Theres been a trend lately to get back to the old way of doing things, especially when it comes to things we ingest. People are eating organic produce, for example, and some are going as far as planting their own gardens. Many chefs are serving old-world comfort food right next to their innovative dishes. This trend has also entered the world of libations. Drink menus around the country are starting to have more of the old classics included on them. Many mixologists are using these cocktails as starting points for newer versions that take advantage of the plethora of products out there today. Recipe books from classic bars such as the Old Waldorf-Astoria, The Savoy, and the Stork Club are available in reprint editions for the new generation to use. And who can forget Old Mr. Boston? Theyve been printings those books since 1935 and still do to this day.
But you dont need a recipe book to get started mixing up some of the classic cocktails men have been drinking for decades (and in some cases, more than a century). Heres how to create the 5 classic cocktails every man should know.
Lets make some drinks!
1. The Old Fashioned
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The Old Fashioned is a bourbon based cocktail, but try it with any whisky. You may find you like the sweeter taste of a Canadian whisky, the more sour taste of the Tennessee stuff, or, for some complexity, use rye. This drink uses a short round glass, sometimes called an Old Fashioned glass, after the drink itself.
Put 1 sugar cube in glass Add 23 dashes of Angostura bitters Add 1 Splash of Soda Water Muddle (smash) until sugar is dissolved Fill glass with ice cubes Add whiskey to the top of the glass, stir Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry
Notes on Muddling: To muddle just means to smash. You can use whatever is at your disposal. Some bartenders muddle with the back of their bar spoon for light muddling and use a muddler (basically a wooden dowel about the width of a broom handle) for more intense smashing.
For a sweeter drink, add more sugar or muddle a peeled orange slice along with the sugar and bitters. For a weaker drink, use less whisky and top with soda water. Use just whiskey, sugar, and bitters to make the Sazerac (swirl the glass with absinthe and dump out before filling for a true one).
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2. The Manhattan
Another whiskey based cocktail, more of a variation on a Martini. Where the Martini is gin and dry vermouth, the Manhattan is whiskey and sweet vermouth. And dont forget the bitters! Angostura or Peychauds works fine.
3 parts Canadian or Rye Whiskey 1 part Sweet (Red) Vermouth 1 dash bitters
Make in mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until very cold (stirring is very important to help the ice melt to water it down a bit and make it more palatable). Pour into cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Trade the whiskey for scotch to make it a Rob Roy. Trade with brandy for a Metropolitan. If you desire the drink to be sweeter, add some juice from the maraschino cherries.
April 13, 2010