The Intoxicologist

Friday, February 1, 2008

Back to the Basics

With the ever expanding liquor market and the influx of trendy cocktails, it is increasingly difficult for even the well versed bartender to keep an up to date cocktail recipe book. Picking up one of the many reputable bartenders’ guides on the market can be equally as daunting with thousands of recipes to choose from to begin memorizing. It seems to reason there would be a basic starting point or a well of drinks that the majority of drinkers would return to once a trend has run its course. It is this base of drinks that a bartender worth their salt or sugar rimmer would do well to consider setting to memory.

The International Bartenders Association (IBA) is a worldwide organization that encourages excellent customer service in bartending, provides education as it relates to the habits and customs of drinking and organizes international mixed drink competitions. The IBA also encourages standardized mixed drink recipes. There is an IBA official cocktails listing found on their website ( It is worth noting that the reason these particular cocktails make it to this list is due to the frequency they are made by professional bartenders all around the world and because of the notoriety of the cocktail itself. Some cocktails have a history so intertwined within the roots of the liquor industry that they can not be ignored and will never become outdated.

This cocktail listing is divided into four categories: pre-dinner, after-dinner, long drink, and popular. The cocktails range from the not so surprising Whiskey Sour, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned that are often associated with older style drinks, to the more modern trendier drinks such as the Margarita, Cosmopolitan, and Sex on the Beach. All of these cocktails held a place in popular culture at one time. They rise and fall with trends, yet all have the staying power that many cocktails will never achieve. These are the cocktails that are the foundation of bartending. These are the cocktails worth remembering. They are also the cocktails with a rich history behind them waiting to be shared from bartender to customer. Begin the journey as a bartender by memorizing the basic cocktails and researching the histories. Only then will the real craft of bartending begin to unfold.

International Bartenders Association Official Cocktails with recipes for one of the more obscure drinks from each of the categories:

Pre-Dinner Cocktail: Americano, Bacardi Cocktail, Daiquiri, Frozen Daiquiri, Banana Daiquiri, Bronx, Kir, Kir Royal, Manhattan, Manhattan Dry, Manhattan Medium, Margarita, Martini (Dry, Perfect, Sweet and Vodka), Gibson, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Paradise, Rob Roy, Rose, Whiskey Sour

Paradise Cocktail (Pre-Dinner Cocktail)

2 ounces Gin
3/4 ounce Apricot Brandy
3/4 ounce Fresh Orange Juice
2 dashes of Orange Bitters

Mix ingredients with in a cocktail shaker filled two thirds full of ice. Shake. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

After-Dinner: Brandy Alexander, Black Russian, White Russian, French Connection, God Father, God Mother, Golden Cadillac, Golden Dream, Grasshopper, Porto Flip, Rusty Nail

French Connection (After Dinner)

1 ounce Courvoisier Cognac
1 ounce Grand Marnier

Serve in a warm brandy snifter.

Long Drink Style: Bellini, Bloody Mary, Brandy Egg Nog, Buck’s Fizz, Mimosa, Bull Shot, Champagne Cocktail, John Collins, Gin Fizz, Harvey Wallbanger, Horse’s Neck, Irish Coffee, Pina Colada, Planter’s Punch, Screwdriver, Singapore Sling, Tequila Sunrise

Bull Shot (Long Drink Style)

1 and 1/2 ounces Smirnoff Vodka
Dash of Orange Juice
4 Dashes of Tabasco Sauce
Dash of Pepper
4 ounces Cold Beef Broth

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled 1/3 full of ice. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Popular Cocktails: Caipirinha, Cosmopolitan, Japanese Slipper, Kamikaze, Long Island Iced Tea, Mai-Tai, Mojito, Orgasm, B52, Salty Dog, Sea Breeze, Cuba Libre, Sex on the Beach, Apple Martini

Japanese Slipper (Popular Cocktail)

1 ounce Midori
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled 2/3 full of ice. Shake. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a honeydew melon slice or skewered honeydew melon cubes.

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