Gin Julep – Make The Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Gin Julep
Gin Julep

The History of Julep Cocktails And Their Ancient Origins.

The history of the Julep goes back to ancient Persia (modern-day Iran). Rosewater was thought to have health benefits, and the word for rosewater in old Persian is Gulab (gul=rose, ab=water). Gulab slowly made its way to the surrounding Arabic cultures, and over time, the word Gulab changed to Julāb, and it was used to describe any sweetened medicinal syrup. Julābs eventually traveled to western Europe and England; syrupy medicines are called Julaps or Julapums. By the mid-1700s, there were all kinds of julaps. Rosewater julap was called Julapum Rosatum and was used for treating Heart issues. Julapum tabaci was a tobacco-infused syrup for treating asthma, Julapum sedativum was opium syrup Julapum Stomachicum was a mint-infused syrup used to settle upset tummies. I found many kinds of other Julapums, but this is good enough. Also, most of what I found was written in Latin, and google translate can only do so much. A medical journal I found online from the 1750s calls for a Julapum Stomachicum to be a peppermint-infused sweetener mixed with sherry. What we today consider a mint julep emerges around the early 1800s. The British 1827 home medical book Oxford Night Caps refers to a mint julap as a mint syrup mixed with brandy that a parent can make to ease the upset tummy.

With its unique drinking culture, the mint julep took on a different identity in the United States. Mint juleps were dressed up and made fancy for saloon patrons looking to get buzzed. The oldest printed recipe for this saloon-style julep comes from Jerry Thomas’s 1862 edition of The Bar Tenders Guide. The formula is one table-spoonful of white pulverized sugar. And 2 1/2 tablespoonfuls of water and mix well with a spoon. 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint. 1 1/2 wine glass Cognac brandy, dash with Jamaica rum, and sprinkle white sugar on top. Jerry Thomas also has recipes for a gin julep, whiskey julep, a pineapple julep, pineapple syrup, and gin cocktail.

The mint julep stays a brandy cocktail for a very long time, and most bartenders and recipe books copy Jerry Thomas till around the late 1800s. Books in the late 1880s mention how the once-loved julep had fallen in favor of other more complex cocktails and is typically something only the older men order. Around this time, the mint julep recipe replaces brandy for bourbon. The first instance of this is in the 1888 book Bartender’s Manual by Theodore Proulx, where he has his recipe for a mint julep that uses bourbon instead of brandy. Whether this change is accidental or intentional, it would happen when the cocktail begins to fade from the bartender’s repertoire. As decades passed, the mint julep and whiskey julep merged till it just became standard to make a mint julep with whiskey.

Variations Of The Mint Julep.

This specific version is the whiskey julep variation of the mint julep. Had you ordered a mint julep in the 1800s, you would be given a brandy cocktail instead, but the whiskey variation is the most common one made today. All the other variations of the mint julep are almost entirely forgotten today, and almost everyone only knows of the mint julep. Jerry Thomas had recipes for a gin julep, whiskey Julep, pineapple julep, and a plain brandy julep. Harry Johnson added the Champagne Julep too in his 1882 book Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual. An 1885 book called New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef by Bacchus has nine different Julep recipes. They are not worth listing here as they are all quite lousy.

Getting The Ice Right In A Julep.

I feel the most essential part of any julep is the crushed or shaved ice you will pack the cup with. This cocktail should have the spirit of a snow cone that tastes sweet of mint and booze, and the ice should be rounded over the rim. Otherwise, it comes across as old-fashioned if you don’t pack the cup with ice, and the julep should be more of a refreshing hot daytime summer drink and not a smoky old nighttime bar drink.

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Gin Julep

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

1

servings
Calories

301

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Classic 1860s Gin Julep recipe from the Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas

Ingredients

  • 5 Mint Leaves

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

  • 2 dashes Gold Rum

Directions

  • Add the simple syrup and mint to a tumbler glass. 
  • Press the mint leaves into the syrup to infuse it with the mint’s flavor.
  • Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice and stir. 
  • Pour the base spirit over the crushed ice into the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to mix and dash the top with rum.

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.


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


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.


Whiskey Sour – The Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Whiskey Sour
Whiskey Sour

The Origins Of The Whiskey Sour.

While the standard American style sour is likely as old as the country itself, it traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid-1500s, the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high-proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight and prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s, there were attempts at improving these into actually good drinks. Along with crustas and daisies, the sour was one of these attempts. The sour cocktail is simple and follows a structure of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This standard recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication, and I find this ratio a bit too acidic. By reducing the citrus to 2/3 oz or 20 mLs, I have found you end up with a tastier drink that most people find pleasant. Please enjoy this early whiskey sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas. Jerry Thomas’s sour recipes stayed unchanged until the 1950s when cocktail books said you could add egg whites for a more velvety texture. The books stressed that adding egg whites was optional and not traditional.

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites.

This has been the single most challenging cocktail to document, and I try to keep my sources to only published books. Sometimes I use newspapers, but I don’t give them much weight. The conclusion I have come to is a traditional whiskey sour; all sours, for that matter, do not have egg whites. Yes, there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz-style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone using egg whites in a cocktail labeled a Whiskey Sour. Sour cocktails before the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seemed to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s, if a man ordered a whiskey sour and were handed one with egg whites, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some women’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s, which was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. In 1947 Eddie Clark was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the usual way a whiskey sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – the 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in his book’s “For ladies only” section.

Use The Right Kind Whiskey For A Whiskey Sour.

The most essential ingredient in the whiskey sour is the kind of whiskey. First off, don’t use scotch. While great for sipping, it’s not great for mixing, and the lemon and sugar are so strong they overpower the more mellow, smooth flavors of most scotches. Second, Don’t use Irish whiskey. The smoky, mossy flavor doesn’t pair well with the sweet and tart lemon flavors. The two whiskeys to consider are bourbon and rye. Bourbon is the more common and traditional choice. Its corn, vanilla, toasted oak, etc. flavor pair well with the other two ingredients. I like using rye for mixing, though, and I think a nice rye whiskey is perfect for this drink. Rye is spicy and sharp, and when it’s combined with sugar and lemon, the combination is excellent. I feel rye is awful to sip (I’m not too fond of the spiciness of most rye whiskeys straight), but when it’s used to mix, it makes excellent drinks.

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Whiskey Sour

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

1

servings
Calories

213

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Whiskey Sour.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Bourbon

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


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.


Tom Collins – Fantastic 1882 Harry Johnson Recipe

Tom Collins Cocktail
Tom Collins Cocktail

What Is The Difference Between The John Collins And Tom 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. Many sources say it was created in 1814 at Limmer’s Old House in London, but who knows. There is no documentation of this, and all the sources that state this seem to reference each other circularly. The oldest concrete evidence of this cocktail 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 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 three 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 and calls the one made with genever a Tom Collins.

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 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. Harry and Fred are all members of the same family.” They then say they prefer the Fred Collins name, thus 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.

The Brief But Memorable History Of The Tom Collins.

The Tom Collins is enjoying a bit of a renaissance since Old Tom Gin is starting to become more regularly found in liquor stores again. Even though it was only around for a few decades and some major cocktail books back in the day left it out. Harry Craddock, Jerry Thomas (posthumously), George Kappeler, and a few others write about it, but major works like the Old Waldorf Astoria and Savoy make no mention of any Tom or John Collins. The oldest literary reference I could find to it was the 1882 Bartenders Manual which is the earliest reference to either the Tom or John Collins. I’ve read many articles saying the John Collins came first and the Tom was a variation, but I can’t find one without the other. Wikipedia says the oldest reference to a collins cocktail is in the 1869 Steward and Barkeeper’s Manual by Jesse Haney & company. Still, I looked over that whole book and never found the recipe they reference. Granted, I don’t have all the vintage cocktail books ever written, but I probably have a couple hundred more than any reasonable person, and the furthest back I can find the collins is by Harry Johnson.

Sadly this Old Tom cocktail was only on people’s radars for maybe 30 years. Haymans stopped manufacturing Old Tom in the 1930s, I think, and by the 1910s, most works refer to any collins cocktail as a Tom Collins and say you can use any base spirit with the drink. This harkens back to the Jerry Thomas book that called a collins made with whiskey a Tom Collins whiskey, or one made with brandy, a Tom Collins Brandy. This shows that the Tom/John Collins lived on as a cocktail structure more than a specific recipe. The name Tom Collins was being used even though no one was saying it needed to be mixed with Old Tom Gin.

Since Haymans started manufacturing Old Tom again in 2007, the classic spirit is becoming very popular now. The Tom Collins has become all the rage (It is a delicious drink, so it’s understandable), but back in the day, outside of Harry Johnson and a couple of others, It was kind of just a name to refer to a type of cocktail. In the late 1800s, a guy would maybe walk into a bar and ask for a Tom Collins, and the bartender would ask what spirit he wanted, and the guy could say whiskey, and the bartender would know what he meant. Obviously, I was not of drinking age or even alive during the late 19th century to verify this last statement. It is simply my interpolation based on how publications and literature used the name and the recipes they provided at different points in time.

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Tom Collins

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

1

servings
Calories

363

kcal
ABV

8%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Tom Collins.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Old Tom Gin

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a shaker with ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour into the serving glass filled with ice. 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.


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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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.

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.


Gin Sour – Make The Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Gin Sour
Gin Sour

What Is The Difference Between The Gin Sour And The Gimlet?

The gin sour and gimlet are different and don’t share the same ingredients. The gin sour is traditionally genever, simple syrup, and lemon juice, while the Gimlet is dry gin, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Granted, regardless of being utterly different ingredient-wise, they taste somewhat similar. There is a taste difference, but it’s not much.

Gin Sour Variations.

There are many variations of the gin sour and cocktails that are very similar in taste. Your main variations are the gin sours with egg whites, gin daisy, gimlet, and gin fizz. The gin sour with egg whites is a gin sour that uses dry gin and egg whites, some of the earliest published records of this variation dates from around the 1950s. The Gin Daisy is a gin sour with a bit of soda water to soften the sourness, and the daisy style dates around the 1860s. The gimlet, as mentioned above, is a fancy gin sour that replaces the simple syrup with orange liqueur. The Gimlet dates from around the 1920s. The final variation is gin fizz, a gin sour with egg whites and soda water. The gin fizz is a fantastic drink that is refreshing and has a velvety texture—the gin fizz dates from around the 1880s.

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites.

Historically speaking, if a cocktail was a simple sour, it did not have egg whites. Yes, there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz-style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone using egg whites in a cocktail labeled a Sour. Sour cocktails before the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seemed to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s, if a man ordered a whiskey sour and were handed one with egg whites, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some women’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s, which was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. In 1947 Eddie Clark was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the usual way a whiskey sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – the 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in his book’s “For ladies only” section.

A Short History Of Sours.

While a standard American style sour is likely as old as the country itself, it traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid-1500s, the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high-proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight and prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s, there were attempts at improving these into actually good drinks, and one of these is the standard Sour cocktail of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This traditional recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication, but by reducing the citrus by 1/3, you end up with a tastier product. Please enjoy this early rum sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas.

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Gin Sour

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

1

servings
Calories

303

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Gin Sour cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

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


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.

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French 75 – The Classic 1928 Judge Jr. Recipe

French 75 Cocktail
French 75 Cocktail

The French 75 cocktail was named after the WWI French 75mm light field canon, and is both a strong and easy to sip cocktail. The French 75 has an alcohol by volume of around 15%. The first publication of this cocktail was in the 1928 book “Here’s How!” by Judge Jr. His recipe is as follows: 2 jiggers of Gordon water; 1 part of lemon juice; a spoonful of powdered sugar; cracked ice. Fill up the rest of a tall glass with champagne! Think of it like a John Collins but made with Champagne instead of soda water. This was initially served as a highball style cocktail with ice, but it is more common to see it served today more elegantly in a Champagne flute without ice. There is an earlier reference to a cocktail called the “75” in Harry MacElhone’s 1922 book “The ABCs of Mixing Cocktails,” but that was a completely different drink that contained brandy, grenadine, and absinthe, which resembled more of the Monkey Gland cocktail than a French 75.

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French 75

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

1

servings
Calories

609

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the French 75.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

  • 5 oz Sparkling Wine

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the sparkling wine in a shaker with ice.
  • Gently throw the drink between the two shaking tins so it will chill without over diluting.
  • Pour into the serving glass.
  • Lastly, gently pour the sparkling wine into the glass so it evenly mix with the other ingredients and keeps as much of its carbonation as possible.

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.


Brandy Sour – Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Brandy Sour Cocktail
Brandy Sour Cocktail

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites.

Historically speaking, if a cocktail was a simple sour, it did not have egg whites. Yes, there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz-style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone using egg whites in a cocktail labeled a Sour. Sour cocktails before the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seemed to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s, if a man ordered a whiskey sour and were handed one with egg whites, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some women’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s, which was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. In 1947 Eddie Clark was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the usual way a whiskey sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – the 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in his book’s “For ladies only” section.

A Short History Of Sours.

While a standard American style sour is likely as old as the country itself, it traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid-1500s, the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high-proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight and prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s, there were attempts at improving these into actually good drinks, and one of these is the standard Sour cocktail of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This traditional recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication, but by reducing the citrus by 1/3, you end up with a tastier product. Please enjoy this early rum sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas.

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Brandy Sour

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

1

servings
Calories

195

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Brandy Sour cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz 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


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.


Brandy Sour With Egg Whites – Classic 1950s Style Sour

Brandy Sour with Egg Whites
Brandy Sour with Egg Whites

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites

Historically speaking, if a cocktail was a simple sour, it did not have egg whites. Yes, there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz-style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone using egg whites in a cocktail labeled a Sour. Sour cocktails before the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seemed to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s, if a man ordered a whiskey sour and were handed one with egg whites, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some women’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s, which was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. In 1947 Eddie Clark was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the usual way a whiskey sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – the 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in his book’s “For ladies only” section.

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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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.

Brandy Sour With Egg Whites

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

1

servings
Calories

210

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Brandy Sour cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Egg Whites

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Brandy

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients 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.

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.


Sangria – Classic Delicious Spanish Fortified Wine

Sangria Cocktail
Sangria Cocktail

Sangria is a Spanish fortified wine flavored with citrus and fruit. It is a very close cousin to mulled wine. The Romans loved to drink spiced wine that they called hippocras. Though Hippocras is flavored with mulling type spices like cinnamon or cloves, somewhere along the line, spiced wine in Spain became flavored with citrus and fruit instead. Since they are no longer trying to cook the flavor out of the spices, the wine is kept cool and infused with the citrus making this a cold beverage. It’s close to the word sange, which means blood in Spanish, or sangrando, which means bleeding, but I’ve only ever heard this word describe the drink. If you told a Spanish speaker you were bleeding and used the word sangria, they would be confused. So you may notice this is a milk punch, but I use half & half and not milk. Mixing with dairy is a pain in the ass, and that’s because alcohol, like acid, causes milk protein to bind together and make cheese. What protects the protein from tying together is fat. Regular milk doesn’t have enough fat, so you will make curds and whey punch every time instead. The trick is to balance the higher ABVs with the correct fat percentage. This one comes in around 15%, and at that abv half & half works well. Something like a white Russian, which is 30%, needs heavy cream because that’s too much booze and would curdle half & half. If you use milk, you would need to add less alcohol and water it down some to hopefully not have it curdle.

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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.

Sangria

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

1

servings
Calories

157

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Spanish Sangria.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Simple Syrup

  • 8.5 oz Brandy

  • 1 Bottle Red Wine

Directions

  • Cut slices of fruit that you would like to infuse into the Sangria.
  • Combine the sliced fruit, simple syrup, and brandy together and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Add wine. Serve in glass filled with ice.

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.