Last Monday, I talked about the Marlene Dietrich cocktail that was served at the Hollywood Hotel back in the 1930s. Since last night was the Academy Awards, I thought it only fitting to do one more drink that was on the menu during Hollywoods’s golden era: the Honeymoon Cocktail. Not far from the Hollywood Hotel was the Brown Derby restaurant, located on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Built in 1929, the Brown Derby was situated right in the middle of all the Hollywood action, where it was surrounded by movie studios and theaters. Its low-backed, brown leather booths were specifically designed for its Hollywood movie star and high society patrons to easily circulate among, allowing them the opportunity to see and be seen by all. That being said, the Brown Derby was also known for high cuisine, fabulous cocktails, and impeccable service, as well as the cartoon caricatures of movie stars that lined the walls. These were drawn by a man named Eddie Vitch who was a famous caricaturist of the time. It made me smile to take a look at the menu whose entrées rung in at a whopping $1.50!
The Honeymoon Cocktail has Laird’s Applejack as its base spirit, along with equal parts dry orange Curaçao, Bénédictine, and lemon juice. The simplicity of the ingredient list appealed to me and I could immediately see why the drink would work. Laird’s has apple, spice, and some caramel flavors which makes it a natural match for Bénédictine’s honey, clove, and citrus notes. That citrus component leads us right into the dry orange Curaçao and the lemon juice. The final result is a fairly well-balanced cocktail, with the acidity of the lemon offsetting the sweetness of the two liqueurs very nicely. They are both still present enough, however, to add their own delicate flavors that run as a kind of undercurrent beneath the main spirit. Since the Applejack is so mild, I’d love to try this cocktail with one of Laird’s aged apple brandies just to see the impact that change might have. And then I’d compare them… side by side, of course!
The Honeymoon Cocktail
Combine all the ingredients in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake for about 20 seconds until cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon strip. Enjoy!