A Modern Take on a Savoy Classic

Every once in a while we like to step back in time a bit, open up the Savoy Cocktail book and give one of the true “classics” a try. This week Chris decided to tackle the little known XYZ Cocktail, despite his reservations about the classic recipe.

  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz Rum

Traditionally you’d balance acid with simple syrup in a 1-1 ratio, and Cointreau is nowhere near as sweet as Simple. (About half, I’d say.) So this recipe looked like it’d produce a pretty acidic result.

Skepticism Confirmed

Yep, it’s tart. Really tart.But you can tell the recipe has potential for a simple, tasty sour. So Chris decided to step in with a minor alteration (i.e. one barspoon of honey syrup) to balance the drink and make it a bit more palatable. The result was a winner! Just one barspoon of honey syrup calms down the acidity and lets the other ingredients shine through – especially the Cointreau. The cocktail is balanced, aromatic and delicate – a perfect choice if you’re looking for something simple and delicious.

No the First Time…

I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time we’ve had this experience. Often the original recipes for pre-prohibition drinks don’t align with today’s palate. Perhaps it’s due to different ingredients today, or different acidity in our citrus. Or maybe our collective palate has adjusted to prefer more sweetness than a hundred years ago.

Either way, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with adjusting a classic to modern tastes – after all, it’s your drink!


This cocktail was made with our very own line of bar tools – check them out!

Stainless Steel Boston Shaker

Price: $19.95

This is the best cocktail shaker you can buy – because we made it! Watertight and still easy to open, this is definitely our top choice.