Cocktail, MixMarch

MixMarch #6: The Jabberwocky Cocktail

My sneaky little taste of the Hendricks cordial got my mind whirring. Here is an infusion of the notoriously hard to find cinchona bark, with the addition of bitter orange and floral notes. Could this not, indeed, be used as and addition to Lillet Blanc to approximate the long extinct Kina Lillet? I will have to try this out next time i’m with Marty and his wondrous bottle in Melbourne.

Given the source of said bottle being the twisted mindspace of Lewis Carrol I thought it only proper to bring to light an inspired drink from the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Jabberwocky.

The Jabberwocky

30mls Dry Gin, 30mls Dry Sherry, 25mls Lillet Blanc, 5mls Hendricks Tonic Cordial. Stir over ice with a runcible spoon and serve up. Garnished with lemon peel, preferably cut with a Vorplal Sword.

Just in case that all seems a little obtuse, i suggest reading this:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

by Lewis Carroll

Spirit, Sydney

Lillet Blanc


Perhaps no other alcohol has a bigger profile and such a low instance of product trial. It is a wonderful little gem that started life in Podensac, just south of Borbeaux in France.

Lillet is an aperitif made from wine blended with citrus liqueurs, primarily orange. It has a wonderfully full, fruity and herbal taste and is distinct from Italian vermouth by its lack of spicy notes.

Enjoyed by the French over ice with a slice of orange, Lillet makes an essential ingredient in a Corpse Reviver #2, the Kir Lillet and of course, the Vesper martini ordered by Ian Fleming’s James Bond in his 1953 novel, Casino Royale*.

Lillet can be used in place of almost any recipe that calls for Martini Bianco, for a softer, more subtle drink.

You can buy it here in Sydney at Elizabeth Bay Cellars, where you’ll find it masterfully chilled in the ice box, and at Ultimo Cellars.

* Bond actually calls for a martini made with Gordons Gin, Smirnoff Vodka and Kina Lillet, a precursor to todays version that would have been both more bitter and sweet, the bitterness coming from the addition of the quinine to the beverage and excess sugar being used to hide impurities in the manufacturing process.

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