The genre of split-base classic cocktails is a lot thinner than one may imagine. In all honesty, its questionable whether or not today’s drink, the Warday’s, can even be considered a classic, given its relative anonymity.
The pronunciation of the cocktail is also up for debate. Is it “Ward-eyes” or “War-days?” Going with the latter, “war days” is an old term for the work week, and this cocktail makes an excellent crutch for the hard-working weekday warrior. A blend of apple brandy, London Dry gin, Chartreuse, and sweet vermouth, the Warday’s made its first appearance in Harry Craddock’s “Savoy Cocktail Book,” and our guest today describes it as a marriage of the Manhattan and the Alaska. Although the cocktail has potential to strike the perfect harmony within its spirit-heavy base, one spirit can easily bully the other components, so the Warday’s is not an easy one to master.
Difficulty level aside, it’s time to get to know this 1930s gin and apple brandy mashup. Here to explore it with us is Eryn Reece, a New York-based bartender, qualified spirits expert and judge, Speed Rack national champion, and Tales of the Cocktail Dame Hall of Fame inductee. It’s a deep dive on Calvados, a look back on the heyday of the early aughts’ cocktail renaissance, and a crash course in vermouth. And it’s all right here on the “Cocktail College” podcast. Tune in for more.
Eryn Reece’s Warday’s Recipe
- 1 ounce Calvados, such as Lemorton
- 1 ounce London Dry gin, such as Beefeater
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth, such as Carpano Antica
- ¼ ounce yellow Chartreuse
- Garnish: lemon twist
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir until cold and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist.