The following claret and champagne cup ought, from its excellence, to be called the nectar of the Czar, as it is so highly appreciated in Russia, where for many years it has enjoyed a high reputation amongst the aristocracy of the Muscovite empire. Proportions:
3 bottles claret [a type of red wine]
2/3 pint Curacao
1 pint sherry
1/2 pint brandy
2 wine glasses [ about 1 cup] raspberry liqueur
3 sliced oranges
1 sliced lemon
A Few Green Balm Sprigs
A Few Borage Sprigs
2 bottles German seltzer water
Pieces of cucumber rind [peel]
3 bottles Soda Water
Stir the above together and sweeten with pounded sugar until it ferments. Let it stand one hour, strain and ice it well. It is then fit for use. Serve in small glasses. For a Champagne Cup, use champagne instead of claret and Creme du Noyau instead of raspberry liqueur.
From Bon-Vivant’s Companion, or, How To Mix Drinks, Jerry Thomas, 1862.
Comment: This may look at first like a recipe for instant unconsciousness, if not liver failure, but note that we add two bottles of one kind of water and then three of another, which should allow us to serve more guests without killing any of them on the spot.
While it might seem unlikely that an American author should speak in such familiar terms with the drinking habits at the court of the Czar of Russia, it is entirely plausible in the case of Jerry Thomas. He was after all a well known bartender in San Francisco in the years when Russia still owned a piece of land they called Russian America, and which we now know as Alaska. Russian ships docked regularly in San Francisco’s harbor, and where there are sailors, there are after all those who will seek out the services of a bartender.