Okay, so maybe this drink isn't really medicine of the FDA-approved variety; I still believe in the Prescription Julep's curative properties, and dose myself with it liberally each summer to keep an assortment of seasonal malaises at bay.
Developed around a decade ago by Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders, the Gin Gin Mule now appears on the cocktail menus at dozens of bars around the world, for one basic reason: it's absolutely freakin' delicious.
First things first: this is not a Painkiller. This may resemble that drink that originated some 40 years ago at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, but the Painkiller was adopted as the mascot drink by Pusser's Rum around a decade after its birth (the drink's birth, that is.)
Created by New York bartender and consultant Willy Shine, the Two-One-Two is brilliantly simple, yet has an engagingly complex flavor. Composed of a base of reposado tequila—Partida, one of the better brands to emerge in recent years, is recommended here—the Two-One-Two includes a couple of the agave spirit's most agreeable companions: fresh grapefruit juice, and the Italian amaro Aperol, a bright, bitter liqueur rich with orange peel and rhubarb.
The story goes that in 1941, in an effort to market the then-exotic Russian spirit, executives from Heublein—then owners of Smirnoff vodka—collaborated with the owner of the Cock 'n Bull Tavern in Hollywood to create this simple, memorable drink composed of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, served over ice in a copper mug.
Anybody can ice down a cooler of beer or a chill a few bottles of rosé for an outdoor party. But as I wrote on Wednesday, preparing a large-format punch or pitchers of drinks for your guests is a way to bump up the celebratory spirit without sapping your own time to mingle.
The Chancellor is a close relative of another scotch cocktail, the Rob Roy, with a couple of interesting twists. In place of the Rob Roy's bittersweet tang from Italian vermouth, the Chancellor relies on the robust richness of port, its gentle sweetness tempered by a little dry vermouth.
There should really be a good backstory that goes with the Lion's Tail, but if there is one, I haven't found it. This rich, spicy mixture debuted in the 1930s, an unlikely mixture of bourbon, lime juice and the allspice liqueur known as "pimento dram".
The name may come across as downright demure in this era of porn-star rum and drinks dubbed the Screaming Orgasm or Slippery Nipple (and that's not even mentioning more recent, explicitly named drinks—this is a family joint, after all), but the Between the Sheets bordered on the eye-winkingly naughty when it debuted in the early 1930s.
Developed by legendary barman Dale DeGroff for the 2007 opening of Morandi in New York (this recipe comes from DeGroff's The Essential Cocktail), the Arancio Americano takes the bright bite of a classic Americano highball, and smooths it out with components of a brunchtime favorite, the Mimosa.
Common elements of springtime drinks include the bright snap of citrus and the cooling draught of bubbles. The Apple Blow Fizz has both of these features, but rather than a base of gin or light rum—which would take the drink in a summery, shorts-and-sandals direction—it's built on apple brandy.
Of all the drinks that have been mangled over the years, perhaps no recipe has been more tromped upon than that for the drink with one of the greatest names in mixology: the Singapore Sling.
The White Manhattan takes one of the 19th century models of a Manhattan—whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and a trace of liqueur just because—and tweaks it to accommodate the bright, malty flavor of unaged white dog whiskey.
Every great city should share its name with a great cocktail—but with the notable exception of the Manhattan (and some of its borough and neighborhood-named relations), few actually do. Here's a drink that may not qualify as "great" but still does pretty well for itself in the glass: the Vancouver.
With an approachable yet distinctive flavor, Irish whiskey isn't called for in a great many cocktails, but there are a few drinks that are handy to have in your repertoire when the Powers comes out to play. Here's a contemporary cocktail that features Irish whiskey to good effect: the Weeski.
Many bourbon lovers occasionally spike a cup of coffee with a slug from their favorite bottle; the Revolver is the same flavor principle in reverse, putting the bold bite of the whiskey up front and rounding out the flavor with coffee and the brightness of orange peel.
The Negroni is a classic cocktail composed of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. The Trident takes the same formula, but swaps out each of the ingredients. In place of the herbaceous character of gin, the Trident uses the cumin-and-caraway flavors of aquavit ; sweet vermouth is replaced with the nuttiness of dry sherry; and for the bitter edge, Cynar takes the place of Campari.
As I wrote on Wednesday, pisco is a type of South American brandy, and the pisco from Peru has a complex, earthy flavor and a heady floral perfume. The Pisco Sour is the most popular way of consuming pisco, and for decades it has been the signature drink of Peru.
Introduced to the world in 1953 in Casino Royale—the first book in what became Ian Fleming's sprawling James Bond franchise—the Vesper has had more popularity in print and in film than it's ever had inside a glass. Which is too bad, actually, considering it's actually a pretty decent drink.
[Photograph: Paul Clarke] For me, chocolate is one of the most appealing flavors in the culinary universe, but it's hard to make into a decent cocktail. Not that there aren't plenty of chocolate-laden drinks out there. But most of the...