The Bar

Let us conjure you a sensuously sorcerous mix of spiritual delights. Or just have a dry gin martini, stirred.

Please read this before ordering.

Cocktail Classics

Cocktail Classics
  • The Old-Fashioned
  • The Highball
  • The Martini
  • The Sidecar
  • The Cosmopolitan
  • The Manhattan
  • The French Martini
  • The Baudin
  • The Bloody Mary
  • The Bloody Maria
  • The Black Velvet
  • The Pink Black Panther
  • Peach Pie
  • Bear's Chocolate Sunday
  • The Southern Crush
  • Commodore #2
  • Moonlight Madness
  • Godfather
  • Bit Of Honey
  • The Mojito

The Old-Fashioned

2 ounces rye whiskey
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon sugar
Splash soda water
1 strip orange peel
1 strip lemon peel

In an old-fashioned glass (naturally), muddle sugar and bitters until sugar is dissolved (sugar syrup usually mixes more quickly and thoroughly than cubes, but we're patient and happen to like the slightly gritty feel at the bottom). Add ice and whiskey; stir and garnish with cherry and serve.

For a variation with a rounder finish, use bourbon instead of rye. You can also muddle the cherries if you want to destroy them a little bit and infuse the drink.

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The Classic Highball

2 ounces of liquor
2 heavy cubes of ice, baby
Club soda, ginger ale, or other carbonated water

A Highball can be made with scotch, rye, bourbon, rum or brandy, so be sure to specify your taste. However, rye goes well with ginger ale. Don't stir. Pour the liquor into a tall 8 ounce glass and add the sparkling stuff.

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The Martini

Ah, well, hmm, the Martini. Many Dead Lounge customers have ongoing debates regarding the best way to create a Martini. I understand why it's a matter of debate, but will tell you what I know.

Most people in all likelihood are familiar with James Bond requesting a vodka Martini, shaken not stirred. Tradition insists that one does not shake a martini nor taint it with vodka, others counter with fictional references, and I merely grin and tip my hat enigmatically. But I digress.

Originally, it was this: half dry gin, half dry vermouth. That's it.

Here are different versions I've collected, and hopefully I can do some justice:

The Vesper (a la James Bond)
3 ounces gin, preferably Gordon's
1 ounce grain-based vodka
1/2 ounce (Kina) Lillet Blanc

Shake with cracked ice until painfully cold. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a thin slice of lemon or orange. Wear a dashing suit and cruel smile, use an accent, and look like you're not carrying a Walther PPK. Named after the double agent Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.

Even this is not Fleming's actual martini. Kina Lillet is the ingredient, and is no longer made because it contains quinine. Lillet makes Lillet Blanc, so we must make do with that.

The Other James Bond Martini
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces vodka
White vermouth

In & out swirl stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Add an olive. The vermouth can vary depending upon taste:

  • Regular: 3/4 ounces
  • Dry: 1/2 ounce
  • Extra Dry: 1/4 ounce

The "True" Dry Martini
3 ounces gin
White vermouth

In & out swirl stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a green olive, or rub the rim with a slice of lemon and drop it in. The vermouth can vary depending upon desire for dryness:

  • Regular: 1/2 ounce
  • Dry: 1/4 ounce
  • Extra Dry: splash

Bianca's Vodka Martini
Splash of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry vermouth
4 ounces vodka, preferably Belvedere or Jewel of Russia or Absolut

This is how I make it when Bianca calls, "Kiki! Make me a drink!" from the other room.

Splash the vermouth into a cocktail glass, swirl until it's got legs, then pour into the shaker. Add vodka. Swirl-shake with cracked ice until painfully cold. Strain with circular motion into the glass. This is what I make for Bianca.

Polarbeast's Gin Martini
Splash of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry vermouth
4 ounces gin*

This is how I make it when Bianca calls, "Kiki! Make me a martini!" from the other room and specifies a gin martini.

*The preferred gins: a London dry.

  • Ford's Gin. Officers' Reserve if you can get it.
  • Sipsmith London Dry.
  • The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
  • Hendrick's Gin (Polarbeast likes the infusion of rose and cucumber from time to time).
  • Tanqueray No. Ten.
  • If you do Bombay, get the London Dry, not Sapphire.

Same deal as the vodka martini: splash the vermouth into a cocktail glass, swirl until it's got legs, then pour into the shaker. Add gin. Swirl-shake with cracked ice until painfully cold. Strain with circular motion into the glass.

There are of course myriad variations of this drink. Use a cocktail onion as a garnish on a true dry martini and you're drinking a Gibson. Use red vermouth instead of the dry white, and you've got a Sweet Martini. A Vodka Martini garnished with a black olive is known as a Buckeye. I've also been told that a gin martini garnished with a black olive will get you shot.

Another note of interest is the proof of the gin used. If your martinis are extra strong instead of extra dry, consider that the British and the Canadians prefer a smoother, milder 80-proof gin rather than the stronger American stock. And well, hey...the British perfected gin, did they not?

For levity's sake, let us consider Winston Churchill's recipe for a martini:

  1. Pour 5 ounces dry gin into a glass.
  2. Glance across the room at a bottle of vermouth.
  3. Drink.

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The Sidecar

3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces cognac

This classic is shaken or stirred with ice, then strained into a cocktail glass with its rim rubbed with lemon juice and dipped in sugar. If you don't want the ceremony and the sticky bits, give it flair with a lemon twist instead.

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The Cosmopolitan

1 ounce vodka
2/3 ounce triple sec
Cranberry juice

During a time when vodka exploded in popularity, someone with panache came up with the Cosmopolitan. Mix in shaker, with cranberry juice to taste. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass, preferably straight up.

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The Manhattan

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 splash sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters

My frequent drink of choice when visiting a new place. Do not shake, but stir lovingly with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry...but use those nice dark cherries that come in marasca syrup like Luxardo, not the obscenely scarlet spheres whose stems your friend ties with her tongue as a party trick.

Try an alternate version using orange bitters or Peychaud bitters. As long as your Manhattan contains bitters, and has a higher allowance of vermouth as compared to a martini, you're all right.

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The French Martini

2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce Chambord
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. This is nicely refreshing.

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The Baudin

1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
1/2 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce honey syrup (2 parts honey, 1 part hot water)
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Pour the lemon juice into a shaker or mixing glass. Add honey syrup and Bourbon, dash the hot sauce, shake and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon peel. Not too distant from a whiskey sour vibe, the combination of pepper sauce and lemon gives it an icy, invigorating bite. It seems to be pronounced "BAU-din."

Created and named by T. Cole Newton, founder of Twelve Mile Limit in New Orleans. We first tried an incarnation of the Baudin at the Little Easy bar in downtown Los Angeles, which uses Buffalo Trace bourbon and straight honey.

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The Bloody Mary

1 1/2 ounces vodka
3 ounces tomato juice
3 drops Tabasco Sauce
7 drops Worcestershire Sauce
Juice of half a lemon
1 dash celery salt
2 shakes fresh ground pepper

Mmm, the Bloody Mary: arguably one of the more robust hangover cures, as if there really were any. We throw this one together by the book, as a literally-titled Bloody Mary tends to be too much of an emetic for the living.

At any rate: Stir ingredients vigorously in an old-fashioned glass with ice. You can stay reasonable with the Tabasco if you're aiming for taste rather than heat. If you like your Mary to have more of a bite (we do), add a dash of freshly grated horseradish. For a sweeter cocktail, a touch more Worcestershire. Garnishes range from a sprig of asparagus to a stalk of celery. We sometimes fancy topping it off with a lime wedge.

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The Bloody Maria

1 ounce tequila
3 ounces tomato juice
1 dash lemon juice
1 dash Tabasco Sauce
1 dash celery salt
1 slice of lemon

Shake or stir with cracked ice and strain over ice cubes into a highball glass. There are of course different versions of this South-of-the-border-inspired classic, some using Clamato (clam-tomato) juice rather than tomato juice, some substituting Worcestershire for the Tabasco, some adding 2-3 dashes freshly grated horseradish. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and don't forget the slice of lemon atop.

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The Black Velvet

3 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling wine
1 ounce chilled Guinness stout

Pour the Guinness carefully into a chilled flute. Add champagne slowly; garnish with a lemon twist. Not really an Irish concoction, but I'm sure there haven't been many complaints yet.

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The Pink Black Panther

1 ounce Stolen Smoked Rum
1 ounce Jamaican overproof white rum (Wray & Nephew or Rum Fire) 1/2 ounce Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum
1/4 ounce 360° vodka
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce Evolution Fresh cold-pressed watermelon

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Stay cool, brother.

Created and named by Bianca, who is cool herself.

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Peach Pie

1 ounce Absolut Apeach vodka
1 ounce peach schnapps (Aspen's or Kavlana, but Dekuyper will do)
1 tsp. Rose's grenadine
2-3 ounces Perrier (unflavored) or other mineral water
1/4 peach wedge

Politely muddle the peach wedge at the bottom of a highball glass. Add ingredients and stir, then pour in mineral water to top and stir lightly.

Created by R. Carey, who always has good stuff on hand. Named after some argument and with no one coming up with a more applicable title.

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Bear's Chocolate Sunday

2 ounces Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
1 1/2 ounces vodka (Belvedere on our shelf)
1/2 ounce Chambord
1/2 ounce chocolate milk (oat milk from our fridge)
Milk (or oat milk)

Combine all ingredients into glass and stir. Top with milk or non-dairy milk. Tastes a bit like when bars try to offer you "chocolatinis" or other trendy tan drinks but without the ugly note of Kahlua.

Created by Bianca, who wanted to give me something for a busy Sunday.

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The Southern Crush

2 ounces Old Dominick Honeybell vodka
2 ounces 360° vodka
4 ounces fresh orange juice
1 ounce Muddle & Wilde Hibiscus-Mint-Lemon drink mixer
2 dashes Angostura bitters

We attended a tasting at our local haven Bar Keeper, which is a destination in itself. Discussing a lovely selection of vodkas and whiskeys was the supremely knowledgeable Alex Castle, Head Distiller of Memphis-based Old Dominick Distillery, whose expertise aided us in padding our bar supply. Honeybells are a cross between dancy tangerines and Duncan grapefruits, and its presence in the Honeybell vodka is sublime.

Combine all ingredients except the orange juice and shake (or you can stir, but the Muddle & Wilde has a bit of sediment). Pour into a tall glass and top with the juice. The result is very cool and friendly and very slightly reminiscent of Tang, and will render you very cool and friendly after half the glass.

Invented, as usual, by Bianca.

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The Commodore Cocktail #2

2 ounces bourbon whiskey
1 ounce White Creme de Cacao
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

Simply shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Maria recommends some tasting to find your favorite proportions, and I agree; you might add a splash of grenadine for color, or increase the creme de cacao for a sweeter taste. She also mentions the idea of making it a blended drink, which only increases my appreciation for her taste.

Submitted to the Dead Lounge by the most excellent and mysterious Maria J. A thousand thanks!

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Moonlight Madness

1/2 ounce Frangelico
1/2 ounce white creme de cacao
1 ounce premium vodka

And we mean premium vodka. Jewel of Russia, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Grey Goose. Combine and shake contents over ice and pour into a martini glass. The amount of cream can vary: somewhat more than a splash, somewhat less than a dollop, but enough to make it fairly creamy.

Submitted to the Dead Lounge by Miska the Crazy Redhead from Chicago. Many thanks!

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1 ounce Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch
1 ounce Disaronno Originale Amaretto

Stir with ice in a highball glass. This is best described by my friend who submitted this classy cocktail: "One of my favorite 'serious' drinks is a Godfather. For those who don't like the sweet, the scotch helps neutralize and parenthetically the Amaretto does the same for the Scotch. This is a cool drink for those who want something different and like to taste your booze. Enjoy."

Submitted to the Dead Lounge by Cosmic Star Goat. Many Thanks!

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Bit Of Honey

1/4 Bailey's Irish Cream
1/4 butterscotch schnapps
1/4 amaretto
1/4 milk

Stir with ice into a highball glass. Real milk tastes the best in this sweet concoction.

Invented by and submitted to the Dead Lounge by MISFIT. Many Thanks!

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The Mojito

1 medium lime & 1 lime slice
2 teaspoons sugar
GOOD Light rum
Seltzer water & ice

Tradition has its own ideas on what makes this breezy classic, and we're not huge fans of muddled mint. However, I'm happy to just let Zeke (the ever-so-eloquent submitter of the Shark Attack) tell his side of it:

"I had an interesting Wednesday this week. Met up with someone for drinks after work and found out many secrets—some I suspected and some I didn't. In short, it made her that much more attractive.

"Then I found out she was a demoness, possessed by the spirit of the tropics and the Devil's own Rum. And she tempted me and I did succumb. Which leads me to submit another drink recipe I was shocked not to find in the DL's repertoire, the Mojito. I'm just uncertain whether they should endorse it as a classic, or the Tropicalia section would have the rights to its dispense. So I'll leave it to you as Host to decide.

"The Mojito, a classic for the tropics and favorite of Papa Hemingway, has been around long enough to be a classic coctail, though it's really more a tropical pick-me-up...or, if made strong enough, a "pick-me-up-and-slam-me-down-give-me-a-headache-tomorrow." After watching several made on Wednesday, my version goes like this:

Take a tall glass and squeeze the juice of medium Lime into it. Crush/tear all but one mint leaf and drop into glass and add the sugar. Crush all these together in the glass (with a pestle, knife handle, etc) combining well so that the sugar is crushed and dissolved into the juice. Add 2 oz (or more depending on taste and desired inebriation level) LIGHT rum, several ice cubes, top off with seltzer/soda water. Garnish with Lime Slice and Mint Leaf. Lift to the sky and intone 'Hear, hear; Papa.' Enjoy."

Recipe and description by Zeke. Thanks again!

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Have you a classic cocktail you want to see here, one that ravishes the senses and raises the bar? Please let us know.