Tag Archives: DAVID WONDRICH

You’ve Got Airmail

Here’s some history: The song “Please Mr. Postman” was released on August 21 in 1961.

The song was released by The Marvelettes and it was the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart.

  
Rather than search the Internet for a “Postman” cocktail, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the classic “Airmail” drink!

About This Drink:

The Airmail is a rum and champagne drink made with honey — or made with a honey syrup.

The recipe below is David Wondrich’s recommendation, which can be found online at Esquire.com:

Ingredients:
•2 ounces rum (golden or aged)
•1/2 ounce lime juice
•1 teaspoon honey
•5 ounces Brut champagne

Preparation:

Shake all ingredients (except the champagne) over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flut. Finish by topping the drink with champagne.

In his Esquire article, Wondrich points out that the drink is sort of like “a cross between the French 75 and the Honey Bee.” And additionally, he can’t explain its origin, but it does appear for the first time in Esquire’s 1949 Handbook for Hosts.

Further Reading:

—Check Imbibe Magazine here.
—This recipe includes Angostura Bitters.
—And the Cold-Glass blog has a really lengthy article worth reading.

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Filed under ANNIVERSARIES, CHAMPAGNE, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, HISTORY, RUM

Visualizing The Moscow Mule

A quick chalkboard drawing dedicated to The Moscow Mule:

  
 

And here are some links:
—Liquor.com’s “how to” video for The Moscow Mule
—Here’s the David Wondrich take: (Link)
—And Imbibe Magazine always has the prettiest pictures.

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Filed under GINGER BEER, VODKA, WORK-RELATED

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

Vodka Soda Splash

Today is Rose Kennedy’s birthday.

A Rose Kennedy is a cocktail comprised of vodka and soda water with a splash of cranberry juice.

There are cocktails which people know to order by name, such as Cosmopolitans and Manhattans. Then there are those cocktails which get ordered by their component parts, such as the standard vodka cranberry and also the subject of today’s post — the Rose Kennedy.

I don’t know when and how this drink originated, but at some point in the last year I read that a “Vodka Soda Splash” is alternately called a “Rose Kennedy.” Whether or not it’s a regional thing I’m not sure, but it’s definitely associated with the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern parts of the U.S.

Imagine this with a little less red, more pink and some bubbles:
20140722-102840-37720790.jpg
That pic is from David Wondrich’s write-up in Esquire on the Cape-Codder, without which there would be no Rose Kennedy Cocktail (or Madras or Sea Breeze or Bay Breeze).

Proportions vary (and truthfully, there’s not a lot written about the Rose Kennedy Cocktail online). The nice thing though is that the recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. It is only a Vodka Soda Splash after all.

Rose Kennedy Cocktail:
•2 oz vodka
•2 oz soda water
•Splash of cranberry juice

Add all the ingredients into a rocks glass packed full with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Filed under COCKTAIL RECIPES