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Classics
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Lancaster Vodka Masterclass,

December 2007

 

 

Bellini

The pink hues of paintings by Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini inspired Giuseppi Cipriani, bartender at Harry's Bar in Venice , to create this drink. It is an Italian tradition to marinade a fresh peach in wine, and Cipriani took it one step further using champagne with puréed peach flesh. This cocktail was a favourite of Noel Coward and Ernest Hemingway whenever they visited the bar.

Always use fresh white peach purée. When this delicate peach is in season, buy a whole lot and prepare them: blanch to remove the skins, remove the pits, and place the flesh in a blender with a dash of fresh lemon juice. Blend for a few seconds and then freeze. As an alternative, you can squeeze the peach using a manual squeezer and put the flesh and liquid through a strainer.

  • Quarter-fill a champagne flute with the peach purée and top up with the champagne.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with a peach slice on the rim if you like.

 

Brandy Alexander

By far one of the most sophisticated after-dinner drinks, this was at the height of its popularity in the heady 1960s and 1970s and is still popular. 

 

 

 

  • (3cl brandy , 3cl brown crème de cacao, 3cl double cream)
  • Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  • Shake.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

 

Collins

Usually a summer drink, a Collins is made with lots of ice in a highball. The original Collins cocktail was a John Collins, and its origin can be traced back to John Collins, the headwaiter at a hotel and coffeehouse named Limmer's, in London, around 1790 to 1817. His original version used genever, a Dutch-style gin, soda water, lemon, and sugar. It wasn't until the 1880s that the drink found popularity in the United States -it was viewed as an upscale gin sling. When an enterprising bartender used Old Tom Gin, a London gin with a sweet flavour, the Collins became known as a Tom Collins. Currently, bartenders serve a Collins made with London dry gin, and in America, if you are served a Collins made with bourbon or whisky, it is a John Collins.

  • 5cl gin
  • 2cl fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes gomme syrup
  • soda water
  • Add the lemon juice, gomme syrup, and gin to a highball filled with ice.
  • Top up with soda.
  • Stir.
  • Drop a slice of lemon in the drink.
  • Serve with a stirrer

 

Daiquiri

The most-repeated myth about its origins concerns American engineer Jennings Cox, working near the East Coast town of Daiquiri in Cuba . In the long, hot summer of 1896 Jennings Cox is said to have run out of his gin supplies when expecting important guests. His local colleagues drank a mixture of rum and lime juice and it was this, with the addition of granulated sugar, that he offered his guests, naming it a Daiquiri after the town. Admiral Lucius W. Johnson had met Jennings Cox and introduced the cocktail to the Army & Navy Club in Washington , D.C. A plaque hangs in the club's Daiquiri Lounge. Additional fame came to the humble daiquiri when President John F. Kennedy proclaimed it his favourite pre-dinner drink. The German actress, Marlene Dietrich, when in London , liked to sip a daiquiri at the Savoy 's American Bar.

  • 5cl white rum
  • 2cl fresh lime juice
  • 2 to 3 dashes gomme syrup
  • Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  • Shake.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Martini

The cocktail's fragmented history begins in the 19th century. One of the 1st modern cocktails to be named and recognized is the martini. It can be traced back to an 1862 recipe for the Martinez. This American recipe consisted of four parts sweet red vermouth to one part gin, garnished with a cherry. "Professor" Jerry Thomas tended the bar of the old Occidental Hotel in San Francisco and reputedly made the drink for a gold miner on his way to the town of Martinez, which lay forty miles to the East

A modern day dry martini consists of gin and dry white vermouth, garnished with an olive. Obviously, gin has changed a lot since then, when it would have been relatively sweet compared to modern gins. Some even claim the martini was named after the Martini-Henry rifle used by the British army around 1870, as both the rifle and the drink had a strong kick!

What we do know is that by 1900, the martini had become known nationwide and had spread to the other side of the Atlantic. This is said by some to be the beginning of the golden age of cocktails. During this time a basic list of cocktails emerged and steadily became more and more popular.

 

 

Moscow Mule

In 1941, John G. Martin of Heublein, spirits and food distributor in east coast and Jack Morgan, Owner of the Cock'n Bull bar in Sunset Strip, Hollywood met in a bar in Los Angeles. Together they invented Moscow Mule by mixing Morgan's ginger beer with Smirnoff Vodka and lime in order to market the proprietor's struggling Cock'n Bull's ginger-beer franchise.
They ordered specially engraved copper mugs and Martin set off to market it in the bars around the country. He bought one of the first Polaroid cameras and asked barmen to pose with a Moscow Mule copper mug and a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Then he would leave one copy of the photo at the bar and take a second copy to the bar next door to show them that their competitors were selling their concoction. Between 1947 and 1950, thanks to their invention, Smirnoff vodka case columns more than tripled and nearly doubled in 1951.

 

 

Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary was invented in the 1920’s by an American bartender, Fernand Petiot at Harry's New York Bar in Paris. The original recipe called for equal parts of vodka and tomato juice. In 1934, Petiot added black and cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and lemon juice to spice up the drink for New Yorkers when he moved back to the States and worked at the King Cole Bar, St. Regis. Petiot notes, ‘one of the boys suggested we call the drink Bloody Mary because it reminded him of the Bucket of Bloody Club in Chicago, and a girl there named Mary’.

 

 

1934 to 1959 – The Margarita is born

This period was one of great innovation. One of the most popular cocktails—the margarita—is said to have originated in 1948. A Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames purportedly hosted a poolside Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico. The party game for Margarita was to mix drinks behind the bar and let her guests rate the results. When she mixed 3 parts tequila with 1 part triple sec and 1 part lime, it was such a success among her guests that it quickly travelled from Texas to Hollywood and the rest of the country, bearing her name.

Legend also says the drink originated in the early 1930’s at the Caliente Racetrack Bar in Tijuana, Mexico. There is little evidence, though, for the story of showgirl Marjorie King who had an allergy to most alcoholic drinks and could only drink tequila. In 1938, she asked for a tequila-cocktail rather than a shot at the Rancho Del Gloria Bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico. The bartender, Danny Herrera, poured tequila over shaved ice then added lemon and triple sec. The drink was then named after Marjorie (the Spanish translation of her name).

 

 

Long Island Ice Tea

A Long Island Iced Tea is made with, among other ingredients, vodka, gin, tequila, and rum. A popular variation mixes equal parts vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec with 1 & 1/2 parts sour mix with a splash of cola. Close variants often replace the sour mix with sweet and sour mix or with lemon juice, and the cola with actual iced tea.

It is believed that the drink, like most cocktails, was invented during the Prohibition era, as a way of taking the appearance of a non-alcoholic drink (iced tea). The drink has a much higher alcohol concentration (~28%) than most cocktails because of the proportionally small amount of mixer.

 

 

Singapore’s Sling

By definition, a sling can be traced back to 1759, and its name is possibly derived from the German word schlingen, meaning to swallow quickly. Its origin is uncertain and there might be a connection to the Collins.

This original recipe, revered by British expatriates living in the Far East, is simple to make and refreshing. Most give credence to the legend that the Singapore Gin Sling was created at the Raffles Hotel, in Singapore, in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.

By 1930, when the name Singapore Sling arrived in Europe and the United States, it had lost its fruit juices and was distilled down to gin, cherry brandy, fresh lemon juice, and soda.

Original recipe: 2cl gin, 2cl cherry brandy, 1cl Cointreau, 1cl Bénédictine, 1cl fresh lime juice, 7cl fresh orange juice, 7cl pineapple juice. Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a highball filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Serve with a straw and a stirrer.

 

Contemporary recipe:

  • 4cl gin, 2cl cherry brandy, 2cl fresh lemon juice, soda water.
  • Place all ingredients, except soda, into a shaker with ice.
  • Shake.
  • Strain into a highball filled with ice.
  • Top up with soda.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.

Mai Tai

The origin of this cocktail is a tale of two bartenders: Don Beach at The Beachcomber restaurant in Hollywood in the early 1930s; and Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron of his Emeryville bar, Hinky Dinks, in 1944. Trader Vic mixed a cocktail of 17-year-old dark Jamaican rum, the juice of a fresh lime, a few dashes of orange curaçao, Orgeat, and rock candy syrup. After shaking it, he poured it into a glass filled with shaved ice, garnished it with a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint, and presented it to Eastham and Carrie Guild, friends from Tahiti. After a sip, they pronounced it: "Mai tai-Roa Ae," which meant: "Out of this world. The best."

  • 2cl dark rum
  • 2cl golden rum
  • 1cl triple sec/Cointreau
  • 1cl Orgeat (almond syrup)
  • 2cl fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes grenadine
  • Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  • Shake.
  • Strain into a goblet.
  • Garnish with a tropical orchid or a wedge of lime.
  • Serve with a straw and a stirrer.

Sazerac

This cocktail made its film debut in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die . Its story, however, begins in New Orleans. In the early 1800s, Antoine Peychaud created it in the French Quarter, and named it for his favourite cognac, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1870, the cocktail was changed when American rye whiskey was substituted for the cognac. A dash of absinthe was also added by Leon Lamothe, a bartender. Today, he is regarded as the originator of the drink we now sip. In 1912, absinthe was banned, so Pernod is used instead.

  • 5cl bourbon
  • 1cl Pernod
  • dash Peychaud bitters
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 white sugar cube
  • dash soda water
  • Place a sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass and soak with the Angostura and Peychaud bitters.
  • Add enough soda to cover the sugar and crush it with the back of a bar spoon.
  • Add the bourbon.
  • Stir.
  • Float the Pernod over the top.
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Harvey Wallbanger

In the 1960s, a surfer named Harvey wiped out in a surf championship, then drank too much vodka and Galliano at Pancho's Bar, Manhattan Beach, California. Drunk, he banged his head against a wall until he  was stopped by concerned friends.

 

 

 

  • 5cl vodka
  • 15cl fresh orange juice
  • 2cl Galliano
  • Pour the vodka and orange juice into a highball filled with ice.
  • Stir.
  • Float the Galliano over the back of a bar spoon.
  • Garnish with a slice of orange.
  • Serve with a straw and a stirrer.

Pina Colada

The most infamous of the coladas is the Piña Colada-its title means "strained pineapple." This exotic number originated in Puerto Rico, and there are two contenders who claim to have invented the recipe. Ramon Marrero Perez of the Caribe Hilton is adamant he mixed the first in 1954; Don Ramon Portas Mingot of La Barrachina Restaurant Bar staked his claim a decade later-1963.

You can use pineapple juice from a can, or you can use the juice and the fibre from pineapple crushed in a blender. Use the freshest, top-quality fruit you can buy. When made, all of the drink should be milky white, not separated into clear liquid and froth.

  • 5cl white rum
  • 10cl pineapple juice
  • 5cl coconut cream
  • Crushed ice
  • Pour the pineapple juice into the blender.
  • Add the coconut cream and the rum. Blend.
  • Add the crushed ice and blend.
  • Pour into a colada glass.
  • Garnish with a wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry.
  • Serve with a straw.

Old Fashioned

Colonel James E. Pepper, a Kentucky-based bourbon distiller, and the bartender of the Pendennis Club in Louisville, were jointly responsible for the creation of this cocktail around 1900. Once called a "palate-paralyzer," this cocktail has a song in its honour, Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please, by lyricist Cole Porter.

 

 

  • 5cl bourbon
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • soda water
  • Place a sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass and soak with Angostura.
  • Add a dash of soda, just enough to cover the cube, and crush it with the back of a barspoon.
  • Add the bourbon and top up with soda.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.
  • Drop a twist of lemon in the drink.

Mint Julep

The drink's name is derived from an Arabic word translated as "julab," meaning "rose water." The bourbon-based cocktail possibly originates from Virginia.

Other states lay claim to its origin, although a 1975 treatise, by Richard B. Harwell, states: "Clearly the Mint Julep originated in the northern Virginia tidewater, spread soon to Maryland, and eventually all along the seaboard and even to Kentucky."

By 1800 it had become Americanized, made with brandy until after the Civil War, when bourbon became more available.

  • 5cl bourbon
  • bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • soda water
  • Place the mint in an old-fashioned glass.
  • Add the sugar and water.
  • Muddle until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the bourbon.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint.
  • Serve with a straw and a stirrer.

 

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