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Classic cocktails -- with a twist.


johnder
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So chow posted an article talking about classic cocktails resurrected with a twist.

While I am all for experimentation and innovation, one line in particular really bothered me.

3. Sazerac.

Classic: Rye, sugar, bitters, absinthe or a substitute (Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard), lemon twist.

Spin: Harmony—Pear and green tea–infused 209 gin, Lillet Blanc, Chartreuse, lemon juice. (Range, San Francisco)

That hurts. The Harmony looks like a good drink, but how can the be considering a twist on a sazerac? Because it has a chartreuse rinse maybe?

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I like this one, too:

5. Negroni.

Classic: Gin, sweet vermouth, Campari.

Spin: S.F. Negroni—Vya vermouth, 209 gin, and Aperol, an orange-flavored aperitif. (The Last Supper Club, San Francisco)

So they've spun a drink made with gin, vermouth and aperitif bitters by turning it into a drink made with... gin, vermouth and aperitif bitters.

I accept that they're using top-shelf gin and vermouth, and that Aperol is sweeter by far than Campari, but still. The creativity seems lacking somehow.

And isn't the spin on the Manhattan (adding a dash of curacao) just a historical variation of same? Edit: Nope, I was thinking of the Old Fashioned, and losing all my cocktailian street cred in the process!

Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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It does seem, at the very least, to demonstrate a lack of understanding of what these original cocktails were. To me, the thing that makes it completely un-sazerac-like, though, is the lemon juice.

I agree. Having a drink that has a lemon peel wiped around the drink and discarded (or kept in the glass if you prefer) to actually having lemon juice is a huge difference.

The other big difference, more so with this drink in their list as opposed to others, is there are no commonalities in liquors between them. Zero. The only shared item is lemon, but that is even in different forms.

I don't know why bastardization of Sazerac's bother me so much but it is a pet peeve of mine. It is just such a perfect drink as is.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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. Old Fashioned.

Classic: Rye or bourbon, bitters, sugar, muddled maraschino cherries and orange slices, water.

Spin: The same, only no “fruit salad,” as they put it. (The Alembic, San Francisco)

When did the classic Old Fashioned have muddled maraschino cherries and orange slices? The "Classic" version sounds like one from the 50's - 80's.

And I agree, I don't understand how that is a "Spin" on the Sazarac.

Rich

Edit: I got one of my thoughts wardsback.

Edited by JerseyRED (log)

"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

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Odd...

I don't know that these bars or bartenders, are saying these are new twists on the classics the article mentions.

I know Alembic, at least, is purposely serving their old-fashioned that way as a classic version, not a new interpretation.

I think in some of the cases, it is just the editors inferring conclusions from drink lists and/or their own knowledge.

I've no idea what the Harmony has to do with the Sazerac. Seems sort of similar to the Biter (Bitter) cocktail.

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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To a great extent, most cocktails are a "twist" on something or another, be it a Sour or other recipe category that the drink falls into.

Making up "new" drinks sometimes means substituting one ingredient for another, or sometimes means doing something like introducing a new flavor via an infused simple syrup or an infused spirit.

But there's not too much that's really new under the sun...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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To a great extent, most cocktails are a "twist" on something or another, be it a Sour or other recipe category that the drink falls into.

Making up "new" drinks sometimes means substituting one ingredient for another, or sometimes means doing something like introducing a new flavor via an infused simple syrup or an infused spirit.

But there's not too much that's really new under the sun...

Agreed. Most cocktails start somewhere around 3 parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour (or bitter). Tweak it from there. Many new creations are unbalanced to the sweet side to match the taste of this generation. If 6 year old would like the cocktail, its probably not a drink I would like.

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So chow posted an article talking about classic cocktails resurrected with a twist.

While I am all for experimentation and innovation, one line in particular really bothered me.

3. Sazerac.

Classic: Rye, sugar, bitters, absinthe or a substitute (Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard), lemon twist.

Spin: Harmony—Pear and green tea–infused 209 gin, Lillet Blanc, Chartreuse, lemon juice. (Range, San Francisco)

That hurts. The Harmony looks like a good drink, but how can the be considering a twist on a sazerac? Because it has a chartreuse rinse maybe?

I'm sorry, but if someone gave me a Harmony, I doubt the first thing I would think is, "Hey, that's a nice riff on the Sazerac". :rolleyes:

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So chow posted an article talking about classic cocktails resurrected with a twist.

While I am all for experimentation and innovation, one line in particular really bothered me.

3. Sazerac.

Classic: Rye, sugar, bitters, absinthe or a substitute (Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard), lemon twist.

Spin: Harmony—Pear and green tea–infused 209 gin, Lillet Blanc, Chartreuse, lemon juice. (Range, San Francisco)

That hurts. The Harmony looks like a good drink, but how can the be considering a twist on a sazerac? Because it has a chartreuse rinse maybe?

I think that the whole point with these "twists on classics" is that people just want to utilise the name/ fame of a past classic. History sells, so establishing a royal lineage for a drink recipe is something that people just do automatically. Changing an existing recipe is much easier than starting from scratch.

A Sazerac with a rinse of chartreuse would be a more honest "spin" than the Harmony.

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Providence Journal article on this phenomenon, focusing on McCormick & Schmick's:

McCormick and Schmick Seafood Restaurant is turning back the hands of time with a drink menu that brings the focus back on classic cocktails. The long ignored Sidecar, Singapore Sling, Mint Julep, Caipirinha, Bellini and Old Fashioned now hold an esteemed spot alongside the more recently concocted Mango White Martini and Raspberry Cosimosa on the restaurant’s cocktail list.

The Raspberry Crusta is the most popular of the new-old vintage drinks and it’s a good bet most folks never even heard of it never mind forgot about it. ... The Raspberry Crusta has been updated to include Stoli Razberi, Maraschino Liqueur, fresh citrus, and bitters served in a sugar-rimmed glass.

I think that the comments above about these "twists" being marketing gimmicks are pretty well confirmed in this instance, with "updates" including "Bellinis" that include Absolut APeach and "Crustas" with Stoli Razberi. That last in particular confirms the particular focus on extraordinarily sweet renditions of already sweet drinks. Makes me think that "raspberry" is to drink menus what "crispy" is to appetizer menus: you can put the word in front of just about any drink and it'll sell like hotcakes.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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yup. although that might be a hook with which to introduce classic cocktails to people.

many a quality libation uses raspberry syrup. if it takes listing that as the first ingredient in a description to get people to drink it, I'm all for it.

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As with the Harmony/Sazerac discussion above, I'm not sure that the Raspberry Crusta shares much with, say, a Bourbon Crusta in the end, given the importance of the Bourbon (or rye, or brandy). Given that the base spirit is erased, the drink seems utterly different.

Meet the old cocktail, same as the new cocktail.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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