cocktail history

The Nazi-Defying History of the Kir Royale Cocktail

The Nazi-Defying History of the Kir Royale Cocktail

During World War II, as Americans were planting backyard victory gardens, residents of Burgundy, France responded to wartime privation in the most French way imaginable: They created an elegant cocktail out of Nazi-resistant wine. The Kir cocktail is made with one part crème de cassis, or blackcurrant liqueur, and four parts dry white wine.

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Cocktail Trends Come and Go. Long Island Iced Teas Are Timeless.

Cocktail Trends Come and Go. Long Island Iced Teas Are Timeless.

Long Island Iced Teas are spirited enablers. Boozy, sticky-sweet, and often served in a vessel one can only describe as Big Gulp-esque, it’s one iconic cocktail most adults would just as soon forget. And yet the stalwart mix of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, and cola persists. It is an integral facet of American […]

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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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