Imagine selling the Bloody Mary to a focus group today: “Say, you know what goes well with vodka? Tomato juice!”
In this week’s episode of A.V. Cocktail Club, Chicago bartender Laura Kelton teaches us how to make the Mexican Firing Squad. Think of it as a next-level margarita—a tequila cocktail that’s a touch fruitier and more bitter. “It’s a great cocktail to show off to your friends,” Kelton says.
Welcome to Gateways To Drinkery, where The Takeout offers an entry-level course on our favorite libations, and some suggestions on where to start drinking them.
Excerpted from Brian Bartels’ The Bloody Mary: The Lore And Legend Of A Cocktail Classic, With Recipes For Brunch And Beyond, out March 28. Read our interview with Bartels here.
You know what will truly provide warmth this holiday season? Kindness, benevolence, love, and empathy for the human race.
The 151 Swizzle is the classic spiced tiki drink that appeared at the Don The Beachcomber chain of bars a half century ago (the 151 references the 151-proof rum used).
Astoria is a classic variation on the martini, conceived by Jacques Straub, the legendary wine steward of Chicago’s Blackstone hotel. In 1914, Straub wrote the seminal Drinks, and within its 700 recipes is his Astoria concoction. By using an Old Tom gin instead of a London dry gin, the cocktail has an added sweetness…
Many tiki cocktails have tropical, fruity, and creamy coconut qualities, but they could also be more spice-driven. Heaven is a place/This is the place is a Lost Lake original that fits into the latter category, with notes of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Plus it gives you an excuse to break out your parrot tiki mug.
Few classic tiki drinks use only gin. The Saturn, created in 1967 and rediscovered by tiki scholar Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, is one such cocktail. It employs Aviation gin—milder than London dry, with a sarsaparilla quality—as well as Falernum, a rum-based liqueur with notes of ginger, lime, and cloves.
There isn’t a bartender in the country who’s a bigger advocate for tiki drinks than Paul McGee. This is his signature cocktail, with tropical flavors of passionfruit and fresh pineapple, a backbone of Jamaican rum, and the unexpected drying characteristic of Campari.
Sloppy Joe’s is the legendary Havana bar frequented by leading men and starlets during and after the Prohibition era. Mojito Caballito, one of four variations of the mojito served here, uses dry vermouth. It’s named “Caballito” because the long strip of lime peel hanging off the glass resembles the neck of a little…
Ah, the venerable mai tai. This drink has been ripped off and bastardized so many times, it’s rare to experience the drink these days the way Trader Vic founder Victor Bergeron intended. So ditch the grenadine and passion fruit syrup—stick with the original, best recipe. Paul McGee, of Chicago’s Lost Lake tiki bar,…
The lineage of this cocktail begins with the classic and ubiquitous Negroni, which uses one part each gin, vermouth, and Campari. It evolved into the Boulevardier, which substitutes bourbon for gin.