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Miscellaneous

These are cocktails that don’t fall into the major stylings. Someday I’ll figure out just what to call these.

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?”

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 Red Snapper and the Bloody Mary

I hate tomatoes.

This always dismayed my mother, who loved tomatoes for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, and for anytime in between. I always whined, and refused to eat them. Today it’s my tomato-loving bride who faces the pushback; I still whine and refuse to eat them.

So why do I like the Bloody Mary?

Continue reading “The Red Snapper and the Bloody Mary”

Short and evil: the Devil’s Soul cocktail

Gaz Regan first published Ted Kilgore’s Devil’s Soul cocktail in 101 Best New Cocktails 2012. As Regan says, it combines “ingredients that absolutely positively do not belong in the same glass,” yet somehow they work together to form a complex and sophisticated success.

Continue reading “Short and evil: the Devil’s Soul 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”

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”

A taste of the Gilded Age: the Stinger

The Stinger doesn’t show up on the annual “fashionable drinks” lists any more, but cocktail historians tell us it was once a very tony after dinner drink.

A simple combination of brandy and white crème de menthe, a properly mixed Stinger is at once sweet, satisfying, and refreshing. Continue reading “A taste of the Gilded Age: the Stinger”

The Widow’s Kiss

In an earlier article, I wrote about the Full House Cocktail—complex, herbal, strong, and sweet. A little too sweet for me, so I looked at easy ways to cut that sweetness back.

After a certain amount of rejiggering, I ended up with a drier formula. The result nagged at me a little, because it seemed familiar. I finally got time to do a little research, and there it was: George J. Kappeler’s “The Widow’s Kiss.” Continue reading “The Widow’s Kiss”

Apple whiskey and the Full House Cocktail

“Apple whiskey” is a term you rarely encounter these days. It was once fairly common slang for applejack, itself a slang term for apple brandy.

Apple orchards—in fact, all sorts of fruit orchards—were ubiquitous on eastern farmsteads as early as the 17th century, and it was standard practice for farmers in cold states to make their own apple spirits by “jacking” their hard cider during the winter Continue reading “Apple whiskey and the Full House Cocktail”

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