You would think, based on the name, that today’s cocktail is a tiki drink that could be enjoyed while the sun slowly sinks over the horizon. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no rum, fruit, or umbrellas utilized in the creation of this drink. In fact it’s not even a tropical color. The Blue Paradise is yet another cocktail whose etymology is lost to the mists of time. Well, at least to the cocktail age. While history records that it was created at the Bar Saint-James in Brussels, Belgium by Emil Bauwens and was published in his book, Livre de Cocktails, in 1949, nothing else is known.
In Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh with tongue firmly planted in cheek says that perhaps this drink is named after the early Broadway musical. So, I’ll take his lead and tell you little bit about this little known musical. The Blue Paradise opened in August 1915 and ran through May 1916 with a total of 356 performances. It was created by Edmund Eysler, Herbert Reynold, Edgar Smith, and Sigmund Romberg and was based on Eysler’s operetta Ein Tag im Paradies (A Day in Paradise). The story is set in a Viennese cafe and follows the life of a man realizing that he will never be able to recapture a long lost love. The show is unremarkable other than it gave Romberg his first hit song, “Auf Wiedersehn”.
Unfortunately, just like the show, The Blue Paradise cocktail is best left as a distant memory. Although it has a pleasant fragrance from the cognac, the visual and taste are far from appealing. Upon first taste we thought it perhaps just a little too sweet, but as the flavors crossed the palate we realized that it also had a muddy prune and orange peel flavor. Since we tried the cognac neat and it had a delicious flavor, the unappealing elements can only be attributed to the Dubbonet Rouge and Parfait Amour combination. With this cocktail we officially despise Dubbonet, but will try the Parfait Amour in another cocktail or two before making a judgment on its character. The Blue Paradise cocktail however is officially closed from our perspective with far fewer runs than is supposed musical counterpart.
The Blue Paradise
2 oz – cognac (we used Remy Martin)
1 oz – Dubbonet Rouge
4 dashes – Parfait Amour
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Coming up next: The Boulevadier