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RECENT COCKTAILS: OCTOBER 5, 2011
Fernet Branca, Ginger liqueur, Sweet vermouth, Lime juice, Ginger beer, Lime
OCTOBER 2, 2011
Rye, Sweet vermouth, Herbal liqueur, Bitters
SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Reposado Tequila, Herbal liqueur, Cynar, Lemon peel
Light rum, Falernum, Bitters, Grapefruit juice, Lime juice
SEPTEMBER 25, 2011
Amaro Nonino, Soda water, Simple syrup, Lemon juice, Lime juice, Ginger
Blanco tequila, Elderflower liqueur, Aromatized wine, Lime juice, Pomegranate juice, Egg white
Calvados, Strega, Orange liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, Cherry, Lemon juice
SEPTEMBER 24, 2011
Amontillado Sherry, Crema de mezcal, Grapefruit juice, Lime juice, Club soda, Simple syrup, Lime
Pear eau de vie, Elderflower liqueur, Gin, Lemon juice, Pear
SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Pimm's No. 1 Cup, Fernet Branca, Ginger ale, Cucumber, Lemon, Mint

A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Craft Cocktail Making: Theory and Structure of Bitterness

So far we’ve investigated the role that acidity and sugar play in the creation of craft cocktails. While sugar predates acidity in cocktail history, these building blocks can be thought of as a pair – acidity and sugar directly oppose each other. When sugar overpowers acidity, drinks become cloying and heavy. With the reverse, drinks are tart, thin, and unpleasant. It is only when sweetness and acidity balance each other that a cocktail takes on a savory deliciousness that I call tension.

The sweet-sour balance is not the only way to create a craft cocktail. Before the invention of the sour family, cocktails were merely spirit, sugar, water and bitters. This category of drinks, now best exemplified by the Old Fashioned derives their deliciousness through the mitigating effects of sugar on the bitterness of wood-aged spirits and bitters.

The previous articles have stayed clear of any serious chemistry. Unfortunately, bitter and alcohol have a lot going on that needs some explanations, and chemistry provides the language. [editor: Nerd warning. Suck it up.]

Recent Additions

  • Pirueta — Blanco tequila, Sotol, Celery bitters, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur, Grenadine, Cocktail onion
  • King Louie — Bonal Gentiane Quina, Rye, Cognac, Crème de Banane, Bitters, Lemon peel
  • Big Spender — Cognac, Pineapple rum, Drambuie, Fernet Branca, Orange peel
  • Autumn in the Poconos — Applejack, Pear liqueur, Allspice Dram, Bitters, Apple Shrub
  • PhysTherapy — Pisco, Amarula Cream, Crème de Violette, Herbal liqueur, Ginger syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re Deadbolt, 26 minutes 11 seconds ago Travis Bickel commented:

    Used high proof Bourbon instead of blended scotch and added Peychaud's bitters with Mole bitters for chocolate and anise undertones. Poured into rock's glass with one large cube and it worked real well.

  • Re No Stone Unturned, 1 day ago drinkingandthinking commented:

    Fernet and absinthe work well together and salt plays a role in tying it altogether. Interesting but not exactly my cup of tea.

  • Re 100-Year-Old Cigar, 2 days ago Craig E commented:

    Per comment and linked reference, added the missing bitters. Thanks!

  • Re 100-Year-Old Cigar, 2 days ago applejack commented:

    Pretty sure this is supposed to have a dash of Ango.

  • Re Martinez, 2 days ago Kindred Cocktails commented:

    Curated to correct Bergamot to be in Somerville, MA.