Friday, May 30, 2008

The Real Cocktail Hour

If you are looking for some girly cocktails to get you in the mood for the movie that is coming out today, you are in the wrong place. I am not going to feature something in a martini glass just because that movie made a it an accessory (and fad).

Today, I am going to share with you, my loyal reader, some classic cocktail recipes. These drinks put the c*ck, back in cocktails - they are strong and not to be consumed by amature drinkers.

The true definition of a “classic cocktail” means that it appeared on menus before the end of Prohibition (1934). The recipes I included below may not be “classic” by definition, but they are all official cocktails of the International Bartenders Association (or IBA if you will).

Old Fashioned
Possibly the first drink to be called a cocktail, this is served in guess what…an Old Fashioned glass. This drink dates back to one of the original six drinks listed in David A. Embury’s book "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks."

Recipe
12 parts American whiskey1 part simple syrup
1-3 dashes Angostura bitters to each drink
In an old-fashioned glass, add bitters to simple syrup and stir. Add about 1 ounce of whiskey and stir again. Add two cubes of cracked, but not crushed, ice and top off with the rest of the whiskey. Twist lemon peel over the top and serve garnished with the lemon peel and a maraschino cherry


Manhattan
The Manhattan dates back to the 1870’s to the Manhattan Club in where else – New York City. It was said to been invented for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome, aka Winston Churchill’s mom) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. Today, the drink has been called the “king of cocktails,” because it is a drinking man’s cocktail – strong, urbane and simple.
Recipe
5 parts American whiskey
1 part Italian (sweet) vermouthdash of Angostura bitters to each drink
Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and serve garnish with a maraschino cherry


Bloody Mary
While there is some debate over the creation of the Bloody Mary, in 1939 Lucis Beebe wrote in the New York Herald Tribune that “George Jessel’s newest pick-me-up which is receiving attention from the town’s paragraphers is called a Bloody Mary: Half tomato juice, half vodka.”
Recipe
3 parts Vodka
6 parts Tomato juice
1 part Lemon juice
Add dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco , salt and pepper into highball glass, then pour all ingredients into highball with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with Celery Salt and lemon wedge


The Martini
The original “tini” drink, I think I my 13 year drinking career I’ve probably see one or two people actually drink this version. Like many drinks on this list, The Martini’s history is a bit blurred, but throughout the years, this drink has been a favorite of notables like Winston Churchill,
Recipe
7 parts English gin
1 part French (dry) vermouth
Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, twist lemon peel over the top and serve garnished with an olive, preferably one stuffed with any kind of nut.

One thing that I can agree with Embury on is that “..the drink will never be any better than the quality of the cheapest ingredient in it.” That means don’t use Vladimir Vodka.

(Sources: Wikipedia, IBA, JB photos from my files, houstonist )

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