Another Downton Abbey inspired cocktail is on the menu today. This time, it’s a chilled cocktail consisting of whiskey, dry vermouth, bitters, and sparking wine. Serve this beauty in a coupe glass for a full 1920s vibe.
THE BOOTHBY COCKTAIL
Downton Abbey’s The Boothby Cocktail is a variation of the popular Manhattan. It’s perfectly balanced with both sweetness and bitterness. And, I happen to think that it looks rather sophisticated, don’t you?
This cocktail has been around for a long time. The recipe for this drink was created by William Boothby. He was a bartender at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Apparently, The Boothby was a favourite cocktail long before the infamous 1906 earthquake that nearly leveled the city.
William was quite the businessman too. He was a self-proclaimed expert bar tender, and was able to convince other bar tenders and owners to vote him in as a California Congressman. He ran unopposed – imagine the amount of clout this guy had! Having clout and being humble seemed to go hand in hand for Boothby. After winning the unopposed election, he began to refer to himself as the Honourable William Boothby.
By the way, he was charged with operating a speakeasy during the prohibition. He soon after retired from the world of bar operations. He died in 1930. It is said that his funeral was quite the attraction with literally hundreds of bartenders.
DOWNTON ABBEY CONTINUES TO INSPIRE
A few weeks ago, I published my first cocktail recipe to Lord Byron’s Kitchen. Like this one, I found inspiration from my favourite TV show. If you missed it, the first cocktail was the Old Pal. Like that one, The Boothby also comes from the Downton Abbey Cocktail Book. If you are a lover of cocktails, or if you are just getting started with experimenting, like me, I would highly recommend it.
For many years, I have been obsessed with period dramas. Downton Abbey, is one of them of course. In fact, any TV show or movie that is genuinely based on the early 1900s, I’m all for it! In addition to that time period, I’m obsessed with English royalty, especially, the Tudor Dynasty. Sipping this cocktail while watching your favourite period drama, is a great way to relax.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS DRINK:
- Canadian Whiskey – Canadian whisky can be quite dynamic and complex. The one prevalent law is that the whiskey must be fermented, distilled and aged in Canada. There are no laws dictating which grains must be used. It is often made from several different grains including corn, rye, and malted barley, and others. Each different grain type is generally fermented, distilled and aged separately. The most common Canadian Whiskeys are Canadian Club, Crown Royal, and JP Wiser’s.
- Dry Vermouth – Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine. There are two main types, one of which is red (sweet) and the other is white (dry). If you’ve ever had a Martini, then you’ve tasted a dry vermouth. There are many brands of dry vermouth out there. I used Martini & Rossi.
- Angostura Bitters – Angostura bitters adds a layer of complexity, intensifies the flavor of other ingredients, counteracts the harshness of acidic contents and decreases the harshness of spirits. There isn’t a good substitute for bitters, but if you don’t have any, twist an orange and lemon peel directly over the cocktail to release the citrus oils right into the drink.
- Sparkling Wine – Sparkling wine is any wine that has carbonation, and therefore, bubbles. Think of it as champagne, but obviously much cheaper. Any white sparkling wine that is in your budget will work just fine. You can use a pinot noir or a prosecco. I tend to use Henkell Trocken.
HOW TO MAKE THE BOOTHBY COCKTAIL:
To prepare a Downton Abbey’s Old Pal Cocktail, measure the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters into a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to cover the liquid. Shake until the mix is really cold – about 30 seconds.
Pour the cold mix into a chilled coupe glass and top up the glass with chilled sparkling white wine. Serve immediately.
Downton Abbey’s The Boothby Cocktail
- 1/2 ounce Canadian Whiskey
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 4 ounces sparkling white wine
- Measure the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters into a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to cover the liquid. Shake until the liquid is chilled – about 30 seconds.
- Strain the liquid into a chilled coupe glass. Top with the sparkling white wine. Serve immediately.