Sunday, September 6, 2009

No. 87: Smash

Whiskey Smash

Of Smashes, Jerry Thomas writes "This drink is simply a julep on a small plan." (He has quite a lot to say about the julep, which I'll get around to soon.) Your spirit of choice, a little sugar, some water, a glass filed with shaved ice, and a garnish--that's pretty much all there is to it.

I recently enjoyed a Brandy Smash made by Sebastian, and I wouldn't be surprised if he used Jerry's recipe:

Brandy Smash.
(Use small bar-glass.)
1/2 table-spoonful of white sugar.
1 do. water
1 wine-glass of brandy.

Fill the glass two-thirds full of shaved ice, use two sprigs of mint, the same as in the recipe for mint julep. Lay two small slices of orange on top, and ornament with berries in season.

By the way, a digital copy of Jerry Thomas' 1862 bartenders' manual How to Mix drinks: or, the Bon-Vivant's Companion is available through google books! Just click the title to take a peek.

Whiskey Smash

Saturday, September 5, 2009

No. 22: Corpse Reviver #2

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Show up at Anvil and ask Justin for something refreshing, and chances are he'll offer you a Corpse Reviver #2. Corpse Revivers are drinks designed to wake the dead, as it were, in the most delicious way possible.

Originating probably in the late 1880s, Corpse Reviver #2 contains equal parts gin, lemon juice, Lillet blanc, and Cointreau--and a dash (or two) of absinthe. For those who are a bit intimidated by the wormwood-derived, anise-flavored spirit, this drink could make a good first impression.

No. 7: Aviation


The Aviation takes its name from the sky blue tinge derived from Creme de Violette, a liqueur that was apparently at one time almost impossible to find. Consequently, the titular ingredient was actually left out of many recipes, including the recipe in the influential 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

Luckily for us, Rothman & Winter is producing a Creme de Violette that is now available in the US (this is the brand that Anvil uses), which means that we can enjoy the Aviation in its original incarnation. Originally published in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 "Recipes for Mixed Drinks," the Aviation also calls for dry gin as its base, fresh lemon juice, and Maraschino liqueur:
Aviation Cocktail (Original Recipe)
1/3 Lemon Juice
2/3 El Bart Gin (no longer available; substitute another dry gin)
2 Dashes Maraschino
2 Dashes Creme de Violette
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.
The Aviation is one the drinks that I will happily reorder once, you know, I'm finished trying all 99 other cocktails on the list.