Thursday, 4 August 2011

Classic Cocktail of The Month: Twelve Mile Limit

Prohibition was both detrimental and beneficial to the cocktail culture.  Bartenders across the USA left for Europe, Canada and Cuba.  The majority of those who remained went to work in soda fountains.  Few foolishly worked illegally in speak-easys serving liquor so foul you wouldn't be cruel enough to serve it to your in-laws.  It was however the cause of many memorable cocktails, the Bee's Knees, Southside, Colony Cocktail etc. All of which share a simple formula. spirit, sugar and citrus. Due to the quality of much of the alcohol being produced at the time, this equation of imbibing was formulated to mask the terrible quality of the hooch.  But, those wishing to sip on a spiritous cocktail didn't have to travel far or risk blindness from bathtub gin.  Once 12 mines off the shore of the United States the Volstead act was void.  To toast this legal loop hole two cocktails may be found published in print.  In the 1930's Savoy Cocktail book by Harry Craddock is the "Twelve Miles Out".  A simple mixture of equal parts White Rum, Swedish Punch and Calvados.  Secondly you may find a recipe by the name of "Twelve Mile Limit" in a publication of a 1934 newspaper article.  In said article Tommy Millard is credited with creating the Twelve Mile Limit.  While extraordinarily similar in name, the cocktails share only one ingredient and are otherwise completely different tipples.  Whether Mr. Millard was aware of the previous publication of the Twelve Miles Out is unaware.  But It would not seem unlikely that more then one human being celebrated the act of legal libations during prohibition by creating a cocktail.

Twelve Mile Limit
- 1 oz White Rum
- 0.5 oz Rye Whisky (Preferably use a spicy American Rye Like Rittenhouse or Sazerac)
- 0.5 oz Cognac
- 0.5 oz Grenadine
- 0.5 oz Lemon Juice

- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Double strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Optional garnishes include a lemon twist, lemon wheel or brandied cherry

Essentially the Twelve Mile Limit is a sour, Spirit(s), citrus and sugar.  For my variation on this cocktail I didn't dive off into the deep end with an obscure variation.  I stuck fairly close to shore while still straying far enough away from the Original Cocktail to have a personality all of it's own.

Shore Line
- 0.75 oz White Rum
- 0.75 oz Calvados
- 0.5 oz Bourbon
- 0.5 oz Agave Nectar
- 0.5 oz Lime Juice

- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Double Strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with lemon twist*

* Yes Lemon.  Garnishing a cocktail with a ingredient that is not present in the liquid is a technique know as "Flavor Tripping".  Because 70% of what you tastes is perceived by what you smell you are tricked into thinking there is lemon in this cocktail.
Shore Line
Just a reminder.  The prepose of me doing a variation on these cocktails is to demonstrate that having a deep repertoire of classics may greatly help improve your ability to create and improvise your own libations.  The Shore Line has to be one of my favorite cocktails to surface since the inception of this segment, Classic Cocktail of The Month.  If possible give both a try while the summer weather is still around.

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