Twentieth Century recipe
1⅓ oz. Gin
⅔ oz. Fresh squeeze lemon juice
⅓ oz. Creme de Cacao (clear, preferably)
⅔ oz. Cocchi Americano
Shake ingredients together with ice, strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Aaron’s notes: The Kina Lillet of the original recipe isn’t available anymore. Cocchi Americano is among the best substitutes we have. Further, the cocktail is improved greatly with the touch of bitterness it adds. Lillet Blanc will work as an alternative to that. I also dial back the Creme de Cacao because it can overwhelm the drink. With a nice citrus-forward gin, you’ll get a bright “orange flavored chocolate” impression— that I really enjoy.
A somewhat unusual pairing— we don’t often see gin and chocolate paired together. I prefer a citrus-forward gin here. Start with Beefeater as a widely available option. But “citrus on their sleeve” gins like Threefold’s orange-forward gin, or The Sun Gin from China are excellent, but harder-to-find alternatives.
History of the Twentieth Century Cocktail
Other cocktails went by this name as well. A 1931 edition of Good Cheer includes a recipe that mixes bourbon, rum, lemon, and lime. This recipe appeared as early as the turn of the century as the “Twentieth Century Special.” The Reminder from 1914 includes a “Twentieth Century Punch” with rum, raspberry syrup and a dozen lemons and oranges.
“Cocktail Bill” Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them from 1934 includes a cocktail with Creme de Cacao and Gin. This one, if not a direct predecessor, has a clear influence on Tuck’s version.
Considered the cocktail’s first source, The Twentieth Century cocktail appeared in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book in 1937.
The 1965 International Guide to Drinks.