The first cocktail I learned to make was the Whiskey Sour. I made it with Scotch, which was a very poor choice, but I was just out of college and didn’t know better. It’s gratifying to discover, in retrospect, that even then I had enough wits about me to think that tinkering with the mix might lead to a worthwhile improvement in flavor. It took forever to realize that the problem was the Scotch. Well, it was too much lemon, too, but at least I finally figured it out.
I hope you still have some of the “Devil Mix” from Johnny Michaels’s Handsome Devil, because we need some for the Future Ghost.
Michaels describes the Future Ghost as “a Sazerac-Manhattan hybrid, served in a bordeaux wineglass.” Continue reading “Devil Mix and smoked absinthe: the Future Ghost Cocktail”
Are you ready to take on one of the grandest, and most insidious, punches of all?
It’s whiskey, brandy, rum, and Champagne all bundled up together. The result is Chatham Artillery Punch, a tricksy and seductive charmer—an iron fist in a velvet glove. Continue reading “The velvet glove — Chatham Artillery Punch”
It’s the Seelbach Cocktail‘s extraordinary ingredient list that caught my eye. The Seelbach is a champagne-based cocktail, which in itself is uncommon—there are only a handful of champagne cocktails in the canon. And it includes a healthy dose of bourbon as homage to its Kentucky heritage. But the shocker is that it also includes seven dashes—seven—of Angostura bitters.
But wait, there’s more: we need seven dashes of Peychaud’s, too. What th’…? Continue reading “Got bitters? — the Seelbach Cocktail”
The 1794 Cocktail is a welcome modernization of the Boulevardier, whiskey-heavy, with rye in place of bourbon. Attributed to Dominic Venegas, it is a natural evolution of that drink, and changes a classic but not-so-good mishmash into a deliciously bright and drinkable Manhattanesque whiskey cocktail. Continue reading “1794 Cocktail — the Boulevardier Comes to Manhattan”
…give us the manhattan, cold and dusky in a frosted glass, the luxurious swirl of rye and vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters for tone, the one and only cocktail that really demands a cherry. Mark Kingwell, Classic Cocktails, a Modern Shake
There you have the template for one of the oldest of the classic cocktails. Various stories place the invention of the Manhattan in the 1870s or early 1880s, predating even the venerable martini. As with many of the great cocktails, there seems to be some mystery about its whereabouts before its first appearance in print; the Manhattan is first recorded in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’s Bon Vivant’s Companion. Continue reading “Manhattan Cocktail, Cold and Dusky”