Atop our bar sits a tattered copy of “Cocktail Bill Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them”.
In faded brown ink the original owners (the Mr’s grandparents) signed their name and the year – 1952- on the title page.
Some sections are pristine, some, like the section on Manhattans, have notes on how to up the recipe for four or eight or sixteen cocktails There is also a check mark next to Manhattan, No. 4 indicating a preference for the recipe with just a dash of sugar syrup.
But one page is spattered and splattered and bookmarked. Perhaps for the Brandy Old Fashioned (check marked with red pen) or perhaps for the Oh! Oh! Mac, a cocktail that seems only to exist on page 123 of Boothby’s World Drinks. It contains Kina Lillet, the aperitif that any good James Bond fan knows no longer exists and perhaps even in 1952 the grandparents couldn’t find or didn’t care for it because the bookmark (a score sheet for bridge) contains a handwritten recipe with three of the four Oh! Oh! Mac’s ingredients, a sort of blended Sidecar. Because this page is so well used it’s unsurprising that it fell open there when I went searching for a new drink. And because the latest Bond movie has been delayed yet again it’s unsurprising that we have a bottle of what many consider the most appropriate substitute for Kina Lillet.
Let the classic cocktails commence.
What remains a mystery is why we must shout out Oh! but not Mac.
Oh! Oh! Mac classic cocktail
- 1 ounce Cocchi Americano
- 1 ounce Brandy
- 1 ounce Cointreau
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients and shake well with ice
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve garnished with a lemon twist if desired