Aperitif, Myth or Legend?

Lately I’ve been getting back into reading some old bar books that I have had lying around my room.  I’ve dipped into The Savoy, Official Mixer’s Manual, Here’s How! and some of Trader Vic’s books. 

I must say, there’s some stuff I had never heard of or seen.  My new ocular (and gastric) expedition is to find out what everything is and where it came from.  If it’s not produced anymore, I’d like to see if I could quite possibly recreate them.

Prunelle/Prunelle Brandy:

 From what I have found out, it’s a liqueur made from plums, blackthorn or sloes in France.  I’ve yet to see it at any liquor store, but I’d like to see if it’s similar to Slivovitz (a plum Eux de Vie).

Apparantley it’s made from the stones or pits from these fruits like a Creme de Noyaux or so I am told from Mr. Eric Ellestad.  It could be a nice substitute in certain recipes.

El Bart Gin: 

An old style of Dry Gin that is no longer made unfortunately. 

Oxygenee Cusenier: 

From what I understand, this was an old style of Absinthe.  It was made around 1910 in France and was one of, if not the most expensive Absinthe’s during this time. 


An English-made, Apricot Brandy.  Supposedly no longer produced by the company since it went out of business.  It was produced by Humphrey Taylor & Co. of London.  Generic forms of Apricot Brandy are available today. 

Groseille Syrup: 

A red currant based syrup.  It was used in place for grenadine or raspberry syrup in Europe to add twists on drinks in the early 1900’s.  I know Jennifer Colliau had made some for Heaven’s Dog as well:



A wine based liqueur/aperitif believed have come out of London.  It’s mentioned in The Savoy quite a bit and Erik Ellestad has done some great research on it as well as a phenomenal recipe! 


Swedish Punch:

I always wondered if this was a real mix of spirits that went into a drink or just one.  Turns out, it really is just one.  Swedish Punch is Batavia Arrack based which is made from Javanese rice.  Rice is made into cakes and fermented.  It definitely gives it an odor you will not forget.  The Arrack has cane juice added to it to give it a sweeter flavor and smell.

This is just a few of the many things I don’t know or understand about my bar and spirits heritage.  I’m always willing to learn and I’m sure I’ll keep editing this page as I read more and more.  If there’s anything you want me to look for, let me know!  Cheers!










~ by myamericandram on July 14, 2011.

3 Responses to “Aperitif, Myth or Legend?”

  1. Prunelle confused me for a long time.

    First I thought it was plum/prune liqueur.

    Then I thought it was like a sloe gin.

    Finally a friend sent me some from Canada.

    Turns out, it is made from the pits of the fruit, not the fruit itself, so it tastes like a Noyaux or Amaretto.

  2. Hmm anywhere in the Bay Area that sells it? I was just looking at a Fairbanks Cocktail from PGD’s Manual last night and it could be a nice substitution with a blanc vermouth in it as well.

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