Given its name, you’d expect the Creole Cocktail to be from New Orleans. You’d be right—sort of.
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).
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.
The best description I can think of for the Merry Widow cocktail is that it’s a fancy, vermouth-heavy martini with a touch of herbs and spice.
Last time, contemplating Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter, I pondered the risks of combining multiple spirits—“too many spirits”—in cocktails, and the fine line between great cocktails and trainwrecks.
So it was an interesting moment for my first encounter with the Libertine.
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” 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”
The Vieux Carré is New Orleans’ contribution to the Manhattan family. More specifically, it is a Saratoga, sweetened with a splash of Bénédictine and the city’s historic Peychaud’s bitters. Continue reading “Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail”