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sweet vermouth

Tequila and mezcal — messing with the Negroni

The Negroni has inspired many cocktails, but few (most famously, the whiskey-based Boulevardier) have used its equal parts model literally.

So I was intrigued when I came across the Agavoni, a tequila-based version of the drink in Robert Hess’s Essential Bartender’s Guide. Continue reading “Tequila and mezcal — messing with the Negroni”

The Blackthorne Cocktail

We have Gary Regan to thank for the modern Blackthorne Cocktail. The basic model of the drink has been around for something like a hundred years, Continue reading “The Blackthorne Cocktail”

Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail

The Vieux Carré is New Orleans’ contribution to the Manhattan family. More specifically, it is a Saratoga, sweetened with a splash of Bénédictine and the city’s historic Peychaud’s bitters. Continue reading “Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré 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”

The Scotch Saratoga

I love it when forgotten ideas return, especially the ones I’ve shrugged off as “surely doomed,” and then they reappear as great stuff.

That’s how Scotch whisky got into my Saratoga cocktail. Continue reading “The Scotch Saratoga”

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”

La Louisiane Cocktail

If it is true, as Mark Twain opined, that obscurity and a competence … is the life that is best worth living, then La Louisiane Cocktail has lived a worthwhile life indeed. A first-rate cocktail that seems to fall off the face of the earth, how does that happen? Continue reading “La Louisiane Cocktail”

Mixing with Fernet Branca—the Hanky Panky Cocktail

I have no idea where I first came across the Hanky Panky, nor why I thought it would be a good idea to try a drink with such an off-putting, cutesy name (it turns out there’s a Prohibition-era story there), and made with Fernet-Branca, an ingredient with what Paul Clarke described in a recent Imbibe article as a “caustic reputation.” Continue reading “Mixing with Fernet Branca—the Hanky Panky Cocktail”

Saratoga Cocktail

When one of my friends asked for a Saratoga Cocktail recently, I was skeptical. I had tried this drink before, and I was not impressed. It seemed unbalanced, or unfinished—the flavors just didn’t seem to blend well. This time around, it was an astonishingly delicious and well-balanced drink. I’ll grant that my tastes have evolved since then, but I think the real reason the Saratoga tasted better this time has everything to do with a different mix of ingredients, particularly the vermouth. Continue reading “Saratoga Cocktail”

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