10 Rules of Drinking Like a Man #2 No “Tini’s”

Rule 2: No “Tini’s”

God damn it, a Martini is nothing other than gin and vermouth with a dash of orange bitters (if you are lucky) stirred and put into a cocktail glass.  Don’t ever ask what type of, “Martinis,” a bar has, because it perpetuates not knowing this simple definition.  “Cocktail” is the broad term we have agreed upon to be a mixed drink of spirits, through specifically, the word cocktail means an all spirit drink with a dash of bitters, like a Manhattan, or a Martini, or even a Kangaroo Kicker (vodka martini). YOU CAN’T ADD “TINI” OR AN ADJECTIVE LIKE “POMEGRANATE” TO AN OLD DRINK AND MAKE IT A NEW DRINK.   The more you look into drinks, you’ll find that they have already all been named.  I don’t know them all, I never will and I’m not going to try that hard,  and neither should you.  One should, however, understand that ordering drinks that sound like Cold Stone Creamery flavors are not going to be generally accepted or known cocktails.  But there is good news, you can still get what you want without looking like an idiot, it is called knowing the type of drink you want.  It isn’t your job to know drink families, but a few that are good to vaguely grasp are:

Cocktail: The Balance and Columbia Repository newspaper defined it in 1806, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling.”  That is something that is spoken by someone dressed as Mr. Peanut, however it is easy to explain: all booze, always stirred.  The Manhattan and the Martini are the kings, more advanced would be the scotch based Roby Roy and the lightly bitter gin based Negroni.  I have a very tacky habit of hand delivering every Negroni ordered in my restaurant.  This is a cocktail for the savvy.

Though it should never be served in a cocktail glass, the Sazerac is one of the best cocktails

Sour: Lemon and/or lime shaken with a base spirit and some sort of sugar.  I’m sure you know a few, perhaps a Margarita, a Sidecar a Cosmopolitan, a Gimlet, a Whiskey Sour, get it? Most mixed drinks that people order and enjoy are sours.  More advanced soured would be a Pisco Sour (introduce the egg white to the drink), a Last Word or an Aviation.

Put an egg in it for a softer sour

Fizz: To fizz is to add effervescence, make it sparkle.  You might notice recurring words in the fizz world.  Here are a few Royal: topped with Champagne-like Kir Royale. Ricky: lime and soda-like gin ricky. Buck: ginger ale –like a whiskey buck. Silver: with an egg white. Golden: with an egg yolk.

Ramos Gin Fizz, means: invented by a dude named Ramos, contains gin, fizz means bubbles

Julep: Crushed ice, herbs and booze.  It will almost always be mint and an aged spirit, but increasing, anything is up for mixing.  The addition of fruit to this mixed drink style would make it a, “smash.”

Mint, sugar, bourbon-the mint julep is very simple

Tiki or Exotics: There aren’t really rules for tiki, but if there were they would be: #1 use fresh juices to make long refreshing drinks and #2 have fun.  Tiki started in the 40’s and was characterized mostly by rum drinks and tropical flavors that are very strong, but when mixed well are very subtle.  Modern tiki often goes wrong for one reason, the lack of fresh juice.

Tiki mugs improve life

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7 Responses to 10 Rules of Drinking Like a Man #2 No “Tini’s”

  1. brent butler says:

    andrew, can you please describe your egg shaking technique? that ramos is dead sexy. i will be serving a ramos-inspired cocktail on our upcoming menu at Blackbird in San Francisco and i was wondering what your thoughts are on whether a dry shake is absolutely necessary or just very cool. in case your interested the drink itself is bols genever, maple syrup, lemon, lime, bitters, egg white, and flower water. thanks again for the great post.

  2. Alicia says:

    I really love the way you always make cocktails sound like something you build, very carefully, and with every detail thought out. It’s how drinks should be.

  3. To be brief,

    Here’s what I call the basic ‘Donn Beach’ formula for exotic or ‘Tiki’ drinks:

    1. Punch recipe, but use crushed ice for the ‘weak.’ 1 sour, 2 sweet, 3 strong, 4 week + spice

    Always, as you say – fresh citrus juices, tropical flavors, spiced syrups. A universal modifier is borrowed from the improved cocktail: dash of bitters, dash of absinthe.

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  6. I get so annoyed at having to specify that I want a GIN martini. It’s a damn martini. Vodka drinkers should have to specify that they want a vodka martini, not the other way around.

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