Classic Cocktails

Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation Cocktail is a classic drink - one of those created by some bartender at a fancy hotel in New York during the early 20th century like a thousand other drinks. The drink has an unusual flavor with the gin balanced by the sweetness of the maraschino liquor.2 oz Gin1/2 oz Maraschino Liquor (Luxardo ...

Brooklyn

The Brooklyn is one of the cocktails that got me interested in the larger world of ingredients. It's a classic from the 1800s, but one of the key ingredients is an amaro called Amer Picon, which is not generally imported into the U.S. Some bars (including Boulder's Bitter Bar) even attempt to make their own ...

Cabaret Cocktail

In keeping with the theme of Martini + something, we have the Cabaret, which features a touch of Benedictine. This is good but seems like it is missing something - really I think it's just a little shy with the Benedictine, giving the recipe in sub-teaspoon units. Worth a try but also worth experimenting. 3 ...

Chrysanthemum Cocktail

I first had a Chrysanthemum at the Black Cat in Boulder. It's an after-dinner cocktail that made a lovely dessert that Maureen and I shared. Why fill up on pastry carbs when you can have one of these? Black Cat made theirs with Bianco vermouth, which I plan to try soon enough, but I made ...

Cocktail a la Louisiane – The Best Classic Drink You’ve Never Heard Of

This drink is more commonly known as the a la Louisiane or just la Louisiane these days. That is, of course, if you can find a bartender who has even heard of it. When a friend recently took me to Tavern Road, the terrific craft bar in Boston, the bartender suggested I try this based ...

Cuba Libre

As part of our Classics series, I recently tried the Cuba Libre, an ancestor of the Rum & Coke likely invented in very early 20th century Havana as a way to promote Bacardi. I have to admit, this is not my favorite highball. Maybe it's that I don't usually drink soda pop in the evening; ...
Daiquiri - Consumatorium Classics

The Daiquiri

How to make a delicious Daiquiri at home. Recipe, background, variations and ingredients. A classic and terrific summer drink ...
French 75 Cocktail

Valentine’s Day Cocktail – The French 75

Here at The Consumatorium, we've been on a roll mixing drinks dominated by Rye and Bourbon. In our defense, it's been damned cold outside, Polar Vortex and all, and we needed a little help getting warmed up. But Valentine's Day is just around the corner and it's time for us to mix some cocktails that ...

Gibson

Not everyone likes cocktail onions. I do. They're not included in our starter bar, but for ten bucks you can get a small jar that will last a very long time whether you use them or not. Unfortunately there aren't very many standard recipes that use this garnish. In fact, it's really just the Gibson ...

The Highball

Highballs are a very different category of cocktail from what we've looked at so far on this blog. They have a much lower concentration of alcohol, making them appropriate and enjoyable for those who don't like more 'boozy' drinks. They're also nice with dinner, since they don't need to be sipped. In general, a highball ...

Income Tax Cocktail

I was browsing recipes on Imbibe and came up with this tasty drink, the Income Tax Cocktail. It's the weekend, so I thought I'd make it a little bigger than the recipe - here's what I did: 2 oz Plymouth Gin1 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth1 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet VermouthJuice squeezed from ...

Jack Rose Cocktail

I was recently told that we've been posting too many gin recipes. Fair enough: summer is over and it's time for something more hearty. And what could say autumn better than...Apple brandy!The Jack Rose is a classic from the 1920s and 30s. Laird's Applejack, the primary ingredient, has been made in America since colonial times ...

Jewel, Bijou, or Tailspin

Have you noticed that there is no way to search on ingredients to find the name of a cocktail? Google helps a little but it's hit or miss. With all the mixology going on and poseurs like me and Will making up our own cocktail names, there is bound to be some name proliferation. This ...
King Cole

King Cole Cocktail

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might recall the amaro comparo we did a while back, Amari Throwdown. In it I stated that Fernet-Branca was, "awful . . . just awful." So you might be surprised that I'm posting about a drink that uses it. As it turns out, ...

The Last Word

Never fear, loyal Consumatorium readers, we are not shutting down. No, The Last Word is a prohibition-era cocktail that was rediscovered and popularized about a decade ago. It's tasty and tart, and while the first sip is a little overpowering, it goes down very easily after that. The lime juice, while significant, is balanced well ...
Mai Tai

Mai Tai Time

If you’re like me, Mai Tais are a treat enjoyed only when dining at a Polynesian or Chinese restaurant. Those Mai Tais, as you would expect from the establishment where they are made, are generally laced with overpowering Mai Tai or sweet and sour mix. Great Mai Tais need no such help to make them ...
Consumatorium Classic Cocktails - Manhattan

The Manhattan Cocktail

The Manhattan Cocktail is one of the most recognized cocktail names, with a recipe that has remained largely stable for a hundred years. It is a strong drink - too strong for those who primarily drink wine and beer - and it amplifies rather than softens the flavor of the whiskey that is its base ...

Margarita

As Will points out, a true classic Margarita won't taste like what you get in the average bar, because they often use sour mix or even Margarita mix to save time. And those mixes, among other differences, are sweeter than the straight ingredients.Here is how you actually make a Margarita.Prep by putting a coupe glass ...

Classic Martinez

I tried a few times to make a Martinez for our Classics series, and each time I messed up and made the Modern Martinez instead. This is because most recipes now use the modern ratios (much stronger), and you have to look specifically for the classic recipe.The Martinez is best known as the predecessor to ...
Consumatorium Classic Cocktails - Martini

The Martini

Though one of the most popular and well-known cocktails of all time, what passes for a Martini has evolved considerably. Unlike with other classic cocktails, identifying a preferred recipe for the Martini involves not only ratios and garnishes but even the primary liquors. Consequently, knowledge of a few variations is essential to satisfying your guests ...

Monkey Gland

Continuing with our Classics series, I mixed up a Monkey Gland the other night. It's a fine cocktail, probably more appropriate for spring but that didn't stop me from consuming every last drop. It has its origins in the 1920s, first served at a New York style bar in Paris. It is an easy drink ...
Negroni - Consumatorium Classics

Negroni Cocktail

Depending on which origin story you believe, the Negroni Cocktail is either just over or just under 100 years old. Either way, it is a popular classic drink with a definitive recipe and numerous enjoyable variations. Lower in alcohol content than a typical short drink, it is excellent as an aperitif or to wash down ...

Old-Fashioned

In the early 19th century, cocktails were a mixture of a liquor, bitters, sugar and water. Later, mixers like Triple Sec and Absinthe became more widely available and were commonly used in cocktails. After bars started stocking these newfangled additives, when someone wanted an old-style drink, they simply asked for an "Old Fashioned."  The Old-Fashioned ...

Rob Roy

The Rob Roy is just a Manhattan made with scotch whisky instead of rye. That makes it sound similar, but in fact it tastes quite different, and is very much worth having in your repertoire. The drink is named after Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk hero and outlaw, and it would only take a ...

Sazerac Cocktail

[Note: this is an update from the original post to cover both Rye and Cognac versions of the drink] Most claim that this is the oldest American cocktail, having been first created by Peychaud of bitters fame in the 1830s. It got its name in the 1850s when it was served at the Sazerac coffee ...

Scotch and Soda

It's 70 degrees in Boulder today, so I left the office a few minutes early, came home, and made myself the original highball, a Scotch and Soda. Always refreshing, and a great way to begin the process of acquiring a taste for scotch. You don't need a single malt like I used here, any good ...

Sidecar

I've been working my way through a few of the IBA standard cocktails, and I know the Sidecar is a classic. It can be mixed with our starter bar ingredients. Unfortunately it has the same problem as the White Lady, which is that it is too lemon-tart for my taste. I will try it again ...

Tequila Sunrise

It's another tequila sunriseStarin' slowly 'cross the sky, said goodbyeHe was just a hired handWorkin' on the dreams he planned to tryThe days go by Here at the Consumatorium, we frequently make lemonade out of lemons, or in this case, a great cocktail out of some Mandarin oranges that really weren't sweet enough. It's an ...
Tom Collins Cocktail

Tom Collins Cocktail

The Tom Collins Cocktail dates from the mid-1800s with a relatively consistent recipe format. Depending on the granularity of your distinctions, it is sometimes classified as a highball, meaning that the alcohol is a less dominant ingredient. Thus one can drink it rather than sip it, especially since it tastes much like lemonade. Great on ...

Vieux Carre

I tried the Vieux Carre cocktail at Boulder's Brasserie 1010, thinking it was a house invention, and only later learning that it is a classic cocktail invented in New Orleans in the early 20th century. I was also pleased to find that it uses mostly common ingredients - everything is in our standard bar except ...

Whiskey Sour

There are five distinct components of the sense of taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory. The cocktail repertoire covers all of these in various ways. Today we're going to talk about sours and, in particular, the Whiskey sour. The Sour family is actually slightly misnamed, since the drinks generally include a sweetener to offset ...

White Lady

The White Lady is a classic cocktail that I found on the IBA website. I made one this past weekend as shown in the photo, and while I enjoyed it, it was very tart. I feel about lemon juice the way Will does about dry vermouth: a little goes a long way. So today I ...
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