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Grand Marnier

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”

Stiff Steadier: the Burnt Fuselage Cocktail

Charles Kerwood was an American fighter pilot with the Lafayette Flying Corps during WWI (until he crashed), and later flew supplies and arms for the French Foreign Legion in Morocco (until he crashed).

He’s also the inventor of a cocktail, the Burnt Fuselage. Continue reading “Stiff Steadier: the Burnt Fuselage Cocktail”

Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail

There are only a few cocktails based on Irish whiskey. My favorite? The Dubliner. Continue reading “Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner 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”

A return to Havana — the El Presidente Cocktail

Modern cocktail guides have done El Presidente a terrible disservice. They typically describe a sweet, fruity rum cocktail—a cloying, undrinkable embellishment of the original. They do not describe the classic El Presidente.

Continue reading “A return to Havana — the El Presidente Cocktail”

The Marlene Dietrich Cocktail

The Marlene Dietrich Cocktail is a natural for anyone who enjoys Whiskey Old-Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours.

Legend has it that Dietrich sucked lemons on her movie sets; it seems she believed this would keep her mouth muscles taut for the cameras. Continue reading “The Marlene Dietrich 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”

The Mai Tai

One of the fun things about the Mai Tai is that the generally accepted modern recipe calls for two, or sometimes three, different rums. You get to be your own rum blender, and with even a very modest rum shelf, there are endless flavor possibilities—and, hey, they’re all likely to be good. Continue reading “The Mai Tai”

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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