When we go out, it’s quite usual for someone to order a mocktail – it’s become not just an alternative to alcoholic drinks for those who don’t, but a delicious way of the designated driver to have a fun time enjoying similar drinks to their chums. During World War II, with rationing firmly in place, despite the black market, many people who enjoyed a cocktail just couldn’t. In my latest little cookery book, Cookery To-day and to-morrow, there is a section on cocktails and because of the situation ‘normal’ drinks were not available. This is how Nell Heaton introduces the section:
It is not always possible to make alcoholic cocktails, but delicious non-alcoholic cocktails may be easily made in their place. To bulk a cocktail a little cold weak tea may be used if the vermouth is short. Serve your cocktails with attractive garnishes to give them colour and make them more attractive.
The cocktails she suggests include, Gin Fizz, Martinez, Martini, Whisky Cocktail, and the ordinary sounding, blackcurrant, cranberry and apple cocktails. Then come the weird sounding suggestions – fish cocktail and oyster cocktail… they actually sound a bit grim!
Fish cocktail – cover some flaked fish with a little lime juice and leave to marinade for four hours. Drain and chill, place in cocktail glasses and cover with a dressing of tomato sauce or mayonnaise and a few drops of Worcester sauce. Serve garnished chopped with chives
Oyster cocktail – allowing 5-6 oysters for each cocktail, pour the oysters into cocktail glasses and add a dressing of 1 teaspoonful each of sherry and wine vinegar (or lemon juice) a few grains of salt and a shake of cayenne pepper and a few drops of Tabasco to each glass.
This is more like an hors d’oeuvres than a cocktail!! The other cocktails include apple juice (which sounds like apple purée and nutmeg or cinnamon) blackcurrant (blackcurrant puree with golden syrup or honey, a slice of cucumber, a sprig of borage and soda water or lemonade) and cranberry which sounds actually quite horrid – make a cupful of thin gruel and add a cupful of crushed cranberries and their juice. Sweeten and flavour with a little grated nutmeg, re-boil and serve.
Nell gives us four actual cocktails – or what we would call cocktails:
- gin fizz – put together in a shaker the juice of ½ a lime, ½ a lemon, 5 drops of orange flower water, 1 teaspoonful of sugar and 1 measure of gin, the white of 1 egg, 2 tablespoonfuls of soda water, 1 tablespoon of cream and 1 wineglassful of crushed ice. Shake thoroughly and serve.
- Martinez – mix together 1 wineglass each of gin and French vermouth and add a couple of drops of orange bitters and curaçao . Serve with a cherry and a small piece of lemon rind.
- Martini – mix together ½ wineglass each of Martini vermouth and French vermouth and add 1 wineglassful of gin.
- Whisky cocktail – mix together equal proportions of orange juice and whisky, shake well with a little crushed ice, and serve well chilled.
My choice would be the whisky cocktail; the martini sounds so strong it would knock most people flat on their back, the Martinez sounds interesting, but I would only have a sip to see what it was like, and the gin fizz… well I really don’t like gin a all so that wouldn’t be on my list at all!