Mark Twain knew how to party, and possibly did it too well, having once declared: "Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough." But anyone who says that surely has something good in his glass, and in 1874 that something good was a whiskey drink.
According to this Savory post, he penned a letter to his wife Olivia in 1874, while he was in London, telling her about his new favorite drink:
“Livy my darling, I want you to be sure and remember to have, in the bathroom when I arrive, a bottle of Scotch Whiskey, a lemon, some crushed sugar, and a bottle of Angostura bitters. Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine glass what is called a cock-tail (made with those ingredients) before breakfast, before dinner, and just before going to bed.”
Here's that recipe for you... serve it in a wine glass for authenticity.
Mark Twain Cocktail
1.5 oz Scotch Whiskey
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Lemon Twist for Garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
And wash it all down with some wisdom from Twain himself, who had plenty to say about the New Year:
"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
"Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever."
"A new oath holds pretty well; but... when it is become old, and frayed out, and damaged by a dozen annual retryings of its remains, it ceases to be serviceable; any little strain will snap it."
"New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions."