Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 9, 2008

TDN: Old Time Cocktails

This past Thursday, on the eve of Repeal Day, Thursday Drink Night featured old school cocktails. Folks tried to use older ingredients in traditional ways, with slight twists. This is actually much, much harder than you’d think. Normally I find a way to think up 3-5 cocktails for a TDN, some in advance, some during the course of the night. The problem with more traditional cocktails is that many, many, many ways to throw gin or rye together with vermouth or bitters or maraschino have been made. But away we went.

I ended up posting three drinks, though two of the recipes are the same with only a difference in preparation and presentation.

Pretty Old Thing

Pretty Old Thing

Pretty Old Thing

1 1/2 oz Plymouth gin
1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
Dash Maraschino
1/4 oz Aperol

Stir gin, Lillet, & Maraschino – pour in a cocktail glass. Pour Aperol over bar spoon down the side of glass.

This is probably the most beautiful cocktail I’ve created. I just love the bright red of the Aperol and the light yellow of the gin and Lillet. The thing is, while it looks great, it doesn’t balance well because the Aperol stays too low in the glass.

Thus the next cocktail was born:

Tasty Old Thing

1 1/2 oz Plymouth gin
1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz Aperol
Dash Maraschino.

Stir with restrained brevity and a healthy portion of cracked ice. Strain into a chilled vessel.

I really loved this drink. It tasted better than the prettier version (though it still comes out with a nice pink color), but sadly I didn’t take a picture of it at the time.

H.H. Punch

H.H. Punch

My other drink is really a work in progress. It’s a variation on an old recipe, but it’s being radically changed here. It’s a tough bunch of ingredients to get together and I’m only publishing it now because I want to document where this drink was at the time. It will evolve and when I get to a point where I’m happy with it, I’ll have a much longer post on what it’s all about.

H.H. Punch
1 1/2 oz cognac
1 oz white rhum agricole
2 oz fresh orange juice
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz demerara syrup

Shake and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lime peel.

This is a very strong drink, so be careful. But stay tuned — I want to get a recipe related to this down pat in the future.



  1. The pretty Old Thing is really beautiful, haven´t tried it though as i don´t have any Lillet which of course isnt sold here. I tried the HH Punch though and i really like it,the agricole gives this interesting kick as it usually does when mixed.Rhum agricole isn`t just Ti punches!

    • Glad you liked the HH Punch Tiare. I need to work on it more. But you’re right, rhum agricole is for way more than Ti punches. I actually usually try rum cocktails with a rhum agricole first, to see if it’s worth heading down that path.

      I don’t know if I could handle not being able to buy Lillet. It’s one of my favorite liquors to mix with and is so great with most any gin and something else.

  2. […] quite good enough to stand the tests of time. It did, however, provide the inspiration for my H.H. Punch a little while […]

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