This classic is perfect for celebrating the August 21st solar eclipse
The US will experience a total eclipse of the sun this month – the first one to completely cross the lower 48 states since 1918.
We’re lucky enough to live near the path of eclipse totality (where the sun is completely covered), so we’re gearing up! Of course, that includes laying in the makings for The Eclipse Cocktail.
It’s not every day you get an eclipse, so drink up!
Recipe: The Eclipse Cocktail
This cocktail was created by famed bartender Harry Craddock to celebrate the 1927 total solar eclipse in Britain. Craddock first published the recipe in his 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book.
Craddock’s recipe calls for sloe gin, dry gin, and grenadine. Later versions include lemon juice – an excellent addition, in our opinion. You can find other recipes for Eclipse Cocktails (many call for tequila), but we think this is the best.
Craddock’s original recipe garnishes this drink with an olive. We don’t think that flavor works, so we substitute a maraschino cherry. It tastes better and looks, well, sunnier.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 2 ounces sloe gin (see Notes)
- 1 ounce dry gin
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grenadine (preferably Homemade)
- maraschino cherry for garnish (optional, but looks great)
- Place the sloe gin, dry gin, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake until chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Place the maraschino cherry garnish (if using) in the bottom of a cocktail glass (preferably one that’s been chilled). Pour the grenadine over the cherry. Slowly strain the contents of the shaker on top of the cherry/grenadine layer. (You’re trying to layer the gin mixture over the grenadine, as you would in a layered shot. It sometimes helps to pour the gin mixture over the back of a spoon. You can see layering in some of the pictures accompanying this post.) Don’t worry if you mess up the layering – we usually do, but the drink still tastes good. See Notes.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The original recipe calls for completely covering the garnish with grenadine. We think that makes the drink too sweet, though, since it requires you to use about half an ounce (depending on the size of the garnish). We cut the grenadine back to 2 teaspoons, and think that’s perfect.
- It’s fun to layer the gin mixture over the grenadine, but it can also be a pain. So when we’re serving this drink to a crowd, we just pour the grenadine into the cocktail shaker with the other ingredients, and forget about trying to layer it.
- A dash or two of orange bitters works nicely in this drink. Give it a try.
- For this recipe, we used the Bitter Truth brand of sloe gin. Plymouth makes a good one too. We’ve also seen Hayman’s sloe gin, but haven’t tried it. Avoid the stuff that costs $10 to $15 a bottle – its flavor isn’t good and it’s way too sweet.
- BTW, sloe gin tends to be somewhat low in alcohol content. So if you’re not going to use the bottle within a few months, store it in the refrigerator (to prevent the flavor and quality from deteriorating).
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re totally noncommercial and don’t get compensated for mentioning any brand. We suggest only what we like and buy with our own money.
- As noted above, there’s an Eclipse Cocktail made with tequila. If you want to make it, here’s how: Add 1 ounce añejo tequila, ¾ ounce Cherry Heering, ¾ ounce Aperol, and ¾ ounce lemon juice to an ice-filled shaker. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass. Add a float of ¼ ounce Mezcal, and serve.
- In the US, the August 21 solar eclipse will start in Oregon at 9:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time (12:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time) and end in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- The eclipse will travel across the US in a path 70 miles wide, crossing the states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
- During the eclipse, the moon (as seen from Earth) will move in front of the sun (again, as seen from Earth) and cover it. You’ll see the full eclipse only if you’re in that 70-mile wide path. If you’re at the edge of the path, the moon may obscure the sun only partially (or for only a few seconds). If you’re in the middle of the path, the eclipse will last longer.
- Among the places with the longest eclipse duration will be in Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon for two minutes, 40 seconds. Carbondale is getting a twofer this century, BTW. In 2024, they will be smack in the middle of another total solar eclipse path.
- Want to know more about the eclipse, and where to view it? There are numerous web sites with info. NASA has a particularly informative one. Don’t miss their interactive map, which tells you the duration of the eclipse as viewed from locations you can enter into the map.
- BTW, we recommend getting some inexpensive “eclipse glasses” for viewing the event. These help protect your eyes from sun damage. Find more info on NASA’s Eclipse Safety Site.
Darkness at Noon
“Mmm, dazzling flavor,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Sort of . . . sunny.”
“Yup, you might call this drink a sun belt,” I said.
“Good one. You’re shining bright, pun boy,” said Mrs K R. “Guess that’s why your mother called you sonny.”
I put on my brand-new eclipse safety glasses and said, “Hey, I can’t see a thing with these on!”
“You’re not supposed to indoors,” said Mrs K R. “Go outside and find a place in the sun, then look up – you’ll see how useful they are.”
“Got it,” I said. “Guess that wasn’t too bright, was it?”
“For you?” said Mrs K R. “Well, let’s just say there’s nothing new under the sun.”
Right. Nothing I say can eclipse that.
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