America’s Gilded Age is famous for its opulent parties, exclusive social registers and displays of industrial wealth that finally eclipsed their aristocratic peers’ in Europe. Perhaps less well known is the era’s contribution to modern mixology, which includes such beloved drinks as the martini and the classic Manhattan.
In a new book, Gilded Age Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America’s Golden Age, Cecelia Tichi, research professor of English, explores the history of some of bartending’s most enduring recipes, as well as drinks created for business titans of the day. Cornelius Vanderbilt was among those honored in liquid form, with no fewer than two distinct concoctions named for him.
In this excerpted recipe, rum is mixed with grenadine and egg whites to create a balance of salty and sweet.