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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Old Fashioned and The Cosmopolitan

This weekend I decided to take on The Old Fashioned. Then we invited friends over and I decided to try The Cosmopolitan as well for the ladies. I've learned that the classic cocktails are just too strong for me.

The Old Fashioned is said to have been invented at a gentleman's club in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1880's. A local bourbon distiller, Colonel James Pepper, loved it and took it to the bar at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan where it became very popular. Some believe the drink was invented prior, but most of my sources agree with the Louisville history.

David's Swizzle Stick Rating:
The Old Fashioned - 3 Swizzle Sticks

The Old Fashioned - 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes bitters, 2 dashes club soda, 2 oz. bourbon, lemon wedge and maraschino cherry for garnish. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of an Old Fashioned cocktail glass. Add bitters and club soda to the sugar. Muddle the sugar and liquid until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add the bourbon. Mix with a swizzle stick. Put a toothpick through a lemon wedge and a maraschino cherry for garnish.

David thought the sugar and perhaps the club soda made the drink too sweet. He preferred the Biscayne Manhattan made with bourbon to the Old Fashioned. And he really didn't like the next drink!

The Cosmopolitan become popular in the U.S. in the 1970's. Several of my sources cite South Beach, Florida bartender Cheryl Cook with the creation of the drink in the early 1980's. "What overwhelmed me was the number of people who ordered Martinis just to be seen with a Martini glass in their hand. It was on this realization that gave me the idea to create a drink that everyone could palate and was visually stunning in that classic glass. This is what the Cosmo was based on."

David's Swizzle Stick Rating:
2 Swizzle Sticks

The Cosmopolitan - 3 oz. Vodka, 1.5 oz. Cointreau, juice of 1/2 lime, 1.5 oz. cranberry juice, lemon slice to garnish. Fill a shaker with crushed ice. Add the Vodka, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake and strain into a Martini cocktail glass. Add the cranberry juice and serve with a slice of lemon.

David did not like the cranberry in this drink. Some of the Cosmo recipes I found called for just a splash of cranberry juice and some called for the amount that I used - the same as the Cointreau. The cranberry did give this drink a tart and not necessarily sweet flavor.

Leslee, Candy, and I enjoyed The Cosmopolitan, as well as the Mojito that we made afterward.

And Mike really liked the Sidecar. But an unpopular couple of drinks for David this weekend.

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