The Martinez:

Subtle, sophisticated, wonderful. 

2 oz red vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz Old Tom gin (Ransom- good luck finding another brand)
2 dash maraschino liqueur (luxardo)
1 dash bitters (bokers)
Buck and Breck!

From Wonderich, this is a new one for me and it is outstanding. The cognac (Martell, VSOP) really blends with the champers (Frexinet, my go to cheap champagne cocktail), the bitters and absinthe make for a nice and not at all overwhelming finish. I can’t remember the last time I drank something that was both complex and so very drinkable. This makes for an excellent addition to the What-to-do-with-leftover-champers problem. Provided you happen to have a decent cognac, absinthe and bitters on hand. Fair warning, as with all drinks that combine liquor and champagne, a few Buck and Breck’s will quickly lead to all manner of shenanigans. 

1 1/2 oz champagne
2 dash bitters
1 dash absinthe

Take a an 8 oz glass, fill it with cold water and rinse out. Fill glass with sugar and empty, leaving the inside of the glass lightly frosted. Add cognac, absinthe and bitters, the pour champagne on top. Smile.

This is the best drink to drop at party when there’s champagne that no one knows what to do with. Sure, everybody had a half a glass for that toast and now you’ve got a crapload of medium grade champers to offload - just make a French 75. Of all the champagne cocktails this is the most robust. Basically if you toss some gin or cognac, some lemon and some sugar into a glass of champagne, you’ve got a French 75. For a tasty one, try this:

2 oz gin or cognac
2 tsp super fine sugar (not powdered sugar, substitute with 1/2oz simple syrup)
1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake ingredients over ice, strin into champagne flute or cocktails glass and top with 3-5 oz of brut champagne. Notes, this drink is named after the heaviest piece of artillery from the great war for a reason. Apply with caution.
Dubonnet Cocktail!

This is my lazy drink. When I don’t feel like squeezing a lemon, or dirtying the Boston shaker, or um, I dunno, remembering more than one measurement (seriously, craft bartendng isn’t all that hard) I make this. Like me it’s easy, classy and staves off scurvy. 
I started making this from Degroff’s recipe, decided that based on the vintage of the drink, crushed ice would be better than cubes, and than read about adding a dash of orange bitters in Boozehound, which seemed like a good idea. And it was.  
The Dubonnet Cocktail is an excellent sipping drink good anytime of the years, and while it seems more appropos as a digestif, it wouldn’t be out of place before dinner either. As for taste, imagine a less rich port, only wearing big boy pants. I’m considering having a second one. 

1 oz gin (Boker’s)
1 oz Dubonnet
Dash orange bitters (Reagan’s)

Build gin and Dubonnet in glass filled with crushed ice (cubes are ok) add dash of bitters and stir until cold.
The Southside!

I always expect the southside to taste like a  distant second to the mojito because they’re practically the same and the mojito is practically perfect. And while not quite in the same league, a Southside is still very, very tasty. This is a Degroff recipe so it’s sweet and tart, and the gin is an equal partner! in fact some might say it takes a back seat to the other ingredients. While not as complex or sophisticaed as Wonderich’s recipes ,Degroff’s are always very, very drinkable. So, no surprises here. 

1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 lemon juic
1 oz simple syrup (1-1)
7/9 mint leaves
Club soda

Muddle mint leaves gently in the syrup. Add rest of ingredients, shake and strain into Collins glass half filled with ice, using both a Hawthorne and julep strainer. Add 2oz of club soda on top and stir gently. Garnish with mint sprig.
The Silver Fizz!

Both Wonderich and Degroff have a recipe for this and though they use same ingredients they are very different.  I’ve made W’s tonight and it’s much drier compared to D’s. This drink was, back in the proverbial day, the go to hangover helper and I can see why. It’s light, refreshing and goes down quickly. I found the soda to be a bit overpowering, next go round I’d probably only splash a couple of ounces in, this go round had 3-4 oz of soda. I guessing that’s because the glasses I used are 10 oz instead of 6-8 oz glasses. Still. Pretty tasty. 

2 oz gin
1/2 oz lemon
1 1/2 tsp simple syrup 2-1
1/2 egg yolk

Shake together very hard with fine ice, strain into a 6/8 oz chilled glass and top with cold club soda or seltzer.
Jersey Cocktail!

Way back before anyone knew what a Snooki was, there was this thing called the Volstead act which meant that you couldn’t legally drink in the United States. Naturally this didn’t stop people, it just made getting decent hooch tricky (and sometimes deadly). But sometimes (rarely) as a result of kludging drinks together with ingredients that were “less than” you ended up with something good enough to order even when there were other options. Take this post’s titular Jersey Cocktail. Bon vivant’s ordering a champagne cocktail during prohibition were likely being served this drink instead -  smuggling champagne from France being slightly more costly and dangerous than say, getting some hard cider from a local apple farmer. 

As for the drink, it’s pretty great. Not as dry as a champagne cocktail, and perhaps not as sophisticated, xbut funkier - earthier. You wouldnt want to try this with a very sweet cider - the tarter the better. You’re looking for something decidedly undelicate, so steer clear of the English ciders.  A nice bonus is that you can order this at your local. Sure, most bartenders won’t know what the hell a Jersey Cocktail is but you can ‘splain it to them real quick like. They looooooove that. 

1 sugarcube
2-3 dashes bitters
Hard cider (Waupoos cider works well)

Dash bitters over the sugar cube (already in your large tumbler) until it’s coated. Pour cider overtop, add ice if needed. 

Wonderich pp 209
Smith and Curran!

This drink is the boozey version of a an egg cream. If you don’t know what an egg cream is, your best bet is to get a time machine, travel to Manhattan circa 1955 and order one from a soda jerk. Of course, you then have to endure the taunts of nearby school children for not being flush enough to afford a milkshake, as well as the pangs of guilt from using the awesome power of time travel for a such a frivolous excursion instead of to kill Hitler. 

Like an egg cream, this drink also has no egg in it. It’s a light bubbly, chocolatey, milk concoction that’s tasty, and a bit weird. If you like egg creams, you’ll probably like this. If you’re looking for something rich and sweet and creamy, you’re better off with an Alexander #2, or even a properly made Irish coffee. 

2 oz Creme de Cacao (Dale says dark, I only had white)
3 oz whole milk (I used 2 % and splashed in some table cream)
1 1/2 oz club soda

Fill a highball glass half full with shaved ice or 3/4 with cubes. Build the drink starting with the booze and milk, then add the soda slowly, whilst stirring. 

Degroff, pp216
It’s Cobblering Time!

I have a confession to make. I’m not actually drinking a sherry cobbler right now. I snapped this photo a week back and was too busy making a cardboard tin man for a tiny person’s birthday to blerg it. Anywho, sherry has always seemed to me like the lowest class of fortified wine. Port is the classic after dinner sipper, vermouth is the magic ingredient in the two greatest cocktails of all time, dubbonet is mysterious and classy, Madeira is, uh, continental. But sherry, well, it’s always seemed to me to be cheap and undignified. But the cobbler is a whole category of ol timey drinks and the sherry cobbler is the classic. Perhaps I can’t say objectively that sherry is undignified, but it certainly is cheap - I picked up a bottle of fino (dry) and amontillado (med) for under $20. I made a cobbler with each, and the fino was definitely the way to go. In fact, I’m sipping on a glass of the amontillado now, and it’s…coarse. But the sherry cobbler (with fino sherry), is delightful. It’s familiar yet strange, rich but finishes light, sweet but not cloying - a fantastic summer drink. And a breeze to make:

4 oz fino Sherry
2 tsp superfine sugar
3 slices orange 

Shake in glass filled with crushed ice, serve in the glass it was shaken in. Garnish with berries and straw.
El Presidon’t…

Oh dear, I’m afraid I’ve bungled this. The first time I made this drink I used Degroff’s recipe (the classic), which calls for dry vermouth. I found it to be tasty if overly austere. Then I read Wonderich’s article in Imbibe magazine complaining of the same austerity, though I think the word he used was undrinkable.  His solution (based on historical research) was to swap the dry vermouth with bianco and throw in some orange Curaco for good measure. Sounds reasonable. He also specifies homemade grenadine, which is much more tart than store bought. Much more tart. I used store bought grenadine and the result is a bit of a mess. An overly sweet vermouthy cup of bourbon manhattan barf. And I _like_ a good bourbon manhattan (though rye is better). Even with homemade grenadine on hand, I’m not sure I’d bother making this again. 

1 1/2 oz Cuban white rum
1 1/2 oz bianco vermouth
2 tsp Orange Curaco
1 tsp grenadine (homemade, if you’re making this)
Orange twist, cherry garnish

No citrus or egg, so stir, then strain.