From a perfectly balanced daiquiri to a refreshing mint julep, here are classic cocktail recipes.
Food & Wine
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This drink was a favorite of American expats during Prohibition. Prior to then it was known as the Milano-Torino, for the cities where its two main ingredients were first made: Milan (Campari) and Turin (sweet vermouth).
The origin of this classic rum cocktail is one of the great debates in tikidom. Both Ernest Beaumont-Gantt (a.k.a. "Donn Beach," the father of tiki culture) and Trader Vic founder Victor Bergeron lay claim to its invention. This version borrows from Beaumont-Gantt's recipe, which adds dashes of Pernod and Angostura bitters for complexity.
Hidetsugo Ueno currently uses the exquisite French Dolin rouge vermouth in his Negronis, but you may want to experiment with different sweet vermouths—Martini & Rossi, Cinzano, Carpano Antica Formula—or try a bittersweet one like Punt e Mes.
Daiquiris often mean frozen drinks flavored with commercial sour mix and cheap rum. Leo Robitschek loves introducing people to the real deal: "They're shocked that three simple ingredients can create such a complex drink."
The original martini, allegedly invented in the U.S. in the 1860s, was made with sweet vermouth. One of the first recipes for a dry martini, made with dry vermouth, appeared in Frank P. Newman's 1904 American Bar.
According to a Gosling's Rum tale, this drink was invented more than 100 years ago when members of Bermuda's Royal Naval Officer's Club added a splash of the local rum to their spicy homemade ginger beer. They described its ominous hue as "the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under."
As the story goes, Ernest Beaumont-Gantt created this potent drink in the 1930s and named it for its mind-altering effect after a friend consumed three of them. This lower-proof version is made with Velvet Falernum, an almond-and-lime-flavored liqueur that's a key ingredient in many tiki drinks.
The best kind of cola to use in this drink is Mexican Coca-Cola or another brand made with cane sugar. Sugar-based colas have a crisper, cleaner flavor than the more readily available ones made with high-fructose corn syrup.
The Collins was most likely named after 19th-century bartender John Collins of London's Limmer's Hotel. The Tom Collins was originally made with Old Tom, a sweet style of gin that's extremely hard to find today.
According to master mixologist Dale DeGroff, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was served at Tijuana’s Agua Caliente racetrack in the 1920s. It was made with lemon juice, tequila and a sweet ingredient—the template for a Margarita.
When New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian mixes mint juleps, he recites an ode, written in the 1890s by a Kentucky newspaperman, that calls the cocktail "the zenith of man's pleasure...the very dream of drinks."
Sweet, tart and strong, the caipirinha is mixed with the Brazilian spirit cachaça. Cachaça is similar to rum but made from sugarcane rather than molasses. "It's more sophisticated than rum because it's more pure," says Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, patriotically.
In his 2001 book Straight Up or On the Rocks, William Grimes claims that Ernest Hemingway "often worked his way through about a dozen of these lime slurpees, sometimes ordering doubles, which became known as Papa Dobles."
Pimm's No. 1, a gin-based aperitif invented by London bar owner James Pimm in 1823, is the quintessential English summer-afternoon drink (and the traditional drink of Wimbledon). Here, Jamie Boudreau combines it with tea, another beloved British beverage.