Classic cocktails like the Gimlet and the Sidecar are making an impressive comeback on restaurant and bar menus, thanks to the steady popularity of US drama series Mad Men, says a market research report.
According to Mintel, over the last three years, cocktails described as ‘classic' have increased by 76 percent on menus. Among the most popular vintage drinks are the Gimlet, Sazerac and the Sidecar, cocktails which pay homage to 1960s Manhattan when business deals were sealed with the clink of a glass and it was customary for suits and ties to break in the day for a shot of Scotch -- neat.
Here are a few links to cocktail recipe ideas, some of which take bold risks with vintage classics.
Men's magazine Esquire takes the straight-laced approach to the Manhattan and gives the recipe to you straight: rye whiskey, vermouth and Angostura bitters. Perhaps the only ‘crazy' thing they may advise is to shake the elixir, rather than stirring.
Food and kitchen blog thekitchn.com offers a little back story to the origins of the gimlet and a recipe that allows drinkers to interchange gin for vodka. If using vodka, however, go for the "sturdy" stuff like Smirnoff. If using gin, try crisp, dry, London-style liquors like Tanqueray, Beefeater, Seagram's or Gordon's, advises the mixologist author. Lime flavoring must also be the sweetened, bottled kind, not fresh.
For a savory, summery version, try a basil vodka Gimlet made with a basil lemon syrup by Epicurious.com.
Widely referred to as the oldest cocktail in the US, with origins that date back to pre-civil war in New Orleans, Louisiana, the traditional Sazerac is distinguished by the light coating of absinthe, Herbsaint or Pernod on the inside of the glass. NOLA celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's recipe calls for a lump of sugar, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura bitters, rye whiskey and a lemon peel.
Meanwhile, YouTube channel Drink Inc., reinvents the Sazerac with surprising and eyebrow-raising ingredients, using the Indian spice garam masala to season the "Tazerac," and a smoking gun to smoke hickory wood chips and the spice (skip to around 6:10 mark).
Epicurious.com's recipe for the classic Sidecar is equal parts Cointreau, brandy and lemon juice, while popular food TV celebrity Giada De Laurentiis reworks the recipe into Sidecar martinis with lemon liqueur.