Nika Cocktail – Recipe

Nika
Nika

What Does The Nika Taste Like?

The Nika taste like a lightly bittersweet and herbal soju. The ingredients pair nicely and are strong while not overwhelming. It’s pretty lovely. I came up with the Nika to celebrate one of my favorite stories, One Piece. As of writing, chapter 1044 was just released, and the main protagonist, Luffy, has undergone a massive story-changing transformation. I love One Piece, and I don’t try to hide that.

I wanted the base spirit to be cachaça because, in the SBS of volume 56, someone had asked the author, Oda, if the story took place in our real world, what the nationalities of each character would be. Oda replied that the main character, Luffy, would be Brazilian. Cachaça turned out to be an excellent choice. Even though it’s more closely related to rum than vodka, it has a very lightly sweet and fresh green grassy vodka-like taste. I don’t know why I don’t use it more often, but it’s beautiful. I feel like I, along with many others, woefully underutilize cachaça, and it comes together nicely in this bright sunny cocktail.

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Nika Cocktail

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

193

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

See how to make a Nika cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Cocchi Americano

  • 2 oz Cachaça

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.
  • Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Recipe Video

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Vesper Martini – Original Recipe & History

Vesper
Vesper

The Vesper Martini Origin

Ian Fleming created the Vesper Martini in his 1953 book “Casino Royale” which was also the debut of James Bond. In Chapter 7 of the book, Bond thinks up the drink on the spot and requests the barman make it for him.

-Casino Royale-
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘Oui, monsieur.’
‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’
‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
‘Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter.
Bond laughed. ‘When I’m … er … concentrating,’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.’

As Bond states, the original vesper is massive. It’s 4.5 oz (130 mLs) of solid booze before any water is even diluted into the drink. His recipe would require a 6 oz (180 mLs) glass minimum to hold the drink. That’s a bit unreasonable, so for the recipe listed here, I have cut it by half, but be aware that the original is double the size on this site. After his love interest in Casino Royale, Bond eventually calls his cocktail the Vesper. By the end of the book, Vesper Lynd has revealed herself to be a double agent working against Bond but overcome by her guilt and genuine feelings for him; she sacrifices herself to save him. Stricken by the sadness of Vesper Lynd’s death, Bond never orders another Vesper again.

Should The Vesper Be Shaken Or Stirred?

Bond requests the drink to be shaken and not stirred. I have a much more in-depth write-up on the origins of shaking drinks that were traditionally stirred in my dry martini article. Essentially during the 1920s – late 1930s, shaking became a way to soften the harsher gins of the time and add a bit of effervescence to the drink. You could be sure that a quick shake would rapidly dilute and cool the glass as much as possible for a bartender of any experience level. A colder, more diluted drink with tons of tiny bubbles would help soften and mask the poor quality of prohibition-era gins. To get similar results stirring a drink requires more patience and skill, which was lacking in prohibition-era America. In addition to poor quality alcohol, were poor quality bartenders. Young patrons found the best way to mitigate those issues was to ask for the drink shaken. Shaken martinis thus became associated with the way trendy young drinkers requested stiff drinks and evolved into more of an image. In the recipe for the dry martini, the author of The Old Waldorf-Astoria Cocktail book laments this trend and states how the old skilled bartenders of pre-prohibition times refused to make martinis this way.

Bond uses this association to establish himself to the reader as a young and hip assassin. Requesting his cocktails shaken is a kind of world-building that tells the audience that Bond is trendy and sophisticated, not old and stiff. I find it quite funny because, stay with me here, Casino Royale was published in 1953. This mainly was a trend of the 1920s – early 1940s. The only person in the 1950s who would think a shaken martini still was young and trendy would be an older man who started drinking in the 1920s or 30s. Ian Fleming was born in 1908, so he was a young and impressionable drinker during the 1930s when this was a more common request. These were books written for older men to remind them of when they were young—giving them a kind of fantasy alternate reality youth.

Should You Substitute Kina Lillet With Lillet Blanc Or Cocchi Americano?

Unfortunately, the original ingredient Kina Lillet was discontinued by the Lillet company in 1986. What replaced it is Lillet Blanc, but Lillet Blanc is a different wine from what Kina Lillet was. I will clearly say I have personally never tasted the now defunct Kina Lillet. But from other sources and individuals familiar with its taste, most say Cocchi Americano is closer to what Kina Lillet used to taste like than Lillet Blanc. So even though it shares the Lillet name, you may want to substitute Cocchi Americano for the Kina Lillet. For any pre-1980s cocktail that calls for Kina Lillet, use Cocchi Americano.

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Vesper Martini

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

312

kcal
ABV

37%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vesper.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 oz Cocchi Americano

  • 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.
  • Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Recipe Video

Notes

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If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Corpse Reviver No.2 – Original Recipe & History

Corpse Reviver No.2
Corpse Reviver No.2

Kina Lillet Substitute: Should You Use Lillet Blanc Or Cocchi Americano?

Unfortunately, the original ingredient Kina Lillet was discontinued by the Lillet company in 1986. What replaced it is Lillet Blanc, but Lillet Blanc is a different wine from what Kina Lillet was. I will clearly say I have personally never tasted the now defunct Kina Lillet. But from other sources and individuals familiar with its taste, most say Cocchi Americano is closer to what Kina Lillet used to taste like than Lillet Blanc. So even though it shares the Lillet name, you may want to substitute Cocchi Americano for the Kina Lillet. For any pre-1980s cocktail that calls for Kina Lillet, use Cocchi Americano.

What Does The Corpse Reviver No.2 Taste Like?

So the corpse reviver no.2 will taste different depending on if you use Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano. Again the two aperitifs taste similar, but the corpse reviver no.2 made with Cocchi will have a very slight woody sweet bitterness. The one made with Lillet will not. That woody, sweet bitterness reminds me of tamarind. The corpse reviver no.2 is a beautiful balance of sweet and sour citrus, herbal, and fruit flavors. The Lillet version will be a bit less sweet than the one made with Cocchi, but the Cocchi one has a nice woody-ness the one made with Lillet lacks.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition was ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1930, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

Recipe Resources

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

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Corpse Reviver No.2

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

132

kcal
ABV

24%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Corpse Reviver No.2.

Ingredients

  • 1 dash Absinthe

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Cocchi Americano

  • 2/3 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2/3 oz Dry Gin

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.

Recipe Video

Notes

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Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.