The Collins is another classic with a somewhat confusing past. The original cocktail was named for its creator, John Collins, who was a bartender in a London hotel in the early 1800s. His recipe, which combines dry gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda, is identical to a fizz, except that it is served in […]


Although shaking versus stirring is a valid argument when considering the best way to make most cocktails, the pousse-café requires neither. This striking cocktail features layered liquors and liqueurs, which remain separate until the first sip delicately mixes the flavors. Though somewhat obscure, this category of drinks provides a flash of drama for the holiday […]


If ever a drink were ripe for revival, it is the oddly named shrub. As mixologists become increasingly bold with their flavor combinations, this drink’s bright fruit-and-vinegar syrup will pique the palate of any intrepid tippler. As versatile as it is flavorful, shrub syrup was in every colonist’s pantry because the vinegar would preserve the […]

Egg Nogs & Creamy Drinks

Egg nog’s roots in America go back to colonial days, when it kept pioneers toasty during the frigid winters. The name most likely comes from a combination of egg and grog, which was a name for rum, or perhaps even egg and noggin, which was a medieval wooden mug. The combination of egg, cream, liquor, […]

Toddies & Hot Drinks

Despite what the modern medical profession knows to be true, many pre-Prohibition cocktails received a boost for their “health benefits.” Bitters originated as a healing tonic; the term julep traces its etymology to a syrup that was used to mask the flavor of medicine. And for some reason, many doctors seemed to believe that any […]

Neguses & Mulled Wine

Long before spirits and bitters were the norm in cocktails, mulled wine and port sangarees were commonly mixed in local watering holes. The mingling of wine, water, lemon juice, sugar, and nutmeg is credited to a British military colonel named Francis Negus. Although few details remain about how the colonel came to this particular combination […]


In North America, punches arrived with the English colonists, who borrowed the recipe from Southeast Asia. The word itself translates to “five,” which refers to the five ingredients generally used in the original concoction. However, today’s punches don’t require such strict standards. “It can be gin, it can be bourbon, it can be Scotch—it’s not […]


Anyone who has examined a pre-1930s cocktail book has most likely noticed that many of the recipes unabashedly call for a whole egg here, an egg white there. Commonplace as it was, today’s reactions imply that one might as well skip the cocktail and just ask for a trip to the emergency room. But more […]

Champagne Cocktails

Among the oldest of pre-Prohibition classics, the Champagne cocktail also represents a nearly effortless way to ease into the holiday spirit. The original recipe for this elegant refreshment called for shaking or stirring a blend of sugar, bitters, and Champagne with ice, which of course resulted in a chilly but decidedly unbubbly drink. However, in […]


In the early days of cocktails, the definition of the daisy and the fizz were so close that the only real distinction was that a daisy included orange cordial in the mix of liquor, seltzer, lemon, and sugar. But by 1910 the drink had morphed into an elaborate cocktail laced with grenadine and served in […]

View More