Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cocktail Wednesdays: Colony Cocktail

Colony Cocktail

This week, we picked the Colony Cocktail from's list of popular Prohibition-era cocktails. It is named after The Colony in New York, which was apparently a favorite place for the Vanderbilts and Windsors to dine.

Shake well with cracked ice:
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
2 tsp maraschino
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This one looks considerably more girly than the last one, and it contains more juice. A friend joined us tonight, and she was a bit more interested by something containing juice, though there isn't much in this cocktail, really.

The verdict: I can just discern the grapefruit and barely the cherry, but they marry well with the gin, so you can't define the line between them, and they enhance that "gin flavor". I can see why this would have been popular during Prohibition, because if one only had access to lower quality gin, this would have enhanced the flavor.

It's funny, but ever since we started this, we have been drinking more classic cocktails when we would normally have had something else. At a bar and restaurant last week, Scott and I had an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, respectively. Just last night, Scott served up gin and tonics. Funny, huh?

Now, I don't want anyone thinking we're huge boozers. This is just one drink an evening, though tonight we did mix a second since I didn't get any photos the first time. Scott's not working tomorrow, though. He worked about seventy hours last week, so we think he's perfectly justified in taking our anniversary off tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for the post. I found this looking for the Colony Cocktail. I suspect from the color in the photo that you may have used 2 tsp Maraschino cherry juice, rather than 2 tsp Maraschino liqueur. Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo seem to be the widely-accepted preferred brand) is clear and sweet, and tastes not of cherry flesh, but of the funky cherry pits. It was widely used in the pre-prohibition era.

  2. You're right. I realized this after the fact, and it's now in our stock. This is just the sort of reason we wanted to educate ourselves about cocktails. I've even preserved cherries in it to make more accurate Maraschino cherries. See my post on The Last Word and another on the cherries.

  3. There is the other Colony Cocktail,which is supposely from'Bottoms Up'by Ted Sauicer -1953.
    Colony Cocktail : 1 1/2 oz. vodka,1 oz. Southern Comfort, 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice.Shake all with ice,strain into chilled Martini glass.Garnish - lemon twist.

    1. Based on what I've learned so far in my journey of learning about cocktails, I believe that the inclusion of maraschino in the recipe I had and the fact that Ted Sauicer's recipe is vodka based both indicate that the first recipe is probably older, and more likely to be the Prohibition-era version created at The Colony in New York, although I have yet to find its association with any particular guide. Maraschino seems to have been popular at the time, and vodka did not become popular in America until after the creation of the Moscow Mule, which was invented in 1941. Personally, I was surprised to learn that Southern Comfort was invented in 1874, but I doubt Heron was mixing it with vodka, especially since he was making it with bourbon.