Skip to main content

Drink Categories I

This post is all about drink categories. Why I don't call it cocktail categories? Simply because cocktails originally were one respective category. Having in mind, that the idea is, about creating new drinks [or new drink variations], I am focussing on the most adaptable recipes.

Sours are the work horse of all drinks. They are usually unfortunately not very high regarded - though if made properly, they can be a revelation in mixology - in the culinary world I would compare them with burgers/sliders.
There are different subcategories - which need to be mentioned:
  • Sours
    • Classic Sour
      • The archetypal classic sour is a Whiskey Sour
      • I prefer the proportions 4+:2:1 [spirit:lemon juice:rich syrup]
      • 1/2 egg white can be added for an amazing frothy sour
      • Spirits should be at a slightly higher proof - ca. 45% abv and more
      • Has to be shaken very long and strong
      • Fine straining is optional 
        • Sours only conventional strained have a lot of ice chards in them - that means, that these ice chips are melting on the tongue - which gives a great sensation - his however also means, that the drink becomes more diluted after longer time.
        • Sours fine strained, usually are less frothy and don't have the special sensation. But they keep less diluted for a longer time.
      • Presentation:
        • Modern style: whiskey tumbler / old fashioned glass on the rocks [look for big ice cubes]
        • Old style: In a sour glass [resembling a stemmed port nosing glass] served up
        • Unusual style: In a cocktail glass [only classic Daiquiri].
    • Sweet Sours
      • One of the better known sweet sours are the Amaretto Sour - but also Melon Sours, Apricot Sours are popular
      • Preferred proportions 4+:2:1
      • 1/2 egg white can be added for advanced froth
      • Choose liqueurs with higher proof if possible
      • Has to be shaken very long and strong
      • Fine straining is optional
      • Presentation: in a whiskey tumbler on eh rocks
    • New Orleans Sours [after Gary "Gaz" Reagan]
      • Medium cocktails, using bitter orange liqueur instead of rich syrup
      • Very popular variations are: Margarita, White Lady or the Sidecar
      • Due to the extra alcohol of the bitter orange liqueur, it is more suitable for lower proof spirits [ca. 40%].
      • Has to be shaken rather long and strong
      • Fine straining is optional
      • Presentation: cocktail glass
      • There is a lot of controversy of calling these drinks "sours" - most modern drinks resembling sours - due to their sweet and sour ingredients. Personally I prefer to see them as Medium Cocktails - which enables one to exchange the bitter orange liqueur part, without the need of calling it different...
  • Fizzes, Collinses and Rickeys
    • These categories are similar to sours, however contain club soda
      • Fizzes contain a little bit club soda
        • The most common Fizz is a Gin Fizz
        • They are served in a small highball [rialto tumbler]
        • Benefit very much of the addition of egg white
        • Preparation as a sour - with the difference, that club soda is added at last.
        • Less ice - used ice out of the shaker can be utilized.
      • Collinses contain a lot of club soda.
        • The most common Collins is a Tom Collins [gin]
        • Proportions are the same as sours, fizzes.
        • Usually built up in a glass with ice cubes.
        • Large collins glass >40 cl.
      • Rickeys
        • The most common Rickey is a Gin Rickey
        • Rickey's are similar, but not quite like collinses
        • Lime is used instead of lemon - and the lime shell shall remain in the guest glass
        • A normal highball glass should be used [ca. 30-35 cl]
        • A classic Rickey is also served with a lemonade spoon, that the guest can even more squeeze the lime to extract more juice and more oils
        • Rich syrup might be served separate, to allow guest to sweeten to his/her taste.
  • Highballs
    • Highballs are drinks, in high tumblers [...], which combine a spirit with carbonated sodas.
    • The most common highballs are Cuba Libre, Horses Neck, Paloma, G&T
    • Pieces of citrus [which can be squeezed in by the guest] might be added
    • Bitters might be added
    • 4 - 6 cl spirit should be the base - and filled up with max. 15 cl soda
  • Old Fashioned's
    • Originally "the" way to create cocktails
    • Ingredients are: 
      • Spirit [> 6 cl] - original base spirit is Rye
      • Sugar [white sugar cube originally]
      • Aromatic bitters
      • Water [from dilution of the ice]
    • Very ritual preparation is anticipated
    • One of the most important cocktails in all times!
    • Built in a whiskey tumber/old fashioned glass on the "used" ice cubes 
  • Cocktails
    • Dry Cocktails
      • Most popular dry cocktails are Martini Cocktail Extra Dry and the Manhattan
      • Typical "new fashioned" cocktails from the late 1800 and early 1900
      • Drink contains spirit, wine aperitif [often vermouth] - optional bitters
      • Usually stirred
      • Served in a cocktail glass
      • Garnishes are minimalistic citrus peels or skewered condiments
      • Usually served as aperitif or "blue hour drink"
    • Medium Cocktails
      • Most popular medium cocktails are Classic Margarita, Daiquiri, Sidecar, White Lady, Sex on the Beach
      • Often referred as New Orleans Sour [if sweet component is bitter orange liqueur]
      • Usually shaken
      • Correctly served in a cocktail saucer
      • Ingredients are:
        • Spirit
        • Citrus juice
        • Liqueur or cordial
        • optional egg white / bitters
    • Sweet Cocktails
      • Can be divided into two different categories:
        • Classic two-component sweet cocktails 
          • Most popular are Black Russian, Godfather
          • Ingredients:
            • Spirit
            • Liqueur
            • Optional floats [cream]
          • Usually built in a whiskey tumbler
        • Creamy three+ component sweet cocktails
          • Most popular are Brandy Alexander, Grasshopper
          • Ingredients:
            • Spirit/liqueur
            • Liqueur
            • Cream
            • Optional fruit juices

Stay tuned for the second part of Drink Categories - please do not hesitate to comment, if you have questions or if you have a different opinion about anything written here...


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 controversial [and in the modern craft bartending wor…

The Best Alcohol-free Drink - Ipanema

Usually I call them [out of laziness] mocktails - but really I never liked this denomination.
As "mocktails" are usually long drinks, it is even twice wrong, to connect them to a cocktail [which is technically a short drink with alcohol]. 
Apart of this, I am not a big believer in mocktails. Sodas can be fantastic [home made grapefruit soda is fantastic, or homemade ginger ale, ginger beer or any other odd ingredient sodas]. Juices - fine. Lemonades - yes, refreshing and good. And iced teas - can be absolutely amazing. Hence you don't need sickly sweet syrupy juice mixtures.
But yes - there are few good ones.
Most of them a mimicking drinks with alcohol. You can make a pretty good alcohol-free Planters Punch, Hurricane or Mojito, if you are using Caribbean Syrup. Or you can use a juniper syrup for some alcohol-free gin drinks.
A drink which I got to know long time ago, very early in my career, is a bit a different beast [well - you cannot call an alcohol-free drink a bea…

The misconception of Old Tom Gin

These days I have thought a lot about gin. There are a lot of gins coming on the market and some people are already calling it the “new vodka”.

While I do understand this notion, it is (out of my humble perspective) not at all comparable.
Yes - gin has been really exploited in marketing (like vodka) - but it is really like any mainstream trend. Vodka has been always a bit different: while a lot of gins have significant differences (especially due to their different botanicals) - quality vodkas lack the big differences and their subtle differences are subdued within the different moods people are in - or what they have eaten for breakfast or lunch, or if they had one drink before or simply with the mixers, the vodka is consumed with.
Anyway - one big topic I have contemplated about is Old Tom Gin. In my eyes, this style has been largely misrepresented and misunderstood.
The otherwise informative article in Imbibe shows exactly the issue - people get mislead by marketing of liquor comp…