Spirit-forward drinks like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned continue to reign supreme, as do anise-inflected tipples like the New Orleans Sazerac and that Hemingway standby, Death in the Afternoon. We're having fun revisiting old favorites (and, on occasion, updating them as well). Tell us: what was your favorite classic cocktail this year?
But before this weekend, I'd never tried the one cocktail that Hemingway himself invented. It's named Death in the Afternoon, after his famous nonfiction account of traditional Spanish bullfighting.
Appropriately, the classic cocktail contains little more than champagne with a splash of the most legendary bohemian spirit of all, absinthe. The end result? A strong, stiff drink, perfect for the most tormented of writers. Feeling the need for one yourself? Then read more.
Less commonly seen (but no less satisfying!) is the sloe gin fizz. It's similar to the gin fizz, although the star ingredient is sloe gin, a liqueur made from spirits infused with the sloe berry, an astringent fruit that's related to the plum.
The resulting tipple has a ripe, cassis-like flavor with an effervescent, floral finishing note. By drinking more sloe gin fizzes, I'm hoping to bring them back. Join me in the cause when you keep reading.
It's unclear how this beverage became the official refreshment of the Kentucky Derby, but it's served with great ceremony at the event, and has been since as far back as 1938.
Since I'm pouring the cocktail for a crowd and I don't have the right number of julep cups, I'm preparing most of the drink ahead. Then, I'll set up a self-serve bar with mason jars for a different kind of Southern charm. Get a laid-back take on the Derby classic when you read on.
On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be among a select group of Nirvino users to attend a special tasting at San Francisco's Fifth Floor. The restaurant recently launched an old-fashioned tableside bar service in which the bartender, spirits extraordinaire and all-around amazing guy Steven Liles, prepares drinks at your table. The 1950s-style wooden cart is stocked with all the necessary tools to create beautiful and delicious cocktails.
While at our table, Liles stirred classic gin martinis and chatted about the history of the cart. He's a seasoned pro who can tell when the concoction is ready simply by touch, but for home bartenders, he recommends 20 stirs to the right and 20 stirs to the left. Since my preferred gin for a martini is Plymouth, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Beefeater one — it was perfectly balanced. To get his recipe for the classic cocktail, read more
I paid a visit to Smuggler's Cove, a tropical escape in San Francisco that specializes in re-creating authentic versions of classic Tiki cocktails. There, owner Martin Cate and bar star Marco Dionysos made me a perfectly balanced version, and chatted with me about the Polynesian pastime. Both bartenders believe that the cocktail's hazy beginnings are the cause of its devolution and waning popularity.
Prominent bar chefs disagree over whether the drink should have pineapple juice. Their recipe, which comes from Singapore Sling authority Ted Haigh, does. In comparison to my simple sling, it's far more complex, with more depth of fruit, less sugar, a clean finish, and a nice, foamy top. Read on for the recipe.
Last Thursday I was invited to an annual charity event hosted by the Guardsmen - a fraternity-like organization for young, professional men. Geeksugar and I made our way upstairs to the balcony bar and ordered Cosmopolitans. The Cosmos were free and flowing however, I was disappointed in the taste because it was obvious that they were made with Cosmo mix rather than refreshing cranberry juice cocktail and fresh squeezed lime. Making a Cosmo is super simple, it's one of the most basic drinks and should be in every hostess' repertoire. To get the recipe, along with a gallery of images from the event, just read more