Classic Cocktail
August 22, 2008 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me become a better drinker.

I turned 30 last year d and have resolved to become a more sophisticated drinker. Specifically, I would like to start enjoying classic cocktails. I saw this post on recipe books but no other useful AskMeFi stuff on classic cocktails.

I have set a personal goal of drinking 50 classic cocktails within the next 12 months. So far I have started working my way through the scotch drinks like the Roy Roy and Rusty Nail and sampled a Mint Julep at Seven Grand.

So: what drinks should absolutely be included on a must-drink list of classic cocktails? Which ones should I leave out? What ingredients should I consider? Is there any particular strategy I should pursue? Any particular bar in LA where I should head to make sure my drinks get made properly?
posted by charlesv to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
Manhattans are delicious and justifiably beloved (a Rob Roy is basically a Manhattan with scotch rather than rye). I like how they make them at Musso & Franks in Hollywood, which is great old-style dining and drinking at its most fun.
posted by scody at 4:46 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Gin and Tonic, preferably with either Hendrix or Junipero or some other high-end distillery gin.
posted by docpops at 4:49 PM on August 22, 2008

Not everyone knows how to make it, but if you've got a strong stomach you could order a Pink Gin.

Of course Wikipedia has much more to say on the matter.
posted by MaxK at 4:51 PM on August 22, 2008

As scody says, Manhattans are excellent. Another drink well worth trying (if you can find it) is a real old-fashioned, which is whiskey, water, sugar, lemon and bitters. Most places will serve you a thing with lots of fruit, which can also be tasty, but is in no way as sophisticated as the real thing.

Also, try a Sazerac. If you can, find a place that's actually making them with absinthe. Even if you can't, though, they're delicious.
posted by dizziest at 4:52 PM on August 22, 2008

I always had great luck witht he bartenders at The Arsenal, but I haven't been there in a couple of years. It's not a classic cocktail, but their Pomegranarita is amazing. If that's too fruity for you, the Dark and Stormy is a classic and was always excellent as well. I tend to keep it simple with vodka tonics, but I also enjoy Sidecars, Kir Royales, and Dirty Martinis. I can't think of anything more unappealing than a Bloody Mary, but some people love them.
posted by katemcd at 4:53 PM on August 22, 2008

Classic cocktails? The following spring to mind, none of which are (as far as I'm aware) massively modern inventions like a brain haemmorage or an afterbirth... of course, some of them aren't particularly exciting either, but that's generally how cocktails go!

Vodka martini; whiskey mac; screwdriver; long-island iced tea; sex on the beach; screaming orgasm; tequila sunrise; woo woo

There are any number of books out there that will tell you how to make your desired cocktails - are per the previous question link, but there is bound to be some software out there that will let you filter a list of cocktails to those deemed "classic" and probably even by ingredient; heck, there was a piece of shareware on the Amiga back in the early 90's that would let you enter the ingredients you had, and it would tell you the cocktails you could make... so there *has* to be something equivalent on the web, along with other programs/sites that work the other way around, telling you what you need to achieve x cocktail...)

Regarding strategy, I'd probably recommend not mixing cocktails; stick to one per night (unless you really don't like it, or what it does for your street cred!) otherwise it will destroy any pseudo-scientific approach to taste, preference, etc. Of course, if it's your objective to just be able to say you've tried them all then this approach doesn't really matter much!!
As always, don't go too mad - some cocktails may be much stronger than others, and could knock you for six... or make you so ill that you'll vow to never have sex on the beach again, even though you really liked it to start with... :)
Welcome to being 30-something; apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs, and sorry that I can't offer any LA-specific help!
posted by Chunder at 4:54 PM on August 22, 2008

Mint Juleps are a kick. Black Russians and Olde Fashioneds are nice, too. If you're evr in NYC, this place makes the best old school cocktails in the world. It's in a discreet backroom of a Japanese restaurant.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mojito on a hoy day. Mmmm.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:19 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hot day. HOT!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:19 PM on August 22, 2008

scotch and soda would be my pick
posted by captainsohler at 5:44 PM on August 22, 2008

Pick up a bottle of Campari for your bar. It's a bit of an acquired taste, but I find it distinctive and tasty, and the Negroni is a lovely cocktail. You can also make a spritzer of sorts out of Campari and club soda, or an "Americano" of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda. Very refreshing.
posted by letourneau at 5:57 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

May I suggest reading the sublime Imbibe. It has plenty of history, recipes, and anecdotes. Enough to make you a connoisseur of the classic cocktail. Last time I ordered a sidecar I was able to astound my friends with useless knowledge into a dull stupor that made us all want to drink more, which is the hallmark of a good mixed drink.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:09 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

There are several excellent cocktail blogs, but the one I tend to read is Cocktail Chronicles. I recommend going through and reading a lot of the entries and recipes there. I will second a manhattan, as well as a martini with the old style proportions between the gin and the vermouth (2 to 1). Another excellent drink that is relatively easy to make with a standard bar is a Bronx cocktail.

Gin cocktails will probably be a bit more balanced out in the world, as most bars won't have the rye needed for a proper classic whiskey drink. If you can find it, get a bottle of Rittenhouse Bonded (100 proof) rye, a bottle of Cinzano sweet vermouth, and a bottle of angostura bitters. Mix 2 parts rye to one part vermouth, then add a dash of bitters. Stir with a bunch of ice, and pour into another glass. This will total around 30 bucks in California, and make a better manhattan than almost any bar you can ever find. If there's no Rittenhouse, Old Overholt is a decent substitute.
posted by Schismatic at 6:24 PM on August 22, 2008

You may also want to have a specific brand of alcohol in mind when ordering you drink. This way you 1) avoid being stiffed with cheap alcohol and 2) can try out two different kinds of, say, gin, and develop your tastes.

Drink a vodka martini, a gin martini (really just a 'martini' since gin is the traditional ingredient), and a dirty martini. Then drink something stupid like sour apple martini and wonder where the world went wrong.
posted by acidic at 6:27 PM on August 22, 2008 [4 favorites]

Watch Mad Men. Drink their drinks (scotch and water, old fashioneds, gimlets, martinis, mint juleps, etc). Done!

In general, simpler is better. Don't drink novelty drinks, ever - and anything with a Pucker, an overreliance on cheap triple sec, or a day-glo color is a novelty drink.

And don't drink too many. Classic cocktails are all about tasting the liquor itself, tweaked a bit with other ingredients. They pack a punch.
posted by peachfuzz at 6:30 PM on August 22, 2008

Go to the new Fathers Office location (near culver city). They only make "classic" cockails -- maybe 6 or 7 types in total, and thats all they will make. And they make them in more old-school proportions, as cocktails rather than alcohol delivery units. There is actually vermouth in their martini, not just a hint as has become so popular. Plus they only carry good brands. People will say it too hipster-whatever there, but its nothing like the Santa Monica branch. I've found it to be really laid back.
posted by Spurious Packets at 6:40 PM on August 22, 2008

There's nothing girlie about a properly made Daiquiri. It was man enough for Hemmingway and JFK and I don't know how much more classic you can get.

Also in the real, classic drinks posing as girlie drinks catagory: Gimlet (add a splash of soda and it's a Gin Ricky) and the Singapore Sling made the classic way with gin, cherry brandy, and Benedictine- if it has any other fruit or juices, move along.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 6:46 PM on August 22, 2008

Gimlet: 1:1 gin and Rose's Lime Juice
posted by rhizome at 7:06 PM on August 22, 2008

Not sure how broad your definition of classic cocktails is, but you might enjoy this eGullet thread -- Stomping Through the Savoy, where someone attempts to go through every cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book.
posted by peacheater at 7:22 PM on August 22, 2008

Seconding rhizome's gimlet recipe above.

I also quite like a good Tom Collins.
posted by rifflesby at 7:32 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A "cocktail," in practical terms, is a drink in which the emphasis is on the liquor, so that what is mixed with the liquor serves to bring out the flavor of the liquor, not mask it. Scotch and soda and gin and tonics, delicious as they may be, aren't cocktails. Those are mixed drinks. If you have a good, strongly-flavored gin you should drink it as a martini. Save the tonic for the bland gin.

But I came here to recommend rum. Thin Lizzy is right. It often gets overlooked, but a good aged rum can be just as pleasing to sip neat as a single malt scotch. Don't fall for artificially aged rums like Myers. The daiquiri (the original style, not the frozen one) is almost like a martini with rum. It's a traditional sour, the portions of which are 1 sour, 2 sweet, 8 liquor. See how much liquor? The flavor really stands out here. (There was a post somewhere here a long time ago about rum drinks...)

Remember, vodka didn't gain popularity in the US until after WWII. Some people don't consider anything made with vodka a "classic" drink. (I am not one of them.)

In addition, try some egg white drinks. Before milk pasteurization, raw egg whites were added to drinks to make them frothy and creamy. This is where egg nog came from, and it's cousin, the Tom and Jerry. Don't worry, there is enough alcohol in these drinks to kill most of the bag stuff in raw eggs.

If you're interested in learning about classic cocktails, scour your local antique malls. Look in the cookbook section for old drink recipe books. Some modern books do a good job too but 99% of my extensive collection of bartending books are vintage. For example, I have an original Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide published in 1948, and a 1950s-era Playboy bartending guide. Some ingredients are super hard to come by these days depending on where you live — like falernum — and some are no longer made. While living overseas I resorted to making my own orgeat several times. Luckily, I now live in downtown Houston, home to the largest and most extensive liquor store in the USA.
posted by Brittanie at 7:49 PM on August 22, 2008 [6 favorites]

One more thing — if you make any recipe that calls for lemon or lime juice, ALWAYS use fresh-squeezed juice. In fact, you should pretty much try to use fresh juice in every drink but that becomes a hassle and is less noticeable with oranges or pineapple or cranberry. But lemons and limes, never, ever use anything out of a bottle.

There is a hint of bitterness that comes from the oils in the rind when it is freshly squeezed that adds an extra layer of flavor to the cocktail that is difficult to duplicate otherwise, and it usually means the difference between a good drink and a great drink.

Drink Dogma is a pretty good blog written by a connoisseur of classic cocktails, and also one of the most popular bartenders in Houston.
posted by Brittanie at 7:55 PM on August 22, 2008

A couple of the top of my head - sloe gin fizz, (Polish) sidecar, Rickies, Fizzes. The cool thing about a lot of the older cocktails is that all the different "base" liquors can be substituted - a "Fizz" can be a Gin Fizz, Sloe Gin Fizz, Tequila Fizz, X Fizz.

My British friend has also gotten me hooked on Pimm's Cups, which may be difficult to procure at bars. Get some Pimm's and mix with "lemonade" (Sprite in the US, but I like mine with a lighter orange soda - Polar makes a good one). Excellent summer drink.

Try a Caipirinha, which is a very traditional Brazilian drink and is gaining popularity in America - it is made from cachaca (distilled from sugar cane), lime juice, and sugar. Delicious.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:56 PM on August 22, 2008

Seconding the Sazerac, as it is in fact the apex of cocktails. But be warned -- as easy as it is to make, it is just as easy to fuck up. I won't order one from any bartender I don't know on a first-name basis.

As far as a general game plan: go read some Kingsley Amis. That man knew a thing or two about a thing or two, where things one and two were "booze" and "much, much more booze."
posted by sonofslim at 8:15 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Backseatpilot- if you don't mind the scene, you can get an excellent Pimms cup (and several other classic cocktails) at Bar Marmont (since charlesv is here in LA). It really doesn't get bad until around 1 am, and it's actually pleasant before the crowds arrive.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 8:27 PM on August 22, 2008

The Singapore Sling is classic , awesome, and potent.

I'll vouch for the Mojito and Tom Collins as well. Tasty.

I think you are on the right track by asking for suggestions of a bar to sample a finely mixed cocktail. A poorly mixed cocktail is the worst. I would also suggest forming a relationship with a good bartender, and tell them to surprise you with something new to broaden your drinking horizons.

I discovered he Singapore Sling and now I surprise my friends with it.

My favorite bartender has a pretty good idea of what I like, and when I ask for something new, he always delivers.
posted by clearly at 10:14 PM on August 22, 2008

Best answer: I've had sazeracs made with absinthe and without, with Pernod or Herbsaint instead, and I prefer the latter. Modern absinthes are just too strongly flavored, and tend to overpower the drink. I've been finding this to be true of a lot of classic cocktails made with modern absinthes, and I think it's because they are designed to be drunk with sugar and water, and not designed as a cocktail ingredient. So, for example, the absinthe frappe, which is ordinarily a delicious drink, was a bit too punchy when made with Lucid.

One of the marks of sophisticated drinking is the movement away sweet cocktails toward savory cocktails. I'm a fan of tropical cocktails, but they are a bit kitschy, whereas the Manhattan just reeks of class. A lot of seasoned drinkers gravitate toward straight top-shelf liquor, sometimes with a splash of water.

I maintain that the martini is one of the toppermost drinks on the cocktail pyramid. Learn to love gin -- there is no such thing as a vodka martini. Learn to love vermouth, as a martini without vermouth is not a cocktail, but a straight shot of liquor (also, many classic cocktails require vermouth.) Here's a few clues about vermouth: Martini & Rossi isn't especially good, and vermouth goes bad if it isn't refrigerated after it is opened. Not super bad, but the taste deteriorates. Most places don't refrigerate their vermouth, and tend not to add much vermouth into a drink, so you're often getting a vermouth that is a few weeks old, if not older. That's not worth drinking.

The classic martini is made with orange bitters, which are widely available nowadays; if you can find a bar that has them, stick with it. Fee Brothers is okay. Angostora is supposed to be quite good.

The garnish is up to you. I like lemon.

Here's the thing about the martini. It really is the drink where you can find your own tastes, because it changes noticeably depending on what gin you use, what vermouth you use, how much of each you use, and what garnish you use. I tend to like variety, so I switch up my gins. I use Plymouth a lot, but, when I am in the mood for a bolder flavor, I go with Old Raj. Boodles is also great for martinis. It's fun to experiment. Sometimes I'll get a perfect martini, which is made with half sweet/half dry vermouth.

If you want to be a more sophisticated drinker, it's going to cost you more. A lot of classic cocktails are straight liquor (such as the martini), and so inherently cost more, and you're going to want them made with good liquor, which tends to cost more. Not always, though. I've had both Sazerac Rye and Old Overholt, which is half as expensive, and I prefer the latter.

Here's what I have learned: In order to have a really strong palate, it's not enough simply to get a lot of mixed drinks. You have to start familiarizing yourself with liquors and liqueurs independent of each other. A lot of them were originally intended to be drunk on their own -- bitters, as an example, was originally medicinal, and is often used that way. If you know a friendly bartender, request sips of stuff. Take shots of stuff. A lot of top shelf liquor can be drunk this way anyway, with maybe a little ice or water, and some liquors, like good Irish and Scotch Whiskies, should only be drunk this way.

Have fun.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:22 AM on August 23, 2008 [8 favorites]

To answer the second part of your question, i.e. where in L.A. should you drink such concoctions, I would thoroughly recommend The Edison. This might be a good opportunity to check it out.
posted by ob at 4:01 AM on August 23, 2008

The Bellini is a classic--also good enough for Hemingway--drink. Do not, however, drink it anywhere they use one of those weird slushie machines to make it.

And echoing Astro Zombie on the martini; there is no such thing as a vodka martini. Also experiment with garnishes. Olives are the classic of course (black olives, to me, better than green), lemon twist, lime twist. An orange twist is lovely with the right gin. Cucumber if you're using Hendricks. Pearl onions (this makes your martini a Gibson), with a really strong peppery gin are spectacular. I don't personally eat whole hot peppers, but a friend of mine does and loves her martinis that way.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:15 AM on August 23, 2008

And echoing Astro Zombie on the martini;there is no such thing as a vodka martini

Yes I'll echo the both of you with this. I think this needs saying often. Also (and Astro Zombie says this as well) you can't go wrong with a Manhattan. It's an excellent drink with a fascinating story attached to it. A great addition is to twist a twist of orange peel over the drink just before serving. The oil from the skin adds a lovely subtle bitter citrus edge to the taste. Also, I am of the opinion that a Manhattan should never be shaken but rather stirred.
posted by ob at 6:25 AM on August 23, 2008

I very much enjoyed Classic Cocktails, the Modern Shake.
Classy illustrations and nice dollops of cultural information and drink variants.
posted by redsparkler at 11:07 PM on August 23, 2008

Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking With 250 Drink Recipes and start drinking your way through it. The majority of the drinks are classics. You could go with any number of old drink books as well, but the Esquire one is more consistently good than any of the other old books I have. Yes, you will likely have to pay more than original price for the book used. My wife wife and I are most of the way through the book and have learned of many wonderful drinks; the Old Fashioned made with rye is likely our favorite. Be warned, once you start to learn what good real cocktails taste like, you will be forever forced to live with disappointment at bars, or just ordering highballs when out on the town.

Some general rules I follow to decide if a bar is good.
  • Does the bar juice their own lemons? Were they juiced within the last 24 hours? Both of these should be answered yes.
  • Does the bar use "sour mix"? If no, good. If yes, Was the mix prepared in house from raw ingredients? No is not a good answer.
  • Does the bar have at least one type of bitters? They really should have two or three.
  • Does the bar have a "martini" list? This is not a usually a good sign. Normally they are overly sweet cocktails served in "martini" glasses.
  • Does the
It's my experience that the vast majority of bars suck. It's possible for a good bartender to make a decent drink at a crappy bar, but since the vast majority of bartenders suck, drink the good stuff at home, and stick to highballs when out.
posted by fief at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2008

Absinthe served properly.
posted by brujita at 8:43 PM on August 24, 2008

You should be able to get your hands on Bols Genever sometime soon - it doesn't get much more classic than that.
posted by zamboni at 3:05 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Late, as usual, to the party, but here's my cocktail recipe list. ALL-CAPS are my notes to myself on faves; this is literally my cocktail recipe file.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Let's start with my all-time favorite recipe to quote:

An Alcoholic

1 part gin


Silver Fizz


Adapted from David Wondrich

1/2 Tbs superfine sugar
1/2 oz (2 tsp) lemon juice
2 oz gin, preferably Plymouth
1 egg white
2 oz seltzer

Dump two or three handfuls of cracked or shaved ice into a cocktail shaker and add everything but the seltzer. Shake energetically for a minute or more, then strain into a 6- to 8-oz highball glass. Add seltzer and stir gently.


Bourbon Lancer


1-1/2 oz Bourbon
1/2 tsp sugar -or- 1 sugarcube
1 dash Angostura bitters

In a tall glass (14 oz works well), place sugar and wet with Bourbon and bitters. Add several ice cubes and fill with Champagne. Garnish with lemon peel spiral.

The choice of champagne is crucial. Sweet ones demand less sugar; dry bruts may be too harsh. Adjust as needed. My personal fave for this drink: Barefoot white champagne-style. Cheap, and decidably drinkable.


The Richmond Gimlet

2 oz gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
large sprig mint

Shake ingredients well over ice and strain into a chilled 9-ounce (at least) cocktail glass.


Manhattan Cocktail

2 dashes Angostura bitters
2/3 rye whiskey
1/3 Italian vermouth

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass with a cherry.


Old Fashioned


1 sugar cube
1 dash angostura bitters
1 tsp water
2 measures bourbon
4-6 cubes (cracked) Ice

Place sugar cube in small, chilled Old Fashioned glass. Dash the bitters over the cube and add the water. Mash with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the bourbon whiskey into the glass and stir. Add cracked ice and decorate with lemon twist.

Variations: Brandy Old Fashioned, Old Emtonian, Old Pal, Old Trout, Old ale.


Canadian (cocktail)


Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain
1-1/2 oz Canadian whisky
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz orange curacao
1/2 tsp sugar
2 dashes orange bitters

Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)


The Ramos Gin Fizz


2 Tbs simple syrup
1-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1 oz heavy cream
White of 1 fresh egg
3 drops - not dashes - of orange flower water
1 oz chilled seltzer

Fill with cracked ice and shake lustily for a long, long time, and then strain into a tall glass. Add 1 oz chilled seltzer, stir briefly, and then smile.


Prescription Julep


Adapted from David Wondrich

First published in Harper's Monthly in 1857, this is "the tastiest mint julep recipe I know," Mr. Wondrich wrote.

1/2 oz superfine sugar
1 oz hot water
7 mint leaves plus one mint sprig
1-1/2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz rye

In an old-fashioned glass or julep c, dissolve sugar in water. Add mint leaves and press lightly with a spoon. Add spirits, fill glass with finely crushed ice and stir. Poke a straw and mint sprig into julep and serve.


St. Charles Punch


Adapted from David Wondrich

This New Orleans drink appeared in the 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas's bartending guide.

1 tsp superfine sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 oz ruby port
1 oz Cognac
Fresh fruit to garnish.

In a cocktail shaker, stir sugar into lemon juice to dissolve. Toss in two handfuls of cracked ice, add port and Cognac, and shake. Strain into a small glass, add ice and ornament with berries and, if you like, orange slices.




Lemon twist


The Hearst


2 oz gin
1 oz red vermouth
dash Angostura
dash orange bitters

Stir/strain/up, garnish with twist.


Urquhart Castle


1-1/2 oz scotch
1/2 oz dry vermouth
3 Dashes cointreau
1 dash orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake and pour into a chilled old fashioned glass.


John Collins


3-4 ice cubes
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 gin

Fill balance with soda water & stir well.


The Whiskey Crusta


Adapted from David Wondrich

Crustas were probably the first cocktails made with citrus juice. The lemon peel cup-within-a-cup trick is nice, but not strictly necessary. As a shortcut, a lemon twist will do.

1/2 lemon, cut along equator
1 tsp superfine sugar, plus extra for frosting glass
2 dashes bitters
2 oz bourbon
1/2 tsp orange Curaçao
1 tsp lemon juice

Rub cut end of half lemon around rim of a small (3- to 4-ounce) wineglass, then dip glass in extra sugar. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully pare the lemon so peel comes off in one piece. Lower peel into glass to make a kind of cup.

Stir remaining ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice for one minute and strain into glass.


8th Birthday


3/4 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz Dark Creme De Cacao
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Milk

Fill shaker glass with ice. Add all ingredients. Shake. Pour into a martini glass.


The Blue Blazer


Adapted from David Wondrich
Yield: Two drinks and, with luck, generous applause.
Time: 10 minutes

Jerry Thomas's signature drink is essentially a hot toddy for pyromaniacs.

2 pieces lemon peel, pith removed
2 tsp Demerara or raw sugar
4 oz cask-strength Scotch
3 oz boiling water

Place a piece of lemon peel in each of two teacups or small, heavy glasses.

To prevent house fires, pour some water into a baking sheet over which you will make blue blazers.

Dim lights. Have ready two one-pint mugs, ideally metal with a flared lip. Pour sugar and 3 ounces of boiling water into one mug and then add Scotch. Ignite alcohol with a long match and pour about half the liquid into empty mug, then pour that back into the first mug. Repeat four or five times. Proceed quickly but with great caution.

Pour flaming drink into teacups or glasses and cover with mug to extinguish flames.

Note: It is imperative to practice this drink with water, and no fire, before attempting the combustible version.




"First served up at Harry's New York Bar in Paris." It is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's classic (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks). The exact origin of the Sidecar is unclear, but it was created around the end of World War I in either London or Paris.

1-1/2 oz Brandy or Cognac
1 oz Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec
1 oz Lemon Juice
Lemon Wedge or Twist
Granulated Sugar

Wet rim of a Cocktail glass and dip in the sugar. Combine first three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon.

Both MacElhone and Vermiere state the recipe as equal parts Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, now known as "the French school". Later, an "English school" of Sidecars emerged, as found in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), which call for two Cognac and one each Cointreau and lemon juice .

According to Embury, the original Sidecar had several more ingredients, which were "refined away". Embury also states the drink is simply a Daiquiri with brandy as its base rather than rum, and with Cointreau as the sweetening agent rather than sugar syrup. He recommends the same proportions (8:2:1) for both, making a much less-sweet Sidecar.

The earliest mention of sugaring the rim on a Sidecar glass is 1934, in three different books: Burke's Complete Cocktail & Drinking Recipes, Gordon's Cocktail & Food Recipes, Drinks As They Are Mixed (a revised reprint of Paul E. Lowe's 1904 book).


Harvey Wallbanger

5 parts orange juice
2 parts vodka
1 part galliano

Pour vodka and orange juice over ice cubes stir then layer the galliano on top.


Pegu Cocktail

From the Pegu Club in NYC (named after the original Pegu Club).

From Wikipedia:
The Pegu is a Gin-based cocktail that was the signature drink of Burma's Pegu Club, a social club written about by the likes of Rudyard Kipling. The club was located just outside Rangoon. The recipe appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930 by Harry Craddock and was called The Pegu Club Cocktail. Today it is known simply as The Pegu.

The Pegu is best served in a chilled glass and is considered a hot weather drink. Its taste is reminiscant of grapefruit and some bartenders will garnish it with a twist of grapefruit peel or slice of fresh grapefruit although it is commonly served with a slice of lime to compliment the lime juice in the drink.

1-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz orange liqueur (cointreau, grand marnier...)
1/2 oz lime juice
2 dashes bitters (angostura, campari, amer picon...)

Stir with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.


Bacardi Cocktail


1 tsp grenadine
1/3 gin
2/3 Bacardi rum
juice of 1/2 lime
posted by IAmBroom at 11:42 PM on April 9, 2009 [4 favorites]

« Older Too small for Mirena IUD   |   I have a GIS question. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.