The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I know that my long hiatus has left many of you longing for the early days of June when new recipes were coming out with some regularity. Well fear not, after a short recess for extensive “research,” I have the first tequila based cocktail to wet your whistle!

While many of the cocktails featured here have been rich in history, this one is a little hard to pin down. While the story does not have the cachet of most, it is a cocktail well worth enjoying. The best I have been able to come up with is it was deduced in the late eighties or early nineties (yes, nineteen, not eighteen) by a bartender/writer. The references I have found are all circular between three cocktail writers. One wrote about it and forgot about it until he read about it from another writer, the first writer then asked a third writer about it who told him the he (the first writer) had written it; or something along those lines, there are too many pronouns in this sentence for even me to follow, so let’s all just agree to move on to the best part, the drink!

I think I may be falling into a rut here as the supporting cast for this drink has become very familiar, in the coming weeks we’ll be breaking out of this shell and delving into brave new worlds. For the time being though, Campari, vermouth and bitters are here to stay. In an old fashioned glass full of ice, start with an ounce and a half of your favorite anejo tequila, I like Patron’s mild flavor for this drink. Add ½ ounce each of sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and Campari. A dash (or two) of Angostura bitters rounds out the ensemble. Stir well and garnish with a lime twist. Turn on your favorite Mariachi music and be prepared to sing along and dance til dawn!

1 ½ oz anejo tequila
½ oz campari
½ oz sweet vermouth
½ oz dry vermouth
dash of angostura bitters
Build this cocktail in an ice filled old fashioned glass and garnish with a lime twist.

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