Gin And Tonic – Make This Amazing Late 1800s Style British Cocktail

This was the cocktail of the English empire. Tonic water contains quinine used to cure Malaria, so the English would distribute units of tonic water to their soldiers stationed in India and Africa to keep them from getting sick.

As all things medicine-related go, someone (likely troop members stationed in India) thought to add gin and lime juice to it to make it taste better. Thus the gin and tonic were born. This is the drink that, for better or worse, colonized the world.

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Gin And Tonic

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

203

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Gin and Tonic.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 5 oz Tonic Water

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass. Combine all the ingredients except the Tonic Water in the serving glass.
  • Mix the gin and lime juice to chill it.
  • Add the Tonic Water
  • Give the drink a couple turns to chill and mix.

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.

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Long Beach Ice Tea – Make This Refreshing Twist On A Long Island Ice Tea

Long Beach Ice Tea Cocktail
Long Beach Ice Tea Cocktail

Long Beach, CA, is the hometown of the great Snoop Dogg and this refreshing variation of the Long Island Ice Tea. Just like the original Long Island Ice Tea, this cocktail is a one-and-done drink, which is powerful. The Long Beach Ice Tea is precisely the same as the long island but replaces the coke with cranberry juice and turns it into a fruity and slightly tart cocktail. So it will still floor you, but you will be refreshed as you get smashed. As far as where and who created this cocktail, I don’t have the slightest idea. Long Beach, California, maybe…

Bob Butt created the original Long Island Ice Tea in 1972; this drink was an entry into an orange liqueur mixing contest, even though there is hardly any orange liqueur in that cocktail. I hope you enjoy this fantastic west coast variation of the Long Island.

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Long Beach Ice Tea

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

545

kcal
ABV

29%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Long Beach Ice Tea.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Vodka

  • 1.5 oz White Rum

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

  • 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila

  • 1.5 oz Cranberry Juice

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass. Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to chill and mix.

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.

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Last Word – Make The Original Detroit Athletic Club Recipe

Last Word
Last Word

The History Of The Last Word.

Invented at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) sometime before 1916, the last word survived thanks to a New York stage actor. The last word is often credited with having been invented by Frank Fogarty, but after research done by the DAC itself, the last word was invented sometime before Frank Fogarty brought it to New York. Frank Fogarty was a vaudeville actor in New York during the earlier part of the 20th century and is credited in Ted Saucier’s 1951 book “Bottom’s Up!” for having “introduced [The Last Word] around here [New York] about thirty years ago.” (Ted Saucier took over historical records and publications for The Waldorf-Astoria after Albert Stevens Crockett. A.S. Crockett is the person who compiled the original Waldorf-Astoria bars cocktail recipes into the famous Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.) Due to the drink’s present-day popularity, the DAC researched and found an old 1916 decorative souvenir menu with the last word listed for 35 cents. The menu was most likely printed to celebrate the club’s much larger and more impressive new building on Madison Avenue in 1915. It is unknown if the last word predates the 1916 souvenir menu and, if so, by how much. The club first opened in 1887, so the drink was invented somewhere between those two years. The Detroit Metro Times has an excellent article about the Last Word it reprinted with the DAC permission that was first published in a 2015 edition of The Detroit Athletic Club Magainze.

The cocktail wasn’t commonly made again until 2003 when Seattle bartender Murray Stenson found a “Bottoms Up!” copy. He added this forgotten cocktail to his Seattle bar’s drink menu, and it was a hit. The Last Word became popular in the Pacific Northwest, eventually was made on television as the hot new Seattle cocktail, and soon spread to the rest of the country.

What Does The Last Word Taste Like?

I love the taste of this cocktail. The Last Word has a clean, bright herbal, cherry, citrus flavor that is wonderful but not for everyone. If you have ever had Green Chartreuse before and are not a fan, this cocktail will not change your mind. the Green Chartreuse flavor is not too strong, but it’s still the most forward flavor.

Most Important Ingredient.

The most essential ingredient in the Last Word cocktail is the gin. The dryness of the gin is what saves this cocktail from being way too flavorful and herbaceous. The drier and cleaner the gin is, the better. Don’t use a fancy flavorful sipping gin in this cocktail because the Green Chartreuse is already such a unique herbal flavor that any more strong herbal flavor is too much. The lime juice and Maraschino Liqueur help cut that flavor and add more complexity, but the clean dryness of the gin mellows the drink. I feel using vodka instead of gin makes for a more balanced cocktail, but the classic recipe calls for dry gin. Something like a Bombay dry gin (normal Bombay, not Sapphire) and Beefeater work very well in this.

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Last Word

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

1

servings
Calories

184

kcal
ABV

31%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Last Word.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2/3 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 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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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.

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La Water – Make This Strangely Good Green Cocktail

LA Water Cocktail
LA Water Cocktail

A friend of mine suggested I add this cocktail, and while the stuffy pretentious drinker in me turns up its nose to modern cocktails like this, the laid-back, chill me loves drinks like this. I have no idea who first made this, they are most likely still young and still alive, but I will take a wild guess and say it was first mixed somewhere in LA. The joke is that this funky-colored drink is supposed to look like tap water in Los Angeles. I get that the joke is that the water is gross and funky, but if the tap water there tasted like this, I would move to LA and never look back. No, it’s not vintage, but it’s super good.

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La Water

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

1

servings
Calories

335

kcal
ABV

30%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a strong and tasty LA Water cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Blue Orange Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Midori

  • 1/2 oz Vodka

  • 1/2 oz White Rum

  • 1/2 oz Silver Tequila

  • 1/2 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass and add 1 drop of blue food dye if you do not have blue orange liqueur.
  • Give the drink a few turns to mix and chill.

Notes


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.
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  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Singapore Sling – Make Ngiam Tong Boon’s Original 1915 Recipe

Singapore Sling
Singapore Sling

The History Of The Singapore Sling.

The Singapore sling was invented in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon while working at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The Singapore Sling was listed as a simple gin sling on the cocktail menu, but its uniqueness garnered it the nickname of the Singapore Sling. Like Henry Ramos thought of his famous cocktail as standard gin fizz, the rest of the world saw it as a Ramos gin fizz.

Early cocktail history from Singapore is almost non-existent. The earliest documentation of the Singapore Sling comes from the 1939 “The Gentleman’s Companion, An Exotic Drinking Book,” where author Charles Baker jr. recounts his wild drinking adventures in 1920s Southeast Asia. The book’s structure is terrible and reads more like a man stroking his ego than a cocktail book, but It’s incredible a book like this exists. There are some fantastic and unique drinks in it I would like to incorporate when I have the time. In the book, Charles Baker jr. tells a story about him and a friend drinking Singapore Slings at the Hotel Raffles in 1926. The recipe he provides is substantially different from what you will find today. Different from the ones sold at the Ruffles Hotel today. The recipe he gives is more like a traditional sling, whereas most modern recipes are tiki-like. Not quite a traditional sling, but close enough. In the 1800s, Slings were another name for a toddy, and most 19th and early 20th-century cocktail books grouped the two. If you would like a detailed account of sling and toddy history, check out the “The History of Sling Cocktails” section below.

According to Charles Baker, Ngiam Tong Boon’s original recipe was equal parts dry gin, cherry brandy, and benedictine, shaken together and poured into a highball glass with ice. The drink was then topped off with soda water (that’s the weird part. A traditional sling uses standard water) and garnished with a lime peel.

What Does The Singapore Sling Taste Like?

The Singapore sling is herbal, boozy, lightly sweet, and refreshing. It’s more similar to a Japanese highball than a sweet tiki cocktail. It’s delicious and something I can easily drink 2 or 3 of. The primary flavor in this is the Benedictine, while the other two spirits add backbone and fortification to the Singapore Sling. I vastly prefer this original Singapore Sling to the contemporary versions of it.

Is The Singapore Sling Tiki?

The original Singapore sling is not a tiki cocktail, but the modern recipes are tiki-like. The original Singapore Sling is mostly sling-like (technically, it should be classified as a highball), and over time it evolved into the juice and syrup-filled cocktail it is today. I have a feeling the Singapore Sling recipes filled with pineapple juice, grenadine, and such that we are used to today were invented in the tiki world.

The History Of Sling Cocktails.

Slings are a very old style of cocktail. Even in Harry Johnson’s 1888 edition of The Bartenders Manual, he comments under the cold whiskey sling that “This is an old-fashioned drink generally called for by old gentlemen.” The oldest cocktail book I could find to have a sling recipe is the 1862 Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas. He has three recipes for both hot and cold slings. Interestingly enough, he groups both slings with toddies. The only difference is slings have nutmeg grated on top, and toddies do not. Often most early cocktails started as medicinal drinks, and the brandy and gin sling appear in a few medical journals from the 1830s.

In the August 1832 Boston medical and surgical journal, on page 15, the author notes giving a patient 1 to 5 grains of opium with a hot brandy sling to treat spotted fever and malignant cholera. Further linking its history to toddies, I found a September 1845 court case of the Massachusetts Commonwealth vs. Chester R. White. He sold a toddy/sling to a Mr. Edwin T. Rogers without a spirituous liquor license. Mr. White argued that it contained an ingredient that was a spirit, but the mixed drink itself was not a spirit. Mr. White did not win the case, but the court documents’ wording of the drink is essential.

“It was sold in the form of gin and brandy, mixed with sugar and water so as to make what is called a toddy or sling.”

The court documents recognize toddies and slings as analogous to each other. In a case about the exact definition of a spirituous beverage, the court referred to the same drink as being called both a toddy or sling. Seventeen years later, Jerry Thomas would see toddies and slings as the same thing, and so did this court. This makes sense too. If you check out my Hot Toddy article, I describe how in the 18-century, toddies were used to administer medicines. Sling appears to be a later way of describing a toddy as a drink one throws back. I assume that this is perhaps due to how people often quickly drink medicine to avoid undesirable flavors. Etymologically the word sling entered English from the old Norse word “Slyngva,” which means to throw or knockdown, and this is the more common usage, but about the drink, the word sling comes from the German word “Schlingen,” which means to swallow. Webster’s American dictionary dates this usage of the word to have entered the American dialect around 1807.

The more popular Singapore Sling and Straits Sling bear no resemblance to the traditional sling. It seems they were referring to them as slings to be more for fun alliteration than to refer to how the drink should be consumed.

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Singapore Sling

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

1

servings
Calories

259

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Singapore Sling.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Kirschwasser

  • 1 oz Benedictine

  • 1 oz Dry Gin

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into a glass with ice.
  • Top off with soda water.

Notes


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.
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  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Gin Fizz – Make This Classic 1887 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Gin Fizz
Gin Fizz

The History Of The Gin Fizz.

First appearing in the 1887 edition of the Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas, the gin fizz is a fantastic cocktail. A combination of a gin sour with egg whites and a gin daisy, the gin fizz is light, airy, and refreshing.

What Does The Gin Fizz Taste Like?

This luxurious cocktail perfectly balances bright gin and citrus with a creamy smooth meringue texture. While you can make a fizz with any spirit, a clean, clear spirit like gin is probably one of the best because it does not compete with meringue or citrus but rather opens up the flavors. Think of this as almost a kind of key lime pie cocktail.

How To Get Egg White Right In Cocktails.

Cocktails with egg whites are difficult cocktails to get right, and anyone who says otherwise is projecting a false image. Everyone who has made a fizz has had one of these pops open on them while shaking, only to make a mess. The best advice I can pass on to making any fizz cocktail is it comes down to 2 things; Technique and chemistry. A common technique that works very well is using a dry shake. A dry shake is shaking all your ingredients together without ice first to make forming the foam easier. The foam will still form with ice, but you will work twice as hard for half the result if you shake with ice first. The first shake is only about 20-30 seconds of vigorous shaking, but this is the part that forms most of your foam. A little tip here is to wrap a kitchen towel around the seal of your shaker because no matter how strong you are or how tight your grip, it will pop open a little. As the egg whites unfold, they can expand up to 8x their original size, thus increasing the pressure inside the shaker and forcing small amounts of the sugary egg mix to squirt out. Wrapping a small towel around the shaker will catch this and keep things clean.

Next and more important is chemistry. You have to get the science right for egg whites to foam properly. Denaturing/unfolding egg protein into a meringue is more science than brawn, and a friend of mine who is a baker once gave me this advice for how she made meringue at the bakery.

  1. Keep it room temperature.
  2. Use an acid to help break the proteins hydrogen bonds and unfold it in addition to beating it.
  3. Use sugar to stabilize the foam from collapsing and to form smaller bubbles.

A mistake I made for a long time was using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake, I’m still starting with cold ingredients. So take the eggs out and let them come to room temperature first. Cold egg protein is much more stable and difficult to break apart than if it is at room temperature. The next tip is to use acid. Bakers will use cream of tartar as the acid helps accelerate the denaturing process along with beating it. In the cocktail, we use lemon or lime juice. It is much, much harder to form a foam without using an acid. The last bit of advice is to use sugar to stabilize the foamed protein from collapsing. A sweet liqueur alone isn’t enough. I’ve tried making fizzes with just liqueurs for sweeter alone, and they have never formed a good foam. This needs real simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz, what will happen is the foam will develop, but it will collapse back into the liquid just as fast, and you will be left with a thin layer of lame bubbles on top. It will still taste the same and be good, but that beautiful foam will be gone, and for these drinks, the large foam head is the garnish. The sugar makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble foam.

Cocktails with egg whites are some of the most elegant and sublime cocktails, but they are not the easiest to make. Eventually, you can get to a point where you can make them correctly and consistently, but it can take a while and many failed attempts. Hopefully, the tips I gave help shorten that journey. There are a lot of tips and tricks out there for making fizzes, and I tried to keep mine reasonable and realistic, but see what works for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and still, I have the occasional one that doesn’t foam up well, even though I make them all the same. It’s just the nature of the egg sometimes, and I accept it and make it again.

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Gin Fizz

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

253

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Gin Fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg White

  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 1.5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker without ice. Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when it is not cold.
  • Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards. Lastly gently add the soda water to maintain its carbonation.

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.
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Corpse Reviver No.2 – Make The Original 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book Recipe

Corpse Reviver No.2 Cocktail
Corpse Reviver No.2 Cocktail

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.

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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


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.


Martini (Dry) – Make The Original Old Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

Dry Martini Cocktail
Dry Martini Cocktail

Origin Of The Dry Martini And It’s Earlier Forms.

The oldest printed martini recipe I could find is in 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 appears 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, two dashes of Boker’s (cardamom) bitters, and two dashes of 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. By 1900 most bartenders are making it this way. Waldorf-Astoria is making it this way (they decide to be edgy and add a Spanish olive to theirs). Even Harry Johnson updated his recipe to this with his updated 1900 edition. In Britain, Harry Johnson’s original 1888 martini recipe lived on as the Martinez, as seen in Farrow & Jacksons’ 1912 Recipes of American Drinks and the 1934 Savoy cocktail book.

Now This is the original martini and the only version of the martini until the 1910s when the dry variation of the martini was invented and became very popular. This original martini becomes known as a sweet martini, and a medium sweet version is also made that combines the two. The dry martini is by far the most popular form of the martini today, and people try to make it as dry/less vermouth as possible. The 1960 official UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guide) even joked about the American trend toward drier and drier martinis. “In America, the trend for the dry martini to become drier has developed almost to a fad, and the quantity of dry gin to dry vermouth varies from 3 to 1 to 6 to 1,” They write this after saying a martini should be 2 to 1.

I use the Waldorf-Astoria recipe for the dry martini because it is the best form of an early dry martini. It was also the first to use a Spanish olive as a garnish, and while there are other dry martinis from around the time they made theirs, this is still the best one. As far as names, I’m using the Savoy Name for this cocktail as I feel Savoy had the most straightforward and understandable names for the three styles of martini.

Should The Martini Be Shaken Or Stirred?

Should you shake or stir a martini? The answer to this question changes depending on the period the martini is from and if they are James Bond fans or not. Since its origin, the martini has been traditionally stirred. All bar books up to the start of prohibition say to go the martini. It was not till the 1920s and 30s that shaking martinis became common. Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” instructs that the dry and sweet martinis should be stirred. In the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, the author notes, “Modern practice prescribes shaking for a dry martini. This, however, weakens the mixture and uses to be discountenanced by barmen who believed in tradition.”. Keep in mind this book was published in 1935, but it was the collection of recipes used by the original Waldorf-Astoria bar from 1897 to 1919 before the start of prohibition. What the author Albert Crockett, who also happened to be the Waldorf-Astoria’s publicist and company historian, is saying is currently in the 1930s, it was customary to shake martinis, but more traditional bartenders will stir. In the Savoy, which was printed in London in 1934, there is no mention of stirring, and they only say to shake the drink. In the 1945 Chicago Bartenders guide, they say to stir too. In the 1954 book “King Cocktail” by Eddie Clark (the man who took over the Savoy after Harry Craddock), he says to stir the martini. Lastly, in the 1967 book “Cocktails and mixed drinks” by Charles Tuck, he oddly gives two recipes for the dry martini printed on different pages, one saying to stir and the other to be shaken. Casino Royale was published in 1953, and it was bond that popularized the idea that martinis should be shaken and not stirred. The first Bond movie Dr. No was released in 1963.

So should it be shaken or stirred? Who the hell knows. From what I can gather, a stirred martini is both more traditional and results in a better cocktail, but shaking martinis started to become the way hunks ordered their martinis beginning in the early 1930s. This is probably why Bond made it a point to tell the bartender he wanted his martini shaken and not stirred. He was aware of both ways to prepare the cocktail, but Bond is a hunk and not some old fuddy-duddy.

Dry Martini Variations.

  • 50×50 Martini: This is equal parts dry vermouth and gin martini.
  • Gibson: A standard dry martini with a pickled pearl onion instead of a Spanish olive.
  • Reverse Martini: 2 oz dry vermouth and 1 oz gin.
  • Dirty Martini: A martini with a bit of olive juice added.
  • Churchill: A martini made without vermouth and chilled by keeping the gin in the freezer, so it’s not watered down. Simply cold gin with an olive.

Should A Martini Be Garnished With A Lemon Peel or a Spanish Olive?

So the answer is… drumroll, please… both! Depending on who you read. The earliest Martini, what we now call the sweet martini, actually had a maraschino cherry. Eventually, by the 1900s, around the time George Kappeler wrote Modern American Drinks, it was common to express a lemon peel over the top and can optionally garnish with a cherry. That was still the sweet martini, though. The Waldorf-Astoria recipe I am using here is for expressing a lemon peel over the top, discarding it, and then garnishing it with a Spanish olive. The Waldorf-Astoria recipe is the oldest use of a Spanish olive I could find. Then from that point on, most books seem to bounce around from saying to use just an expressed lemon peel, just an olive, both, or none. There isn’t any absolute consistency on the matter or one way that is more common than the other. So do whichever you prefer and accept that one answer is not more right than another. Since I am using the Waldorf recipe, I am using both.

How Cold Should A Martini Be?

The most important part of making a dry martini is controlling the coldness of the drink and how diluted it gets when mixing it, which can be controlled by the gin you use. I’m writing this in an ideal situation where there are no variations of how much or how little vermouth people like or if they want it dirty or not, shaken and not stirred, etc. This is just 2 oz dry gin, 1 oz dry vermouth, express lemon peel over the top, and garnish with an olive.

Start with a higher proof gin and mix and chill to a colder temperature. Dry gin will range from 40% ABV to 57% ABV (read my rum 151 description for the history of ABV vs. ABW and how 57% became the British Navy “Proof”). 57% is way too high for a martini, but 50% isn’t. I feel the sweet spot for martinis are ones made with gin between 45 – 50%. I will add that the lower ABV of 45% – 40% are becoming much more popular in the last decade as they are a bit easier to drink. For reference, in the United States, Tangueray is 47%, Beefeater is 44% (it used to be 47%, but their 44% was winning some awards and did very well with studies, so they are currently trying 44%). Aviation is 42%, Botanist is 46%, Hendricks is 41%, Nolet’s is 47%, and Bombay is 47%, and the list goes on and on, but these are some popular ones. What I mean by higher proof gins can be chilled and thus diluted more is as you stir, or shake, the drink with ice, more water will melt as the temperature of the drink decreases. This is a good thing. Alcohol extracts oils and flavors from herbs, and watering it down lets our tongues taste better without being overwhelmed by alcohol. You want to dilute the drink some, but there is a point where you can add too much water, and it becomes lame and flat watery gin. If you are already starting at 40% or 42% ABV, there is only so much diluting and subsequently chilling you can do before the ABV drops low enough to taste watery. But if you are starting at 47% or 50%, you can stir the drink longer, cooling it more and diluting it more before you cross that watery threshold.

To wrap up this long-winded rant. Perhaps you like the flavor of Hendricks and want to make a martini with it. You would probably want to stir it a little less and leave it warmer than you would Botanist or Tangueray. A fun way to experiment with this and taste my point is if you have two different ABV gins, mix a few small samples with varying amounts of water and taste them. The Higher ABVs taste better with more water than the lower ones. I’ll be honest with you I find the dry martini a difficult drink to make right. Not because it is complicated but because it is so subtle and unforgiving.

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Martini (Dry)

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

1

servings
Calories

186

kcal
ABV

33%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic dry martini

Ingredients

  • 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 a lemon peel over the top, and garnish with an Spanish olive

Recipe Video

Notes


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.


Ramos Gin Fizz – Make The Original Henry Ramos Recipe

Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail
Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

History Of The Ramos Gin Fizz.

Invented by Henry Ramos in the late 1800s in New Orleans, the Ramos Gin Fizz was one of the more popular Mardi Gras cocktails before the prohibition of alcohol. Henry called this a Gin Fizz, but his variation was different enough and so popular that people would ask for Ramos’s Gin Fizz. On the eve of prohibition going into effect, the story goes that at the stroke of midnight on January 16, 1920, Henry Ramos was asked to make his last gin fizz, and after he served it closed the bar and proclaimed to everyone, “I’ve sold my last Gin Fizz.” He never made another cocktail again and died in 1928. Five years before, the prohibition would be repealed with the 21st amendment.

What Does The Ramos Gin Fizz Taste Like?

The pairing of Gin, citrus, and meringue is a match made in heaven and easily one of the best tasting cocktails I’ve ever had, and the Ramos gin fizz taste almost exactly like a regular gin fizz. The main but still subtle difference is the Ramos version is slightly creamier because of the addition of half and half. Outside of that, they taste the same to me.

How To Get Egg White Right In Cocktails.

Cocktails with egg whites are difficult cocktails to get right, and anyone who says otherwise is projecting a false image. Everyone who has made a fizz has had one of these pops open on them while shaking, only to make a mess. The best advice I can pass on to making any fizz cocktail is it comes down to 2 things; Technique and chemistry. A common technique that works very well is using a dry shake. A dry shake is shaking all your ingredients together without ice first to make forming the foam easier. The foam will still form with ice, but you will work twice as hard for half the result if you shake with ice first. The first shake is only about 20-30 seconds of vigorous shaking, but this is the part that forms most of your foam. A little tip here is to wrap a kitchen towel around the seal of your shaker because no matter how strong you are or how tight your grip, it will pop open a little. As the egg whites unfold, they can expand up to 8x their original size, thus increasing the pressure inside the shaker and forcing small amounts of the sugary egg mix to squirt out. Wrapping a small towel around the shaker will catch this and keep things clean.

Next and more important is chemistry. You have to get the science right for egg whites to foam properly. Denaturing/unfolding egg protein into a meringue is more science than brawn, and a friend of mine who is a baker once gave me this advice for how she made meringue at the bakery.

  1. Keep it room temperature.
  2. Use an acid to help break the proteins hydrogen bonds and unfold it in addition to beating it.
  3. Use sugar to stabilize the foam from collapsing and to form smaller bubbles.

A mistake I made for a long time was using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake, I’m still starting with cold ingredients. So take the eggs out and let them come to room temperature first. Cold egg protein is much more stable and difficult to break apart than if it is at room temperature. The next tip is to use acid. Bakers will use cream of tartar as the acid helps accelerate the denaturing process along with beating it. In the cocktail, we use lemon or lime juice. It is much, much harder to form a foam without using an acid. The last bit of advice is to use sugar to stabilize the foamed protein from collapsing. A sweet liqueur alone isn’t enough. I’ve tried making fizzes with just liqueurs for sweeter alone, and they have never formed a good foam. This needs real simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz, what will happen is the foam will develop, but it will collapse back into the liquid just as fast, and you will be left with a thin layer of lame bubbles on top. It will still taste the same and be good, but that beautiful foam will be gone, and for these drinks, the large foam head is the garnish. The sugar makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble foam.

Cocktails with egg whites are some of the most elegant and sublime cocktails, but they are not the easiest to make. Eventually, you can get to a point where you can make them correctly and consistently, but it can take a while and many failed attempts. Hopefully, the tips I gave help shorten that journey. There are a lot of tips and tricks out there for making fizzes, and I tried to keep mine reasonable and realistic, but see what works for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and still, I have the occasional one that doesn’t foam up well, even though I make them all the same. It’s just the nature of the egg sometimes, and I accept it and make it again.

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Ramos Gin Fizz

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

241

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Ramos Gin Fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg Whites

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Half u0026 Half

  • 3 dashes Orange Blossom Water

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

  • 1.5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker without ice.
  • Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when it is not cold.
  • Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards. Lastly add the soda water.

Notes


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.


Pink Lady – Make This Beautiful Early 1900s Cocktail

Pink Lady Cocktail
Pink Lady Cocktail

Invented somewhere around the early 1900s, this cocktail was named after a broadway show called The Pink Lady. Oddly enough, this old-time pink cocktail shares a similar history to a more modern pink cocktail, the Cosmopolitan. Both are incredible drinks that became wildly popular during their days but soon fell from favor as they became associated with being girly drinks. However, the Cosmo and Pink Lady are nothing to mess with. Both of these drinks taste amazing and will lay you out if made right. So if drinking a Pink Lady is girly, count me one of the girls.

How To Get Egg White Right In Cocktails.

Cocktails with egg whites are difficult cocktails to get right, and anyone who says otherwise is projecting a false image. Everyone who has made a fizz has had one of these pops open on them while shaking, only to make a mess. The best advice I can pass on to making any fizz cocktail is it comes down to 2 things; Technique and chemistry. A common technique that works very well is using a dry shake. A dry shake is shaking all your ingredients together without ice first to make forming the foam easier. The foam will still form with ice, but you will work twice as hard for half the result if you shake with ice first. The first shake is only about 20-30 seconds of vigorous shaking, but this is the part that forms most of your foam. A little tip here is to wrap a kitchen towel around the seal of your shaker because no matter how strong you are or how tight your grip, it will pop open a little. As the egg whites unfold, they can expand up to 8x their original size, thus increasing the pressure inside the shaker and forcing small amounts of the sugary egg mix to squirt out. Wrapping a small towel around the shaker will catch this and keep things clean.

Next and more important is chemistry. You have to get the science right for egg whites to foam properly. Denaturing/unfolding egg protein into a meringue is more science than brawn, and a friend of mine who is a baker once gave me this advice for how she made meringue at the bakery.

  1. Keep it room temperature.
  2. Use an acid to help break the proteins hydrogen bonds and unfold it in addition to beating it.
  3. Use sugar to stabilize the foam from collapsing and to form smaller bubbles.

A mistake I made for a long time was using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake, I’m still starting with cold ingredients. So take the eggs out and let them come to room temperature first. Cold egg protein is much more stable and difficult to break apart than if it is at room temperature. The next tip is to use acid. Bakers will use cream of tartar as the acid helps accelerate the denaturing process along with beating it. In the cocktail, we use lemon or lime juice. It is much, much harder to form a foam without using an acid. The last bit of advice is to use sugar to stabilize the foamed protein from collapsing. A sweet liqueur alone isn’t enough. I’ve tried making fizzes with just liqueurs for sweeter alone, and they have never formed a good foam. This needs real simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz, what will happen is the foam will develop, but it will collapse back into the liquid just as fast, and you will be left with a thin layer of lame bubbles on top. It will still taste the same and be good, but that beautiful foam will be gone, and for these drinks, the large foam head is the garnish. The sugar makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble foam.

Cocktails with egg whites are some of the most elegant and sublime cocktails, but they are not the easiest to make. Eventually, you can get to a point where you can make them correctly and consistently, but it can take a while and many failed attempts. Hopefully, the tips I gave help shorten that journey. There are a lot of tips and tricks out there for making fizzes, and I tried to keep mine reasonable and realistic, but see what works for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and still, I have the occasional one that doesn’t foam up well, even though I make them all the same. It’s just the nature of the egg sometimes, and I accept it and make it again.

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Advertisements

Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Pink Lady

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

213

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Pink Lady.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg Whites

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 1/2 oz Apple Brandy

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker without ice. Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when not cold.
  • Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes


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.