Brandy Sour: Cyprus Royal Cocktail
We do not have a royal family; however, we do have a local cocktail that carries a royal history.
Brandy sour was created during early post WWII times at the mountain village Platres, which was at the time a prominent holiday resort that attracted both European and Middle-Eastern elite: Kings and Queens, heirs of thrones, aristocrats, politicians and artists. In Platres, at the time a secluded village, members of this high society felt free to enjoy the cool summer breeze, the fresh air and the beauty of the surrounding forest, away from the curious eyes of their compatriots.
One of the resort’s frequent guests was King Farouk of Egypt, who, occasionally, loved to enjoy a drink. At one of his visits in 1946, the King asked the hotel bartender to make him a drink that would have alcohol but it wouldn’t show. The barman put together all his knowledge and experience in mixology and he created a drink that looked like ice-tea but was not! This was the birth of the Brandy sour. The king loved it, and the cocktail instantly became a trend thanks to its refreshing bittersweet flavor.
Brandy sour is made from locally produced brandy which is milder than Cognac or Armagnac, fresh Cyprus lemons or lemon cordial that give it both a sour and a slightly bitter taste, Angostura which adds intensity and moderates the acidity of the lemons, and soda water.
You can order a Brandy sour at any hotel and bar in Cyprus, or you can make your own at home and impress your guests with its unique royal story.
2 measures of Cyprus brandy
1 measure of lemon juice (fresh or squash)
2-4 drops of Angostura or any other bitter
Soda water (or lemonade)
Fill a tall glass with ice and add 2-4 drops of Angostura. Add the Cyprus brandy and the lemon juice. Stir to mix and finally top up with soda water or lemonade. You can decorate the top of the glass with a slice of lemon.