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bourbon whiskey

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”

The Black Manhattan Cocktail

I’m always happy to return to my favorite food group: the Manhattan. This time, it’s the Black Manhattan. Continue reading “The Black Manhattan 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”

Dangerous Drinks: The Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is all about flavor balance. The drink is very simple—just a spirit, some fresh lemon juice, sugar and water. Too much lemon is just plain harsh. Too much sugar is cloying. Somewhere in between is a simple, tasty refresher. Like the Old Fashioned, it provides a welcome break from the flavor complexities of more sophisticated cocktails. Continue reading “Dangerous Drinks: The Whiskey Sour”

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