Lesson Eight: Advanced Mixology

Chapter Six: Bourbon Dynasty and Legacy

Cameron’s Kick

Celtic harmony reigns in this encounter between Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey (note the different spellings). The Cameron’s Kick appears in the classic 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, which declines to identify Cameron or indicate why he might want to kick. One theory: because some sassenach (that’s Gaelic for “pommy” or “lousy Brit”) was going around polluting good whisk(e)y with lemon juice and orgeat syrup (which is French and tastes like almonds).

1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce orgeat syrup
To finish: orange peel

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist orange peel over the top.

Benjamin Menéndez Special

An unusual one from the bar book of Havana’s famous El Floridita, where Hemingway drank (although probably not these). Benjamin Menéndez? Probably not the famous cigar-maker of that name, since he was born in 1937, around the time this recipe first appears. Still, there might be some connection—the other name for the drink is the “Smoked Cocktail.” That probably alludes to the Scotch, but there may be more to it than that. We’ll never know.

2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 sprig mint, leaves only

Shake gently but thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Weeski

As served at New York’s 5 Ninth. If whiskey were French, this is my theory as to what it would taste like. Suave, subtle, and utterly untrustworthy. The delicate blond variety of Lillet, the French aperitif, is difficult to mix with, as it is easily overpowered by strong flavors; since Irish whiskey is neither sharply woody like American whiskey nor smoky like Scotch, it  works perfectly here.

2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce white Lillet
1 teaspoon Cointreau
2 dashes orange bitters
To finish: lemon peel

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist lemon peel over the top.

Bedford

Del Pedro, head bartender at Grange Hall, the late, lamented cocktail haven in New York’s West Village, came up with this forthright and inspiring take on the Manhattan. Note the (unplanned) family resemblance to the Weeski—different whiskey, different French aperitif (Dubonnet is red, bitter, and butch enough to stand up to rye), same accents.

2 ounces straight rye whiskey
2/3 ounce red Dubonnet
1 teaspoon Cointreau
2 dashes orange bitters
To finish: orange peel

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist orange peel over the top.

Bourbon Dynasty

Another sibling of the Weeski, this one planned. The Lillet here yields to the bourbon, leaving a hint of its slightly musky sweetness, which is reinforced by the crème de cassis (French black-currant liqueur). The name? Bourbon whiskey is named after Bourbon County, Kentucky, which was named after the French royal family, and everything in the drink except the lemon peel and the ice is either French or has a French name. That, and it tastes like something John Forsythe and Linda Evans would’ve drunk on Dynasty.

2 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon
1 ounce white Lillet
1 teaspoon crème de cassis
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
To finish: lemon peel

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist lemon peel over the top.

Sazerac

Ryan Demonstrates How To Make a Sazerac

Sazerac
Put 2-3 dashes of absinthe into a rocks glass, swirl around
to coat the inside of the glass then set aside
In mixing glass add;
1 sugar cube
3-4 dashes of Peychauds Bitters
Splash of club soda
2 oz Rye Whiskey
Add Ice and stir well
Strain into rocks glass
Garnish with lemon zest

Recipes reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich

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