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Friday Cocktail

Old Etonian

Old Etonian

Join the ranks of the British upper crust, and try the classic cocktail Old Etonian.

Eton College is the well-known, prestigious school in England.  Roughly equivalent to American high schools, Eton is an all boys school for ages 13 to 18.  Those who’ve graduated from its hallowed halls become known as Old Etonians.  Thus, the name of the cocktail introduced and popular during the mid-1920s.

The ingredients for this gin-bassed drink may be difficult to come by.  The proper recipes calls for Kina Lillet and Crème de Noyaux.  Kina Lillet has been rebranded as Lillet Blanc, an aperitif wine with a citrus flavor.  Crème de Noyaux is a crème-liquour with an almond flavor; it’s made from apricot kernels.  I can’t say it’s something I’ve seen in local stores often.

Though I should note, that because of its almond aroma, Crème de Noyaux has been used in mystery fiction as a means of administering cyanide, as known for its bitter almond smell.  Dorothy L. Sayers used it famously in her short story, “Bitter Almonds.”

What you’ll need: Gin, Lillet Blanc, Bitters, and Crème de Noyaux.

In a shaker over cracked ice, pour 1 1/2 ounces each of gin and Lillet Blanc.  Add in 2 dashes each of bitters (use an orange flavored one) and Crème de Noyaux.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange peel.

How I like it:  As Crème de Noyaux is not easy to get a hold of, I used Amaretto as a substitute.  It’s not ideal, but it does work.  Plus the amaretto is easier to come by.  The Old Etonian is a sophisticated citrusy cocktail perfect for those literary or high brow events.  Of course, you’d be sure to impress if you have the proper ingredients.

Drink up, old boy, but do it responsibly!

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