Gin Crusta – Make This Fantastic 1860s Sour Cocktail

Gin Crusta Cocktail
Gin Crusta Cocktail

The History Of the Crusta Style Cocktail.

First printed in the 1862 Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas, the Brandy Crusta is old as it is delicious. The Crusta is considered one of the oldest fancy sours and is named for its decorative sugar-crusted rim. It was invented in the 1850s by Joseph Santini in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and was made to try and improve the taste of the standard sour cocktail. You can spot a crusta by its oversized decorative lemon peel that imparts that this is a special elevated sour cocktail.

How Do Crustas Taste Like?

These fantastic cocktails taste light and delicate while not being overly sour or overly sweet. While the standard sour is more flavorful and benefits from sharper, more intense spirits, this one is different. In my experience, a top-shelf spirit works better. This is because you are not overwhelming the base spirit with a whole ounce of sweetener and citrus, and the more subtle finer qualities of a better base spirit can still come through. Make this with the perspective that you are not making a solid, flavorful cocktail but adding subtle flavor and complexity to an already delicious spirit.

Balancing This Delicious and Subtle Cocktail.

There isn’t any single essential ingredient in this cocktail; instead, all the elements come together in the proper balance. But if I tried to narrow it down, I would say the brandy, orange liqueur, and gum syrup are the most essential parts of this cocktail. You want to use a good base spirit for this cocktail as none of the other ingredients are made to mask the flavor of a lower-quality spirit. So whatever the quality of the base spirit will make a meaningful difference in the final product. The orange liqueur matters, too, because cheap orange liqueurs are typically not very good. I love buying on value, but I’ve never found a cheaper orange liqueur that also tasted good, and with how this drink is structured, you will notice a cheap orange liqueur—lastly, the gum syrup. You can use a standard simple syrup if you prefer and what that will change is the cocktail’s texture. Gum Syrup has gum arabic and gives the cocktail a velvety consistency similar to what egg whites provide. A smooth, meringue-y, velvet, dessert-like texture. Standard simple syrup will not add this texture and make for a thinner liquid texture cocktail, but you may prefer that. If you like your sours without egg whites, then opt for using standard simple syrup but if you like sours with egg whites, buy a bottle of gum syrup and give it a go.

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Gin Crusta

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

1

servings
Calories

301

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

An amazing cocktail that is as delicious as it is beautiful

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

  • 2 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 1 tsp Orange Liqueur

  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Moisten a cocktail glass rim with a cut lemon slice and rub the end in granulated sugar to create a sugar crust.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir for about 10 seconds to dilute and combine the ingredients.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a whole lemon peel that circles the glass.

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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Mai Tai Cocktail – Make The Original 1944 Victor Bergeron Recipe

The History of The Mai Tai.

The Mai Tai has unfortunately become the rum dumpster of tiki drinks. Anything remotely tiki-like is called a Mai Tai. Here is the original recipe for the Mai Tai created in 1944 by Victor Bergeron at his Trader Vic’s bar in Oakland, California. The Mai Tai predates the Tiki craze of the 1950 and 60s and is viewed as the quintessential tiki cocktail. The book describes how Victor Bergeron created the drink and how it got its name. The Mai Tai got its’ name when Victor gave the first two he made to two Tahitian friends of his. One of them exclaimed, “Mai Tai-Roa Ae” which translates to “Out of this world-the best.” Thus the cocktail earned its name, the Mai Tai.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mai Tai is not Hawaiian or Polynesian. The cocktail was created in 1944 by Victor Bergeron in Oakland, California, at his Polynesian-themed bar, Trader Vic’s Bar. The Tiki drink craze originated in California immediately after the repeal of prohibition. Both Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach are credited with creating the first tiki-themed bars. In 1933 Donn opened Donn the Beachcomber in Hollywood, and in 1934 Vic opened Trader Vic’s Bar in the Bay Area, and still to this day, almost every famous Tiki cocktail was one of their creations.

What Does The Mai Tai Taste Like?

The Mai Tai doesn’t taste like most people think it does because they have not had a real one made with good ingredients. Most are just overly artificially sweet drinks made with pre-made Mai Tai mixers. While there are better Mai Tai mixers, even the best don’t compare to one made with natural ingredients. So what should a good Mai Tai taste like? A good Mai Tai should have a slight molasses taste with solid almond, cherry, orange, and citrus notes. Most mixers and orgeat syrups taste like almonds and the flavor most of these syrups miss is the cherry flavor. This leads to why orgeat is the essential ingredient in the mai tai and why there is no substitute for good orgeat.

The Most Important Ingredient

The essential ingredient in the Mai Tai is the Orgeat syrup. The orange liqueur is also necessary, but the orgeat you use will make or break this drink. So what is orgeat, and what does a good orgeat taste like? The classic 1800s French orgeat is a bitter almond syrup. Bitter almonds taste very different from sweet almonds, which are what we typically eat. Almonds are part of the Rosaceae (rose) family of plants, and all Rosaceae plant seeds contain varying levels of amygdalin which the body processes into cyanide. Bitter almonds are not sold in the US anymore because they produce around 1000x the level of cyanide as sweet almonds. You could eat sweet almonds all day and be fine, but ten bitter almonds will kill a grown man. That’s also why they say not to eat apple seeds since they are part of the same family. Amygdalin smells and tastes like cherries. If you are curious to smell and taste this exact flavor, go to the grocery store and buy some almond extract in the baking aisle. Almond baking extracts are made from bitter almonds with the amygdalin neutralized. Orgeat should not taste like sweet almond milk; Orgeat should taste like almonds and cherries. And this is what 90% of orgeat syrup and Mai Tai mixers get wrong. They taste like almonds. If you want to know what made the Mai Tai famous and taste the original, then do some research and buy a bottle of top-shelf orgeat. These sold in stores have the cyanide neutralized and still taste great. I recommend just spending the money and buying a good one. I’ve tried making my own with an old 1800s barley water orgeat syrup recipe I found and used bitter almond extract instead of natural bitter almonds. It tasted spot on in the end, but it cost 2x as much as buying it, took a whole day to make, was a lot of work, and was not much better than a 9 oz bottle I could have bought for 13 bucks. Sure, that’s a steep price for 9 oz, but your only other option is a gross drink. Sadly there is no substitute for a good orgeat.

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Mai Tai

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

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

24%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the original Mai Tai cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients till the shaker is ice cold and develops a frost.
  • Strain into glass with ice and garnish with a bouquet of mint leaves.

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.


Cosmopolitan – Make The Original 1987 Toby Cecchini Recipe

Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Cosmopolitan Cocktail

The History Of The Cosmopolitan.

Like the Margarita, many people claim to have invented the Cosmopolitan cocktail. The oldest known written reference to it comes from the 1934 book Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars. This is a somewhat different drink other than the name and a light pink hue. The 1934 recipe is a Jigger of Gordon’s Gin, two dash Cointreau, Juice of 1 Lemon, and 1 tsp Raspberry Syrup. While many have claimed to invent the Cosmo, the internationally recognized one was created by Toby Cecchini.

The Cosmopolitan is not a very old cocktail; it was invented in New York in 1987 by Toby Cecchini while working at The Odeon. Toby’s Cosmo was a huge hit. It quickly spread across New York and eventually caught national attention once celebrities started getting photographed drinking New York’s fabulous new bright pink cocktail. It gets its distinctive color from the single ounce of cranberry juice added. The Cosmopolitan enjoyed mild fame throughout the mid-90s, but that changed once Sex and the City aired in 1998. The fictional character Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite cocktail turned the Cosmopolitan into an overnight superstar.

Women wanting to imitate Carrie became obsessed with this cocktail. Sadly just as fast as it became the hot new drink, it became associated with trashy rich girls and a social faux pas to order. This is unfortunate because this is a beautiful drink.

What Does The Cosmopolitan Taste Like?

The Cosmopolitan is a delicious cocktail. It is pretty strong (around 25% abv) and not overly sweet. It gets its distinctive bright pink color from the single ounce of cranberry juice added. This adds a slightly sweet and tart red fruit flavor to the cocktail that is structurally a vodka daisy. A Cosmo tastes more like a cranberry margarita than anything else and is just as strong if made correctly. Sadly, it is a bit of a faux pas to order and is seen as a “girly” drink with a promiscuous connotation. Again independent of history, the Cosmopolitan cocktail is anything but that, but it can’t escape the image it’s been given.

There isn’t any best vodka to use with this. The whole idea about mixing with vodka is the spirit should be invisible to the other flavors, and even most cheap to the middle of the road, vodka tastes fine. I wouldn’t use expensive or nice vodka.

Should The Cosmopolitan Be Made With Orange Liqueur, Curaçao, Or Triple Sec?

The essential ingredient in a Cosmopolitan is the orange liqueur. Cointreau, grand mariner, curaçao, and triple sec are the same ingredients. They are all orange liqueurs. All the different names are either due to brand names or marketing gimmicks. However, it is essential to try them all and find one you like, and stick with it. I like Cointreau’s clean, dry, bright orange flavor the best, and I use it in the Cosmopolitan. Also, Grand Mariner’s base spirit is aged brandy, so it has a brown tint, and Cointreau is clear. If you use grand Mariner in this cocktail, it will have a muddy pink color instead of bright pink. For the appearance to look proper, use Cointreau or another clear orange liqueur. Many other orange liqueurs are good, but I have not found one for under $20 that I liked. Any in the sub $10 range are garbage. I love a deal and try not to spend more than is reasonable, but orange liqueur is one ingredient you can not get cheap.

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Cosmopolitan

5 from 2 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

250

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Cosmopolitan Cocktail. A Classic New York Cocktail that is as delicious as it is beautiful.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Cranberry Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz Citrus Favored Vodka

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and 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.


Blue Lagoon – Make This Tasty Blue Vodka Lemonade Cocktail

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

The History of The Blue Lagoon.

This cocktail is credited to being invented by Andy MacElhone, son of Harry MacElhone, but I don’t buy that. There is no way this is a French cocktail. First off, there is no evidence that I or it seems anyone else has found that he created this. Many people say that they heard from others that heard from someone else who read it online that he made it. Second, it’s made with blue orange liqueur, and I have never heard of a French cocktail that uses blue orange liqueur. They have Grand Marnier and Cointreau in their backyard; why would they use a cheap gimmick liqueur. Third, this is kind of a gimmick drink. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s still a gimmick. It’s a flavorless spirit with lemonade and cheap orange liqueur.

A famous bar like Harry’s New York Bar in Paris has a reputation to keep up, and this drink does not measure up to that reputation. It lacks a French complexity that cocktails like the Scofflaw, monkey gland, or even the French 75 have. It also lacks the quality of the Kir or mimosa. Those seem like French cocktails to me, but the Blue Lagoon does not.

Using Blue Orange Liqueur.

Isn’t this drink super pretty? It’s a boozy cool blue lemonade. This blue is a blue orange liqueur, but if you don’t own blue orange liqueur/curacao, add one drop of blue food dye to the drink.

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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.

Blue Lagoon

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

1

servings
Calories

291

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Blue Lagoon cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Blue Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 5 oz Lemonade

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass and if you do not have blue orange liqueur then add 1 drop of blue food dye.
  • 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.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.