The classic lemon drop can be found on almost every bar menu. It is the favorite drink of anyone who likes the idea of getting a drink in a cocktail glass, but doesn’t want the alcohol forward character of Manhattans or martinis. The sour acidity of the lemon works to balance the sweet character of the drink. All with a dash of sophisticated presentation. While the lemon drop does have the risk of becoming cloyingly sweet, if made correctly this is a cocktail that can please a wide range of tastes. And is infinitely drinkable in a myriad of settings. When made well, the lemon drop can remind of a wonderful homemade lemonade, refreshingly sour and absolutely delicious.
Martinis are the epitome of the classic cocktail. Popularized by James Bond and the business culture of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, there is no surprise that the classic martini has spawned literally thousands of variations. However when it comes to variation, some are more traditional than others. One such classic martini variation is the perfect martini. Perfect is a cocktail term which doesn’t refer to how amazing the drink is – though perfect cocktails usually are amazingly balanced – but rather indicates equal parts of both sweet and dry vermouth.
As we know from last Monday, the port antonio is a sophisticated and beautifully rum forward tiki cocktail. So why on earth is there another post about it? Well in the confusing world of cocktail naming, just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, doesn’t mean it isn’t a walrus. Coming out of left field, this port antonio only shares two common ingredients with the tiki cocktail of the same name. More akin to a cosmopolitan, this sweet and fruity cocktail is sure to please anyone who loves grenadine and its brilliant layered appearance makes it perfectly suited to a bachelorette party. Despite its classically “girly” appearance, the addition of lime brings some welcome acidity and zing to this refreshing sipper.
The alexander is one of those classic cocktails that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Overshadowed by its successor the Brandy Alexander, this rare combination of gin and cream is smooth beyond your wildest dreams. It was also the personal favorite of John Lennon. So let’s be real, if this cocktail was good enough for the legendary Beatles co-founder, you really do need to try it! Alexander 1 ounce Gin 1 ounce Creme de Cacao 1 ounce cream ¼ egg white Begin by filling a cocktail glass with ice and setting aside to chill. Optimally you will have two shakers to make the alexander. The first shaker you will fill with ice. Pour in the gin, creme de Cacao (preferably white), cream, and egg white. Shake with ice till chilled. Next strain this concoction into the second ice-free shaker. Now dry shake the cocktail for a good thirty seconds – Learn More
Rumored to be the origin of the popular Sidecar, the brandy crusta is unquestioningly one of the oldest cocktails. Created in the 1850s by an Italian bartender named Joseph Santini in New Orleans, the brandy crusta even predates the famous sazerac in the world of calling card cocktails. A well balanced yet citrus forward cocktail, the crusta can also be made with either gin or whiskey, however brandy brings out the classic flavor profile. Brandy Crusta 1½ ounces Cognac 1 teaspoon Orange Liqueur 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon simple syrup rim with sugar garnish with 1″ curl of lemon peel Begin by filling a cocktail or coupe glass with ice. Then set the glass aside to chill. Now fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the cognac, orange liqueur, bitters, lemon, and simple syrup. Orange Curacao is traditionally used, but triple sec will also Then Learn More
Brandy Alexander is one of those rare cream based cocktails that offers up a beautiful balance of texture, flavor, and sweetness. Many cocktails that include cream are relegated to an existence as only a dessert cocktail, but not so for the Brandy Alexander. There is a wonderful presence of brandy throughout the entire experience. It wonderfully features it’s namesake spirit with a subtle and smooth sweetness that brings out the best aspects of a well oaked brandy. Based on the classic Alexander cocktail, the shift from gin to brandy as the base spirit couldn’t have a greater effect. This is a truly unique cocktail that is best savored on a cold winter day.
The sidecar is one of the great classic brandy cocktails. And like many old cocktails, while it’s origins are mysterious, there are plenty of stories. By most accounts the sidecar was created slightly after World War I by George Smyth near London, likely in Claridges or Savoy. However there is another account, which I would rather believe. This renditions tells that the cocktail is in fact the invention of an American army captain. This captained was stationed in Paris during WWI and ordered this cocktail so often that it was named after his primary mode of transportation: a motorcycle sidecar. No matter when this drink was created, it is a lovely brandy cocktail (traditionally made with cognac) that is just as good today as it was during the great war. Sidecar 1½ ounces Brandy ¾ ounce Orange Liqueur ¾ ounce lemon juice garnish with an orange quarter or lemon twist Learn More
The names for some cocktails can be a bit of a mouthful and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club certainly falls into this category. Despite its lengthy name, this tiki cocktail is surprisingly simple to make. It also offers a wonderfully tropical flavor while featuring notes of nutmeg and anise which pair well with the colder winter months. Whether it is above or below freezing, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is a great choice to warm your spirits. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 1 1/2 ounces Dark Rum 1/4 ounce Orange Liqueur 3/4 ounce lime juice 1/2 ounce falernum garnish with a lime wheel Does this recipe look familiar? It is essentially a tiki version of the classic daiquiri, created by the tiki master Trader Vic himself. Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker with several ice cubes and shake till chilled. Or about 20 seconds until frost starts to accumulate on the outside of the shaker. Strain into Learn More
I often shy away from cocktails with grapefruit juice. The grapefruit has never been my favorite citrus and I find it often overpowering in cocktails. However some spirits are strong enough to stand up to the flavors of grapefruit. Tequila is perhaps the most popular accompaniment to grapefruit thanks to a classic Mexican cocktail called the paloma, but whiskey also works quite well. The original recipe for this cocktail was created in 1927. Back then, the cocktail was known as the “De Rigueur”and was made with scotch. Three years later, the recipe was included in the seminal Savoy Cocktail Book. While it still bore the same name, the recipe was shifted to using the more general “whisky” as its base spirit. By the mid 1930s, the cocktail became popular at the Vendome under a new name: the “Brown Derby.”* Brown Derby #2 1½ ounces Bourbon 1 ounce fresh red grapefruit juice ½ ounce Learn More
Colonel Beach’s plantation punch is a classic tiki cocktail that works quite well whether made by the glass or for the party. While the name is enough to make anyone feel a little uncomfortable given plantation’s abuse of slavery in far too recent history, this tiki cocktail is truly worth your attention. This plantation punch includes a surprisingly complex flavor profile thanks to the falernum, bitters and pernod. It also packs one hell of a wallop in terms of alcohol content. There are nearly three servings of alcohol in every glass, mostly taking the form of several delicious rums. This is sure to be the new favorite punch at any party you host, just be sure to warn your guests of its strength or they won’t get to remember it.