Category Archives: Wine Cocktails

April 5: Sherlock Holmes Returns

HolmesWatsonIn 1891, Sherlock Holmes fell to his death at Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls while fighting against his arch-nemesis, the “Napoleon of Crime” Professor James Moriarty. After a period of mourning, Holmes’ friend Dr. John Watson began to get on with his life, but still showed an interest in assisting in the solving of crimes. On the afternoon of April 5, 1894, Watson was examining a crime scene when he inadvertently bumped into an elderly book seller. Later that same day, the bookseller came to Watson’s study to apologize, and while Watson was distracted the bookseller removed his disguise to reveal that he was in fact Sherlock Holmes!

Of course, that’s all fiction. In reality, Holmes had been killed off by his creator Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1893 short story The Final Problem. Conan Doyle had gotten tired of his famed detective character and wanted to move onto more serious literary pursuits, so he decided to write one last Holmes story. When the story was released, the public was shocked. Some newspapers actually published the news of Holmes’ “death” on the front page.

Eventually, Conan Doyle began to relent on the matter of Holmes. In 1902, he published the novel The Hound Of The Baskervilles, a previously untold adventure set before Holmes went over the falls. The novel was a hit and Conan Doyle began to think about how he could bring the world’s greatest detective back to life. As Watson’s did not actually witness Holmes’ death in The Final Problem, there was enough wiggle room for Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back under the pretense that he had faked his death. So, in 1903 Conan Doyle published Holmes’ return in The Adventure of the Empty House to the delight of readers everywhere.

To celebrate the (fictional) 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes’ return, let’s turn to the fine folks at the number one website for geeky boozers, The Drunken Moogle. Mitch Hutts created The Reichenbach Fall to celebrate the third season of the BBC drama Sherlock. Just as Sherlock is an update of the Victorian era Sherlock Holmes tales, Hutts’ cocktail is a modern twist on the Sherry Cobbler, a cocktail that was popular in Victorian England.

The Reichenbach Fall

  • 1 ounce London Dry Gin
  • 2 ounce Dry Sherry
  • 1 splash Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters
  • 3 ounces lemonade

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice.

Tomorrow: Citius, Altius, Fortius

February 16: Kim Jong-Il

KimFolks, I’ll be honest with you. I struggled a bit with the subject matter of today’s post. As I was looking at the historical events of February 16, one particular event kept calling to me. That said, I thought would it really be appropriate to mark the anniversary of the former Supreme Leader (i. e. dictator) of North Korea Kim Jong-Il’s birth on this day in 1941? After all, Kim was an absolute bastard: When he wasn’t actively killing his countrymen, he was indirectly killing them through famine; all while he lived in opulence…and his son hasn’t done much better. With all that said, I’ve long been fascinated by the hermit kingdom of North Korea and the cult of personality associated with the so called Dear Leader, so let’s look at some of the propaganda myths that Kim and his regime invented and also some of the strange real life details of Kim’s life. To clear fact from fiction, all North Korean propaganda (i. e. bullshit) will be presented in italics.

According to Soviet records, Kim was actually born Yuri Irsenovich Kim on February 16. 1941 in a tiny village in Russia while his father, Kim Il-sung was commanding the the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, a battalion made up of Chinese and Korean exiles. Official North Korean propaganda claims that Kim was born on February 16, 1942 in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain, a mountain that was viewed in ancient Korean mythology as the birthplace of humanity, during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The story continues to say that upon his birth a double rainbow appeared above the mountain and a new star appeared in the sky.

According to North Korea’s state run media, Kim was quite the accomplished individual: He was a fashion icon whose signature look of matching tunics and pants was imitated all over the world. In fact, he was considered to be the world’s best loved statesman and his birthday was celebrated worldwide. He was a culinary genius who invented a new sandwich for students and teachers called “double bread with meat”, better known in the rest of the world as a hamburger. Most impressively, he was an amazing golfer. The first time he ever golfed, he got five holes in one and shot 38 under par which is 25 shots better than the best round ever officially recorded.

Of course, Kim’s actions in the real world are even stranger. The following is all true: He was obsessed with basketball and often pirated satellite broadcasts to watch NBA games. Kim’s love of basketball was so well known that when then Secretary of State Madeline Albright made a diplomatic visit to North Korea, she brought a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan. Kim told Albright that perhaps next time Michael Jordan himself could come. Of course, there was no chance that His Airness would risk the possibility of not being able to leave North Korea because after all, Kim once kidnapped a South Korean director and his wife to make a Godzilla knock off. In that case the filmmaker and his wife only escaped after tricking Kim and his goons into letting them do some location filming in Austria. Finally, Kim was a major boozehound. In the 1990s, Hennessy confirmed that he was their biggest buyer, typically buying between $600,000 to $850,000 of cognac a year. By comparison, the average North Korean only makes $1000 a year.

Now, our cocktail today is a little bit on the crude side, but I thought it was fitting considering who we’re talking about today. Today’s drink is a One-Balled Dictator. This cocktail was created sometime during or just after World War II, and takes its name from an English marching song called “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball“, the subject matter of which you can probably guess. The key ingredients that give this drink its name are the semi-sweet German wine Liebfraumilch and a cinnamon ball placed at the bottom of the glass.

One-Balled Dictator

  • 5 ounces Liebfraumilch
  • 1 ounce Champagne
  • 1 cinnamon ball

Shake the wines together violently with ice and strain into a rocks glass with one cinnamon ball.

Tomorrow: The tale of an American naval officer and a Japanese girl.

Janaury 25: Nellie Bly Returns

Nellie BlyNellie Bly (real name: Elizabeth Jane Cochrane) was a pioneering journalist, one of the first true investigative journalist and also a total badass. Famously, she went undercover at a mental institution as a patient and exposed the facility’s deplorable conditions. Today, however, we’re celebrating another one of her legendary feats, for it was on this day in 1890 that Nellie Bly arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey after a 72 day journey around the world. As you might have guessed, this was an attempt to beat the then theoretical trip proposed in Jules Verne’s Around The World in Eighty Days.

Bly first proposed the idea to her editor at the New York World in 1888 and a year later at 9:40 a.m. on November 14, 1889 she boarded a steam ship from Hoboken and began her journey around the globe. Bly sent updates to the Globe detailing her adventures, including meeting Jules Verne in Amiens, France and visiting a leper colony in China. On day 68, Bly arrived in San Francisco on the White Star liner Oceanic and then took a private train chartered by Globe owner Joseph Pulitzer back to New York. She returned to Hoboken on January 25, 1890, at 3:51 p.m.; 72 days, six hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds after her departure.

Since Bly had cut eight days off of the fictional record set by Verne’s Phileas Fogg, it’s only appropriate that we drink a Fog Cutter. Created by none other than Trader Vic, the Fog Cutter is a delicious mix of spirits and citrus juice.

Fog Cutter

  • 1 1/2 ounces Light Rum
  • 1/2 ounce Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Brandy
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orgeat syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sherry

Shake all ingredients except the sherry with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into an ice filled Tom Collins glass. Top off with the teaspoon of sherry.

Tomorrow: We rub the stump.

January 6: Twelfth Day

TwelfthNightAccording to the the Church of England; today is Twelfth Day. The day, also known in most Christian circles as the Epiphany, marks the visit of the Magi and subsequent revelation of Jesus as the Son of God. So, according to traditions, today marks the end of the Christmas season.

So, typically most celebrations of the Epiphany are held the evening before on January 5, the Twelfth Night. Interestingly, there is some confusion as to whether Twelfth Night is actually January 5 or the actual day of Epiphany. See, Twelfth Night dates back to medieval times when days started at sundown. The modern compromise is that Twelfth Night is the evening of January 5, while January 6 is Twelfth Day.

Anyway, there are several traditions associated with Twelfth Day. Perhaps the biggest of these is that in the western world it’s considered unlucky to leave your Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night. In many Latin American countries, Santa Claus doesn’t deliver gifts on Christmas Day. Instead, the three wise men deliver presents to good little children on January 6, typically leaving the gifts in the children’s shoes. Typically children leave out wine, fruits and milk as gifts for the Magi and their camels. Also, throughout the globe, Epiphany marks the start of the Carnival season. Of course, my favorite Epiphany tradition is the Great Fruitcake Toss held annually in Manitou Springs, Colorado. It’s a fairly straightforward event: People dress up in ridiculous costumes and compete to see who can throw a fruitcake the furthest.

Finally, you might be asking how does William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Or What You Will tie into all this. Well, in Elizabethan times, Twelfth Night was celebrated as a day of revelry where servants and masters exchanged roles and cross dressing was acceptable. Basically, it was a lot like Saturnalia. So, Shakespeare’s play (which might have premiered on Twelfth Night, 1602) naturally involves a woman dressing as a man and the tweaking of the social order, as exhibited in the mocking of the puritanical Malvolio by the fool Feste and the drunken knight Sir Toby Belch.

Since today marks the end of the Christmas season, let’s drink a cocktail that is associated with the season and often enjoyed on Twelfth Night; Wassail. The drink is named after a Southern English tradition of singing and drinking to the health of the trees in the hope that they will bring a good harvest in the next Autumn. Wassail is a nice strong warming drink, and this recipe comes from The Silver Book of Cocktails by Carla Bardi.

Wassail

  • 1 quart Brown Ale
  • 8 ounce Dry Sherry
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 apples
  • finely grated peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. each ground nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and core two apples and cut in thick slices. Place in layers in a baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Drizzle with 2 oz. of brown ale. Bake until the apples are very tender, about 45 minutes. Chop the apples and their cooking juices in a food processor until smooth. Place in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the remaining ale, sherry, lemon peel and spices. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Peel and core the remaining apple and slice. Add the slices to the bowl and serve while still warm.

Tomorrow: We take a trip to the 25th Century.

December 31: New Year’s Eve

Baby New YearIt’s New Year’s Eve, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve probably got plans tonight, so I’m not going to take up too much of your time. How about I quickly tell the origins of a New Year’s Eve tradition, and then give you a nice drink recipe?

Have you ever wondered how the tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square got started? It all began in 1903 when The New York Times‘ owner, Adolph Ochs, decided to celebrate the opening of  One Times Square, the newspaper’s new headquarters, with a New Year’s Eve fireworks show. 200,000 people showed up to watch the fireworks welcome in 1904. The fireworks continued for a few years, but Ochs wanted to do something a little bigger that would draw attention to the building itself.

Eventually, the Times‘ chief electrician, Walter F. Painer suggested the dropping of a “time ball.” If you, like most people, are unfamiliar with the concept of a time ball, it’s an obsolete time keeping device consisting of a large ball that is dropped at predetermined times. It was initially invented so ship navigators could accurately set their marine chronometer, allowing them to keep time while at sea. Ochs liked Painer’s idea and a 700 pound ball, made from iron, wood and one hundred incandescent light bulbs was built and used to ring in the start of 1908.

Since then, the Times Square Ball has been dropped every year, with the exception of New Year’s Eve 1942 and 1943 when wartime lighting restrictions caused the cancellation of the event. The current Times Square Ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is made up of 2,688 Waterford Crystal panels and 32,256 LED lamps.

Now, there are any number of champagne cocktails that you could enjoy tonight (personally, I’m thinking about whipping up a batch of Old Cubans), but the most thematically appropriate might be a Happy New Year. It’s an easy to make, festive mix of champagne, brandy, really good port and orange juice.

Happy New Year

  • 1/4 ounce Brandy
  • 3/4 ounce Ruby Port
  • 3/4 ounce orange juice
  • 4 ounce Champagne

Shake everything except the champagne with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a champagne flute. Top off with champagne.

Tomorrow: A New Year’s hangover.

December 19: A Christmas Carol

jacob-marleys-ghost-john-leech-1843On December 19, 1843, Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol was published. Interestingly, when Dickens began writing A Christmas Carol he didn’t set out to write a Christmas story.

In the mid-19th century, England had become aware of the effect that the Industrial Revolution was having on its citizens. The plight of the working poor was receiving more attention, and Parliament had published a series of reports on the working conditions of child laborers. In May 1843, Charles Dickens announced plans to contribute to the cause of the poor by writing a political pamphlet focused on their plight entitled “An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”

Now, Dickens actually knew what he was talking about, as he had in fact experienced the ill effects of the Industrial Revolution when he was a child. When he was 12, his father was thrown in jail and young Dickens was forced to drop out of school and work in a blacking factory. He carried the often disturbing memories of the blacking factory’s poor conditions for the rest of his life and this shaped a lot of his literary work. Dickens was all set to write his pamphlet, but while speaking in Manchester in October 1843 it occurred to him that perhaps the best way to inform a broad audience about the need for social justice was not through a dry pamphlet, but perhaps in the form of a heartfelt and thrilling Christmas tale.

Why did Dickens know the masses would go for a Christmas story? Well, at the time Christmas was experiencing a bit of a renaissance. In the early 1840s, the English had developed a growing interest in pre-Cromwell Christmas traditions which included the tradition of wassailing. This period also saw the beginning of the sending of Christmas cards and the first popularization of the Christmas tree thanks to Prince Albert’s German heritage. So, what better way for Dickens to spread his message of looking out for the poor than with a tale of a rich miser who is shown the error of his ways at Christmastime?

Unsurprisingly, A Christmas Carol was an instant hit. Although it was only published six days before Christmas, the novella’s first run of 6,000 copies sold out by Christmas Eve. There was great demand for the tale even after the Christmas season had passed, and by May of 1844, seven print runs had already sold out. A Christmas Carol remains a Christmas favorite to this day with hundreds of films, tv shows, stories, plays and songs either adapting, spoofing or drawing inspiration from Dickens’ classic story.

Late in the novella, after undergoing his Christmas conversion, Ebeneezer Scrooge reveals his newfound humanity and Christmas spirit by giving his put upon employee Bob Cratchit a raise, saying “I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!” So, what’s Smoking Bishop? Why, it’s a warm spiced wine that was popular in mid-19th century England. In fact, there was a wide range of “smoking” clerical cocktails: According to a 2002 NPR interview with Cedric Dickens, Charles Dickens’ great-grandson, “Pope is burgundy, Cardinal is champagne or rye, Archbishop is claret, Bishop is port, and so on.” So, enjoy Cedric Dickens’ recipe for a nice warm glass of Smoking Bishop.

Smoking Bishop

  • 1 bottle Port
  • 1 bottle Red Wine
  • 6 Seville oranges
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 pound sugar

Take six Seville oranges and bake them in a moderate oven until pale brown. If you cannot procure any bitter Seville oranges, use four regular oranges and one large grapefruit. Prick each of the oranges with five whole cloves, put them into a warmed ceramic or glass vessel with one-quarter pound of sugar and a bottle of red wine, cover the vessel, and leave it in a warm place for 24 hours.  Take the oranges out of the mixture, cut in half and squeeze the juice, then pour the juice back into the wine. Pour the mixture into a saucepan through a sieve, add a bottle of port, heat (without boiling), and serve in warmed glasses. Drink the mixture, and keep Christmas well!

Tomorrow: George Lassos the Moon.

October 21: The Battle Of Trafalgar

TrafalgerThe Battle of Trafalgar (October 21, 1805) was one of the biggest naval conflicts of the Napoleonic Wars. 27 British ships, led by Admiral Lord Nelson, engaged in battle with 33 French and Spanish ships off of Spain’s Cape Trafalgar. Nelson used an unorthodox battle strategy and had his ships surround the larger Franco-Spanish fleet. This proved to be a successful strategy, and by the end of the battle Nelson had led the British to a commanding victory: The Franco-Spanish fleet lost 22 ships, while the British lost absolutely none.

Despite the victory, Nelson was shot by a sniper during the battle, and died from his wounds three hours later. As he lay dying, Nelson muttered “Thank God I have done my duty” and finally “God and my country” just before passing. Nelson’s body needed to be taken from the Spanish coast back to England, and it was decided that in order to keep the body preserved it would be placed in a cask of brandy. Now, according to maritime legend, when the cask was opened in England it was discovered that half of the brandy had vanished. Perhaps the crew had unwittingly sipped on the tainted liquor? Although this story is probably apocryphal, it did inspire an old sea chanty called “A Drop Of Nelson’s Blood,” which was covered a few years ago by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp.

Unsurprisingly there is a drink that’s also called Nelson’s Blood. It’s a dark mix of the potent liquors favored by the men of the Royal Navy and champagne. It can be a little harsh if not mixed well, so you might want to adjust the amount of blood orange juice to your taste.

Nelson’s Blood

  • 1 ounce Tawny Port
  • 1 ounce Dark Rum
  • 1 ounce Brandy
  • 1 ounce blood orange juice
  • 3 ounces Champagne

Shake all ingredients except the Champagne with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a cognac glass (brandy snifter). Add the Champagne and garnish with a blood orange slice.

Tomorrow: Opening night at the Met.

August 25: Sean Connery

Bond MartiniSean Connery, the man many consider to be the definitive James Bond, was born today in 1930. Prior to being cast as Commander Bond in 1962’s Dr. No, Connery was just another working actor. He had done some stage work and some films, including a prominent role in Walt Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People, but it was his performance as Bond that catapulted him onto the A-List.

But did you know that Connery wasn’t the first choice for the role of 007? Dr. No producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli initially wanted Cary Grant to play the part, but allegedly Grant would only commit to one picture and the Bond producers were looking for someone who’d be willing to star in a series of films. Many notable actors were considered for the part: Patrick McGoohan (who had previously played a spy on Danger Man, and would later take on a similar role on The Prisoner), David Niven (who would play one of several James Bonds in the pseudo-spoof Casino Royale), and a young actor named Roger Moore (who would take over the role of Bond in 1973’s Live And Let Die).

Eventually, the Daily Express newspaper held a contest to find James Bond. The winner, a model named Peter Anthony, did a screen test for Saltzman, Broccoli and Bond creator Ian Fleming. where it quickly became apparent that Anthony looked the part but could not act it. So, the team tested one of the contest’s runners up, Sean Connery who arrived at the audition scruffy looking and in shabby dress. Despite his appearance, the producers liked Connery’s roguish, devil-may-care spirit and soon offered him the role. Director Terence Young took the young actor under his wing, and taught him the ways of Bondian class and style. Fleming was less than impressed with the casting of Connery, saying “I’m looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stunt-man.” However he changed his tune after seeing the premier screening of Dr. No, and in later Bond novels Fleming gave the superspy a half-Scottish, half-Swiss heritage.

Oh, one last thing. In 1970 the Saltzman and Broccoli were looking for a new actor to play Bond after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service star George Lazenby quit, or according to other sources fired from, the franchise. Eventually, Connery was courted back for one more film (1971’s camptastic Diamonds Are Forever), but not before a few other actors were considered for the part…including a now ex-model named Peter Anthony.

So, to honor Sean Connery, there’s really only one drink we can make: The Vesper, created by Commander Bond himself in the novel Casino Royale:

“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“Oui, monsieur.”
“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
“Certainly, monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

Later on in the book, Bond names the drink after his love interest the mysterious Vesper Lynd. In real life, the Vesper was created by Ian Fleming’s friend Ivar Bryce and Fleming wrote a special note in Bryce’s copy of Casino Royale reading “For Ivar, who mixed the first Vesper and said the good word.” Amusingly enough, although the Vesper (made shaken, not stirred) has become forever associated with Bond, this is the only time in any of Fleming’s novels that he orders the drink.

We have to make two notes about the ingredients: In the sixty years since the publication of Casino Royale, Kina Lillet was reformulated and rebranded as the now fruitier and less bitter Lillet Blanc, so pick up a bottle of Cocchi Americano and use that instead. Gordon’s Gin has also been reformulated in the last sixty years and the original 90 proof gin is no longer available, so if you want your Vesper to taste like Bond’s, track down a 90+ proof gin like Bombay Sapphire.

Vesper

  • 3 ounces Gin (preferably 90 proof)
  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Cocchi Americano aperitif wine

Pour everything into a cocktail shaker and “shake it very well until it’s ice-cold,” strain into a “deep champagne goblet” and “add a thin slice of lemon peel.”

Tomorrow: In a world…

June 23: Robert Hunter

hunter-garciaWhen is a key member of a rock band not part of the band? When he’s the lyricist. Such is the unusual state of songwriter Robert Hunter’s (born on this day in 1941) membership in the Grateful Dead.

Hunter (seen at left with writing partner and Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia) served as the Dead’s main lyricist for most of their thirty year run. His often surrealistic lyrics complimented the Dead’s psychedelic jamming. Hunter’s lyrics would help make albums like Aoxomoxoa, Working Man’s Dead and American Beauty rock classics, and a lyric of his from the proto-rap song “Truckin,” “what a long strange trip it’s been,” has become a longstanding hippie slogan. Hunter was such an important member of the band, that when the Grateful Dead was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he was included on the list of inductees, making him the only non-performer to be inducted as part of a musical group.

American Beauty is considered by some to be the Dead’s masterpiece and includes the song “Friend Of The Devil,” which Hunter has said he and Garcia thought that “that was the closest we’ve come to what may be a classic song.” So, it’s only appropriate that you toast Hunter, Garcia and the rest of the Grateful Dead with an American Beauty cocktail. The drink has a rosy color and a slight hint of mint. But don’t let appearances fool you, this beauty’s heavy alcohol content packs a punch.

American Beauty

  • 1/2 ounce Brandy
  • 1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 1 dash Creme de Menthe
  • 1 splash Port Wine

Shake everything except the port thoroughly in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Strain in to a cocktail glass and carefully float a splash of port into the glass. To float a liquor, slowly pour it over an inverted teaspoon (round side up) and into the glass.

Tomorrow: The original American Sweetheart.

 

April 5: Sherlock Holmes Returns

HolmesWatsonIn 1891, Sherlock Holmes fell to his death at Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls while fighting against his arch-nemesis, the “Napoleon of Crime” Professor James Moriarty. After a period of mourning, Holmes’ friend Dr. John Watson began to get on with his life, but still showed an interest in assisting in the solving of crimes. On the afternoon of April 5, 1894, Watson was examining a crime scene when he inadvertently bumped into an elderly book seller. Later that same day, the bookseller came to Watson’s study to apologize, and while Watson was distracted the bookseller removed his disguise to reveal that he was in fact Sherlock Holmes!

Of course, that’s all fiction. In reality, Holmes had been killed off by his creator Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1893 short story The Final Problem. Conan Doyle had gotten tired of his famed detective character and wanted to move onto more serious literary pursuits, so he decided to write one last Holmes story. When the story was released, the public was shocked. Some newspapers actually published the news of Holmes’ “death” on the front page.

Eventually, Conan Doyle began to relent on the matter of Holmes. In 1902, he published the novel The Hound Of The Baskervilles, a previously untold adventure set before Holmes went over the falls. The novel was a hit and soon Conan Doyle began to think about how he could bring the world’s greatest detective back to life. As Watson’s did not actually witness Holmes’ death in The Final Problem, there was enough wiggle room for Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back under the pretense that he had faked his death. So, in 1903 Conan Doyle published Holmes’ return in The Adventure of the Empty House to the delight of readers everywhere.

To celebrate the (fictional) 120th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes’ return, let’s turn to the fine folks at the number one website for geeky boozers, The Drunken Moogle. Mitch Hutts created The Reichenbach Fall to celebrate the third season of the BBC drama Sherlock. Just as Sherlock is an update of the Victorian era Sherlock Holmes tales, Hutts’ cocktail is a modern twist on the Sherry Cobbler, a cocktail that was popular in Victorian England.

The Reichenbach Fall

  • 1 ounce London Dry Gin
  • 2 ounce Dry Sherry
  • 1 splash Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters
  • 3 ounces lemonade

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice.

Tomorrow: Citius, Altius, Fortius