Friday, March 31, 2017

Origins: The Margarita

Marjorie King, a former Broadway dancer, the singer Peggy (i.e. Margaret) Lee, and Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a former German ambassador to Mexico are all touted as the possible namesake of the margarita cocktail. But in fact the cocktail might not be named in honor of anyone at all—margarita is the Spanish word for “daisy,” and so one theory claims the drink was simply a variation of an earlier Texan cocktail called the “tequila daisy.”

While there are endless variations, and frozen cocktails are dominant choices, here is the classic recipe.


    • 2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave, preferably reposado or blanco
    • 1 ounce Cointreau
    • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
    • Salt for garnish


Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Origins: the Mojito

Although debate rages over the exact origin of the mojito, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it probably takes its name from mojo, the Spanish name of a Cuban sauce or marinade made with citrus fruit—a mojito is literally a "little mojo."   Mental Floss

Ha, Bacardi says:
Depending on who you believe, the mojito either came from the Spanish word ‘mojar’, which means to wet, or the African word ‘mojo’, which means to cast a spell. Anybody who’s ever tasted one will agree that it’s thirst quenching and spellbinding in equal measures.


4 lime wedges
12 fresh Mint Leaves
2 heaped tsp Caster Sugar
1 part soda water / club soda
Sprig of fresh mint


Take the lime wedges and sqeeze them in the glass. Gently press together the limes & sugar. Bruise the mint leaves by clapping them between your palms, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in. Next, half fill the glass with crushed ice, add the BACARDÍ SUPERIOR rum & stir. Top with crushed ice, a splash of soda, and a sprig of mint.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Origins: The Tom Collins

Tom Collins
(with starfruit and cucumber garnishes)

This refreshing summer drink owes its name to a 19th century hoax. In 1874, hundreds of New Yorkers heard some bad news while they were out on the town: a certain Tom Collins had been besmirching their good names. Although these people didn't know Mr. Collins, they were outraged that he would slander them, and they often set out to find the rascal. Of course, the root of the hoax was that there wasn't really a Tom Collins, but that didn't keep aggrieved parties from searching him out. To deepen the joke, bartenders started making the citrus cocktail that now bears the name, so when searchers asked for Tom Collins, they could instead find a thirst-quenching long drink. (Mental Floss)

Esquire Magazine tells a different story (who knows?) In any case, the Tom Collins has on its side tradition—it turns up in the 1877 Bon Vivant's Companion, by Jerry Thomas, the George Washington of American mixology—and simple elegance. Few drinks are as refreshing on a summer afternoon.And the name? Step one: A certain John Collins, a waiter at Limmer's Old House on London's Hanover Square, gets his name hitched to a drink with lemon, sugar, soda, and Holland gin. Step two: Some bright spark makes same with Old Tom gin and changes the name accordingly.


2 oz. London dry gin

  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • Club Soda
  • Collins glass
  • Directions

    1. Combine the ingredients in a Collins glass 3/4 full of cracked ice.
    2. Stir briefly, top with club soda or seltzer, garnish with lemon circle, and serve with stirring rod.
    As for those cousins: To make a Gin Fizz, shake the gin, sugar, and lemon juice well with cracked ice, pour into a chilled Collins glass—no ice—and fizz to the top. To make a Gin Rickey, squeeze half a (well-washed) lime into a Collins glass full of ice, tip in 1 teaspoon superfine sugar, stir, pour in 2 ounces London dry gin, throw in the squeezed-out lime half, and top with bubbly water of choice. You may, if you wish, also add a dash of grenadine for color.
    The Collins treatment works well with other liquors: common are the Whiskey Collins or John Collins, which is self-explanatory, and the Rum Collins (light rum) or Charlie Collins (Jamaican rum), which are usually made with lime juice instead of lemon and to which a couple dashes of Angostura bitters are often added. See also the Brandy Fizz.

    The Wondrich Take:

    Along with its kissin' cousins, the Gin Rickey and the Gin Fizz, this classic formula hasn't been getting much exercise of late. Maybe the nasty tang of bottled Collins/Sour mix has poisoned virgin taste buds, depriving it of the young addicts a cocktail needs to survive. Or maybe it's just a sign of the swath tonic water has cut through summer drinks since its introduction back in the '30s.

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    Irish Cream for your celebrations

    Whether as a simple addition to your coffee, neat, or as part of a special cocktail, try our line of delicious Irish creams for St. Patrick's weekend.  Hmm, how about an Irish Cream cheesecake?!

    St. Brendan's

    34 proof

    Emmets Cream is a cream Liqueur from Ireland and has an alcohol percentage of 17%, which is around the average for a liqueur. The palate of this liqueur is characterized by Vanilla notes.

    Baileys Original Irish Cream is a cream Liqueur and has an alcohol percentage of 17%, which is around the average for a liqueur. The palate of this liqueur is characterized by Cream notes

    Carolans Irish Cream is a cream Liqueur from Ireland and has an alcohol percentage of 17%, which is around the average for a liqueur. The palate of this liqueur is characterized by Cream and Honey notes.

    FEENEY'S Irish Cream is a cream Liqueur from Ireland and has an alcohol percentage of 17%, which is around the average for a liqueur. The palate of this liqueur is characterized by Caramel, Chocolate, and Cream notes.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Origins: the Daquiri

    If you're an American mine employee stuck working in Cuba, what do you do? In the case of intrepid engineer Jennings Cox, you start creatively mixing drinks. The mixture of rum, lime, and sugar supposedly sprang to life in 1905 when Cox and some of his fellow Americans were hanging out in a bar in Santiago, Cuba. By mixing together these handy ingredients, the Americans found a tasty tipple, and it eventually worked its way back to the states. (Mental Floss)

    This source stresses quality ingredients and making your own simple syrup.

    Classic Daquiri
    1/2 ounces light rum

    3/4 ounce
    fresh lime juice

    1/4 ounce
    simple syrup

    1. Pour the light rum, lime juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
    2. Shake well.
    3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    While I was aware Ernest Hemingway was fond of the quintessential tropical cocktail, I didn't know about his preferred variation and namesake.

    Hemingway Daquiri
    (AKA Papa Doble, Hemingway Special)
    2 ounces white rum

    1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

    3/4 ounce grapefruit juice

    1/2 ounce lime juice

    1/4 ounce simple syrup

    1. Pour all ingredients cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
    2. Shake well.
    3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    Kir and Kir Royale

    This popular French aperitif of crème de cassis and white wine has long been a favorite in France, but it didn't get its name until after World War II.  Resistance hero Felix Kir, the mayor of Dijon from 1945 to 1968, was a huge fan of the cocktail, and whenever he entertained visiting dignitaries, he'd invariably serve them the drink. Kir did such a good job pushing the mixture onto his visitors that it eventually became inextricably linked with his personality, and that's why the cocktail bears his name today.  (Mental Floss)

    "This is a French drink that can be mixed to taste. Use Champagne with the same amount of creme de cassis, and it is a Kir Royale."  ( All Recipes )

    3/4 cup chilled dry white wine (such as a pouilly-fuissé)
    4 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur (classically made to a rich rose' hue)

    Mix & serve! 

    While we're at it, here's the scoop on crème de cassis liqueur:  Crème de cassis is a blood-red, sweet, black currant-flavored liqueur. It dates back to the 16th century, first produced by monks in France as a cure for snakebites, jaundice, and wretchedness.
    This cordial works well in pousse-cafés and some cocktails, but is most commonly mixed with just vermouth, white wine, or soda water. (The Webtender)

    Brings to mind: