Harry’s pick me up cocktail with homemade Grenadine is a seasonal variation on Harry’s pick-me-up cocktail, first appearing in an undated imprint circa 1920 of Harry MacElhone’s (MacElhone n.d.: 15) book Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, using a homemade from scratch Grenadine flavoured with fresh in season pomegranate juice, homemade Pomegranate Molasses and rosewater. This is a delicious Sour style cocktail which has a lot in common with a Daisy – Brandy, citrus, Grenadine – but with the bubbly water replaced with Champagne, and in this version a lemon twist garnish for a vibrant uplifting lemon oil finish.
What is a Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail or Harry’s Pick me up cocktail?
Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail or Harry’s Pick me up cocktail is a pick me up Sour calling for Grenadine, lemon, and Brandy, to be shaken with ice and topped with Champagne. Adrienne Stillman (2020: 34) in Spirited, places the Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail in pre-prohibition France, and she attributes the recipe to Scottish born Bartender Henry ‘Harry’ MacElhone of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Stillman (2020: 34) writes that the Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail is a variation on a French 75. Stillman (2020: 34) includes a lemon twist garnish, which is absent from the original recipe.
A print recipe for the Harry’s Pick-me-up was first published in an early undated circa 1920’s imprint of Harry MacElhone’s (n.d.: 15) Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. The Harry’s Pick-me-up also appears in Harry MacElhone’s (1923: 38) ‘Harry’ of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Second Impression and in Harry MacElhone’s and Arthur Moss’ (MacElhone & Moss 1927: 34) book Barflies & Cocktails. An early recipe for a ‘“75” Cocktail’ calling for Grenadine, Calvados, Absinthe and Gin also appears in the undated circa 1920’s imprint of Harry MacElhone’s (n.d.: 30) Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Maybe this ’75’ recipe is the base for the Harry’s Pick-me-up variation? The recipe for the Harry’s Pick-me-up is reproduced in Harry Craddock’s (1930: 81) The Savoy Cocktail Book, which is where I first stumbled on the recipe.
How to make a Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail: Shake & Strain, top with Champagne
Harry MacElhone (n.d.: 15) writes in his Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails of how to make the Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail:
“1 teaspoonful of Grenadine Syrup, 1 glass of Brandy, the juice of ½ a Lemon. Shake well and strain into medium sized wineglass, and fill balance with Champagne.”Harry MacElhone (n.d.: 15) Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Reprint, Martino Fine Books: Eastford, Connecticut, 2017.
A note on measures
I have taken the wine glass referred to here to be a small wine glass, measuring 1 ½ oz, 1 ½ shots or 90mls – see David Wondrich (Wondrich 2015: 79) in Imbibe for more information on cocktail measures. Frederic from Cocktail Virgin Slut provides a Harry’s pick-me-up cocktail recipe using this same 1 1/2 oz. measure of Brandy.
Related Drinks – Brandy Daisy, Corpse Revivers, Pick me ups
The Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail is related to older Brandy Daisy recipes with which it shares some common ingredients and to newer Corpse Reviver and Pick me up cocktails that feature a Sour template.
The ingredients of the Harry’s pick-me-up cocktail are very much like what David Wondrich (Wondrich 2015: 126-132) in Imbibe identifies as a ‘New School Daisy’ from the 1910 era – calling for Brandy, Grenadine and citrus, although it differs from a Daisy because it is a shorter style cocktail that is topped with Champagne and does not have sugar added, rather than being a longer style drink charged with seltzer water and served in a ‘silver mug’ with ice, straws and an elaborate fruit garnish. For an example of later era Daisy recipes see Hugo Ensslin’s (Ensslin 1916-1917: 39) Recipes for Mixed Drinks and for a modern variation see my Pomegranate and Rose Daisy.
Corpse Revivers & Pick me ups
The Harry’s Pick-me-up is also related to a group of Pick me up and Corpse Reviver drinks used as hangover cures, some later versions of which feature a bright Sour recipe template. Examples of Sour Corpse Reviver and Pick me up cocktails include Harry Craddock’s (1930: 52, 84) Corpse Reviver No. 2 and Hoop la! cocktails appearing in his The Savoy Cocktail Book. Another example is a later Corpse Reviver recipe appearing in W.J. Tarling’s (1937: 48) The Cafe Royale Cocktail Book Coronation Edition which calls for Grenadine, lemon and orange juice and Brandy, topped with Champagne – almost identical to the Harry’s Pick-me-up except for the addition of orange juice. For more Corpse Reviver recipes see Simon Difford’s article Corpse Reviver cocktails – recipes and history appearing in Difford’s Guide. For modern variations on the Corpse Reviver No. 2 using Lychee Shrub Syrup and Rhubarb Quick Pickles see my posts on Rhubarb Pickle Corpse Reviver No. 2 and Lychee Reviver and for a Mandarin twist on the Hoopla! see my Mandarin Pickle Hoopla! using a Mandarin Shrub Syrup.
How is Harrys’ pick me up cocktail with homemade Grenadine different?
The Harry’s pick me up with homemade grenadine uses bespoke from scratch Grenadine Syrup made from freshly pressed in season pomegranate juice, homemade Pomegranate Molasses and rose water for a fancy Winter Sour pick me up cocktail. I have increased the measure of Grenadine used as homemade grenadine may not be as sweet – but is very flavourful with fresh pomegranate. The lemon twist garnish adds a sweet accent of lemon oil that complements the Grenadine, Brandy, Lemon, and Champagne in the Cocktail.
Bespoke fresh in season Grenadine
My seasonal twist on Harry’s pick me up cocktail uses homemade Grenadine made using homemade freshly pressed pomegranate juice and from scratch Pomegranate Molasses, with a floral accent from rosewater. The Pomegranate Molasses adds complex acidity (citric + malic acids) and jammy sugars produced through reduction where water is evaporated from the syrup while cooking on the stove top, while the rosewater added to the Grenadine offers a delicate floral note. There is some preparation involved in making your own Grenadine but it is well worth the effort involved as you will have a bespoke seasonal cocktail syrup to use in cocktails including this Harry’s pick me up cocktail and my Pomegranate and Rose Daisy and Blood Orange Daisy. In a previous post I have provided a homemade Grenadine recipe and detailed tips on how to easily juice pomegranates at home and make your own Pomegranate Molasses and syrup.
Tip: how to use homemade Grenadine in cocktails
In this recipe I have increased the amount of Grenadine to 2 bar spoons rather than 1 teaspoonful as the homemade Grenadine is a lower sugar syrup that allows the true pomegranate flavour to shine through – because it is a little less sweet but a bit more flavoursome you can use a little more in your cocktail recipes.
The Harry’s Pick me up cocktail is soured with fresh lemon juice – citrus is also in season during winter when pomegranates are at their best and lemon and pomegranate are a lovely combination – lemon is used in Pomegranate Molasses which adds depth of flavour to my homemade Grenadine.
The Harry’s Pick me up cocktail calls for Brandy – I have used Courvoisier Cognac. Brandy is great with lemon juice and with lemon oils in lemon zest and works wonderfully with fruity pomegranate as well.
Harry’s Pick me up cocktail is topped with chilled Champagne – this adds a snap of bubbles for crisp texture and lactic acid for a super bright fancy Sour which is already Soured with Lemon (citric) and sweet-tart homemade Grenadine (citric + malic acid).
How to make a Harry’s Pick me up cocktail: Shake & Strain & Top with chilled Champagne
I have followed Harry MacElhone’s (n.d.: 15) method for making the Harry’s Pick me up cocktail by adding lemon, Grenadine, and Brandy to a cocktail shaker with ice and shaking and straining. Using a chilled Coupe and topping with chilled Champagne makes for a more crisp and cool drink.
Because I was juicing fresh lemons it seemed a shame to waste the zest and the lemon works so nicely with the homemade Grenadine, Brandy and Champagne I added a lemon twist garnish that really works to add an uplifting lemon oil aroma and flavour to the finished drink along with a pop of contrasting yellow to the pink of the Grenadine flavoured cocktail. The Harry’s pick me up cocktail with homemade Grenadine is a delicious fancy Sour Winter cocktail celebrating in season pomegranates and lemons.
Harry’s pick me up cocktail: homemade grenadinePrint Recipe
- 1 ½ oz. Brandy, Courvoisier Cognac used here
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice (aproximately ½ lemon), strained
- 2 bar spoons of Homemade Grenadine Syrup
- Ice, to shake
- Champagne, chilled, to top
- Garnish: Lemon twist
- Glassware: Chilled Coupe
Place Brandy, freshly squeezed strained lemon juice, Grenadine and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10-15 seconds, until very cold and well combined.
Strain into a chilled Coupe glass and carefully top with chilled Champagne, do this slowly to avoid the drink overflowing.
Garnish with a lemon twist – gently bend the twist of lemon over the finished drink and run around the rim of the glass before twisting and placing on the rim as a garnish.
Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail recipes
Harry’s Pick-me-up cocktail recipes
Harry Craddock (1930). The Savoy Cocktail Book. Dover: New York.
Epicurious (2004). Harry’s pick me up. In Epicurious. (accessed July 2023)
Frederic (2017). Harry’s pick-me-up. In Cocktail Virgin Slut. (accessed July 2023)
Harry MacElhone (n.d.). Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Reprint, Martino Fine Books: Eastford, Connecticut, 2017.
Harry MacElhone (1923). ‘Harry’ of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Second Impression. Dean & Son: London.
Arthur Moss & Harry MacElhone (1927). Barflies and Cocktails. Lecram Press: Paris.
Adrienne Stillman (2020). Spirited. Phaidon: London.
Daisy cocktail recipes
Hugo Ensslin (1916-1917). Recipes for mixed drinks. Second Edition. Hugo Ensslin: New York.
David Wondrich (2015). Imbibe. Perigree: New York.
Corpse Reviver & Pick me up cocktail recipes
Harry Craddock (1930). The Savoy Cocktail Book. Dover: New York.
Simon Difford (2023). Corpse Reviver cocktails: recipes & history. In Difford's Guide. (accessed July 2023)
W.J. Tarling (1937). Café Royal Cocktail Book. Coronation Edition. Pall Mall: London.