Legend has it the Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy. The beautiful color inspired Cipriani to name the drink Bellini after the robe of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. Light, clean and very easy to drink this is the perfect cocktail for brunch, early evening parties, light social events and for light drinkers.
There have been whole blogs books and articles written on the Martini and if it should be shaken or stirred. Stirring is recommended for all drinks that do not contain fruit juice as it keeps the ice pieces created when shaking from diluting the drink. Martini people take their gin very seriously. So let’s break it down, Martinis = Gin and Vermouth. Modern Martinis use dry or white Vermouth. Now a days a dry Martini is one that has very little Vermouth, the dryer the smaller the portion of Vermouth to Gin, those with more Vermouth are wet. A dirty Martini is one where the brine from the olive jar is poured into the drink adding a salty taste. When you move into Vodka Martinis these are not true Martinis but are part of the drinks that are called Martinis or fill in the blank – tinis. Since we are more interested in what tasted good, a personal choice, we have a variety of Martinis including some that are tini’s called that more because of the glass they are served in as opposed to being a classic Martini. So have yours shaken or stirred, it’s up to you! Just enjoy. Like all spirit only drinks this is where you want to spend you dollars on the good stuff. Have a Gin tasting party with everyone bringing different brands and you’ll find that the tastes vary wildly. Have fun and bottoms up.
Manhattan’s history, like most drinks, is not as clear as there are many ideas around the origin. A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s. The original Manhattan was a mix of American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters. Considered one of the classic drinks it is still served in bars all over the world. This drink should be mixed with the best Whiskey you can afford as combined with the bitters the flavors are sharp and very enjoyable when you move towards the high end. Ours is mixed with Bushmills and affordable Whiskey that stands up well to the bitters.
An aperitif the Negroni is a classic drink from 1919. Slightly bitter, many people double the amount of gin since the flavors of the Campri and sweet vermouth are no longer needed to mask the flavor of gin that would have been available during that time.
Pimms Cup is made with Pimms No. 1 which came about in the mid 1800’s. In a London oyster bar in the 1840s owner James Pimm invented the thirst-quencher. Using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs, good old Pimm served up the brew as an aid to digestion, dishing it out in a small tankard and the No. 1 Cup moniker was born. Still a great drink that has a calming effect on your digestion and an easy taste.
After the Second World War, Pimms extended their range, using a number of other spirits as bases for new cups. Scotch lent its name to No. 2 cup while No. 3 used brandy, No. 4 rum, No. 5 rye and No. 6 vodka. Of these sequels, the vodka cup and brandy (now called Winter) are the only ones in production while original No. 1 cup still reigns supreme in popularity.
Tom Collins – Born in the late 1800s as part of a joke that was based on a man “Tom Collins” who was talking about the listener. This Tom Collins was usually just around the corner at a bar where the listener would rush off to see to this person talking about him. The drink gained great popularity and even had songs created around it. It was made with Gin and sparkling lemonade and remains much unchanged even in current days. Other Collins drinks like Whiskey or Vodka Collins follow much the same format with just a different spirit.
One of the classic cocktails and aperitif, Chrysanthemum may be a little old fashioned for some but it grows on you. A before dinner drink that helps set the tone for dinner this is the perfect classy way to start a meal.
Drinks on this page are: Bellini, Bombay Martini, Manhattan Bushmills, Negroni, Pimms Cup, Tom Collins, Americano, Gimlet. Aperol Spritz, Chrysanthemum