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How to make the classic Rusty Nail cocktail with Grant’s

This classic cocktail is a mix of Grant’s 12 Year Old whisky and Drambuie, garnished with a cinnamon stick, expertly served by our mixologist.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Classic Cocktails: Margarita – Art of the Drink 60

Classic Cocktails: Margarita - Art of the Drink 60

Leah returns to learn the classic recipe for a top-shelf Margarita!
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Cocktails: Classic Champagne Cocktail

Cocktails: Classic Champagne Cocktail

Cocking making demonstration by Soho House bartender Raffaele Brattoli. How to make a Champagne Cocktail.

Four Classic Tiki Cocktail Recipes

In the past few years there has been an amazing interest in Tiki bars and Tiki cocktails of yesteryear. Thoughts of Tiki culture may bring back memories of bartenders in colorful shirts from classic television programs or thatch-roof Tiki bars but whatever your memories of Tiki bars entail, these bars are making a comeback.

The good news is that it’s easy to make some of these popular Tiki cocktails at home, without any special equipment and with supplies found at your local store. What you will find with Tiki cocktails is that rum is normally the key ingredient and then it’s mixed with either a fruity or sour flavor and many are topped with fruit, a flower, or umbrella to add a little island flare.

Whether you are hosting a tiki party or just looking to mix up something a little different at happy hour, tiki cocktails offer a tropical twist to you or your guests. Beware the strength of these cocktails though – a couple of rum-loaded Zombies can leave the common man on the floor!

A number of popular Tiki cocktails are fun choices:

The Zombie

Named after its effect on the drinker, the Zombie was first served up in the 1930’s by the famous Donn Beach. It’s smooth, fruity taste can easily disguise the power of the alcohol contained in the Zombie. Ingredients in the Zombie can vary but one popular recipe includes: 1 ¼ oz of lemon juice, 1 oz of dark rum, ¾ oz orange juice, ½ oz of cherry brandy, ½ oz of rum, ½ oz of high-proof dark rum and 2 dashes of grenadine.

Mai Tai

Another popular Tiki drink by Donn Beach, the Mai Tai was another drink first served in the 1930’s. The word “maitai” translated from Tahitian to English means “good”, which is an appropriate name for the drink. One of the many Mai Tai recipe includes: 1 oz of Jamaican rum, 1 oz of Martinique rum, ½ oz of Orange Curacao, ½ oz of Orgeat syrup, ¼ oz of rock candy syrup, juice from 1 fresh lime. A sprig of fresh mint may be added as well.

Navy Grog

First made in the 1700’s by an admiral in the Royal Navy in Britain, this unique drink as stood the test of time. Many versions of the drink exist and one popular recipe includes: 1 oz of Grapefruit, 1 oz of Orange juice, ½ oz of Grand Marnier, 1 oz of Pineapple juice as well as ½ an oz of 3 types of rum; Light Rum, Gold Rum and Dark Rum.

151 Swizzle

Yet another drink popular in Tiki bars, first served up by Donn Beach after traveling to Montego Bay for inspiration. The 151 Swizzle can be made several different ways and one popular recipe for this interesting drink includes: ½ oz of sugar syrup, ½ oz fresh Lime juice, 1/8 tsp of Pernod, 1.5 oz of 151 Demerara rum, a dash of Angostura bitters and a dash of Ground nutmeg.

The above are just a few of these iconic drinks first served by the famous Don the Beachcomber in his famous Tiki bars. Many different variations have been invented and tweaked, but nothing beats the original drinks.

Mai Tai: Hawaii’s Classic Cocktail

You’ll truly know you’ve made it to Hawaii when drinking the tropical cocktail, the mai tai. Decorated with colorful fruits, umbrella, and orchid this concoction perfectly compliments your Hawaiian vacation. Though invented in California, it was destined to belong to Hawaii for it’s popularity in tiki bars and Tahitian name. Created with rum, lime, orange juice, and curacao liqueur, it’s available just about everywhere in Hawaii and beyond whether you’re at a luau, dinner cruise, or restaurant/bar.

Story has it that in Oakland, California, 1944, legendary bartender Trader Vic made a sweet concoction for his Tahitian friends and they yelled in reply “maita’i roa ae,” the Tahitian phrase meaning “the best, so good.” Trader Vic’s rival, Donn Beach, later claimed the notorious cocktail was invented in L.A., 1933, at the world’s first tiki bar, Don the Beachcomber. The restaurant chains still survive today each claiming to be the sole creator of the mai tai. Steadily rising in popularity in the 50’s and 60’s the mai tai was featured as Elvis’s drink of choice in the classic movie, Blue Hawaii. In the movie Elvis played a young surfer reluctant to be out of the army and working as a tour guide in Hawaii. His role in the 50’s film closely resembles my friends in Hawaii today.

Every year in Kona, Big Island, there is a Mai Tai festival put on by Don the Beachcomber and sponsored by Bacardi. In honor of this classic American cocktail, 22 bartenders compete for a ,000 prize for best drink. Ingredients used by these mixologists are of the finest quality with fresh-pressed juices, hand crafted syrups, and rimmed glasses like a margarita only with ginger sugar, ling hing mui, and coconut. The traditional garnishes of pineapples and umbrella were replaced with exotic islands fruits, sugar cane swizzle sticks, bamboo, orchids, and even palm trees made out of ginger sticks with mint leaves as fronds. Though its always a tough decision for the judges with all the uniquely made cocktails, in the end a more traditional mai tai usually wins the contest.

There are many variations of the mai tai from your two dollar happy hour drink to a top shelf made to perfection cocktail served in up-scale restaurants. After enjoying one of our scenic circle island tours, a lovely place to drink a classic signature mai tai is at the Mai Tai bar at the Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel has been serving mai tais for decades and has built a reputation as serving some of the best mai tais on the island. I particularly enjoy drinking a mai tai while watching the sunset after a great surf session. When I sip a mai tai with friends and family, I’m reminded of all the good times to come in my beautiful tropical home.

Classic Cocktails

It is fair to say with anything that the old ones are always the best. Take the great novels and movies that have stood the test of time for example; War & Peace and It’s a Wonderful Life, these will never stop being appreciated no matter how many years may pass. While new creations may come out boasting more colors and excitement, it is still the classics that stand apart from the modern rabble, boasting qualities that are timeless. This can also be said of cocktails.

The range and variety of cocktails is truly amazing, there is a never ending selection of new cocktails being created all the time which utilize new flavors and preparation methods. However, many of these new cocktails still owe their inception to the cocktails of history; the classics that will never be forgot and will never stop being enjoyed. If you are fancying a cocktail, then why not take a waltz in the past and try some classic cocktails. Here is a selection of three of the old greats that are as exciting and delicious as any of the new breed.

One cocktail that is obviously an old timer among the bar selection is an Old Fashioned, a classic bourbon based cocktail. This cocktail truly is one of the oldest there is, arguably the first drink to be referred to as a cocktail.  The first use of the specific name ‘Old Fashioned’ was recorded in the 1880s at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky.

To make this ancient concoction you will need 1 sugar cube, 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters, 3 oz bourbon, 2 orange slices, and maraschino cherries for garnishing. To prepare place the sugar cube at the bottom of an old-fashioned glass (named after the cocktail itself), saturate the cube with the bitters and add an orange slice. Muddle these ingredients, fill the glass with ice cubes, add the bourbon, stir well and garnish with another orange slice and maraschino cherry.  

The Tom Collins is the quintessential classic long drink. This drink was first recorded in writing in 1876 by ‘the father of American mixology’ Jerry Thomas in his book ‘The Bartender’s Guide.’ There are many variations on the old standard Tom Collins utilizing different spirits: a John Collins (bourbon), a Vodka Collins and a Juan Collins (tequila), to name but a few. But the classic standard gin Collins remains the popular favorite.

If you feel like enjoying a Tom Collins you will need 1 1/2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz sugar syrup, club soda, and maraschino cherries and lemon slices for garnish. To prepare first pour the gin, lemon juice, and sugar syrup in a Collins glass (another glass that derives its name from the classic cocktail that first utilized its design) with ice cubes and stir thoroughly. Top up with soda water and garnish with cherries and lemon slices.  

We now move across the Atlantic to France for the next classic cocktail on the list. The exact date of this cocktail’s conception is unclear, but it is believed to be shortly after the First World War in Paris where the Ritz Hotel claims the acclimation of giving birth to this classic. The first recipe for a Sidecar cocktail appeared in 1922 in Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

A Sidecar includes 1 1/2 oz Cognac (though the use of bourbon is traditional as well), 3/4 oz Cointreau, and 1/4 oz lemon juice. To prepare pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Why fix it if it is not broken? Next time you feel like a cocktail try one of these old greats and enjoy the taste of cocktail mixology’s history.

CDP Classic ads – Cinzano (1978 – 1983)

The late, and truly great Leonard Rossiter stars with Joan Collins in these four Cinzano commercials spanning the years 1978 to 1983. True classics. From the advertising agency Collett Dickenson Pearce (CDP)