If you’ve been drinking Martinis for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of movie director Alfred Hitchcock’s famous disregard for vermouth. According to the tales, the closest Hitch would come to a bottle of vermouth is to glance toward it from across the room, then toss back his “Hitchcock Martini”—nothing but a chilled glass of gin. It’s the stuff of legend, possibly even true, Continue reading “The Rise of Vermouth and the Pantomime Cocktail”
As the saying goes, “myth and legend are the kudzu of history,” and cocktail history is as much overgrown as any.
Today’s case in point: the pre-Prohibition Ward 8 Cocktail, one of the most famous of classic whiskey sour variations.
Embarrassing name and all, today’s classic cocktail is the Monkey Gland.
It’s a good cocktail—in fact, it’s a delicious cocktail—but I’m trying to picture myself ordering one across a bar.
“Good evening, Miss, I’ll have a Monkey Gland, please. And keep them coming.” Continue reading “The Monkey Gland Cocktail”
The French 75 Cocktail is a tribute to the 75mm artillery piece that the French and Americans fielded in World War I. Its story is a reminder that cocktails evolve; sometimes good things are lost, sometimes good things are gained. In the case of the French 75 cocktail, both things happened.
December 5 is Repeal Day in the United States, the anniversary of the December 5, 1933, end of Prohibition. (Don’t get me started on Prohibition… )
Reason enough to examine a couple Prohibition-themed cocktails.
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.
On Prohibition Day and Repeal Day I thank my lucky stars that I can decide for myself if a cocktail is in order this evening, and that some faceless bunch of bluenoses no longer blockades a significant element of American cuisine and culture. I make a particular effort to celebrate with a recipe that I’ve not experienced before, and Robert Hess’s recent Scofflaw post and backgrounder suggested the perfect classic for the day’s theme.