While there are many popular and delicious cocktails out there to try, such as Mai Tais, margaritas, martinis, and mojitos, there are also many forgotten cocktails that have been confined to tattered menus. These cocktails, which feature a variety of spirits including vodka, brandy, rum, gin, and others, are just as unique and flavorful as their more well-known counterparts.
On this National Cocktail Day, Dushyant Tanwar, the Cocktail Expert at Monika Alcobev, suggests stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring some forgotten cocktails. He has compiled a list of 5 classic cocktails that are worth trying on this special day. Each cocktail has a unique story and flavor profile that is sure to surprise and delight your taste buds. Let’s raise a toast to the classics and celebrate the diversity and creativity of the cocktail world!
The hanky panky was the brainchild of Ada Coleman (known as “Coley”) in 1903. The hanky panky cocktail is made from gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca. It is a variation on the sweet martini, or Martinez, and is made distinctive by the addition of Fernet-Branca, a bitter Italian digestivo. The cocktail is a sweet gin martini that is balanced between sweet, bitter, and herbal flavors. It could be compared to the gin version of a Toronto, which is made with whiskey.
Pink gin was historically used to refer to a type of cocktail that became fashionable in England in the mid-19th century. It is widely thought to have been created by members of the Royal Navy and consists of Plymouth gin and a dash of Angostura bitters, which give the drink its pinkish hue. It is also common for pink gin to be served as a ‘pink gin and tonic’, which typically consists of four dashes of Angostura bitters and two shots of gin, topped up with tonic water. This is served in a highball glass over ice and can be garnished with lemon.
The bee’s knees cocktail has unclear origins, but it is often credited to Frank Meier, who is believed to have invented it in 1921. The cocktail is a Prohibition-era classic made with gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey. It is typically served shaken and chilled, and is often garnished with a lemon twist.
Joe Gilmore, head barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar in London, invented this citrusy champagne cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing. The drink is a lively combination of grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and a hint of rose water, topped with bubbly. It was the first thing astronauts like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth. The cocktail is a simple mix of Grand Marnier, grapefruit juice, and a touch of rosewater, topped with Champagne in a cocktail glass.
Death in the afternoon
Death in the Afternoon is a cocktail made with absinthe and champagne invented by the writer, Ernest Hemingway. It’s rare that classic cocktails include such exacting details, but leave it to an author to record his instructions for posterity. The cocktail’s opalescent milkiness occurs when the Champagne hits the absinthe. The aromatic compounds in absinthe are more soluble in alcohol than in water, so when the absinthe is diluted, those compounds drop out of the solution and crowd together—what we see as cloudiness. This process is evident in the classic Absinthe Drip, which combines absinthe with cold water and sugar.