Syrup of Orgeat is used in many drink recipes with the most famous being the original Mai Tai developed by Trader Vic in the 1930s. Orgeat (pronounced ORE-ZHAT) is basically almond syrup with added orange flower water. The syrup is an emulsion of almond oil and water. This gives Orgeat syrup a milky appearance.
There is a lot of crappy Orgeat (or just almond syrup) out there. They leave ... 7/25/2012
This variation of the Screwdriver is itself the base for many other drinks. It probably came about during the cocktail Dark Ages of the 1970's and 80's when juicy drinks and fern bars ruled. I am not much of a sloe gin fan (I OD'd on some of the cheap stuff in college) because up until recently all the sloe gin was low quality, bottom shelf crap. But along with the cocktail revival has come ... 7/25/2012
I first tried a Blood and Sand at the Tiki-Ti in Hollywood, CA. The Tiki-Ti is one of the last original Tiki bars and they serve a rocks version of the Blood and Sand with your choice of base spirit: Scotch, bourbon or Tequila. If you choose Tequila they pour a 30 second Tequila float (albeit with a restricted pourer on the bottle) on the drink while the whole bar chants "Toro! Toro!". It's ... 7/25/2012
Often considered a morning or brunch drink, the Greyhound actually has a cocktail pedigree that dates back to Prohibition. We find in our well used volume of The Savoy Cocktail Book a certain Grapefruit Cocktail on page 78:
(for 6 people)
Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons
2 Small Spoonsful Grapefruit Jelly
4 Glasses Gin
Add ice and shake.
That looks like a tasty drink but ... 7/25/2012
The record seems to be pretty solid that Col. Joe Rickey really did invent this drink in Washington DC. It was probably during one of the scorching summers as this drink has a cooling effect like few others (Col. Rickey claimed that the absence of sugar was a big reason for this). This is a go-to hot weather drink. Use large ice cubes or smaller ones if the heat is not oppressive.
The ... 7/24/2012
The Gin Rickey is the most well know Rickey variation. This is in no small part due to it's worldwide popularity in the 1890's when it eclipsed (some would say destroyed) the original Rickey (made with whiskey) in popularity.
The cooling effect of a Gin Rickey probably had something to do with this in a time with no air conditioning. Also, dry gin was gaining popularity at the time and ... 7/24/2012
The Old Fashioned cocktail came about in the late 19th Century when cocktails were getting fancied up with liqueurs, fruit and more exotic glassware. The old timers wanted their more plainly built cocktails that they used to enjoy in earlier years (1850's to 1870's) so they would call out for "an old fashioned whiskey cocktail" to their bartenders.
The name caught on and it's quaint to ... 7/23/2012
There have been many pieces written on the origin of the Martinez Cocktail and whether it is the ancestor of the Martini. I will not go into the historical information because I believe it has been covered best by David Wondrich in Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash.
I would like to talk about how I make my Martinez and some of the choices I have made. First this is a vermouth heavy drink so you need to use a ... 7/23/2012
Amer Picon is a bitter, orange-flavored aperitif made from oranges, quinine, cinchona and gentian. It was invented by Gaëtan Picon (a Frenchman) in 1837. Back then it was used as an aperitif and as a treatment for stomach and digestion problems. It used to be produced at 78 proof, but the manufacturer has lowered the proof considerably since then. This has affected how Amer Picon mixes in ... 7/22/2012
Torani Amer is an aperitif made in the style of Amer Picon, a French amaro that is impossible to find in the United States. Fortunately, Torani Amer fills the gap with its bitter orange, gentian, and cinchona bark notes. It also is made at the full 78 proof that Amer Picon used to be made at (it has dropped to 42 proof).
If you are ever in San Francisco or the surrounding area you'll see ... 7/21/2012