I can’t believe it took me two years to stumble across the cocktail recipe published by Café de Abejas, a band from Helsinki, but I am glad I did!
The band created their own recipe for a drink they named “Pauline’s Cherry Lips,” inspired by the “Kirschwasser martini” improvised by Hindenburg passenger Pauline Charteris when the airship’s bar ran out of gin on its maiden voyage to America in 1936.
In honor of the band’s efforts I followed their recipe, and I enjoyed their creation with the appropriate glassware and accessories, of course. 🙂
When I crafted my original version of the Pauline Charteris Hindenburg Cocktail, I limited myself to ingredients that would have been available to Pauline based on photographs of the airship’s bar and the Hindenburg drinks menu.
The creative types from Café de Abejas did not similarly constrain themselves and used items that were not on board the airship, allowing them to create a much more interesting and layered, if less traditional, alternative. Personally I thought the absinthe was a little too muscular compared to the other ingredients, but perhaps it was the brand I used, and even so it was a very well-balanced cocktail.
Give it a try; play with the ingredients; and feel free to post your own thoughts in the comments.
Pauline Charteris Hindenburg Cocktail
My version of what Pauline might have crafted to imitate a martini in the absence of gin:
- 3 oz kirschwasser
- A tad less than 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- A splash of Grenadine
- Lemon peel*
*A peel — just the oily skin — not a “twist” with the bitter white pith.
Shake with ice; enough to make cold but not enough to dilute too badly.
Pauline’s Cherry Lips
The creative alternative by the interesting people at CafÃ© de Abejas:
A jigger (50 ml) of Kirschwasser
A barspoon of dry Vermouth
2 barspoons each of Absinthe and Maraschino liqueur
A dash of orange bitters
Two dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Maraschino cherry or lemon peel for garnish
Stir and strain in to a cocktail glass.
And for those who would like a musical accompaniment to their cocktail hour, here is Café de Abejas:
I have experimented with both recipes and here are my results: Pauline Charteris Hindenburg Cocktail: I started off using DeKuyperâ€™s Kirschwasser and Stock Extra Dry Vermouth. It is very hard in my area to find a liquor store that stocks a real kirschwasser, that is one that has been double… Read more »
Yesterday, I mixed up the Pauline Charteris Hindenburg cocktail. I was trying to figure out how much was a splash of Grenadine. I used a spoon marked “dash” to measure out the Grenadine. Is this about the right amount? I think the flavor was a bit on the harsher side… Read more »
They ran out of gin?! How on earth did that happen? No wonder Hendrick’s Gin advertises using an airship…
The bar was stocked to German tastes!
Let’s see about tastes. Was the bar stocked with Schwartzer Kater? (Note this is not the same as the better known Zeller Schwartz Katze. Although both are named for black cats) Was Warsteiner also among the libations available? Info on Schwartzer Kater (which is less known in the US): https://www.danmurphys.com.au/product/DM_908840/schwarzer-kater-blackcurrant-500ml.jsp;jsessionid=65CD8670C54B543C8157FAF3CAB74F80.ncdlmorasp1304?bmUID=l0C9KEq… Read more »
Thanks for the recipe and thanks for the music.
A while back I made a post to your article on the Lady Grace Drummond-Hay. In that post I pasted a link to a website for a drink named after her. Have you had a chance to try that recipe?
I just noticed it! (I don’t know how I missed it, I always enjoy and value Dagmara’s comments.) I would love to try it — I am a big fan of both Hendrick’s gin and Lady Grace — but I am not sure what to do about the citric acid… Read more »
Dan: I’ve got the Lady Grace figured out. Here’s how things went. To get the citric acid powder I called around a number of places asking if they had any citric acid for canning tomatoes. Ace Hardware carries the stuff and I got some. Now citric acid is a crystalline… Read more »
How cool! Thank you, Dagmara!
I just bought some on Amazon.com for $4.99: Citric Acid Powder. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for checking it out, Dagmara!
Now there is one variation I would like to try, and that is to use a Chardonnay aged in oak. I can always tell if a wine is aged in oak. I’m wondering how the oak flavor will come out.
I’ve done some experimentation with the Lady Grace. I used three different Chardonnays and worked with different amounts of orange bitters. The Chardonnays I used were Calling All Angels 2012 vintage, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Lightly Oaked Chardonnay 2013 and Sutter Home. Both the Calling All Angels and the Woodbridge… Read more »