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.
Corpse Reviver #1
6 Sep 12 10
Corpse Revivers were (and are) a style of drink intended for a bit of the hair of the dog (an expression that refers to alcohol used as a treatment for a hangover). Hard to say exactly what it was about these drinks that made them seem more appropriate for this use over other drinks. Regardless of time of day of consumption, the Corpse Reviver #1 is worth discovering as it is not seen very often.
23 Apr 08 4
Often confused with the Mimosa, the Bucks Fizz Cocktail is an elegant drink suited to the simple brunch or extravagant celebration.
9 Aug 12 10
This drink clearly comes from the era of American Prohibition. I found it in the Savoy Cocktail Book, which was published in 1933, so even if this wasn’t its first in-print appearance, it had to be pretty close. This recipe specifically called for Plymouth gin, as well as Kina Lillet. Plymouth is of course still around, but there is some debate as to if the currently available Lillet is the same as was once marketed as “Kina Lillet”. Some evidence appears to indicate that the product was reformulated sometime in the past, and it’s bitterness from the quinine might have been softened at that time.
Red Snapper Cocktail
21 May 12 6
If you dig into the often confusing history of the Bloody Mary, you will encounter references to it first being served in 1934 at the St. Regis hotel in New York by Fernand Petiot who brought the recipe with him from Paris (where some accounts claim he invented it). Since the name “Bloody Mary” was deemed to be a little to vulgar for the establishment, it was re-christened the “Red Snapper”, it is also said that since vodka wasn’t yet easily available here in the US, gin was used instead. Eventually the original name was returned to the drink, but the Red Snapper continued to be made with gin instead of vodka.
11 Oct 11 4
Robert discovered the Chrysanthemum Cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book. This unique cocktail does not contain a base spirit as most cocktails typically do. In its recipe it utilizes only absinthe, Benedictine, and dry vermouth.
10 Nov 08 6
Exotic cocktails often need an exotic display, and few get more exotic than the Volcano. Served in it's namesake vessel, replete with mini volcano burning brightly in the center, this is sure to catch your attention. Fire extinguishers on the ready!
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.
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.
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.
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.
9 Aug 11 6
Many times in making cocktails, just as in life, the simpler the better. Such is the case with the delightful Apricot Cocktail. Originally found in the Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury,this cocktails three ingredients stirred with ice offer up beautiful aroma and nuanced flavor. Floral, fruity and even herbaceous, the Apricot Cocktail is a classic to be savored.
30 Aug 12 7
This drink was named for a member of the family which founded the Guion Line, a steamship company which operated from 1866 to 1892 and was one of the primary steamship lines providing transportation from London to New York. This drink was probably created at the Waldorf Astoria bar.
14 May 12 7
The original recipe for this called for equal parts of all four ingredients. Such a drink would be far too unbalanced, but feel free to give it a try if you want. The recipe shown here is more of a modified dry Martini, with the absinthe and violette being supporting actors instead of co-stars.
27 Sep 12 1
This drink was created by the owner (and sometimes bartender) of “Monas Bistro & Lounge” here in Seattle. It was one of my hangouts in my early years of digging into cocktails, in fact Tito (the owner) even built my home bar for me.
Travel Like a Mixologist
28 Apr 08 3
Not only must you stock your bar with the best ingredients and most useful tools, you need to be able to take your act on the road. Robert packs up his traveling mixologist bag and let's you in on some secrets of transporting those all important bitters.
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.
6 Apr 09 23
Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit made from sugar cane, and therefore is similar in nature to a rum, or more correctly a rhum agricole. While not as popular a cocktail ingredient as rum it still holds a lot of potential. I created the "Festa" to try to represent a relaxing and refreshing Spring cocktail, but with enough flavor components to make it interesting as well.
5 Jul 12 3
This cocktail was named after the Algonquin Hotel, which opened its doors in 1902 in one of New York’s most fashionable neighborhoods. The hotel gained its greatest fame a few years later as the home of the Algonquin Round Table, the repeating literary lunch in which Alexander Woollcott, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and their compatriots held sway on New York’s cultural scene. There were in fact several drinks named after this historic venue, but this recipe is the one currently served by the hotel’s bartenders.
23 Aug 12 12
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.
Interview with Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon
13 Oct 11 3
Robert had the great pleasure of sitting down with Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon at Needle and Thread above Tavern Law in Seattle to discuss Bulleit's newest product, Bulleit Rye.
Interview with Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker’s Mark
2 Sep 09 5
During a busy visit to Seattle, Bill Samuel's Jr., President of Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky, was kind enough to sit down for an interview with Robert at Daniel's Broiler. Bill talks about how he wasn't the best rocket scientist and the real reason his dad made him President of Maker's Mark back in 1975.
E**X**R and Ginger
28 Jun 11 12
What do you do when a new product arrives that you have never mixed with before? Start by tasting it and comparing it to what you know. Then, mix up a simple cocktail that will express the nuances and characteristics of the spirit or liqueur. The Bitter Truth E*X*R is wonderfully sweet with characteristics of an Italian amaro. It pairs perfectly with a spicy ginger beer!
Interview: Sean Harrison and Desmond Payne
20 Jul 09 8
As if our coverage of Tales of the Cocktail 2009 could get any better! In this very special episode of The Cocktail SPirit with Robert Hess, Robert sits down for an exclusive interview with Sean Harrison, master distiller of Plymouth Gin and Desmond Payne, master distiller of Beefeater and now Beefeater 24. Together they have decades of experience crafting some of the world's finest gins. And, Robert has about the same amount of experience drinking them!
Dry Martini Cocktail
16 Jul 07 1
It is time perhaps that we tackle that quintessential cocktail, the Martini. This drink originated in the late 1800's, and quickly became one of the standards, alongside the Manhattan. The pre-prohibition Martini however was different from what you might expect today in many ways, and frankly it was a lot better for it. NOTE: Ok, so you got me pontificating about the Martini so much that I messed up making the dry Martini in this episode. I should have added a dash of orange bitters to the dry Martini cocktail just like I did to the sweet version.
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