I couldn’t think of a more appropriate cocktail to celebrate the first day of spring, than the Russian Spring Punch. It was a great day here in Amsterdam, 18 degrees with no cloud in the sky at all. Just perfect! If only the evenings were just a few hours longer and a bit warmer, it would be even better. And it would be called summer.
Back to the Russian Spring Punch. This cocktails is invented by the great London-based bartender Dick Bradsell, who is also responsible for the creation of the Bramble, the Vodka Espresso and many more in the mid 80s. He’s also known as the Godfather of modern cocktails in London.
The good thing about this cocktail, is that the origins are very well known and documented, so no need for me to reproduce history here, but I’d like to take one quote from an interview that another great bartender called Tony Conigliaro had with Mr Bradsell in October 2003:
“If a cocktail or mixed drink is going to get around and become well known, it has to be simple, or at least, memorable. Being a traditionally trained bartender, I know the differences between Slings, Collins and Fizzes. I was taught how to combine a spirit, citrus and sweetner so that it tastes nice. Proportions seen obvious to me. I don’t get why someone would adjust this drink so it becomes unpalatable. I guess there are a lot of variables: quality of Champagne, freshness of lemon juice, strength of cassis. Maybe bartenders are lazy, and just want to make the drink rather fast than well.”
In other words: if you want to reproduce a cocktail at home, stick to the recipe at first. You can always adjust a little, like you would do with a nice meal. And you can rest assured that many cocktails have become the classics that they are today, just because people stuck to that same recipe over and over.
Mix 25 ml/0.75 oz of good vodka, 25 ml/0.75 oz fresh lemon juice, 3 barspoons of Creme de Cassis (depending on strength and sweetness) and 2 barspoons sugarsyrup (take one barspoon of white sugar if you don’t have syrup around). Stir (or shake) the ingredients and top with decent dry Champagne – it can be flat. Quellany excess fizzing by pouring 25 mls of vodka over the drink. Garnish with a lemonslice.