Most books on vintage cocktails stick to the tried-and-true classics, but a new one fights for the underdog. The delightfully named Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition: A Compendium of Impish, Romantic, Amusing, and Occasionally Appalling Potations from Bygone Eras by Lesley M. M. Blume is a humorous, illustrated book that lists recipes for lesser-known vintage drinks like the Laughing Soup, Gloom Lifter, and Battery Charger.
Beyond recipes, the book offers fun little vignettes about drink categories, ingredients, history, and so on.
Many of the cocktails call for out-of-fashion ingredients like orange juice, grenadine (use one with real pomegranate or make your own), apricot brandy (try to find the Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur), absinthe, and vermouth, so you'll probably need to do some shopping.
Below is an excerpt from the book with a tasty cocktail calling for raspberry syrup. (I use the Torani brand that you often see at coffee houses.) I'd also double the lemon juice in it- classic cocktails, obscure or not, need to be modified for modern tastes.
a bravado enhancer
This must-bring-back early twentieth-century mixed drink serves two ever-relevant purposes:
1. To put you in a take-charge mood when a difficult task needs doing and everyone else around you is an idiot,
2. To convince someone to leave you a desired object or raft of funds in his or her Last Will and Testament. Note that some of the ingredients are appropriately sugary to help you sweeten your case.
1.5 fl. oz. Gin
2 teaspoons Raspberry Syrup
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Maraschino Liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Mist with self-conviction-or dot with doe-eyes-and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition: A Compendium of Impish, Romantic, Amusing, and Occasionally Appalling Potations from Bygone Eras by Lesley M. M. Blume.