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Got bitters? — the Seelbach Cocktail

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 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”

Crimson Slippers Cocktail

The Crimson Slippers Cocktail taught me that rum and Campari are an astonishing, and nearly perfect, combination. Continue reading “Crimson Slippers Cocktail”

The Campden Cocktail

The Campden Cocktail has been around at least since Prohibition, but has been generally disregarded. I first encountered it in Robert Grimes’s Straight Up or on the Rocks, but I can find nothing about its history other than its 1930 appearance in The Savoy Cocktail Book. It is rarely included in drink listings. Curious (and suspicious) at this neglect, I mixed some up. Continue reading “The Campden Cocktail”

Trilby Cocktail (Vermouth)

The Trilby seems to be another cocktail with something of an identity crisis. I first learned of it from Paul Clark’s article on aperitifs. It wasn’t until I turned to the Savoy Cocktail Book to refresh my memory about the formula and found a recipe I didn’t recognize that I began to suspect that ordering a Trilby in a bar could have unpredictable results.  The Trilby that the Savoy knows is a completely different cocktail, with absinthe and parfait amour utterly changing the taste, and even the color, of the drink. Continue reading “Trilby Cocktail (Vermouth)”

The Countrypolitan Cocktail

I still remember my earliest encounter with a bartender who could remember my cocktails. My bride and I arrived for our first dinner at Goodfellows, which was well on its way to becoming the best restaurant in Minneapolis at the time. We were early, so we wandered into the glass and steel bar, and placed our fledgling-cocktail-drinkers martini orders—one Absolut on the rocks, one Tanqueray up with olive. The drinks arrived cold and clear, and we had become David’s new customers.

But that isn’t when we knew he was a first-rate bartender. Continue reading “The Countrypolitan Cocktail”

Pegu Club Cocktail

Rangoon… I’ve never been there; all I know of the city is its evocative, roundly poetic name, its portrayal in the movies, and a little bit of WW2 history.

Continue reading “Pegu Club Cocktail”

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