Classic Cocktail Series: Tom Collins

I have a confession. Tom Collins are my jam this summer. I haven’t been drinking beer, but rather when I have a drink it’s been a Tom Collins (or sparkling rose). Gin is a hot commodity in the cocktail market this summer so if you haven’t been adventurous yet, now is the time. For those who say they don’t care for gin due to its “Christmas-tree flavor,” I encourage you to give this drink a chance. It will change your stance on gin.

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Classic Cocktail Series: Manhattan

A Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Commonly used whiskeys include rye (the traditional choice), Canadian whisky, bourbon, blended whiskey and Tennessee whiskey. The cocktail is often stirred and strained into a cocktail glass, where it is garnished with a Maraschino cherry with a stem. A Manhattan is also frequently served on the rocks in a lowball glass. The whiskey-based Manhattan is one of five cocktails named for one of New York City’s five boroughs. The Manhattan is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury’s classic The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.

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Classic Cocktail Series: Margarita

Cinco de Mayo. A holiday that is really only celebrated here in the United States. But hey, it’s fun. We like our fake drinking holidays here … like St. Patrick’s Day.

The origins of the margarita are unclear, with many folks claiming to have invented this delicious drink. The first known publication of a margarita recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire, with a recipe calling for an ounce of tequila, a dash of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon. A recipe for a tequila-based cocktail first appeared in the 1930 book My New Cocktail Book by G.F. Steele. Without noting a specific recipe or inventor, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was mentioned in the Syracuse Herald as early as 1936. Margarita is Spanish for Daisy, which is a nickname for Margaret.

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Classic Cocktail Series: Mai Tai

Everyone loves a good Mai Tai. Don’t even try to play that “it’s not manly enough” card — you love it. It’s refreshing, fun and perfect for warm weather.

From the official Trader Vic’s website, which claims the invention of the Mai Tai. They sell more than anyone else in the world each year, so who am I to argue?

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Classic Cocktail Series: Whiskey Sour

Whiskey sour. A classic, American cocktail that is a nice balance between a full-flavored liquor and a citrus-based mixer. The oldest historical mention of a whiskey sour comes from a newspaper published in Wisconsin in 1870.

The whiskey sour is a mixed drink containing whiskey (often Bourbon, though the choice is entirely up to the bartender and consumer), lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, a dash of egg white. It’s shaken and served either straight up or over ice. The traditional garnish calls for half an orange slice and a maraschino cherry (here I go again with cherries).

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