WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Cocktail Culture, History And Archaeology

Classic cocktails like the Sidecar and the Old Fashioned, and authentic ingredients for them, used to be tough to come by. But thanks to a resurgence in cocktail culture, many forgotten recipes and obscure spirits are available at local bars and liquor stores across the country and in the D.C. region. We consider the history -- and future -- of the cocktail, and what spirits trends say about our culture and others.

Photo Gallery: Classic Cocktails And Ingredients

Derek Brown's Recipes

Pickin' Punch (created by Derek Brown)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 bottles of Dark Rum
1 bottle Applejack
1/2 bottle Blended Scotch
1 lb. Fine Demerara Sugar
2 Peels of Lemon
2 cups of apple cider
6 cups of sparkling water
Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks

Muddle lemon peels with sugar and then pour in apple cider. Stir in rum, Applejack and Scotch; chill for two hours in refrigerator. Serve in bowl over large ice block. Add chilled sparkling water.

Put sugar in food processor and blend until fine.

Champs Élysées (classic)

Ingredients:
1 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse*
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Dash Aromatic Bitters

Combine ingredients with ice, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

Yellow Chartreuse is substituted here for Green Chartreuse. Both work well, but I prefer the honey, sweeter tones of Yellow Chartreuse in the Champs Élysées.

Adonis Cocktail (classic)
2 oz. Dry Amontillado Sherry
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Dash orange bitters

Combine ingredients together with ice in a mixing glass, stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin orange peel.

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