cocktail history

Blackbeard, the Royal Navy, and the Strange History of Gunpowder and Rum Cocktails

Blackbeard, the Royal Navy, and the Strange History of Gunpowder and Rum Cocktails

Long before a kohl-stained Captain Jack Sparrow strutted haughtily onto the big screen, there was Blackbeard — the original bad-boy pirate of the Caribbean Sea. In addition to his eponymous facial hair, the unkempt 18th-century pirate was famous for employing a range of outlandish tactics to intimidate his enemies.

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The Legend, Myth, and Majesty of the Pickleback

The Legend, Myth, and Majesty of the Pickleback

Let’s talk about hangovers. Hangovers are like 10th grade math. They get more difficult, and then nearly impossible to deal with as we get older. Hangovers in your 30s are no longer a badge of honor from last night’s exploits; they’re a scarlet letter, a not-so-friendly reminder from the universe that you aren’t that young […]

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From Drunk Monks to Boozy Brunch: A Brief History of Drinking in the Morning

From Drunk Monks to Boozy Brunch: A Brief History of Drinking in the Morning

“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” lamely jokes the guy in your office who thinks he’s being naughty for having a light beer at a 3:30 p.m. offsite meeting. Today his coworkers might snicker at his so-called transgressiveness. Yet for most of history, drinking before 5:00 p.m. was perfectly acceptable, if not necessary. Many people drank in […]

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We Unearthed Esquire’s 1949 Entertaining Guide and It’s Better Left Buried

We Unearthed Esquire’s 1949 Entertaining Guide and It’s Better Left Buried

For those of us with a passion for spirits who like to kick it old school, cocktail books are vital. The best include ”Meehan’s Bartender Manual,” by PDT’s legendary Jim Meehan, and Mr. Harry Craddock’s ”The Savoy Cocktail Book.” Somewhere in the middle of a very extensive collection lies ”Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts.” This long-forgotten […]

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Bartenders Are Obsessed With Milk Punch Because It’s Delicious and a Little Bit Dangerous

Bartenders Are Obsessed With Milk Punch Because It’s Delicious and a Little Bit Dangerous

Cameron Bogue is the most skilled bartender you’ve probably never heard of. A Canadian wunderkind, for many years he helmed Bar Pleiades, a mainstay on NYC’s buttoned-up Upper East Side and an unlikely showcase for some of the city’s most inspiring cocktails. One night, about 10 years ago, Cameron Bogue changed my life. At the […]

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Hotel Bars Are Outshining the Tiny Cocktail Lounges They Helped Create

Hotel Bars Are Outshining the Tiny Cocktail Lounges They Helped Create

Your great-grandmother was probably a pretty cool lady. If she lived in New York, she may have sipped an exciting new cocktail called a Bloody Mary, which, as the story goes, was invented in the 1930s at the St. Regis hotel’s famed King Cole Bar (named for the iconic 1908 mural on one of its […]

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The Seven Best Ryes for Sazeracs, Ranked

The Seven Best Ryes for Sazeracs, Ranked

One of the earliest cocktails on record, the Sazerac hails from 19th century New Orleans. Its creator was reportedly Antoine Peychaud, a Creole pharmacist born in Haiti, whose eponymous bitters punctuate the drink. Originally a Cognac vehicle, today’s Sazeracs are often made with rye, riffing on the Old Fashioned’s whiskey-sugar-bitters rubric. To determine the best […]

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If Instagram Existed in the 1980s Flair Bartenders Would Be Influencers

If Instagram Existed in the 1980s Flair Bartenders Would Be Influencers

Like most of the strange yet amusing things on planet Earth, flair bartending is probably best explored via YouTube rabbit hole. Almost immediately, you’ll encounter the self-proclaimed “Bruce Lee of bartending,” a man who wears the kung fu icon’s famous yellow jumpsuit while juggling four bottles in slow motion at a Taipei cocktail bar. A […]

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Rum & Pepsi? How Coca-Cola Won the Cocktail Wars

Rum & Pepsi? How Coca-Cola Won the Cocktail Wars

Among the modern world’s bitterest rivalries (Red Sox versus Yankees, CrossFit versus joy) lies Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The battle spans generations of pop drinkers. Multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns have engendered lifelong Coke loyalists, those who swear by Pepsi, hipster antagonists who insist their brand is RC Cola, and a growing phalanx of the health-conscious who’d just […]

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