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25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:02 am

Day 1: "Alexander" My favorite cocktail magazine, Imbibe, published a list of the 21 most influential cocktails of the past 100 years. While I'm waiting for my Kase of Kermit to recover from travel shock, why not try the cocktails? The first one I made was the "Alexander." Not the Brandy Alexander, but the original, with equal parts gin, creme de cacao, and heavy cream, shaken and served up. I thought that gin and chocolate would be terrible, but it was good. Not as good as a Grasshopper, in my opinion, but a surprisingly good combination of herbality and cream.

I was missing a bunch of ingredients for some of the other cocktails, so I hit the grocery store this evening with the following items on the list: ginger beer, Coke, pineapple juice, dry vermouth, lemons, limes, and mint. Worst. Cocktail. Ever.
Last edited by wnissen on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:48 am

Lemonade and Amaretto will do the trick, it sure worked for me last Friday at Red Robin :mrgreen:
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:33 pm

Day 2: "Dry Martini" I'm not sure I buy this one as "influential," so much as ubiquitous. The blizzard of drinks called
"martinis" bear little relation to the original.

Imbibe's recipe is for 5:1 gin to vermouth, stirred, but I decided to start with just a glass of shaken gin. After all, if the
ultimate dry martini is one where the vermouth is just waved over the shaker, why not go all the way to "vermouth zero," to
paraphrase the Champenois? Since I was using Tanqueray 10 gin, the result was delicious. A cheaper gin might not have been
good, but I love the fresh, assertive herbal and citrus notes of 10. Having enjoyed a few sips, I then added the Martini and
Rossi dry vermouth (the best that Safeway had to offer). The effect was dramatic. Just that 17% was enough to bring the herbal
side to the fore, while not making the drink noticeably less strong. Good, but honestly I liked it better before. Being a wet
martini kind of guy, I added more vermouth, up to 38% ( or a 5:3 ratio, if you prefer ). The slight sweetness in the "dry"
vermouth showed itself, and I felt there was more balance between the different herbal notes of the vermouth and gin.
Last edited by wnissen on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:41 pm

Call me when you get to the Old Fashioned.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:59 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Call me when you get to the Old Fashioned.

Actually, that one didn't make the list, since according to them it is more than 100 years old. It was given an honorable
mention in a sidebar, though.
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:03 pm

So it's (really) Old Fashioned.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:13 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:So it's (really) Old Fashioned.

Hah! That was good for a chuckle. Apparently, you're right, though. Wikipedia quotes 1882 as the year when "Old Fashioned" was dubbed, based on proportions from decades before that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Fashioned#History
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Harry Cantrell » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:59 pm

I just heard a discussion about the Old Fashioned on NPR. The guy said that when cocktails were first started they involved liquor and sugar/water . This was in the late 1700s, early 1800s. Then the started adding bitters and the various flavors took off with various bitters. If you wanted the cocktail without bitters, you asked for it "Old Fashioned".
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Re: 21 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:21 pm

Harry Cantrell wrote:I just heard a discussion about the Old Fashioned on NPR. The guy said that when cocktails were first started they involved liquor and sugar/water . This was in the late 1700s, early 1800s. Then the started adding bitters and the various flavors took off with various bitters. If you wanted the cocktail without bitters, you asked for it "Old Fashioned".

You know, Harry, I'm not an expert on cocktail history, but I was under the impression that the bitters were what
distinguished the cocktail from the sling in the other direction. A cocktail was a "bittered sling." Funny how those words
change with the times. Probably in another hundred years, everything will be called a martini, and some geeks on a message
board will be arguing about what the difference was between a cocktail and a martini.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Harry Cantrell » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:51 pm

Yes, that was part of it. So an original Old Fashioned was a sling.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:25 am

Day 3: "Negroni" Since we were having meatloaf (specifically Fra Mani's turkey polpettone, perhaps my favorite single product at Costco), I though an Italian cocktail would be appropriate. Having Campari and Carpano Antica is about as Italian as it gets, even when mixed with gin in equal thirds. What can I say that hasn't been said about the Negroni? It satisfies my two criteria for a truly great cocktail: the last sip is better than the first, and it not only rewards but demands contemplative sipping. The real question is, is it my favorite cocktail? I think so, but you might get a different answer out of me if I'd just finished a Manhattan (another "honorable mention" on the Imbibe list.

P.S. I misread, it's the 25 greatest, not 21, so I corrected the post.
Last edited by wnissen on Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:31 am

Day 4: "Cuba Libre" I feel like maybe I did this wrong. I used really nice rum (Cruzan single barrel) and Mexican Pepsi (hey, at least it has real cane sugar). The rum, cola, and lime never seemed to come to together. It was reasonably refreshing, just disjointed. Maybe having a little less going on with a cheaper rum and actual Coke would be more cohesive. I initially mixed up 5 oz. cola, 2 oz. rum, and a half lime, but that was way too much lime, so I added a bit more cola.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:13 pm

Blimey, they all sound great. I remember the cocktail bars at some of top London hotels when I met mother for lunch. I only had gin and tonic :lol: .
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:17 am

For the past few days, my cocktail regimen has been: pour 1 shot Mylanta. Tonight, it's back to cocktails!

Day 5: "Mojito" It has been too long since I've made a mojito. The balance is tricky, so it's problematic to order in bars. The two sprigs mint leaves should be well muddled so there are bits of leaf in the drink, but not shredded. The 3/4 oz. lime and 1/2 oz. simple syrup should offset each other without obscuring the 2 oz. light rum. Also, the 1.5 oz. club soda should be more at the top of the drink, so it gets stronger and sweeter as you go. The result is refreshing, probably too easy to drink, and very tasty. I also like making it with unrefined turbinado sugar in place of the simple syrup, like a caipirinha.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:24 am

Day 6: "Singapore Sling" Am I the only one who first heard of this drink in the Tom Cruise movie "Cocktail"? Interestingly, while Imbibe published a recipe accompanying their "Dr. Cocktail" history column ( http://imbibemagazine.com/Recipe-Singapore-Sling ), that recipe has very little to do with the one in the 25 influential cocktails. The former has soda water but no Cointreau, while the latter adds pineapple juice and grenadine. I had to substitute for the Patrón triple sec ("Citrónge") for the Cointreau and Kirschwasser (cherry eau de vie) for the Cherry Heering, thus my bill of bottled materials was as shown:
IMG_20130930_195801.JPG
(112.21 KiB) Downloaded 3075 times


I won't go into details on the recipe, as it was nothing more than fruit punch spiked with gin, albeit it with an alluring pink color and a frothy head due to the pineapple. I measured everything with my trusty Oxo measuring cup's 1/4 oz. gradations, so it's not an issue of the construction of the drink, as much as my distaste for grenadine and canned pineapple juice. Or possible the missing virtues of cherry heering, which even my devoted cocktilian sense would not allow blowing $30 for a single drink.

I've made the "original" Singapore Sling linked above, and it's quite good, not to mention simpler. (I have no affiliation with Imbibe except as a satisfied customer, by the way.)
Last edited by wnissen on Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Hoke » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:51 am

Walt, the one pictured strikes me as more of a fruit punch than a Singapore Sling, as you say.

First, you really can't sub the Cherry Heering. It really is essential for the nature and substance of this drink. I went without any SingSlings for a long while because you couldn't find the Cherry Heering; thank goodness it's back in distribution again.

I personally wouldn't use Tanq10 for this drink either. Tanqeray is a non-citrus gin in the original English style---from which the original Singapore Sling was based. Tanq10 may citrus it up a bit too much.

Finally, and I know it's simply my taste preference, but I don't use the Patron Citronge. That has a dirty, muddy flavor to me; I've tried it several ways to find a usable form for it, and I finally just gave up on it. For me, it messes up the clarity of any cocktail I use it for. I use Cointreau or Combier, and if I want a spicier, upscale type of splurge, I'll go with the altogether remarkable Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao.

Some of the true classic cocktails are great for using as a base to start with and go in any number of directions; some of them require a pretty rigorous adherence to the original ingredients and measurements or they just don't work as well.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:46 pm

Hoke, it's funny what you say about Citrónge, I have the exact converse reaction to Cointreau! Cointreau is lovely for sipping but I didn't like how it mixed, while Citrónge made perfect margaritas.

As for Heering, I'm sure you're right, I just won't be finding out for myself. Poking around I saw that it's used in some
other drinks (including the famous Blood and Sand), I just don't have the room at the moment. I have a serious capacity
problem in the liquor cabinet, too many bottles of questionable utility with only a few ounces missing that will probably sit
unused until I can get organized enough to throw them out. At least I'm fond of Bénédictine, that was a good purchase made specifically for the Singapore Sling.
Last edited by wnissen on Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by wnissen » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:23 pm

Oh, and a confession. I'm not really a gin lover, I'm a Tanqueray 10 lover. Bombay Sapphire, No. 209, regular Tanqueray,
Beefeaters, whatever. I just don't care for them.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Hoke » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Hey, that's fair, Walt. We all have our taste preferences.

And by the way, pedantic niggle: it's Citronge, not Citronage. With the accent over the "o".

I get you. Cherry Heering is not exactly in frequent use in most bars.

And Tanq10 is a mighty fine gin. I quite like it myself. Like regular Tanq as well though, and actually drink more of that.

On the Benedictine----oh, that has lots and lots of cocktail and mixed drink uses. Here's a tip: next time you get an urge to have a Mimosa, drop a shot of Benedictine in there, Improves that otherwise blah drink by about, ohhhhh,1000%. :D
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Sam Platt » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:05 pm

wnissen wrote:Day 5: "Singapore Sling"...

I had my first Singapore Sling at Raffles Resort in Singapore, the birthplace of the drink. At $24 per it will also be the place where I had my last Singapore Sling.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Hoke » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Sam Platt wrote:
wnissen wrote:Day 5: "Singapore Sling"...

I had my first Singapore Sling at Raffles Resort in Singapore, the birthplace of the drink. At $24 per it will also be the place where I had my last Singapore Sling.


Sam, I don't think there's a mandatory price of $24 set for ALL Singapore Slings around the world. And there's always the black market, ya know... :D
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Lou Kessler » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:49 pm

Sam Platt wrote:
wnissen wrote:Day 5: "Singapore Sling"...

I had my first Singapore Sling at Raffles Resort in Singapore, the birthplace of the drink. At $24 per it will also be the place where I had my last Singapore Sling.

Brilliant minds think alike, I did the same thing in my visit to Singapore a few years back. I'm not sure of the price but I do remember saying that was my first and last Singapore Sling.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by JC (NC) » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:05 pm

When we visited the Benedictine homesite in Fecamp, France, they had a number of recipes for Benedictine-based cocktails on hand. I didn't have the time to copy them but could probably find some on the Internet.
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Re: 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past 100 Years

by Hoke » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:27 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
Sam Platt wrote:
wnissen wrote:Day 5: "Singapore Sling"...

I had my first Singapore Sling at Raffles Resort in Singapore, the birthplace of the drink. At $24 per it will also be the place where I had my last Singapore Sling.

Brilliant minds think alike, I did the same thing in my visit to Singapore a few years back. I'm not sure of the price but I do remember saying that was my first and last Singapore Sling.


Ya know, I'd kinda question why the Singapore Sling ended up in the top list of influential cocktails in the first place. Don't know that it has that much resonance, and frankly don't see it out there a lot. Also not aware of how it has influenced/affected/changed the cocktail scene that much.
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