CLASSIC COCKTAILS USING BOURBON
The most famous of the classic Bourbon cocktails.
Fully named this drink is an ‘old fashioned whiskey cocktail’ and the first documented use of the word cocktail in 1806 described a drink composed of spirit, sugar, water and bitters (an old fashioned). The drink that we enjoy today is believed to have been invented at the Pendennis club in Louisville, Kentucky, however variations on this theme were no doubt available for many years previously.
Dash angostura bitters
Add all ingredients to a 9oz rocks glass, stir with cubed ice for 90 secs and then garnish with a large orange twist. (alternatively, if part of a large round, leave ingredients on ice while you prepare the round, and then stir briefly before serving.
A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston’s mother) in honour of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated — “the Manhattan cocktail.” However, Lady Randolph was in France at the time and pregnant, so the story is likely to be fiction. The original “Manhattan cocktail” was a mix of “American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters”.
However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called “Manhattan” and served in the Manhattan area. By one account it was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street.
An early record of the cocktail can be found in William Schmidt’s “The Flowing Bowl”, published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum, 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.
50ml Rye or Bourbon if preferred
25ml Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes of Angustora Bitters.
Stir until diluted and cold enough (taste to check). Garnish with a cherry.
The origins of the mint julep are clouded and may never be definitively known. The first appearance of a mint julep in print came in a book by John Davis published in London in 1803, where it was described as “a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” However, Davis did not specify that bourbon was the spirit used. The mint julep originated in the southern United States, probably during the eighteenth century. U.S. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the drink to Washington, D.C., at the Round Robin Bar in the famous Willard Hotel during his residence in the city. The term ‘julep’ is generally defined as a sweet drink, particularly one used as a vehicle for medicine. The word itself is derived from Arabic meaning rose water. Americans enjoyed not only bourbon based juleps during the nineteenth century, but also gin based juleps made with genever, an aged gin. However, bourbon based juleps have recently decisively eclipsed gin based juleps.
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