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Two Nights at the Opera

One of the old-school cocktails that made a comeback in the last fifteen years is the Opera Cocktail.

The Opera is a blend of gin, Dubonnet, and liqueur—and that’s where the story gets interesting.
Continue reading “Two Nights at the Opera”

The Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail

Satan’s Whiskers is a Bronx Cocktail with a suit and tie. I like the Bronx, but it’s quite spartan compared to the lush richness of Satan’s Whiskers. If I had to pick one or the other, the Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail is my choice. Continue reading “The Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail”

A return to Havana — the El Presidente Cocktail

Modern cocktail guides have done El Presidente a terrible disservice. They typically describe a sweet, fruity rum cocktail—a cloying, undrinkable embellishment of the original. They do not describe the classic El Presidente.

Continue reading “A return to Havana — the El Presidente Cocktail”

Margarita — the Tequila Daisy

I remember the first time I made a Margarita. It was shockingly good, completely different from anything I had been served in a restaurant or bar. It wasn’t the tequila—I’m certain I was using a famous cheap gold blend, or mixto; no, it was the fresh lime juice, bright and sassy, and it raised the drink to an eye-opening new level. There’s no two ways about it: tequila and fresh lime go perfectly together; tequila and industrial sweet/sour or Margarita mix, not so much. Continue reading “Margarita — the Tequila Daisy”

The Marlene Dietrich Cocktail

The Marlene Dietrich Cocktail is a natural for anyone who enjoys Whiskey Old-Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours.

Legend has it that Dietrich sucked lemons on her movie sets; it seems she believed this would keep her mouth muscles taut for the cameras. Continue reading “The Marlene Dietrich Cocktail”

Absinthe and Brandy—The Bombay Cocktail

The Bombay Cocktail is an obscure bit of greatness from Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. If anise or absinthe is part of your palate, if the Sazerac or the Corpse Reviver are on your regular list of suspects, then spend some time with the Bombay. Continue reading “Absinthe and Brandy—The Bombay Cocktail”

The Mai Tai

One of the fun things about the Mai Tai is that the generally accepted modern recipe calls for two, or sometimes three, different rums. You get to be your own rum blender, and with even a very modest rum shelf, there are endless flavor possibilities—and, hey, they’re all likely to be good. Continue reading “The Mai Tai”

The Sidecar Cocktail

Alas! that so few bars are prepared to serve a properly made Sidecar, and so many prepared to abuse us with sours shot from guns. I’ll save that rant for another day. Continue reading “The Sidecar Cocktail”

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