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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.

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Another Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Conference Cocktail

I learned two important things when I first encountered the Saratoga cocktail. For starters, I discovered that I like the Saratoga even more than I like the Manhattan—and that’s saying something.

But more significantly, I discovered that rye whiskey and brandy go astonishingly well together.

And the knowledge of that happy combination led to delight when I came across Brian Miller’s riff on the Old-Fashioned, the Conference cocktail.

Continue reading “Another Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Conference Cocktail”

An Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Brandy Crusta

Brandy what?

I would wager that most people have never encountered a crusta, or even heard of one.

So what is that thing? And why should we care?

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A return to Havana: the Airmail Cocktail

Some months back, I made a passing reference to the Airmail Cocktail. The Airmail deserves more attention, and what better time to talk about champagne and rum than New Year’s Eve.

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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?

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The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail is a tribute to the skill and success of one of France’s national fencing champions. He first made his name in the very early twentieth century, went on to become European and world champion, then won two gold medals in the 1924 Olympics, and two more in 1928. A couple more silver medals made him one of the most decorated French medalists in the history of the Olympics.

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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.

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The Japanese Cocktail

It’s June, 1860, just months before the start of the American Civil War. The Pony Express has just made it possible to send a letter overland to San Francisco in just a few days; Abraham Lincoln is busy getting himself elected President of the United States; and Jerry Thomas is writing The Bon-Vivant’s Companion and working at New York’s 622 Broadway bar. Continue reading “The Japanese Cocktail”

Scions of the Boulevardier: the 1795 Cocktail

The 1795 Cocktail is one of the Negroni’s modern descendants, from the whiskey-based Boulevardier side of the family.

More specifically, it’s a direct riff on the Boulevardier’s rye whiskey variant, Dominic Venegas’s 1794 Cocktail.

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