If a casino is featured in a movie, you could bet your last cent that, hero or villain, someone will quaff a cocktail sooner or later. I’m sure you agree – the image of sipping on a cocktail while playing Blackjack or Roulette is an appealing one, and, with the right ingredients, it’s something you can do at home while gambling online!
Arguably one of the best cocktails to enjoy while playing to win is the Casino #1, created by none other than Harry Craddock, one of the world’s most famous bartenders. Learn a little more about the man behind the cocktail, and find out how to make it at home so you can indulge in some online Blackjack action, Bond villain-style.
Harry Craddock and the Savoy
Born in Gloucestershire in 1876, Harry Craddock left England for the United States in 1897. The young man first found work at the Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland, and then moved on to the Knickerbocker Hotel and Hoffman House in New York City, where he became a US citizen.
Craddock once boasted that he mixed the last legal cocktail before the US Prohibition on Alcohol began. Not long after the restrictive laws were introduced, he returned to the UK, taking his wife and daughter with him. In 1920, the Savoy Hotel in Westminster, London, employed him.
The establishment first opened its doors as London’s premier luxury hotel in 1889. It was the first of the city’s hotels to feature readily available hot and cold water, bathrooms in most rooms, and electric lights and elevators throughout the building. To add even more oomph to the hotel’s reputation, it was managed by César Ritz, while cooking demigod Auguste Escoffier fulfilled the role of chef de cuisine. The Savoy has been frequented by guests such as Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Wilde, Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, and Winston Churchill.
The Savoy Cocktail Book
It was only fitting that the bartender who created famous cocktails such as the Casino #1, the White Lady, and the Corpse Reviver #2 took up his post at the hotel’s American Bar.
In 1930, Craddock compiled the Savoy Cocktail Book. The first edition of the now-classic tome included more than 700 recipes either collected or created by the bartender. The book has since been reprinted and revised several times. You would think that the book’s success would have made a difference to Craddock’s bank balance, but the sad truth is he received absolutely no financial compensation for his work on the book.
In 1934, Craddock became one of the co-founders of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild. He also developed his very own Martini recipe, and once bricked up a cocktail in a shaker in the wall of a pub.
4 years later, he left his position at the Savoy Hotel to work at the Dorchester Hotel, before moving on to a position at the Browns Hotel. He retired in 1947, and died in 1963. For all his talent, fame, and the contribution he made to the art of mixology, Craddock was given a pauper’s burial.
The Casino #1
Here is how to mix the Casino #1. It is so quick and easy; you’ll be able to raise a glass to Craddock before facing the 21 dealer in no time at all.
- 60ml gin
- 5ml Maraschino liqueur
- 5ml fresh lemon juice
- A dash of orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry, and enjoy!