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Craddock original

Mendacity and the Oriental Cocktail

I’m pretty sure that there are no true stories about cocktail origins.

You know the stories I mean—the wonderful, detail-laden, cock-and-bull accounts that ornament so many of our classics. Every once in awhile, there’s a great one. Continue reading “Mendacity and the Oriental Cocktail”

Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick

I suspect that every spirit ever made has been tried in cocktails. Some—vodka and gin come to mind—are naturals, blending readily with lots of other flavors. Rum and American whiskies do quite nicely, too.

And then there are the Scotch and Irish whiskies. Continue reading “Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick”

The Savoy Tango — sloe gin’s revenge

Sloe gin has a lousy reputation. Red, sugary, and fruity, it is a hallmark of sweet, pink, “girlie” Spring Break drinks with lurid and lascivious names. Continue reading “The Savoy Tango — sloe gin’s revenge”

The Hesitation Cocktail

It seems there’s no end to the list of “zombie” cocktails.

Like the Aviation and the Blue Moon, the Hesitation Cocktail is another of the early-20th-Century cocktails that fell out of the standard repertoire when ingredients vanished from the marketplace. It was the disappearance of Swedish Punch that pushed the Hesitation onto the zombie list. Continue reading “The Hesitation Cocktail”

The Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail — not just for breakfast anymore

To judge from the film and literature of the time, it seems that social drinkers of the 1920s and ’30s (and, indeed, for much of the Twentieth Century) found it amusing to drink too much, wake up in the morning with a hangover, complain about the hangover, then drink some more to get rid of the hangover. This “hair of the dog” cliché supposedly helped to illuminate a character’s social standing, lifestyle and intelligence. Continue reading “The Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail — not just for breakfast anymore”

A Martini with something in it — the astonishing Atty Cocktail

The Atty Cocktail is a Martini with embellishments; if you get the proportions right, those embellishments are surprising, flavorful and entertaining.

Continue reading “A Martini with something in it — the astonishing Atty Cocktail”

The Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail

Satan’s Whiskers is a Bronx Cocktail with a suit and tie. I like the Bronx, but it’s quite spartan compared to the lush richness of Satan’s Whiskers. If I had to pick one or the other, the Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail is my choice. Continue reading “The Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail”

Absinthe and Brandy—The Bombay Cocktail

The Bombay Cocktail is an obscure bit of greatness from Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. If anise or absinthe is part of your palate, if the Sazerac or the Corpse Reviver are on your regular list of suspects, then spend some time with the Bombay. Continue reading “Absinthe and Brandy—The Bombay Cocktail”

Leap Year Cocktail

I’m one of those people who is fascinated by cosmic markers like solstices and equinoxes. It’s hard to explain—I guess it’s sort of a feeling of being in the presence of greatness. Or cosmic forces. Or something. At the very least, it’s an excuse to celebrate. I set out to identify a solstice cocktail for the onset of the summer season, and I was astonished to find that there are no classics that address these auspicious dates. Inexplicable.  Continue reading “Leap Year Cocktail”

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