Essential Cocktail

April 14, 2010

Happy Hour: Caipirinha

by Payman Bahmani

  I have yet to come across a cocktail that epitomizes the adjective rustic like the Caipirinha does.  Derived from the Brazilian Portuguese word caipira (meaning “country people”), even the drink’s name references its rustic nature.  Some refer to the Caipirinha as the cousin of the Mojito.  My liquor-warped brain sees it slightly differently. To me […]

April 7, 2010

Happy Hour: Blood and Sand

by Payman Bahmani

  Of all the names one could choose for a cocktail, the Blood and Sand is one of the oddest. It sounds odder when you consider the stuff that goes into the drink–Scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, and orange juice, all in equal proportions.  But of the relatively few classic Scotch cocktails out there, the […]

March 24, 2010

Happy Hour: Aviation

by Payman Bahmani

Classic cocktails make frequent appearances here, as dedicated readers are well aware. Since many of you aren’t cocktail geeks like myself, I do my best to keep that in mind when I write, particularly in terms of tone and content—believe me, we can get pretty esoteric if you let us. I’ve also come to realize that some […]

February 10, 2010

Happy Hour: The Sazerac

by Payman Bahmani

So the Saints finally won a Super Bowl, and while many of you surely pounded Hurricanes to celebrate, here in the Eastern Seaboard, the weather conditions don’t quite call out for something so tropical.  In other words, there’s a blizzard happening right outside my door.  Of course when it comes to celebrating the storied American […]

November 25, 2009

Happy Hour: The Manhattan

by Payman Bahmani

There’s no two ways about it, I likes me a good Manhattan. I likes me one any time of year really, but I especially likes me one during fall. There’s something about the bracing combination of whiskey and sweet vermouth that warms my soul and embraces my palate like a hug from a fond, familiar […]

August 12, 2009

Happy Hour: Mai Tai

by Payman Bahmani

The Mai Tai is one of the most important and enduring drinks in the continuum of the American cocktail–it is an indelible piece of the ever-changing mosaic called “Americana.” That it instantly conjures images of tropical sunsets, surfboards, and other props fitting for the mis en scene of Beach Blanket Bingo is the reason it […]

July 22, 2009

Happy Hour: The Mojito

by Payman Bahmani

Yes indeed, the Mojito is finally making its Happy Hour debut. You may have wondered what took so long–ok, so maybe you don’t ponder the decision-making process of Happy Hour columns in your spare time, but I’ll tell you anyway. I was waiting for the heat of the NYC summer to really unleash itself before […]

July 8, 2009

Happy Hour: The Daiquiri

by Payman Bahmani

It is difficult to think of a classic cocktail that has gone through as many unflattering permutations–to the point where nearly all resemblance to the original has vanished–as the Daiquiri. That the word Daiquiri instantly conjures images of umbrella-laden, too-sweet-for-consumption slushees served to retirees on cruise ships only punctuates this point, since this modern-day mutation […]

June 3, 2009

Happy Hour: Gin & June Part 1, London Dry and Plymouth Gins

by Payman Bahmani

Summer is finally upon us, though at times the calendar seems to be the only evidence of its presence. As you prepare your summer plans and getaways, I’d like to supply you with information and inspiration that will be invaluable to your inebriation this season. The subject that I would like to discuss is Gin, […]

May 20, 2009

Happy Hour: Reposado Tequila Cocktails

by Payman Bahmani

For Happy Hour this week we are knee-deep in fermented agave and that’s just the way I like it. Last week I promised to feature tequila all this month, so this week I am featuring cocktails made with reposado tequila. You can see the past two weeks’ posts here and here. Reposado tequila is a […]