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Food Timeline>Stork Club Cocktails, 1946


Lucius Beebe's Stork Club Bar Book [Rinehart & Company:New York 1946] reads like a who's who with drinks. This New York City venue was a favorite destination for movie stars, government officials, and business moguls from 1929-1965. The headnotes in Mr. Beebe's book are just as intriguing as the drinks themselves. Salud! Serving classic cocktails with original recipes. Of course! The Stork Club served food. Compare with Trader Vic's cocktails 1946 & Prohibition-era cocktails 1927.

Manhattan Martini Alexander the Great Commando Champagne cocktail
French 75 Ward Eight Frozen Daiquiri Sidecar Zombie
Snow White Mint Julep Stork Club Cooler Devil's Tail Bellamy Scotch Sour
Ramos Fizz Millionaire Singapore Sling Roman Punch Julius Special


Manhattan
"Because of its unrivaled tonic qualities as a restorative and element for firming the moral fiber, as well as because of the prevailing American taste for drinks with whisky bases at this time, the classic and standard Manhattan cocktail, precisely as it is served at this red hot minutes at the Stork Club, was an almost universtal rite until the end of the nineteenth century.

Manhattan Cocktail
2/3 oz. rye whisky
1/3 oz. Italian vermouth
Decorate with maraschino cherry, stir, and serve in 3 oz. cocktail glass." (p. 19)

Martini
"There are, of course, a good many redactions and vatriations of the Martini which depends for its sweetness or dryness on the proportions and which gin and vermouth are used, but the standard and universal dry Martini is still the simplest and most effective mixed drink ever devised:

Dry Martini
2/3 oz. Londons or dry gin
1/3 oz. French vermouth
Stir, decorate with olive and serve in 3 oz. cocktail glass.
The Perfect Martini, somewhat smoother and less potent to the taste, is achived by using the same proportions of gin and vermouth, but equal parts of French and Italian vermouth are used...A vast deal of bother has from time to time been raised over the almost fanciful advantages of stirring over shaking Martinis. The almost universal custom is for stirring them, but Marco, head barman at New York's celebrated Colony Restaurant, makes a practice of shaking them vigorously and candor compels the admission that the only discernable difference between the two products is that a spooned Martini is crystal clear while a shaken one inclines to a clouded appearance. Bar practice at the Stork favors the noncontroversial stirring or spooning, but the management will oblibe by having them componded in a cement mixer or butter churn if that is what the customer wants." (p. 20)

Alexander the Great
"In improvement, as some may think, on the conventional Alexander cocktail is the brainstorm child of Nelson Eddy and he calls it 'Alexander the Great.'

Alexander the Great:
1/2 oz. creme de cacao
1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
1/2 oz. fresh cream
1 1/2 oz. vodka
Shake until cold as Siberia. Watch ytour Steppes, because more than three of these gives the consumer a wolfish appetite." (p. 33)

Commando Cocktail
"Sometimes the name of the drink has nothing to do with its content, occasison or potentialities and represents nothing more than a dead hand of tradition or the momentary whim of its originator or popularizer. On other occasions, however, it is indicative of the nature of the consequence of the potation, and such would seem to be the case with several of the absinthe arrangements hereinafter catalogued...

Commando Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
2/4 oz. triple sec
2 dashes pernod
juice of half lime
Shake and serve in a 3 oz. cocktail glass." (p. 37)

Champagne Cocktail Gloria Swanson
"Glamourous and worldy Gloria Swanson, a celebrity unabashed in her tastes and determined on the best, likes to start the day with what, within the memory of the author used to have been known on the Continent as 'Kings Ruin,' because it was the traditional favorite of so many of the old, bearded kings of Europe who used to frequent Foyot's, the Cafe de Paris, Maximes and the Ritz in the days when the going for kings was good. Miss Swanson prefers to call it more elegantly a champagne cocktail even though she commands it served in a tall Tom Collins glass:

Champagne Cocktail Gloria Swanson
1 pint iced champagne, very dry
2 oz. the best cognac
twist of lemon peel
Served in a tall Tom Collins glass with a cube or two of ice." (p. 44)

French 75
"In the same family as the various versions of champagne cocktail is the celebrated French 75, and elixer which, if it did not actually have its origin in the first of the German wars, at least come to the general attention of American drinkers at that time and was immediately enshrined in the pharmacopoeia of alcohol artistry in the United States upon the conclusion of hostilities in 1919.

French 75
2 oz. gin
1 tsp. powdered sugar
juice of half lemon
cracked ice
Top with champagne and serve in a tall glass." (p. 45)
[NOTE: Cocktail history notes here.]

Ward Eight
"Generally speaking, the history of the origins and evolution of a particular drink are lost in the shades of antiquity or of last evening as the case may be. Not so the Ward Eight. Perhaps because it came into being in a community noted for the orderliness of its thoughts and its fastidious devotion to history, perhaps because of the circumstance that it first saw the light of day in premises particularly favored by newspaper men and other literati, we knwo where and approximately when the Ward Eight first leaped at the throat of an astonished world. Lock-Over's Winter Place Wine Rooms, a venerable Boston institution and still to this day the town's foremost restaurant, taproom and resort of masculinity, was locateed in the eighties as it is today in Winter Place, a short news running between Temple Place and Winter Street...But a stone's throw from the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill and famed for its lobster Savannah and planked steaks, it was natural that Locke's should be a resort of politicans and followers of the political scen. Locke's was not and is not in Boston's Ward Eight, but in the peirod under consideration Ward Right was a cominant political subdivision of the community and it was natural that a new drink should be christened for this powerful arrondissement. Although the fame of the Ward Eight was carried afar, it remained and is to this day a particular favorite in Boston and, if the thirsty enquirere is in the vicinity of the Brimstone Corner, he can conveniently drop by Locke's and admire the oldest cash register in North America, the Tom and Jerry machine...

Ward Eight
2 oz. rye
juice of half lemon
4 dashed grenadine
Shake and serve in tall glass with cracked ice, fruit." (p. 52-53)

Frozen Daiquiri
"The Stork will compound as many drinks with Cuban rums as there are days in the year, but the three which are dominant in their field...are... Frozen Daiquiri...Cuba Libre...& 'MacArthur' Cocktail.

Frozen Daiquiri
2 oz. silver rum
juice of half lime
1 tsp. sugar
dash of maraschino
shaved ice Use electric mixer. Serve unstrained in champagne glass with short straws." (p. 56)

Sidecar
"The Sidecar was, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the author, invented by Frank, steward and senior barkeep of the celebrated Paris Ritz Bar during the golden age of the early twenties. In an era when Joe Zelli's, Harry's New York Bar and the men's bar on the Cambon side of the Ritz were probably the three best known tillping Taj Mahals in the world and when every Atlantic liner set down hundresds of solvent and thirsty Yanks full of devalued francs, Frank of the Ritz Bar was a sort of universally recognized king of saloonkeepers and was, in fact, a very pleasant, generous and understanding friend to thousands of Americans. There was nothing either cheap or popular about the Ritz and there was no dandruff on the morning jackets of its customers, who included Evander Berry Wall, the then King of Spain, the Prince of Wales, Phil Plant, William B. Leeds and the Russian Grand Dukes living in exile in Paris. The men's bar was also the hally romping and stomping ground, in summer, of most of Harvard, Yale and Princeton withan occasional democratic leaven of Williams or Dartmouth. The Sidecar was invented by Frank, so far as fallible human memory can determine, about 1923 as a sort of companion piece to the Stinger only with even more expensive ingredients. It was always built by Frank for favored customers with the Ritz's own bottling of a Vintage 1865 Cocnac and set one back, in this redaction, the then equivalent of five American dollars.

Sidecar
1 3/4 oz. brandy
3/4 oz. cointreau
juice of half lime
Shake and serve in 3 oz. cocktail glass." (p. 73-74)

Zombie
"Although of comparatively recent origin and evolution, the Zombie is a drink the precise source of which, like its exact economy, is subject to controversy. The author first encountered it as an aid to practical alcoholism in the celebrated premesis of Trader Vic in Oakland, California, and almost immediately after that in a bamboo bar frequented by Hollywood script writers in search of inspiriation for more than customary intellectual chaos. It may ber well, as adverstised, have been imported from the far isalnd places or it may just as palusibly have been the fevered brainchild of Trader Vic himself, an opportunist whos ethics are unmuffled by any consideration of human well-being, but, whencever it came, the Zombie exploded into fullest flower at the New Yor World's Fair. It was the principal stock in trade of the Hurricane Bar in Flushing Measows and was retailed one to a customer at a dollar a sample by a management at once thrifty and mindful of municipal ordinances. Actually it as not as lethal as advertised, but expediency will limit its consumption by the inexperienced, as the variety and proofs of the rums involved are both chancy elements in the human reckoning. As will be apprarent from the complexity of its ingredients, a Zombie is subject to multiple variations...

Zombian
1 oz. amber rum
1 oz. silver rum 1 oz. Jamacia rum
4 dashes cherry brandy
4 dashes apricot brand
1 dash papaya juice
juice of half lime
Serve in tall glass with cracked ice. Top with 1/2 pz. 151 proof rum. Stir. Decorate with green and red cherry and slice of orange. Serve with straws." (p. 77-78)

Snow White
"Don Ameche frowns a masculine frown upon mixed liquor in any form on the understandable grounds that he is an admirer of straight bourbon whisky and no nonsense about a chaser. But Bonita Granville offers what she contents to be the barkeep's answser to the atomic bomb:

Snow White
5 oz. Southern Comfort
1 oz. vodka 1/2 oz. orange juice
Mix in a Waring mixer and serve in an old-fashioned glass." (p. 82)

Mint Julep
"This is the Stork julep...

Mint Julep
2 oz. bourbon
1 tsp. sugar
4 sprigs mint
Mash with muddler. Fill the silver mug with shaved ice. Stir until the outside of the mug is frosted. Decorate with sprigs of mint and erve with straws. Add green cherry." (p. 106)

Stork Club Cooler
"...solicit some recipe by members of the staff...Most of them originate with Nathaniel Cook, the chief barman...Cookie's secret archives contain the following...

Stork Club Cooler
1 tsp. sugar
juice of half orange
2 oz. gin
Serve in 12 oz. Collins glass and shake will and strain into glass with shaved ice and serve decorated with fruit and straws." (p. 109-110)

Devil's Tail
"Andrea King, who confesses that, to date, she has only dared to use the formula in half portions and then on an isolated atoll in the South Pacific, recommends:

Devil's Tail
3 oz. 151 proof Rum
3 oz. vodka
1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. grenadine
To obtain the best results, says Miss King, these should be frapped in a Waring mixer and served with a float of apricot brandy on top." (p. 87)

Bellamy Scotch Sour
"...Cookie may prescribe for the drooping customer a very special pick-me-up in a bemused moment by Ralph Bellamy and known as

The Bellamy Scotch Sour
3 oz. orange juice
2 oz. lemon juice
6 oz. Scotch whisky
1 tsp. honey
1 dash Angostura bitters
Frappe until frozen cold in a Waring mixer and serve with a piece of preserved ginger on a stick. This, says Mr.Bellamy, in a triumph of understatement, is a drink for lazy Sunday afternoons and requires no superselling." (p. 58-59)

Ramos Fizz
"The late, lamentable Huey Long, short on virtues as he may have been, at least was the ambassador to the world of the Taoms or Remus fizz and this may be his monument to immortality.

Ramos Fizz
2 dashes of orange flower water
juice of half lemon
2 oz. gin
1 oz. cream
1 egg white
Shake very well, strain into tall galss andfill with seltzer. Collins glass." (p. 30)

Millionare Cocktail
"In its origin and, to the minds of gastronomic purists, the cocktail was originally intended as a brief drink, a quick aperitif to stimulate appetite and stiffen the flagging gustatory sensnnes, but it has passed into accustomed usage as a drink absorbed in considerable quantity despite the admonitions of the judicious. A few from the Sork Club's almost illimitable bar book follow at random...

Millionare Cocktail
1 3/4 oz. sloe gin
1/2 oz. apricot brandy
1/2 oz. Jamaica rum
1 dash grenadine
Shake and serve in 4 oz. wine glass." (p. 70)

Singapore Sling
"...there are several...arrangements dependent upon the skill and artistry of the barkeep or cellarman for their effectiveness rather than their alcoholic content alone...

Singapore Sling
2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. cherry brandy
1 dash benedictine
juice of lemon
Serve in tall glass with 2 cubes of ice. Decorate with slice of orange and sprig of mint. Top with carbonic." (p. 101-102)

Roman Punch
Of the several score punches in the bright and heady lexicon of the Stork Club the following are the elaborate mixed drinks most in requistion in the ordinary course of the seasons:

Roman Punch
1 tsp. sugar
juice of half lemon
juice of half orange
white of egg, beaten
2 oz. rum
Shake well. Fill goblet with chilled champagne." (p. 96)

Julius Special
"From Julius Corsani, barman, comes the 'Julius Special'...

Julius Special
1/3 oz. lime juice
1/3 oz. cointreau
2/3 oz. Jamaica rum--3 Daggers
Serve in cocktail glass." (p. 115)

What was the Stork Club like in the 1940s?
This popular restaurant review sums it up best: "These are the places where syndicated columnists and the people they write about pretend they could live without each other.
Stork Club 3 East 53rd: PLaza 3-1940
Sherman Billingsley's 'glammer school,' strict in it standards; any infraction of good manners is punishable by quite but prompt expulsion and permanent blacklisting. Even the atmosphere you breathe is specially cleaned and filtered. Lighting is just right and service incredibly wonderful. Food? Anything you desire. Drinks? Any brand hyou hame. If your party is sizable and squired by someone of the successful business-executive type, the waiter will look surprised if no champagne is ordered. Layout consists of: islanded bar confronting you as you enter; cocktail lounge, off which are the glassed-in main dining room (dining and dancing) and the Cub Room (small, quite, seating only about 100); and, upstairs, a small Loners' Room for singleton eating, and the Blessed Event Room for private-party occasions. The Stork Club opens at 11 A.M. for the benefit of late breakfasters. Packed at luncheontime, with the Cub Room operatingon a men-only basis. Cocktail time, crown has a choice of the bar, the lounges, or the main room, where there's music for cocktail dancing--followed by music to eat to. If you're elegantly thrifty in a leisurely sort of way, you'll take the flat-priced five course BT ("Before Taxes") Dinner. Should you prefer to be fed faster, there's a BC Diner at stepped-up tempo for theater curtain beaters. Dance tempos (and cabaret tax) resume at 9, with never a skipped beat till closing, and with a continuous two-way traffic of Stork glamorites arriving and departing. Attire is optional, but when tables are scarce, strangers may find itto their advantage to present themselves at entrance chain (solid gold)in their best evening togs. A young college man escorting a dazzling goddess is sure to get in, because Mr. Billingsley is proud of having his tables embellished by the fairest. Sunday opens at 1 P.M."
---"Celebrity Haunts," Knife and Fork in New York, Lawton Mackall [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1949 (p. 122-123)
[NOTE: Other restaurants reviewed in this chapter include 21, Barberry Room, Toots Shor, Algonquin Hotel, El Morocco, Sardis, Colony Restaurant and Hunting Room.]

What kind of food was served at the Stork Club in 1946?
Lucius Beebe's Stork Club Bar Book (1946) groups contents in to sections titled: Morning, Noon & Night. There are no food notes in the morning section. Noon & Night menu notes follow. This book does not divulge recipes but we do learn Madeira & mushrooms were favored ingredients.

[Noon]
"Should the matter of food, at an appropriate pause in the rounds of restoratives rear its dainty head at this juncture, the management of the Stork stands ready and willing to purvey certain dishes which have become favorites with luncheon patrons and half a dozen of which are here briefly mentioned. All standard variations on the luncheon theme may be taken for granted as avialble on the ample house menu: these are specialties and indigenous to the premesis at No. 3 East Fifty-third Street. Omelette Steve Hannagan was named for one of the Stork's first patrons, oldest inhabitants and the closest confident of the management for no more elusive reason that Mr. Hannagan favors his omelette garnished with diced mushrooms, fried eggplant and stewed tomatoes. Shirred Eggs Bibesco are compounded with a julienne of tongue, mushrooms and the best Perigordine truffles in a Madeira sauce, while Scrambled Eggs Divette are lovingly chafed in fresh butter and thick cream and garnished with sliced Louisiana shrimps of outsize porportions in a shrimp sauce with asparagus tips. If something more robust is in order, there is Minced Chicken Montlord: whole slices of thick white meat in cream sauce, illustrated with truffles and mushrooms and interlaced with Virginia ham in long slices. Calves Liver Hommil is a familiar saute of liver and the added feature supplied by sauce Smitaine, while Veal Sweetbreads Rose Marie are broiled with half tomato, French fried Eggplant, the heads of fresh mushrooms and Madeira sauce." (p. 49-50)

"If, by the time this point is reached in the Stork's catalogue of vinous and spiritous offerings, either the reader of the bar patron is inclined, in the interest of complete equilibirum, to command solid food, the chef's suggestion for the day may variously embrace:
Bluefish Saute Sherman or Stork Club
Bluefish saute with plain spinach, sliced mushrooms and Meuniere Sauce.
Veal Chop Saute Concorde: Veal chop saute in butter. garnished with carrots Vichy, mashed potatoes, new peas, Madiera Sauce.
Baby Lamb Boulangere: Roast Baby Lamb, Garnished with glaced small onions and salted pork and potatoes Rissole. Mint sauce.
Noisette of Lamb Lavalliere: Noisette of Lamb in butter garnished with julienne of mushrooms and truffles. Puree of celery., Madeira Sauce.
Veal Cutlet Gismonda: Breaded Veal Cutlet with half bread curmbs and half grated Parmisan cheeese, saute in butter, garnished with plain spinach, sliced mushrooms. Madeira Sauce.
Lamb Kidney Saute Cabaret: Lamb Kidney Saute, Red Wine Sauce. Garnished with small onions, mushrooms, and salted pork." (p. 61-62)

[Night]
"It is possible that long before the thirsty reader or patron as the case may be has exhausted this overwhelming catalogue or potables, or vice versa, the inner man or inner woman may be clamoring for solid nutirment and, whether they are served adjacent to the dance floor, in the Cub Room, the Blessed Events Room or elsewhere on the Stork premisis, these are a few of the house specialties which make it difficult for Jinx Falkenberg to retain her figure:
Filet Mignon Capuchine: Garnished with broiled stuffed mushrooms, creamed spinach, Bernaise Sauce.
Guniea Hen: Breast of Guinea Hen-Saute of garnished asparagus tips. New peas. Madeira Sauce.
Tournadas Baltimore: Small Tenderloin Saute with mushrooms smothered with onions. Sliced veal kidney, stewed tomatoes, German fried potatoes.
Lamb Chop Saint Hilaire: Lamb chop stuffed with chicken hash, garnished with sliced green pepper, stewed tomatoes.
Minced Tenderloin of Beef a la Deutsch: Sliced Tenderloin, garnished with green peppers. Tartlet of cream corn. Chateau Sauce.
Pheasant Casserole Derby: Roast Pheasant stuffed American style. Garnished wtih dried truffles and floie gras, Madeira Sauce.
Royal squab Knickerbocker: Roast Royal Squab in casserole garnished with artichokes. Bottom Parisienne potatoes covered over with chopped hard boiled egg, bread crumbs, and parsley. Madeira Sauce.
Squab of Guinea Hen--Steve Hannagan Squab of Guinea Hen, split and saute in butter, garnihsed with sliced oranges, black cherries. Porto Sauce
Broiled Chop of Venaison Ground Veneur: Brouiled chop of Venaison garnished with puree of chestnut, Sauce Poivrad and currant jelly.
Aiguilette of Duckling Florida: Aiguilette of duckling in top of crouton of hominy, garnished with stewed pears, oranges and apples and pineapple. Porto sauce.
Minute Steak Chez Toi: Steak Saute, garnished with diced potatoes, small glace onions and mushrooms.
Breast of Chicken Rimini: Breast of chicken-Pique with truffle--serve in crustade. Puree of mushrooms. Supreme Sauce.
Squab Chicken Louisiane: Fried squab chicken breaded. garnish with sweet fried potatoes, stewed corn, fried bananas Rue Pilaw, Maryland Sauce." (p. 83-85)

Prefer an alcohol-free quiz? We suggest Prohibition-era soda fountain fare.


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Research conducted by Lynne Olver, editor The Food Timeline. About this site.
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© Lynne Olver 2004
22 December 2013