Prairie Oyster

Prairie Oyster – Classic Early 20th Century Hangover Cure

Is The Prairie Oyster Good and What Does It Taste Like

The prairie oyster doesn’t taste bad in fact its actually pretty good. You can barely taste the egg yolk. Mostly you just taste the funky Worcestershire sauce and spices, which I think taste pretty good and then the egg yolk just kinda pops and then goes down. I know that description is not very persuasive to trying it but it’s surprisingly good. If you like throwing back raw oysters then you most likely will like this too as its not too far off. The first prairie oyster you eat is for sure the hardest. You stare at it and the drink stares back. Eventually you realizing you have no choice but to drink it.

Truth be told I actually love this drink and my family is disgusted by me eating them. Egg yolk is pretty mild but the Worcestershire sauce and vinegar are what really hit you. Optional toppings are either ketchup, hot sauce, or horseradish. I actually like the horseradish as it actually sends a good quick burn up the sinuses. So it’s a nice funk and burn.

History Of The Prairie Oyster

The prairie oyster starts to pop up in books around the end of the 19th century beginning of the 20th century. Although the prairie oyster appears to be a take on an actual oyster dish. Similar to ordering a shrimp cocktail at the bar today the oyster cocktail was a nice go to during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many books had oyster cocktails among their recipes and the small bar bite typically was 5 or 6 shucked oysters in a glass, mixed with vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce or ketchup, and salt and pepper. Serve with a spoon and let the patron dig in. I also found in the 1891 book Boothby’s American bar a cocktail called the pick me up. The cocktail is Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black coffee and salt. The earliest example of the prairie oyster I could find is in the 1895 book “Drinks of All Kinds For All Seasons” by John Hogg of London. The origin story he presents is that a few Texans were out camping when one fell ill and demanded oysters to heal him. They didn’t have oysters but they had eggs. So they fixed up a drink of it similar to an oyster cocktail, handed it to their friend, and he suddenly got better. That story is most like not true (all the ones that fit together perfectly usually are not.) but it does offer a connection that the prairie oyster is based off a normal oyster cocktail. While there maybe no definitive origin to this cocktail it was probably invented around the 1890s.

Does The Prairie Oyster Actually Cure Hangovers

No, of course not, but what it does do is it forces you to focus and get it together. The drink isn’t actually that bad but most people will have to psych themselves out before throwing it back. Its that few seconds of you spend staring down at that funk covered egg yolk, building up the resolve to just do it, that perks you up. It’s jumping into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed. Just try it. I bet you have all the ingredients for it right now.

Drinking Raw Eggs

As a word of warning use pasteurized eggs if you can. Pasteurized eggs are still raw like a normal egg but with all the germs killed off. The FDA guesstimates that 1 in every 40,000 eggs has salmonella. Which is super rare. For reference there is a 1 in 8000 chance of dying in a plane crash, 1 in 5000 die from choking, and around 1% of sushi test positive for salmonella. I got these numbers from the FDA and Wall Street journal. Pasteurized eggs are kinda hard to find so you can pasteurizing them yourself or just roll the dice. If you have one of those fancy sous vide devices it’s really easy to just pasteurize them yourself. As someone who has had Salmonella poisoning before, I can say it is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. It feels like your intestines are possessed by the devil and being fed into a paper shredder. About a day or 2 in you start to think that you will actually die and you hope for death to come quick just to end it. Again 1 in every 40,000. So incredibly rare, and if you get Salmonella you’re much more likely to get it the same way I did, by eating food in somewhere with no running water, where people don’t wash their hands. I’ve eaten countless raw eggs and have never gotten sick from raw eggs once.

Why You Should Try The Weird Stuff

Nature loves courage, and always remember that no matter how weird or gross something is to you, (be it food, drinks, clothing, music, entertainment, or anything) its somebody’s favorite thing in the world. You just have to find out why. During your life you will be presented with things (and I’m taking about objects and experiences) that you either find gross or strange (like the Prairie Oyster) and your first reaction is typically to make a face and reject it, but don’t. Whatever it is you’re making a repulsed face at is somebody’s favorite thing in the world and it is that happiness you should try and channel when experiencing anything new. Doesn’t mean you have to end up liking it but you should always approach new experiences looking to find the joys in them. So take the risk and try something strange and remember this is someone favorite thing in the world. You just have to find why, because there is no telling what path that curious experience may lead you to. I learned this from Anthony Bourdain. I remember watching No Reservations in college and hearing him say before he eats anything new that he “remembers this is someones favorite dish in the whole world and my job is to find out why.”

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Prairie Oyster – Classic Early 20th Century Hangover Cure

5 from 1 vote
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

78

kcal
ABV

0%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a prairie oyster.

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • 1 tsp Malt Vinegar

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 tsp Horseradish

  • 1 Dash Salt

  • 1 Dash Black Pepper

Directions

  • Crack and separate an egg yolk into a lowball glass.
  • Add malt vinegar, worcestershire sauce, horseradish.
  • Add a dash of salt and black pepper.
  • Consume the prairie oyster in a single gulp.

Recipe Video

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

The History Of Hot Buttered Rum

Adding butter to hot drinks was not new during colonial America, butter beer dates back to the 16th century, but hot buttered rum was an early american twist on this type of drink. In the Americas rum and molasses were plentiful and fairly cheap because of it’s close proximity to the Caribbean. In fact rum was the first real spirit of the Americas, not whiskey. I looked high and low but I was unable to find a hot buttered rum like recipe till the 1860s with Jerry Thomas’s book. I scanned drink and food recipe books and eventually just started looking for any historical book older that 1860 that might have a recipe or at least mention a hot buttered rum. Trust me I put more effort into this cocktail than any reasonable person should. I did find a mention of it in the 1826 edition of the Pennsylvanian Historical society. I mentioned how it is common at birthing for “good women” to have hot buttered rum, wines and cordial water served to guest. And if the baby be unwell or fretful a dose of spirit, water and spices could help too. I found an 1855 British book called the Practical housewife, gave a very similar recipe to the one provided but called the drink a buttered toddy. A a book from 1830 called “Three Courses and a Dessert” mentions the hot butter rum and says how its a terrible meaty drink. There were a couple times I found this referred to as a buttered toddy but not much, the much more common name was still hot buttered rum.

Lord knows I tired but the earliest I could find this drink mentioned was in the 1826 Pennsylvanian Historical society. The titles of most of the books that had hot buttered rum recipes were like, the domestic blah blah blah, housewife so and so, or friendly neighbor such and such. They all revolved around the house and made no mention of going out to a tavern, which leads me to think this was very much a home made cocktail. This ultimately means the history of it is a bit muddy and there is no single canon recipe, so take this recipe, modify it, make it your own have fun.

What Does Hot Buttered Rum Taste Like

This is an amazing drink that is spiced well with great texture and flavor. The butter doesn’t come across as heavy or greasy, it adds a nice creamy mouthfeel similar to gum syrup, egg whites or a very full bodied wine. This drink is not weak either. You can really feel the warm rum but the light creamy butter and pumpkin pie spices make it pleasant and not too strong. When I was younger I use to think of this drink as more of an overly sweet almost milk shake like drink but it doesn’t have to be. And again since there is no real single canon recipe for this, the recipe I have here is an amalgamation of older recipes I liked. The sweetness and spice toned down a bit with a little bit more rum. The 2 ounces of rum helps keep the drink from feeling flat and the sugar and spice level make it so the drink taste like a cocktail and not a dessert. The hot buttered rum batter is great on anything. I sometimes add it to coffee, on toast, biscuits, pancakes, etc. Add a little more sugar, spice or butter if you feel the drink needs it.

Spiced Butter Batter Recipe

  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Clove
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Allspice (or 1/2 tbs: Allspice dram)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) Vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Unsalted butter

This recipe will make about a cup (240 grams) of spiced butter batter mix which is about 12 drinks. This is really good on biscuits too and my kids love this spread on toast.

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Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

220

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Hot Buttered Rum.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Spiced Butter Batter

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 6 oz Hot Water

Directions

  • Drop spiced butter batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug.
  • Add hot water and stir till the butter is completely melted and incorporated into the water.
  • Lastly add the rum and give a couple last stirs to finish mixing the drink.
Sake Bomb

Sake Bomb – Iconic Sushi Cocktail

The Sake Bomb Chant

Ichi, ni, san! Then boom you pound your fists on the table causing the shot glass to slip between the chop sticks and fall into the drink. Alcohol splashes everywhere, you then chug it, and everyone has a good time. Ichi, ni, san is Japanese for 1, 2, 3. Many popular theories has this cocktail invented during the American occupation of Japan after WWII but I don’t buy that. That story just seems too neat and convenient to me. I’m just guessing (so I’m most likely wrong) but I get the feeling this was a gimmick drink at a sushi restaurant in the late 1970s/early 80s. Some bullshit story about it being invented during WWII was told to make it sound cool and bars pushing this drink sold more high markup alcohol. I can’t prove that or have any evidence to back that up but that seems more plausible to me give the type of drink this is.

What Does a Sake Bomb Taste Like

The sake bomb is actually pretty good. I’m personally not the biggest fan of sake, but I find it mixes well with beer. Usually the drink is chugged so you never really get a chance to actually taste the drink but the fruit and grain flavors of the sake are subtle enough to enhance the beer’s existing flavor without changing it too much. I rarely buy sake, but when I do, I mix it with beer.

Best Beer To For A Sake Bomb

Typically a Japanese beer is used like Sapporo, Asahi, or Kirin. Those three beers are all lagers so lager style beer is what you want to try and stick with. In fact almost all beer in Japan is a lager, only a few like Hitachino Nest are ale style beers. So try and stick with one of those 3 if you can. Asahi super dry is my favorite of the 3 but at the end of the day, the best beer to use is the one you like.

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Sake Bomb – Iconic Sushi Cocktail

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

293

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Sake Bomb.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Lager Beer

  • 1.5 oz Sake

Directions

  • Pour half a 12 oz bottle of beer into a pint glass
  • Separately pour a shot of sake into a shot glass.
  • Place 2 chopsticks on top of the pint glass the width of the shot glass.
  • Place the shot glass on top so it is supported by the chopsticks

Notes

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini – Dick Bradsell’s Iconic Vodka Espresso Cocktail

History Of The Espresso Martini

Invented by Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London during the late 1980s, the espresso martini was the request of one of the patrons. Dick Bradsell claims a famous supermodel walked into the bar and requested a cocktail that would “Wake me up, and fuck me up.” He liked to elude to who but he never said exactly who requested the drink, but most seem to think it was Kate Moss, the other guess is maybe Naomi Campbell. Interestingly Kate Moss was born in 1974 so for this version to be true the oldest Kate Moss could have been is 16. She didn’t turn 18 till 1992. Maybe that’s why he never wanted to say who the model was, or the story is a bit exaggerated to make it sound cooler. Either way, who cares. it was over 30 years ago and the espresso martini is great. The original name for the espresso martini was the vodka espresso but somewhere along the line they went with espresso martini because it sounded cooler. There was also Cold War resentment during this time period and Dick Bradsell mentioned in interviews how he would try to avoid using Russian vodkas as it upset some in positions of power over him. Perhaps dropping the word vodka from its name was a strategic move to help avoid criticism.

Can You Use Normal Coffee To Make An Espresso Martini

Of course you can use normal coffee for espresso martini, you can do whatever the hell you damn well please, but it may not have the same flavor or foam on top. If you wanna make an espresso martini you kinda need espresso. Drip coffee gets you 50% of the way there but not all the way. It will still be good but not the same. Why this matters and why espresso is much better for this drink than normal drip coffee is the water to coffee ratio of espresso vs drip coffee. Espresso is a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of coffee to water and normal drip coffee is around 1:10 for a medium flavor cup of coffee. The drip coffee is fine but since you are only using 1 oz of it you want as much flavor and coffee bean oils as possible. The oil is what helps give it foam (read the section below on froth) and drip coffee will leave the drink a bit underwhelming, but the kahlua does help.

I won’t lie I was gifted a big espresso maker that cost a ton when helping a friend move, I would never personally pay for a coffee maker that cost as much as this one cost, but it is super fast and easy to use and convenient for getting an espresso shot or two right away. Although after all the years of drinking good and bad coffee and owning different makers, my favorite espresso maker is still my old little cheap Bialetti stove top unit. It’s 30 bucks, no moving parts, easy to use and makes hands down the best espresso. I would challenge my old dirty little Bialetti to the most expensive espresso machine any day. It’s one of those things that was invented 100+ years ago and has never changed because the first design was perfect. TLDR, if you are planning to make a ton of these day after day then get a machine to pull quick shots, but if you’re just making a few for yourself and friends then save your money and use a cheap stove top unit. Also I find how tight the espresso is tamped down to be more meaningful. There are little torque tampers that click when the pressure is ideal but really you just press till you can press anymore and you feel the grains stop compressing. Don’t hulk it but don’t be afraid to smash it down. This helps promote a more even and slower extraction. This was a bit of a coffee rant but I hope it helps if you were wondering.

How To Make An Espresso Martini Frothy

Shaking produces tons of bubbles but without something to stabilize the bubbles and keep them from falling apart back into the drink. Typically in cocktails the denatured protein in egg whites are used to create foam but how do you make foam without egg whites? Try shaking a martini, it will never get foamy. So the bubble stabilizing parts of an espresso martini are oil and sugar. Oil and sugar help increases the viscosity of the drink and make it difficult for the bubbles to break apart or combine together into larger bubbles. Also you kinda just gotta shake the shit out of it. You don’t need to shake it any longer but it should be a bit harder than usual since you’re trying to get a drink to foam that doesn’t really want to.

The photo I took of this cocktail was made with this exact recipe, but sometimes you get different results even when you do something the same way. Thats life. So if the foam does not quite look like this then first check your espresso. The rule of thumb is the more light brown foam on top of your espresso the more oil. The foam on top of the espresso shot are the oils from the coffee bean. Experiment with a longer or slower extraction, if you can, to see if you get more foam on the top of your espresso. Personally my machine pulls a shot a bit too fast. I found that my second shot of the same grounds actually has way more foam than my first shot and also taste better. Maybe its a setting I need to change or just how this one works. White foam is not helpful though and is just the shot getting watered down. White foam is mostly watery coffee bean oil that won’t hold or taste good. It should be a nice light brown, once the espresso foam starts to loose color you are pulling too long. Also try different brands. Different brands roast differently and that can change how much oil the toasted seeds can hold. I’ve always been a big fan of the Cuban brands but Italian ones are good too. Another thing to try is adding a bit more sugar or coffee liqueur. Not too much as these proportions are good but a teaspoon more (5mls) can help hold the foam after shaking. Also if you ever watch a video of Dick Bradsell make an espresso martini its not very foamy, and he’s the guy who invented them.

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Espresso Martini – Dick Bradsell’s Iconic Vodka Espresso Cocktail

5 from 1 vote
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

246

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Espresso Martini

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 2/3 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Vodka

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.
  • Garnish with 3 espresso beans.

Notes

Ideal Cocktail Sloppy Joe

Ideal Cocktail – Sloppy Joes 1933 Cuban Variation

The Many Variations Of The Ideal Cocktail

The Ideal cocktail was invented by Hugo Ensslin and is printed in his 1917 Book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. The ideal cocktail is a grapefruit variation of the martini and you can see that in the way the cocktail changed over time. A classic martini as Hugo saw it was what we would consider today to be a sweet martini. Made of gin and sweet vermouth. It’s during this time and more so into the 1930s that the dry martini becomes far more popular. Modifying Hugo’s original version based on the sweet martini, Jose Abeal (owner of Sloppy Joe’s) substituted sweet vermouth for dry vermouth (like the dry martini) but makes up for the sweetness with a little bit of simple syrup. Grapefruit, dry vermouth and dry gin is a bit much and the drink needs a little sweetness to taste good. The result is a clean and herbal grapefruit martini more suited for a warm tropical climate.

Sloppy Joes Cuban Bar

There are 2 famous pre-revolution Cuban bars. Well I should say there are least 2 famous pre-revolution Cuban bars that printed books and provided future generations their recipes. Bar La Florida and Sloppy Joe’s Bar, both in Havana Cuba. Sloppy Joe’s was created by Spanish immigrant Jose Abeal. The 1936 edition of his book details his biography. Jose immigrated from Spain to Cuba 1904 where he worked as a bartender for 3 years. He then moved to New Orleans where he worked as a bartender for another 6 years and then to Miami where he bartender for another 6 years. Upon moving back in 1918 to Cuba he opened a liquor store and added a bar. When a few of his American friends came to visit they commented on how dirty his store was. “Why, Joe, this place is certainly sloppy, look at the filthy water running from under the counter.” They were commenting on how he let the melted ice just run all over the ground. His friends would call him dirty or sloppy Joe and the name stuck. From his liquor store and bar, Jose sold classic American and Cuban drinks, and Spanish and cuban food. One of the most popular food items he sold was a traditional Spanish picadillo sandwich. A loose ground beef sandwich where the beef is cooked with crushed tomatoes, Spanish olives, spices and herbs it became more commonly known as a sloppy Joe in the United States. Although Sloppy Joe’s Picadillo sandwich is nothing like the midwestern BBQ sauce covered, Manwich style sloppy joes most of us are use to.

A political revolution later and Sloppy Joe’s fell on hard times. Now owned by the state and American tourist prohibited from visiting, Sloppy Joes only stayed open for a couple more years. The 1959 movie “Our Man In Havana” starting Sir Alec Guinness features some of the last videos of Sloppy Joe’s in its prime before its business dried up. After a fire in 1965 the bar and store closed completely with no real intention to ever open again. In 2013 though the bar was restored, where it was, as it was, and currently sells the same drinks and food items as it did in the 1930s – 1950s.

The Most Important Part

There really is no special trick to this one, just shake it like you would any normal cocktail you shake. What is important is to get it as cold as possible so that the tart and dry herbal flavors are softened and chilled. Shake it till the tins frost over. Only then is the drink as cold as ice. If its under shaken or chilled its a bit too tart and it should be consumed fairly quickly. All drinks should be but this one more so.

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Ideal Cocktail – Sloppy Joes 1933 Cuban Variation

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Cuban
Servings

1

servings
Calories

239

kcal
ABV

23%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Ideal Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.
Poets Dream

Poets Dream – William Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

How Does The Poet’s Dream Taste

The Poet’s Dream taste like a slightly more herbal dry martini. A little less boozy but more complex with small amount of benedictine and orange bitters. My suggestion is to serve this cold as possible, stir maybe a couple seconds more usual and go easy on the orange bitters. A dash too much on the bitters and that becomes the overwhelming flavor. Like the dry martini this is kinda a hard drink to make. Not because it is complex but because it is so subtle and unforgiving if you don’t get it right. This drink can be amazing if done right and the flavors are kept in check when measuring and stirring. But it can also be pungent if you get a little heavy handed on the bitters. It’s easier to start small on this and gauge the taste, adding a little more of the benedictine and bitters as you continue making more.

William Tarling’s Cafe Royal Book

Cafe Royal is absolutely massive. I can’t find exactly how many recipes are actually in this book, and I’m not going to count, but my best guess is around 1200. William Tarling did not actually create most of the recipes in the Cafe Royal, he was actually the president of the UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guild) and head bartender of the Cafe Royal in London. He instead compiled some of his own bars top recipes and the recipes of other UKBG into a single source. In his introduction he say he comb through more than 4000 recipes to find the best and most original ones from around England. This book is a monster and sadly normal folks like you and me will probably never own it. sure there are limited reprints from time to time, but there were only 1000 original copies made in it’s single 1937 edition. The book was actually created and sold as a fund raising item for the UKBG healthcare benefit and Cafe Royal sport club. Healthcare didn’t become universal till 1948 in the UK. We’re still waiting here in the US.

William Tarling was known for experimenting with new ingredients and positioned the Cafe Royal Bar as being more edgy and experimental in their recipes when compared to other more traditional bars like The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. Cafe Royal was known for being an early pioneer in Tequila, mezcal, and vodka cocktails mixed with exotic fruit juices. Tequila and Vodka cocktails don’t really start becoming more common till the 1940s with the Moscow mule and the margarita. It’s actually easy to argue that the margarita was actually invented at the Cafe Royal in the early 1930s as their picador cocktail. In the books preface William Tarling argues that there needs to be more originality and variety. Martinis and manhattans are great but just as one tires of eating the same dinner night after night, its monotonous to drink the same drinks at every party. Have some fun and try channeling your inner William and try something you wouldn’t normally drink.

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Poets Dream – William Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

115

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Poet’s Dream

Ingredients

  • 1 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 2 dashes Benedictine

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass, express an lemon peel over the top,
Martini Medium

Martini (Medium) | Classic 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

Medium Martini AKA The Perfect Martini

The last of the 3 main martinis, the medium martini is actually really good and combines the flavors of both the sweet and dry martini. The oldest printed martini recipe I could find is in the the 1888 edition of Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. His original 1882 edition does not provide a recipe for the Martini. The original martini recipe begins to appear between the late 1880s and 1890s and is essentially a pre-prohibition style Manhattan with Old Tom Gin instead of whiskey. Harry Johnson’s recipe is half Old Tom Gin, half sweet vermouth, a dash of orange liqueur, 2 dashes Boker’s (cardamom) bitters, 2 dashes gum syrup. If you look at my original pre-prohibition style Manhattan recipe they are almost the same, save for the Old Tom Gin. But the recipe begins to change over the next decade until it settles on the more generally accepted 2 oz Old Tom, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters with an expressed lemon peel. This is the standard martini up until the 1910s when the dry variation of the martini is invented and starts to get very popular. The original martini then becomes known as a sweet martini and a medium sweet version is also made that combines the two.

Now while most bartender by the 1910s through to prohibition know of the sweet and dry martini (Not all though, even books like Hoffman house from 1912 and Jack’s Manual from 1916 only have the sweet martini), not all seemed to do medium martinis. Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks only list the sweet and dry versions. It’s not till the mid 1920s that you start to see the medium martini recipe being printed. Starting in 1925 its books like L’art du Shaker by Dominique Bristol that begin printing medium martinis. The recipe for the medium martini is exactly the same regardless of the book. 1/2 dry gin, 1/4 dry vermouth, 1/4 sweet vermouth and most do not have a garnish for this drink. The exception to this is the Waldorf-Astoria’s recipe which has an expressed lemon peel and Spanish olive like the dry martini.

I chose to go with the Waldorf-Astoria recipe because I like the lemon oil and olive as a garnish. I think it makes the drink better. If you ignore the garnish the recipe for this cocktail is the exact same from the 1920 to the 1970s (I don’t own a cocktail recipe book from the 1980s). Somewhere after the 1970s this started to be called a perfect martini. I can’t find exactly when or by who but the name perfect martini is just as common today as a medium martini. For all 3 of my martini recipes I chose to go with the Savoy naming structure for martinis because it is the most clear and concise.

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Martini (Medium) | Classic 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

163

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic medium/perfect martini

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass, express an lemon peel over the top, and garnish with an Spanish olive
Mizuwari

Mizuwari – Water Cut With Whiskey

What The Name Mizuwari Means

The mizuwari is an iconic Japanese cocktail and it mean cut with water. Cutting whiskey with water is nothing unique to this cocktail as even in traditional Irish whiskey drinking the whiskey is cut with a little water to open up the flavors. The difference here is how much the whiskey is cut with water. Many whiskey drinkers will use just the water that melts off the ice, or some will add a single ounce of water, but the mizuwari is massive a 1-2 or 1-2.5 ratio of whiskey to water.

Why Drink a Mizuwari

The mizuwari and Japanese highball have a similar soul to them. They have a clean clear whiskey flavor but are not overpowering like a short old fashion style whiskey cocktail is. They are refreshing like a collins or rickey but without any of the extra flavors the collins or rickey bring. They are clean, easy to drink cocktails with whiskey being the only unobstructed flavor. The mizuwari is a bit easier to drink than the highball as it does not even have carbonation. but do not be mistaken. This is not just water added to whiskey. If done right this can be a great cocktail. If done wrong this can be the flattest and saddest drink.

The Most Important Part

The mizuwari is all about technique. Its just two ingredients (3 including the ice) but if combined properly those two ingredients can become something very good. So the most important part of making a mizuwari is the whole making of it. Its similar to making a Japanese highball but just a little bit simpler.

1). Start with a chilled glass. Stemware matters too. A highball, collins, or zombie glass works (they are all pretty similar anyway). Thats because the drink needs the heavy wide base to hold extra coldness, and the straight sides make stirring easier. pint glasses are fine but they taper to a smaller base which means less cold surface area to whiskey ratio. Next add your ice and since the glass is already chilled there is no need to use the ice to chill it. If the glass is not chilled stir the ice to cool the glass and dump the water that has melted off. Also the ice is very important. This is the ice served with the drink so it should be hard, clear, and very cold ice. All of this is done to dilute the whiskey as little as possible before adding the water. Obviously if you are adding water you are diluting it but the reason it preferable to dilute it as little as possible before adding water is it helps maintain the whiskey to water ratio you serve it at longer. If you combine the whiskey and water at a 1-2.5 ratio and then add ice then the ice will melt and change the ratio to something like 1-3 or more. If you do it the preferable way then you are able to see how much water was added chilling the whiskey and add more or less water as needed and not have melting ice change that ratio.

2). Next add your whiskey and stir for maybe 10 seconds. This is to cool the whiskey down to near freezing so that once you add the water the ratio is not changed while the ice melts and cools the drink to near freezing. When preparing a Japanese highball your concern is preserving the carbonation with cooler temperatures which you do not need to worry about here. This part is just to protect the water to whiskey ratio.

3). Next add the refrigerated water. The typical ratio is 1 part whiskey to 2 – 2.5 parts chilled water. You’ll want to vary this based on how strongly flavored the whiskey is and how much it was already lengthened by the melting ice. Your aim is balance and opening up the flavors so a more strongly flavored whiskey may want 5oz water to 2oz whiskey and a more subtle whiskey would work better with 4oz soda water to 2oz whiskey. Know the whiskey and add what you think will make it taste better. Also use a good tasting filtered water. You’re not adding juice or syrups so there is nothing to mask bad water or bad ice.

4). Finally give it a few last stirs to mix. Although don’t just turn the spoon in a circle but bring it to the bottom and pull the whiskey up into the water. Do this just couple times to evenly mix the drink. A lot of work for a simple 2 ingredient drink right?

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Mizuwari – Water Cut With Whiskey

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Japanese
Servings

1

servings
Calories

150

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a mizuwari

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Scotch

  • 5 oz Water

Directions

  • Add ice and whiskey to a chilled glass and stir the two to chill the whiskey
  • Add chilled filtered water and stir just a couple more times to mix the two ingredients.

Notes

Genever And Tonic

Genever And Tonic – Modern Version Of A Classic Cocktail

A Variation On The Classic Gin And Tonic

This variation of the classic Gin and Tonic uses two older style ingredients to create a vision of what an 1800s gin and tonic would have been like if it existed then. The older style genever gin adds a bit of aged flavor along with the traditional juniper and herbal notes. The tonic syrup brings an earthy and citrusy, almost tamarind like flavor not found in normal tonic water. If you like gin and tonics this one is definitely worth a try.

How Does The Genever and Tonic Taste

The genever and tonic hits all the notes of a classic gin and tonic, but it brings many new flavors too. The tonic syrup adds an earthiness and citrus flavor that pairs well with the more aged herbal flavors of the genever. This is a fantastic tasting cocktail that manages to both flavorful and refreshing with an almost tamarind like quality to it.

History Of The Use Of Tonic Syrup and Quinine

The clarified tonic water used today dates back to the 1870s when Schweppes figured out how to precisely extract quinine, clarify it and bottle it as the product we know today. Discover by the native peoples of Peru, the bark of the Cinchona tree had many medicinal properties one of which was preventing illness from mosquito bites and other physical ailments. The invading Spanish navy observed this and brought back Cinchona to be studied. The Cinchona bark was found to help with nerve pains, fevers, asthma, and they realized the illness it prevented from the mosquito bites was malaria. The ground up and infused cinchona bark tasted terrible, and to counter the poor taste spices, citrus peels and sugar were added to make a kind of quinine julap. Often the syrup would be administered with wine and eventually led to a market of quinine wines called quinquina. Dubonnet, Lillet, and Cocchi Americano are aperitifs we still use to day that started out as quinquinas with Dubonnet and Cocchi Americano still containing quinine to this day.

It was know for a very long time that quinine helped treat and prevent malaria but the process of extraction was too crude and not some thing that could be done on a scale massive enough to support large European armies. The 1820s saw a massive improvement in the extraction process and in the 1850s Erasmus Bond began selling the first carbonated quinine water. By this point the English had already successfully invaded India (present day India and Pakistan) but Africa’s environment was still too difficult to crack. In the 1870s Schweppes perfected the process and began selling a clarified “Indian Quinine Water” that could be produced on a massive scale. This was the invention many European militaries were waiting for.

At the start of 1880s the major European empires were able to penetrate Africa beyond its coast, dividing up is peoples and land for their personal profit and they could only have done it with quinine. The Gin and Tonic as we know it today was probably not being made around this time. If the tonic water was being mixed with gin it was most likely because of availability and not soldiers specifically looking to make this cocktail.

Creation Of The Gin And Tonic

The gin and tonic as we know it today was most likely invented in British occupied India around the 1920s to 1930s. If a genever and tonic was ever made it was most likely made between the 1870s and 1900. Dry gin didn’t start to become a common mixing spirit till the early 1900s just as genever and Old Tom gin started to fade. Cocktail books from the 1890s and back make no mention of it. In fact no cocktail books mention a Gin and Tonic cocktail till the 1940s. The earliest reference I can find to a gin and tonic are in the 1946 The Roving Bartender and The Stork Club Bar book. The Roving Bartender by Bill Kelly describes it as “A favorite drink in the tropics”. After that it’s common in cocktail books but every minor and major cocktail book prior to those two makes no mention of the drink. The simplest and most likely reason is it didn’t exist yet. Ideas and recipes take time to travel so placing its creation around the 1920s to 30s lines up.

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Genever And Tonic – Modern Version Of A Classic Cocktail

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

293

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style gin and tonic

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Tonic Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a glass with ice
  • Stir the ingredients together to both chill and mix them
  • Top off with the soda water
  • Garnish with a lemon slice

Notes

Double Barrel

Double Barrel – 1895 George Kappeler’s Modern American Drink

The Mighty Double Barrel Cocktail

While not as alcoholic as a manhattan it has much more flavor. For this cocktail George Kappeler just put it all together. Both sweet and dry vermouth and both orange and angostura bitters. The recipe calls for just whiskey but with all the herbal flavors in this cocktail the spiciness of rye mixes well. Sadly this drink didn’t have much of a life outside of George Kappeler’s books and is absent from most any other book after. If you’re looking for an awesome drink that was forgotten by time give the Double Barrel a shot.

George Kappeler And The New York Holland House Hotel

Like the Waldorf-Astoria, the Holland House Hotel in New York had one of the best bars in the country. Interestingly both hotels were right down the street from each other Holland House on 30th and 5th and the Waldorf-Astoria on 34th and 5th, the present day location of the Empire State Building. Opened December 7th, 1891 the interior of the Holland house was considered its prized jewel. The New York Times in 1891 praised its beautiful carved marble interiors, ornate rooms, mosaic floors and describe the hotel as a marvel of bronze, marble and glass work. Managing the hotels cafe and restaurant Bar was one of the top bartenders in the New York George Kappeler. He’s credited with inventing many famous cocktail, a few still popular today, and was the first to describe a classic whiskey cocktail as being old fashion. He used the term old fashioned to differentiate from his other fancy and standard whiskey cocktails. George published his first cocktail book in 1895 and a updated second edition in 1906.

The good times did not last though and by the mid 1910s most of the wealthy New York clients moved further north to park avenue and the hotel started to fall on hard times. With the passing of the 18th amendment and the Volstead Act going into effect on January 17th, 1920 the hotels few remaining revenue streams dried up and the hotel was sold. The Holland house closed that same year and was converted to an office building. The interior was gutted to make room for office spaces and like the Waldorf-Astoria, a vital piece of american cocktail history was lost. Although unlike the Waldorf-Astoria the building is still standing on 30th and 5th next to Marble Collegiate Church. The grand interior is long gone but it’s still fun to see the façade of the once great Holland House.

The Most Important Part

Vermouth is obviously always important and worth sending a little more for to get a quality product but the whiskey you use will have the biggest impact on this cocktail. George Kappeler only wrote to use whiskey but I personally feel a nice spicy rye whiskey with a bit of burn works really well here. Bourbon is good but it ends up being too sweet getting lost in the mix. The strong herbal wine flavors of the vermouth, the earthy angostura bitters, and citrusy orange bitters are better balanced by a spicy rye. Also since its only 1 ounce of whiskey it needs to be a bit stronger and have some burn to offset the 2 ounces of vermouth.

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Double Barrel – 1906 George Kappeler’s Modern American Drink

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

152

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Double Barrel

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 1 oz Rye Whiskey

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into a glass.
  • Garnish with 2 maraschino cherries.