Category Archives: BIRTHDAYS

Happy Birthday, Ginger Rogers!

Today is the birthday of old Hollywood actress Ginger Rogers!

She was born on this day, July 16, in 1911!

  

Sometimes when searching a drink, I end up finding dozen different recipes from as many websites, blogs and cocktail books.

And although there are surely cocktails with more variations to their name, searching for a Ginger Rogers drink did result in a couple different recipes.

For the Ginger Rogers recipe I’m writing about today, I pulled info from Cocktailia and Post-Prohibition.

About This Drink:

A gin and ginger ale drink made extra-fancy with mint, lime juice and more!

From Post-Prohibition:

This recipe was created at Portland’s Zefiro in 1995 by Marcovaldo Dionysos. It gained its popularity at Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in San Francisco where it was one of the most ordered drinks. It’s also the cocktail that inspired the book The Art of the Bar.

Ingredients:
•2 oz gin
•1/2 oz fresh lime juice
•1/2 oz ginger syrup
•8 to 10 mint leaves
•op with ginger ale
•Garnish with a lime wedge

Preparation:

Shake all ingredients except the ginger ale over ice and double strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with mint and a lime wedge.

  

Other Recipes:

  1. Imbibe Magazine calls for a whiskey sour with gingerbread flavor.
  2. This classic recipe calls for dry vermouth and apricot brandy, among other ingredients. Read more about it here.
  3. Immediately below is a recipe from Liquor.com which uses Campari and then further on down this post is another recipe from Maker’s Mark which used mango nectar:

From Liquor.com:
Ingredients:
•1 Strawberry, sliced
•5 Clementine segments
•2 oz Campari
•3 oz Orange Juice
•1 pinch Ground ginger
•1 splash 7UP

Preparation:
In a shaker, muddle the strawberry and clementine. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an edible pansy.

From Maker’s Mark:
Ingredients
•2 parts Maker’s Mark
•2 & 1/2 parts mango nectar 
•1/2 part fresh lime juice
•1/2 part ginger beer
•Dash Angostura
Preparation
Pour the Maker’s Mark, mango nectar, lime juice and bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 25 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass or serve over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with 3 cubes of mango spiked on a wood skewer.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN, GINGER, OLD HOLLYWOOD

The Prizefighter No. 1 Cocktail

Today I’m writing about the Prizefighter cocktail, keeping in theme with yesterday’s pugilist post.

Yesterday was Jack Dempsey’s birthday and I wrote a blog post about the Dempsey Cocktail, which can be found by clicking here.

Dempsey was not only a boxer. He opened a restaurant later in life and also appeared in the film The Prizefighter and the Lady:

  
The Prizefighter cocktail is a contemporary take on the smash/sour — with Fernet-Branca as the base spirit.

The drink was created by bartender Nicholas Jarrett in 2010 and was included in the 75th anniversary edition of Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide.

  

The following is from my Bar Notes page, which mirror’s Nick Jarrett’s post about the drink:

About This Cocktail:

I recently tried my hand at making Nicholas Jarrett’s Prizefighter No. 1 — an original from Clover Club, which I found the recipe for on the Bar Notes app.

Ingredients:
•1 oz. Fernet Branca
•1 oz. Carpano Antica
•3/4 oz. simple syrup
•1/4 oz. lemon juice
•6-8 mint leaves
•3-4 lemon wedges
•Pinch salt

Preparation:

Muddle the lemon, mint and salt in the simple syrup. Combine the other ingredients in the tin, and whip shake the drink. Fine strain over crushed ice, and garnish with mint.

Still Thirsty For More?

—Read this post on Cocktail Virgin Slut. The proportions of the simple syrup and lemon juice have been modified in order to eliminate the lemon wedges from the equation. It definitely simplifies things a step. I made the drink this way as well yesterday… And cutting back on the simple syrup didn’t seem to hurt it.

—A write-up about Fernet on Cocktails & Cologne that mentions the Prizefighter.

And here’s another picture:

  

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Filed under AMARO, APPS, BARS, BIRTHDAYS, BRANDS, COCKTAIL RECIPES

Happy Birthday, Jack Dempsey!

It’s Jack Dempsey’s birthday today, which had me flipping through my copy of Mr. Boston for the recipe for the Dempsey Cocktail:

  
That pic above comes from the 1953 edition of the Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide.

I know Mr. Boston’s not the oldest cocktail book nor the most cited, but it’s the only one I have on hand that mentions the Dempsey Cocktail.

Jack Dempsey

Who was Jack Dempsey? I didn’t know much about the man until I cribbed the following from Wikipedia:

William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey was born June 24, 1895 and dies May 31, 1983. He was also known as “Kid Blackie” and “The Manassa Mauler.”

He was an American professional boxer, who became a cultural icon of the 1920s.

Dempsey held the World Heavyweight Championship from 1919 to 1926, and his aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.

From Mr. Boston:

Ingredients:

•1 oz dry gin
•1 oz apple brandy
•1/2 teaspoon absinthe substitute
•1/2 teaspoon grenadine

Preparation:

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a 3 oz cocktail glass.

Other Recipes:

—Difford’s Guide uses rum in its “Jack Dempsey” cocktail.


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Filed under ABSINTHE, BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL BOOKS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN

The Dash Hammett Cocktail

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Dashiell Hammett’s birthday.

Today’s post is just a quick photo post of the cocktail I made:

 
About This Cocktail

The Dash Hammett is a smoky martini I read about in Mark Kingwell’s book called Classic Cocktails: A Modern Shake. It doesn’t specify brands or have any exotic ingredients, or even really all that many ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon smoky scotch
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Preparation

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, or first rinse the glass with scotch — not shaking it with the gin and dry vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink and around the rim of the glass.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, GIN, HISTORY, LITERARY DRINKERS, PHOTO POST, SCOTCH

Happy Birthday, Dashiell Hammett!

Ever want to drink like all the hard-boiled detectives and rogues depicted in classic pulp and noir stories?

Well, today is a perfect day for doing just that. Today is Dashiell Hammett’s birthday. He was born May 27, 1894.

There’s no official “Dashiell Hammett” cocktail that I know of, but the writer contributed more than a few things to drinking culture throughout the years.

His characters Nick and Nora appear in a series of mvoies, though Hammett wrote only one Thin Man novel. And then, of course, there is the Nick and Nora glass itself! 

Plus, Dashiell also gave us Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and Ed Beaumont in The Glass Key, among many others.

Want to kill a few minutes? Click this link for a montage of booze-related scenes from the Nick and Nora movies.

The montage kicks off with Nick Charles instructing a group of guys on how to appropriately shake different drinks:

“The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. A Manhattan you shake to foxtrot, a Bronx to two-step time. A Dry Martini you always shake to waltz time.”

The scene where Nick marks time with the cocktail shaker isn’t in the original  novel,  but it is a part of Nick and Nora’s larger cinematic world — which will now be forever entwined with Hammett in general.

As I wrote earlier, there’s no official “Dasheill Hammett” cocktail that I know of, but in the book Classic Cocktails: A Modern Shake by Mark Kingwell, the last chapter (entitled “Spygames”) does conclude the book with a drink the writer dubs the “Dash Hammett.”

Kingwell writes the following passage about the drink:

In a final tribute, then, to an American original who appreciated a cocktail — if ultimately rather too many of them for his own good, a worthwhile note of caution here at the end — let’s stipulate a name change. There is no Spade, Hammett, or Thin Man cocktail that we know of. There is, however, an excellent drink that combines gin and scotch, the two favourite quaffs of the Hammett hard-men. We mean the so-called Smoky Martini. That’s six parts gin, one part dry vermouth, and a teaspoon of scotch, shaken with cracked ice and strained  into a chilled cocktail glass, lemon twist to garnish. (You can also dilute the scotch by washinbg it around the glass and discarding, rather than mixing in: the Scotch Wash.) 

It may never catch on with the rest of the world, but this drink will always be, for us, better known as the Dash Hammett.

About This Cocktail

The Dash Hammett is a smoky martini I read about in Mark Kingwell’s book called Classic Cocktails: A Modern Shake. It doesn’t specify brands or have any exotic ingredients, or even really all that many ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon smoky scotch
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Preparation

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, or first rinse the glass with scotch — not shaking it with the gin and dry vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink and around the rim of the glass.

Further Reading:

— Here’s a write-up about Hammett and San Francisco Noir.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN, HISTORY, LITERARY DRINKERS, OLD HOLLYWOOD, SCOTCH, Uncategorized

Any Reason For A Sazerac Is Reason Enough For Me

Today is Katharine Hepburn’s birthday.

She was born May 12, 1907.

In celebration of her birthday, I say we should all have a Sazerac.

It’s the second time in a week that I’ve recommended this cocktail. And I’m sure I’ll find a dozen more reasons to do so again as time goes on, but today is about Katharine Hepburn.

I don’t know if she has a cocktail named after her at all, but she did drink a Sazerac or two in the film State of the Union, which was made in 1948.

 

The film stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as political campaigners, and at one point, a Southern guest of Hepburn’s character introduces her to the Sazerac cocktail.

The website The Hooch Life drscribes the scenario as follows:

In the classic political comedy, State of the Union, Katharine Hepburn’s character passes out after two of these cocktails while her drinking companion shouts, “Honey, make me another Sazerac!”

This official cocktail of New Orleans is as boozy as you’d expect, and, if it’s cool enough for Katharine, it’s more than cool enough for me.

Read the full list of 10 classic cocktails and who drank them in this 2011 piece on The Hooch Life.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

PREPARATION

Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a small amount of absinthe (or Herbsaint)band then discard the excess liquid.

Stir all the ingredients except the absinthe over ice and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Happy Birthday To Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino was born May 6, 1895.

Valentino made movies from 1914 through 1926, including the film Blood & Sand. And, of course, the “Blood & Sand” cocktail was named for Valentino’s 1922 bullfighting film.

The recipe is first known to have appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

And that’s really all that’s known about the drink! Gary Regan wrote about the Blood & Sand online here for Liquor.com. And that’s where I took the following recipe from:

INGREDIENTS

  • .75 oz Scotch
  • .75 oz Sweet vermouth
  • .75 oz Cherry brandy
  • .75 oz Fresh orange juice

  • PREPARATION

    Shake and strain all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

      

    IMBIBE MAGAZINE

    So much of what’s fun about researching old drinks like this is how they have changed throughout the years.

    Imbibe Magazine cites Bill Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix ’Em from 1934, which drips the sweet vermouth:

  • 1 oz. blended Scotch
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 oz. Cherry Heering
  • STILL THIRSTY?

    — Check out Difford’s Guide for the classic recipe, the drink’s history and also a number of variants on the basic Blood & Sand.

    —This Saveur recipe bumps up the scotch.

      

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