HomeCategory Behind the Bar

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In the early 1900's a new cocktail burst on the scene known as the Aviation. It was invented by Hotel Wallick bartender Hugo Ensslin in New York City. The inspiration behind the drink is unknown, but one would think the fast talking, high flying (metaphorically speaking) socialite gentlemen of the New York scene in the early 1900's might have been quite the influence for the name.

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The Negroni is an Italian classic. Invented in 1919 in Florence Italy by Count Camillo Negroni, the gin based apéritif has long since been many bartender's favorite drink to make. The story goes that Count Negroni asked his favorite bartender, a gentleman named Fosco Scarselli, to make his favorite drink the Americano a little stronger. By adding gin instead of soda water and adding a orange zest instead of the usual garnish of a lemon, the Negroni was born. Named after the Count himself. 

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To understand what a Pisco Sour is you first need to understand what Pisco is all about. Pisco is a colorless brandy that originates from Peru and is currently one of the largest exports from South American countries both Peru and Chile. Mentions of Pisco go back as far as the late 1500's and has been so popular that the spirit was a favorite of gold rushers in San Francisco and the rest of California during the 1800's and early 1900's. It is traditionally distilled in copper pot stills much like Scotch or Whiskey and it's flavor not only comes from the distillation process but the grapes used in the process and the region they grow. There are four different levels of purity in Peru... 

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The Sazerac is New Orleans oldest and most famous cocktail. The tale goes that around 1838 in New Orleans, Louisiana a local pharmacy owner named Antoine Peychaud started putting together a special cocktail with brandy, absinthe and his own special creation of bitters and serving it late night to his friends at the French Quarter location. In 1850, Sewell Taylor, owner of The Merchants Exchange Coffee House would start serving the cocktail with his brandy, Sazerac de Forge which he was the sole importer, and marketing the drink as the Sazerac. Taylor would go on to sell his bar and new owner Aaron Bird would rename it sold his bar to the Sazerac Coffee House. The original cocktail recipe featured the Sazerac de Forge, Absinthe, sugar and bitters from local bitters maker Peychaud.

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We chose to start our series off with one of the most classic cocktails in the history of cocktails. It's simple, easy and since the 1880's one of the most delicious recipes ever invented. But first, a little history on what makes up a cocktail... A cocktail is made up of four simple ingredients. Spirit, sugar, water, and bitters. That's it. No more, no less. Once you understand that basic concept you can then begin to develop your own recipes and concoctions. The Old Fashioned is no different.