The Wall Street Journal’s Eric Felten, inspired by the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, tried to dig up the recipe for the Dulce de Leche cocktail that plays a critical role in the story. (On a date in Cuba, Sky Masterson tries to get prim and prudish Sarah Brown to order a drink. She asks for a milkshake, and Sky orders a “Dulce de Leche” for her instead, which contains, according to Sky, the “preservative” of Bacardi. They end up drinking a lot of “milkshakes.”)
Felten can’t find evidence that in 1950 Cuba dulce de leche was anything more than it is today – ice cream and thick caramel sauce or a caramel candy. But, he writes, “it turns out, [there is] a traditional Cuban cocktail that was served in swanky Havana hotspots in the 1950s, one that would have been just the thing to unlace Sarah Brown — the Doncellita. Roughly translated as “little lady” or “maiden,” the Doncellita is made of cold, chocolaty crème de cacao topped with a layer of heavy cream and a cocktail cherry. ‘This sweet, innocent-tasting drink was supposed to incline us toward our downfall,” writes Viviana Carballo in her poignant memoir of food and family in pre-Castro Cuba, “Havana Salsa.’”
Felten even includes the recipe:
2 oz dark crème de cacao
½ oz heavy cream
Pour the chocolate liqueur in a small, delicate, stemmed glass. On top, float a layer of heavy cream (first, you might whip the cream ever so slightly to make it float easier). To layer the cream, pour it across the back of a spoon, the tip of which is pressed against the inside of the glass, right at the surface of the liqueur — just as you would with an Irish Coffee. Garnish, dead center in the cream, with a cherry.
Read the entire story in the Wall Street Journal here.
Watch the results of the effects of the drink on Sarah (Jean Simmons) and Sky (Marlon Brando) below.