The Abbey Cocktail is a strong, slightly bitter and sweet, yet balanced vintage cocktail that is perfect for a birthday celebration.
Birthday celebrations change as we age. There are pictures of me in a highchair with a sheet cake in front of me. I have photos of my cousin and I in line to swing at a piñata during my early elementary years. And which of my friends can forget making a huge tub of chocolate pudding to pour over my head during my 16th birthday.
Party styles change during our lifetime as they have changed over history.
During the Victorian period, large formal parties were held as a way to show off a family’s “wealth by simultaneously indulging their children and instructing them in etiquette.”[note]Korab, Holly.”College of LAS « Illinois.”A Brief History of Birthday Parties « 2001 « Articles « LASNews Magazine « Alumni & Friends «. 2001. Accessed March 16, 2016.http://www.las.illinois.edu/alumni/magazine/articles/2001/birthday/[/note] A birthday party to teach a child how to behave properly…not my cup of tea.
The early 1900’s offered smaller get-togethers where the birthday girl/boy was allowed to put together the guest list, and the 1980’s were full of parties held at spaces like Chuck-E-Cheese (I had at least one party there!).[note]Pleck, Elizabeth H. “Cakes and Candles.” In Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Accessed March 16, 2016.[/note]
While the style of birthday parties are surely going to continue to morph over time, I’m certain they’ll always focus on one thing…the gathering of a group of loved ones to celebrate the life of the birthday girl/boy.
This year for my birthday I’ve luckily already spent quality time with family and this weekend friends and I are getting together at Clifton’s Cafeteria for drinks. Originally opened in 1935, and reopened (after a massive renovation) in October 2015 the establishment is self-described as “a world of adventure, imagination and magic.” Since the place has a vintage feel, it’s only appropriate that we pre-game with vintage cocktails. I’ll obviously be shaking up the Corpse Reviver No. 2 and for those who don’t care for absinth I’ll be serving another cocktail from the best cocktail book around, The Savoy Cocktail Book.
The Abbey Cocktail was my first choice. It’s balanced, strong from the gin, and has a slight bitterness from the Cocchi Americano, which makes for a lovely drink. You do need to shake it vigorously to dilute it a bit with the ice, but the extra shaking isn’t too much to ask 😉
If you want to celebrate from afar with me, make a few rounds of this Abbey Cocktail recipe and drink up! Also, if you want to see what my friends and I are up to during our celebration I’m sure I’ll post some things on Snapchat (find me at cupofzest) and there will be at least one post on Instagram!
Shaking vigorously is necessary. Check out these cocktail shaking tips from Liquor.com
I used fresh squeezed orange juice in this recipe, but feel free to use a high-quality store-bought OJ if you’d like.
The Abbey Cocktail
- 4 ounces gin
- 2 ounce aperitif wine
- 2 ounce orange juice
- 4 dashes aromatic bitters
- Combine all ingredients into your cocktail shaker of choice.
- Fill with ice, vigorously shake, and pour into two chilled cocktail glasses.