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Classic cocktails

The Negroni, a bright and bitter classic cocktail

I first encountered the Negroni during my junior year of college when I was studying abroad in Italy. I was in Siena for a long weekend away from my program in Rome, and while my friends and I sat on the ground of the clam-shell shaped Piazza del Campo in the center of town enjoying …

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French 75, a bubbly classic cocktail

Ah, let’s get to it. The French 75: the third most well-known Champagne cocktail after the Mimosa and the Bellini. But to me, it far surpasses those other drinks, in part because it’s fortified with some harder stuff. Whether that hard stuff should be gin or cognac is a matter of debate. It’s a classic …

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The Dry Martini, the most enduring classic cocktail

Anyone who regularly orders a Martini rarely just orders a Martini. They have the specs for the drink they want in their head, and they tell the bartender how they like it. Whether it’s a Vodka Martini, straight-up, stirred, with three olives or a Gin Martini, very dry with a lemon twist, it’s a drink …

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Rusty Nail, a Scotch + Drambuie suburban sipper

The Rusty Nail is an old man drink, but it’s a much younger one than, say an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. The latter cocktails are pre-Prohibition classics that were already popular in the 19th century, but one of the two essential components of the Rusty Nail—Drambuie—wasn’t even available commercially until 1909. And the combination …

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The Manhattan, a whiskey + vermouth classic

There are few cocktails as enduring as the Manhattan. If the original early 19th-century meaning of the word “cocktail” referred to a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters (what we now think of as an Old Fashioned), the current meaning includes all manner of ingredients from syrups to liqueurs to mixtures of many different …

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Old Fashioned, a classic cocktail for curmudgeons

Ahh, the Old Fashioned. It’s the original classic cocktail. There was a time—from the early 1800s to around the 1860s—when the word “cocktail” meant a simple mixture of spirits stirred with sugar, bitters, ice, and lemon peel. The spirit could have been whiskey or gin (Old Tom gin or genever rather than a dry style) …

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