Here's How to Stay 'Up to Date' With a Cocktail From 1916

When you think of being up to date, do you ever think of 1916? Well, a century ago, there was a cocktail called Up to Date. Similar to the Manhattan, the Up to Date featured in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 edition of Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin was the first to record good cocktail mixes, even earlier than the well-known Savoy Cocktail Book.

Calling for equal parts of rye whiskey and sherry, this cocktail does not specify the type of rye whiskey or sherry used. If you prefer a drier and lighter flavor, pick a Manzanilla or Fino sherry. If you prefer a stronger palate, choose Oloroso or Amontillado sherry. Lustau’s Los Arcos Amontillado sherry, with its light tanginess, is perfect. The mellow flavor of a six-year-old Sazerac Rye Whiskey will do this drink justice.

Ensslin also used just two dashes of Angostura bitters, which is somewhat difficult to measure. Bartenders say it approximates to about 4 ml or an eighth of a teaspoon. The clove notes of the Angostura adds a spiciness to the sweetness of the orange.


  • 45ml rye whiskey
  • 45ml sherry
  • 8ml of Grand Mariner
  • 4ml of Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel

The Process

In a mixing glass add 45ml each of rye whiskey and sherry, 8ml of Grand Mariner and 4ml of Angostura bitters. Add ice and stir well for about 20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass or cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Use 15 ml of Grand Mariner instead of 8 ml for a smoother taste.

If you are a Scotch lover, we ask you to popularize this once favored drink again, rescuing it out of oblivion.