101 Best New Cocktails: Pilgrim Cocktail by Dale DeGroff, Rainbow Room, New York, NY, USA

by Gaz Regan · Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2015

Pilgrim Cocktail

Original recipe by Dale DeGroff (created at the Rainbow Room, NY, in 1995), from The Craft of the Cocktail (Clarkson Potter, 2002)

“Back when Dale was working the Rainbow Room, he became friends with the photo editors from the Associated Press—who made a habit of taking their lunch break at his bar— naturally they loved his drinks. One Thanksgiving, Dale decided to surprise them by creating a holiday cocktail especially for them: The Pilgrim’s Cocktail.

“It was a bitter cold day so he heated it the drink and poured into an insulated coffee pot on a silver tray with twelve stemmed crystal glasses. With tray in hand, dressed in his red Rainbow Room jacket, he rode down the elevator, fought his way through the holiday throngs gathered in Rockefeller Plaza, wove his way across the street to the Associated Press building, grabbed an elevator to the fourth floor, and personally delivered twelve Pilgrim Cocktails to a very happy holiday staff. Now that’s what you call service!” Jill DeGroff

Pilgrim Cocktail15 ml (.5 oz) dark rum

15 ml (.5 oz) light rum

15 ml (.5 oz) orange curaçao

60 ml (2 oz) fresh orange juice

15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lime juice

7.5 ml (.25 oz) St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

1 dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic bitters

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Can be served hot or cold.

gaz sez: I found this recipe on Facebook, and although the drink isn’t “new” per se, it’s a damned good quaff and it carries with it a pretty fabulous story that gives us a glimpse at Dale and who he was before he became King Cocktail. What he did with this drink is the stuff legends are made from, and Dale, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is a man who is far, far better than his legend. You see me, you ask me, I got Dale stories that will make you smile very large, indeed.


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