Savoy Cocktail of the Week: The Hakam & Harry’s Cocktail

Last week I assigned myself the Hakam cocktail, a mixture of orange bitters, Curaçao, gin and Italian vermouth. As you can see from my recent selections, I am making use of a new bottle of Curaçao, although I regret the color it lends to most of the Savoy creations.

The Hakam was OK. Ingredients on the sweeter side, appropriate for summer imbibing, but over all I did not find it terribly striking. In fact, having neglected to make a note or two at the time of tasting, I am somewhat at a loss for something unique to say on the subject. While I recall enjoying the Hakam, I would probably sooner serve up the Grape Vine, Green Room or Froupe of recent weeks for my next evening on the deck, given they left a stronger impression.

Having got through the Hakam early in the week, I also tackled Harry’s Cocktail from page 81.

Harry Craddock,

1/3 Gancia Italian Vermouth
1 Dash Absinthe
2/3 Gin
2 Sprigs of Fresh Mint.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Serve with a stuffed olive.

I believe we can safely assume that Harry’s Cocktail is so named after Harry Craddock, the American ex-pat bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar during prohibition, who also happens to be the author of the illustrious Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock left the States in 1920, by 1925 he was Head Bartender at the American Bar. In 1930, he published our favored tome, “a compendium of the Cocktails, Rickeys, Daisies, Slings, Shrubs, Smashes, Fizzes, Juleps, Cobblers, Fixes and other Drinks.”

Craddock—and The American Bar in general—became known for the tradition of creating cocktails for special occasions such as coronations, royal weddings, the moon landing, celebrities being celebritous, etc. The tradition continues to this day with such cocktails as The Restoration, celebrating the refurbishment of the Savoy.

I chose this cocktail for three reasons: I had the ingredients, I adore a beverage that comes with a snack (mmm, olives), and I wanted to provide a touch of background on the man behind The Savoy Cocktail Book. Just a touch.

While the liquid ingredients imply a somewhat heavy libation, the mint (which I like to tear up for flavor) lent it a pleasingly fresh note. As is the case with any absinthe cocktail (no matter how slight the Dash), it packed a full-flavored punch that you either get a kick out of, or would rather pass up, depending on your taste bud situation.

Up next in the historical guide to everything bar?

The Hawaiian Cocktail

4 Parts Gin
2 Parts Orange Juice
1 Part Curaçao )or any other of the Orange Liqueurs)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

And just for fun, a doubling up on the orange flavor, and because I love pioneers…

The Homestead Cocktail

1 Slice Orange
2/3 Dry Gin
1/3 Italian Vermouth

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

“Although this delightful drink is nowadays known as a Cocktail, it was known in the old homesteads of the Southern States long before the name Cocktail was coined.”



Filed under Savoy Cocktail Book Project

2 responses to “Savoy Cocktail of the Week: The Hakam & Harry’s Cocktail

  1. Pingback: Pardon My Absence: Squirrels, Cocktails, Harry Potter, etc. | Words to Bumble

  2. Pingback: Savoy Cocktails of the Week: Hawaiian, Homestead and Honolulu No. 2 Cocktail | Words to Bumble

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