Mid Century Cocktails Nouveau

From Left: Vanilla Greyhound, Gin Collins, Spiced Manhattan, Pink Squirrel

From Left: Vanilla Greyhound, Gin Collins, Spiced Manhattan, Pink Squirrel

Lets take a look at a few 1960's cocktails and spin them around a bit.  Changing just one ingredient or modifying it can pay respect to the origins of a great drink while crafting something your grandmother would have loved but wasn't drinking at the time.  

The Vanilla Greyhound

1.5 oz Vanilla infused Vodka

1.5 oz Citrus infused Vodka

3 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice (fresh squeezed)

2 dashes Grapefruit bitters (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a rocks glass filled with ice and give a stir or two.  Don't shake.  The standard greyhound is just vodka and grapefruit juice.  Adding the citrus and vanilla vodkas keep this well drink simple while adding flavors you have to sip twice to notice.  Smooth and easy any time of day.  Garnish with fresh grapefruit and consume liberally.  

The Citrus Gin Collins

2.5 oz Dry Gin

1.5 oz Citrus Collins Mix*

Fill with Soda Water

Pour Gin and Collins mix into tall glass with ice.  Top with soda water and give a stir with a long straw.  Simple.  The key to a great Tom Collins whether it be gin or vodka is to make sure your collins (sour mix) is more sour than sweet.  Todays mixes tend to be overly sweet and ruin the tangy balance you want in this classic cocktail.  Gin is rarely enjoyed sweet.  Vodka is often prepared too sweet.  Keep this one tart by making our Citrus Collins Mix.

Citrus Collins Mix

1 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 cup fresh Lime Juice

Zest from 2 Lemons and 1 Lime

1 cup sugar

Add all ingredients to a saucepan on low heat.  Stir until mixture is warmed and sugar is dissolved.  When mixture just starts to bubble, turn off the heat and cover.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Pour mixture through a strainer to remove the zest.  Store in a glass bottle for up to 30 days in the refrigerator.  Adding 2 oz of vodka helps the mix keep longer.  

Spiced Manhattan

1.5 oz Spiced Rum (Sunshines Very Spicy Rum is recommended)

1.5 oz Whiskey or Bourbon

.5 oz Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes bitters of choice

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.  Pour into large rocks glass with a single large ice cube.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange peel.  Mixing spiced rum and whiskey change this drink just enough to make it a holiday favorite but keeping with the original vision.  

The Pink Squirrel

1 oz Creme de Noyaux

1 oz Creme de Cocoa (30% ABV)

1 oz Cream

Shake very well with ice and strain into an apertif glass or small cocktail glass.  OK, we don't need to change this recipe a bit.  The original recipe from Bryant's in Milwaukee is just perfect, though we do recommend using a creme de cacao that is 30% alcohol vs. the more common 15% version that is far too sweet.  Ladies tend to love this drink and many gentlemen do as well.  Try this one with dessert or as your dessert.  Go back to the 15% creme de cacao and you can freeze this cocktail into a popscicle.  Don't forget to garnish with cherries.