Two Coffee Cocktails Without Coffee

Sep 20, 2017

Like the Apple Pie and Chocolate Cocktails of past Mr. Boston’s recipes from 1935, the Coffee Cocktail No.1 and No.2 are devoid of the namesake ingredient.

Since I have fallen behind on this blog experiment as of late, I decided to mix up both recipes last night. I figured one could be enjoyed by Ryan and the other would be mine. I didn’t expect us both to enjoy one of the recipes more than the other.

The Coffee Cocktail No.2 was our pick of the litter. Turns out, this version may have been the original published way back in 1908 by Hon WM Boothby.

In his rendition, Mr. Boothby writes:

“When properly made this drink resembles a glass of coffee, from which it takes its name, and is highly recommended for invalids and convalescents.”

Mr. Boston's Coffee Cocktail No.1

Though we preferred the taste of Mr. Boston’s Coffee Cocktail No. 2, I think that the Coffee Cocktail No.1 had a more coffee-like appearance.

That explains the name, but I’m still confused as to why Leo Cotton downplayed the Creme de Cacao and omitted the Cognac from the older recipe. In his version, the Cognac was replaced with Old Mr. Boston’s Apricot Nectar and the quantities of the Brandy and Creme de Cacao were swapped.

I hadn’t discovered the older recipe until sitting down to share these two drinks with you today. I think I might need to revisit the No.2 using the recipe outlined in 1908 which calls for:

  • One egg yolk
  • 1 ounce of Creme de Cacao
  • 1 Jigger of Port
  • 1 dash of Cognac
  • A sprinkle of nutmeg to garnish

Neither Coffee Cocktail published in my 1935 Mr. Boston’s manual tasted anything like coffee. While Ryan liked one over the other, he proclaimed that both ruined perfectly good Port. I however enjoyed the No.2 version as it mellowed the richness of the Port.

At the end of the night, I offered Ryan the better drink and sipped the Coffee Cocktail No.1 while we unwound at the end of a busy day.

It wasn’t that the No.1 is bad, it just isn’t as interesting. The recipe uses an entire egg rather than just the yolk and I think that distracted from the sweetness of the Port and Apricot Brandy. I missed the spices on top and this cocktail left a thickness in my throat that I wasn’t in love with. A chaser of Amaretto on ice was called for to rid my throat of the film but I’m not complaining 🙂