Monday, February 27, 2017

Origins: The Manhattan

Manhattan

The venerable Manhattan, a blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, is another cocktail that scores of people claimed to have invented. It likely dates back to the New York bar scene of the 1860s, but there are also some more intriguing (though almost certainly too good to be true) tales about its origins. According to one of these legends, Jennie Churchill threw a party at the Manhattan Club in 1874 to celebrate Samuel J. Tilden's victory in New York's gubernatorial election. An enterprising bartender created a new cocktail for the event, which he dubbed the Manhattan in the club's honor. Both of these characters would go on to bigger things. Churchill soon gave birth to a son, Winston, and Tilden made a presidential run in 1876. (Although Tilden won the popular vote, he lost out to his Republican opponent, Rutherford B. Hayes. At least the cocktail saved Tilden from obscurity.)  ~ Mental Floss.



Ingredients

Ice
2 parts whiskey
1 part sweet vermouth
1 to 2 dashes bitters, such as Angostura
Orange peel

Real Maraschino Cherries, recipe follows

1 cup maraschino liqueur
1 pint sour cherries, stemmed and pitted (in a pinch, you can buy a jar of sour cherries in light syrup, and drain the syrup)
      
Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add the whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass. Add 1 to 2 Real Maraschino Cherries and enjoy!

Real Maraschino Cherries:

Bring the liqueur to a simmer, and then turn off the heat. Add the cherries, stir, let cool, and then pour into jars. Refrigerate. Cherries will be tasty for months.

Recipe courtesy of Ted Allen (Food Network)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Origins: the Bellini



Brunch tomorrow?

This delightful wine cocktail, a blend of white peach puree and Prosecco, has a well-established origin. Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Venice's beloved Harry's Bar, started mixing up the fruity tipples sometime between 1934 and 1948. The pink drink reminded him of the color of a saint's toga in a painting by Italian Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini, so Cipriani named his concoction in honor of the painter.  (Mental Floss)



Ingredients

3 ounces prosecco sparkling wine
2 ounces fresh white peach puree
       

Directions


Mix and serve in champagne flute.



Recipe courtesy of Tony Abou-Gawim (The Food Network)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Origins: Martini


Aficionados disagree, sometimes violently, on the correct ratio of gin to dry vermouth that makes a transcendent martini, and the debate over the true origin of the martini can be just as contentious. Some claim that it's simply a dryer version of an older cocktail called the Martinez; Martinez, California, the birthplace of this cocktail, thus stakes its claim to the title of birthplace of the martini. Others postulate that the drink's name simply comes from Martini & Rossi, an Italian company that's been exporting its vermouths to the U.S. since the 19th century. Still others claim that the drink was created by and named for Martini di Arma di Taggia, the bartender at New York's Knickerbocker Hotel, although there's evidence that the cocktail may have been invented well before he started mixing drinks.  (Mental Floss)

Classic Martini  

1 serving





Directions

Pour ice, vodka and vermouth into a glass shaker. Shake and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with olives or lemon twist.   (Food Network)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Origins: Margarita

One of a series on classic cocktails.

For National Margarita Day

The Original Margarita

The Original Margarita was the result of a chic socialite, Margarita Sames, mixing her favorite spirits together until she made the perfect drink while entertaining at home.  In 1948 in Acalpuco, Mexico, the Margarita was born, made with two of her favorites: Tequila & Cointreau.
           
  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice.
Shake and strain into a margarita glass.
Garnish with salt and a lime wheel.