Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

PI YI Taste And Recipe

This is an amazing spiced tropical juice flavored cocktail. Its actually one of my favorite tiki drinks and in my opinion is much better than many of the more popular tiki cocktails. The honey and juice perfectly match the strength of the rum and the spice of the bitters. Not much to say other than this is a must try and one you will most likely make again.

Making a PI YI With a Fresh Pineapple

The original way to prepare this was to scoop out a small pineapple and use the inside, blend it, and use the juice of it in the drink. Once the drink was shaken and done it is poured back into the hallowed out pineapple. To keep with tradition I cut a pineapple and used a small bit of blended fruit as the juice for this drink and it turned out really good. I did not pour it back in since I want the drink to be visible in a glass. Also I ended up eating most of the pineapple on its own, and a hallowing out a pineapple would give me way more than 1 oz of juice. My assumption is all the extra fruit and juice from the fresh pineapple was used in other drinks too at Don The Beachcombers.

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Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pi Yi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 tsp Honey Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 2/3 oz Gold Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.

Notes

Prairie Oyster | Actually Good Classic Recipe

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 Only logged in users can rate recipes
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

Notes

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 Only logged in users can rate recipes
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

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 Only logged in users can rate recipes
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

Chrysanthemum – Classic 1934 Savoy Cocktail

How Does The Chrysanthemum Taste

From The 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book, The Chrysanthemum is wonderful example of the kind of cocktails being invented in Europe during American Prohibition. Heavier use of European liqueurs and favoring more complex herbal flavors over the more American spirit forward cocktails, the Chrysanthemum is a beautiful, herbal, bright, and both lightly sweet and dry cocktail. If you are looking for something new that will become one of your favorites, then try the Chrysanthemum. This is not an exaggeration. The taste of this cocktail absolutely blew my mind. It’s really that good.

The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London

Opened in 1893 The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American style cocktails in London to the British upperclass. The American Bar has always been a high end bar but what really set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became it’s 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, but 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 coming to an end the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar and a year later they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934 The Savoy Cocktail Book documents all of the bars 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.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in the Chrysanthemum is actually the expressed orange peel garnish. There is only one Benedictine so that easy, and a good dry vermouth is important too, but the subtle flavor the orange oil adds is what makes this an amazing drink. Very rarely is the garnish what makes a drink but with the Chrysanthemum’s case its essential. If you do not have an orange for the peel then orange bitters work well too. I actually think it taste better with a dash of orange bitters instead but an expressed orange peel is traditional.

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Chrysanthemum – Classic 1934 Savoy Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

155

kcal
ABV

26%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Chrysanthemum.

Ingredients

  • 3 dashes Absinthe

  • 1 oz Benedictine

  • 2 oz Dry Vermouth

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 and strain into a glass.
  • Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Notes

Pearl Diver – Classic Don the Beachcomber Cocktail Recipe

How Does a Pearl Diver Taste

The Pearl Diver is a very unique cocktail. Even in the tiki world its inclusion of Creamed spiced honey butter is unique. What the Gardenia mix adds is a creamy texture and hot buttered rum flavor to a tropical drink. Pretty consistently I have found that people who don’t like hot buttered rum also don’t like this. I have also noticed that people who do like hot buttered rum also like this. It taste kinda taste like a citrus-y cold buttered rum and I absolutely love it.

Don the Beachcomber’s Forgotten Recipes

Immediately after prohibition had been repealed by the 21st amendment Donn Beach opened Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood California. Donn single handedly created the first Tiki bar and with it tiki culture. but like most innovators Donn was worried about others coping his Hollywood style Polynesian themed bar and profiting off his ideas. Donn would show up a few hours before the bar opened and mix large batches of his spice mixes and mixers, and give them non descriptive labels like Donn’s spice mix #1, #2, #3, or Donn’s Zombie Mix, Grog Mix, Gardenia mix. This was all done to hide the recipes. Donn never told the other bartenders, or published a recipe, and while he did open other bars his recipes never got out. Thus Donn’s original recipes died with him in 1989. So keep that in mind anytime you see a Don the Beachcomber cocktail that it is never an original recipe but another bartender best guess as to what it was. And some guesses are better than others. For a little over a decade Tiki was kinda a lawless free for all with no continuity between drinks of the same name. There is still a lot of that today. How many Mai Tai recipes have you seen even though we know the original canon recipe for it?

In the late 90s a Tiki cocktail enthusiast named Jeff Berry came along with the intent of preserving the old recipes and Tiki culture and helped revitalize the publics interest in it. Jeff interviewed old bartenders of Donn the Beachcombers and set out to recreate Donn secret recipes to the best of knowledge. Gathering whatever information he could and testing recipes against people who remembered what the old drinks tasted like, he is credited with having saved recipes that would otherwise be lost to time. Keep in mind though that these are not Donn’s original recipe but Jeff’s best attempts at recreating them and that Jeff Beachbum Berry is probably the closest one to getting it right. Check out Jeff Beachbum Berry’s post here on the Pearl Diver

What is Gardenia Mix and How to Make It

The secret Gardenia mix recipe Jeff Berry eventually settled on was:

  • 1 oz Honey
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice Dram.

The stuff taste and smells amazing. Although not everyone has vanilla or cinnamon syrup around, so I wrote a recipe that is a bit more accessible. Here is my specific article on gardenia mix and how to make it.

The Most Important Part Of This Cocktail

The most important part of the pearl diver is how you mix it. Butter is mostly milk fat and protein and it does not stay emulsified in water. So you have two options. 1). Use a blender and turn it into a slushy. 2). Use an emulsifier like gum syrup or something to evenly mix the gardenia mix while you are making it and it is still warm . If you don’t blend it or use an emulsifier then the butter oddly sits at the top and it looks pretty gross.

The first option of using a blender is the more common one. There will still be very small particles of butter but the speed of a blender helps to evenly mix them and the slushy ice prevents them from forming together. If slushies are not your style then try option #2.

The second option is to use an emulsifier while you are making the gardenia mix and it is still warm. That way you’re not fighting the fat when the cocktail is cold. I’m not the most versed in that method but there are guides online that talk about how to do it that way.

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Pearl Diver – Classic Don the Beachcomber Cocktail Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

456

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pearl Diver.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Gardenia Mix

  • 1/3 oz Falernum

  • 1.5 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Anejo Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for 10 seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass. Garnish with an orchid flower.

Recipe Video

Notes

Jack Rose Cocktail – A Classic All American Cocktail

This drink dates back to the early 1900s and it is one of those drinks that everyone and their mother claimed they invented. The name for it most likely came from the fact that it was pink and made with apple brandy, the most common brand of apple brandy in the United States being Laird’s AppleJack.

Others however say it was named after a gangster from that time period. Think of this as a slightly sweeter and pink version of a Sidecar.

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Jack Rose Cocktail – A Classic All American Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Jack Rose.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 2 oz Apple Brandy

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.

Notes

Jean Collins – A Brandy Variation of a John Collins

John Collins vs. Tom Collins And The History Of All The Different Collins

While probably not invented by Harry Johnson, his 1882 Bartenders Manual is the oldest printed book I could find to mention the Collins cocktail. There are many sources that say it was invented in 1814 at Limmer’s Old House in London but who really knows. There is no documentation of this and all the sources that state this seem to circularly reference each other. The oldest concrete evidence of this cocktail I can find is the Harry Johnson one. It seems both the John Collins and Tom Collins are invented around the same time and the Bartenders Manual gives a pretty definitive recipe for both the John and Tom Collins. His John Collins recipe calls for genever (dry gin doesn’t really start to get mixed into cocktails till the end of the 1800s/early 1900s) and his recipe for the Tom Collins calls for Old Tom gin. Harry Johnson’s collins recipes and names are clearly defined, but unlike Harry Johnson, Jerry Thomas’s 1887 Bartenders Guide does not follow his recipes. The Bartender’s Guide doesn’t even mention the John Collins but instead uses the name Tom Collins for every variation of the collins. It has 3 different recipes for the Tom Collins. A Tom Collins whiskey, a Tom Collins brandy, and a Tom Collins genever. It doesn’t mention the Tom Collins with Old Tom gin at all and call the one made with genever a Tom Collins too.

To Further complicate this in 1885 a British cocktail book called “The New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef” by Bacchus and Cordon Bleu has a recipe for what they call a Fred Collins. Their Fred Collins Recipe is basically a Whiskey Collins with orange liqueur instead of simple syrup. Their Collins section states “I should be glad if our caterers would agree what it is to be perpetually named. One Barkeeper calls it a John Collins – another Tom Collins. There are also Harry and Fred, all members of the same family.” They then go on to say they prefer the Fred Collins name, Thus lends credence to Jerry Thomas’s version of the Collins in that the name is more a style than a specific drink. Hell there was a Harry Collins we have never seen. The Savoy Cocktail Book does the same thing and has both a Dry Gin and Whiskey Tom Collins. Although The Savoy does say that a Tom Collins made with genever is instead called a John Collins.

While The Harry Johnson uses the names as specific cocktails, the Bartenders guide and others seemed to use the collins as a cocktail structure more than a specific recipe. Similar to the Rickey, Daisy, or Fizz, the collins is used to describe a structure of 2 parts base spirit, 1 part citrus, 1 part sweetener, and 4 or 5 parts carbonated beverage. Harry Johnson influence has been permanent and the collins is ultimately both. It is both a specific cocktail like Harry Johnson pushed and a cocktail archetype like others believed. looking at its influence as an archetype there are many popular cocktails which are structurally a collins that you would not think of as a Collins. The Adios Motherfucker, Mojito, French 75, Paloma, etc, are all just fun variation on the Collins form.

How Does the Jean Collins Taste

The Jean Collins is a brandy variation of the John Collins and really really good. The mellow aged sweetness of the brandy perfectly blends with the orange liqueur and lemon juice into a bubbly refreshing cocktail. Imagine this as a lengthened and more refreshing Side Car.

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Jean Collins – A Fun Variation of a John Collins

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

243

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Jean Collins.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz Brandy

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker except the soda water. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards and lastly gently add the soda water.

Notes

Vieux Carre | Original 1937 Walter Bergeron – New Orleans Recipe

Any cocktail with Peychaud’s Bitters is almost always from New Orleans. The name Le Vieux Carre translates to “The Old Square”, referring to the New Orleans French Quarter. The drink was invented in 1937 by Walter Bergeron who was the head bartender at the Monte Leone Hotel In New Orleans.

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Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the free and easy to use Vintage American Cocktail app.

Vieux Carre | Original 1937 Walter Bergeron – New Orleans Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

144

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Vieux Carre.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Peychauds Bitters

  • 1 tsp Benedictine

  • 2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 2/3 oz Brandy

  • 2/3 oz Rye Whiskey

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.

Notes

Violet Fizz – A Velvety Smooth Lavender Cocktail

The History Of The Fizz

The Oldest reference I can find of the Violet Fizz is from the 1895 Book Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler. His original version calls for raspberry syrup instead of creme de violette. Although most later versions call for creme de violette instead and it does make for a better drink. Fizz cocktails don’t appear until the 1880s when they are first printed in Jerry Thomas’s 1887 edition of the Bartenders guide and sadly they never really caught on as a style or left the United States. They have anywhere from 5 to 8 different ingredients, they take time to make, and they are difficult to make right. These are qualities bartenders don’t want to deal with, especially on a busy night. They have their place but typically only is very high end bars that can afford bartenders skilled enough and tend to run at a slower pace. The last detail to date this cocktail is the creme de violette. Creme de violette stopped being imported into the United States at the start of prohibition and never returned till 2007.

What Does A Violet Fizz Taste Like

The violet fizz is one of the most amazing cocktails I have ever tasted in my life. It taste like an aviation in fizz form with the creme de violette being even more subtle. The old Tom (which also dates the drink) provides a nice sweet gin flavor to the cocktail that dry gin wouldn’t. Imagine drinking a gentle violet meringue gin dessert.

THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT

Fizzes are actually 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 pop 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 the 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 end up working 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. For a fizz to properly foam you have to get the science right. 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 is using is using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake I’m still starting off 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 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. Without using an acid it is much much harder to form a foam. 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 actual simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz what will happen is the foam will form but it will collapse back into the liquid-y cocktail 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 also somehow makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble head.

Fizzes 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. Also theres 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 exact same. Its just the nature of the egg sometimes and I just accept it and make it again.

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Violet Fizz – A Velvety Smooth Lavender Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

416

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Violet Fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Egg White

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/3 oz Half & Half

  • 2/3 oz Creme de Violette

  • 2 oz Old Tom 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.