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April 3rd, 2014

The Fedora Cocktail - Ever Felt Like You Hat To Try A Drink

Fedora cocktail with lemon, strawberry & orange garnish.

Whose All Four A Fedora Cocktail?

Four different spirits and liqueurs (bourbon, brandy, curacao & rum) combine to make the Fedora cocktail a pretty stiff drink. However, since its designed to be made with cracked ice instead of a large lump, just wait a minute and the melting water will quickly dilute some of its strength.

History Of The Fedora Cocktail

The Fedora cocktail’s history is all tied up in a bow wrapped around the brim of the hat from the nineteenth century play, Fedora. Here’s what happened.

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March 18th, 2014

The Bronx Cocktail - Great Gatsby Party Is A Zoo - Drink Is Too

Bronx cocktail with zoo location on New York City map of 5 boroughs.

Bronx Cocktail Is Uptown With Manhattan And Martini

In the 1930s & 40s, if you asked someone to name the classic cocktail, the Bronx would be a close contender to the Manhattan and the Martini. In fact, its really a perfect* variation of the latter with orange juice added to the mix.

History Of The Bronx Cocktail

Zoo You See Wild Animals After Drinking Too?

Johnnie Solan under the assumed name Johnnie Solon is largely credited with inventing the Bronx Cocktail while bartending at the Big Brass barroom at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel around 1900. Solon recounted the details of his story years later with Albert Stevens Crockett who included part of the interview in the Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book he published in 1934.

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February 26th, 2014

Rory O’More Cocktail - No More Nasty Green Irish Themed Drinks

Rory O'More cocktail in foreground of namesake bridge in Dublin, Ireland.

Rory O’More Leads Irish Rebellion Against Saint Paddy’s Day Drinks

The Rory O’More cocktail with Irish whisky, Italian vermouth and orange bitters is an auld twist on an old classic, the Manhattan. When you’ve made your way through all those obligatory rounds of nasty green “I’ll try anything once” St. Patrick’s Day drinks like the Blarney Stone, the Emerald (see below), Everybody’s Irish or the Pickleback, say no more. The Rory O’More is themed to be a Saint Paddy’s pour.

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February 19th, 2014

Everybodys Irish Cocktail - St Patricks Day Drink Turns You Green

Everybody's Irish cocktail with green liqueur.

A Green Irish Cocktail With Something For Everybody

Everybody’s Irish cocktail may have a little something green for everybody in it, but this drink certainly isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. Or even Irish for that matter.

By the time you add in chartreuse (a French herbal liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since the early 1700s), some mint liqueur (creme de menthe, French for mint cream, or possibly a Dutch or Italian spirit instead) and an olive (with origins in the Mediterranean and middle east optionally stuffed with a Spanish pimento) are you still going to be able to tell you’re drinking whisky from Ireland? Or, do you just add whatever’s on your bar’s bottom shelf and raise a toast to St. Paddy anyway?

Would recommend an Irish Coffee or a Rory O’More if you’re going for national pride, else some food coloring in your favorite beer if you’re just going green. However, if you’ll try anything once (that’s the spirit by the way), get the Everybody’s Irish cocktail over with so you can move on to a tastier tipple.

Initiation is good for life. No need to re-live the experience every year.

On the gack scale, Everybody’s Irish ranks somewhere between a briny booze back and gory gray matter. While a few favor the former, nobody likes the latter. You be the judge.

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February 11th, 2014

Paisley Martini - Cocktail Patterned After Scotch Whisky Town

Paisley Martini with teardrop pattern cocktail garnish.

A Persian Potation With Pomegranates, Pistachios Or Persimmons?

The Paisley Martini is one of what seems to be a nearly infinite supply of variations on the classic gin martini. If your first reaction is to associate this drink with the Persian pattern and assume its flavored with pomegranate, pistachio or even persimmon, you’d only be partially correct. Maybe.

History Of The Paisley Martini

A splash of Scotch whisky is what seasons this sip and the inspiration for this drink’s name is most likely the town of Paisley, Scotland, past and present home to William Grant & Sons and Chivas Brothers, respectively. However, there is a tie in to textile’s twisted teardrop woven in to this tipple’s tale as well.

The industrial revolution transformed Paisley from a sleepy Scottish burgh near Glasgow into a central city for the weaving industry. Along with producing Scotch whisky and being a leader in thread making, Paisley’s switch from silk to imitation Kashmir (cashmere) shawls woven with the crooked Kashmiri contours put their tiny town on the map.

So much so that the distinctive deformed droplets sometimes called Persian pickles or Welsh pears became known as the Paisley pattern in western culture. Where a water drop shape like these wall mounted or hanging wine racks is perfectly aerodynamic, the paisley is based on the Persian word boteh meaning a bush or thicket and looks more like a teardrop with a twist or even a flower bud as shown cut into the lemon peel next to the namesake Paisley cocktail drink pictured above.

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February 1st, 2014

Jersey Cocktails - The Sparkling Champagne Of Hard Apple Cider

Jersey cocktail with hard apple cider.

The Jersey Cocktail Is Champagne’s Cider Cousin

The Jersey Cocktail is one of the oldest mixed drinks you’ve probably never heard of. Made with hard cider, sugar and bitters, the Jersey is basically a Champagne Cocktail spirited by apples instead of grapes.

In fact, by mixing this drink with a hard cider injected with carbon dioxide to form CO2 bubbles or one prepared using methods similar to how champagne is made, the Jersey Cocktail will sparkle and be the life of the party. The typical alcohol percent by volume for hard cider at 5-7% is about half the ABV for champagne, but by the time you add sugar and bitters to their similarly mild flavors, the Jersey cocktail could easily pass for its more famous cousin.

And often did. Its rumored that when America walked into a bar back then and probably still even now, sparkling apple wine was sometimes substituted for champagne on the unsuspecting, especially during shortages.

No need for any tomfoolery though. The Jersey cocktail a fine drink on its own and even better when spiked with a little applejack or apple whiskey to stiffen it up to the level of the Champagne cocktail or beyond.

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January 23rd, 2014

Jayne Mansfield Cocktail - Valentines Day Strawberry Champagne

Jayne Mansfield champagne cocktail with strawberry garnish.

A Jayne Mansfield Strawberry Champagne Cocktail - Be My Valentine

Jayne Mansfield’s signature drink is a strawberry champagne cocktail with rum which when paired with chocolate forms the tried and true love trio of romantic treats for Valentine’s Day. Her namesake cocktail is a perfect match for this occasion, and many others, considering she was the Playboy Playmate of the Month in February 1955.

The Pink Palace Flowing Punch Bowl Of Jayne Mansfield Cocktails

This drink would fit right in at the movie queen’s Pink Palace as well. The 40 room mansion she bought in 1957 on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles featured pink walls, fur carpets, a valentine heart shaped bathtub and a fountain of pink champagne.

Must have been a fifties thing. Elvis Presley, said to have briefly been Jayne’s valentine or vice versa, bought Graceland in 1957 as well and his Memphis mansion had shag carpeting on the walls so long it was almost like fur, just not that color. He did have a pink Cadillac though.

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January 20th, 2014

Olympic Cocktail Recipe - Let The Games Begin - Ships Underway

Olympic cocktail with orange peel rings as garnish.

The Olympic Cocktail Is Similar To The Classic Sidecar Drink Recipe

The Olympic cocktail is a classic mixed drink containing equal parts brandy, curacao and orange juice. It is closely related to the Sidecar which follows the same 1:1:1 formula and similar ingredients, but the former substitutes curacao instead of orange liqueur and uses OJ rather than lemon juice.

History Of The Olympic Cocktail

The recipe is thought to have originated in 1922 at Ciro’s Club of London when Harry McElhone was still bartending there prior to him leaving for France and eventually his own place in Paris, Harry’s New York Bar. What the Olympic cocktail is named for however, is still part of history’s mysteries.

The Olympic Games Compete Over Cocktail Naming Rights

There were no Olympic Games in 1922 since it was an off year and London* had last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1908, however the 1920 Games of the VII Olympiad had just been hosted in nearby Antwerp, Belgium. This was a cause for celebration after an eight year absence since the Olympics had last been held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1912.

Its possible that was the inspiration or maybe the Olympic cocktail was named in anticipation of the very first Winter Olympics scheduled for 1924 in Chamonix, France followed by the Summer Games later in the year in Paris. After all, French Cognac is arguably the most famous of all the brandies and brandy is the main spirit in the Olympic cocktail.

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