The Imperial

Erik Ellestad of the Savoy Stomp blog has been taking his Savoy Nights on the road and did one at the Eveleigh in LA a few months ago. Sadly, he did not make it down to San Diego (maybe another time?). I am still recovering from my disappointment… Anyway, I’ve been keeping an eye on these events to see what he is mixing.

This cocktail may not have been included on the menu that night, but it’s one that Erik mentioned as being amongst his favorite Savoy cocktails. The Imperial Cocktail is a recipe that actually predates Harry Craddock. I found it in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1917) and also in Tim Daly’s Bartender’s Encyclopedia (1903) (as pointed out by cocktail101).

Imperial Cocktail (Savoy): gin, French vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters, (tom)olive
1 oz gin | 1 oz dry vermouth | 1/8 Tbsp maraschino liqueur | 1 dash Angostura bitters | stir and strain into cocktail glass | olive garnish

It has a beautiful light copper tint from the Angostura. It’s essentially a tweaked 50:50 Martini with a touch of maraschino liqueur and Angostura. A very refined and delicious cocktail. No wonder I liked it – here is what Daly had to write about it:

The above is very popular with Europeans of the better class, particularly the French, who are extremely fond of cordials of all descriptions.

3 thoughts on “The Imperial

  1. I make a version of this which is more of a Martinez with only dry vermouth( 4 cl gin, 2 cl cry vermouth, a barspoon of maraschino). Also orange bitters instead of angostura. Lemonzest and cherry. It’s one of my favourites actually. I’m gonna give “the Imperial” a try for sure.

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