If you are a cocktail enthusiast or just love trying oldie but goodie classic cocktails, then there are two Colony Cocktail recipes worth checking out.
The Colony Cocktail is said to have been the house cocktail at the Colony restaurant in Manhattan. Read about the 1971 closing of Colony in Vanity Fair and the A-list society members who gathered there through the years and for one last toast. There is also quite a bit of Colony history in the story.
The Colony was open through the Prohibition years. They kept their liquor stash in an elevator as a precautionary measure against raid. The elevator would carry the liquor to the second floor where a dry-out hospital facility was located.
You’ll find a little tidbit of cocktail history too. Marco, the bartender, is credited for inventing the shaken rather than stirred martini. It seems there is a James Bond connection to the restaurant. Go read about it in the link above.
Vodka Based Colony Cocktail Recipe
This version of the recipe is cited in The Essential Cocktail by Dale DeGroff. Dale mentions that he found this version of the recipe in the 1953 book, Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier.
This Colony Cocktail is hardly sweet, slightly bitter with balanced tartness. This creates a tantalizing edginess to the cocktail. It is curiously easy to take a sip and put it down, but difficult to resist picking back up for another go round. There is quite a bit of zing to this one. If you prefer more tartness to your cocktails rather than sweet, this oldie but goodie is a go for you!
1-1/2 ounce Vodka
1 ounce Southern Comfort
1/2 ounce Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Lemon Peel for Garnish
Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds full of ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a small chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thinly sliced lemon peel twisted over the top of the cocktail.
Gin Based Colony Cocktail Recipe
The more commonly known version of the Colony Cocktail calls for gin, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. It is entirely different from the one above. This version is also referenced by some as the Colony restaurant cocktail. Either way, they are both worth sampling.
1-1/2 ounce Gin
3/4 ounce Grapefruit Juice (some recipes specify pink grapefruit juice)
2 teaspoons to 1/2 ounce Maraschino Liqueur – according to preference
Grapefruit Twist Garnish – optional
Place liquids in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a small chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thinly sliced grapefruit peel twisted over the top of the cocktail if desired.