Salt. It’s so hot right now. Salt. It’s basically the new black. Everybody who’s anybody has been mixing with it… remember the Juliet & Romeo at TVH, well that has it, and so does the G.O.A.D.H.I.A.H.N.A.I.
And there’s plenty more where that came from. Take this saucy little number for example…
A La Paloma
2 0z. Tequila
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
Tequila, lime and salt in the bottom of a glass, add ice, followed by soda.
This right here, it’s a natural born ruler. It’s got a bit of sweet, a bit of sour, a bit of salt, and a bit of bitter. I’ve heard it’s a “wicked pissa” hangover cure, but it’s not Wednesday, so I can’t talk about that. I used El Jimador, which is a 100% agave resposado, and is effing kick ass. Major times. And the grapefruit soda has to be Jarrito’s Toronja. Mainly because I don’t know any other grapefruit sodas. But man alive, and hear me out on this one, don’t skimp on the salt. Just throw that shit right in there, and prepare to have your mouth blown open with refreshment and flavor.
The Five Dollar Old Fashioned
2 oz. Old Crow Bourbon
1/2 tsp. Dem Sugar
Wide Orange Peel
Peel a nice, wide strip of orange, avoiding as much of the pith as possible, and place it in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add the bitters and sugar syrup. Muddle the orange peel lightly – you don’t have to M the F out of it – just give it enough action to express the oils. Add the bourbon, and two large ice cubes. Give it a stir for 20 seconds or so. Add two more large ice cubes, and fucking enjoy.
Yes, this flies in the face of my earlier Old Fashioned post about fruit salads, and arms being broken, and other unseemly things… but times, they are a changnin’… and you’re either with me, or you’re against me. So what’s it’s gonna be, Mr. Pink?
The origin of the Gimlet Cocktail is a bit of a mystery, but most of the recipes call for Gin (the use of Vodka makes it a Vodka Gimlet) and Rose’s Lime Juice. I generally think a recipe calls for Rose’s out of laziness – it’s always better to make your own sour mix (lime juice and sugar). However, in this case we may have to make an exception. See, Rose’s was created in 1867, and was rationed to the sailors in the Royal British Navy to make sure they didn’t get scurvy… Another popular beverage on those ships was Plymouth Gin. Thus, I think it’s reasonable to assume that this drink was created by some sailor on some ship on some sea, some time ago. Therefore, we pretty much have to use Rose’s to stay true to the original recipe.
1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
1 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice
Shake, serve up.
Depending on your taste, you may want to increase the amount of Rose’s, or even add a “scant teaspoon of powdered sugar,” as Trader Vic recommends. It’s a fine drink, but I still prefer it made with a lime juice and sugar combination. And if you add mint, well then you’re dealing with a Southside, and let me tell you something, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Speaking of classics, here’s an easy as fuck, straight forward classic cocktail thats friggin’ delish.
2 oz. Bourbon
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Powdered Sugar
Shake and serve in a chilled sour glass.
Yes, powdered sugar. It’s called for quite a bit in Vic’s book, but almost always in the sours. It’s really good – obviously very sweet – so it doesn’t take much. It also seems to have no flavor at all, it just sweetens and enhances the existing flavors. The resulting cocktail is actually very mellow, not overly acidic… but don’t take my word for it.. go make one right now. I SAID MAKE ONE RIGHT FUCKING NOW.
Oh brojangles, you’re gonna like this one. For one, it’s called a Southside, because it originated on the south side of Chicago, so that’s pretty cool. For second, it’s all about the gin. And for three, it’s easy as heck to make. And we all know, 1 + 2 + 3 = FUCK YES!
3 oz. Gin (Beefeater, Tanqueray, you know, something respectable)
1 oz. Simple Syrup
.75 oz. Lime Juice
2 Sprigs mint
Okay, throw the mint in the bottom of a shaker, and just give it a light bruising with a muddler. Add the other ingredients, a few large cubes, and shake with the strength of ten men. Strain, serve down, or in a chilled coupe if you’re bad like that. I am not, as it turns out.
So, you’ll notice that I’ve added a new category, over there, on the right. The one called “The Classics.” I’ll be marking posts with this category when it’s a real-deal, old school recipe. I’ll also go back and tag posts that adhere to this criteria (Daquiri, Margarita, Sidecar, etc.). So, having said that, here’s the recipe for a Brooklyn, my absolute favoritest cocktail ever.
3 oz. Rye
.75 oz. Dry Vermouth
.5 oz. Averna Amaro
.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
Stir over ice, strain, serve down, mist and garnish with orange peel (or lemon peel if you’re a coward like me).
Okay, so, after I said all that crap at the start of this post about “real deal” recipes, I’ve already waffled. You see, the traditional Brooklyn calls for Amer Picon. Amer Picon is basically an orange flavored French amaro that is no longer available in the states. However, I’m using Averna – a lovely Italian amaro that’s got a great orange flavor – which is IMEFO the closest commercially available substitute to the real dangle.
Also, I am going to take a moment to endorse Wild Turkey 101 rye. I’ve mentioned it a few times in this blog, but I want to point out that it is both a fantastic tasting overproof rye, and is extremely reasonably priced. It’s under $20 in Michigan, and is pretty much the best bet if you’re in the rye market. Which I am, frequently.
Bro dogs, have you tried this one? You have!?! Well, then where in the fuck have I been? All this time, I’ve been drinking my blended scotch out of the bottle, with a straw, like a damned hick. Whereas, with a bit of vermouth, a dash of bitters and a touch of maraschino, I could have been living it up. Living it the fuck up! Damn, dude.
Rob Rob Cocktail
3 oz. Blended Scotch Whiskey
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.25 oz. Maraschino
Dash Ango bitters
You’ll notice I went 3:1 whiskey to vermouth on this one. Since the scotch is so smokey, the increased amount of sweet vermouth helps balance this out. It’s a kick ass drink, but I can’t decide if maybe I like it on the rocks better? I don’t have any big-assed ice cubes at the moment, but I’m going to give that a run and get back to you. But I implore you to grow a pair and try it for yourself.
We’ve already tried out the Sidecar, and it’s predecessor the Brandy Crusta. Next up is it’s cousin from the south, the Margarita. The origin of the Margarita is widely contested, with plenty of mixologists laying claim to the creation of the great drink. Most believe it is a Mexican drink that migrated north. However, I would like to submit the following scenario: Suppose that you were a bartender early in the 20th century (or very late in the 19th century) and you were accustomed to making Brandy Crustas (Brandy, Curacao, and lemon juice) for upscale patrons in a fancy New York hotel. However, due to a sizable gambling debt and an unfortunate penchant for the finer things, you were forced to move very far south, to a town you were unfamiliar with, and more importantly, was unfamiliar with you. And in this small town, you sought work at a hotel bar (being you knew no other trade) where socialites and upper crusters vacationed. Of course, having an American bartender, they insisted on the finest Manhattan styled drinks. The problem of course, was that while Brandy was easily accessible in the posh cities, and even in the mining camps, it hadn’t yet found its way this far south. That being the case, mightn’t you substitute brandy for a liquor the locals called “mescal,” and using limes which were common instead of lemons, might you not try to concoct something with these ingredients? No? Oh, then never mind.
2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Curacao
1 oz. Lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with some cracked ice. Shake with ill-advised, almost reckless vigor. Serve in a cocktail glass. Salted rim? I’ll allow it.
From Jerry Thomas’ “How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion:”
This cocktail was invented by Thomas when he worked at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York City, sometime around 1860. While there is clearly nothing Japanese about this drink, Wondrich suggests that Thomas invented this cocktail and named it for the first Japanese diplomatic ministers who were visiting the city and very likely spent time at the Metropolitan where Thomas (“the Professor”) worked.
A few tweaks to the recipe are required:
2 oz. Brandy
1 tbsp. Orgeat Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a bar glass, along with a few cubes of ice. Stir, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.
Note the original recipe calls for ½ tsp. of Bogart’s bitters. Bogart’s bitters is a typo – in the original edition this was Boker’s bitters. Boker’s bitters are similar in taste to Angostura, only the original Boker’s were diluted down to an aperitif strength. Thus, if using Angostura, it’s best to use a dash or two. If using Fee Brothers’ Aromatic Bitters, the original recipe can be adhered to. You’ll also note the use of Orgeat (or-zat) syrup, which is an almond flavored syrup. You could use Torani’s almond syrup, but I would suggest making the Orgeat yourself, as this cocktail is pretty dependent on it:
1 lb. blanched almonds
1.5 lb. sugar
Quart of Water
1 oz. Brandy
1 tsp. Rose Flower Water
Soak the almonds in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the almonds, discard the water, and put all almonds in a food processor and until finely chopped. Place the almonds and water in a sauce pan on the stove, and let simmer at 125°F for about 15 minutes. Strain the almonds again, this time reserving the water. Place the almonds in a cheese cloth, and squeeze all the juice into the reserved water. Put the almonds back in the water, and simmer again as before. Repeat this at least three times, until all juices are extracted from the almonds, and discard the almonds. Place the water back in the sauce pan, add sugar, and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to cool, add brandy and rose flower water, and bottle for use. This yields about 1 wine bottle of syrup.