25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:21 am

Day 20: "B-52" - The only shot on the list, the B-52 was apparently responsible for reintroducing the pousse-café (layered drink) to a new generation. I had never heard of it. Imbibe's recipe is 3/4 oz. each Kahlua, Bailey's, and Grand Marnier, in that order, but that would have been a monster shot. I didn't have any glasses that big anyway so I cut it to 1/2 oz. On its maiden voyage was the shot glass I bought on the Mosel during our trip in 2005, giving you an idea of the last time I did a shot... But I felt I wouldn't be able to say I tried all 25 if I didn't really shoot it, so I reluctantly put it down the hatch in a single motion. The taste wasn't as bad as I expected. The Grand Marnier was MIA, but the Irish cream and coffee flavors were decent together, even at room temperature.

The spirits, including the adorable bow tie that I haven't had the heart to remove from Bailey.
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A bar spoon helps for assembly, but I don't have one, so a teaspoon did yeoman's duty. I haven't made pousse-café since college, but the result was reasonable. And yes, all three were carefully measured, just goes to show how much the eye can be fooled.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Hoke » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:08 am

Burg Eltz. Cool place.

B-52. Feh. Frosh Sorority drink. One step before cotton candy vodka.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:17 am

Hoke wrote:Burg Eltz. Cool place.

Yeah. Hard to imagine the family lived there until the 20s. Can you imagine the kids inviting their friends over to play in a "real" castle?

B-52. Feh. Frosh Sorority drink. One step before cotton candy vodka.

Ouch, how do you really feel? :) I was just glad I remembered how to take a shot instead of spraying it all over the kitchen.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:43 am

Day 21: "Cosmopolitan" - If I had to pick one drink that kicked off the modern "martini" craze, it would be the Cosmo. I've even ordered it myself on occasion, and it is pretty. Unfortunately, I think there's an error in the recipe, because it calls for 1 oz. cranberry juice, when cranberry juice cocktail (oh, the irony) is clearly intended. So my first go (left) came out fuschia. Google says cranberry juice cocktail is 27% juice, so I added 1 part cranberry juice, 1 part simple syrup, and two parts water to make "cocktail." Even that seemed like a bit dark. Interestingly, though, the fuschia version (with four times the cranberry) was clearly the better drink, once enough simple syrup was added to balance the tartness of the unsweetened cranberry juice.

Now, that drink may not be a Cosmo, but that's a separate issue. There's not much that covers up the taste of cheap vodka better than cranberry juice, which I why in college I mixed dozens of "vodka crans" for my dorm mates. If they had asked for a "Cape Codder" I would have given them a blank stare, but the fuschia version is about halfway between a Cosmo and a Cape Codder.

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 am

Oh, and the high-end Charbay Meyer Lemon wasn't any better than the midrange Skyy Citrus. If anything the Skyy was better, though I think it has some sugar in it, while the Charbay is pretty darn close to, if not completely dry.

My delivery of three rums and Punt e Mes comes today! The end in is in sight.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Hoke » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:54 pm

Delivery of Punt e Mes is a cause for celebration. It's gonna be a delivery in both senses of the word. :D

(I've really gotten back into the deliciousness of Punt e Mes lately.)

When you get it, go and make a Manhattan. Use good whiskey, preferably rye or a rye-heavy bourbon, and the Punt e Mes. You're welcome.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Rahsaan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:02 pm

I'm impressed by all the materials you are purchasing for this exploration. Am I missing something or do you end up with a lot of liquids that you don't necessarily want to drink afterwards?

Or is that just an excuse to get more creative with ongoing mixology?
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:45 pm

Rahsaan wrote:I'm impressed by all the materials you are purchasing for this exploration. Am I missing something or do you end up with a lot of liquids that you don't necessarily want to drink afterwards?

Or is that just an excuse to get more creative with ongoing mixology?


Well, I have two smallish cabinets, one of whiskeys / eaux de vie, one of liqueurs, and then a 12 slot rack of "extras" that
are not as commonly accessed, plus a small shelf for the really fat bottles that don't fit anywhere else (Creme Yvette, I'm
looking at you!) That particular bottle will probably go last. It's 750mL and gets dribbled a teaspoon at a time into
Aviations; I don't have another use for it. But liqueurs and spirits don't oxidize as quickly as people think. We inherited a
half-full bottle of Grand Marnier that must have been at least 20 years old (measured in quarts, not mL) and tried it
side-by-side with new. Slightly different, but essentially the same.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:07 pm

Hoke wrote:Delivery of Punt e Mes is a cause for celebration. It's gonna be a delivery in both senses of the word. :D

(I've really gotten back into the deliciousness of Punt e Mes lately.)

When you get it, go and make a Manhattan. Use good whiskey, preferably rye or a rye-heavy bourbon, and the Punt e Mes. You're welcome.


And add a dollop of Maraschino to get a Red Hook - another excellent variant on the theme!


And I'm with you on the Creme Yvette, Walt. I have a bottle of Creme de Violette that will doubtless still be nearly full on the day I die. I just can't drink that many Aviations.

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:58 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Hoke wrote:Delivery of Punt e Mes is a cause for celebration. It's gonna be a delivery in both senses of the word. :D

(I've really gotten back into the deliciousness of Punt e Mes lately.)

When you get it, go and make a Manhattan. Use good whiskey, preferably rye or a rye-heavy bourbon, and the Punt e Mes. You're welcome.


And add a dollop of Maraschino to get a Red Hook - another excellent variant on the theme!


Well, I think you'll like what's coming tomorrow...

And I'm with you on the Creme Yvette, Walt. I have a bottle of Creme de Violette that will doubtless still be nearly full on the day I die. I just can't drink that many Aviations.

Can you imagine if they only sold bitters in 750mL bottles? But I think I go through bitters more quickly than Crème de Violette! That stuff should come with a form so you can specify your next of kin.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:09 am

Day 22: "Gin Gin Mule" - I admire a certain amount of going out on a limb; especially on a list like this it's easy to assemble the usual suspects and hard to pick the newcomers who will nonetheless stand the test of time. I've just never heard of Audrey Saunders, or the Pegu Club where she invented this drink in 2001. The innovation, according to Paul Clarke, is the use of homemade ginger beer, which is a worthy thing. I certainly don't miss the era when everything was mixed with Sprite, Coke, or club soda from a soda gun of indifferent sanitation (actually, this era is alive and well almost everywhere, but don't tell the mixologists). A mashup of a Mojito and a Moscow Mule, its gin and lime muddle with mint and simple syrup, mixed with just 3/4 oz. of ginger beer. I added twice that to get it balanced.
http://imbibemagazine.com/Gin-Gin-Mule-Recipe

I used 209 gin, though if I'm being honest it is extremely similar to Tanqueray Ten.
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This is close to as printed, I also made a tall version that I liked a bit better. Or, maybe I just really like ginger beer.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:39 am

I love the gin-gin mule! It's maybe my favorite summer cooler and Audrey Saunders's great contribution to western civilization. The ginger beer used is really what makes or breaks it. Reed's is good, though I think my personal favorite for this application is Cock and Bull. Haven't ever gotten it together to make my own.

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:57 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:I love the gin-gin mule! It's maybe my favorite summer cooler and Audrey Saunders's great contribution to western civilization. The ginger beer used is really what makes or breaks it. Reed's is good, though I think my personal favorite for this application is Cock and Bull. Haven't ever gotten it together to make my own.

Hey, glad someone had heard of it and even likes it!

I was at Safeway to get the ginger beer, so I pretty much had my choice of any ginger beer that was either Reed's or Reed's Extra. I haven't tried Cock and Bull, but I'd be curious to try a very dry version like Maine Root.

So, Mike, do your Gin-Gin Mules tend to come in more rocks glass size, or something big like a Collins?
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:15 am

This gin gin mule sounds terrific but wonder if we have any decent ginger beer around here! Might be one place downtown.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:48 am

wnissen wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:I love the gin-gin mule! It's maybe my favorite summer cooler and Audrey Saunders's great contribution to western civilization. The ginger beer used is really what makes or breaks it. Reed's is good, though I think my personal favorite for this application is Cock and Bull. Haven't ever gotten it together to make my own.

Hey, glad someone had heard of it and even likes it!

I was at Safeway to get the ginger beer, so I pretty much had my choice of any ginger beer that was either Reed's or Reed's Extra. I haven't tried Cock and Bull, but I'd be curious to try a very dry version like Maine Root.

So, Mike, do your Gin-Gin Mules tend to come in more rocks glass size, or something big like a Collins?


Mine tend to be served in a Collins glass. We have some that are a little on the small size, so once everything gets muddled and shaken, I strain into one of those that's full of ice, top off with the ginger beer, and give it a gentle stir. This usually seems to work pretty well.

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:27 am

Day 23: "Red Hook" - Imbibe dates this to just 2005, but says it "spurred a rye whiskey-fueled burst of experimentation." I have seen lots of rye around lately. And I love it. My first sip of rye I was disappointed that it didn't taste like caraway seeds, but once I got over that, I realized it was, potentially, even better than bourbon. So I was pleased to see a rye cocktail ending the list, and one that was just recommended by you guys to boot. As a longtime devotee of the Manhattan, I'm on board with the general concept of the Red Hook, which is four parts rye to one part each Punt e Mes and maraschino liqueur: https://imbibemagazine.com/Red-Hook-Recipe .

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I served it up, with another Morello cherry as garnish, like a Manhattan. Holy. That is a hell of a cocktail. It absolute fits my criterion of demanding sipping, and it seems like it gets better through the glass. So herbal. Bulleit is one of my favorite ryes, but I would love to try something different, like Ri 1, or heaven forfend, a bourbon.

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Observant readers will notice I had to renumber all the posts since Day 6. Sorry about that. Just number 24 and 25 remain!
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:38 am

I hope I'm not spoiling the surprise for anyone that the Mai Tai is one of the two remaining cocktails. However, before I present the apparently authentic recipe, I wanted to post the version I fell in love with. In 2007 we visited Oahu and dined at Sam Choy's "Breakfast, Lunch, and Crab" brewpub in an industrial section of Honolulu. I can't think of another restaurant with such an unfortunate name, which may explain why it is now closed. However, their Mai Tai made my toes curl with pleasure. The base was the superior pineapple juice, made to order right at the bar, and it's impossible to duplicate that with the canned variety. Still, the drink retains enough of its character to present here. If you look at the ingredients and dismiss it as just a fruit punch, think again. The light rum is mixed with the juice, but the dark is floated to make kind of a barrier between you and the sweet part of the drink. It's an experience, and one that, like the Red Hook, improves with every sip till you find yourself ordering another one. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ming ... index.html (be sure to substitute equal parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup for the sour mix).

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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Bruce K » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:17 am

wnissen wrote:My first sip of rye I was disappointed that it didn't taste like caraway seeds


One word: Aquavit!

Like you, I enjoy rye despite the lack of caraway and especially love a good Sazerac.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:51 am

Bruce K wrote:
wnissen wrote:My first sip of rye I was disappointed that it didn't taste like caraway seeds


One word: Aquavit!

Like you, I enjoy rye despite the lack of caraway and especially love a good Sazerac.

Indeed, though a little Aquavit goes a long way. There's a neat restaurant in San Francisco, Pläj (pronounced "play), that even makes its own: http://plajrestaurant.com/all-menus/ I've really enjoyed both their traditional and lavender versions.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:39 pm

Now we're talking! I'm fond of rye and Manhattans and Mai Tais. (Also like Appleton Estate rum.) Will have to try a Red Hook sometime.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Hoke » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:56 pm

Ah, the Mai Tai at last.

So let's jump right into the controversy.

Where did this "apparently authentic recipe" come from? Or perhaps I should say "this version." (Not having read the Imbibe article, being to lazy and cheap to go out and buy the magazine, I am at a loss here.)

There's so much discussion, debate and argument over what the original Mai Tai was. Most of it comes down to either the Trader Vic version (which this most decidedly isn't) or the Don the Beachcomber version (which I don't think it is either).

And where the f**k is the orgeat, dude?

Walt, you distress me: you go to all the trouble (and thanks, by the way) of starting and maintaining with dogged intensity the thread wherein you sample through home made versions of these influential cocktails...then you go and use CANNED PINEAPPLE JUICE (which isn't even in the Vic's recipe) and the cheapest shit orange liqueur out there. I mean, Hiram Walker, for FSM sake!!! That's a tank of neutral spirits with a vat of lab flavoring pumped in, with plenty of sugar added.

I'll give you a pass on the grenadine, as it's hard to find anything beyond Rose's in the market.

But then, you go ahead and use two absolutely superlative rums---the Appleton 12 and the JM Martinique. Day-um; nice touch. Best of Jamaica molasses and best of Martinique agricole. That's inspired, brudda.

Now go out and get a bottle of the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao and see what a real honest-to-god old style curacao was supposed to taste like. (And don't give me that "I don't have the space in my cabinet" whine; do what you do with wine: figure something out and lie to your wife---I know the lie only delays the eventual retribution, but that's the price we all pay for being obsessive-compulsive, isn't it?)

Or you could take her out to a nice bar for a change.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:58 pm

Boy, Hoke, wait till you see my Banana Schnapps Daiquiri! (Kidding...)

Apologies for any confusion; the recipe I linked above was a "modern" version from Hawaii. I'll present the supposedly authentic recipe from "Trader Vic" Bergeron tonight, though I'm sorry to say that it still uses the orange Curacao that was
available. DeKuyper was my other choice at the corner BevMo. I'm curious about your specified Curacao, but in the meantime I have Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Citronge, and a cheap bottle of triple sec that, no kidding, has a picture of a sombrero on it. I'll be sure to use that if you make it down south of the border. (The Orgeon/California border, naturally.) Would any of those be better suited?

You'll be happy to learn that since I couldn't find decent orgeat I had to make it from scratch, so I'll link to that, too. I can't take any credit for the choice of rums; those were recommended in the article, though I have to give credit to Beltramo
Wine and Spirits in San Mateo, Calif. for carrying everything I needed.

Sadly, I don't have a source for good pineapple juice. I have too many friends with juicers gathering dust to risk getting one myself. The Dole stuff in cans at least isn't from concentrate, so it's adequate, and you can't beat the convenience. Pineapple isn't one I see in the fresh juice section at Safeway. If anyone knows a better source that's shelf-stable, let me know. The quality of the Hawaiian pineapple juice is unbelievable. I can still taste it, and there are only a handful of things I can still recall years later. I guess it's sort of my madeline. Have no fear, the Trader Vic's recipe calls for just lime juice.

I'm willing to accept some pushback on the Grenadine, as every single pomegranate in northern California came ripe last week. It's pretty easy to make, once you get the grains out of the membrane, and it keeps in decent shape for months in the fridge.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby Hoke » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:39 pm

Walt, the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao is a re-creation of the original style of curacao dominant in the 1800s. It is a creation by Alexandre Gabriel (Pierre Ferrand owner) and David Wondrich the cocktail guru and spirits historian (writes for Esquire and has some killer books out).

It is most decidedly NOT like Hiram Walker or DeKuyper. It's rich, fruity, dense and spicy with a smoldering fragrance and it is a real game changer: as soon as you have it, you'll recognize how different it is from all those cheapjack triple secs. And it belongs in a Mai Tai.

When it comes to triple sec, I use either Cointreau or Combier. I do fudge a bit when a Gran Marnier is called for, and have been known to sub in the Gran Gala Orange in fancy margaritas, and dearly love the Torres Orange/Brandy Liqueur.

Outside of the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, hands down my favorite orange liqueur though, is an agricole-rum based shrub, the Clement Creole Shrub, produced in Martinique. It's ungodly good, but way sweet and unctuous so not fitting for all cocktails. Damn near habit-forming, though.

For more than you ever need to know about triple sec/curacao/orange-based liqueurs, go here.
http://ohgo.sh/category/cocktails/orange-liqueur-showdown/
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

Postby wnissen » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:30 am

Day 24: "Mai Tai" - In this trip through cocktail history, I've been surprised at how few of the recipes involve significant time in the kitchen. Obscure liqueurs, sure. Juicing a lemon without getting seeds in the glass, ditto. But if I had to pick one trend that seems to be taking over the world of cocktails, it's fresh infusions. The Trader Vic's version of the Mai Tai, dating to 1944, involves orgeat syrup. A substance is sold under that name as a flavored syrup by the Torani folks (there's also a sugar-free version) but the real thing is an almond milk flavored with orange blossom water. I followed these instructions ( http://imbibemagazine.com/Homemade-Orgeat-Recipe ) but cut them in half, yielding just about a cup of thick, milky elixir. It's tasty on its own.

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Since the recipe for the Mai Tai was a secret, bartenders everywhere were free to make their own versions. Jeff "Beach Bum" Berry is one of the best-read cocktail historians, and he provides this recipe:
http://beachbumberry.com/how-to-make-a-mai-tai/ The blend of aged Jamaican rum and younger Martinique rum is a pleasant one, and lime is the only fruit juice to make an appearance. You'd never have guessed that such an iconic Tiki drink is garnished not with pineapple and an umbrella but a single sprig of mint:

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