The original Old Fashioned recipe would have used whiskeys available in America in the late 1800’s, either Bourbon or Rye Whiskey. The first recipe is from 1895. But in some regions, especially Wisconsin, brandy is substituted for whiskey (sometimes called a Brandy Old Fashioned). Eventually the use of other spirits became common, such as a gin recipe becoming popularized in the late 1940s. The first mention of the drink was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky.
Common garnishes for an Old Fashioned include an orange slice or a maraschino cherry, although these modifications came around 1930, sometime after the original recipe was invented. The practice of muddling orange and other fruit gained prevalence as late as the 1990s. In muddling the fruit make sure to muddle the fruit but try not to muddle the peel too much. You want to release the oils and fruit flavor but not a lot of the acid. As with spirit only drinks what whiskey/brandy you make this drink with matters. The fun is in trying to find which one you really like!
The Mojito is a rum based drink that is based on a drink from the 1800’s out of Cuba. Classic Mojitos have only Rum, sugar, lime juice and fresh mint. The ultimate summer cooler it is often served with a splash of soda to make it even lighter. White or amber Rums are used for a crisp clean taste. These go down way too easy so keep track of the number while sitting around the pool.
Seen as the cocktail of the Kentucky Derby the Mint Julep has been around since the 18th century. Traditionally, mint juleps were often served in silver or pewter cups, and held only by the bottom and top edges of the cup. This allows frost to form on the outside of the cup. Traditional hand placement may have arisen as a way to reduce the heat transferred from the hand to the silver or pewter cup. Today, mint juleps are most commonly served in a tall old-fashioned glass, Collins glass, or highball glass with a straw.
Published in Savoy Cocktail book from the 1930’s this cocktail will make you rethink how you feel about Gin if you don’t think you like it. Refreshing and tasty this cocktail owes it terrible name to the reason it is not more popular. Similar to Between the Sheets it is a cocktail you can play with and make your own. Any London Dry Gin will work and you can add bitters (lemon or orange) and different kinds of citrus juices or change their ratio.
Madras is a great summer drink that shares a lot with the breezes and cape codder’s. The difference is there are two fruit juices orange and cranberry added to Vodka. Add a squeeze of line and you have a great summer drink. Versatile moving from brunch to late afternoons by the pool this is a drink that everyone should have in the recipe portfolio.