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Classification of Mixed Drinks and Cocktails

Classification of Mixed Drinks and Cocktails

Cocktails Categories

Understanding of cocktail is still in the process of development let alone many of those drinks, which are considered to be a cocktail. Nowadays, almost every mixed drink is considered to be a cocktail including long drinks, which originally were high balls on the point of view of embedding technique. 

A true classic cocktail consisted of two or three components: the basic liquor, a modifier, aromatics and a flavor. A basic liquor in classic cocktail is 50% of all the drink or more. Besides, the volume of all the drink is 75-90 sm. Now all the mixed drinks are considered to be cocktails. 

Classification of cocktails on size and strength

There are the following types of cocktails in accordance with size and strength:

Hot drinks. They may be of any size and different strength. 

Long drinks. Contains from 16 to 30 cl.

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Have a Drink Between the Sheets

Have a Drink Between the Sheets

After a few days break drinking whisky and wine it was time to get back to the world of cocktails, specifically cocktails with dirty names. The bartenders at my local are now used to this theme and are beginning to get into it, this time they suggested a ‘Between the Sheets’ cocktail (quite a mild name compared to others).

First off, the cocktail is made with white rum, Cointreau, lemon juice and cognac. I think the bartenders also know my taste as I really enjoyed it. Obviously it was very citrusy but the rum and brandy gave it a pretty good (and tasty) kick. It’s a fairly strong cocktail, but drinking a few of them won’t knock you out so it was definitely possible to enjoy two without worrying about the after effects.

Most articles I’ve read on Between the Sheets suggest that it dates from Prohibition. One article put forward the theory that as alcohol was so scarce during Prohibition, they not only liked to make fairly strong cocktails so that you could get drunk on less, but they also liked to give them smutty names as at that time alcohol was already considered morally degenerate.

However, some people believe that Between the Sheets was first created by a bartender called Harry MacElhone at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1930s. Obviously it can’t be both a product of Prohibition and originate in 1930s Paris but either way the evidence suggest the drink became popular very quickly.   The fact that Between the Sheets turns up in bartenders’ guides dating from the era suggests that it was considered a standard that all bartenders should know how to make.  

While the cocktail did fall out of favour for a while, it has enjoyed a resurge in popularity along with cocktail culture in general and has regained its status as a drink that most bartenders should know how to make. 

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Go Have a Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall

Go Have a Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall

I was telling a friend of mine about this blog and my theme of cocktails with vaguely (or explicitly) dirty names. He asked me if I’d written about the ‘Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall’ and I thought, perfect.

I immediately set off to the pub where I was promptly given a history lesson about this cocktail. It turns out that it’s essentially a variation on a Screwdriver (orange juice and vodka in a highball). What’s nice about the ‘Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall’ is that the name tells you how to make it. It consists of one part sloe gin, one part Southern Comfort, one part Galliano and then topped up with orange juice.

The ‘Wall’ part of the name isn’t so obvious; it actually comes from a reference to another cocktail, the Harvey Wallbanger which is made with Galliano, vodka and orange juice. The ‘Screw’ comes from Screwdriver and the Screwdriver got its name because American engineers would surreptitiously add vodka to small cans of orange juice and stir it with their screwdrivers.

There you go, now you’ll never forget how to make one. As for the taste, I thought it was very nice. When I was younger I used to love Southern Comfort but at some point, I began to find it far too sweet and while this was definitely a fairly sweet cocktail, I found that the gin and the Galliano stopped it from becoming too sweet.

There are a huge amount of variations on this drink, each one with its own appropriate name. For instance you can have a ‘Sloe Comfortable Screw Between the Sheets’ which contains vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, rum, brandy and orange juice or there is the ‘Sloe Comfortable Mexican Screw Against the Wall’ which contains vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, tequila and orange juice. 

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The Origin of Cocktails

The Origin of Cocktails

Having returned from holiday I thought it’s about time I got on with my cocktail education, especially since there is 1 + 1 available on cocktails every night in the pub opposite my flat.

However, first I thought it prudent to do some research into the history of cocktails, and in particular where the term ‘cocktail’ originated. Apparently the term cocktail was first used in relation to drinks in The Morning Post and Gazetteer in London on March 20, 1798. However, the Oxford English Dictionary claims that the term originated in the US and was first used in relation to drinks in The Farmer’s Cabinet on April 29, 1803, “Drank a glass of cocktail – excellent for the head… Call’d at the Doct’s. found Burnham – he looked very wise – drank another glass of cocktail.”

It wasn’t until May 13, 1806 that the term was definitely used in relation to an alcoholic drink. In The Balance and Columbian Repository the editor Harry Croswell answered the question “What is a cocktail?” saying that it is “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.”

Over the next sixty years cocktails continued to develop and in 1862 a bartenders’ guide included recipes for ten different mixed drinks referred to as cocktails. At this point a key ingredient which differentiated cocktails from other drinks was the use of bitters (Jagermeister, Campari, Pimms etc…). Today there are a number of cocktails that fit with this definition, such as the Old Fashioned, the Sazerac and the Manhattan.

Later still, in the 1890s, the term highball started to be used to refer to drinks composed of only a distilled spirit and a mixer. Unsurprisingly they were served in high glasses and contained far more mixer than spirit.

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Cocktails - A beginners guide to Mojito

Cocktails - A beginners guide to Mojito

A friend of mine recently asked if I’d write something about cocktails on this blog, the only problem is, I know next to nothing about cocktails. However, a couple of nights ago at my local they were running a 1 + 1 offer on cocktails so I thought it would be a great opportunity to start exploring the world of mixed drinks.

Not knowing what to order I just went with my girlfriend’s favourite, a Mojito. My first thought upon its arrival was, “it’s a salad in a glass” (maybe I should have ordered a Bloody Mary), nonetheless I resolved myself to staying open minded and giving it a try.

For those who have no idea what goes in a Mojito, in its most traditional form it’s a mixture of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. It’s not the strongest of drinks, apparently only around 10% abv, and the idea is that the sweetness and citrus flavours help to counteract the kick of the rum.

I took my first sip of the drink, and I have to say it wasn’t unpleasant. It was certainly much sweeter than anything I’d normally drink, but on a warm summer evening it was extremely refreshing. I definitely enjoyed the taste of the rum and citrus mix and the mint left a nice aftertaste. The only problem I really had was that it didn’t feel like I was having a ‘drink’. Maybe next time I should ask for it to be made slightly stronger so that it leans more towards an alcoholic drink and not something which was extremely close to mint lemonade (however, I do realise this is kind of the point).

So, after drinking my first cocktail while I don’t think it will ever rival a nice, or even average, single malt, perhaps at next week’s 1 + 1 night I’ll try another and possibly find something more suited to my taste.  

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Top Cocktails for Your Valentine’s Dinner Party

Top Cocktails for Your Valentine’s Dinner Party

St. Valentine’s Day is upon us and I am certainly thinking of surprising my better half with a dinner party. My wife normally does all the cooking and the preparations for parties herself; however, this year I want to show her that she can just sit back and relax and enjoy the meal and the cocktails. I have decided to invite some of our closest friends to celebrate with us and surprise my wife. So I need to prepare cocktails and dips to get everybody in a celebration mood. I have opened my cocktail books and have chosen to make margaritas and tequila shots for my guacamole dips. I would also have different white and red wines prepared just in case somebody decides they don’t want to go crazy on the cocktails and shots.

The guacamole dip is one of my favorites as it is easy to make and goes very well with margaritas and tequila which are a favorite party mood setter. I prepare my margaritas using a classic recipe and mix the ingredients in a shaker. I use 40 ml tequila, 40 ml lime juice and 20 ml orange liquor Cointreau. I put everything in the shaker, start shaking hard and then sieve the liquid in a glass that I have prepared beforehand by covering its edge with lime juice and salt. For the decoration I use a slice of lime.

Whilst I was tasting my delicious margarita in order to make sure it had all blended well, I decided to do some innovative and surprise my guests and wife with a cocktail that has the guacamole and margarita in it. Yes that is right, I have decided to mix the dip and the cocktail together and make a Guacarita. You may think I have lost my mind or had too many margaritas but if you try this recipe you will surely make everybody talk about your party. I will probably need to persuade my guests and my dear wife a little to give this cocktail a try but I am sure they will love it just as I do. Don’t be discouraged if a few decide not to go for second round on the Guacarita. People have different tastes, don’t forget. Here is what you will need if you decide to follow my crazy idea. It only takes 5 min so you wouldn’t be wasting any time and if people love it you will quickly make more.

I use Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco approx. 2 ounces, half a skinned avocado, half an ounce of fresh lime juice, ¼ ounce of agave nectar, four cilantro leaves and one cup of ice. Again the blender is the main instrument here as it just blends the above ingredients nicely. I blend for around 10 seconds and then pour into margarita glasses. I decorate with one short cilantro sprig.

Since Valentine’s Day is not far away, I am preparing these cocktails beforehand so my wife can try them and give me her honest opinion if she thinks I should be serving them especially my Guacarita.

 For other great and delicious guacamole recipes, please check out Femina's website (also known in Danish as guacamole opskrift fra Femina).

 

 

 

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Coffee Cocktails for an extra Kick

Coffee Cocktails for an extra Kick

We love coffee. We love cocktails. We love the two, together – so what more perfect than to talk about on a Wintry day than coffee cocktails, perfect for a night in or out and that give an extra kick to the evening’s proceedings.

Coffee, Cream, and all things In-between

Mixing coffee and cream is always a winner, but what about coffee, cream and a splash of rum. Serve hot over crushed ice and top with chocolate dust to truly make it the cream of the coffee crop!

Coffee & Stout

An eclectic mix, coffee and stout gives a firm taste to two very well loved drinks. Of course, you don’t only have to mix the two; why not add a variety of flavours depending on your mood. For a sweet touch, a contratto would give a sparkling edge. For something more traditional, a splash of almond essence would work well. The possibilities are endless!

Coffee in a Wine Glass

Coffee, rum, lime and ginger beer, finely mixed with crushed ice and then decanted into a wine glass. Need we say more!?

Hot n Cold Coffee

Hot coffee, cold ice cream and 2 shots of amaretto and amaro. Add the alcohol to the fresh brew coffee, mix, and pour over the ice cream. You can serve this either in a wine glass or tumbler for a sophisticated cocktail, or in a dish for more of a fun dessert to end your meal. The choice is yours!

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Hosting the best cocktail party

Hosting the best cocktail party

A cocktail is a great way to host your guests without necessarily spending a lot of time preparing food in large quantities. Whether it is a birthday celebration or just a simple get together party, you can make the event a memorable one by serving an amazing drink. No doubt, making the best cocktail drink is not very easy. Serving it in an effective manner is also quite a challenge.

Here are some tips you need to remember when deciding that your guests will be served a cocktail:

  1. A few simple ingredients can make a classic cocktail. You do not have to worry about stocking up on lots of ingredients if you are strapped for time or money. Bourbon, vodka and gin are some ingredients that you may not wish to do without. Having a variety of mixers will ensure your guests that they have a wide range of simple drinks to choose from. Such mixers as lime juice, cranberry juice, club soda or sour mix will come in handy and your guests can have a lot to sample. Ensure to have enough ice as this will be necessary for chilling.
  2. Have the right glasses and garnishes for the cocktail. The focus of the party will be on the drinks you are serving. This means that you will need to add a bit more of effort in serving it. Choose glasses that complement the kind of drinks you will be serving. At the same time, you need to find unique ways of garnishing your drinks. The added visual impact will elevate your guests’ desire to savour each and every serving. Do not forget that spiking cherries, for example, is a simple yet effective way to garnish as well.
  3. Add a bit of food that complements the cocktail you will be serving. You will not need to serve heavy foods as the party is ideally a cocktail one. Simple bites like sandwiches, nuts, pita crisps and several other light appetizers will come in handy being served alongside the cocktail.
  4. In every party, there are activities organised to keep guests occupied and entertained. When planning a cocktail party, you need to be sure that the activities you have slotted in will be those which complement the cocktails to be served. Many people find that such activities like pool and hula contests add a lot of fun to cocktail parties. Sometimes, coming up with an ideal theme that blends well with the cocktails you have prepared will add to the allure of the occasion. Hence, you may decorate the venue highlighting the colours that your drinks will have.

Having an effective cocktail event will usually depend on your general creativity when it comes to such things as mixing ingredients up and serving the drink. When you pay attention to all the little things that matter in a party, you will be able to get it just fine. Sometimes, keeping everything simple will add a sense of style and preparing and serving cocktails is not much different.

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Some tips to serve your cocktail in an enchanting way

Having a cocktail in your party is indeed a fantastic idea that will add to the magic of the day. There are a dozen kinds of cocktail recipes that one could try out depending of course on a number of things; one of these has to be what will suit the majority of your guests. Hence, cocktails are hard to miss at many occasions. It is important to note that way you choose to serve your drink will also determine how much your guests enjoy it. After mixing your ingredients following the right directions and ingredient proportions, you need not go wrong in the presentation of the drink

Below are some tips that will help you to serve the cocktail with a bit of style:

  1. Know which glass type will work best for your kind of drink. For example, there are martini, wine, pint and shot glasses as well as champagne flutes. You cannot serve your drink in just any glass. Some of the most common glasses used to serve cocktails are highball glasses. The right kind of glass will give your guests the full experience of sampling your cocktail.
  2. Add tiny bits of ingredients into the cocktail for that extra touch of class. For example, cherries, small pieces of appropriate vegetables, fruit wedges or even dried fruit will not only add to the taste of the cocktail but will give it a visual appeal as well. Be sure though that these additions will not ruin the taste that the cocktail ought to have. You can use toothpicks or cocktail swords to spike these kinds of garnishes.
  3. Know the best dressing for your cocktail. There are many ideas that you can try out to decorate your cocktail presentation. Small umbrellas and mini flags as well as stirrers are some of the ingredients you can use to get the perfect garnish. This will add immense meaning to the general feeling elicited in guests once you begin to serve your drink.
  4. It is usually classy to provide napkins to your guests when you serve them with these drinks. You ought to choose napkins whose colour will match that of your cocktail. You can even choose to use a bit of design on the napkins to give them the extra visual appeal.
  5. Ensure to serve the cocktail warm or chilled depending on what it is made of. Inappropriate temperatures may damn the taste of such a drink. For example, cocktails that ought to be served cold need to be chilled. Preparing the glass by chilling it or warming it as may be appropriate is also advised.

You need to pay a lot of attention to the manner in which you serve the drink. Your guests need to get a feeling of fantasy simply in the presentation of the drink. Learning about the garnishes to use as well as the best glass type will help you appeal to your visitors’ sense of taste and vision.

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Some Tips for Making a Perfect Cocktail for any Occasion

Some Tips for Making a Perfect Cocktail for any Occasion

A cocktail is a useful and important addition in several party circumstances. When you have the right cocktail mix for your guests, no doubt some people will ask you to share with them the ingredients to your wonder drink.

Hence, for any occasion where a unique drink will be necessary, here are some tips that you need to consider for the perfect cocktail mix:

Measure your ingredients... always

Ultimately, the taste of the drink will be determined by the combinations you have used in it. This means that you need not spare any length in ensuring that you have just the perfect combination of all ingredients. Failure to measure well may result in a cocktail without that unique taste. It might seem a little time consuming task to measure all ingredients. However, the results of measuring will be seen in the specific taste that you give the drink.

Use fresh ingredients for a tastier cocktail

When you are making a cocktail, what features first and foremost as your priority is its taste and the effect it will have on your guests. In this regard, you need to seriously consider using the freshest ingredient ever. When you are using juices especially, go for fresh rather than canned. Getting the juice fresh from a lemon or orange is a lot better compared to using the packaged juices which may not have that unique, fresh taste. Do not forget the additives used in juices which are not fresh as they will have an influence on the overall taste of your drink.

Use the correct glass for your cocktail

If you are serving the drink cold, the glass should advance this as well. Chilled glasses will work perfectly with a cold cocktail. It need not take a lot of time to have the glass ready for a chilled drink. A minute or less in the freezer or pouring cold water to them will help keep the drink colder for longer. At the same time, in the event that your drink will be served warm, try pouring warm water inside the glass before you serve the cocktail.

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Have a Night Out at Home!

Have a Night Out at Home!
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If you're anything like me, you'll be most in your element when sat in a classy, trendy bar with super-cool bartenders brimming over with knowledge, and a cocktail list enticing you with every ingredient. I love to while away the hours absorbing their knowledge and pinching any tips and ideas that they'll share. However, the problem arises when reality sinks in that my career sadly doesn't support the lavish lifestyle that my heart and tastebuds crave! Like any normal woman, I refuse to fight my cravings; what my body wants, it must definitely need, and so that's when I began starting my Night Out, In soirees!


A night in doesn't have to consist of beer, wines, and the odd spirit and mixer, nor does it need to break the bank! My advice is to pick three drink recipes (I added a little shot to this night in), try to use a base spirit that is already in the house, or one you can use across the three drinks, and then all you need to buy are the extra flavours to mix up a storm! Your guests will be amazed by your efforts, there won't be any wine or beer to make them sluggish and sleepy, and you'll be booking your next Night Out, In before you know it!

Some of you may be lucky enough to live in the US where flavoured spirits are, as readily available as fish and chips are to England. Unfortunately, I live in the UK, and flavours are few and far between in comparison. After seeing some cocktails on DrinkedIn which included Birthday Cake Vodka, I was desperate not to miss out, and so began infusing my own rum and vodka concoctions.

I started out with just a small test sample.......hah! Yeah, right! I created nine different infusions from sweet candy flavours such as Drumsticks and Toasted Marshmallow, to natural fruit infusions including Vanilla and Blueberries. I am still getting through each of these infusions and slowly adding the drink recipes to my blog (https://infusapalooza.blogspot.com), but here's how our first Night Out, In  went......

First of all, we got the party started in style with some shooters! I graduated over 5yrs ago now, so shots of any form have to be tasty enough to hold my attention, but I still want to stand up at the end of it (Oh, how I've matured!).

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Signature Wedding Cocktails – A Hot Trend

Signature Wedding Cocktails – A Hot Trend
Chocolate Martini

These days almost every ounce of planning takes a front seat when it comes to weddings, and that often includes the bar menu itself. Many couples are choosing to serve a signature cocktail alongside the beer, wine, champagne, and other choices. In fact, some are serving them exclusively to save some cash in the long run. It may be the perfect idea for your wedding, too.

What Do I Choose?

Most couples take a quick inventory of their own preferences before deciding what to serve. You may want to think about your favorite ingredients in mixed drinks. You may also want to think about the items you certainly don’t want in a drink. Review your relationship briefly to see if there’s a certain type of cocktail the two of you love to drink together. Think, too, about your wedding plans. Is there a certain color scheme you’re looking to fulfill with your plans. If so, choose a cocktail that fits in with your theme and/or color scheme.  In addition, you may want to decide if you plan to come up with your own cocktail or go with an existing one.  Also, you should consider sending your guests home with a little something like a cocktail party favor that is personalized with your names and wedding date for that extra special touch. 

A Little Help Here?

Like the idea of signature wedding cocktails, but you’re not exactly sure what you should serve? Here are a few ideas that might help you get started:

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Martini de Luxe

Martini de Luxe

  • 1 part Lillet Vermouth
  • 7 parts imported English gin
  • twist a lemon peel
  • serve with an olive (or an onion for a gibson)

Ideally, you should have the English gin flown in on a corporate jet. That recipe comes from David Embury who, in 1948, wrote the book on cocktails, titled The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.  Proportions vary.  A few are higher.  Most are lower, usually 2 to 1, sometimes going as far as equal parts gin and vermouth.  I would liken this to saying that food should have an equal portion of salt.  The vermouth is an accent, to taste, and to mask the flavor of inferior gin.  A more extreme view (one that I hold) could be that good quality liquor should take no garnish whatsoever.  This radicalism wins no friends. 

Vodka

David Embury doesn’t address the recent phenomenon known first as a vodka martini that then took on such prominence that a true martini is sometimes called by the retronym of gin martini.  Vodka's presence in an aromatic cocktail is questionable bordering on reprehensible.  It is nearly a neutral grain spirit and hardly appropriate as a base liquor.  The addition of olive brine to make a martini “dirty” is another modern fashion that is contrary to the vodka trend.  Replacing gin with vodka makes the drink blander and the addition of brine returns a sharp vegetable flavor.  A dirty vodka martini must have been invented by a schizophrenic.

Vermouth

Lillet is a French tonic wine not strictly vermouth in modern parlance.  French vermouth (bianco) is less sweet than Italian red vermouth (rosso) and is the ingredient in a dry martini.  A sweet martini featuring rosso is appropriate to a quirky, slightly fey character.  Some split the difference with a “perfect martini” consisting of half French and half Italian vermouth.  It’s a wishy-washy solution that satisfies neither taste.  A dry martini is the classic version.  H.L. Mencken considers a martini to be the American rival to the sonnet as a creation of clarity and elegance.  He was surely thinking of a dry martini in relation to the Shakespearean sonnet.  A sweet martini would be the slightly exotic Petracrhan sonnet.

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