Harvard Cocktail

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Established in 1636 by the Massachusetts Bay Company, Harvard is the oldest school of higher learning in America and boasts (among other things) eight signers of the Declaration of Independence, the oldest continuous chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the most presidents (eight) with degrees. It is not surprising that a number of cocktails are named after it.

From Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks:

Dash of gum syrup (simple syrup)

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 ½ oz Brandy

1 ½ oz Italian (sweet) Verm  outh

Stir with ice until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with seltzer or club soda. No garnish is called for, but a lemon or orange twist and/or even a cherry would be nice.

The Harvard Fizz follows along the same lines.

1 ½ oz Brandy

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Orange Bitters

¼ tsp. Simple Syrup (optional)

2 oz Soda

Stir first three ingredients with ice until cold. Strain into a highball or rocks glass and top with soda. Garnish with a long orange twist. A ¼ tsp. of simple syrup can be added if desired.

Harvard

A different version found in Stuart’s Fancy Drinks (1902) and Jack’s Manual (1916) uses sherry instead of brandy.

2 dashes Bitters (your choice, apparently)

2 dashes Orange Curaçao (a shy ¼ tsp.)

1 ½ oz Sherry

1 ½ oz Vermouth (sweet)

Stir with ice until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler cut a thin slice of lemon peel, give it a squeeze over the glass to express the oils, then drop it in as a garnish.

I have no idea where the next one comes from or how I found it. I should know better and write down my sources. This is the only version which uses citrus juice, making for a very different cocktail.

1 ½ oz Brandy

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Angostura Bitters

¼ oz Grenadine or Simple Syrup

½ oz Lemon Juice

Stir with ice until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a splash of soda water.

There are as many versions of the Harvard as there are subjects to study. So open a book and relax with a Harvard cocktail.

For a full list of cocktails found on this site, visit the Drinks Index page.

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