Ginuary 21st: Detroit Athletic Club, Honey.

Here’s one from Bottoms Up that I’ve butchered slightly to use up some of that Honey Jim Beam I’ve had in my cabinet for a while. How did that even get there? A moment of weakness? A gift? Bourbon sprites in the night? I danced around the original recipe for this for a couple of weeks before deciding tonight that I wouldn’t be buying any bourbon any time soon, so it was now or never. (Not really never… that Honey Jim Beam isn’t going anywhere fast.)

Detroit Athletic Club, Honey

  • 65ml gin
  • 45ml honey bourbon liqueur
  • 45ml lemon juice
  • 1 egg white


Dry shake all ingredients and frappé in a cocktail glass.



There are so many fun things to talk about tonight! Bottoms Up gives kudos to Walter S. Cummings for this recipe, manager of the bar it was created in and named for. A quick google search brings up reference to Mr Cummings as being the manager during prohibition, so I’m assuming he was in charge before and after as well. Exactly when this drink was created, I can’t be sure—as every reference I’ve found to “Detroit athletic club cocktail” points to the club’s superior recipe going through a grand resurgence of recent years—the Last Word. That’s right, that beautiful equal-measured gin/green chartreuse/maraschino/lime juice beauty (I love her so much that I know her off by heart) is bred from the same stable as tonight’s original drink. Fun fact!

Now, I say “original drink” because the original recipe (just called a Detroit Athletic Club) calls for regular ol’ bourbon and around 20ml simple syrup instead of my subbed honey bourbon liqueur. I mashed the two ingredients together, assuming the honey in the liqueur would add enough sweetness without the syrup, and as far as my tastes are concerned, I’m dead right. (Ok, I told a white lie: I added around 10ml simple syrup but the drink is quite sweet. If I make this again it will definitely be without added sugar.)

The other fun thing about tonight was the frappé step. I haven’t done a frappé since the Bramble, and I haven’t ever done a frappé in a cocktail glass! Thankfully I’ve obtained an ice crusher since my Bramble attempt, so tonight it was a lot easier to get crushing. I chose the cocktail glass rather than a tumbler because of the notes in Bottoms Up directing me thus.

I am having so much fun with this book this Ginuary; I can hardly believe it was a random find at a second-hand bookstore in town last year. So many more recipes to explore yet!