If a cocktail is to be named after the one and only Marilyn Monroe, it has to be vibrant and colourful, sweet and bubbly, and ultimately chic and classy! Serve chilled with a couple of maraschino cherries and be the superstar you were born to be!
It is said that Marilyn Monroe was rarely seen without a glass of champagne. Now, you can believe that if you will! I read it on the internet, so who knows if it’s true or not! In the case of this Marilyn Monroe Cocktail, champagne is used in part to make the drink just a little bit more sophisticated. I’ve tried this drink with a cheap sparkling wine instead of champagne and it works quite well too. So, feel free to do that if you’re on a budget.
As you might have guessed, I’m having a great time exploring different cocktails. As much as I love the taste, I love the mixing of the different spirits and liqueurs. I even like trying to make the perfect citrus twist! That one, I had to watch YouTube videos for, but in the end, I had to do my own thing, because I’m a perfectionist.
Just in case you’ve missed some of my previous cocktail recipes, here are a few of my favourites. I think everyone loves the Classic Cosmo – even if you pretend not too because they’re too “girly.” Next, I’d have to say my Downton Abbey Old Pal. That one is delicious! Oh, and I can’t forget about my Citrus Sidecar Cocktail! That one is so refreshing!!
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COCKTAIL
The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is responsible for introducing the world to this cocktail. And, the movie, The Seven Year Itch, has a lot to do with it as well. In 1955, Marilyn starred alongside Tom Ewell in the romantic comedy. It contains one of the most notable images of the 20th century – Monroe standing on a subway grate as her white dress is blown upwards by a passing train.
Don’t worry, if you have never seen the movie, there is no doubt that you have seen a picture of Marilyn in that white dress at some point in your life. The image has been popularized on posters, zippo lighters, table lamp bases, and even car air fresheners – just to name a few. In part, because of the success of the movie, and the hype over the white dress scene, prompted the creation of the cocktail.
Marilyn Monroe first debuted that white dress on Lexington Avenue in New York. And, since the Monroe cocktail was first debuted at Waldorf Astoria’s Lexington Grill, that’s the link between the two. The addition of the apple flavour, which is considered to be the forbidden fruit, is what gives this sinful drink its personality. Linked to the Big Apple, the preparation of this drink is basically a subtle game of connect-the-dots.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Apple Brandy – Apple Brandy is a distilled spirit produced from fermented apple juice. Most often, the fruit is grapes, but brandy can be made with apples, apricots, peaches, and other fruits. It’s produced around the world as Cognac, Armagnac, pisco, eau-de-vie, and other styles. Brandy was also one of the most popular spirits used in the first bars, which is why it’s found in the best classic cocktails.
- 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.
- Champagne – Champagne is a variety of sparkling white wine produced according to specific rules in the Champagne region of France. Synonymous with celebration, champagne is typically produced from a few specific varieties of grapes: pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier. With effervescent flavors of citrus, almond, and apple, champagne comes in varying levels of sweetness and has a moderate amount of alcohol.
- Maraschino Cherries
Like most cocktails, the Marilyn Monroe Cocktail is best served very cold. For that reason, this cocktail is best prepared by shaking the ingredients with ice. Here’s how to do it.
Measure the apple brandy and grenadine into a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to cover the liquid and shake for 30 seconds to ensure the brandy and grenadine are very cold. Strain into a martini glass and top up the glass with chilled champagne or sparkling wine. Skewer one or two maraschino cherries and place them into the glass. Serve immediately.
Marilyn Monroe Cocktail
- 3/4 ounce apple brandy
- 1 teaspoon grenadine
- 3/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine
- 2 maraschino cherries
- Measure the apple brandy and grenadine into a cocktail shaker.
- Add enough ice to cover the liquid and shake for 30 seconds to ensure the brandy and grenadine are very cold.
- Strain into a martini glass and top up the glass with chilled champagne or sparkling wine.
- Skewer one or two maraschino cherries and place them into the glass. Serve immediately.