Cities and their Famous Cocktails

28 Mar

By Kristy (with input from Kristen)

The cocktail was born in the USA, one of the few culinary movements we can claim credit for.  Therefore, regional cocktails have popped up in many of our cities.  Here are some of our favorites:

** All recipes based on

New Orleans: New Orleans is largely known for the sugary concoction that is the Hurricane, but far more clever and classic cocktails call NOLA home:

-The Sazerac (made with Peychaud’s bitters, another New Orleans specialty)

  • 3 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • Peychaud bitters to taste
  • absinthe (swirled in cup and then dumped)
  • lemon twist for garnish

-Ramoz Fizz

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz milk, half & half or cream
  • 1 small egg white
  • 2 dashes fleurs d’orange (orange flower water)
  • club soda

-Vieux Carre

  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1/2 oz Benedictine
  • lemon twist for garnish


Boston may have the eponymous cocktail shaker named after it, and Mr Boston’s cocktail guide, but while it lacks a cocktail recipe of any historical significance, it is now known for its modern cocktail concoctions.  Visit to find the best bars with the most creative mixologists.  There are locally made bitters (Bittermens from Somerville, MA), locally made potato or blueberry vodka from Maine (Cold River), or  visit one of the local distilleries (

Or, just order the regional specialty, the Cape Codder, one of several New England Highballs

1 1/2 oz vodka
3 oz cranberry juice
1 lime wedge

New York:

The Jack Rose, made with the smaller 1.5oz Wall Street Jigger (courtesy of

Jack Rose

  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz orange juice
  • lime juice (from 1/2 lime)
  • 1/2 oz raspberry syrup
  • 2 oz applejack
  • Seltzer
  1. Mix the sugar and citrus juices. Add the syrup and applejack. Shake with cracked ice, strain into a cocktail or Collins glass and top off with seltzer

Bloody Mary (**playing around with the ingredients of a Bloody Mary is the best part)

  • 3 oz tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • celery salt
  • ground pepper
  • hot pepper sauce to taste
  • celery stalk and/or pickle spear for garnish
  • lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish


The Lenox Lounge cocktail (from Harlem)

  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces coconut-flavored rum
  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur
  • Splash of pineapple juice
  • Splash of peach schnapps
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 orange wheel

Prohibition Punch (from Grand Central Station):

  • 1 ounce Appelton Estate Rum V/X
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • Splash of cranberry juice
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Moet et Chandon Champagne

Tom Collins

Rob Roy

Honorable mentions: The Cosmopolitan, the Long Island Iced Tea

Bonus: Oldest Bars in NYC:


The Southside Cocktail

– 2 oz gin
– 1 oz simple syrup
– 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
– 3 – 4 oz soda (7-up, sprite)
– 2 mint sprigs
– 2 pieces limes

Muddle the simple syrup, lime, and gin all together to infuse the syrup. fill a rocks glass with ice, pour the muddled syrup over the ice. Add all other liquids starting with gin and then adding soda + lime juice. Stir until the glass is cold, garnish with mint sprigs.

Cohasset Punch

Cohasset Punch from Ladners’ recipe (from:

1½ oz dark rum
1 oz sweet vermouth
juice of ½ lemon
½ oz syrup from canned peaches
½ oz Grand Marnier
2 dashes orange bitters

Start by putting half a canned peach in the bottom of a saucer champagne glass; then half-fill the glass with shaved ice. Put all the liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the glass.

Chicago cocktail

Lemon slice
Powdered sugar
2 ounces brandy
1/4 teaspoon orange curacao or triple sec
Dash Angostura bitters
Cracked ice

Rub the rim of an old-fashioned glass with the lemon and dip in the powdered sugar. Stir the brandy, bitters and curacao over cracked ice. Pour into the prepared glass, garnish with the lemon and serve.

The Gilbert:

To one jigger of Gordon gin, add one-half jigger of French vermouth and one-half jigger of Italian vermouth, a touch of Absinthe, and strain into cocktail glass. Concocted by Paul Gilbert, of the Chicago Evening Post.

The Pink Lady:

To one jigger of Gin, add orange syrup to color, a dash of Apollinaris, and one-half a lime. Ice, stir well, and serve.

The Ticonderoga:

To one jigger of Dubonnet, add a dash of Italian vermouth, a dash of Grenadine and a touch of lemon. Emil Rutz, manager of the extinct Vogelsang’s, concocted this

San Francisco:

Pisco Punch (read the story here:

— Esquire magazine had a great recipe recently:

Los Angeles:

Mai Tai (original Trader Vic’s recipe):

  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, juiced lime half reserved
  • 1/2 ounce orange curaçao
  • 1/4 ounce Rich Simple Syrup, also known as rock candy syrup
  • 1/4 ounce orgeat
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish

Washington D.C.

The Gin Rickey was invented at Shoemaker’s, a Washington, DC saloon in the late nineteenth century.

  • 2 oz gin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • club soda
  • lime wedge for garnish

Dallas (by way of Mexico)

The Margarita

Read the history here:

Elsewhere in the South:

– drinks with Southern Comfort

– Mint Julep

– Alabama Slammer

In the tropics and around the world:

– Hawaii: Blue Hawaii

– Tiki Drinks, like the Singapore Sling

– Key West and Cuba: The Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke), the Mojito

The mojito deserves special consideration here, as it may possibly be one of the oldest alcoholic mixed drinks, aging from 17th century Cuba.

Some of the Oldest Cocktails ever made:

If you read about cocktail history, the original cocktails (or Old Fashioned’s) are mainly comprised of water, spirit, sugar, bitters.  The first bartender’s cocktail guide was The Bon Vivant’s Companion in 1862.  Back then, cocktails were just one type of drink among Punches, Sours, Slings, Cobblers, Toddies, and others. From 1869-1920 the first cocktails and cocktail parties sprung up in California.  One of the first cocktails was the Martini.

Old Cocktail recipes from American Hotel Bars:

The J-Bar, Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colo.

1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons warm chocolate sauce
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 shot of bourbon (or to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

The Cruise Room, The Oxford Hotel, Denver

3 sugar cubes
Juice of one lemon
1 3/4 ounces Absolut Citron

Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass with a sugar-coated rim.

Oliver’s, Mayflower Park Hotel, Seattle

2 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin or Stolichnaya Cristall vodka
1/2 ounces Cinzano dry vermouth
2 large Cinzano dry vermouth Spanish olives

Start with an empty ice cold Martini mixing glass.
Lightly coat the mixing glass with Cinzano Dry vermouth.
Swirl to coat the inside of the mixing glass with the vermouth; dispose of excess vermouth in sink.
Fill mixing glass with ice.
Pour Bombay Sapphire gin or Stolichnaya Cristall vodka over the ice.
Cap and shake vigorously.
Let the mixture stand approximately 20 seconds.
Place a set of large vermouth marinated Spanish olives on the edge of ice-cold martini glass.
Strain the mixture into the glass over the olives.

Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

1/2 teaspoon Benedictine
Dash Peychaud
Dash Angostura
1/3 shot each rye whiskey, cognac and dry vermouth

Shake and serve on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

1 ounce dark rum
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce Orgeat
1 ounce pineapple juice
2 ounces orange juice

Mix well and serve in a tall glass over ice.

The Peacock Alley, The Waldorf-Astoria, New York

1 1/2 ounces XO vodka
1 1/2 ounces Pama liqueur (a new pomegranate-based liqueur)
1/4 ounces (dash) Patron Citronge

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, shake vigorously. Strain into champagne glass.

The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

2 ounces Maker’s Mark with lightly muddled mint leaves and sugar water.

Served in a frosted highball glass over crushed ice; garnish with a sprig of mint dusted with powdered sugar.

Muddled Mint Leaves & Sugar Water Recipe:
Mint juice-Take a bunch of fresh mint leaves pulled from the stems add ½ oz. water and crushed ice then blend until pulverized. Strain the mint water from this pulverization.
Sugar Water – add 2 1/2 cups sugar to 32 ounces of hot water; stir until dissolved then chill

Add one part mint juice to two parts chilled sugar water; store to make the prep muddled mint leaves sugar water.

The Horse & Plow, The American Club Resort Hotel, Kohler, Wis.

One sugar cube muddled with the bitters.
Add ice, then the brandy, whiskey or Southern Comfort.
Add soda of choice.
Garnish with oranges and cherries.

The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, N.C.

3 parts Maker’s Mark
Fresh lemon juice
1 part mint-infused simple syrup.

Mix and serve in a chilled martini glass, garnished with a sprig of mint and lemon zest.

Town and Country Lounge, The Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.

2 ounces Absolut Citron
1/4 ounces Amaretto
3 ounces cranberry juice
Twist of lemon

The Terrace, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle

Smirnoff vodka (609 ounces=twenty-four 25.4 ounce bottles)
Juniper berries
Lemon peel
Orange peel
Orris root (iris root)
Cocoa nibs
Cassia bark
Cubeb berries
Grains of paradise

In an industrial 12-gallon pot add vodka, 5-6 juniper berries and one small pinch of the remaining botanicals. Bring to a light simmer; then remove from the heat source and test. After cooling, strain through cheesecloth, and then pour into serving containers.



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