The Leap Year Cocktail

February 29th, 2008

Given that the 29th February only comes around once every four years (give or take), it seems like as good a day as any to celebrate with a cocktail. A bit of digging around turned up the Leap Year Cocktail, a drink created by Harry Craddock for the leap year celebrations at the Savoy Hotel in 1928. Traditionally February 29th is the only day where it is proper for a woman to propose marriage, and the Leap Year Cocktail presumably helped them pop the question with a little Dutch courage. Indeed, The Savoy Cocktail Book suggests the cocktail is responsible for more proposals than any other!

The Leap Year cocktail

Leap Year Cocktail

View in: oz | ml | shots

The Leap Year Cocktail starts with plenty of gin notes upfront, which is followed by a refreshing wave of orange, along with a slightly floral background. Towards the end a refreshing lemony bite kicks in, which lingers with aromatic hints. It is a fairly refreshing drink and a good use of Grand Marnier, a spirit I don’t use all that often. Something like Cointreau would probably be a bit too bright in a drink like this, but the aged-Cognac base of the Grand Marnier works nicely with the sweet vermouth to provide a floral, aromatic undertone to the drink.

So mix yourself a Leap Year, and celebrate February 29th – just don’t drink so many you end up proposing to someone you don’t mean to!

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Posted in Gin, Grand Marnier, Lemon, Recipes, Vermouth

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6 responses to “The Leap Year Cocktail”

  1. Ouroboros Ouroboros says:

    Thanks, Jay! a fine cocktail, beautiful picture.

  2. John in NY John in NY says:

    This looks fantastic and I’ll be serving it tonight. But, what would be a good alternative for someone with an allergy to citrus? Thanks.

  3. gilrain gilrain says:

    Thanks, Jay! What a topical cocktail — I’ll definitely be mixing one of these, today. The recipe looks darn good and fairly unique.

  4. Seamus Seamus says:

    Oh no! Great minds think alike I guess. I also covered this one yesterday. I found it reminded me of the Burnt Fuselage. The Burnt Fuselage is based on a 1:1:1 ratio, with cognac as the base, dry vermouth, and Grand Marnier.

  5. Jay Jay says:

    Great minds think alike Seamus!

    John – I honestly can’t think of a useful replacement for the lemon that wouldn’t completely alter the drink. A citrus allergy is going to be a serious hindrance in the pursuit of cocktails…

  6. Dinah Dinah says:

    Well, a hindrance to being a completist, yes, but – as good drinks on garnish-ill-prepared nights have proved- there’s a good number of drinks without citrus.

    An interesting challenge indeed.

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Photography by Jay Hepburn
Artwork by Craig Mrusek

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