Writing Page 9

The Myths of Drinking


Back in 1999, at my first bartending gig that involved liquor and cocktails as opposed to simply beer and wine, I was trained by the day bartender: a crusty old sea hag who informed me, with authority, that limes were nothing more than unripened lemons. My twenty-something self took the knowledge with a healthy grain | Read More

Blend For Yourself: 3 Blended Scotches to Get You Through the Weekend


When I was a kid, my parents seemed to have an unhealthy obsession with sweet, fruity drinks. Every party I remember them hosting in the 1980s was fueled by some combination of piña coladas (rum and pineapple juice), Harvey Wallbangers (vodka and Italian liqueur), daiquiris (rum and strawberry syrup) and white Russians (vodka and Kahlúa). | Read More

A Cocktail Hemingway Would be Proud Of


Plenty of cocktails went through a period, sometime between the late 1960s and through the 1980s, when they were, for lack of a better term, bitch-slapped. Dressed up in girl’s clothing, doused in sugar, and beaten senseless by every type of blender and slushy machine imaginable. The Margarita and the Brandy Alexander are perfect examples | Read More

The Complicated History of the French 75


Just about every classic cocktail out there comes with a whole lot of mythology surrounding its origin. The Manhattan was supposedly created by Winston Churchill’s mother, for instance (it wasn’t). Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer, was reportedly the first person in Cuba to combine rum, lime, and sugar – a premise that astounds me. | Read More

Mr. Plinth’s Soda Cart and the Tom Collins


The first carbonated water hit London’s bar scene in 1813, in the form of a portable soda cart created by a man named Charles Plinth. Plinth’s mobile carbonation machine allowed him to travel the city and provide accounts with soda water. Pretty remarkable, really, when you think about those bartenders that got to experiment with | Read More

Old Cuban


Around the holidays—most especially post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s Eve—I am approached with endless requests for champagne-based cocktails. Yet until a few years ago, I almost always disappointed all of those who asked. If for no other reason than I couldn’t name too many champagne-based cocktails appropriate for late December or that I thought tasted particularly great. | Read More