To speak Italian, you have to drink Italian: Strawberry Basil Spritz

Strawberry Basil Spritz

Gin, strawberry, basil, rose cordial water, vanilla, citrus, Prosseco

As Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau reveal in their 2016 book, Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, the practice of pouring a dash of sparkling soda water into still white wine to spritz it up probably began in the early years of the 20th century. When American cocktail culture arrived in the 1920s and ’30s, bartenders across Italy’s north started adding a dash of bitter liqueur.

But it wasn’t until the 1990s that bartenders in the tranquil beach resorts in Venice decided to use bubbly prosecco rather than still white wine as the base of the Spritz, and increase the bitter liqueur content. It’s this recipe that we’ve come to recognise as the “classic”, and we’ve become familiar with it in a relatively short space of time.
Source: Gourmet Traveller


Espresso Martini

Vodka, Nusantara Cold Brew, espresso

In cocktail terms, the Espresso Martini has a relatively short history with the drink believed to have been first created in the early eighties by London bartender Dick Bradsel. According to Dick, a famous model entered the Soho Brasserie where he was working, and asked him to create a drink that would “wake me up”. As there was a coffee machine next to where Dick was serving drinks, he decided to combine the coffee with vodka. Naming it the Vodka Espresso, the original recipe featured vodka, sugar syrup, two types of coffee liqueur and freshly made espresso.

At the time, any cocktail served in a V-shaped glass was known as a martini, so Dick later renamed his drink the Espresso Martini. In 1998, Dick was working at the Pharmacy Bar in Notting Hill so renamed the drink once more to the Pharmaceutical Stimulant. The drink is now known by these three names around the world, with slight variations on the ingredients.
Source: Ketel One


Set your standard high with an Elderflower Martini!

Elderflower Martini

Gin, cucumber, citrus, elderflower, mint

The Elderflower Martini is a lovely, slightly sweeter and flowery take on the classic Dry Martini that uses St. Germain elderflower liqueur to complement the floral notes of a good gin.

Elderflower-inspired drinks have become increasingly popular with the advent of St. Germain—the popular liqueur even earning the moniker of “bartender’s ketchup” as it became ubiquitous with the craft cocktail movement—and the Elderflower Martini certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Some of you might even want to try modifying the Elderflower Martini recipe by using an old gin instead of a traditional dry gin, as it’s a bit sweeter and less powerful on the juniper.

Source: Bevvy


Chilli & Lime Margarita

Tequila, honey, pressed citrus, pineapple, chilli

As with so many popular things, more than one person has claimed to have invented the margarita. One of the most prevalent stories is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, around 1938. As the legend goes, Herrera dreamed up the cocktail for one of his customers, an aspiring actress named Marjorie King who was allergic to all hard alcohol other than tequila. To make the liquor more palatable to his fussy client, he combined the elements of a traditional tequila shot—a lick of salt and a wedge of lime—and turned them into a refreshing drink.

According to The Complete Book of Spirits by Anthony Dias Blue, though, the first importer of Jose Cuervo in the United States advertised with the tagline, “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name,” in 1945, three years before Sames claimed to have invented the drink.

Source: Smithonian Mag


There is always time for a Passion Fruit Margarita.

Passion Fruit Margarita

Tequila, honey, pressed citrus, pineapple, chilli

Whilst both of these origin tales are believable, some are a little harder to swallow. Like the one about Margaret Sames, a socialite from Dallas who claims to have concocted the classic at one of her house parties in Acapulco in 1948. Apparently, the guest roster was filled with influential ‘hotel and restaurant people’ who quickly introduced wider society to the cocktail. Unfortunately, history tells us that large tequila brands were rolling out Margarita ad campaigns years before this – meaning unless Ms Sames went for limes with Doc Brown in his DeLorean, there’s not much likelihood that the drink emanates from affluent Americans socialising in Acapulco.

What’s more likely, according to cocktail historian David Wondrich, is that the drink was an evolution of the widely popular Daisy cocktails that were enjoyed in the 1930s. A mix of a base spirit, curacao and citrus generally constituted a ‘daisy’ (whisky and gin daisies were popular, too). Margarita is Spanish for ‘daisy’ and this was a nod to the tequila-based daisy that’s been enjoyed for nearly 100 years. We think.

Source: Diageo Bar Academy


Coconut Mojito

Rum, coconut water, syrup, mint, citrus

The popularity of the Mojito began with Ernest Hemingway during his time in Cuba. The cocktail increased in popularity when it was featured in a James Bond Film and later in a Johnny Depp film.
But the history of the Mojito is a bit harder to trace. We have to rely on the spoken word when it comes to Mojitos and there are a few different stories.

It is said that the original Mojito was a medicinal drink to curb disease on the island of Cuba. A moon shine rum-type alcohol was mixed with mint, lime, and sugar cane syrup to ward off illness.

When pirates invaded Cuba the drink was introduced to Pirate Drake where he promptly used rum in place of the Cuban moonshine. The drink took on the name El Draque, until it became the Mojito. Mojo is an African word for magic, which we all know can happen once you have had a few Mojitos. No matter what the true history is, this drink is making current day history all over the world.

Source: Loco Gringo


Raspberry Mojito: a sip for surprise!

Raspberry Mojito

Rum, raspberry puree, syrup, mint, citrus

Like many cocktails, the full origins of this refreshing cocktail have been lost in history. From the 1500s, to a 2002 James Bond movie, the Mojito has had an interesting journey from invention to one of the most popular drinks of the new millennium.

As with all cocktail histories, the Mojito’s origin story is often disputed, particularly by “La Bodeguita del medio” in Havana, Cuba. This restaurant-bar claims to be the cocktail’s birthplace, and enjoys the fame associated with Ernest Hemmingway’s praise of their particular version of the drink.It has been claimed that African slaves working in the Cuban sugar cane fields created the drink from “Aguardiente de cana” (literally “firewater of the sugar cane”) – a simple sugar cane alcohol.

Certainly the name “Mojito” fits this story, stemming from the word “Mojo”, meaning “to place a little spell”.

Source: Taste Cocktails


Classic/Aged Negroni

Classic: Gin, Campari, vermouth sweet / Aged: Gin, vermouth rosso, Campari, aged in wooden barrel
Invented in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence, Italy, the Negroni is actually a variation on another classic cocktail, the Americano. A mixture of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water, served with a lemon slice, the Americano was originally known as the Milano-Torino, because of the origins of its two primary ingredients — Campari from Milan and Vermouth di Torino, from, well, you know. The name changed during Prohibition, when it became a favorite of Americans on vacation in Italy.

It was also a favorite of James Bond. The Americano, in fact, is the first cocktail ordered in Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel. The gentleman spy disdains the thought of drinking whiskey or vodka in a French cafe. On a sunny sidewalk, Fleming writes, “Bond always had the same thing — an Americano.”

It was 100 years ago that Count Negroni asked his bartender at the Cassoni Cafe on the Via de’ Tornabuoni to stiffen his Americano by replacing the soda with gin. History records that the bartender, one Fosco Scarselli, also replaced the lemon with an orange slice. Did he add the bitters as well? The legends do not tell.
Source: NY Times



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