Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Two Millionaires: Here's How

Millionaire Cocktail and Millionaire Punch

From the images, one might conclude these two concoctions are the same thing served in different fashion. The truth is that the Millionaire Cocktail combines Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, and sloe gin for its spirits, while the Millionaire punch relies strictly upon bourbon. Except for a dash of grenadine and some lime juice, the two drinks have nothing in common---at least in terms of mixology.

These aren't the only drinks bearing the name "Millionaire," or even necessarily the best known. Two other "millionaire" drinks feature gin as the principal spirit. All four have become retro, the two we're soon to share even more so.

While all the innovative envelope pushing that defines the modern cocktail age certainly makes for wonderful imbibing, a lot of great and distinctive drinks from yesteryear have become all but forgotten, at least on the cocktail menus of modern restaurants. Evolving later than the two about to be covered were the gin based "millionaire" cocktails in John J. Poister's 1989 New American Cocktail Guide, both which can also be tracked down on the web. Another "millionaire cocktail" quite similar to our own millionaire cocktail (above at left), though without the grenadine, is also currently on the web. It's a bit too tart for our palate.

The inspiration for the recipes we're sharing is a long out-of-print (1941) mixed drink book with a 1/4 inch thick oak cover entitled Here's How, compiled and edited by W. C. Whitfield. It was salvaged from beneath the liquor cabinet in the home of my late Uncle Fred, a man who truly appreciated a good drink. Much that related to how many of the drinks in this book should be blended and served was left to common sense and a bit of imagination, therefore to us. That's why we refer to Here's How as "inspiration" rather than "source."

These two drinks are easily made and should appeal to nearly all who crave mixed drinks that are distinctive without being weird. "Here's How!"


1 1/2 ounces Jamaican rum

1 1/2 ounces apricot brandy

1 1/2 ounces sloe gin

Juice of one lime

Dash of grenadine

The book doesn't say what you do next and states "one part" each rather that 1 1/2 ounces for the rum, brandy, and sloe gin. We shook all the ingredients with crushed ice and strained into a cocktail glass. It proved to be smooth and exceptionally pleasing for a drink of this type.


1 lemon

Dash of lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 jigger (1 1/2 ounce shot) bourbon

2 dashes grenadine

Dash of Creme de Menthe

Fruit to garnish

The book instructs to shake the lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, bourbon, and grenadine with cracked ice, strain into a goblet, and garnish with fruit. What type of goblet, we wondered would suffice for a drink so small, so we doubled the ingredients and then strained into a wine goblet into which a number of ice cubes had been dropped. After all, who ever heard of a "punch" that didn't have any ice. Then we added our 2 dashes of Creme de Menthe and garnished with the fruit. The result reminded me just a little bit of an old time whiskey sour elevated to a new and wondrous dimension.