On its surface, our Key Lime Pie cocktail may seem like just another sugary sweet riff on the martini – but we sidestep those conventions with a secret ingredient: Licor 43. This ancient Spanish liqueur is made from citrus fruits, flavored with vanilla, and infused with a total of 43 aromatic herbs and spices.
The result is a dessert drink that is complex, robust, and a little more refined than your typical lemon drop cocktail.
While the traditional gin martini has been around since the early days of mixology, the flavored martinis you see at bars everywhere is actually a very recent development.
The flavored vodka martini hit its stride in the 1990s in trendy New York cocktail bars – but it wasn’t until the smash television hit “Sex and the City” that drinks like the Cosmopolitan and the Appletini really hit the mainstream in a big way.
This sweet cocktail is a deceptively potent mix of brandy, chocolate liqueur, and some sort of dairy – cream, in this case. It’s a tasty, dangerous combination.
Legend has it, the first time John Lennon was introduced to the Brandy Alexander, he was kicked out of the iconic Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles for drunkenly heckling the performers on stage. It’s now widely accepted that the Brandy Alexander is Lennon’s favorite drink.
The Fig & Maple is a twist on the classic Old-Fashioned cocktail. Maple syrup replaces simple syrup for a complex flavor boost, while the fig puree provides a more delicate take on bitters.
The result is a drink that’s essentially liquid pancakes – and you can’t go wrong with that.
The mimosa, the classic brunch drink, was said to be invented in 1925 in France at the Hotel Ritz Paris. While the origins of the name are unclear, it is very likely named after the yellow acacia flowers of the same name.
A mimosa is actually defined as one part champagne and one part orange juice. Double the amount of champagne, and it’s technically a cocktail known as a Buck’s Fizz – a drink purportedly invented as an excuse to begin drinking early.
The Bloody Mary is a classic brunch drink because it’s known as a popular “hair of the dog” drink – but where did that term even come from?
The term is actually short for “hair of the dog that bit you” and initially referred to an old Scottish belief that if bit by a rabid dog, a few hairs from said dog applied to the wound would prevent “evil consequences.” As is Scottish tradition, it was then applied to alcohol consumption metaphorically – some of “the drink” the morning after will cure what ails you from the previous night of hard partying.
While we can’t say for sure whether it actually works, it’s definitely a tasty way to keep the party going.
The Irish Elixir is a variant of the standard “shot & a beer” pairing. It may be known by another name elsewhere, but given the cultural insensitivity of the established name, we’ve opted for an alternate handle.
As for how to drink it? Some say the best way is to drop the shot into the beer and drink quickly, but we’re not too fond of the taste and texture of curdled cream. Others swear by a one-shot chug followed by a stout chaser. More recently, patrons have gone the way of sipping each little by little, savoring the shot and the beer in succession.
However you drink it, there’s no doubt it’ll be delicious. Bottom’s up!
This tasty drink is an updated version of the traditional daiquiri, a simple cocktail made with rum, sugar, and citrus juice. We amp up that formula with spiced rum, cinnamon sugar, and the addition of triple sec, an orange liqueur.
It’s everything you love about a daiquiri, updated for those looking for more.
The Border Crossing is a San Diego slant on the traditional Bramble cocktail. This drink is a gin-based one with lemon and creme de mure, a liqueur made with blackberries – hence the name.
We substitute the gin for an aged tequila, a San Diego treat, and we add mint to complement the agave flavors from the spicy south-of-the-border spirit. Personally, we prefer this to the original, but don’t take our word for it.
In order to innovate, mixologists and bartenders tend to look to the past for inspiration. One of the most recent uncoverings has been the shrub, a sweetened syrup usually infused with fruits, herbs, and spices.
While the syrup is what modern spirits-slingers use, a shrub can also refer to a fruit liqueur popular in 17th century England, essentially a rum or brandy mixed with sugar and fruit elements. Think of it as a pre-Colonial version of the flavored stuff you drank in the college days.
So why the name “shrub,” especially in the modern day? Well, consider the alternate name: “drinking vinegar.” …Yeah, I think we’ll stick with “shrub.”
While the whiskey craze is in full swing in the US, gin isn’t far behind, especially in the modern cocktail scene. Once thought to be a posh, old-fashioned spirit reserved for old ladies, gin has been making a quiet surge, due to its incredible versatility in cocktails.
When was the last time you’ve seen anyone actually drink gin straight? Even the distillers will tell you that gin was meant for cocktails, mixed with other products to make a greater sum of its parts. Gin is as delicate as it is versatile; even a hint of tonic, or a touch of lemon peel can enhance the original spirit incredibly well.
The Best of Times is an ode to the versatility and endlessly complementary traits of the juniper-based spirit.
The Sunsetter is our tiki-enhanced tribute to the Tequila Sunrise, a potent drink made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, a pomegranate syrup.
Our version uses mezcal, tequila’s smoky big brother, and adds orgeat, a French almond syrup famously part of the tiki signature, the Mai Tai. Add some lime and pineapple, and you have a cocktail that satisfies tequila lovers and quenches tropical thirsts alike.
One look at the word “oleo saccharum” would have you thinking it’s one of those ultra-scientific ingredients used in molecular gastronomy to make weird foams or gelatins. However, it’s a fairly old ingredient dating back to the 19th century, used for punches and cocktails back in the day.
Literally translated to “oily sugar,” oleo saccharum is a syrup made with lemon peels and sugar. A large volume of lemon peel is sprinkled with white sugar, muddled well, and left to sit for half an hour or so. At that point, the oils are slowly expressed, dissolving the sugars to create a concentrated elixir of citrusy goodness.
This concoction lends incredible aroma and essence to any drink – it’s an instant kick of refreshment in a cocktail.
The Grace Under Pressure takes heavy inspiration from the Boulevardier, a classic whiskey cocktail – which also takes inspiration itself from the gin-based Negroni.
Our drink uses Barolo Chinato instead of Campari. Although both are Italian digestifs, after-dinner drinks to aid with digestion, Barolo has a complex herbal profile built on a backbone of fine Italian red wine. Additionally, we also make a pitstop in New Orleans with the addition of flamed absinthe for even more of that herbal kick.
The result is a Boulevardier with the class (and flavor) turned up to 11.
The classic shot and a beer, otherwise known as a “boilermaker,” is the drink of the working man. Named precisely for the workers who built, maintained, and repaired locomotive engines in the 1800s, it was a classic way to get the edge off after a hard 12-hour shift at the train yard.
Nowadays, it doesn’t take a hard day’s work on the railroad to appreciate the instant stress relief of a shot of whiskey and a cold beer.
Classic in every sense of the word, this is the drink that’s synonymous with “cocktail.” While variations and origins are often fiercely disputed, the base ingredients are always the same: whiskey (bourbon or rye), sugar, bitters, ice.
This drink is so ingrained in American history that cranky old timers displeased with newer, sexier cocktails were reminiscing about them in letters to the New York Times – in the 1930s.
No cocktail gets as little respect as perhaps the Whiskey Sour. Bastardized into an artificial, high-fructose corn syrup-laden mess best reserved for wedding bars and Vegas card tables, the sour gets no love for its impact on cocktail history.
The whiskey sour is the original sour, an exceedingly simple cocktail that was the forefather of most “sour” drinks you see today. The whiskey sour paved the way for the daiquiri, the margarita, the rickey – anything that actually had citrus juice in the original recipe.
Unfortunately, those have all been misappropriated into sugary, slushy drinks as well. A damn shame, if you ask us.
Though the Old-Fashioned is considered the “original” cocktail, some say that the actual word “cocktail” has origins with the Sazerac. Legend has it that in 1838, the word “cocktail” was derived from “coquetier,” a double-ended measuring cup used by Antoine Amedie Peychaud, New Orleans apothecary owner and inventor of the now-famous Peychaud’s bitters, to craft toddies for his good buddies.
The Sazerac was born in the 19th century as the world’s first branded cocktail, using Sazerac brandy and Peychaud’s bitters. Eventually the brandy was replaced with rye whiskey, a dash of absinthe was added to the mix, and a modern American classic was born.
The Boulevardier was the brainchild of two expats in the 1920s: wealthy socialite Erksine Gwynne and Parisian barkeep Harry McElhone. Named after Gwynne’s monthly magazine, The Boulevardier, the drink is the epitome of dark, smooth balance.
While Gwynne preferred an equal balance of all ingredients across the board, with one parts of all three spirits, modern recipes call for a more whiskey-heavy base, with 2 parts of rye to 1 part of Campari and sweet vermouth.
The Last Word’s origins date back to the Prohibition era, in the cozy little town of Detroit, Michigan. It was invented and developed at the Detroit Athletic Club, and sold for a whopping 35 cents – the establishment’s most expensive cocktail at the time by far.
The cocktail was unfortunately quickly forgotten during World War II, presumably due to the sudden scarcity of the fairly exotic ingredients – but celebrates a recent resurgence thanks to legendary Seattle mixology Murray Stenson. Rediscovered by Stenson in 2004, the Last Word is now appreciated in bars across the nation as a light, refreshing cocktail with surprising complexity.
Unlike the Mai Tai, the Singapore Sling has geniune origins in its namesake. The cocktail was born at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore sometime before 1915, and quickly grew to be their signature drink.
While the original recipe was thought to be lost, a committee of former Raffles employees got together and formulated their next best guess, based on the flavors of days past. Our Sling employs that new, improved “modified” recipe, using uncommon ingredients like gin, benedictine (an herbal liqueur made by monks), and Cherry Heering (a cherry brandy) to create an endlessly refreshing cocktail.
The Mai Tai is the quintessential tiki drink, but its roots in Polynesian culture are…questionable at best. The potent beverage is traditionally made with Caribbean rum, French almond syrup, and an orange liqueur with Caribbean and Portuguese origins.
It was purportedly invented by either Donn Beach (of Don the Beachcomber) or Victor Bergeron (of Trader Vic’s) – a Texan and a San Franciscan, respectively, who created two separate chains of restaurants, each a bizarre medley of islander cultures and customs.
Cultural appropriation has never tasted so good.
The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular cocktails of this century, a product of 1941 resulting from overstock of ginger beer and vodka, both of which were unpopular at the time. As the bartender of the famed Cock n’ Bull Restaurant put it, “I was trying to get rid of a lot of dead stock.”
As for the copper mugs? Same story: a friend had amassed an inventory of copper mugs that needed to be unloaded, and the newfangled Moscow mule needed a novel selling point.
And while copper mugs are still used to this day because some say they enhance the flavors of a mule, they’re a thorn in the side of any and all restaurants who use them – thanks to rampant stealing of the copper receptacles.
In other words, don’t steal our mugs. Please.