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Standard Sours

Spirits, citrus and sugar—the classic sours

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”

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 Gold Rush Cocktail

The Gold Rush is a modern cocktail with a definite old-school classic vibe. With a more complex flavor than the whiskey sour on which its modeled, it is a simple combination of bourbon, lemon and honey. Continue reading “The Gold Rush Cocktail”

The Monkey Gland Cocktail

Embarrassing name and all, today’s classic cocktail is the Monkey Gland.

It’s a good cocktail—in fact, it’s a delicious cocktail—but I’m trying to picture myself ordering one across a bar.

“Good evening, Miss, I’ll have a Monkey Gland, please. And keep them coming.” Continue reading “The Monkey Gland Cocktail”

The Brown Derby Cocktail

Why would a posh LA restaurant name a popular cocktail after a competitor?

At some point in the mid-1930s, the exclusive Vendome Club did just that. The Vendome—sort of a west-coast 21—started serving a version of the whiskey sour named after one of its Hollywood neighbors: the Brown Derby.
Continue reading “The Brown Derby Cocktail”

More mixing with honey: the Honey Bee

The honey-sweetened Honey Bee cocktail is the rum variant of the Prohibition-era Bee’s Knees.

The Honey Bee is built on the standard rum sour model, but is markedly different from, say, the Daiquiri. Clearly, there is a lot of room for adjusting flavors in even the simplest of drinks. Continue reading “More mixing with honey: the Honey Bee”

Mixing with honey: the Bee’s Knees

Relatively few cocktails use honey as a sweetener. I suspect honey’s assertive and variable flavor is the likely reason—cane sugar’s simplicity and predictability make it a more attractive standard for amending cocktails.

But honey is one of Summer’s great delights, and there are some cocktails that include it.

The best known is the Prohibition-era’s Bee’s Knees. Continue reading “Mixing with honey: the Bee’s Knees”

Ti’ Punch and the Caipirinha

One of my neighbors threw an open-house the other day to celebrate a newly remodeled kitchen. When I arrived, he was already holding forth behind a striking, eleven-foot granite island, muddler in hand, serving up icy Caipirinhas. Just the thing for summer afternoons.
Continue reading “Ti’ Punch and the Caipirinha”

The Clover Club Cocktail

The Pendennis Club, the Jockey Club, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the Turf Club, the Pegu Club—any number of Old Boys Clubs have celebrated themselves with eponymous cocktails. For most, only the namesake drinks survive, and many of those are barely alive. Continue reading “The Clover Club Cocktail”

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