The 20th Century is a cocktail created in the 20th Century (1937 to be exact) by C.A. Tuck (I don't know what C.A. stands for--Cocktail Aficionado perhaps?). It first appeared in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book written by William J. Tarling, and is named after the 20th Century Limited train line that operated from 1902 to 1967.
The train ran between New York City and Chicago, and could do so in 16 hours, making it one of the most advanced trains of its time. In addition to its technological superiority, the 20th Century Limited was renowned for its elegant Art Deco design, and offered peerless luxuries such as an on board barbershop and secreterial services. The term "red carpet treatment" also entered our lexicon as a result of this train, as passengers were greeted with a plush red carpet that was rolled out just for them.
1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao White
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
.75 oz lemon juice
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glassware: chilled coupe
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
This is one of my favorite shaken classic cocktails. It's simple and ever refreshing, and rarely takes me more than a couple of minutes to knock one back. If you have a friend who is still ordering chocolate martinis, the 20th Century may assist in weaning them off that shameful habit. At the same time, if you’re a Gimlet lover, the 20th Century is a great way to branch out into another citrusy gin cocktail that has a little more complexity.
The crème de cacao provides subtle chocolate notes and plays well with the honey and orange notes of the Lillet, meanwhile the lemon juice provides the kick of lipsmacking tartness that I enjoy so much from great classic cocktails like the Daiquiri and Gimlet.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply drop him a comment below.