The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess
The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess is dedicated to the creation of quality classic cocktails. Watch as he mixes up cocktail recipes from the past using the best ingredients.
Black Hawk Cocktail
23 Aug 11 21
Robert discovered the Black Hawk cocktail in Jones Complete Bar Guide as well as Cocktail DB. The bourbon adds a great backbone for the acid of the lemon and the sweet and complex notes of the sloe gin to mingle. This is surely a classic.
How to Bartend at Home
1 Apr 08 20
Feeling like a professional bartender at home can be as easy as having the right tools. Here are some special suggestions that can up your game the next time you entertain.
4 Mar 08 20
In its many incarnations The Zombie has become an icon of the tropical drink era spawned by Trader Vic and Don the Beach Comber. As Jeff "Beach Bum" Berry and other cocktail historians re-discover these classic recipes and the "tiki" culture takes off again in this new century The Zombie and it's brethren are poised to make a comeback.
31 Dec 07 20
In this episode, Robert Hess of drinkboy.com demonstrates how to create a champagne cocktail with a sugar cube and Angostura bitters. This cocktail dates back over 200 years.
Bourbon Crusta Cocktail
31 Aug 09 19
The "Crusta" is a style of drink which harkens from the early 1800's. While it never gained the same level of notoriety as the "Cocktail", today's cocktail revival is allowing it to once again make it's way onto drink lists again.
21 Aug 08 19
As we all know, bitters are a crucial ingredient for many cocktails. A few old recipes referred to peach bitters, but no product survived to modern days. Fee Brothers then produced their version, and I took it on myself to see if I could come up with a few cocktails that might be able to make good use of it. The Renaissance is one of them that I came up with. I think that it is a delightfully approachable drink that is just slightly on the sweet side.
23 Jun 08 19
The vessel from which we drink our cocktails should not be overlooked. Whether traditional, iconic or modern the glassware used in serving a guest says a lot about what is inside.
17 Sep 07 19
First arriving in the mid 80's, the Cosmopolitan was "the" cocktail of the 90's. While it is still popular today, some may avoid it less they be seen as simply "following the pack". Since the Cosmo follows the classic-style formula of such great drinks as the Sidecar, Margarita, Daiquiri, and Aviation, there is nothing at all wrong with this drink, just be careful to make it with good quality ingredients.
Vieux Carre Cocktail
7 Jul 08 18
It was Chuck Taggart over at gumbopages.com who first introduced me to this delicious drink. It was first created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. This was before the installation of the "Carousel Lounge", and while this drink was long missing from their repertoire, it can once again be ordered, and enjoyed, in this famous French Quarter bar.
5 Feb 08 18
One of the standards down in New Orleans, the Hurricane was one of the first entries into the rum cocktail boom which heralded the Tiki craze of the 40's and 50's.
10 Dec 07 18
For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be a lot of cocktails made with tequila. Sure, there's the Margarita, which is still the best selling cocktail around, but aside from "Tequila Poppers" the landscape is relatively slim. The Frostbite might be one cocktail you've never heard of before, but frankly I feel it is worth checking out.
31 Dec 07 17
When I travel through France, I always try to have at least one Kir Royale. It is a fairly common drink, named after Canon Felix Kir, a former mayor of Dijon, who popularized the use of the local white burgundy wine with a splash of cassis, which became known simply as "Kir". With champagne, it is known as a Kir Royale.
4 Sep 07 17
The Mojito seems to be "the" drink these days, but this drink dates from before the 1930's, where it was a popular drink in cuba to refresh and relax with. In the late 1940's the drink burst onto the international scene when it was "discovered" by Enest Hemmingway at "La Bodeguita del Medio". Properly made, a mojito should always be made with fresh mint and fresh lime juice, but due to its ubiquitous popularity, you will often find bars using various unfortunate shortcuts to make them quicker, but sacrifice the quality in doing so.
4 Oct 11 16
The Casino Cocktail is a very gin forward cocktail. It can be made with Old Tom gin and showcases that spirit well.
Old Pal Cocktail
2 Aug 11 16
The Old Pal Cocktail first appears in "ABC of Mixing Cocktails" by Harry MacElhone of the famed Harry's New York Bar in Paris. Originally calling for Canadian whisky, an American rye provides a robust flavor profile that adds a great foundation for the dry vermouth and Campari. Next time you are at your favorite bar, cozy up to the Old Pal Cocktail.
Rob Roy Cocktail
27 Jul 09 16
The Rob Roy gets it's name from an opera by the same name which opened in New York in 1894. In those days it was common to bring about new cocktails and name them after popular shows. For the Rob Roy, they simply took an existing popular cocktail, the Manhattan, and substituted the rye for scotch. Most likely, it would have been made with Dewar's blended scotch, which had just recently begun being imported into the states.
18 May 09 16
The Widow's Kiss dates back to around 1895. This was during a time when a "new" age of cocktails were coming into existence as bartenders were letting it expand beyond it's previously held definition of "spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters". They were experimenting with the use of vermouth (and hence the Martini and Manhattan), as well as various herbal liqueurs which would have previously been simply sipped neat. The Widow's Kiss doubles up on it's elixir content by using both Chartreuse and Benedictine. If you can only find green Chartreuse and not yellow, you can substitute if you cut back by about a third.
Pimm’s Cup Cocktail
21 Jul 08 16
This easy to make drink, is not only full of great flavors, and a wonderfully refreshing drink during the summer, but it also is slightly lower in overall alcohol content then most drinks and so is a good way to introduce folks to classic drinks. The common garnish is just a slice of cucumber, but it was also once popular to "festoon it with fruits in season".
El Floridita Cocktail
30 Jul 07 16
The "Floridita" Cocktail gets its name from the Floridita bar in Cuba. If you glance through various cocktail books, you will most likely find a variety of different drinks that go by this name, I'm not sure which one should be considered the original version, but this particular one I find to be quite delightful. You'll also learn about how to make homemade Grenadine in the process. (And as to the name of this drink using the masculine "El" instead of the feminine "La"... I've been told that while the establishment takes the feminine name of "Floridita", in Spanish the bar itself is masculine, and thus "El" should be used. At least that's what I've been told.)
Jack Rose Cocktail
26 Jun 12 15
There are various origin stories of the Jack Rose Cocktail. Some attribute it to a colorful and slightly nefarious individual named Jack Rose, others to Joseph Rose a Newark bartender who once held the title of “World Champion Mixologist”. Another story has the cocktail named after the Jacquemot Rose varietal because of its color. Regardless of its origins, it is probably the most popular cocktail which uses Applejack.
Monkey Gland Cocktail
26 Apr 11 15
The present day cannot lay claim to all that is outrageous and downright strange. Back in the day, men used to attempt amazingly misguided, ill informed shenanigans with the goal of increasing their virility and longevity; like taking monkey testicles and implanting or grafting them in to their own bodies. Thus, the Monkey Gland cocktail was created by Frank Meier, of the Ritz Hotel Paris (April, 1923). It is delicious. Promise.
6 Dec 10 15
Some seem to think the Bijou cocktail should be a layered drink, but it isn’t. The Bijou (meaning jewel in French) cocktail was reportedly invented by Harry Johnson in the 1890's. The oldest recipe I have comes from his 1900 "New And Improved Bartenders Manual", where the instructions clearly state "mix well with a spoon and serve." I can understand why somebody might think the layered presentation would be more appropriate, but it was not the way this drink was originally intended to be served. In a previous episode, you saw Dale DeGroff’s take on this the Ritz Bijou.
15 Jun 09 15
Originally, cocktails had such fanciful names as “gin cocktail”, “whiskey cocktail”, and “brandy cocktail”. Now that is some creativity the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. Such names were common in the original bartender’s guide published in 1862 by Jerry Thomas. By the time he published his second book in 1887; cocktail names had taken a decidedly different turn. Besides the Manhattan, Morning Glory, and Martinez cocktail, we also see one of the first appearances of the Saratoga cocktail. This variation on a Manhattan includes brandy along with the whiskey.
Tequila Old Fashioned
4 May 09 15
Think there is only one way to make an Old Fashioned? Think again. Unlike drinks such as the Martini, Margarita, and Daiquiri which have fairly specific recipes, the "Old Fashioned" emerged during the late 1800's as a way to refer to a cocktail as it was originally made in the "old days". The old cocktail books would refer to "Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail" so there was no confusion as to what spirit to use. While today it is simply assumed that Whiskey will be the ingredient in your Old Fashioned (or Brandy if you are from Minnesota), that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this style of cocktail with other spirits. So join me as I make mine with Tequila. And since cocktails should be all about celebrating the spirit, I'll be using a quality tequila, specifically Hornitos 100% blue agave tequila.
Liqeuer, Aperitif & Digestif
- Almond Liqueur
- Apricot Liqueur
- Blackcurrant Liqueur
- Chocolate Liqueur
- Cherry Liqueur
- Ginger Liqueur
- Herbal Liqueur
- Mint Liqueur
- Pomegranate Liqueur
- Orange Liqueur
- Violet Liqueur