Modern Classics

As I am trying to find more histories of cocktails, as I am reading I am seeing the term “modern classic” or it refers to cocktails made after 1980s, personally not something I associate with a classic. Although a lot of these cocktails histories are quite, for want of a better word, boring I didn’t feel like I can create something visual from them. I also didn’t feel like I should just ignore them.


What makes a ‘Modern Classic Cocktail’?

Robert Simonson has spent a lot of time researching into the subject and interviewed many industry experts. He has defined a set of three rules to deem a cocktail worthy enough of the title:

  1. The drink must have traveled well beyond the bar at which it was created, appearing on multiple menus throughout its native city, country and possibly, the world
  2. The drink must have been popular enough with the public to warrant a standing place on those menus
  3. The drink must be generally regarded by the bartending community as a significant achievement, worthy of promulgating

The earliest drink on the list was created in 1983 so I assume an unoffical rule must be post 1980s(? ). Only 23 drinks fit the full three criteria and a further 51 make most of the criteria.


Boss Colada

  • 1 ounce Baska Snaps
  • ½ ounce orgeat, preferably Orgeat Works
  • ½ ounce white rum, preferably Banks 7
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 21 drops Peychaud’s bitters
  • Lime wheel

The most recent cocktail on the list is the Boss Colada created by Nick Detrich for his bar Cane & Table in 2013. The bar aims to show people that Tiki drinks aren’t the sickly sweet over the top drinks we know such as the Pina Colada. There doesn’t seem to be much more than that to the story.



  • 1 1/2 dash Citron vodka
  • 3/4 shot Triple sec
  • 3/4 shot lime juice
  • 3/4 shot cranberry juice


A drink that was made famous from Sex in the City has its origins in the early 1930s in a book called ‘Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars’ but the recipe has triple sec, gin, lemon and raspberry syrup. However, the true Cosmopolitan was invented by Cheryl Cook when she was bar-tending in the Strand on Washington, Miami. She says it came from the newly released Absolut flavour Citron and also that she noticed how people liked drinking out of a martini glass. In 1996 in the bar Rainbow Rooms, Manhattan a bartender Dale DeGroff perfected the recipe with the addition of the fashionable orange zest twist. Yet he admits he did not invent the drink, he just popularised it.


Trinidad Sour

  • 1 1/2 shot Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1/2 shot Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Almond syrup
  • 3/4 lemon juice.


Created by Giuseppe Gonzalez in 2009 when he worked at the bar Clover Club, Brooklyn. He was inspired by a competition winning cocktail Trinidad Espeical by Valentino Bolognese at the Angostura European Cocktail Competition in 2008. The main difference being there is no whiskey instead use 1/3 shot pisco. Also only 1 shot of bitters, 1 shot of almond syrup and 2/3 shot lime.


Espresso Martini

  • 1 1/2 vodka
  • 1 1/2 shot espresso coffee
  • 1/2 shot coffee liqueur
  • 1/4 shot sugar syrup

The earliest drink on the list, this cocktail started out with the title Vodka Espresso. Created in 1983 in Soho Brasserie, London (not there anymore) by Dick Bradsell. A customer asked him to make a drink to “wake her up and f- her up”. Bradsell was quoted in saying that the coffee machine was a mess so very much on his mind, also vodka was all the rage then. The recipe has changed over time and he renamed the cocktail to Espresso Martini during the 90s.

There is also a lesser known third re-vamp called Pharmaceutical Stimulant in 1998 which is served on the rocks.


As you can see they are a just created. There isn’t much of a story… but still interesting to bear in mind!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s