If you tuned into the new season of Downton last weekend, you will have noticed that times are changing. The trauma of the First World War has passed, and the Crawley’s are now rolling into the interwar years.
The Downton household is going to have to adapt. But if the horror of the too-tall footman in last week’s episode reminded us of anything (“no footman should be over 6 foot 1”), it is the traditional household’s aversion to change.
“Can I tempt you to one of these new cocktails?” Earl Grantham asked his mother, grimacing at a coupe glass. “No, I don’t think so” replied the Dowager. “They look too exciting for something so early in the evening, don’t you think so Carson?”
And “exciting” they were. Cocktails really kicked off round the 1920s. At the front of the scene was Chicago-born barman Harry Craddock who fled America on the first day of prohibition and moved to England where the booze still flowed freely. He headed-up the American Bar at the Savoy, and was famed for inventing the ‘marmalade cocktail’ (amongst many others). So this week we’ve decided to ditch the dinners and sip on a ‘TV aperitif’ instead.
The orange flavour is inspired Craddock’s marmalade cocktail, with the British twist of using bergamot – one of the flavourings in Earl Grey tea. Craddock wrote “by its bitter-sweet taste, this cocktail is especially suited to be a luncheon aperitif” – but we think it works just as well round Downton o’clock, so mix a drink and enjoy this week’s instalment in style.