Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Lost Cocktail?

I don't want to jump the gun here, because there are so many cocktails out there, and so many cocktail experts with encyclopedic memories. But I think I may have discovered a lost cocktail.

It's called a Dreicer Special. I think I'm safe in assuming that it was lost to time for a few reasons. One, it was probably never exceedingly popular to begin with. Two, it was invented by one Maurice Dreicer, a true New York character of the 1940s and 1950s who, beginning in 1942, devoted his life "to the search of the perfect steak." Few remember Dreicer today. He spent thousands of dollars in this quest, and ate at thousands of restaurants, eating steak at least once a day. The man was an extreme epicure, but of a very narrow focus. However, Dreicer did on occasion eat other things. Shrimp cocktails were in his repertoire, as was alcohol. He is said to have invented two cocktails: the Dreicer Daiquiri and the Dreicer Special. (He actually made a bit of a splash in the cocktail world, having recording a popular album titled "How to Mix Them." He died in 1989.))

My third reason for believing this cocktail to be lost is it was published only once to my knowledge, in a collection of profiles, long out of print, called "It Takes All Kinds." The book was written by one Maurice Zolotow, who published many biographies, and was prone to writing about the obscure and the eccentric. The book came out in 1952.

I haven't tried the Dreicer Daiquiri yet; it required some ingredients I didn't have on hand. But I did test the Dreicer Special, and found Maurice to have been a man of simple but refined tastes. It's an easy mix:

2/5 Pimm's No. 1
2/5 Grenadine
1/5 lemon juice

Stir with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The resultant libation is distinctly refreshing, on the sweet side and light in alcohol. The Pimm's comes through most strongly, and the lemon juice nicely cuts through the Grenadine. I'd say it's ideal for summer drinking, or when you want something light. It certainly deserves to be put back in circulation.

Again, the drink may be out there under a different name. But my search turned up nothing. I welcome people to write in with any knowledge they may possess about this potion.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. . . looks a bit sweet. Have to carefully choose a grenadine too since it will have a big influence on the taste.

So what was in his daiquiri? I'm curious about that one.

Robert Simonson, "Our Man in the Liquor-Soaked Trenches"-New York Times. said...

It is a bit on the sweet side, Seamus. Sweet like a Pimm's Cup is sweet, as I mentioned. So it's only for times when you're in that mood for something light and refreshing. I use Better Cocktails Authentic Grenadine, which I find a superior product. As for the Dreicer Daiquiri, I was going to cover that in another post. But, quickly, it calls for: 1 jigger white rum; 1 teaspoon Maraschino; 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar; juice of 1/2 lime; shake with fine ice and serve. Pretty simple. Have no idea how it tastes.

Anonymous said...

His Daiquiri sounds like a fairly common Daiquiri variation then (i.e. the teaspoon of maraschino). I started adding a dash of maraschino to daiquiris a couple of years back after I found a recipe that suggested that variation. They work great that way and I never looked back.

Litti said...

No wonder it sounds awfully sweet... it's plain wrong. As said in his record "Here's How to Mix Them" it says:
3 pts Pimm's
1 pt Benedictine
1 pt Lemon Juice

Still a nice find, though.

Cheers mate!