When getting ready to pour myself a Scotch-and-ginger recently, I grabbed hold of a tumbler which has cocktail measurements on the side. We have a set of four of these – one each for gin, rum, vodka and whiskey (I’ll let the Irish-American variant of the spelling pass); they’re square-shaped and each side has the measurements for a different cocktail marked on it. Out of curiosity, I had a look at the ones for the whiskey glass and found that one of the cocktails listed, the cablegram, wasn’t far off what I was planning to drink anyway. So, naturally, I opted to go the extra mile and turn my spirit-plus-mixer into a cocktail.
I’d not come across a cablegram before, it not being featured in our Vintage Cocktails book. It consists of whisky – over three fluid ounces of whisky if we’re going by the measuring-line on the glass, which we might as well do in the absence of any other instructions – mixed with a teaspoon of sugar and the juice of half a lemon, plus ice, topped with ginger ale. If three fluid ounces of whisky seems like quite a bit, I should point out that that is because it is; for reference purposes, a standard pub measurement of whisky (or any other spirit for that matter) in this country is 25 millilitres, which converts into less than one fluid ounce.
To all intents and purposes, it’s a whisky sour with ginger ale. On second thoughts, make that a pretty stiff whisky sour with ginger ale, for over three fluid ounces is a lot more whisky than I would usually put in a glass! But most enjoyable.