You don’t have be Don Draper to enjoy a good old-school cocktail these days (though, wearing a fedora while sipping on the below beverages sure is classy).
Bartenders around the country have resurrected some old-time drinks that you may associate more with your grandparents than with a modern-day cocktail party. Not only do the below libations not suck, if you serve them at a gathering, your guests will be sucking them down!
A favorite of the Mad Men set, this drink is essentially a glass of bourbon that’s spiked with sugar and fruit. Before the booze is added, the fruit is usually smashed using a muddling tool. This releases a fruity sweetness that helps this classic drink go down smooth and fast. Just don’t drink it too fast – there’s a lot of alcohol in that glass.
A classic Manhattan is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters. To add some meatiness, mix up this old-time cocktail with a rye whiskey. Rye usually contains flavor notes that are more nuanced than your average brown spirit. Also – skip the maraschino cherry garnish in favor of a brandied cherry. Yum!
Ramos Gin Fizz
Fair warning – if you don’t like the idea of raw eggs in your cocktails, this drink isn’t for you. Invented in New Orleans during the late 19th
Century, this concoction mixes gin, lemon, lime sugar and cream with a whole lot of eggy protein. The result is a frothy delight – the egg gives the beverage a creamy texture that makes this an excellent option to serve alongside dessert.
You’ll have the last word when you pour a round of this pre-prohibition-era drink for your guests. The challenge with the last word is the obscure ingredients in the mix – while gin and lime are easy to find, you might have a trickier time sourcing green Chartreuse and maraschino liqueur at your local spirits store. If you can dig them up, this tasty drink will shock your guests into silence.
Classic Gin Martini
Can you really argue with a martini glass full of ice-cold gin, spiked with a hint of vermouth, and garnished with bulbous, briny olives? We didn’t think so. While it’s acceptable to make a martini with Vodka, gin contains floral notes and botanicals that make the drink more layered.
The Sidecar was invented in France around the end of the first World War, and this Cognac cocktail has stood the test of time. Blend the Cognac with Cointreau and a hearty squeeze of lemon juice – the sweetness and the citrus cuts the alcoholic bite of the Cognac nicely. One sip of this and you’ll say “oui.”
Campari and Soda
Campari is something of an acquired taste, but the classic Campari and soda is a go-to option if you’re looking for a sophisticated sipper that doesn’t carry a large alcoholic wallop. The Italian spirit is only around 40 proof, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re looking to participate in the fun without the risk of falling over. Oh, and drinking a Campari and soda will make you feel like Sophia Loren back in the day – how glamorous is that?
It doesn’t get much simpler than this mix of gin, half a lime and seltzer. When sipped on a hot day, it doesn’t get much more sublime.
This mix of rum, Curacao liqueur and lime juice was made famous by tiki-drink lovers across the world. Though associated with the cheesy décor of a Polynesian bar, the sumptuous flavors of this mixer leave a lot for the serious spirits lover to enjoy. Besides, you know you have been just dying to wear that hula skirt.
Also invented in New Orleans (the Big Easy loves its booze), this potent mix is not for the light of heart. Rye whiskey and bitters are mixed with absinthe, which instills the drink with a big fat dose of anise. If you drink this puppy, you’re becoming part of a long history – is commonly cited as the oldest American cocktail.
Old school Recipes
If I have your curiosity piqued, you can find out how to make some of these drinks right here:Bathtub Gin Fizz Ramos Gin Fizz Manhattan Cocktail Sidecar