Now All We Need is a Cocktail!

We’ve only just begun to plan the book tour for Girl Waits with Gun, but I’m already working on a cocktail I can serve. (Book tour planned for Sept/Oct 2015; dates to be posted here.) After weeks of historical research and multiple trips to the liquor store, I think I’ve got it. The significance of the automobile might not be obvious to you until you’ve read the book, but I have to say that I am quite pleased with myself for coming up with a drink made entirely with ingredients that would have been available in 1914, based on a cocktail of the era whose name actually ties in with the book.

After much taste-testing last night (thanks to the six brave friends who turned out for this effort), I give you:

The New Jersey Automobile (Serves two)

½ oz applejack

½ oz gin

½ oz sweet vermouth

½ oz blackberry jam

4 oz sparkling wine

Combine the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well over ice. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture, dividing it equally between two champagne coupes. Top each glass with two ounces of sparkling wine.

A historical  and literary perspective: The Automobile is a cocktail dating to the 1910s that combines equal parts Scotch, gin, and sweet vermouth. Honestly, it’s a bit hard to take, as were most automobiles in the 1910s, judging from the Kopps’ experience with them. I swapped the Scotch for applejack to give it a New Jersey attitude, added jam for a little sweetness (see p. 30 for Norma’s opinion of jam), and topped it off with Champagne, which I believe Fleurette would have been very much in favor of if only Constance would’ve allowed it.

This drink is easy to mix for a crowd. Just combine equal parts of the first four ingredients ahead of time and stir vigorously with ice, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the ice and bits of jam. When guests arrive, pour one ounce of the mixture into each glass and top with two ounces sparkling wine.

To make the math easy, here’s a batch that serves 100, with suggested brands that are tasty and easy to find. Scale it up or down from here.

1 750 ml bottle Laird’s applejack
1 750 ml bottle Hendrick’s gin
1 750 ml bottle Dolin or Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
3 eight-ounce jars of jam (by volume, not weight. In other words, 3 cups of jam.)
8 bottles Segura Viudas Spanish cava


New Jersey Automobile ingredients