Tag Archives: CLASSIC COCKTAILS

Comics & Cocktails #5 • Dr. Strange Orders A Mai Tai

COMICS & COCKTAILS

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “Comics & Cocktails” post, but I was reading Marvel’s new Doctor Strange book the other night and came across this:

 

Don’t get between Stephen Strange and his drink!

In this first issue of Marvel’s new solo series, Dr. Strange meets a group of fellow Mystics at a secret New York bar for magicians.

In the panel preceding this one, Strange gets hassled about his bill, but not the “bill” as in his bar tab. He gets hassled about the bill due for all the magic he uses — or, put another way, the cost of his sorcery and what it means to the world.

But Strange is all like: “Chill, dude… My drink ain’t even ready yet.”

I’d have to go back and re-read the issue, but I thought Chondu was at the table with Strange — but maybe he’s the bartender? Either way, Strange just wants his Mai Tai.

THE MAI TAI
The Mai Tai is one of those drinks that people know about, but don’t really know what’s in it. 

People know it’s name and order it because they’ve heard it said in movies and on television. Nothing’s wrong with any of this, of course, I just usually feel bad when someone orders the drink at the bar where I work — because it’s not a drink we offer (or even have the ingredients to make). And thankfully, everyone who has ever tried ordering the drink from me has never seemed to mind the fact that I couldn’t make it for them… Because they didn’t know what was in it themselves and only wanted to order if because the name stuck with them.

All that said, if you see a Mai Tai on a cocktail list somewhere — give it a shot!

ABOUT THIS DRINK
The Mai Tai was created by either Trader Vic or Don the Beachcomber, and the recipe from each of those tiki heavyweights differs slightly.

The following recipe comes from Imbibe Magazine:

  • 1 oz. amber Martinique rum
  • 1 oz. aged Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orange curaçao
  • 1/4 oz. orgeat
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
  • Garnish: mint sprig

PREPARATION
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add crushed ice. Shake for 10 seconds and pour, unstrained into a glass. Garnish.

Adapted from Jeff Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log, 1998

•PAST COMIC BOOK POSTS•
•#1 — Darkseid Drinking Brandy (Link)
•#2 — Constantine Chugging From The Bottle (Link)
#3 — Iron Man Shares A Drink (Link)
#4 — Hellboy Beer (Link)

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Filed under COCKTAIL RECIPES, COMIC BOOKS, COMICS AND COCKTAILS

The Bitter Truth’s Apricot Liqueur

Just bought a bottle of The Bitter Truth’s Apricot Liqueur!

Now to make some classic cocktails! 

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Filed under BRANDS, LIQUEURS

Pics From Negroni Week

The sun was shining so brightly today that I took my Negroni outside:

  

And:

And:  

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Filed under AMARO, BITTERS & TINCTURES, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, LIQUEURS, LIQUOR, PHOTO POST, Uncategorized, WESTFIELD

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

Happy Birthday, Mary Pickford!

Today is film actress Mary Pickford’s birthday!

And, as so many of the stars from her era did, she has a cocktail named after her!

The Mary Pickford cocktail is made with rum, pineapple juice, cherry liqueur and grenadine. It was created by a bartender named Eddie Woelke, who fled to Cuba during Prohibition — like so many others in the profession who scattered to countries all around the world.

About Mary Pickford:

Mary Pickford was born April 8, 1892 and died May 29, 1979. She was a Canadian-American actress and a co-founder of the film studio United Artists. She was also one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. You know, thee Academy!

She won two Academy Awards in her lifetime. The first was in 1929 when she won the award for Best Actress for her performance in CoquetteThe second was in 1975 when she was presented with an honorary Oscar “in recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium.”

You can find her full filmography online here.

The Mary Pickford Cocktail:

Recipe from Imbibe Magazine:

  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 barspoon grenadine
  • 1 barspoon maraschino liqueur

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a brandied cherry.

The PDT Cocktail Book:

In The PDT Cocktail book, author Jim Meehan gets a little more specific about brands. He cites the book Cocktails by Pedro Chicote, published in 1928:

  • 2 oz. Banks 5 Island Rum
  • .75 oz. pineapple juice
  • .5 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • .25 oz. house grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish.

Alternate History:

The Mary Pickford cocktail was created by either Eddie Woelke, as mentioned above, or another bartender of the era. As with so with so many classic cocktails, there are multiple sources cited in the history of the Mary Pickford.

In his book Cocktails, Cocktails, and More Cocktails, author Kester Thompson writes that the drink was created specifically for Pickford during a trip which she took to Cuba in the 1920s with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. The bartender he names as having created the drink is Fred Kaufmann.

Imbibe Magazine cites Woelke while Difford’s Guide names Kaufman (only one “N” though for some reason). Additionally, the Difford’s Guide article I linked doesn’t even mention Woelke, even though the piece does mention the El Presidente cocktail — which is the drink he’s best known for having created.

The blog Cold Glass has a nice write-up about the drink here.

Thirsty For More?

Serious Eats — Link

•Mix That Drink — Link

•History Of Drinking — Link

 

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, HISTORY, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RUM

The New York Sour

Whiskey, sugar, lemon juice and red wine — the New York Sour is simple, classic, has an interesting history and appeals to both wine drinkers as well as whiskey cocktail fans.

I made a brief mention of the New York Sour when writing about Buffalo Proper last week.

My wife ordered the restaurant’s New York Sour, which was made with with Old Overholt, fresh lemon juice and a Rioja.

I’ve made more than a few of these from behind the bar at Forte. Here’s how one of mine looked the other day:

  

There’s a real beauty of a blog post about the New York Sour online here at Food 52.

The writer cites David Wondrich about the drink’s Chicago roots:

Drink History via Food 52:
According to cocktail authority David Wondrich, the New York Sour is not actually from New York, but rather from Chicago, where, in the 1880s, a bartender began dressing up his sours by adding a “snap” of claret.

But it was particularly popular in New York during Prohibition, when the wine, lemon, and sugar were handy camouflages for the not-so-hot whiskey of the era, and at some point, the name stuck.

Whatever its origins, you could drink a New York Sour anytime, anywhere, and it would feel right. But we’re partial to it for early fall, the way the puckery lemon swirls together with spicy rye and dark, warming red wine.

Also, this post on Serious Eats cites Wondrich’s book Imbibe! on the fact that the drink was also known as a “Continental Sour” and a “Southern Whiskey Sour” during the 1880s, with the name “New York Sour” mostly settled on by the early 1900s.

What wine to use?

  • Wondrich says Claret.
  • Food 52 says Malbec or Syrah.
  • Buffalo Proper serves it with Rioja.
  • At Forte we use Cabernet.

Further Reading:

— Liquor.com recipe no. 1 and no. 2

— Liquor.com’s video recipe.

— Bon Appetit & Epicurious

About This Cocktail:

For my New York Sour pictured above, I used a California Cabernet — medium-bodied with notes of raspberry, plum skin & black currant and a velvety smooth finish. It complimented the drink nicely. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz rye whiskey or other whiskey of preference. I actually used 1.5 oz of Knob Creek bourbon, which is 100 proof and has a spicy rye-like bite.
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz red wine

Preparation:

Add all ingredients except the wine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a lowball glass filled with fresh ice. Using the back of a spoon, slowly pour the red wine into the drink — and if done carefully it should float for a short time on top of the whiskey sour. Garnish with a lemon wedge or wheel or twist.

Some recipes call for an egg white, as a lot of old sours recipes do… I like the recipes which list egg white as “optional.” I didn’t use egg white in the drink pictured above, but you’ll find it listed in some of the recipes I linked to in this post.

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Filed under COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES