Ingredients

  • 2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz Benedictine
  • 1/4 oz Absinthe
  • orange twist

Preparation

  • Stir with ice in a mixing glass
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish with an orange twist

 

The drink is all about balance. While smallest in quantity, the absinthe plays a major role, providing a delicate anisey flavor to tie into the herbal notes of the Benedictine and vermouth. The vermouth, which makes up the bulk of the drink, serves as a buffer between the two stronger and sweeter ingredients
The Chrysanthemum, for example, is a concoction dating back before Prohibition. It’s made with dry vermouth and herbal, honeyed Benedictine, flavored with a touch of anisey absinthe.

HISTORY:

The Chrysanthemum, for example, is a concoction dating back before Prohibition. It’s made with dry vermouth and herbal, honeyed Benedictine, flavored with a touch of anisey absinthe.
The drink was once credited to Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, but was actually published in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks (for more on Ensslin check out our piece on the Up to Date cocktail). While Ensslin provides no history on the drink, the Savoy mentions that Chrysanthemum was “well-known and very popular in the American Bar of the S.S. ‘Europa.'”
In case you’re curious (I know I was), the S.S. Europa was a German cruise liner built in the late 1920s. It took its maiden voyage to New York in March of 1930.
Sea travel was all the rage in the Twenties and Thirties, and at the time, the Europa was one of the fastest ships to traverse the Atlantic, making the journey in just under 5 days. It probably seemed especially appealing to wealthy Americans during Prohibition—the ship offered a chance to ditch their ‘dry’ country for a quick trip to Europe, and they could enjoy a Chrysanthemum or two on the way.

Alcohol (strong): 7/10



The Chrysanthemum cocktail

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