The oldest Bolo Cocktail recipe I was able to uncover was in Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 ‘Recipes for Mixed Drinks’.
Identical in every way to the mixture noted in my copy of Mr. Boston’s from 1935, this Rum beverage appears to follow the trend of being inspired by historical events.
From everything I’ve read, Hollywood wasn’t involved in the Bolo Cocktail. Instead, I believe that today’s cocktail recipe was born out of political scandal. Maybe someday, a cocktail will be created to remember the up’s and down’s of today’s political climate 🙂
For now, lets take a trip back to the early 1900’s and World War I.
One hundred years ago, there was this guy named Paul Bolo. Before his execution in 1918, Mr. Bolo appears to have gone by many names which may say something about his character.
A French born financier, Bolo started working for Frances enemy, Germany, at the onset of the war.
The stories about the man are vast and I wasn’t able to fully grasp all of the details of the case. From the little I was able to glean, his famous trial of 1917 was front page news of the time.
Both Bolo recipes I found consist of Rum, lime juice, orange juice and powdered sugar. Unfortunately I forgot to grab the powdered sugar from off the bar top when we left the shop this afternoon. Making due, I used a teaspoon of organic cane sugar instead.
Three quarters of a fresh lime will create the 3/4 of an ounce of juice needed for the Bolo Cocktail. Though there is some debate over whether or not massaging, aka rolling the lime to help separate the pulp and juice, will actually yield more liquid, I find that it helps me squeeze the fruit.
I was feeling a bit lazy this afternoon, I decided to forgo another trip to the grocery store for a fresh orange. The last attempt to find the whole fruit was a bust and the line gets terribly long at the first of the month.
Having a previously opened can of concentrate chilling in the freezer door, I mixed up a 1 to three ratio in teaspoons which was just about perfect for the third ounce I needed.
Once again, the Rum was my clue to solving the name mystery for this drink. Somehow I found a clip from a novel written on Mr. Bolo that mentioned a scam involving the Bank of Cuba. It was the closest puzzle piece I could make fit.
Of course Cuban Rum drinks should be mixed with Bacardi, and I decided to try this recipe with the Gold version. Since this Rum recipe is fairly sweet, I figured the Gold would stand up well to the citrus juice.
I’m starting to wonder if all those years of fruity Rum drinks I enjoyed in my youth have made me dislike the spirit. Happy hour Mai Tai’s seem to be where my love affair with Rum begins and ends these days. After a bad night with Captain Morgan, I had assumed that was the only Rum brand my stomach couldn’t tolerate, but maybe Bacardi is joining the ranks. Isn’t it weird how our palettes change as we age?
Seems I need my Rum sweet and lacking too much tart juice. Besides the Black Velvet, the Bolo cocktail is the first drink in the series that I just couldn’t drink. Mind you, this isn’t a bad drink, it’s just not for me.
The vanilla notes of the Rum reminded me of a terrible allergy medication I needed to take as a child. At five years old, I lovingly called it Whale pee due to the cute little Whale on the bottle. Did they really think a Whale was going to make me think the stuff tasted good? Scarred for life – LOL
The long and the short of the Bolo cocktail… Ryan is currently drinking it for me. He says that it’s a B or a C grade for him. I’m not sure I could fairly rate it as I’m clearly biased. All I can say is that I hope that tomorrow drink turns things around.