The Floradora doesn’t get enough love. There, we said it, and now it’s out there for you to feel bad about. This pretty in pink cocktail is a long, tall cooler comprising all of the flavours we love: gin, lime, raspberry and ginger. Despite all that, it’s not one you see on many menus, nor in a great deal of cocktail books. It just doesn’t quite have classic status, but it’s definitely worth your attention.
Sweet and tart, with a rampant ginger spice, this is a drink that heats and cools all at the same time. Excellent dancing juice, and every bit as playful as its name would suggest.
How to make a Floradora:
25ml lime juice
25ml raspberry syrup/liqueur
Raspberries to garnish
Shake the gin, lime juice and raspberry syrup with ice. Strain into a Collins glass (already loaded with ice cubes) and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with a couple of fresh raspberries.
A Brief, Inebriated History:
The Floradora is named after a hugely successful musical comedy that first debuted in London’s West End in 1899. It made the transfer to Broadway a year later, and the story goes that at an after-show party, one of the lovely ladies from the cast asked the barkeeper to come up with something brand new. He did, and the rest was history…
The drink caught on, and remained a mainstay of highbrow New York types for a good half a century. It’s run was a lot, lot longer than that of the play’s – although the latter did see a little London revival in 2006.
You’ll have observed that we’ve said you can go for either raspberry syrup or raspberry liqueur. While the former was part of the original recipe, latter day drinkers have taken to swapping in the boozy equivalent. We don’t have a preference, though tend to err on the side of syrup if we’re in the mood for a lighter drink, and liqueur if we’re in for a long night of bad dancing. Very bad dancing…
One of the oldest print versions of the recipe is from Jack’s Manual, a 1933 cocktail book by J A Grohusko. His recipe calls for a far ginnier ratio, and some baffling measures: 25% raspberry, 75% dry gin, 1 lump of cube ice, 1 pint ginger ale. The percent is in relation to a whiskey glass, so that’s 75% of a whiskey glass full of gin to each pint of ginger ale. Try it in a pitcher next time you’re looking for inspiration for sharing serves, as most vessels just won’t be big enough to contain that much booze! This ratio is a bit full on – if that”s really how the were making Floradora’s back then, perhaps it also provides some insight as to why the play fizzled out so fast…
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