New “Hindenburg Cocktail” Recipe and a Tribute to Café de Abejas

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. 🙂

Café de Abejas Hindenburg Cocktail Recipe

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.

Hindenburg bar and cocktail 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.

The Recipes:

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 Café 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:

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Dagmara LizlovsDan GrossmanFrank BarrettDagmara Lizlovs Recent comment authors
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Dagmara Lizlovs
Dagmara Lizlovs

I have experimented with both recipes and here are my results: Pauline Charteris Hindenburg Cocktail: I started off using DeKuyper’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 »

Dagmara Lizlovs
Dagmara Lizlovs

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 »

Frank Barrett
Frank Barrett

They ran out of gin?! How on earth did that happen? No wonder Hendrick’s Gin advertises using an airship…

Dagmara Lizlovs
Dagmara Lizlovs


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?