Ah, the Old Fashioned. I'm so pleased that this came in as number three in my cocktail poll. This drink is much more my style than highballs. The Old Fashioned name came about in the 1880s, but comes from much earlier in the century. Originally in the early 1800s there was a newfangled drink called a "cocktail," which involved adding a little sweetener and some bitters to your shot of liquor. This was the extent of the original definition of a cocktail.
In my little informal poll of what's popular to drink, the Dark 'N' Stormy and the Moscow Mule, combined, came out on top. If you think about it, the ginger beer connection between the Dark 'n' Stormy and the Moscow Mule is obvious. So, I'm looking at both of these drinks together in the larger "ginger beer drinks" context.
This recipe in Lommebogen and Savoy is designed for 6 people, using glasses for measurements, and so I broke it down to one drink size. The only difference in the books is that Café Royal does not include absinthe in its recipe. This looks like a nice riff on a dry martini, with some orange notes and sweetness to round it out.
We've got gin and water, and some things to flavor that. Lommebogen goes big with lemon and orange juice, while the one from Café Royal and Savoy goes simple with some bitters. The Lommebogen one looks more appealing overall, but there isn't any sweetener in here to balance the citrus. That doesn't look so good at all, especially from the book that has been over-sweetening a fair number of drinks. The other recipe just looks like a poor man's gin and tonic.
This is a classic drink which is basically a gin sour with the sugar swapped for curaçao, so I'm always game for that. Again, Axel is bringing on the sugar though. Equal amounts of cuaçao and sweet and sour (half lemon juice/half sugar) sounds like way to much sugar for a sour drink.
Lommebogen calls this a "cobbler," which it really isn't, but close enough. This is the classic summer drink, and it's perfect to have during a Copenhagen heat wave. Basically you have a gin lemonade, and it's lovely. There are all kinds of stories about how it got its name, and I'll let the Wall Street Journal provide some history for you. You can also find many variations on the Tom Collins, with other names that represent swapping out the main spirit, like John Collins is whiskey, and Juan Collins is tequila.
This one is a whole bunch of liquor. Instead of just a shot of one spirit, it's simply a blend of 3 shots, with the absinthe added as an afterthought to make it a "cocktail." Lommebogen and Café Royal have the same recipe, but Savoy has two different recipes for this one. The one that matches the other two books is actually Savoy's #2 version. The Savoy #1 is quite a departure, and seem much more approachable. Another place to use a little crème de menthe.
Another interesting vermouth cocktail, with two very different recipes here. Aside from the different spirits used, the emphasis, or lack thereof, is pretty marked between the two. The combo of apple brandy and gin doesn't sound terribly appealing to me on paper, so I'm curious how that one will come out. The modern recipe uses apple brandy and vermouth, with some dashes of bitters and simple syrup, which sounds like a better combination than the gin.
The Singapore Sling is one of those classic drinks where the recipe ends up all over the place. There is a lot of murkiness around the original recipe, and the variants since then. I'll leave it to others, like David Wondrich, to walk through the history of it all. The main differences we have in our three books lie with the Savoy not using Benedictine, and the different proportions.