I was so excited to get into the “B” section of Mr. Boston’s 1935 edition. That is until we tasted the first drink on the list… Babbie’s Special Cocktail.
As another blogger eloquently put it, “I really hope Babbie was special for some other reason than her taste in cocktails.” Touche’!
It’s not that the Babbie’s is a bad drink, it’s just that it is far from what I’d consider “special”. When I first glanced over the recipe I was reminded of the Alexander Cocktail No. 2. – I really enjoyed that Alexander and thought Babbie’s sounded like something that would be enjoyable too, although far from unique.
What I hadn’t initially realized was that the Babbie’s is lacking the key ingredient that made the Alexander No. 2 exceptional… Creme de Cacao. More than that, the Babbie’s Cocktail is very heavy on the cream with just a 1/4 teaspoon of Gin and less than an ounce of Apricot added to the mix.
While the Alexander No. 2 did not incorporate Gin into the recipe, the Babbie’s Special Cocktail may as well have omitted it too. Despite using our strong botanical flavored compound Gin, none of the herbs could compete with the 1/3 ounce of dense cream. By some miracle the Apricot Brandy managed to shine through but only slightly. I think this recipe would have done more for me if the Gin quantity was increased from a dash to at least 1/2 an ounce. Mr. Boston’s must have agreed because the new recipe increased the booze but kept the cream at a reasonable level.
I tried in vein to find out who this drink may have been named for. I got nothing from my search. Babbie seems to be a unique name so I’d hoped to discover it was a nickname for an actress of the 1930’s or something to that effect. The closest I could come up with was that Jean Harlow was nicknamed “Baby” and given her vintage the time-frame worked. The only hiccup to that theory is, apparently Ms. Harlow was a fan of a sweet rum martini. I find it hard to believe she would pass up a full flavored combination of light rum and sweet vermouth for the lack luster Babbie’s Special.
Either way, in an attempt to improve Babbie’s Special Cocktail, I added an unmeasured splash of Creme Yvette to the drink. I figured the added sweetness of the Yvette would do the drink some good and it did… Well, sort of.
The once stark white cocktail turned a nice shade of pale raspberry. It reminded me of a well stirred raspberry yogurt in color. I enjoyed the combination of the Creme Yvette and cream more than I had the prior Apricot mixture. Unfortunately my splash may have been too heavy and the Apricot was gone along way of the Gin. It was a totally different drink and while better to taste, I fear it was too different from the original recipe.
Oh well, perhaps tomorrow’s Bacardi Cocktail will prove more interesting. Until then – Cheers!