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vermouth cocktails

Cocktails based on both sweet and dry vermouths.

Searching for the Bamboo Cocktail

The Bamboo Cocktail reminds me of the legend of blind men describing an elephant—every bartender’s guide seems to describe this cocktail differently.

There is one thing we do know about it, and it’s the thing that makes the Bamboo important to cocktail history: the Bamboo cocktail is the classic model for combining vermouth and sherry. Continue reading “Searching for the Bamboo Cocktail”

The Tale of the Tuxedo Cocktail

The mystery of the Tuxedo Cocktail is trying figure out just which Tuxedo we’re talking about. The Tuxedo is more a spectrum of recipes, rather than a single formula. Continue reading “The Tale of the Tuxedo Cocktail”

The Rise of Vermouth and the Pantomime Cocktail

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”

The Bijou Cocktail

The combination of gin and dry vermouth is a natural, and it’s so well entrenched in our thinking, thanks to the Martini, that modern cocktails hardly ever pair gin with sweet vermouth.

It wasn’t always that way. Take, for example, the Bijou.

Continue reading “The Bijou Cocktail”

Searching for the Martini: The Martinez Cocktail

If you’re looking for a sweet cocktail, something more historic than the Cosmopolitan, I can think of no better place to start than the Martinez. Continue reading “Searching for the Martini: The Martinez Cocktail”

The Bronx Cocktail

The Bronx Cocktail is a light and simple drink, something you might serve as a luncheon cocktail, or even a brunch cocktail, if you’re looking for something more assertive than the usual Mimosas and Bellinis to launch you into the noonday sunshine. Continue reading “The Bronx Cocktail”

Saratoga Cocktail

When one of my friends asked for a Saratoga Cocktail recently, I was skeptical. I had tried this drink before, and I was not impressed. It seemed unbalanced, or unfinished—the flavors just didn’t seem to blend well. This time around, it was an astonishingly delicious and well-balanced drink. I’ll grant that my tastes have evolved since then, but I think the real reason the Saratoga tasted better this time has everything to do with a different mix of ingredients, particularly the vermouth. Continue reading “Saratoga Cocktail”

Trilby Cocktail (Vermouth)

The Trilby seems to be another cocktail with something of an identity crisis. I first learned of it from Paul Clark’s article on aperitifs. It wasn’t until I turned to the Savoy Cocktail Book to refresh my memory about the formula and found a recipe I didn’t recognize that I began to suspect that ordering a Trilby in a bar could have unpredictable results.  The Trilby that the Savoy knows is a completely different cocktail, with absinthe and parfait amour utterly changing the taste, and even the color, of the drink. Continue reading “Trilby Cocktail (Vermouth)”

The Negroni Cocktail

The Negroni cocktail is a delight to the eye, handsome in a rocks glass, clear and red.

It is “not for fence-sitters,” as Mark Kingwell observes in his amusing Classic Cocktails, A Modern Shake.

A proper Negroni is fully one-third Campari, and that’s a lot of Campari by anyone’s reckoning. That bitter astringence is an acquired taste, and after the first sip you already know that you want to learn more about it, or you swear off forever. Continue reading “The Negroni Cocktail”

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