by Pink Lady
VODKA COCKTAILS are so ubiquitous on modern drink lists, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time when you couldn’t have ordered one from your favorite barkeep. Pre-Prohibition, an era we often reference as the Golden Age of Cocktails, was that time. The spirit was available in the States during the Saloon Age – a staple of vodka shops that dotted Russian enclaves. Where there’s a bartender willing there’s always a way, and almost certainly a creative drink to be had, but modern-day cocktail historians have yet to excavate any printed recipes for vodka cocktails from that time. The spirit didn’t make its way to print until the 191Os.
Vodka emerged as a tipple in the States in the 193Os, with American bartenders returning home post-Prohibition with recipes they’d concocted using ingredients that were local during their overseas stints. In 1938, New York’s famous Russian Tea Room published a vodka cocktail booklet, which is where this gem of a cocktail recipe was first printed. It’s a refreshing aperitif, perfect to sip before you sit down to a meal with summer’s bounty. Cin-cin!
2 ounces of Russian vodka • 1 ounce of Benedictine • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.