A drink named after a prima donna of an opera company from Ontario, supremely popular in the 1900s but forgotten in the coming years, that’s Mamie Taylor for you. The very popular singer-actress, Mamya Taylor is rumoured to have requested a ‘long, hard drink’ after one of her performances at a downtown bar. And the bartender in charge was only too eager to please the princess. But the drink that graced the table was nothing like what she had ordered. Golden and gorgeous, served in a tall glass shimmering with a cold sheen of moisture, the drink was soft, smooth and perfectly sour. Mamya and her entourage loved the drink and asked for the name. The witty bartender behind the mischief wasted no time in saying, “Why, but that was a Mamie Taylor you just had!’ and the cocktail was born. In his book Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh claims that the Mamie Taylor was the most popular cocktail of its time. The subsequent fallout the cocktail is surprising. But whatever be the truth, the drink was one of its kind.
Mix Your Own Mamie Taylor…
By pouring 60 ml of favourite Scotch whisky, 20 ml of freshly squeezed lime juice, 30 ml ginger syrup, and 90 ml ginger ale, or ginger beer. Now, take a long glass. Empty the Scotch, top with the lime juice, and follow it up with the ginger ale, or ginger beer. Stir to combine. Break a sprig of mint and float it on top. Add a lime wedge over the rim of your glass and you’re good to go.
Let’s admit it, we all love punches. Whether on a hot summer’s day, or at a grand Christmas dinner, a punch is irreplaceable. But, how many of us know that the punch dates back to the 17th century? British sailors would often pour themselves a drink of rum, lemon and spices to satiate their thirst. Later, different variations of the same concoction became synonymous with celebrations.
Whisky Mac, formerly known as Whisky MacDonald, has its roots in British India where Colonel Hector MacDonald concocted this beverage. In 1899, the colonel proposed a demarcation between China and British India with a border. There was unrest after this demarcation which was followed by a breakout of cholera. Owing to medicinal properties of ginger, ginger wine gained wide popularity.
Perhaps it’s fitting that a cocktail be named after Scotland’s national poet – Robert Burns. After all, Scotch is arguably the country’s most significant contribution to the world. Needless to say, Auld Lang Syne is sung with full throated ease whenever friends meet after a long time over a bottle of the finest malt.