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The Soother

From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

1 oz Remy Martin Cognac
1 oz
0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
Juice of Half a Lemon
1 tsp Apple Juice
0.5 tsp Simple Syrup

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
Shake with large ice and strain.
Garnish with a fancy lemon twist.

* * *

By Lars Theriot

I don’t know Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh personally, but David and Lesley speak of the Good Doctor in the kind of hushed tones normally reserved for deities and heads of State, and that’s good enough for me.  So when David asked if I would like to cover the Soother as my contribution to the 12 Bottle Bar Ted Haigh series, I could not have been more excited.

I love the Fall.  Mostly, it’s because I’m a Halloween fanatic, but I also really dig the way everything changes so drastically as August gives way to September.  The temperature, the leaves, the clothes, the colors, the weather… it’s great.  We even seem to change what we eat and drink more drastically in the Fall than at any other time of year.  Suddenly we want food and drinks that warm and sooth us.  That fortify us for the darker, colder months ahead.  That come with a hint of fall spice like cinnamon or clove.

Thus, enters the Soother.

The first thing that jumps out at you when contemplating this cocktail is where Haigh found it… not in the cocktail section of Albert Crockett’s Old Waldorf Bar Days, but in the “Fancy Potions and Otherwise” section.  That is, simply, fantastic.

This is my first time being trusted with managing a recipe and I was excited by the non-specific nature of what Dr. Cocktail published.  “The juice of half a lemon” leaves just enough room for experimentation.

I made the drink twice.  Half of a medium-sized lemon netted me about a half of an ounce of lemon juice, and a half ounce of lemon juice produced a VERY sour drink.  I prefer my cocktails a little bit sweeter, so on the second mix I used a quarter of an ounce of lemon juice, and the difference was striking.  How much should you use?  Here’s a good yardstick… if you prefer the standard 12 Bottle Bar Whiskey Sour, go with half an ounce.  If you prefer the slightly sweeter “Fancy Sour“, use 1/4 of an ounce.  Just remember, at a half ounce and above, you should expect the lemon juice to be the strongest flavor in the drink by far.

Ted calls this a cold weather drink, and I can definitely see that.  Smell the drink before you taste it, the bouquet is liquid hay rides and haunted houses.  In my second drink (the sweeter one) the Apple Juice was more pronounced and there’s definitely a “close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting by a bonfire on a crisp autumn evening” effect.  For a more intense Fall Weather effect, try adding an extra 1/4 teaspoon of Apple Juice.

The Soother… think about that.  What a fantastic name for a cold weather drink.  Google “Soother” and most of your results will have to do with babies and pacifiers… well, as it turns out, adults need to be soothed as well, and this cocktail definitely does the trick.  I can’t wait to serve these to my guests at our annual Halloween Party!

Extra Shot: Dr. Cocktail mentions that folks sometimes drink The Soother hot as well as cold.  Let me know if anyone decides to give it a whirl.

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