Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fluffy Ruffles - Updated

(Still) A nice gem from Hugo Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1916-1917)

I had originally thought it a fairly safe assumption that "Rin of I lime" was a mistake in the printing, and that the intent was "juice of 1 lime" - Thanks to Frederic over at Cocktail virgin slut, I did some extra digging and found that Ensslin does indeed instruct in the use of the rind of a lime, specifically in his recipe for the Jack Rose:

I have revised this entry accordingly.

Fluffy Ruffles

1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) Havana Anejo Reserva
1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
Rind of 1 lime (2 pre-juiced lime halves)

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass. 

You'll want a good aged rum with lots of character, but nothing as thick and dark as say an El Dorado 15 or as full hogo as a Smith & Cross. What you will want is a "Planter's Best"( for those of you familiar with Wondrich's rum descriptions in his book "Punch".)

In the absence of a good aged Havana Club rum, go with one of the aged Flor de Cana rums like the Grand Reserva 7 or the Centenario 12.

I'm really enjoying my new bottle of Cocchi Vermouth di Torino which is why I'm using it here. Carpano Antica should do nicely here too.

So...revised drink, revised tasting notes. Shaking this drink nice and hard to really infuse the mix with the lime, and double straining, I ended up with (not surprisingly) a very different drink. Much more of a "limey Palmetto".

Lime then rum taking front seat on the nose, followed by very subtle hints of the vermouth. The drink is light and fresh on the palate. Now the rum and vermouth play better together providing a very enjoyable "Manhattan" like experience.

The essence of lime provided by shaking with the rind gives a very nice, fresh citrus profile, and without the full sour of my earlier drink (where I used the juice of 1 lime). It is spot on actually, and now I have something to do with some of those used lime rinds! I'll be playing with this technique for sure.

Thanks again Frederic for the comments!


  1. No, I believe he does mean the peel (rind) which when shaken with ice will extract citrus oils and some bitterness to spice up the drink. Very popular around that time and is a standard in books like the La Florida Cocktail Book. There's not supposed to be citrus juice in the drink, but citrus essence akin to lime bitters.

    If you add a dash of Angostura to the lime juice version you made, it's essentially a Fig Leaf which is a rather tasty drink.

  2. Hi Frederic, Thanks for the comment!

    I believe that the fig leaf is from Trader Vic's (1947), I wonder if he re-named after reviewing Ensslin's book and founding himself facing a similar delimma.

    I wish there was an earlier recipe than Ensslin's to compare, I know that by the Savoy the instruction became lime peel and that this became part of the recipe after.

    With Ensslin not using the word "rind" in any of his other recipes, and with his instruction in other recipes to shake with a "piece of lemon peel" or "piece of orange peel" specifically, I think you can make a good argument for both sides.

    It's a good point that La Floridita and other cuban books commonly call for a shaken peel, but that book is not published until 1935 - and shaking a citrus peel in NYC in the 1910-1916 era when Ensslin would have been working there was not as common.

    So, on this hunch I will keep the recipe adapted as-is until more info surfaces...and think I'll try a Fig Leaf soon, the Ango sounds like perfect addition!

    Thanks again,

  3. The Fig Leaf actually pre-dates Trader Vic for it first appears in my collection in Crosby Gaige's Standard Cocktail Guide in 1940 (no clue if it is the first appearance of the recipe). It differs from the Fluffy Ruffles for it is more of sweet vermouth forward drink than an equal parts one.

    Shaking with peels started a lot earlier than the La Floradita (just that they use it often there) and dates back to the second half of the 19th century.

    I am still translating the "rin" of 1 lime as a type setting error to mean the rind, not the juice, of a full lime, to make it more of a lime-tinged Rum Manhattan than as a gussied up Rum Sour.

  4. Frederic, you are likely correct in your assumption that "rin" was a typesetting error meaning rind.

    In fact...I've just stumbled upon Ensslin's instruction for the "Jack Rose" where he in fact instructs the use of the "Juice and rind of 1 lime" - I will be amending the post.

    Thanks for the conversation, I'm very happy to put this drink right!


  5. I made your revised version with El Dorado 12 and the Cocci vermouth (thanks to Mondo Vino). Nice bitterness from the lime without overwhelming the drink. I think Wondrich says not to use lime peel in his Punch book, but this use is clearly a good thing. Thanks!