Whoever says history is boring obviously hasn’t been drinking it. That’s why Michael Madrusan – owner of The Everleigh and Heartbreaker – has launched the Antique Collection: a set of four bottled cocktail classics from the 1950s through to the 1980s.
Each drink is made with antique spirits, and resurrects a decade-defining cocktail. There are only 200 of these drinkable time capsules up for grabs.
Madrusan came up with the concept after sourcing several bottles of Gordon’s London Dry Gin from the 1950s for Martinis at The Everleigh (the bar introduced a Vintage Spirits menu earlier this year.)
“The real inspiration was that you could – in drinking that gorgeous Martini – actually go back and [feel] connected to that time,” he says.
The collection also includes a Vesper, a Martini spin-off invented by James Bond author Ian Fleming in Casino Royale. Madrusan’s version uses Smirnoff vodka and Gordon’s London Dry gin from the 1960s.
A Negroni using Plymouth gin and Campari from the 1970s and a Bobby Burns made with Aberlour scotch whisky and DOM Benedictine from the 1980s round out the set.
Finding the bottles to store the cocktails was almost as difficult as tracking down the spirits.
“It took me a few months of sourcing, making sure it got through in the post, then waiting for my credit card to clear again,” says Madrusan. “That’s why we could only make as much as we did, because we sourced as much as we could.”
Each set comes in a leather-bound box that’s numbered and dated with a certificate of authenticity.
“That Martini and the place it takes me to when I’m drinking – it’s just all the right things,” Madrusan says. “I get to be somebody else in that time – like one of those Madison Avenue ad men at lunch.”
Each Antique Collection set comes with an invitation to the launch event at The Everleigh’s Elk Room on the December 12, featuring a Q&A with Madrusan as well as a complimentary gift wrapping service.