Ginuary 3rd: Twentieth Century.

Today was my first day back at work since the new year. Every time I wrote or typed the date today, I had to scribble out or delete “2011” and replace it with “2012”. It may be a new year but my brain and hence my fingers are a little stuck in the past… which is why I decided to go with the classic Twentieth Century cocktail for today.

Twentieth Century

  • 45ml gin
  • 20ml Lillet Blanc
  • 20ml white crème de cacao
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice


Put all ingredients in an iced shaker and go crazy. Double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


Ginuary 3rd: Twentieth Century

The Twentieth Century (some references say ’20th Century’ but that makes me think of 20th Century Fox) was created in the first half of the 20th century, so I guess it was quite the thoroughly modern millie. The drink was created in connection to the new Dreyfuss Hudson train engine that pulled the 20th Century Limited between New York and Chicago; the recipe for it was first published in the Cafe Royal Bar Book in the late 1930s. Dreyfuss Hudson makes me think of Richard Dreyfuss makes me think of Mr. Holland’s Opus, which I’ve now queued to watch this evening. Another decent viewing suggestion would be North by Northwest, because guess what? The 20th Century Limited features in that movie (as does Cary Grant, swoon). I guess I’m watching two movies tonight…

All aboard this mysterious chocolate classic!

I have to admit, I was fairly trepidatious about this one. The chocolate liqueur scared me. Let me set all your fears aside – this is delicious. I’m actually in the middle of drinking my second one, because I didn’t like the balance of the first attempt and wasn’t clever enough to sample the shaker before I poured out. In attempt #1 I had only 15ml of the creme de cacao but the equal balance of lemon juice totally overpowered it. Maybe my choice of Hendrick’s didn’t help either… but then again, the citrus botanicals are lacking from Hendrick’s, right? Ah, I don’t know.

Today's contenders.


I was pretty excited to crack open the Lillet. My friend Dandy is a big fan, and pointed me in the right direction when I had to try to find a bottle of it in Brisbane.


Measuring out the Lillet.

Lillet (it’s French, so it’s pronounced “lih-LAY”) is a brand of aperitif wine. I’m not very good at saying “aperitif” out loud because I’ve never done so much in the past but I think I need to practise a bit more and somewhat quickly, considering how often I’ve tried to say it out loud in the last few weeks.


That is one fairly attractive lemon twist.

Like I said, I made two of these tonight. In between I also tried a half nip of white creme de cacao straight, to try to find what I was looking for in the second. I really should have done that before making the cocktail in the first place. Lessons learnt, people.


Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic.

And look, I don’t tell lies! Currently watching North by Northwest as I type and finish my second Twentieth Century. Delicious. The chocolate taste is definitely more present this time around, and it’s pretty spectacular. Glad this lost cocktail got found again.

And finally, apologies to my cat. She was eating from her food bowl right next to where I mixed up the second drink tonight and I think these Twentieth Centuries may be a bit of a riot – let’s just say she may have possibly accidentally ended up wearing half a shot or so of Hendrick’s. Cats clean themselves constantly so I’m a bit anxious that I got my cat drunk. Can cats get alcohol poisoning? I’m sure she’ll be fine. Back to the ever-charming Cary Grant and Friends.

Roger Thornhill: Who are you?
Valerian: Mere errand boys carrying concealed weapons. His is pointed at your heart, so, please, no errors of judgment, I beg of you.
Roger Thornhill: What is this? A joke or something?
Licht: Yes, a joke. We’ll laugh in the car.

Ha! Just as I’m about to hit post, Cary Grant attempts to board the 20th Century! Also my cat just stumbled when jumping onto the couch. WHAT HAVE I DONE.


She normally looks this grumpy.