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The Olympic Cocktail

The Lusitania, the Kaiser Wilhelm, the Titanic—before World War I, the great ocean liners were the peak of traveling adventure, luxury, and technology. It was the age of the “greyhounds of the seas.”

Their British and German owners competed for speed, for luxury, and for bragging rights; the twenty years between 1895 and 1915 saw the launches of ever-larger ships, each more lush and decadent than its predecessors. The story of the Titanic provides one of the world’s best-known cautionary tales about the dangers of overweening pride in technology, but, oh, that was a handsome, luxurious, and well-fed ship—for all of the five days it stayed afloat.

As it turns out, the Titanic had a sister ship; Continue reading “The Olympic Cocktail”

Another Round of Whiskey Sours: the Ward 8 Cocktail

As the saying goes, “myth and legend are the kudzu of history,” and cocktail history is as much overgrown as any.

Today’s case in point: the pre-Prohibition Ward 8 Cocktail, one of the most famous of classic whiskey sour variations.

Continue reading “Another Round of Whiskey Sours: the Ward 8 Cocktail”

The Monkey Gland Cocktail

Embarrassing name and all, today’s classic cocktail is the Monkey Gland.

It’s a good cocktail—in fact, it’s a delicious cocktail—but I’m trying to picture myself ordering one across a bar.

“Good evening, Miss, I’ll have a Monkey Gland, please. And keep them coming.” Continue reading “The Monkey Gland Cocktail”

The Stork Club Cocktail

Since we’ve been on a gin-and-orange kick, I thought I’d add the Stork Club Cocktail to our list of Prohibition-era drinks. The Stork was famous mainly for its celebrities and its “New Yorkiness,” but its flagship cocktail is worth notice, too.

Continue reading “The Stork Club Cocktail”

Margarita — the Tequila Daisy

I remember the first time I made a Margarita. It was shockingly good, completely different from anything I had been served in a restaurant or bar. It wasn’t the tequila—I’m certain I was using a famous cheap gold blend, or mixto; no, it was the fresh lime juice, bright and sassy, and it raised the drink to an eye-opening new level. There’s no two ways about it: tequila and fresh lime go perfectly together; tequila and industrial sweet/sour or Margarita mix, not so much. Continue reading “Margarita — the Tequila Daisy”

Cranberry and Bourbon: Reinventing the Bardstown Sling

It’s nearly Thanksgiving in the United States, and my wife commissioned me to invent a harvest-themed cocktail for our traditional family dinner. To guide my thoughts, she suggested a palette of autumn flavors that would complement her dinner: bourbon, cranberry, orange and maple. (It’s going to be a very good dinner…) Continue reading “Cranberry and Bourbon: Reinventing the Bardstown Sling”

The Sidecar Cocktail

Alas! that so few bars are prepared to serve a properly made Sidecar, and so many prepared to abuse us with sours shot from guns. I’ll save that rant for another day. Continue reading “The Sidecar Cocktail”

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