I do love a drink that comes with a story. After being rebuffed in her request for a Last Word last week, my girlfriend was instead offered up the 20th Century Cocktail as an alternative.
This drink first appeared in print 1937, in the Cafe Royal Bar Book. Many of my online colleagues link the drink to the Art Deco beauty of Henry Dreyfus and his NYC Hudson train casings, While the drink was named for the train that ran between NYC and Chicago, Dreyfus’s design didn’t roll the rails until 1938, so maybe it was the drink that inspired the design.
The 20th Century Limited was the height of luxury, the train was refined in every way, with plush crimson carpets cushioning the travelers feet as they alighted at either end of the journey, men were given carnations, women flowers and perfume, the overall experience coining the phrase “the red carpet treatment” and starting a tradition that lives on today.
The drink is the equal of its story, lemon, herb and the strength of Gin, hiding a luxurious chocolate finish. Stunning.
The 20th Century Cocktail.
45mls Gin, 20mls Lillet Blanc, 15mls Creme de Cacao, 20mls freshly squeezed Lemon juice.
Shake and strain up, garnish with a twist of lemon.