As we enter the cold and flu season, we thought we’d resurrect a recipe the cure all that ails you.
The Romans called it ars medicina; or, the art of healing. Preventative medicine was the primary care for disease in ancient Rome; however, when sickness reared its ugly head, the Romans relied on a number of curative cocktails and elixirs to mend their pains. Strong wines mixed with herbs and other medicines aided the common cold, flu, and other ailments. Fresh citrus and other fruits helped fortify the body. Oftentimes these medicinal mixes were close-guarded family secrets. As children of physicians, we continue to honor these family traditions with our own batch of medicinal cocktails.
The Hot Toddy is no standard cocktail. The recipe can be any combination of spirit with sweeter and other ingredients served hot. The history of the drink is just as clouded. It could be an imperial return from an East India Company training mission to India. Or, perhaps it is a 1700s Scottish staple for the long winters. Either way, the Toddy is a fine drink to help cure a cold, or to just sip on a chilly evening.
1 part Bourbon
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Honey
1 Stick of Cinnamon
Hot Water to Taste
Our family recipe involves boiling the bourbon with honey and water, then adding lemon juice and a cinnamon stick. Stir, and serve in a mug. Feel free to top off the mug with hot water. Drink to good health.
“A dry martini,” [Bond] said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
- “Oui, monsieur.”
- “Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
- “Certainly, monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
- “Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.
- Bond laughed. “When I’m…er…concentrating,” he explained, “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.”
- —Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Chapter 7, “Rouge et Noir”
It is entirely surprising that the Manhattan is only now making an appearance in the Barrister’s Bar Room. Many cocktails are created among friends, just as our own are crafted in the Bar Room. The story of the Manhattan cocktail is much of the same. In the 1870s, an affluent New York physician hosted a soiree at the Manhattan Club to honor Lady Randolph Churchill (Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s mother). At this gala event, the Doctor mixed together whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. The drink made a lasting impression, with many of the attendees requesting “that Manhattan cocktail.” The name stuck.
Absent to popular lore, the Manhattan probably was not created by a Doctor honoring Churchill at the Manhattan Club in New York City. The earliest publication is in a September, 1884 issue of New York’s “The Democrat.”
“Talking about compounders of drinks reminds me of the fact that never before has the taste for “mixed drinks” been so great as at present and new ideas, and new combinations are constantly being brought forward. It is but a short time ago that a mixture of whiskey, vermouth and bitters came into vogue. It went under various names- Manhattan cocktail, Turf Club cocktail, and Jockey Club cocktail. Bartenders at first were sorely puzzled what was wanted when it was demanded. But now they are fully cognizant of its various aliases and no difficulty is encountered.”
For our cocktail, we use a variation on Harry Johnson’s (1884) Manhattan No.1 recipe. While the recipe below is correct, we chose to barrel age a large batch – letting the cocktail rest for close to two months in a charred oak barrel.
2 oz. Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Italian Vermouth (Sweet)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Prepare mixing glass with ice. Add Rye Whiskey, Italian Vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Stir until cold. Strain into a Martini glass. Enjoy.
Gin distilled in Florida? Check. Campari? Check. Dolin Vermouth? Check. Fresh squeezed Florida-grown Grapefruit Juice? Check. A “feel like” temperature of 104°? Check. This Grapefruit Negroni sure makes the summer’s heat a little more tolerable.
1.5 oz. Gin (Saint Augistine Distillery)
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Vermouth, Italian/Sweet (Dolin Rosso)
.5 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice (Fresh)
Prepare mixing glass with ice. Pour Gin, Campari, Vermouth, and Grapefruit Juice into mixing glass. Stir, diluting the spirits. Strain into an ice filled Rocks Glass. Garnish with a Lemon peel.
Happy Negroni Week 2016! It is the fourth annual celebration of this bitter and herbaceous cocktail. Created in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine, Negroni Week highlights one of the greatest classic cocktails in an effort to raise money for a number of charities around the globe. Thousands of bars and drinking establishments worldwide participate in Negroni Week, with all Negroni sales going to that particular establishment’s choice of charity. To make it all the more interesting, bar tenders and “mixologists” compete in adding their own special touches to the original Negroni recipe in their attempts to create a new classic.
This year, the Barrister’s Bar Room is starting Negroni Week from not-so-sunny Florida. The classic Negroni, with its bitter Campari and sweet Italian vermouth, sure opens our spirits to an otherwise dreary day. We use Green Hat Gin as our base, which personifies our connection to Washington, DC. Standby as we feature at least three Nergroni concoctions this week.
1 oz. Gin (Green Hat)
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Vermouth, Italian/Sweet (Dolin Rosso)
Prepare mixing glass with ice. Pour Gin, Campari, and Vermouth into mixing glass. Stir, diluting the spirits. Strain into an ice filled Rocks Glass. Garnish with a Lemon or Orange peel.
Created in the late 1930s at the Hotel Monteleone in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter – or, “old square” – the Vieux Carre is described by Southern Cocktails’ Denise Gee as a “manly man drink.” Likely for its heavy mix of bourbon and cognac, this manly drink is softened up by a quality vermouth.
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz cognac
1 oz vermouth
1 bar spoon Benedictine
Dash of Angostura bitters
Dash of Peychauds bitters
Fill your mixing vestibule with ice. Pour in all liquids, stir until ice cold. Strain into your favorite champagne goblet or cocktail coupe.
“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children… and, his martini.”
6 Parts Gin
1 Part Vermouth (Dry)
No frills here; we like our Martini ice cold, and strong. Fill your mixing glass with ice. Pour Gin and Vermouth into the mixing glass and stir until cold; then, continue to stir. Strain into a well-chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with lemon peel.
She is a French jewel discovered in the New World. America’s late-1800s vermouth-craze produced a number of stellar cocktails; yet, for all of her history, the Bijou is a hard find compared to her Martini, Manhattan, and Martinez brothers. Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual (1882) probably introduced the world to this Continental kicker. Dressed in diamonds (Gin), rubies (French Vermouth), and emeralds (Green Chartreuse), the Bijou stands on her own. Stroll up to the bar and introduce yourself.
1 Part Gin
1 Part French (Sweet) Vermouth
1 Part Green Chartreuse
Combine all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold. Strain into your favorite champagne coupe. Accent with the orange peel oil, and a maraschino cherry.
Ernest Hemingway entered Habana’s La Floridita bar in search of relief. He certainly found it. Escaping after using the head, the Papa saw Constantino Ribalaigua Vert setting up Daiquiris. Not one to flee from a drink, Hemingway sat up to the bar and tasted Constantino’s mix. Hemingway liked his cocktail strong; but, possibly the diabetic, he preferred his drink without added sugar. Pulling the sugar and doubling the rum, the Papa Doble was born; or, so says the story.
Today marks Hemingway’s 116th birth year… enjoy it with some extra rum.
Papa Doble (Hemingway Daiquiri)
3 3/4 oz. White Rum
2 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
2 oz. Key Lime Juice
6 Drops Maraschino Liqueur
Prepare a cocktail glass or goblet. Blend ice and pour into the glass. Prepare a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all ingredients to shaker, and vigorously blend the drink. Strain into cocktail glass with blended ice.
It is Rickey month here in the District; and, with day-time highs of 90°F+, an iced-cold Rickey is just the trick to help cool down. While we already posted the (gin) Rickey, we failed to write-up the (whiskey) Rickey. The Rickey takes on a number of variations; however, bourbon and gin maintain the staple for this Washington, D.C. cocktail. The Rickey’s cooling sparkling water and tart citrus combination make for an easy summer-sipper. Truly an American cocktail, the Rickey was declared Washington, D.C.’s native cocktail (c.2011). Find respite from the heat; the Colonel welcomes you.
The Rickey (Whiskey)
2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey; we used Four Roses, however, something less floral probably would be better
1 oz. Lime Juice (Fresh); our roots are Florida, so, our Rickey usually has a little more lime (the juice from at least 2 full limes)
Sparkling Water; Soda Stream does the trick
Fill a Collin’s glass with lime juice. Fill glass with ice. Add bourbon whiskey and soda water. Stir. Enjoy.