Mother-In-Law Cocktail

I’ve just received my copy of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, and let me tell you, it’s a glorious piece of work! More recipes, more history, better cover and binding, and bigger, better pictures than the original.  The back of the book has a section for the  Pioneering Champions of the Forgotten Cocktail, which lists the 25 most influential online cocktail pioneers. It is with great gratitude that the good Doc chose me as one of the pioneers, however it is with great dismay that I have to point out an error, one that was probably done on my end (I tend to be a sloppy on the keyboard and I suspect that Ted’s substantially better and more careful), that states that  my blog was started in 2003, when it was actually started in 2005. The only good thing to come of it was that my name was finally put in front of that dastardly Jeffrey Morgenthaler, owner of a blog that for some unknown reason (besides better writing and wit, I’m sure) gets many fold more traffic than mine.

So there you have it, I’ve written about it before, and now that I have it in my hands, I have to insist that each of you go out and buy a copy. Or wait. But only wait if it’s because you’re going to Tales to have Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh sign it for you.

I’ll leave you with an interesting recipe from the book, as it’s been a while since I’ve given you a cocktail recipe. Since I’ve recently acquired one of these I thought that it might be best to share the:


1 teaspoon Peychaud’s bitters
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon Amer Picon
½ oz orange curaçao
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz maraschino liqueur
9 ounces bourbon
shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain.

As one can see by this recipe, it’s obviously for an experienced drinker (ok maybe three experienced drinkers, as this is a recipe that is supposed to be strained into three glasses; but it’s still a lot of booze). The Mother-In-Law, as Doc tells it, was truly obscure, coming to him from Brooks Baldwin by way of Chuck Taggart.

As told to Doc by Brooks, from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails:

“My grandmother (born in New Orleans in 1895) inherited this recipe from her mother-in-law shortly before the beginning of the First World War. As specified in the original recipe, my mother concocted this libation by the quart and stored it in an antique lead crystal decanter. Informed that science had linked lead crystal to lead poisoning, my grandmother said: ‘It’s a pretty bottle, so hush’”

As for my own two bits: you gotta love the amount of bitters!

~ by Jamie Boudreau on June 26, 2009.

4 Responses to “Mother-In-Law Cocktail”

  1. Looks tasty. I am about to embark on your recipe for Amer Picon. First step: Creating the orange tincture. Question: your recipe calls for dried orange peel. Is that bitter orange peel (e.g. Seville orange) or will any orange peel do?

    Thanks for any response – I’m worried about waiting two months for the tincture and then finding out I screwed it up.

  2. chinabob:
    Don’t use Seville as they are too bitter. Regular orange peel does nicely.

  3. With respect to the teaspoon measurements, how many ounces would that be? I would like to make a large batch of this and would love to get any input on measurements for a larger scale!

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