With such an intriguing name, it’s no wonder this cocktail has been getting attention since the 1930s. A Bachelor’s Bait Cocktail has theories surrounding its origins, but are they just theories?
BACHELOR’S BAIT COCKTAIL
I happened upon this version of the Bachelor’s Bait Cocktail in a mixology cookbook I have on my shelf. As much as I love that book, there are no explanation of the drinks inside. I love learning the history behind recipes, so I did a little digging myself.
A few websites suggested that it was a cocktail that was popularized in the 1930s. And, even though the title has bachelor in it, the drink was intended for single ladies. The idea was that a woman seen sipping on this particular cocktail was single and was trying to bait herself an eligible bachelor. That might seem a little sexist now, but it would not be that far fetched in the 30s when finding a suitable husband was high on a list of priorities.
Another theory has this cocktail tied to Hollywood. In the 30s, RKO Radio Pictures released a film, called Bachelor Bait. The story goes that the marketing executives at the film studio had a cocktail created by the same name to drum up interest in the movie. The movie is a story of a marriage license clerk who was fired from his post but decides to open his own match making business. Soon after, he falls in love with his secretary. Sounds very much like a typical romcom of the 30s, right?
THE EGG WHITE
There are many cocktails that require the addition of an egg white. When the cocktail is shaken with ice, the egg white gives the cocktail a creamier texture and a nice foaming top. However, I did not add the egg white to my final version. When I tested the recipe, I followed the directions carefully and added the egg white. I found that the drink was murky and the flavour wasn’t as intense.
If you are a cocktail enthusiast, you can add the egg white. It’s quite easy to do. Just add the egg white to the shaker along with the other ingredients. Strain into a chilled glass. In contrast, if you don’t care for the egg white, just leave it out and follow the directions as seen in the recipe card below.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS DRINK:
- Gin – Gin is a distilled spirit that is made from grain and flavored with botanicals. The main ingredient is juniper berries, so you might detect a pine flavour depending on how sensitive your palette might be. Gin is originally a Dutch creation, but is now popular all around the world, and it is the main ingredient in a martini. Countless cocktail recipes include gin.
- Grenadine – Let’s debunk one popular belief – grenadine is not cherry or strawberry syrup. In fact, grenadine is made with pomegranates. It is a syrup used primarily as a cocktail mixer. The pomegranate juice is boiled with sugar and reduced until thick and syrupy. You will find hints of citrus flavour and a gloriously stunning red colour.
- Orange Bitters – This is a cocktail flavoring made from ingredients such as the peels of oranges, cardamom, caraway seed, coriander, anise seed, and burnt sugar in an alcohol base. Contrary to the name, cocktail bitters are not bitter at all. They are sweet and fruity and add complexity to a cocktail.
HOW TO MAKE A BACHELOR’S BAIT COCKTAIL:
To prepare a Bachelor’s Bait Cocktail, measure the gin, grenadine, and orange bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker. Give the mixture a quick shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
If you would like to add the egg white, do so when you add the gin, grenadine, and orange bitters. Shake well to chill and drain into a chilled glass.
There is no garnish needed for this drink. The colour and the pristinely clear liquid is presentation enough! (Please keep in mind that if you use the egg white, the cocktail will not be clear and will have a white foam on top.)
Bachelor’s Bait Cocktail
- 1 3/4 ounces gin
- 1 teaspoon grenadine
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 large egg white (optional – see post for details)
- Measure the gin, grenadine, and orange bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker. Give the mixture a quick shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
- If you would like to add the egg white, do so when you add the gin, grenadine, and orange bitters. Shake well to chill and drain into a chilled glass. Please keep in mind that if you use the egg white, the cocktail will not be clear and will have a white foam on top.