There certainly aren’t many cocktails named after a train, but there’s a first for everything. The Twentieth Century Limited was an express passenger train that operated from 1902 to 1967, and was aimed at upper-class and business travelers. The train ran for decades between New York City and Chicago.
The drink itself, like many classic cocktails, was created in the 1930s – 1937, to be exact. It was actually created by a British bartender named C.A. Tuck. It was subsequently published in the same year in the Café Royal Cocktail Book, which was written by a William Tarling, who at the time, was the president of the U.K. Bartender’s Guild.
- 1 ½ ounce of gin
- ½ of lillet blanc
- ½ of white crème de cacao
- ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Lemon twist
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
- Build up ingredients in the cocktail shaker.
- Shake thoroughly for at least ten seconds.
- Strain and pour into the cocktail glass.
- Garnish with lemon twist (if wanted), and serve.
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail glass
The Twentieth Century is a gin-based cocktail, which isnt surprising, considering how popular gin was during the 1930s. In modern times, for whatever reason, vodka seems to have overtaken gin in terms of the more popular liquor, probably because there are so many more flavors that can be infused with vodka rather than gin. Regardless, unlike many gin cocktails, the addition of lillet blanc is interesting, as the combination of gin and wine is not common whatsoever in the cocktail world. When you consider that both citrus and sweet flavors are then added to the combination, it is easy to see that the drink is extremely unique, not only for its time, but in general. The most replaceable part of the drink is the lillet blanc, and others often change it out for a wine that they prefer a little more if they want some variety when it comes to the drink. Regardless, if you feel like having a classic cocktail that may not be on every menu, try out the Twentieth Century cocktail!