Great Locales Inspire Great Cocktails
(This article was composed before the full implementation of the effects and governmental restraints as applied to the Corona Virus outbreak. This article was penned on Friday March 13, which now seems eons ago. But the hope is that we will return to some level of normalcy and freedom soon.)
It’s moving on to that time when we announce where we want to travel for vacation. The opening of this discussion is sort of like the opening of any sports season: everyone has a chance to earn a trip to the Super Bowl or the World Series. Every team starts out with the same record.
And so it is with vacation planning. Big world out there and we can choose any spot in which to enjoy a change of scenery. Reality soon sets in, however, with time and money constraints. But in the beginning, the world is fully open to our desires.
Let’s begin with cocktails which pay homage to great destinations. These drinks create not just fun sensory experiences, but they conjure up mental images of romantic places where we have been or would like to go.
Keep in mind as you review these potential mind-trips that recipe changes are the free-will, my-taste choice of the maker of each cocktail. If you prefer, or are accustomed to other ingredients in your drink, you have the power and the authority to make these your way, without any apologies or explanations to anyone.
As created in 1915 in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, Singapore, by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin, preferably London Dry style
- 1-ounce Benedictine.
- 1-ounce lime juice.
- 1/4-ounce simple syrup, if you wish a sweeter cocktail.
- 3 dash Angostura Bitters.
- 2 ounces club soda.
- 1/2-ounce Cherry Heering
Garnish: lemon slice, pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.
Fill a Collins glass with 1 cup ice and set aside in the freezer. Combine gin, cherry-flavored brandy, triple sec, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup ice, cover and shake until chilled. Strain into the prepared Collins glass. Garnish.
Long Island Iced Tea
Lots of booze, two credible tales of how it all started, and a drink that looks innocent but packs a big punch.
- ¾ oz. vodka
- ¾ oz. gin
- ¾ oz. white rum
- ¾ oz. Blanco tequila
- ¾ oz. orange liqueur
- ¾ oz. lime cordial
- ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
- Coca-Cola (or other cola)
- Garnish: lemon wheel
- Glass: Collins, or other 12-oz. glass
Shake all the ingredients except the cola with ice, then strain it into a chilled glass and fill with ice cubes.
Need we say more? Invented at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone in 1938 by bartender Walter Bergeron. Been a local favorite ever since. Great drink with a great name.
- 1-ounce rye whiskey
- 1-ounce Cognac
- 1-ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 teaspoon Bénédictine D.O.M. 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Mix all ingredients in a double Old-Fashioned glass over ice; stir.
- Milano-Torino (Mi-To)
- Actually, a Negroni, without the Gin. Now, more commonly called, Americano.
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 2 oz Soda
Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass. Add ice. Garnish with orange slice.
There is a school of thought that adds a dash of Earl Grey Tea to this recipe. It works well and seems authentic.
- Cracked ice 2 ounces gin (something London-y, of course, like Voyager)
- 1/2-ounce Pernod
Add about a cup of cracked ice to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Add the gin and Pernod. Stir well (so well that it seems you’re frappe-ing the mix). Pour everything into an Old-Fashioned glass. Drink quickly, before the body realizes what’s going on.
Besides the geographic references, what all these recipes have in common is simplicity. That’s intentional. With the challenges today of travel, maybe just staying at home and taking a cocktail trip to fun places is the way to go. Enjoy the journey!
Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com on Thursdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails every month in New Orleans Magazine.