass Stir
1-1/2 oz brandy
3/4 oz cherry flavored brandy
2 dashes bitters
Sugar to taste

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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