The myth and mystery of The Bentley Cocktail

The myth and mystery of The Bentley Cocktail

The myth and mystery of The Bentley Cocktail

0 comments 📅06 January 2017, 02:00

The other day, we were exasperating to find ways to delight a visiting pertinent who requested a cocktail made with apple brandy (don’t ask), and after poring Sometimes non-standard due to Mr. Boston and The Playboy Bartender’s Guide we were blessed enough to come across a recipe. This unusual concoction piqued our interest not just because it was a means to get rid of that repress of Calvados that had been malingering on our bar move, drawing fruit flies and quizzical rebuff, since it was gifted to us at the launch of the Peugeot 407 in 2004. It was because of the automotive uniting. (Duh.) The cocktail is called The Bentley, and it has a sexy, if all things considered apocryphal, origin story.

According to the celebrity, the Bentley Boys – rich, Jazz Age, car-loving, British man about town racers – invented the drink after their foremost of five Le Mans victories, in 1924. Canadian-born WWI heroine and Olympic swordsman John Duff and nearby English Bentley test driver and Bentley 3-Liter Wonderful Sport owner Frank Clement were the no more than British team and vehicle in this next-ever endurance race, surrounded by more than three dozen French drivers and cars (and a combine of Germans). But despite typical British maladies ­– pulverized shocks, seized lug nuts, and a dysfunctional gearshift – and a slew of fires, punctures, and chassis-snapping wrecks amongst the lawn, they persevered.

Arriving at their celebratory cocktail at their club near their contiguous to apartments in London’s exclusive Mayfair neighborhood, they discovered that all of the fire-water had been consumed, with the exception of Calvados and Dubonnet. Mixing these together in identical parts, and adding some bitters, they allegedly invented a tope to settle their affluent nerves.

Like most folkloric explanations for the living of some gross cocktails – the gibe-inspired Tom Collins, the whole-cloth-concocted Seelbach – the libel seemed as compelling to us as it was ridiculous. Fortunately, aggregate our friends are many with mastery in mixology, so we unqualified to put the mystery (and recipe) to them.

“To be honest, I’d not in the least even heard of the cocktail,” said Tokyo-based global beverage expert Nick Coldicott, the most skeptical of our potation pundits. “And that geste smells fishy to me. It seems unlikely that a fete venue would have enough of a hooch collection to have Calvados and Dubonnet, but not satisfactorily whisky or gin or champagne to see the party out. Also, I marvel why cocktails in the past were never invented by bartenders after hours of trying out and error…” Good point, Make off with.

Despite his cynicism, in digging a bit deeper, Coldicott ground The Bentley in the classic Savoy cocktail handle, a foundational reference point for boozers since the prescription book has existed virtually unchanged since its proclamation in 1930. What’s more, The Bentley seems to be a family of desperate iteration of another classic guzzle from the era, lending further credence to the epic of its creation.

“I am pretty convinced it is a variation of the Woman Cocktail, which calls for equal parts apple brandy and sweet-sounding vermouth,” says cocktail historian, and Bentley believer, Marco Dionysos. “The Hero Cocktail was a well-known drink, and appears in dozens of books from the 1890s on. It is quiet to imagine the vermouth was substituted with the Dubonnet on index, and the new drink christened for the celebration of the day.”

The Venn Diagrammatic intersection of obnoxious and possible begins to connect. The folks from Bentley add further plausibility, but they have a somewhat vested value. “We have original recipes dating aid 85 years,” said Bentley spokesperson Erin Bronner, admitting that she wasn’t predetermined who devised it or under what circumstance. “And now we be undergoing a new recipe created by Agostino Perrone, prize-winning mixologist at The Connaught,” a venerable 120-year-old London breakfast, which was just named the best bar in the c by Forbes.

Though inspired by the original, Perrone’s new approach, invented this year for London’s celebrated Cocktail Week, bears little fealty to it, as it is made with Dalmore Scotch, Sloe Gin, and a homemade ginseng and bergamot bitters. (Our aunt wouldn’t like it.) “The awakening for the new Bentley cocktail was truly a combination of the patrimony of the Bentley as a car, as a luxury product, with the Connaught as a opulence product within the hotel industry,” Perrone says above the phone from behind the Connaught bar. “An analysis of the classic with the modern innovation.” We had to impel a few substitutions in the quality and provenance of Perrone’s ingredients, but the type we concocted tasted like drinking the smoke rinsed out of a pan toughened to overcook Sichuan chicken.

Regardless of where or how it was created, Perrone attributes to Harry Craddock – the famed bartender at the Savoy in the Twenties and Thirties, and litt of its eponymous cocktail guide – the inscribing of the primitive Bentley cocktail into the potable pantheon. “The Bentley cocktail is another of the owner,” Perrone says. It has fantastic ingredients in Calvados and Dubonnet. So it has its own refinement, complexity, and kind of quirkiness as well, because that ingredient was not very much available.”

But he also allows room for the tall tale of the Bentley Boys and their desperate Grosvenor Straight post-race party concoction. “Promote in the Twenties and Thirties, the variety of ingredients handy was much more inferior than now. So when you had a strain party, and you were a normal guy, you probably didn’t entertain available twenty kinds of gin, thirty kinds of vodka, seventy distinguish-malts. It was a little bit more, you used what you had,” Perrone says. “Over about the first drink that you made, when you were home ground, going through your parents’ white mule cabinet. It was probably a bottle of rum, bottle of bourbon, some amaretto. I’m sure that’s how I got started.”

In spite of we’re not fans of Calvados or Dubonnet, we do like invigorating adventures, so in our recent travels, we found a Kickapoo mountain joy juice store that carried both, and adulterated them in equal parts. We borrowed some ice and bitters from the bar at the caravanserai. It didn’t exactly taste as recherché as a synchronous Bentley, more like something that ran off the Le Mans-winsome car from 1924 in the pits, something astringent and sanative and currently outlawed by the EPA – like nonylphenol-based deicing gas. But after two or three, it was sufficiently effective. We can’t hang around to stir up a batch for our Auntie.


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