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Button Hook: A Historic Cocktail, Made Three Ways

Mastering The Art of Brandy Brilliance With Button Hook Cocktail Mastery

The Button Hook cocktail isn't a very well-known drink, though it does have long-ish history associated with it. Its origin are shrouded in debate, and its original recipe too has undergone several variations since its invention. As per some experts, this cocktail was created as a restorative drink and the inclusion of creme de menthe was meant to freshen the drinker's breath. Its name was derived from the button hook, used to fasten buttons in shoes, gloves during the era. How much truth there is to this theory, however, remains to be tested.

Button Hook History

The recipe for Button Hook was adapted from the second edition of Hugo R Ensslin's 1917 Recipes For Mixed Drinks. It is likely to have also been included in the first edition which was released in 1916. Crosby Gaige's 1944 publication The Standard Cocktail Guide also mentions the drink. It got a fairly recent revival via Jason E Clapham's 2013 publication. 

Learn all about Button Hook cocktail in this article

Button Hook Recipe

The Button Hook drink, whose mention was first found in the early 20th century, has many versions. The most commonly used recipe consists of apricot brandy, crème de menthe (white) and anise liqueur. These ingredients provide the drink with a bold and flavourful taste, which consists of sweet, herbal and aromatic notes. 

Recipe - Version 1

Ingredients

30 ml Crème de Menthe (White)
30 ml Apricot Brandy
30 ml Anisette
30 ml Brandy

Method

In a shaker with ice, add all the ingredients and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Mastering The Art of Brandy Brilliance With Button Hook Cocktail Mastery

Recipe - Version 2

This version has an added ingredient, the high alcohol strength liquor absinthe. This recipe increases the ABV of the cocktail.

Ingredients

30 ml Brandy
30 ml Apricot brandy
30 ml Crème de menthe (White)
30 ml Pernod's Absinthe 

Method

Take a shaker with ice and all the ingredients. Shake or stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Recipe - Version 3 (Simon Difford's version)

The below recipe is mentioned in the Difford's Guide, a bartending encyclopaedia rich with information on almost every aspect of mixology. It uses an additional ingredient Cynar or carciofo amaro, both Italian bitter liqueurs made using artichokes. As per Difford, who is considered an authority in mixology, the bitter liqueur helps temper the strong flavours of the drink. 

Ingredients

60 ml Cognac
10 ml Crème de Menthe (White)
10 ml Apricot brandy 
10 ml Cynar or Carciofo Amaro
2 dashes Absinthe 

Method

Take a shaker with ice and all the ingredients. Shake or stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.

While it's great to learn about alcohol, it is important to also consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.

 

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