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.
White Lady Cocktail
29 May 12 10
Without looking too hard, you'll find a few different recipes going by the name "White Lady". Two, three or even four of them are all from the same bartender, Harry MacElhone, who created the drink in 1919. His original recipe called for Creme de Menthe, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice. In "ABC of Mixing Drinks" he lists it as Brandy, Creme de Menthe, and Cointreau, and then in 1923, when he took over the New York Bar in Paris, he updated the recipe again to be gin, Cointreau, and lemon juice, which is far more palatable. Many times these days, you will find this drink made with egg white as well. The recipe used here is as it was served by Harry Craddock at the Savoy cocktail bar in London.
12 Jan 12 10
Ratios make a difference. Often, two cocktails have the same exact ingredients. The difference in taste and aroma comes from the ratios. Such is the case with the Ford Cocktail as it is very similar to the Caprice Cocktail.
5 Apr 11 10
Ian Fleming's protagonist in Casino Royale, better known as James Bond, needed an emblematic tipple. Employing the services of his favorite bartender at Duke's Hotel in London, Ian came up with the Vesper, which eventually took its name from Vesper Lynd, another spy in the books. This now iconic vodka cocktail has become synonymous with 007. Shaken, not stirred? Not when Robert's mixing it up!
4 Jan 11 10
The Martinez cocktail is a precursor to the Martini and also directly related to the Manhattan. Its abundant use of sweet vermouth decreases the amount of alcohol in the cocktail overall but maximizes flavor. With the addition of Maraschino liqueur, even in a small measure, makes for a delightfully complex cocktail worthy of investigation. For a side by side comparison, mix up a Martinez a Martini and a Manhattan and sip them with your friends.
16 Nov 10 10
Sometimes referred to as the Emerald Martini, the Alaska Cocktail represents Hendrick's Gin and Yellow Chartreuse equally well.
15 Apr 10 10
It can often be said that paying your income tax is a bittered experience. As cocktails go, the Income Tax cocktail can be described as a "Bronx" cocktail with bitters, but it might be difficult to know if that is how it originally received its name.
Scorpion Bowl Cocktail
3 Nov 08 10
This classic "Communal" libation is a classic served at many Tiki inspired lounges, but the original comes from Trader Vic himself. While the recipe changed some over the years, this version from the 1960's is often pointed to as the best.
23 Aug 12 9
This cocktail was believed to have been named after Douglas Fairbanks Sr. If that was the case, then why is it “Fairbank” and not “Fairbanks”? An alternate story says it was named after Charles Warren Fairbank, who was Theodore Roosevelt’s vice president.
Blood and Sand Cocktail
8 May 12 9
In 1922 Rudolph Valentino starred in the movie “Blood and Sand”, a movie that shortly before his death in 1926 he declared as the part he liked the best. He had just undergone a touchy surgery for appendicitis and gastric ulcers and told the gathering press “The part I like best was my role in ‘Blood and Sand’. If I had died, I would have liked to be remembered as an actor by that role – I think it my greatest.” He died a few days later from peritonitis. It is unknown who actually created the recipe for Blood and Sand, but its first appearance seems to be in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Cradock in 1930. There it lists the recipe as equal parts of all three ingredients, but I feel that the recipe works better by boosting the scotch.
Young Man Cocktail
31 Jan 12 9
Created by famed bartender, Harry Craddock, the Young Man Cocktail is essentially a Manhattan made with Cognac. The addition of orange curaçao offers a subtle citrus note and a touch of sweetness.
19 Jan 12 9
The Washington Cocktail can be found in the Savoy Cocktail Book. Of the "new" style of cocktails created during the late 1800's, the Washington is typical of that era in that it contains vermouth like the manhattan and the martini but uses cognac as its spirit.
Between the Sheets Cocktail
16 Aug 11 9
Not many cocktails contain more than one base spirit, let alone three (unless they are created by Jamie Boudreau). The Between the Sheets cocktail is one exception.
Bobby Burns Cocktail
25 Jan 11 9
Fans of the Manhattan will no doubt enjoy the Bobby Burns Cocktail. Named after the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, it will certainly give you poetic inspiration. Grab your kilt and pipes or at least a pen and paper, mix up a Bobby Burns and get writing!
How to Make Rum Punch
11 Jan 11 9
Punch is great any time of year! With books like David Wondrich's Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl punches are becoming even more popular. Whether at home or behind the bar making a great punch is a wonderful way to bring friends and family together. In this very special episode, Chesterfield Browne, global ambassador for Mount Gay Rum, demonstrates his recipe for Rum Punch.
9 Nov 10 9
The Gimlet is an old style navy drink most likely invented when sailors in the British navy mixed their ration of gin with lime juice. A 1953 description was: "a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice and nothing else" (Terry Lennox in Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye). Thus, Robert Hess shows you how to make a gimlet with Hendrick's Gin and Rose's Lime Juice, going against the idea that fresh is always better.
Fancy Free Cocktail
25 Nov 09 9
While Whiskey has always had its dedicated followers, for a long time it has been shunned by those who might feel the brown spirits are something which should be avoided. Lately however, there has been some renewed interest into this classic American spirit, and it's flavorful characteristics. While a Manhattan might be a little too forward for the beginner, the Fancy-Free might provide a slightly more comfortable introduction.
21st Century Cocktail
22 Jun 09 9
The 20th Century cocktail has been around for… well… about a century. Isn’t it time we had something a little more up-to-date? Jim Meehan, of PDT in New York City, felt the same way, and so he came up with this delightful variation that is well worth trying. I appreciate it because it uses tequila, and I personally think the world needs a few more good tequila cocktail recipes.
Zig Zag Café - Hot Buttered Rum
17 Dec 08 9
Now that you have chilled your batter grab some dark rum and let Kacy Fitch of Zig Zag Café in Seattle show you how to mix up a molten Hot Buttered Rum.
Weeski Cocktail - Courtesy of David Wondrich
16 Aug 12 8
Necessity can often be a wonderful inspiration. David Wondrich created this drink several years ago when he wanted to bring a bottle of pre-mixed Manhattans to a gathering of friends on Halloween. But his liquor cabinet was missing a few critical ingredients. Using what was at hand, he crafted a drink which focused on Jameson and Lillet, and the "Weeski" was born.
Fancy Whiskey Cocktail
15 Mar 11 8
The Old Fashioned is an old and distinguished cocktail, as well as one of my personal favorites. Many may point to its origins as being at the Pendennis Club in Louisville Kentucky around 1890, but its true roots go much deeper. Today we call it the Old Fashioned because it is a cocktail that is made in the true "old fashioned" way. You might even say it is the original cocktail, although in those days it would simply have been known as a whiskey cocktail, which with a little fancy embellishments becomes the Fancy Whiskey Cocktail.
22 Feb 11 8
A proper library of cocktail books is essential for exploring and finding inspiration. Many times gems are unearthed that can really get your wheels turning. Or, at the very least help bolster you cocktail menu. While visiting the Zig Zag Café, Robert and owner Ben Dougherty came upon the Cloister Cocktail in an obscure book neither of them had ever seen before.
19 Jan 11 8
Classic Tequila cocktails can be hard to come by. There is the Margarita, the most famous cocktail on planet Earth, and the Tequila Sunrise, and well, how many more can you name? Thus, Robert was pleasantly surprised when he came upon the Prado Cocktail in Jones Complete Bar Guide. With a hint of maraschino liqueur and the use of egg white, this cocktail is sure to become one of your favorites and hopefully, a classic.
Corpse Reviver #2 Cocktail
26 Oct 10 8
Said to have the ability to revive a corpse, hence the name, the Corpse Reviver was first listed in "The Savoy Cocktail Book" by Harry Craddock (1930). If you are feeling six feet under this Halloween, one or two of these cocktails is sure to bring you back to life.
Tom Collins Cocktail
19 Oct 10 8
The recipe for the Tom Collins first appeared in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas' "The Bartender's Guide". Apparently named after a little practical joke popular around 1874 in which one person would tell someone on the street that Tom Collins is in a local bar and is talking about them. The now agitated person would hurry off to confront this Tom Collins and soon enough a forward thinking bartender created the drink.
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