One thing that I am so passionate about is the history of the cocktail. If you look at what people were drinking at certain times, you can tell the climate of the world. 1900 brought the death of Queen Victoria, the Wright Brothers flew their plane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and San Francisco had a horrible earthquake followed by a 3 day fire. So many amazing changes came during the first ten years of century. So many wonderful cocktails chronicled the times.
The Original Negroni was named after an Italian gentleman who ordered the same drink every day. Nowadays the cocktail is considered a Aperitif to stimulate the the appetite for dinner. Although the drink originated in Europe, it rose to popularity in the US during the early 1900's.
The Original Negroni
1 oz. Campari (in the family of bitters)
1 oz Gin
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The Old Fashioned is considered the very first cocktail. Although the drink was around before 1900 it hit it's height of popularity during 1900-1910.The drink was served at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky and to some it is the perfect concoction of what a cocktail should be. A little hooch, a sweet and a bitter.
1 sugar cube
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 orange slices
3 oz bourbon
Cherry for garnish
Place the sugar cube at the bottom of an old fashioned glass
Saturate the cube with bitters
Add one orange slice and muddle
Fill the glass with ice
Add the Bourbon
Garnish with a cherry and the other orange slice.
Another drink that came about a few years before 1900 but rose up through the ranks is a Tom Collins. First off, there was never a man named Tom Collins. There was a Jerry Thomas( he is considered the father of American mixology). So, the Tom part comes from the type of gin used and the Collins was named after the type of glass used. The lore around Tom Collins continues, but I will tell you that regardless of who or what Tom Collins is-I love this drink.
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp superfine sugar
3oz club soda
1 cherry for garnish
1 orange slice
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.
So, what do our cocktails tell us about our history during the early 1900's? Like our world history our cocktails are full of flavor, have a dash of mystery and wet our appetite for bigger and better things. Until next week! Bottoms up!