Friday, January 28, 2011


The History of the Martini

The true origin of the martini is draped in mystery! There are differing arguments as to who was the first to create the Martini. Many who claim or have been purported to have created the first Martini have varying recipes and names; none of which exactly fit the Martini recipe that exists today. While opinions differ, the modern day Dry Martini consists of Gin and a varying amount of dry white Vermouth (season to taste). An olive, a twist, or a cocktail onion are all acceptable as a garnish.

The most detailed historical claim begins with a cocktail named the Martinez which was created around 1862. This particular drink of the time called for 4 parts red, sweet Vermouth to 1 part Gin, garnished with a cherry. The first version included aromatic bitters and Old Tom Gin, which was very sweet and incorporated a strong Juniper flavor. The transformation into what is considered a modern Martini happened gradually. First the Old Tom Gin was replaced with London Dry. Orange Bitters took the place of the aromatic bitters. Afficianados began to replace the red Vermouth with a white, dry Vermouth. The proportions of the drink eventually became equal parts and soon the Dry Martini appeared, olive included.

If you dont buy that story, perhaps some of these will win your favor.

In 1870 at Julio Richelieu's saloon in Martinez, California a small drink was mixed for visiting miner. Julio placed an olive in the glass before handing it to the man, then named it after his town. Martinez, California continues to hold claim as the birth place of the Martini.
Jerry Thomas of San Francisco printed a bartending book in 1887 with a Martinez recipe. It called for one dash of Bitters, two dashes of Maraschino, one wine glass of Vermouth, two jigs of ice and a pony of Old Tom Gin, served with a slice of lemon.

There is a story that claims the drink's name came from the Martini and Henry rifle used by the British army in 1871. The hook was that both the rifle and the drink "shared a strong kick."

In 1896, Thomas Stewart published Stewart's Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them. The book contained a recipe for a drink called the "Marquerite" which called for "1 dash orange bitters, 2/3 Plymouth Gin, and 1/3 French Vermouth."

1888, was the magical year that the word Martini was first mentioned. Martini appeared in the "New and Improved Illustrated Bartending Manual."
Finally, in 1911 at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York the head bartender, a gentleman by the name of Martini di Arma di Taggia, mixed half and half London Gin, Noilly Prat Vermouth and orange bitters. He chilled the drink on ice and strained it into a well chilled glass. Many visitors to the Knickerbocker asked for variations of the drink and added the olive.

Regardless of the true origin, the quest for the perfect Martini will no doubt continue. Martini bars continue to hit the scene -- and variations of the Martini abound. In the new millenium, it may seem that anything presented in a Martini Glas is considered to be a Martini. While that may or may not be true, we advise that you enjoy the moment! If it tastes good, it'll taste even better in a martini glass!

There are many versions of the Apple Martini, Appletini, or Big Apple Martini. Some use calvados, some apple puree, and some apple schnapps. This recipe uses the apple schnapps and has a very sweet taste and, depending on which brand you choose, will determine how bright of a green your drink will be. If you'd like to have a Sour Appletini, use Sour Apple Pucker. For an extra, edible touch to this drink, garnish with a green apple slice or peel.

How To Make An Apple Martini

Total Time: 2 minutes



  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


History Of The Margarita Cocktail And How It Became So Popular
The margarita and tequila, its primary fuel, have had their ups and downs in popularity and tequila continues to be one of the most misunderstood of all spirits. The drink has been with us for little more than half a century and now arrives in infinite variations.
Tequila shot up in the drink charts in the 1940's when World War Two erupted and imported whisky became hard to get, so Americans looked to Mexico for an alternative. Imports from south of the border soared, then slowed to a trickle once peace came. It wasn't until two decades later when the spirit excited the imagination of adventuresome rock groups that it caught on again.
The margarita became fashionable in the sixties as The Rolling Stones and The Eagles sang the praises of tequila. The Eagles had the big hit, and their "Tequila Sunrise" was credited with inciting margarita mania among their followers and making the drink a must for the collegiate crowd. Unfortunately many of them never fully realized the beauty of the margarita, confining their drinking to nothing better than sweet concoctions churned out by slush machines. Too many still do, but there is hope as younger recruits step up to hand-mixed drinks and to upscale tequilas.
The Stones and The Eagles were followed by Jimmy Buffett, who scored with "Margaritaville," and for better or worse by Bobby Bare's "Pour Me Another Tequila, Sheila" and "Jose Cuervo, You are a Friend of Mine," by Shelly West.
Promotion is important and the tequila technocrats are as creative, competitive and opportunistic as any of the spirits marketers. They can tell romantic tales of small peasant distilleries in hidden valleys and talk of dukes and grandees and film stars and nobles who swore by the liquor of the mysterious plant known as the Blue Agave. However, what's in the drink remains the final criterion for acceptance. Today we're experiencing a boom in fine, limited production tequila as a sipping drink, following similar trends with high-end Scotch, Bourbon and Vodka. The Margarita, however, remains the sword-carrier for tequila, and it is the entry level for American consumers.
Like the Martini and the Manhattan, even the Cosmopolitan, it appears to have many fathers. The most popular version of its origin goes back to the late 1930's at Rancho La Gloria, a restaurant near Rosarito Beach, Mexico, just across the border from San Diego. The owner, Danny Herrera, created the drink for a showgirl named Marjorie King. "She was allergic to everything except tequila," Herrera recalled, "but she couldn't take it straight or even Mexican style with lemon and salt. So I tried to find another way for her."
Out of Herrera's experiments came a blend of three parts tequila, two parts Cointreau and one part fresh lemon juice. He added shaved ice, wet the rim of a glass with more lemon juice, dipped it in salt and filled it with the mixture. After Miss King gave Herrera's alchemy a royal nod, he named it in her honor, Margarita, Spanish for Marjorie.
Another version has a socialite named Margarita Sames blending the same ingredients as a party drink. Hotelier Nicky Hilton was a guest and he went on to feature the Margarita at his Acapulco Hilton. Other reports say the drink originated as early as 1936 at the Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico or at the Tail O' The Cock Restaurant in Los Angeles soon after World War Two.
The basic Margarita recipe, like the Martini, has changed frequently. While some bartenders and home mixologists adhere to the original formula, the most accepted one today calls for 1 1/2 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of Triple Sec (which is a lot cheaper than Cointreau) and 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, combined in a cocktail shaker and shaken, not stirred. Restaurant consultant Steve Olson takes the mix up one level, arguing that Grand Marnier is the only fit accompaniment for tequila and fresh lime juice in a fine Margarita. "Taste the orange liqueur options blind, side by side," he argues, and you'll never again consider using Cointreau or triple sec."
At Ideya in Soho, standard bearer for Latin American food in Manhattan, bar manager Fernando Peña pours a full 1 and 1/2 ounce shot of Herradura Silver or Reposado in his premium margarita , adds orange juice and lemon juice, triple sec and a ëspit' of Vanderhum orange mandarin liqueur. "Freshness is important here, so we use the same ingredients you might find in someone's home in Mexico or Peru. We don't use a sour mix in any drinks," Peña says. "The fresh o.j. and lime juice provide the right flavor and a miniscule amount of the orange mandarin liqueur gives us just the extra tang we want."

Things You'll Need To Make A Margarita:

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. Triple sec
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice
  • 1 oz. Triple sec
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. tequila
Instructions On How To Make A Margarita
  1. Pour the coarse salt onto a plate or saucer.
  2. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the lime wedge and dip the glass into the salt until it coats the rim.
  3. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. Fill a martini shaker with ice and pour in the tequila, Triple sec and lime juice.
  5. Shake until the martini shaker is frosted with condensation.
  6. Strain the contents into the margarita glass and garnish with the lime.

To make a "blended" margarita, simply put all ingredients into a blender with two cups of ice, blend until smooth and pour into the glass.

Bar supply stores sell margarita "rimmers" which have a sponge and receptacle to hold salt. These can be handy when needing to make margaritas in bulk.

Dont Drink And Drive

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moscow Mule

What Is The Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule. A little careful promotion, and wham! Vodka's breakout cocktail. Professional bartenders hated it, but the suckers bit. At least the Moscow Mule is easy (your dog could make one), smooth, and refreshing. Taken by itself, it does no harm, and compared to so much that has followed, it's practically elegant.

History Of The Moscow Mule And How It Became A Cocktail
In the age of the Cosmopolitan and Green Apple-tini, it’s hard to imagine a time when vodka cocktails didn’t enjoy the popularity they do today. Yet these delectable drinks weren’t really popular until the late 1940s and 1950s. The Moscow Mule, a cocktail created for a Smirnoff promotion, helped fuel this change in drinks culture.
In 1941, John Martin, president of Heublein and Jack Morgan, owner of the Cock'n'Bull bar in Hollywood, met in a bar in Los Angeles. Together they mixed Morgan's ginger beer with Smirnoff and lime and christened it the Moscow Mule. They ordered specially engraved copper mugs and Martin set off to market the cocktail in bars around the country.
He bought one of the first Polaroid cameras and asked barmen to pose with a Moscow Mule copper mug and a bottle of Smirnoff. Then he would leave one copy of the photo at the bar and take a second copy to the bar next door to show them that their competitors were selling the Moscow Mule.
Between 1947 and 1950 Smirnoff case columns more than tripled and nearly doubled in 1951. It was the start of a long period of success. Smirnoff promoted a variety of cocktails, which all used the mixability of Smirnoff cocktails.
Recipe And Instructions To Make A Vodka Moscow Mule
1.5 oz. Smirnoff vodka
3 oz. ginger beer (Organic Ginger Beer Works Best)
1 tsp. simple syrup or (Kane Syrup)
¼ oz. lime juice
1 sprig mint
1 slice lime
In a glass with ice, add vodka, simple syrup, and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with mint sprig and lime slice.