The author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series
writes about KBO, cocktails, code-breaking, and red lipstick.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Churchill Cocktail

Having a blog allows me indulge in the intersection of two topics I love: Winston Churchill and cocktails.

Churchill was a prodigious drinker, of course. Scotch, scotch and soda (light on the soda), Champagne (Pol Roger preferably), claret, Burgundy, brandy, port.... From our modern perspective, it may seem over the top — and yet, if one were indeed going to "fight them on the beaches" — it was probably a good idea to have some liquid courage first.

To the best of my knowledge (and I'm by no means an expert), Churchill really didn't indulge in mixed drinks. However, he and his family are associated with a number of cocktails. Legend has it that his mother, American (Brooklynite!) Jenny Jerome had the Manhattan cocktail created for a party in honor of her husband, Lord Randolph Churchill. Different mixologists have debunked the story, but I like it....

There is one cocktail, though, that's reputed to have been created by Sir Winston. According to Esquire's "Potables" column (a fantastic source for cocktail history), the Sensation was created in Britain in 1939 and was either created by or inspired by Churchill. Here's the recipe:

Sensation (also known as Brandied Port)

Shake well with cracked ice:

2 oz ruby port
1 oz brandy
Dash of fresh-squeezed orange juice

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of orange peel.


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