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Old-school drinks...what do you remember?

Now-a-days it's all about the fruit-infused, muddled this-n-that, specialty cocktail (or what some people refer to as "martinis", glorified cocktails shaken and strained into a martini glass...yet they are still only cocktails)...

I want to remember (and bring back) those old-time standards:

The Side Car
The Rob Roy
The Stinger

Just to name a few...what can you remember (and do you know the ingredients?!?!)

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  1. Make mine a Manhattan any day. Extra dry. I like it with Woodfords Reserve.

    15 Replies
    1. re: sgwood415

      Extra dry? Can you tell us your recipe?

      I got a hankering for Manhattans last week.
      2 shots Evan Williams 10 year old
      1 shot Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth
      2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
      served over plenty of large ice cubes for a long sippin' drink

      1. re: AreBe

        I don't make them myself, but I prefer it with less Vermouth so I get more of the pure bourbon flavor. Served up.

        1. re: AreBe

          I was a bartender in my youth here in Toronto and we always made Manhattans with Canadian whiskey. I had no idea it was supposed to be bourbon. Ooops.

          1. re: crawfish

            Well, it's up for debate. The Manhattan was started during prohibition, meaning that in a lot of places it was probably made with Canadian Rye, so if you are making it with Canadian Rye whiskey you are probably old-school still :)

            1. re: jpschust

              My research says:
              Manhattan Whiskey & Vermouth, cherry.
              Originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

              1. re: 2top

                Interesting, the items I was reading were saying it wasn't coming about until a bit later than that, but that could very well be. Even so, it would be highly likely that the whiskey would be coming from Canada not just from the manhattan club as a lot of the NY whiskeys were coming from Canada due to proximity.

                Side note- anyone tried the Hudson Baby Bourbon yet?

              2. re: jpschust

                Infinitely superior with Rye as opposed to Bourbon whiskey. That's my old school drink of choice.

              3. re: crawfish

                I have to join you--I have always made Manhattans with Whiskey-Canadian or Irish(my personal favorite)...Manhattan-isn't that a Rob Roy, lose the scotch-add whiskey-theres your Manhattan

                1. re: MareyZ

                  Back in the early to mid 1800's when the Manhattan was invented it was made with Rye, and only Rye. Any other spirit used since then is a substitution for the original recipe. In my opinion it tastes best when made with Rye as well. Rittenhouse Rye, Sazerac Rye, Old Overholt Rye... Mmmmm, tasty!

                  1. re: JMF

                    ther are some really great ryes on the market these days.Van Winkle reserve (13 y/o)is my top one, but Old Potrereo is also terrific and Wild turkey now makes a very nice one as does jim beam. I like to make my manhattans with dry vermouth.(5 to 1) I like Vya and a dash of Stirrings or Fee Brothers Orange bitters shaken and seved up with an olive or 2. I also will on occasion use half and half dry and sweet vermouth and garnish with an amarena cherry.

                    1. re: chazzerking

                      Nice...
                      I also love rye Manhattans, Rittenhouse "bonded" 100 proof rye is a real bargain...only $14 by me. I use 2oz rye to 3/4 oz Punt e Mes, dash Angostura or Regan's orange bitters, garnish with a twist.

              4. re: AreBe

                I always make my Manhattan with Canadian Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, Angostura bitters and a pinch of sugar. Stir with ice, serve up with a cherry. Yum.

                1. re: Jimmyg

                  I use Rye, sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters. I was shocked to discover that this is the recipe I love most for a Manhattan since I was in pursuit of dry, dryer, dryest. Its a pony of sweet vermouth to a couple of jiggers of Rye and a couple of dahses of bitters.

                2. re: AreBe

                  I have always loved Manhattans but here is my latest iteration which has me swooning with every sip:
                  2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
                  3/4 oz Punt e Mes red vermouth
                  dash of Angostura or Regan's #6 Orange bitters (I can't decide which I like better, they are both so good, definitely more testing required--both are)
                  I hate those icky cherries and I garnish with a twist. I love inhaling the lemon oil as I take a sip, it is like a palate cleanser and accentuates all the ingredients.

                  Rye is truly a revelation, and Punt e Mes is a delicious, spicy, bitter vermouth that brings a Manhattan to a new level for me. Next I will be testing perfect Manhattans made with Vya dry vermouth...

              5. Grasshopper. green creme de menthe, creme de cacao, cream. Shake with ice, strain and pour. Dessert in a glass from the art deco era.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Veggo

                  or substitute vanilla ice cream

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Mom loved the Grasshopper and a similar one made with creme de cacao, cream, and creme de almond. But I can't remember the name.

                    How about a Harvey Wallbanger for a 70's old school drink!

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        I was thinking Brandy Alexander, minus the creme de almond?

                        1. re: bryan

                          It is a Pink Squirrel. Creme de almond is more often known behind the stick as creme de noyaux. The Brandy Alexander is indeed a cousin; if you take the creme de noyaux out of the Pink Squirrel and use brandy instead, you get the Brandy Alexander.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Yummy, Mom and I would always have these around Christmas--

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Where I grew up in Wisconsin grasshoppers are still quite common. We have them every Christmas and you can order them at most restaurants ... so they're still alive in one part of the country!

                      2. How about an Old Fashioned?

                        bourbon
                        sugar
                        bitters
                        muddled orange and cherry
                        soda water

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: ponyboy

                            The old-fashioned used to be my favorite, but the last time I ordered one the bartender had trouble remembering how to make it, so I gave them up.

                            1. re: mpalmer6c

                              I was working a particularly busy shift and a gentleman ordered one, so I grabbed the rolodex (I'd just started bartending) and made one. The recipe at this chain restaurant (like at most chain restaurants) was WRONG...so he talked me through making one.

                              I've never forgotten how to make one, but since then I've read a dozen different variations!

                          2. I dunno, "old school drinks" reminds me of those little cartons of milk I'd get in the cafeteria . . .

                            1. Any drink made with egg white- sadly egg whites have lost their place at the bar.

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: ponyboy

                                  That's awesome! I make bourbon fizz's from time to time.

                                2. re: jpschust

                                  There are a number of serious bars in Boston and New York I've been to recently that routinely use egg whites and whole eggs in drinks that call for them. No. 9 Park in Boston, for example, makes a tremendous Ramos Gin Fizz (gin, lemon juice, lime juice, cream, egg white, seltzer, confectioner's sugar, orange flower water), a winter-warding Tom and Jerry (a hot nog made with rum, sweet spices, eggs, and hot water), served in the proper mugs, and a great Rye Flip (whole egg, rye, simple syrup).

                                  In general, drinks inspired by the 19th-century Golden Age (when the term "cocktail" essentially implied the presence of bitters in the drink) are making a comeback in a handful of places. The bartenders tend to be very serious and scholarly about it. Boston examples include Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, No. 9 Park, the B-Side Lounge (arguably the progenitor of the trend locally), Green Street, the Alchemist Lounge, and Deep Ellum. Eastern Standard recently introduced a whole new section to its extensive list of classic and original cocktails called the "Legacy / Lineage" line, all very old-school in content and construction.

                                  Two places in NYC I have enjoyed are the Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club; there are many more there. I'm also reading about similar places in London and San Francisco. It's a very refreshing trend. I'd love to see more people drink like adults and shun the booze Slurpies.

                                  1. re: jpschust

                                    I'm going to bring them back in my bar...if I get hired!!!