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bourbon – rye

My favorite category, cocktails that rely on American bourbon and rye for backbone.

Repairing the Brooklyn Cocktail, part 2

While I was working through the Brooklyn Cocktail’s evolution and formula for the previous post, my Bride brought home a couple of bottles of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye whiskey.

One sip of Pennsylvania rye reminded me that in pre-Prohibition New York, the whiskey in your cocktail was likely very different from the Kentucky-style rye we’re most familiar with these days, Continue reading “Repairing the Brooklyn Cocktail, part 2”

In for Repairs: the Brooklyn Cocktail

Many bartenders have invented drinks called the Brooklyn Cocktail. The only version with any staying power, the Brooklyn we most often encounter today, is derived from a formula first published by Jacob Grohusko in his 1908 JACK’S MANUAL.

But we don’t encounter it very often, and therein lies a tale.

Continue reading “In for Repairs: the Brooklyn Cocktail”

The Creole Cocktail Four Ways

Given its name, you’d expect the Creole Cocktail to be from New Orleans. You’d be right—sort of.

Continue reading “The Creole Cocktail Four Ways”

Whiskey and Barspoons: the Brainstorm Cocktail

There is a tongue-in-cheek reference to something called a Brainstorm Cocktail in a 1906 issue of a trade magazine called “The Northwest Druggist”:

The “brainstorm” cocktail is the latest. It consists mainly of cracked ice set aside to thaw.

Druggist humor, I guess.

The real Brainstorm Cocktail came along about ten years later; it’s one of Hugo Ensslin’s pre-Prohibition classics, first published in his Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1916).

Continue reading “Whiskey and Barspoons: the Brainstorm Cocktail”

Whiskey Sours and Embittered Last Words: the Paper Plane Cocktail

The first cocktail I learned to make was the Whiskey Sour. I made it with Scotch, which was a very poor choice, but I was just out of college and didn’t know better. It’s gratifying to discover, in retrospect, that even then I had enough wits about me to think that tinkering with the mix might lead to a worthwhile improvement in flavor. It took forever to realize that the problem was the Scotch. Well, it was too much lemon, too, but at least I finally figured it out.

Continue reading “Whiskey Sours and Embittered Last Words: the Paper Plane Cocktail”

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”

Dark Horse: The Preakness Cocktail

I’ve never been a follower of American horse racing, but I do enjoy the hype and pageantry of the three-race set known as the “Triple Crown” — in the US, it’s the Kentucky Derby,  the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

The Kentucky Derby falls near my birthday, so for decades my birthday partly has been a Derby-watching event, replete with fancy outfits, good hats and, especially, whiskey juleps. The Mint Julep is the universally accepted symbol of the Derby, and the Run for the Roses starts the ice-crushing season right.

Continue reading “Dark Horse: The Preakness Cocktail”

Another Round of Whiskey Sours: the Ward 8 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.

Continue reading “Another Round of Whiskey Sours: the Ward 8 Cocktail”

The Diamondback Cocktail

You could think of the Diamondback cocktail as an Old-Fashioned on steroids.

Or at least, that’s what it’s evolving into. It didn’t really start that way.

Continue reading “The Diamondback Cocktail”

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