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Ensslin

Whiskey and Barspoons: the Brainstorm Cocktail

There is a tongue-in-cheek reference to something called a Brainstorm Cocktail in a 1906 issue of a trade magazine called “The Northwest Druggist”:

The “brainstorm” cocktail is the latest. It consists mainly of cracked ice set aside to thaw.

Druggist humor, I guess.

The real Brainstorm Cocktail came along about ten years later; it’s one of Hugo Ensslin’s pre-Prohibition classics, first published in his Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1916).

Continue reading “Whiskey and Barspoons: the Brainstorm Cocktail”

A Martini with Something In It — The Merry Widow Cocktail

The best description I can think of for the Merry Widow cocktail is that it’s a fancy, vermouth-heavy martini with a touch of herbs and spice.

Continue reading “A Martini with Something In It — The Merry Widow Cocktail”

Punch and Rum — the Doctor Cocktail

The hallmark ingredient of the Doctor Cocktail is Swedish Punch, a liqueur that tastes very much like a sweetened Jamaican rum, with caramel, molasses and plenty of leathery “hogo” at the forefront, and faint notes of smoke, spice and fruit. Continue reading “Punch and Rum — the Doctor Cocktail”

A Martini with something in it — the astonishing Atty Cocktail

The Atty Cocktail is a Martini with embellishments; if you get the proportions right, those embellishments are surprising, flavorful and entertaining.

Continue reading “A Martini with something in it — the astonishing Atty Cocktail”

The Deshler Cocktail

The Deshler Cocktail is a WWI-era relative of the Manhattan. I’m not a boxing historian, but I’m told the “Deshler” in question was Dave Deshler, an American lightweight boxer in the early years of the 20th century. I know nothing of his boxing, but it seems he was good enough to inspire a well-constructed cocktail, I suppose as homage to one of his victories. Continue reading “The Deshler Cocktail”

What color is the Blue Moon Cocktail?

Quick! What color is the Blue Moon Cocktail?

It’s blue, right? It’s called the Blue Moon.

Yes and no. As it turns out, the original Blue Moon was… red.  Continue reading “What color is the Blue Moon Cocktail?”

Aviation Cocktail

The history of the Aviation Cocktail is a tale of neglect and abuse, rehabilitation and redemption, and even controversy. Sort of like Cinderella with politics. I love these cocktails with stories. Continue reading “Aviation Cocktail”

Affinity Cocktail

Since I’m not much of a Scotch cocktail drinker, my recent addition of the Affinity to my short repertoire of Scotch whisky-based cocktails was sort of a surprise. In addition to giving me another option to do up for my Scotch-drinking friends, this one gives me an alternative when the smoked salmon is out for hors d’oeuvres. Properly made, it is a very pleasant drink. Continue reading “Affinity Cocktail”

Chrysanthemum Cocktail

The surprise of the Chrysanthemum cocktail is the nose. Its creators surely weren’t trying to duplicate the chrysanthemum scent, but that combination of vermouth, Bénédictine and anise is redolent of gardeny lushness. Continue reading “Chrysanthemum Cocktail”

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