“Between the Sheets has an interesting pedigree. The traditional recipe is little more than a Sidecar with an extra splash of white rum – something that fortifies, but does not necessarily improve, that finely balanced classic. Some claim that the cocktail can be traced back to Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1930s, while others trace it back to one Mr Polly of London’s Berkeley Hotel, where it was supposedly invented in 1921.

There’s a third, much more interesting theory, with its own distinctive recipe. Charles H. Baker, the globetrotting drinks writer who chronicled the world’s drinks in the 1920s and 1930s, recounts an afternoon spent in the bar of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, where he sought refuge from violence between Arabs and Jews roiling in the streets outside. He received a Between the Sheets from the bartender, Mr Weber, and was so taken with it that he got the recipe from Weber’s own bar book. Weber’s version of the Between the Sheets calls for gin in place of the drink’s usual white rum, a small tweak that lends the drink a completely different character to the Sidecar – something a little spikier, with the sharpness of juniper cutting through the richness of the cognac.”

This is an edited extract from Around the World in 80 Cocktails by Chad Parkhill with illustrations by Alice Oehr published by Hardie Grant Books ($29.99) and is available in stores nationally.

Illustrator: © Alice Oehr