As I dive into blogging the Lommebogen recipes I need to set some parameters, and clarify a few things. (If you don't know what Lommebogen is, read my earlier blog post about Cocktail History.) Here are some basic things you should know:
The selection of cocktails. I'm not doing every cocktail in Lommebogen (maybe someday, but not now). I'm only doing the cocktails that appear in all three of my reference books: Lommebogen, The Savoy Cocktail Book, and the Café Royal Cocktail Book. That tallies up to 43 cocktails.
The measurements. These recipes do not measure things in ounces or centiliters. Most of them use proportions. Something like 1/2 gin, 1/2 Italian vermouth. There are 1/3s and 1/6s. Sometimes it just says one measure, or 3/4 glass. It isn't always entirely clear to me what these should be. I am taking a "measure" to mean 2 ounces. When working with the proportions, I make them so that they generally produce a 2-3 ounce cocktail. I also look up modern recipes to see what we use today for these. The recipes I will use in each cocktail's blog post will list the measurements that I use to make the cocktail instead of the original in the books. That is, I'll write 1.5 ounces gin, instead of something like 1/2 gin.
The ingredients. I probably won't have every single, exact ingredient I'll need. I'm all for buying new things to add to my bar, but if there are acceptable substitutes, I'll use those instead. For each recipe I write out, I'll note any changes I made from how the recipe is written. Some of the recipes can be overly broad, like using "whiskey" and not specifying which kind. I'll make a choice and add it to the notes.
My opinion. I'm going to be drinking all of these, so I may as well tell you what I think about them too. I have my own prejudices and tastes which will effect my opinion. For instance, I don't like anise or licorice flavors. I can set that aside to a degree to evaluate a drink, but at the end of the day it probably won't be something I love, while someone else may adore it.
To finish things up, I'll share this photo with you. Yesterday I wanted to take a walk in the rare sunny winter day we had here in Copenhagen. I had nowhere to go, but once I started out along the lakes it occurred to me to walk up to Søtorvet and take a picture of the old building that housed Café de la Reine, where Axel Sørensen worked his trade with the recipes in Lommebogen.