If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 82: Semper Vinolentia – Leatherneck Cocktail

First printed in Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up cocktail guide, this drink is not well represented and probably not well liked but nevertheless we did our 82nd episode on it. It first appears nearly simultaneously with the introduction of blue curacao on the market, it’s recipe in Saucier’s book, and a Bols ad for blue curacao roughly around 1951. It seems to have been given a spotlight for a short time by Bols and a couple of wheeling-dealing PR agents, Ted Saucier and Frank Farrell, who both did a stint in the Marines. It’s an interesting little tale of cocktail invention in the Mad Men era.

But we didn’t leave it at that. We did a full assessment of understanding the origin of the word leatherneck and how it came to be applied to the personnel of the U.S. Marine Corps and then we told the stories of how the U.S. Marine Corps came to be and some of the amazing adventures they had in their early years. Truly cinematic stuff.

The drink is:

  • 2 oz blended whiskey
  • 0.75 oz blue curacao
  • 0.5 oz lime juice

First off, the drink is frightening in aspect. We kept referring to it as green alien blood. The taste was pretty horrid as well. We sat in the bar trying to figure out why anyone would make this drink if it wasn’t a prank…and then it hit us. The Leatherneck Cocktail tastes like salty leather. So nobody would ask to drink a cocktail that tastes like a sweaty leather collar, but if someone proposed that they could make a drink that tastes like briny hide people would still be impressed that that could be delivered. Granted its a parlor trick that works once and then it’s retired…however, once we understood what the cocktail was all about, some members of the tasting team started to appreciate its complexity.

Going into production of this episode I didn’t think there was going to be much to discuss. This one ended up like a hidden gem…probably emerald…or maybe more sapphire.

Leatherneck Cocktail

Leatherneck Cocktail served at Ward Eight from Black Liver Project

Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod
Closing Music: Marines Hymn

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