Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

(With photos)


Daiquiri

Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

Make sure the lime juice is well-strained. If using sugar rather than syrup, muddle with the lime juice until dissolved. Shake all of the ingredients with ice and double strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel, if desired.

Rum Collins

Serve in a highball or collins glass and top with sparkling water or soda water in an approximate 1∶1 ratio, or to taste. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Bacardi Cocktail

Replace the demerara gum syrup with ½ fluid ounce of pomegranate grenadine and use Bacardi Superior rum.

Hemingway Special

Ernest Hemingway enjoyed Daiquiris with rum, fresh lime and grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur (and no added sugar). Since this is not a very enjoyable drink for most people, there is no fixed style of Hemingway Special recommended, but any Daiquiri using a mix of grapefruit and lime and a touch of maraschino liqueur can fall under the umbrella of Hemingway Special variations.

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

Trader Vic perfected this tiki version of the Daiquiri by replacing the sweet component of sugar with spicier tiki ingredients. Switch the Spanish-style rum to an aged Bajan rum, reduce the lime juice to ¾ fluid ounce, and replace the syrup (or sugar) with ½ fluid ounce of falernum and ¼ fluid ounce of orange curaçao.

Vicious Virgin

Donn Beach created this tiki version of the Daiquiri by splitting the sweetener with falernum. Reduce the Spanish-style rum to 1½ fluid ounces and split 2∶1 between gold and light. Reduce the lime juice to ½ fluid ounce. Reduce the syrup to ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) and add the same amount of falernum. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Shrunken Skull

Another tiki twist on the Daiquiri (or perhaps the Bacardi Cocktail). Use a 1∶1 split of dark Demerara rum and Spanish-style gold rum. Replace the demerara gum syrup with 1 fluid ounce of pomegranate grenadine. Serve on the rocks in a larger-sized lowball glass or double old fashioned glass, with the ice used to shake the drink.

Donga Punch

Yet another tiki twist on the Daiquiri. Switch the Spanish-style rum to an aged rhum agricole, reduce the lime juice to ¾ fluid ounce, and replace the syrup (or sugar) with 1½ fluid ounces of Don’s mix. Serve on the rocks in a larger-sized lowball glass or double old fashioned glass, with the ice used to shake the drink.

Caipirinha

Replace the rum with cachaça. Build in the lowball glass it will be served in. Rather than use lime juice, quarter a lime and muddle it with the sugar or syrup, prior to adding the cachaça. Add the cachaça, stir with ice, and serve.

El Presidente

Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

Stir all of the ingredients with ice in frozen mixing glass and strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Express and discard an orange peel and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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Mai Tai

Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

  • 2 fluid ounces of a gold or dark Jamaican rum or a blend of gold or dark Jamaican rums or a blend of one or more gold or dark Jamaican rums and an aged Martinican rhum agricole or a blend of one or more gold or dark Jamaican rums and a Martinican rhum grand arôme

    (recommended: 1∶1 blend of Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old of Jamaica and Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux of Martinique¹)

  • ½ fluid ounce of orange curaçao

    (pictured: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)

  • 1 fluid ounce of fresh lime juice

  • ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) of orgeat syrup

    (pictured: Liber & Co. Almond Orgeat)

  • ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) of demerara gum syrup

    (pictured: Liber & Co. Demerara Gum Syrup)

Shake all of the ingredients with ice (preferably crushed) and pour (without straining) into a larger-sized lowball glass or double old fashioned glass. Garnish with the shell of a juiced lime and a sprig of mint.

Floating ½ fluid ounce of a 151-proof Demerara rum is a popular addition to the Mai Tai. While not part of the original recipe, it can add even more flavor (and alcohol).

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Manhattan

Stir all of the ingredients with ice in frozen mixing glass and strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Perfect Manhattan

Replace the Italian vermouth with a 50∶50 mixture of Italian vermouth and French vermouth. Express and discard an orange peel and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Brooklyn

Replace the Italian vermouth with French vermouth. Instead of bitters, add ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) each of both maraschino liqueur and an Amer Picon substitute. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Rob Roy

Replace the rye with blended Scotch whisky and the Angostura bitters with orange bitters or Peychaud’s bitters. Express and discard a lemon or orange peel and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Waldorf

Add ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons, 12 dashes) of French absinthe. Instead of a cherry, garnish with a lemon twist or peel.

Sherman

The same as the Waldorf in additions and garnish, but replace the 2 dashes of Angostura bitters with 1 dash of Angostura bitters and 1 dash of orange bitters.

Brain-Duster

Similar to the Waldorf and the Sherman, but with more absinthe. Combine 1 fluid ounce each of rye, Italian vermouth, and French absinthe and add just 1 dash of Angostura bitters.

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Martini

Stir all of the ingredients with ice in frozen mixing glass and strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or an odd number of olives.

Perfect Martini

Add ½ fluid ounce of Italian vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist or an orange peel.

Vodka Martini

Switch the gin to vodka and increase to 2½ fluid ounces. Only use enough vermouth to wet the ice (pour ¼ fluid ounce over the ice and dump out the excess). Skip the bitters entirely. Shake with ice and double strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or preferably an odd number of olives.

Vesper

Reduce the gin to 1½ fluid ounces and add ½ fluid ounce of vodka. Instead of orange bitters and French vermouth, use ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) of a Kina Lillet substitute. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Martinez

This cocktail is not a riff on the Martini, it’s actually the missing link leading up to it. Instead of London dry, use Old Tom gin and reduce to 1 fluid ounce. Instead of French vermouth, use Italian, and up the amount to 2 fluid ounces. Replace the orange bitters with a Boker’s bitters substitute and add 1 teaspoon of maraschino liqueur. Garnish with a lemon twist or peel.

Negroni

Stir all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a lowball glass with a single large cube or sphere of ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Dry Negroni

The traditional Negroni is an easy to remember 1∶1∶1 ratio of ingredients and in a pinch, this can’t go wrong. However, it can sometimes taste too cloying. If this is the case, try reducing the Campari and vermouth each to ¾ fluid ounce.

Negroni Highball

Serve in a highball or collins glass and top with sparkling water or soda water in an approximate 1∶1 ratio, or to taste. May be garnished with an orange slice rather than a peel.

Americano

Skip the gin and serve in a highball or collins glass, topped with sparkling water or soda water. Garnish with a lemon peel. For a drier, less alcoholic drink, I prefer to substitute the Campari with Aperitivo Cappelletti.

French Negroni

Also known as a “white Negroni” or a “blond Negroni,” this drink swaps the red and brown Italian ingredients for transparent and straw-or-yellow-colored French ones. The Campari is substituted with a gentian apéritif such as Suze or Salers and the Italian vermouth is substituted with a vermouth blanc or any other blanc or bianco aromatized wine. I prefer Suze for this drink as it is sweeter and more Campari-like. It also makes the drink bright yellow, mirroring the bright red of the Negroni. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Américain

An Americano but with the ingredients of a French Negroni. I have no idea if anyone ever actually named this drink the way I have, but it’s quite good and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a pun. I prefer Salers over Suze for this drink, as it’s drier and less alcoholic.

Boulevardier

Replace the gin with 1½ fluid ounces of bourbon or rye.

“Old Pal”

Replace the gin with rye and the Italian vermouth with French vermouth.

Rosita

Replace the gin with 1½ fluid ounces of reposado tequila. Cut the Campari to ½ fluid ounce. Replace the Italian vermouth with a 50∶50 mixture of Italian vermouth and French vermouth. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Old Fashioned

If using sugar rather than syrup, muddle with the bitters and a splash of water, until dissolved. Stir all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a lowball glass with a single large cube or sphere of ice. May be mixed in the serving glass with the serving ice, for a less diluted drink. Garnish with an orange peel.

Improved Whiskey Cocktail

The “improved cocktail” is very open-ended in nature. It takes the above, and modifies it with various liqueurs, spirits, and bitters, traditionally ones that would have been popular in the late 19ᵗʰ century. Try adding any or all of the following: ⅛ teaspoon (1 dash) of absinthe, 1–1½ teaspoons of orange curaçao, or 1–1½ teaspoons of maraschino liqueur. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients as well, in the same vein.

Improved Mid-Century Old Fashioned

The mid-century Old Fashioned is infamous for including muddled neon cherries and orange slices, as well as topping the drink off with soda water. A better choice for a cherry-and-orange-flavored Old Fashioned would be to take cues from the “improved cocktail” formula. Add ¼ fluid ounce (1½ teaspoons) each of both maraschino liqueur and orange curaçao, and 1 dash of orange bitters. In addition to the orange peel, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Tiʼ Punch

Replace the whiskey with rhum agricole. Instead of bitters, cut a “coin” of peel from a lime and express into the lowball glass, dropping the lime coin in after. Add the syrup (sugar would be too hard to dissolve) and rhum, stir without ice (unless you really want to use a single large cube or sphere) and serve.

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Sazerac

Prepare the serving glass. Chill a lowball glass with ice. Do not freeze.

If using sugar rather than syrup, muddle with the bitters and a splash of water, until dissolved. Stir all of the ingredients, except the absinthe, with ice. Dump the ice from the prepared glass and rinse the glass with the absinthe. Then, dump the absinthe and strain the cocktail into the absinthe-rinsed glass. Express and discard a lemon peel.

Original Sazerac

Replace the rye with cognac or brandy.

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Sidecar

Make sure the lemon juice is well-strained. Shake all of the ingredients with ice and double strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

X. Y. Z.

This is a rum Sidecar as it appears in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). Replace the cognac with a Spanish-style light rum. Skip the garnish.

Outrigger

This is Beachbum Berry’s tikiesque take on the rum Sidecar. Replace the cognac with an aged Bajan rum. Serve in a sugar-rimmed frozen cocktail glass. Skip the garnish.

Whiskey Sour

If using sugar rather than syrup, muddle with the lemon juice until dissolved. Shake all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a lowball glass with fresh cubed ice. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Many sour recipes call for egg whites, however I have never enjoyed egg whites in cocktails.

Mark Twain

Replace the bourbon with blended Scotch whisky and include the Angostura bitters.

Zombie

Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

Shake all of the ingredients with ice. If making a single drink, pour (without straining) into a large glass that can hold about two regular sized drinks and top with ice as needed.

Otherwise, this recipe may be used for two lighter drinks; pour (without straining) into two larger-sized lowball glasses or double old fashioned glasses (this half-size drink is pictured above). Top with ice, as needed.

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

This drink would have originally been blended, however I shake blended tiki drinks instead.

Planter's Punch

Reduce the Jamaican rum to 1 fluid ounce and split 1∶1 between gold and dark. Reduce the Spanish-style gold rum to 1 fluid ounce, as well. Skip the overproof Demerara rum. Reduce the lime juice to ½ fluid ounce. Reduce the grenadine to ½ teaspoon, and drastically reduce the falernum to ½ teaspoon. Replace Don’s mix with demerara gum syrup and replace the dash of absinthe with an extra dash of Angostura bitters. Unlike the Zombie, this drink will be regular sized.

Test Pilot

Use a dark Jamaican rum. Replace the Spanish-style gold rum with a Spanish-style light rum and reduce to ¾ fluid ounce. Skip the overproof Demerara rum. Reduce the lime juice to ½ fluid ounce. Skip the Don’s mix and grenadine. Add ½ fluid ounce of Cointreau. Instead of mint, garnish with a maraschino cherry. Unlike the Zombie, this drink will be regular sized.

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