Neo-Classical Cocktails Revisited – Marin Independent Journal
There’s a plaque in Martinez that says, “Birthplace of the martini.” At this site in 1874, Julio Richelieu, a bartender, served the first martini when a miner walked into his saloon with a handful of nuggets and asked for something special. He was served a “Martinez special”. After three or four drinks, however, the ‘z’ became very troublesome. The drink was 2/3 gin, 1/3 vermouth, a dash of orange bitters, poured over crushed ice and served with an olive.
Martinez’s first known recipe in print is in the 1884 “Modern Bartender’s Guide”, which reads, “just like in Manhattan, except you substitute gin for whiskey”. Jerry Thomas’ 1887 “Bartender’s Guide or How to Mix Drinks” lists a recipe for the Martinez as “one dash of bitters, two dashes of maraschino, a pony of Old Tom’s gin, a glass of vermouth”, shaken, filtered and garnished with a lemon. Thomas further suggests adding gum syrup if the guest prefers.
In 1907, William T. “Cocktail Bill” Boothby de Marin, who worked at the Hotel Rafael de San Rafael, described the recipe for a “martini” in his book, “The Drinks of the World and How to Mix Them”, as “two dashes of orange”. bitters, half a measure of Old Tom, half a measure of Italian vermouth”, which is then chilled and served with a cherry and a squeeze of lemon, with water served on the side.
In 31 years, the ingredients of this drink, its garnish and its name have all changed. And they’ve changed even more since then. So imagine the change a bartender who has been doing it for 33 years has seen.
With that in mind, I offer four neo-classic drinks, all of which have changed, some very slightly and some dramatically, since I started bartending in 1988. All localized, of course, for your consumption , which itself is also a kind of change.
Jeff Burkhart is the author of “Twenty Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender, Vol. I and II“, the host of the Barfly Podcast on iTunes and an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant. Follow him on jeffburkhart.net and contact him at [email protected]
Petaluma Paper Airplane
¾ ounce Moylan bourbon
¾ ounce amaro Gran Classico
¾ ounce of Aperol
1 ounce lemon juice
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lime zest.
To note: The paper airplane was invented around 2008 by bartenders Sasha Petraske and Sam Ross. There’s some dispute over what role each person played in the invention of the drink, and even which bar it came from, but the name is consistently listed as a tribute to British rapper MIA and his song “Paper Planes”. , which was released in February. 2008.
Spicy Skinny Margarita
1½ ounce Santo Blanco tequila
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon (four or five sliced seeded rings) red jalapeno pepper
Sparkling water splash
King Floyd Sriracha Rimming Salt
1 dried Arbol pepper
Combine tequila, lime juice and jalapeno peppers in a shaker glass with ice. Shake and strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with fresh ice. Top up with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with dried chili.
To note: Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish. A marguerite is a type of drink that contains a liqueur, citrus juice, flavored syrup (triple sec is basically flavored alcoholic syrup), and topped with carbonated water. So the margarita has come full circle – almost. He got the soda water back but now omitted the syrup and added chili peppers. And just to make things even more interesting, topping the glass with salt also makes it a kind of “crusta”. Isn’t change fun?
1 ounce Hanson Tangerine Vodka
1 ounce Hanson Meyer lemon vodka
½ ounce freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
½ ounce cranberry juice cocktail
1 wheel of dried lime
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until frozen. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
To note: The Cosmopolitan was invented in the 1980s and its combination of vodka, triple sec, bottled lime juice and cranberry juice makes it a pretty mediocre drink. It was too sweet, too syrupy and too red. With the introduction of flavored vodka in 1988 (courtesy of Absolut, and a different category from regular vodka), the drink really took off. Made with less sugar, better flavored vodka, and Meyer lemons instead of lime juice, this drink really comes into its own. Tangy pink, it is quite delicious.
1 ounce Californian amaro (Young & Yonder, Geijer Spirits, etc.)
1 ounce of dry sparkling wine (prosecco, champagne, cava, etc.)
¾ ounce of sparkling water
1 blood orange wheel
Fill a tall wine glass with ice, add the ingredients in the order listed and stir gently.
To note: The spritz often traces its history back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was usually a still wine (most often Italian) mixed with a splash of still water (“bespritzen” is the word for splash in German). The most famous spritz these days is clearly the aperol spritz, which is a relatively new invention, as it turns still wine into sparkling, adds carbonated water and incorporates aperol (an amaro invented in Italy in 1919, two years after the dissolution of Austria-Hungary) for wine.
Four years ago, during my trip to Italy, aperol spritzes were all the rage. My daughter’s recent trip there noted that the Campari spritz is now up and coming. The truth is, any amaro works in this drink, depending on personal preference, not just the two brands owned by Gruppo Campari.