A cooler, a rickey, a cure for what ails you


I went to the Library of Congress this week to look at newspapers on microfilm. Amid the blur of tiny type, I ran across this little gem:



Now you’ll know what to drink if you’re summering in Manhattan or Manhattanville, Newport or Saratoga. Or if you happen to be attending a political convention. It looks like the “Mugwumps by way of drinks” have long outlasted their human counterparts.

I transcribed the piece below for your reading convenience. Enjoy, and let me know if you actually try out any of these cocktails! Speaking for myself, the champagne cup sounds like a refreshing antidote to a hot July day.

Favorite Summer Drinks in the City and the Seaside

New York World Sunday Magazine, July 11, 1897, p. 37

The man who goes to a summer resort and makes an error in the choice of his iced drinks commits a solecism which no amount of social prestige will balance. For example, let a man drink beer at Newport, publicly and openly, or even in the supposed privacy of his high-priced temporary home, he is literally done for by the ignoble act and may never hope to atone an ignorance which no moral qualities can qualify.

Therefore, if you want to do the swagger thing, find out the latest fad in summer beverages of the spot you honor by your presence and stick to the tipple of the place.

A man who takes his life in his hand and goes to Coney Island—and goes to the right end of it, which is Manhattanville, of course— should say good-by to his Manhattans and Martinis, assume a tired air and in a blasé voice call for a “Remsen cooler,” which is a thing of joy, composed of old Tom gin, lots of ice, a bit of lemon peel, sugar and plain soda. Of course, he may drink champagne at his dinner. The cooler is for the porch.

At Brighton dull care is relieved by the “Caledonia cocktail,” an insidious concoction composed of orange bitters, Scotch whiskey and French vermouth. It is well to begin late in the day on the Caledonia cocktail if you intend to make a record and not disgrace yourself. There is a rival to the Remsen cooler in a drink known at Brighton as the “Walton cooler.” It is a jangle of imported ginger ale, whiskey, cracked ice, a dash of lemon juice, sugar and fruits of the season. Walton coolers are delicious and not particularly deadly.
The “bath frappe” is the proper thing after your morning dip, and is fascinating to the eye and delicious to the palate. It is brought about by union of claret, green chartreuse, shaved ice, sugar and a dash of brandy. Excellent physicians are in attendance at all of the leading hotels in Manhattanville.

Should you wander to Saratoga you are certainly old enough to know that you go for the waters. The waters are excellent, but you will drink, if you wish to be in good form, a white champagne for your dinner and the “country punch” at odd times. The country punch is a mixture of maraschino and curacoa [sic], shaved ice, lemon and Medford rum. The country punch is a misnomer, and may prove a merry jest to you if you permit yourself to think for a moment that it partakes of rural innocence.

The “maiden’s dream” is a Saratoga favorite, and would seem to indicate a rather killing pace for the Saratoga maid. It is a delectable scheme worked out in rum, cordials (two or three), a dash of a favorite cocktail, dry gin, orange bitters and lemon juice. The “maiden’s dream” is a combination to lay bets on. Saratoga mineral springs are much appreciated after a course of country punch and maiden’s dream.

If you live to get away from Saratoga you will be pleased to know that a camp-meeting is in progress at Atlantic City, and that lemonade, ginger pop and root beer are yours to swear by.

Suppose, however, as a man of fashion, that you take your outing at Newport. As you value your future, so will you order your champagne or your champagne cup served during your elaborate dinner, and make no mistake, for you must order it with the first course and abide by it to the bitter end.

If you do a bit of golf you will refresh yourself with a “silver fizz,” “golden fizz” or a “Scotch high ball.” “Scotch high ball,” which is the golf drink much in vogue, is a combination of a long glass filled with cracked ice into which a glass of Scotch whiskey is poured and on to that a bottle of club soda.

Champagne cup should be made for a quart jug as follows: One pint champagne, one bottle club soda, one pony brandy, one pony orange curacoa [sic], all kinds of fruit in season, a piece of ice as big as you can get in the jug and, to top off, a fragrant bunch of mint.
Drinks are classified. The man of fashion and the chappie would never condescend to swallow beverages in favor with the politicians.

Political drinks change as regularly as their owners change their styles in hat-bands. There are straight political drinks that have a standing record, and a high one, and are composed chiefly of whiskey. There are also some political Mugwumps in the way of drinks.

For example, the “high balls” and “gin rickeys.” The Board of Aldermen devote themselves during the summer to the rural pursuit of gathering “gin rickeys.” They are active, it is said, in their efforts, and leave a barren field behind them at the end of a long summer day. The gin daisy is a plant that grows in a long glass. Orange peel is sowed in the bottom, a short teaspoonful of loaf sugar is added, some pounded ice and old Tom gin to fill up the glass, and the daisy blooms.

The “statesman’s cocktail” is a drink beloved indiscriminately by politicians high and low. It is made up by putting a dash of syrup into a big glass, equal parts of Hostetter’s bitters and vermouth and a filler of Medford rum. The “statesman’s cocktail” is said to be a convincing argument and speaks volumes for the power of politics.

When you have drunk your fill of all these delicious compounds and want to repeat, you may hie to Richfield Springs, and there you will be regaled with the sulphur water, which is the only drink at Richfield. It is fragrant—of sulphur. It is suggestive of a spot which shall be nameless, and it is excellent if one is in a reflective mind with a tendency to view the virtues of total abstinence with reverence.


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