Mimosas

It’s hard to think about brunch without a mimosa, the two things just go hand-in-hand.  Many brunch spots offer bottomless mimosas or even serve one drink complimentary.  There is just something about the refreshing combination of champagne and orange juice that goes perfectly with a leisurely Sunday.

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Just like on every blog on this site, we are here to talk about the origin of this classic and popular drink. First of all, there are multiple versions of the legend behind the Mimosa (not surprising) so we will go over the most accepted versions. The first version argues that this is an evolution of an older cocktail, a drink called Buck’s Fizz that was invented in 1921 at Buck’s Club in London.  This drink is also made with champagne and orange juice, but with a larger quantity of the wine.  It is believed that four years later, in 1925, a bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris named Frank Meier invented the mimosa, which uses equal parts sparkling wine and juice.

The second account states that director Alfred Hitchcock invented the mimosa in San Francisco in the 1940s.  According to The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, the mimosa is merely a variation of the Buck’s Fizz, but it does suggest that perhaps Hitchcock was the one to popularize it as a brunch drink in this country.

At the end of the day, there is no way of knowing if the Mimosa was invented in London or the US. However, there’s no doubt that we love them worldwide. Brunch anyone?

 

Recipe Link:

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/mimosa-recipe/

 

 

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Margarita

I’m going to take a risk and make a bet with whoever is reading this; if you enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage or beer but you have NEVER tried a Margarita in your life, then I will pay for the first round the next time you go out to drink.

Oh, Margarita, such a beautiful name isn’t it? By far one of my personal favorites, not because I’ve had several of these in the past 2 hours, but because of its simplistic flavor yet complex mix of texture and character. Once again, we see the classic mixture of lime and sugar, also found on previously discussed cocktails such as Caipirinhas, Mojitos, and Daiquiris, however, the twist kicks in once we add the powerful spirit of Tequila.

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As a common rule, this drink is considered 100% Mexican but the truth is that nobody really knows what’s the real origin of this cocktail is. I will go over 2 of my favorite legends:

Number one is about a guy named Carlos “Danny” Herrera, owner of Tijuana restaurant Rancho La Gloria, claims he invented the drink in 1938. What inspired him? A picky dancer, it seems. Restaurant goer Marjorie King declared she was allergic to all spirits except tequila but didn’t like to drink the spirit straight. So Herrera worked around the prototypical tequila shot (which is taken with salt and lime) and threw together the margarita (by the way, Danny Herrera lived until 90, once again proving that alcohol can be a really good thing for you).

The second story, and my personal favorite, state that the Margarita is nothing but the evolution of another cocktail that was popular during prohibition: The Daisy. In fact, Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish. The only difference between the Daisy and the margarita is that the former was made with brandy and the latter with tequila. However, it’s remarkable to see what a simple swap of spirits does for a cocktail. How many people today have heard of the Daisy? The tequila-filled margarita, however, is famous in epic proportions.

Recipe Link: 

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/margarita-recipe-1928467

 

 

 

Daiquiri

Cuba, a paradisiac island known for its beautiful coasts, tobacco, and rum, it is the next stop on our trip around the world’s most iconic drinks. If you haven’t guessed the name of the cocktail we’re going to talk about (it’s in the topic), let me tell you a story from the Cuban mining town of Daiquiri.

Daiquiri was one of the richest lands of Cuba, they processed tobacco leaves, tropical fruits, and most importantly sugar, the main ingredient on rum. The rich land was a huge attraction for Spanish and British ships and became a popular stop for sailors. The 1700s were an amazing time to be a sailor, they were provided a gallon of beer a day through a law passed in the 17th century. Due to the massive amount of beer they had to supply to a military force 4,500 miles away, a pint of rum was considered a fair substitute. It was easier to get but far more potent. The problem was that sailors were having a hard time staying sober, therefore, in 1740 the British navy counsel ordered that the rum ration was mixed with water and citrus juice (usually limes) to dilute the potent spirit. This gave the English the edge of fighting a little more sober, and healthier. It also is one of the earliest known instances of the combination of lime juice, water, and rum, the base of what would become a Daiquiri.

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Originally the Daiquiri was a basic mix of 40% rum, 30% lime juice, and 30% water, but with the time, bartenders have become more and more creative adding a few twists to the original recipe. This refreshing drink is perfect for sweet tastes, I would definitely recommend it for hot weathers and accompanied by salty snacks such as peanuts or olives.

Recipe link:

https://www.liquor.com/recipes/daiquiri/

Alcoholic Facts

Reading about cocktails and alcohol, in general, is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time, I almost enjoy it just as much as drinking. While surfing the internet I came across some pretty cool websites with interesting and odd facts about alcohol, this is a compilation of some of my favorite ones.

1. Mountain Dew was made to be mixed with whiskey.

2. In Russia, in times of economic disparity or high inflation, teachers can be paid in Vodka.

3. In 1830, the average person over 15 years old drank 88 bottles of whiskey per year. That is one bottle every 4.2 days.

4. A gin & tonic will glow under a UV light because tonic contains quinines, which are UV light reactive.

5. The most expensive scotch in the world is sold for $460,000 and that’s $14,000 per shot.

6. Mississippi permits drivers to consume alcohol while driving. However, the driver must still stay below the 0.08% blood alcohol content limit for DUI. (Good to know)

7. During Prohibition, the U.S. government poisoned alcohol to discourage alcoholism, killing as many as 10,000 people.

8. The original Playboy Bunnies were required to be able to identify 143 brands of liquor and how to make 20 different cocktails as part of their job requirements.

9. There are 13 minerals that are essential for human life, and all of them can be found in alcohol.

10. A bottle of wine costs around $18, a bottle of rum around $20, a beer 6 pack is about $7, drinking with your loved ones and have a good time is priceless.

Bottoms up!

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More interesting facts:

http://www.flask.com/20-fun-facts-you-didnt-know-about-alcohol/#.W_JMsZNKi00

 

 

Lemon Drop

“Create a concept that packs the house with ladies and the guys will follow, packing the register with cash.”

These are the words of Norman Jay Hobday, a farm boy from upstate New York who landed in San Francisco and opened the famous bar Henry Africa’s, the place where the Lemon Drop was born in the 1970s. This refreshing and citric cocktail consists of triple sec, lemon juice, citrus vodka, and a sugared rim.

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The Lemon Drop was Henry Africa’s signature drink; the whole bar was decorated with hanging ferns and a bunch of plants (he had very little money and couldn’t afford to remodel the space) so the tropical vibe of the place could only match with a tropical cocktail. With the time, the Lemon Drop became more famous and expanded throughout the U.S. At the same time, bartenders started becoming creative and added a few twists to this drink helping spread its popularity.

Over the years the concoction has evolved and today, the average bar makes the drink with citrus vodka, triple sec, bottled lemon juice, and a sugared rim. However, thanks to people like Ina Garten and Oprah Winfrey, who loves a well made Lemon Drop martini that incorporated fresh ingredients, the original beverage is set to make a comeback.

Recipe Link:

https://www.liquor.com/recipes/lemon-drop/

 

 

Cosmopolitan

One of the most popular drinks in the late 90s, a ladies classic, The Cosmopolitan.

Drop in on any party or bar in the 90s and chances are a majority of people would be holding a Martini glass filled with a pink liquid that they would unashamedly be sipping on called a Cosmopolitan. This is the perfect example of how changing our booze culture can be, a cocktail that couldn’t be left out of a party, and then as quickly as it came, became a joke that most people wouldn’t dare order.

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But the Cosmo was way more than just a “quick fever”; it impacted how we approach drinking and cocktails in general. It was classic, simple, minimalistic, and it embodied an era that was way less complicated. We are in probably one of the richest and most interesting times to be a drinker; we have colors, shapes, and sizes where to choose from, but if it weren’t for cocktails like the Cosmopolitan, we might have never gotten here.

The history behind this drink is foggy at best, there’s not a story that is 100% accepted but the most common one says that the Cosmo is a direct relative of the Harpoon (cranberry, lime, Cointreau, and vodka) which was invented in Miami as a seasonal drink.

Although I don’t consider the Cosmo one of my favorite drinks, I do enjoy how balanced this cocktail can be. Cranberry and fresh lime juice are amazing mixers to smooth out hard liquor and this is not the exception. If you’re looking for something sweet, light, smooth, and fancy this is the perfect beverage for you. Bottoms up!

 

Recipe Link:

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/221891/cosmopolitan-cocktail/

Martini

Made famous by James Bond quote “shaken not stirred”, The Martini is a very unique and popular cocktail in the US that consists on a mixture of gin and dry vermouth served extremely cold with a green olive or lemon garnish. This drink in particular out of all the precious cocktails we’ve talked about before yells “refine” and “elegant”, definitely not one to chug but to indulge with patience.

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There’s a bit of an argument about where this drink was originally created, but the most accepted version is that it was born in Martinez, California, during the mid-1800s Gold Rush. The legend says that a gold miner who had recently struck it rich decided to celebrate his good fortune at a local bar. He called his bartender and requested Champagne, which they didn’t have, so the bartender insisted on concocting another beverage made from ingredients he had on hand: gin, vermouth, bitters, and a slice of lemon. He named it “The Martinez Special”. The miner enjoyed and he tried to order it again in San Francisco, where, of course, the bartender required instructions in its preparation spreading the recipe.

Even though the original recipe consisted of only gin and vermouth, bartenders with a lot of free time have come up with multiple variations to this cocktail such as the following:

  • Dry Martini: a martini with a higher amount of gin and less vermouth
  • Dirty Martini: a martini that includes dashes of olive brine
  • Kangaroo: when vodka replaces gin (terrible hangover)
  • Gibson: swaps the olive for a cocktail onion
  • Vesper: James Bond’s favorite, made with gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet vermouth, garnished with a twist of lemon peel.

My personal favorite is a Dry Martini with Bombay Sapphire Gin, really smooth and has less sugar content than other gin brands. Definitely encourage you to try one out.

PSA: Even though James Bond preferred a shaken Martini, most Martinis are often prepared stirred for better flavor.

Recipe Link:

https://www.liquor.com/mosaic/martini-recipes/