What a name, right? The Fluffy Ruffles cocktail. Kind of hard to keep a straight face ordering that one. It sounds like the name of a pastel-colored pet belonging to a girlie 1980s cartoon character.
Clearly, it is much more remote. As far as I can tell the genesis for Fluffy Ruffles is either an incredibly obscure Broadway musical by the same name or a less obscure xylophone rag piece composed by George Hamilton Green in 1919.
Since the play only ran 48 performances over about 5 weeks in 1908, I am guessing that the much more popular George Hamilton Green tune gave this cocktail its name.
Green was a great ragtime composer and xylophone genius. Apparently by the time he was eleven years old, Green was hailed as the “world’s greatest xylophonist.” He and his three brothers were the original musical team for the first Disney cartoons.
Discovering random stuff like this is why I love The Savoy Cocktail Book.
But wait, what about the actual cocktail? The Fluffy Ruffles cocktail was—in a word–delicious. In several words, it was hailed by all who tasted it. I had family in from out-of-town last week and various familial events (hence my online absence), so I had unexpected tasters to test.
The combination of lemon, sweet vermouth and rum (and I admit I served this cocktail with an ice-cube or two for a hot day) was perfect for a summery cocktail hour on the veranda. Smooth, sweeter than many Savoy creations, but tempered with lemony zing… I plan to make this one again and again. I even preemptively restocked my store of sweet vermouth (I generally use Gallo) after imbibing the Fluffy Ruffles.
As you may recall, Erik of Underhill Lounge and cocktail expertise warned me last week that modern Bacardi is very different from that which the 1930s Savoy clientele sipped. We’re talking higher proof, more character—a richer rum. Unfortunately I ended up serving the Fluffy Ruffles earlier than expected, before I had a chance to do research and go on a rum mission. All the same, I quite enjoyed the Fluffy Ruffles, and now when I run out of the rum that I have, I can invest in something more appropriate and have an excuse to mix up a batch of Fluffy Ruffles again!
We will finish off the Fs next week on page 73…
1 Teaspoonful Bénédictine
1/2 Italian Vermouth
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.