Category Archives: Cocktails

Martinez

Martinez

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

Here is yet another cocktail I had never heard of until I began delving into this world. From what I can gather, this is a well-liked cocktail among those in the know.

It is in the Manhattan end of things. Given that I began this exploration with the Manhattan, a Martinez would be a logical cocktail to branch out to.

It is tasty. It is a bit thinner than a Manhattan. That’s understandable as the spicy rye is essentially substituted with gin. I enjoyed this, but thought, “I will probably never order this out.” And that too is understandable as if I am going to have a cocktail out, it’s going to be something that I am really into. Nothing wrong here, but I don’t think it distinguishes itself from other similar cocktails.

Martinez

Martinez

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml London Dry Gin

  • 45 ml Sweet Red Vermouth

  • 1 Bar Spoon Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Lemon zest.

Manhattan

Manhattan

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

Of all the cocktails in this list, the Manhattan is the one I am most familiar with. I used to think of it as an old person’s drink. I have an image of the blue hairs at Jesse’s Dockside ordering these during the senior citizen discount time. Perhaps I am now an old guy and that’s why it appeals to me. Perhaps.

I’ve always been a whiskey guy, so this fits in that vein. It’s spirits forward (all spirits) and up. It’s what I think of as a cocktail.

When I first began the bar back at the house, this was the cocktail that started it all. When I re-started things here at 3-Cubed, it was there in the beginning. It’s the cocktail that I have posited would win out as my go-to cocktail. Have to say the Last Word is giving it a run for its money. 🙂

I have previously toyed with this cocktail. I accept the 2:1 ration of rye to sweet vermouth, therefore, I did not follow the IBA recipe. I used two ounces of Rittenhouse rye and one ounce of Antica Formula sweet vermouth. Both were recommended a few years ago when I initially researched this. I have been pleased since. Even so, I will be dabbling with the ingredients. I have Wild Turkey 101 Rye that is sitting here ready to take Rittenhouse’s place. Nothing wrong with Rittenhouse; I rather like it. I think the WT I will like even more. I will try substitutiing Cocchi for the Antica too. I don’t think it will win out as the Antica is wonderful, but Cocchi is one-third the price. 😉

Manhattan

Manhattan

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

11

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 50 ml Rye Whiskey

  • 20 ml Sweet Red Vermouth

  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Last Word

Last Word

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

This is another cocktail I never heard of until I took on making cocktails I hadn’t researched this much, but I will say I have seen many folks speak to its wonderfulness.

That it includes green chartreuse, made me think I may not like it. I am not certain I ever had chartreuse before. I recall my father drinking it straight in the 1970s. I asked my mother about this. She said they both drank it. Her comments were that it was strong tasting. All that made me think it would be a concoction that would not be pleasing to me.

I also got lucky in getting this. There seems to be a drought in being able to purchase green chartreuse these days While a first world problem, it does concern me that here in America products can be difficult to find. I had driven to Eatontown to pick up absinthe. That trip netted three bottles I had trouble finding locally: absinthe, green chartreuse and Buffalo Trace as well as Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao.

Finally arrived at the Last Word in my journey through the IBA list. I noted that we were in the Aviation realm of cocktails. That should be good then. I truly appreciate the equal parts for each ingredient. The cocktail looked a bit more green than I recall seeing online. I note that I was mistaken; going back and checking, those drinks are green too.

For most of the cocktails I make, I prepare myself for the tasting. I mentally focus on the sip and taste what’s going on. I didn’t here as I had to break myself away from what I was doing to go and make this. Because of that, I just mixed and walked it back to the living room, taking a quick taste along the way.

Wow!

This is probably the most balanced cocktail I have had. Everything just seems to flow together on this one. I checked online to see if others make this with different proportions as IBA seems different from others at times. I confirmed everything.

I am most impressed with this cocktail. I dare say, it may even be better than the Aviation.

Last Word

Last Word

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 22.5 ml Gin

  • 22.5 ml Green Chartreuse

  • 22.5 ml Maraschino Luxardo

  • 22.5 ml Fresh Lime Juice

Directions

  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • No garnish

John Collins

John Collins or a Tom Collins

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

Yesterday I made the gin fizz. It is difficult for me to see the difference between these two cocktails other than the ice. What I will say is that the lemon juice is quite pronounced in this. Why here and not in the gin fizz? The only explanation I had is that I used more than a splash of soda water in the gin fizz; I filled the glass. Doing so must have diluted the lemon.

Here, it was quite pronounced. This is definitely a spiked lemonade. Love it! It is refreshing on this summer day. Easy to make and fewer tools as there is no shaking going on as it is built in the glass.

But this drink totally confuses me. Not a gin drinker, I am unfamiliar with the cocktails. But I have heard of a Tom Collins. I searched for the difference between a Tom Collins and a John Collins. Same drink save gin is substituted with bourbon. Sounds like a Mike’s hard lemonade.

Here’s the thing: IBA says a John Collins is made with Old Tom gin. I looked some more. Well, apparently, back in the 1800s, a John Collins was made with genever. Since then, it has been made with bourbon. What I made here would be classified by most, I suspect, as a Tom Collins. That is certainly a name of a cocktail I am familiar with.

Tom, John, Dick, or Harry—it doesn’t much matter to me. It is a fun cocktail.

John Collins

John Collins

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Gin

  • 30 ml Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 15 ml Simple Syrup

  • 60 ml  Soda Water

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients directly into a highball filled with ice. Stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.

Notes

  • Use ‘Old Tom’ Gin for Tom Collins.

Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

This is a cocktail I had never heard of. I went out of state seeking Fernet Branca only to return to New Jersey empty-handed. My Antica Formula was not fresh, so I ended up purchasing a new bottle locally. An expensive cocktail. But I did enjoy it.

Not exactly how to describe this one. The gin (I used Plymouth), sweet vermouth, and fernet all work well together. The orange zest seems to meld with this quite nicely. I have seen that some add a bit of fresh orange juice to this. I can absolutely see that working well together.

Had a few of these throughout the day. I enjoyed them. I will gladly finish off my bottle of fernet going forward having these.

By Jove, now that’s the real hanky panky!

Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml London Dry Gin

  • 45 ml Sweet Red Vermouth

  • 7.5 ml Fernet Branca

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: orange zest

Gin Fizz

Gin Fizz

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

Stepped up to Stagger Lee at the bar
Said “Buy me a gin fizz, love”

Robert Hunter, Stagger Lee

Sometime in the mid to late 1980s I had a couple sloe gin fizz’s in Cape May. Because of my interest in the Grateful Dead, I had asked my mother about the gin fizz. She spoke of the sloe gin fizz. We had slow gin at the house, so I made a few. They were all right.

Whenever I think of the gin fizz, I think of the sloe gin fizz. But that isn’t this drink. 🙂

Gin is beginning to appeal to me. This drink, much as I expected, is a refreshing drink. It’s something that seems great on a hot summer afternoon. Crisp, refreshing, easy to drink. It’s almost like spiked lemonade.

Not much to this. It’s a light drink, but non-offensive on all fronts.

Gin Fizz

Gin Fizz

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Gin

  • 30 ml Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 10 ml Simple Syrup

  • Splash of Soda Water

Directions

  • Shake all ingredients with ice except soda water.
  • Pour into thin tall Tumbler glass , top with a splash soda water.
  • Serve without ice.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice, optional lemon zest.

Dry Martini

Dry Martini

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

I have evolved.

My cocktail experiences left me not liking gin. My perception of a gin drinker was my grandfather. Other than a short time of drinking gin and tonics in college, i eschewed gin. Even when I was living it up in Boston, my martini drinking was vodka martinis (I know, not a martini). Even then, no vermouth really. It was just chilled vodka. I learned my lesson.

Going into this cocktail, I was still a bit apprehensive. While I have been enjoying my exploration into gin with my cocktail journey of late, the martini was still something I was not particularly embracing. But I was wrong.

First of all, from what I’ve read, more vermouth is needed than what my grandfather and father liked. I believe Dad taught me 13-1. Many online recipes call for 6-1 or more. Even the IBA recipe below is 6-1. It was tasty. My second was 2-1. I think that was even better. It did put me down for the count, however. 🙂

I didn’t go for the olives. Still not a fan. Leandro recommends orange and orange bitters. I think I would like that. I did take his approach with placing the garnish atop the glass (it was for the second version not pictured). Oh yes, the fragrance of the lemon as I sipped was most pronounced. I need to do that more. Lovely.

Yes, I can see myself enjoying martinis. I still lean toward whiskey as having more flavor. Perhaps a different gin would have provided more depth; I used Bombay Sapphire. I have Plymouth here. I’ll give that a whirl next time.

Dry Martini

Dry Martini

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 60 ml Gin

  • 10 ml Dry Vermouth

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into chilled martini cocktail glass.
  • GARNISH Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with green olives if requested.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri

This has been daiquiri week. After enjoying these, I saw someone post a strawberry daiquiri. The only strawberry daiquiris I have ever had have been frozen. I don’t make frozen drinks currently (not a fan). Anyhow, this one just muddled a couple strawberries into the lime juice before the simple syrup and rum were added. Excellent!

The second one was better. I muddled three fresh strawberries into one ounce of fresh lime juice. I added 1/2 ounce of strawberry simple syrup and two ounces of Mission Spirits white rum.

Nice!

Daiquiri

Daiquiri

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

My mother is a rum drinker. Dad was too. Mom would make daiquiris. For the longest time, I thought daiquiris were frozen drinks as she made them in the blender. She used frozen limeade concentrate without diluting it for the lime juice. Yuck!

Later I learned daiquiris were good. I’ve never drank many, but I know I liked them when I had them.

This walk through classic cocktails has me trying out different cocktails. Part of me wants to find my drink. I think I know how it’s going to shale out, but don’t want to impose this thought before I am done the testing. Nevertheless, I suspect, daiquiris may be among those that become regulars.

It’s a simple drink with a big payoff. There is nothing to fault here. It’s so good, I purchased more limes to continue these. What a refreshing cocktail! Yum.

The break in this project is directly attributable to not being able to find good limes. At $3.00 for four limes at Shop Rite, it took two weeks to find something acceptable although not great. I mentioned this at Mission Spirits. I was directed to Santori’s. Stopped in and found eight limes for $1.75 and they were better looking than Shop Rite.

Daiquiri

Daiquiri

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA Daiquiri

Ingredients

  • 60 ml White Cuban Ron

  • 20 ml Fresh Lime Juice

  • 2 Bar Spoons Superfine Sugar

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients.
  • Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add ice and shake.
  • Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Notes

  • No garnish