Skip to main content

NY-times Diner's Journal: Cocktails for the History Books, Not the Bar


There is an interesting article [follow the link] I found in the New York Times.

An top-class panel of bar-personalities discussed, bad historic drinks.
So far, so good. I never believed, that all heirloom drinks are great. However what let me dig deeper, was the choices the panelist did.

Dale deGroff chose to doubt the Aviation - he thought, that it taste like soap - even if it is including violet liqueur, it even taste more like soap. Now - I made quite a lot of Aviations; it is a finicky cocktail. But prepared appropriately it is a very interesting drink. However it has to be cold enough - hence you have to shake it really well.

Mr Frizell further talked down the Brooklyn. And well - I am more or less on the same wagon- it combines straight rye whiskey with amaro [amer picon to be precise], dry vermouth and maraschino.
It seems to me, that it was a substitute for an occasion, when a bartender ran out of sweet vermouth [for a Manhattan]. While there is no need to make a Brooklyn, if you have all ingredients for a Manhattan, it is not that bad either.

Angus Winchester commented on the Vesper. Yeah - the 007 Martini.
Well - the drink is, to be honest, also quite good, and if you add a little bit cinchona essence, it would even resemble as the original [Kina Lillet was replaced with Lillet blanc, which consist less quinine].
Still I would stir it good and not shake it - but overall I don't see the reason for the scraping, except maybe, that it might be really annoying, if guests are always ordering the same drink, because of a movie [to be precise, it was even worse with the vodka martini - also a 007 relict].

Mr. Olson from the panel then criticized the El Diablo. And this is really a great drink. I've just wrote a post about it!

Audrey Saunders was then inveighing about the French Martini. And she is right! The thing though - this example is totally misplaced. The French Martini might be a marketing exercise of Chambord. What can be said for sure is, that it has nothing to do with a classic drink. So why even mentioning it?
It is also not that bad; it is sweet and banal and lacks complexity, yes. But I don't know one serious bartender, who really advocates for a french martini... so be it.

Then David Wondrich, Robert Hess and Philip Duff named quite mediocre [to miserable] mixtures of Charles H. Baker and Hemingway - I totally agree. But this was not enough, to really justify the whole discussion, as these drinks were rather obscure [ok, except of the papa doble].

At the end old cocktail books are not holy books. There were and are always some miserable but popular concoction around; being written in some cocktail books don't make them better.
And there is also a difference between cocktail book and cocktail book.

There are some books, which are emphasizing on great recipes, promoted by the author [who should be at least a bar-personality]; but then there are other books, which are recipe collections, as backup, if a guest orders some strange and never heard mixtures.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time. I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution!  But when Chris, over at A Bar Above  discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion". Here is the video: I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris. What is citric acid? Chemical Compound Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks. Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7 Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol Melting Point: 153C Density: 1.66 g/cm3 Boiling point: 175C Soluble in: Water Why is it controversial? In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [ preferably in powder form ] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most

"Monin Rocks!" - Really?

R ussell S anchez MONIN UAE MONIN Rocks @ HARD ROCK CAFE Dubai  — with   Rhiandro Gardiner  and Louie Aquias  at  Hard Rock Cafe . I have seen this on my Facebook timeline. And well... I wanted to write about Monin since quite a long time, but haven't. However this message was a catalyst, to speak up. It is already a couple of months ago, that I routinely checked the ingredient list of a Monin bottle. ...and was shocked.... Point is, that I have always defended Monin against my US colleagues as decent brand. At least with the products they offered here in the Middle East and in Europe; they came from their factory in France. Most of the ingredients [except lets say in Blue Curacao syrup] were natural. Long time ago, somebody from Monin explained, that this is due to the quite strict regulations in France for syrup - there it is a family culture to drink syrup sweetened water/seltzer. And off course especially for the k

What is the best cranberry juice in the bar?

A good friend of me "whatsapp'ed" me today and asked for my expertise: "What is the best cranberry juice?" I would loved to just let him know the brand - however it is not that easy. What do we understand of cranberry juice? One of the biggest [maybe the  biggest producer] of cranberry products is Ocean Spray. And: it is well regarded. Problem is: it is not a juice! Wait - what? Ocean Spray doesn't produce a juice - they produce a juice cocktail - which translates into a lot of water, a lot of sugar, some taste-balancers as citric acid [nothing against this really] and a minuscule portion of juice - usually around 3%. Yes they have something which is called 100% juice. Which is on one hand true, on the other the biggest deception ever. Because you don't get 100% cranberry - you get a mixture of juices of concentrate - most of the time apple and white grape and a bit of cranberry. There are also some other brands around, which might feature a h