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Scotch – Irish

Home Remedies and the Penicillin Cocktail

My mother had two remedies for colds. One was chicken soup; the other was a mix of lemon and honey.

I never thought to ask her if she really believed these nostrums cured anything, but they certainly had psychological benefits — at least they made us all feel like we were doing something.

Continue reading “Home Remedies and the Penicillin Cocktail”

Whiskey and Bar Spoons: 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 Bar Spoons: the Brainstorm Cocktail”

Cynar and Scotch: The Choke and Smoke Cocktail

I’ve always had trouble with Scotch whisky when it comes to making cocktails. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this—the long history of cocktailing has only managed to come up with a handful of Scotch-based cocktails that have any semblance of balance and finesse.

Continue reading “Cynar and Scotch: The Choke and Smoke Cocktail”

What’s Wrong with the Blood and Sand Cocktail?

I wouldn’t normally write about the Blood and Sand Cocktail.

I don’t like it. I’ve never met anyone who likes it. The flavors make no sense to me. Four ingredients, all fighting with each other.

Harry Craddock must have seen something in it when he first published its peculiar formula in his 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. And drinkers with palates different from mine must like it, as evidenced by its continued presence in highly respected bar manuals more than eighty years after its creation.

(And, of course, there’s the theatrical value of that lurid name, riding the coattails of Rudolph Valentino’s 1922 movie. I’ll admit, that’s really good.)

But from my palate’s point of view, the Blood and Sand is really broken. So what makes this cocktail worth writing about?

Continue reading “What’s Wrong with the Blood and Sand Cocktail?”

Sazerac Variations: the Cooper Union Cocktail

In abstract terms, you could think of the Sazerac as an Old-Fashioned with a strongly aromatic rinse on the glass. Typically, it’s made with rye whiskey or cognac, but Phil Ward’s Cooper Union cocktail, though it looks like a Sazerac, is all about malt whiskey.

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The Automobile Cocktail, Two Ways

There have been many drinks bearing the name Automobile Cocktail. Two of them are particularly interesting.

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Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick

I suspect that every spirit ever made has been tried in cocktails. Some—vodka and gin come to mind—are naturals, blending readily with lots of other flavors. Rum and American whiskies do quite nicely, too.

And then there are the Scotch and Irish whiskies. Continue reading “Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick”

Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail

There are only a few cocktails based on Irish whiskey. My favorite? The Dubliner. Continue reading “Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail”

The Blackthorne Cocktail

We have Gary Regan to thank for the modern Blackthorne Cocktail. The basic model of the drink has been around for something like a hundred years, Continue reading “The Blackthorne Cocktail”

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