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Cocktail Overhaul: Mind Eraser

Drinks Jeff Lucas 2 comments

Despite this drink's name, the combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and soda was actually relatively low in alcohol. It probably didn't erase any memories unless you downed more than a few. But it's time to upgrade the Mind Eraser to give it more flavor—and a knockout punch. More

Upgraded Mind Eraser

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

Despite the name, the classic Mind Eraser is really just a watered down Black Russian. This version subs in mighty 151-proof rum to give it a little more kick. It's worth seeking out Lemon Hart 151 for its rich, bold flavor. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Lemon Drop

Drinks Jeff Lucas Post a comment

The Lemon Drop was one of the most popular cocktails in the US in the later part of the 20th century. It should follow a simple formula of spirit, lemon, and sweetener, but sadly, in many bars the drink disintegrated into a candied mess. It's time to give the Lemon Drop the glory it deserves. More

Upgraded Lemon Drop

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas 2 comments

The Lemon Drop was one of the most popular cocktails in the US in the later part of the 20th century. It should follow a simple formula of spirit, lemon, and sweetener, but sadly, in many bars the drink disintegrated into a candied mess. It's time to give the Lemon Drop the glory it deserves. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Prairie Fire

Drinks Jeff Lucas 5 comments

Shots! Shots! Shots! These are often the words that get the party started...and lead to countless bad decisions and lost memories. The trouble is that not all shots are created equal. Some go down as easy as pie while others burn and burn. The Prairie Fire shot is one of those dangerous shots, commonly constructed with cheap tequila enlivened by Tabasco sauce. But despite its fiery reputation, the Prairie Fire can be corralled into a balanced—and delicious—craft cocktail. Here's how. More

Upgraded Prairie Fire

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas 2 comments

This sweet and spicy cocktail packs a fiery punch but won't overwhelm your tastebuds. More

Cocktail Overhaul: A Revamped Grasshopper

Drinks Jeff Lucas 1 comment

The Grasshopper cocktail is a sweet green-colored after dinner drink. The original concoction called for green crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and cream or half and half. This green monster practically screams out for a remake. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Cosmopolitan

Drinks Jeff Lucas 3 comments

The Cosmo is arguably one of the most influential cocktails of the past twenty-five years. Its popularity skyrocketed in the 90's and was on the menu off every bar from NY to Timbuktu. It already saw one upgrade later in its life and now its time for a new one. More

Upgraded Cosmopolitan

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

Whatever your feelings are regarding the Cosmopolitan, it is arguably one of the most influential cocktails to come along in the past 25 years. Now, it's time for an upgrade, a re-imagined Cosmo for today's tastes. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Surfer on Acid

Drinks Jeff Lucas Post a comment

The Surfer on Acid is most often consumed in a shot and conjures up hilarious images of a surfer trying to stand up on his surfer board while tripping on drugs. The original concoction is an equal-parts mix of coconut flavored rum, Jagermeister, and pineapple juice—a simple mix of alcohol that trends toward the intense-and-sweet side. But what would this drink look like as a long drink? My revamped Surfer on Acid moves away from the shot format with a light and refreshing—but still remarkably flavorful—result. More

Surfer on Acid Swizzle

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

The Surfer on Acid is most often consumed in shot form. This variation is a long drink, made extra-refreshing with coconut water. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Lynchburg Lemonade

Drinks Jeff Lucas 10 comments

The Lynchburg Lemonade was the subject of a fierce legal battle between creator Tony Mason and the Jack Daniels distillery. Was it a drink worth fighting for? Not in its original form, I'd say. The classic Lynchburg Lemonade is equal parts Jack Daniels, triple sec, sour mix, 7-Up. The whiskey is buried under sour mix and sweet orange liqueur, plus the sweet soda on top. More

Upgraded Lynchburg Lemonade

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

The Lynchburg Lemonade was the center of a legal battle between a restaurant owner and the Jack Daniels Distillery. While that drink was much ado about nothing, this version is worth fighting over. More

Cocktail Overhaul: The Appletini

Drinks Jeff Lucas 2 comments

The Appletini was pretty much synonymous with everything that was wrong about drinking in the eighties and nineties: those neon colored, artificially flavored, cavity-inducing sweet cocktails featured nothing a bartender from earlier generations would recognize as belonging in a cocktail. More

The Honey Ryder (Upgraded Appletini)

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas 4 comments

If any drink was in desperate need of redemption, it's the Appletini. Taking inspiration from James Bond and his Vesper Martini I reached for a unique Polish spirit in order to create this tasty libation. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Harvey Wallbanger

Drinks Jeff Lucas 4 comments

The Harvey Wallbanger is not a terrible drink, but it lacks complexity, and the nuances of the Galliano are totally drowned out by the OJ. I wanted my updated version to highlight the Galliano and make it stand out the same way its obnoxiously tall bottle stands out on a back bar shelf. More

Upgraded Harvey Wallbanger

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

I upgraded the old-school Harvey Wallbanger by swapping out the orange juice with orange tea. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Mudslide

Drinks Jeff Lucas 1 comment

The original Mudslide was allegedly invented during the 1950s at the Wreck Bar in the Cayman Islands. In its heyday the frozen drink was often made with a mix that came in a plastic bottle. Classy, right? It's time to elevate the Mudslide to the level of respectability and craftsmanship that it deserves. More

Upgraded Mudslide

Serious Eats Jeff Lucas Post a comment

A celebration of the original adult milkshake with a cognac and rum foundation. More

Cocktail Overhaul: Long Island Iced Tea

Drinks Jeff Lucas 8 comments

The Long Island Iced Tea is the perfect delivery system for a large volume of booze, a Trojan Horse, if ever there was one. Four ounces of spirits are delivered under a veil of secrecy by chemical sour mix and a splash of Coke. Despite being sweet and seductive, she is a fickle beast that will turn on you in an instant—every time you order a LIIT, you are one sip away from a bad decision. Could this potent punch be tamed and yet still retain its delicious bite? More

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