Tag Archives: lemon juice

Cocktail of the Hour — the Aviation

Aviation line.

Flying in style.

To truly enjoy the Aviation and appreciate its name, you have to think back to when air travel was a luxury. Picture a elegant seating area inhabited by suave gentlemen and well-coifed ladies. Imagine full-service dinners on tables with real table cloths served by happy stewardesses (term used for historical effect).

In that context, the Aviation’s name and makeup makes more sense. It’s a bit of a mystery — I couldn’t find much background on this Prohibition-era cocktail other than it was inspired by the air travel available around that time. It’s a crisp cocktail with a tart bite and a dry finish. Per the recipes I found online, it’s also incredibly versatile.

Per Wondrich’s article on Esquireit’s made with maraschino liqueur, but no crème de violette. This recipe first appeared in Harry Craddock’s 1930 edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book, and makes the drink reminiscent of the icy cloudscape that passengers experience when they fly.

According to most other sources, the crème de violette is essential: it provides the drink’s recognizable hazy purple-blue color. Either way, it’s a gorgeous drink that can call up memories of a simpler — and more glamorous — time. To find your way back, experiment with the proportions until you find what takes you back.

Recipe:
1 tsp Crème de Violette (optional)
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
2 oz gin

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake vigorously until chilled, about 12-18 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry (optional).

2 Comments

Filed under BlogLikeCrazy, Cocktail of the Hour, See Clair Mix

Cocktail of the hour — the French 75

photo (1)Since it’s my birthday week, I thought that an easy, bubbly cocktail would be perfect for the Cocktail of the Hour re-inauguration. The French 75 is just gin, citrus, sugar and champagne (or prosecco, if you’re partial). Despite its simplicity, the drink packs a kick much like its namesake — an accurate and quick-firing field gun used in World War I.

Per cocktail lore, this lovely libation was most likely named by a Parisian bartender around 1915ish, but its roots go back much further. In the 19th century, upper class folks on both sides of the pond drank a mixture of bubbly, citrus, sugar and ice. Dump in a little bit of readily available gin and voila, the French 75.

Other stories indicate that the French 75 was also, in some circles, a brandy drink. The shift away from brandy may have been caused by the wine shortage that also changed the Sazerac’s base liquor. Personally, I prefer gin to brandy here — gin makes the cocktail herbaceous while brandy slightly spices and sweetens it. If I can get my hands on a bottle of Pierre Ferrand 1840, I’ll try it again and report back.

It’s also possible that a bartender subbed champagne for soda in a Tom Collins as some early versions of the recipe specify that the drink is served over ice. In this version of the French 75’s origin story, it’s not clear if the substitution was intentional. Regardless, the result was delicious.

Like the daiquiri and gimlet, this cocktail probably existed for decades before it was named, so history buffs and cocktail nerds alike can savor its qualities.

Recipe:
1 oz gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Shake for 12-18 seconds or until chilled through. Strain into a champagne flute or coupe glass and top with 1 – 2 ounces of champagne.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cocktail of the Hour, See Clair Mix

Cocktail of the Hour — the Champs Elysees

Yum.

Yum.

If you’ve ever taken a French class, chances are that your teacher made you sing the song called “Champs Elysées.” When I first stumbled across the Champs Elysées cocktail on drinkboy.com, I couldn’t get the song out of my head for weeks.

Tasting this drink made the earbug worth it. As a Sidecar variation, this brandy-based beverage is at once herbaceous, bold and delicately balanced. By most accounts, it’s a cocktail that’s remained largely obscure since it first appeared in Henry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. In this edition, the recipe calls for Chartreuse, while elsewhere the green or yellow is specified. This ambiguity allows the bartender (or home bartender) some room to play, so use whichever you prefer.

So little is known about this drink’s history that, much like the Last Word, ordering it is a pretty easy way to demonstrate interest in classic cocktails. It’s also worth noting that brandy-based cocktails are sometimes viewed as foreign but are actually as old (if not older than) some of the most revered whiskey cocktails.

Recipe:

1 dash Angostura bitters

.5 oz simple syrup

.5 oz (green or yellow) Chartreuse

.75 oz lemon juice

1.5 oz brandy

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake for 13-16 seconds or until combined. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and enjoy.

2 Comments

Filed under BlogLikeCrazy, See Clair Mix