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brandy cocktails

…including applejack and apple brandies, Calvados and other fruit brandies, Cognac and American brandies.

Hair of the Dog: the Morning Glory Cocktail

Hangovers have been around forever, so it’s not surprising that one of the most popular branches of amateur medicine is the hangover “cure.”

Continue reading “Hair of the Dog: the Morning Glory Cocktail”

Mixing the Pisco Sour

We don’t often encounter the Pisco Sour, mainly because we don’t often encounter the Peruvian brandy called Pisco these days. (For that matter, we don’t seem to encounter very many brandy cocktails of any sort, but that’s another story.)

The Pisco Sour is a classic brandy sour, differing little from what we might call the Jerry Thomas brandy sour template. It uses lime juice (instead of lemon) to provide the sour component, but its hallmark difference is an ostentatious eggwhite foam.

Continue reading “Mixing the Pisco Sour”

The Olympic Cocktail

The Lusitania, the Kaiser Wilhelm, the Titanic—before World War I, the great ocean liners were the peak of traveling adventure, luxury, and technology. It was the age of the “greyhounds of the seas.”

Their British and German owners competed for speed, for luxury, and for bragging rights; the twenty years between 1895 and 1915 saw the launches of ever-larger ships, each more lush and decadent than its predecessors. The story of the Titanic provides one of the world’s best-known cautionary tales about the dangers of overweening pride in technology, but, oh, that was a handsome, luxurious, and well-fed ship—for all of the five days it stayed afloat.

As it turns out, the Titanic had a sister ship; Continue reading “The Olympic Cocktail”

Champagne, Mistakes, and the Brut Nature Cocktail

“Always learn from your mistakes.”

So our parents admonished us, and I had plenty of opportunities for learning.

My favorite kind of mistake is the kind where the process of “getting it wrong” leads to something unexpectedly good.

My most recent case in point: the champagne-and-cognac Brut Nature cocktail.

Continue reading “Champagne, Mistakes, and the Brut Nature Cocktail”

Another Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Conference Cocktail

I learned two important things when I first encountered the Saratoga cocktail. For starters, I discovered that I like the Saratoga even more than I like the Manhattan—and that’s saying something.

But more significantly, I discovered that rye whiskey and brandy go astonishingly well together.

And the knowledge of that happy combination led to delight when I came across Brian Miller’s riff on the Old-Fashioned, the Conference cocktail.

Continue reading “Another Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Conference Cocktail”

An Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Brandy Crusta

Brandy what?

I would wager that most people have never encountered a crusta, or even heard of one.

So what is that thing? And why should we care?

Continue reading “An Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Brandy Crusta”

The Japanese Cocktail

It’s June, 1860, just months before the start of the American Civil War. The Pony Express has just made it possible to send a letter overland to San Francisco in just a few days; Abraham Lincoln is busy getting himself elected President of the United States; and Jerry Thomas is writing The Bon-Vivant’s Companion and working at New York’s 622 Broadway bar. Continue reading “The Japanese Cocktail”

Negroni Riffs — the Normandie Cocktail

Next week is Negroni Week (June 2–8). The idea behind Negroni Week is that participating bars around the world promote their Negroni cocktails, and donate a portion of the profits to a charity of their choice.

It’s an opportunity for Negroni drinkers everywhere to join with their favorite bars to support local charitable organizations. And of course, to drink Negronis.

Continue reading “Negroni Riffs — the Normandie Cocktail”

Stiff Steadier: the Burnt Fuselage Cocktail

Charles Kerwood was an American fighter pilot with the Lafayette Flying Corps during WWI (until he crashed), and later flew supplies and arms for the French Foreign Legion in Morocco (until he crashed).

He’s also the inventor of a cocktail, the Burnt Fuselage. Continue reading “Stiff Steadier: the Burnt Fuselage Cocktail”

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