Сhicago Cocktail

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A little classic this time – Chicago Cocktail. Impressed with French 75 and Ritz Cocktail, I was in mood for emptying another bottle of prosecco. The matter depended only on recipe, and I’ve founded it in The Savoy Cocktail Book.

Who invented the cocktail and why he called it Chicago as the cocktail consists of brandy, curaçao, bitters and sparkling wine. Harry Craddock did not mention so who knows…

Anyway, Chicago Cocktail won my sympathy from the very first time when I’ve tried it. True classic, it was simple and delicious – what else do you want to get from a cocktail?

The Savoy Cocktail Book didn’t provide accurate recipe for Chicago Cocktail. It called for 2/3 brandy and dashes of bitter and curaçao. I didn’t like the result when mixed one part of prosecco and two parts of Cognac. So I’ve turned to CocktailDB variants which suggest 45 ml or 60 ml brandy and sparkling wine to taste. Also I’ve took CocktailDB advice to increase amount of curaçao.

Chicago Cocktail

  • 45 ml brandy (Monnet VSOP Cognac),
  • 3 dashes (1 tsp) orange curaçao (Grand Marnier),
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters,
  • Champagne to top (Zonin Prosecco Brut).

Stir all ingredients except prosecco with ice and strain in a cocktail glass with sugared rim. Add prosecco to top and serve.

Сhicago Cocktail

I dislike sugared rims. It might be useful in Sidecar but I can’t understand why it is used here. I’ve made it once for photo shoot and that time the cocktail was sweet and unconvincing.

The start surprised me with dry taste. Here dry prosecco combines with Cognac wood note and carbonation makes the dryness sharper. The combination dominates in the taste further as white wine adds overripe grape flavour to dried fruit from Cognac – mainly apple, plum and pear. Promising progress gets another boost when Cognac «heart» starts to flourish with typical cocoa, oak, nutmeg and cinnamon notes. With faint hints of candied bitter orange peel, it turns to impressive composition.

Aftertaste brings more grape flavours as prosecco prevails here with thick background of dry white wine. Also it helps to soften dryness which is inevitable in brandy aftertaste.

On my opinion Chicago Cocktail is a must for people who are in love with Cognac-based libations. Brandy now becomes less popular as a cocktail component so Chicago Cocktail could be a starting point for rediscovering brandy in cocktail culture.


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