What an 1860s Bar Looks Like
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Improv Everywhere recreated an 1860s bar in Brooklyn, luring unsuspecting drinkers
Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Black Rabbit already has quite a 19th-century feel, so pranksters Improv Everywhere decided to recreate an 1860s bar down to the prices, bring in two unsuspecting drinkers, and see how they react.
So what's so different about an 1860s bar? Well, there are only two types of beer: light or dark. Then there's the prices: Two beers cost the visitors some $0.22. There are bearded men, exclamations at $20 bills ("Woah! Big spenders. Did somebody rob a bank?" the bartender asks). There are also bar maids, a live band, and plenty of people in period costume. Naturally, the visitors know that something is up, especially when they spot a Wanted poster with one of their OKCupid profile pictures.
Watch the whole video below. We just wish this was on a busier street in Manhattan, and more normal customers randomly stumbled in. Although, we're sure word of $0.11 beers would get out pretty quickly.
Tag Archives: 1860s
During the Civil War, fairs were held in over twenty Northern cities to raise funds for the United States Sanitary Commission, a private organization that supplemented the Union Army Medical Corps’ efforts to care for wounded soldiers.
New York state held five fairs, in Albany, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Brooklyn, and New York City. The Brooklyn and New York City “Sanitary Fairs” were massive endeavors resulting in donations of enormous amounts — $300,000 and $1,000,000, respectively — to the Sanitary Commission.
The fairs featured music, displays of art and curiosities, tableaux vivants, and other entertainments. Restaurants were an especially popular attraction. This week, a friend whose ancestors were involved with the Brooklyn fair gave me a wonderful printed-in-gold bill of fare from that fair’s Knickerbocker Hall Restaurant.
There were two main eating places at the two-week-long Brooklyn & Long Island fair, the larger one located in the temporary, specially built two-story Knickerbocker Hall located next to the Brooklyn Academy of Music [shown above]. The other restaurant, The New England Kitchen, occupied another temporary building across the street [shown below].
The Refreshment Committee in charge of the two restaurants was quite successful in getting donations of food supplies, including almost $20,000 worth of wine. But public opinion nixed serving wine, along with holding raffles, as improper for a fair in the “City of Churches.” So the wine was given instead to the New York Metropolitan Sanitary Fair which was held about a month after Brooklyn’s, in April of 1864.
Despite the absence of wine, the Brooklyn fair outdid the Metropolitan NYC fair in how much money its eating places cleared. Compared to the Metropolitan NYC fair, the Brooklyn menu was simplified, with no relishes or fruit, and few soups, cold dishes, or pastries. Brooklyn netted $24,000 for the cause, while the Metropolitan fair cleared only a little over $7,000 because, unlike Brooklyn, they received little donated food (uh, what happened to the wine?). Brooklyn’s New England Kitchen added perhaps as much as another $10,000 for the Sanitary Commission.
Brooklyn’s Knickerbocker Hall Restaurant, which could seat 500 at a time and took in about $2,000 a day, was under the direction of the men’s refreshment committee, while the New England Kitchen was run by a committee of women. The Kitchen was tremendously popular, serving 800 to 1,000 persons daily. But it occupied too small a space and, as the commemorative volume issued by the fair noted, would have made a greater profit had it been able to accommodate larger crowds.
Unlike the Knickerbocker, the Kitchen’s bill of fare did not replicate that of a fine restaurant. Nor did the Kitchen follow the prevailing custom of hiring Afro-American men as waiters. The Kitchen used (white) women volunteers who served meals dressed in mid-18th-century costumes that visitors found ugly yet fascinating. For a set price of 50 cents, considerably less than a typical dinner composed from the Knickerbocker Hall’s a la carte menu, they served a down-home meal of such things as pork & beans, brown bread, applesauce, baked potatoes in their jackets, hasty pudding, and cider. Food was eaten from old china with a two-tined fork. The Kitchen also hosted events such as spinning wheel demos, apple paring bees, and an actual wedding.
Though it’s hard to draw a straight line from The New England Kitchen to women’s tea rooms of the early 20th century, it is notable how many tea rooms adopted a similar theme, right down to the old-style cooking fireplace and spinning wheel. It was also significant that so many women assumed executive and managerial positions on fair committees, especially in the New England Kitchen, and it’s probable that many of them remained active in public life after it ended.
Swiss Roll Bars
I think of those Little Debbie rolls with their swirl of white cream encased in a waxy chocolate . My grandmother's bread box would always have packages of those in them and what a treat they were.
SIGH, I doubt I've had a treat like that in over 30 years. Not that I really miss them. They are packaged, processed foods that are basically diabetes in a wrapper, but . when you are 10 years old you don't worry about stuff like that. And besides why buy them when you can make your own? Rachel decided to tackle the Swiss roll recipe and I am glad she did because they turned out amazing. No, no white swirl of cream here.
It's better: a layer of white cream encased in moist chocolate sweetened with, of all things, applesauce! Sort of reminds me of the old Hostess "Suzy Q's" more than a Swiss roll. Either way this is an amazing dessert and I can see why it is a favorite in Amish kitchens. Ready to tackle it yourself? Here it is along with some more process photos.
But these homemade ones are better!
A great, chocolately taste!
Wax paper helps a lot with this one, you can use baking dishes or cookie sheets.
These 14 Obscure Silver Cutlery Pieces Will Turn Any Meal into a Decadent Masterpiece
Number 10 will make you want to serve strawberries at every meal.
Look inside your silverware drawer and chances are you'll discover a strange fork with a very specific use. But the diversity and specificity of fork design is a relatively recent innovation. In fact, cutlery has rather rudimentary origins.
Once associated with a pitchfork (a symbol of the devil), forks were not commonly used in Europe until the 16th century. Even then, fork design consisted of two straight tines. During the 17th century, men and women began carrying individual cutlery sets, which were seen as status symbols, and fork designs shifted to include additional tines and a slight curve.
But the 19th century may well have been a golden age for silverware. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, during which factories developed capabilities to make large quantities of silverware quickly and uniformly and the discovery of vast amounts silver like the 1859 Comstock Lode in Nevada, a profusion of silverware flooded the market in both Europe and the United States.
With abundant materials and manufacturing opportunities, artisans developed specialized, specific cutlery for nearly every type of food. Serving spoons for tomatoes and cucumbers? Sure. A fork intended solely for eating strawberries? Why not?
Simultaneous advances in refrigeration made elaborate at-home entertaining possible for the growing middle class, thus triggering demand for silverware and cutlery sets that included more serving pieces. With more edible novelties (like ice cream) came more need for silver utensils designed specifically for said food (enter the ice-cream slicer).
The enthusiasm for etiquette during the Victorian era only kindled additional creative cutlery innovation. Take the food pusher, for example, which young children used to push food onto forks and spoons instead of simply using their fingers.
At the beginning of the 21st century, usage of silver faded from fashion as entertaining at home took a more casual turn. However, the recent return of decorating elements like wallpaper, canopy beds, and fainting sofas may suggest a renewed predilection for things once considered to be old fashioned even among millennials.
Furthermore, as Birmingham, AL-based interior designer Heather Chadduck points out, using silver daily doesn't require hosting a fancy affair&mdashor even a lot of polishing. "I love the patina silver take on with regular use," says Chadduck. "And I always put it in the dishwasher."
One fun challenge for the silver shy? Try putting a piece to use in a new or unexpected way. For example, "We serve chilled soups in silver mint julep cups, and I also like to use them for flower arrangements on the bedside table," Chadduck says. In the meantime, let our primer on these 14 obscure silver cutlery pieces inspire the menu for your next dinner party.
1860s Game Room Availability/Rental
NOTE: We are unable to book private parties on weekend nights. Weekdays: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday flexible times between 11 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Weekends: Saturday and Sunday flexible between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
We have a minimum $500 purchase of food/drinks, excluding tax and gratuity. A room fee may apply (depending on dates, times, etc.) and is non-refundable less than 7 days prior to the event. Final count needed 48 hours prior to the event.
Please note that the room is not in the calendar as “booked” until a confirmation is sent via email or text by an 1860’s manager.
We look forward to helping you plan a fun and memorable event! Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to talk more details.
We have a few popular items, but can customize to meet your needs. Pricing is based on a 2 hour time period. A minimum 18% gratuity will be added. Tax is not included in food and beverages listed below. Soda and iced tea are included. Prices listed are subject to change.
- Appetizer Buffet, $11.95 per person (each with house made dips and sauces)
- Spicy Chicken Wings
- Toasted Ravioli
- Homemade “Mini” Chicken Strips
- Cajun Chips
LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER OPTIONS
- Cash Bar: Liquor, wine and beer purchased separately by guests
- Basic Open Bar: House brand liquor, house red/white wine and domestic beer options (i.e. Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite)
- Premium Open Bar: Premium liquor, red/white wine, and craft/premium beers
- Drink tickets can be issued to guests and redeemed ones put on the host’s tab
We have 6 high top tables with 17 stools, and 9 bar stools at the bar front. The space is great for appetizers and mingling for up to 60 people. It is not designed for a traditional “sit-down meal.” Guests are welcome to visit the two rooms on either side of the Game Room. The 1860 Saloon features a classic wood back bar and hosts live music 365 nights a year and weekend afternoons. Our 1860s Hardshell Café has another bar, two “Giant Jesters” and a 300-gallon fish tank. It can also be reserved for private lunches.
We have Golden Tee, foosball, shuffleboard, darts and arcade games. If you’d like to provide a few rolls of quarters for guests to play, your bartender can add it to your tab. We also have an ATM and a change machine.
GUESTS UNDER AGE OF 21
Only guests over 21 are allowed after the kitchen closes. It is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. on Friday & Saturday.
Cakes may be brought in, but no other food or beverages. Decorations (except glitter & confetti) are allowed without using tape and pins on the walls or windows.
Georgian Era Drinks: Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic
Besides malt liquors, tea, or coffee, there were other Georgian Era drinks that were popular in England, France, and America. Here’s a list of some of Georgian’s most favorite beverages:
Birch Wine. This was made from birch trees in the month of March when the sap ascended. To each gallon of sap was added honey and sugar, which was boiled together. Cloves or lemon could also be added. To every nine gallons of wine two ounces of hops were also added to create a yeast. This concoction then sat for two months before it was bottled, and two months after that, it was fit to drink.
Buttered Toddy. Toddies were another of the popular Georgian Era drinks. Toddies were usually drank before bedtime and were sometimes used for medicinal purposes. The buttered toddy in particular was a hot drink created from honey and lemon juice, along with a dash of nutmeg. That mixture was added to a glassful of rum and a quarter of butter and diluted with boiling water.
Carrot Beer. Beer was a popular drink and for much of the eighteenth century beer was a morning beverage. Carrot beer contained water, carrots, treacle, bran, and hops and was created just as other beer was created.
Chocolate. In the 1700s, this drink was a luxury item that was all the rage with the French elite like Marie Antoinette or Princesse de Lamballe. The English liked it so much London had “chocolate houses” that were as popular as coffee shops are today. Chocolate also made its way across the ocean to America, where it became highly popular in the 1700s and caused Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers, to declare that in America this delicious drink would overtake tea and coffee in popularity. Because of its popularity it also resulted in the first American chocolate manufacturer, Baker’s Chocolate, opening in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1764.
Portrait by J. B. Charpentier of the Duke of Penthièvre, his son Prince de Lamballe, the Princesse de Lamballe, daughter (the future Duchesse d’Orleans), and the Countess Toulouse drinking chocolate. Public domain.
Curacoa. This drink contained rectified spirits infused with orange peel and two pounds of clarified sugar. It was shaken together, sat over night, and strained through paper or wool until it was clear. A spoonful was added to cold water for a refreshing summer drink.
Flip: One of the most popular of the Georgian Era drinks was the flip. This drink was composed of hot beer, brandy and sugar. It was heated with a red-hot poker, called a logger-head, which caused the drink to froth and thereby gave the drink its name. Sailors seemed to particularly like it. Later, in the 1800s, eggs were added to it.
Ginger Tea. This spicy and invigorating tea was popular in the Georgian Era just like today because it was touted to soothe upset stomachs, help pregnant women with morning sickness, and ward off colds.
Leek Milk. Leeks were put into milk and cooked over a fire until the mixture was thick. The mixture was then stained before drinking.
Orgeat. This was a mixture of pounded Jordan and bitter almonds that were blanched. They were mixed with spring water and either rose water or orange water was also added. The mixture was put through a sieve until the almonds were dry. A clarified syrup was then mixed with the almonds and boiled one minute. One tablespoon of this syrup was used to a tumbler of water to produce a pleasant drink. Today, however, because of its almond taste, it is used to flavor cocktails, particularly Mai-Tais.
Trade card for William Owen, confectioner who sell orgeat along with other products. Courtesy of the British Museum Collection Online.
Negus. Another of the interesting Georgian Era drinks was this drink that was created in the early 18th century by Colonel Francis Negus. It consisted of wine, hot water, lemon juice, sugar, and nutmeg and was a popular and fortifying drink consumed on cold evenings. Of its inventions the xx reported:
“It is related that on one occasion, when the bottle was passing rather more rapidly than good fellowship seemed to warrant over a hot political discussion, in which a number of prominent whigs and tories were taking part, Negus averted a fracas by recommending the dilution of the wine with hot water and sugar. Attention was diverted from the point at issue to a discussion of the merits of wine and water, which ended in the compound being nicknamed ‘negus.'”
Jane Austen even mentioned negus in her novel The Watsons, and its popularity remained into the Regency Era, where she and other balls attendees, like her sister Cassandra or her cousin Eliza de Feuillide, would have expected to drink it.
Parsnip Wine. There were many types of wines in the 1700s. Parsnip wine was one. The parsnips were boiled until tender, drained through a sieve or colander, to which large amounts of sugar were added. This was boiled and sieved, hops were added, and the combination was boiled again. Finally, yeast was added. It then stood for four days before it was ready to be consumed.
Illustration from Johann Georg Sturm’s 1796 Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen of the parsnip. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Raspberry Brandy. Georgian Era drinks often relied on brandy as did this drink that used scalded raspberries to which a pound of sugar was added to every quart of juice. The raspberries and sugar were boiled and skimmed and when the mixture was cold and clear, equal amounts of brandy were added.
Rice Milk. This was a combination of rice, cinnamon, milk, beaten eggs, and spoonful of flour to thicken. Currants or nutmeg could also be added to the mixture.
Saloop. Saloop was a greasy looking beverage that was extremely popular with climbing boys partly because it had a stimulating quality. It was sometimes spelled salep or salop and was a powder from the root of the Red-handed Orchis plant that was found in meadows and pastures. Before coffee or tea became the morning drink, saloop was available and could easily be found on Fleet Street at stalls or stands.
Shrub. This eighteenth century drink varied and varied by recipe. In generally however it included some sort of fruit juice or citrus syrup and sugar. Alcohol, such as rum or brandy, was also usually included. Among the people who drank this was Benjamin Franklin, whose version contained had oranges, dark rum, and sugar. Martha Washington, George Washington’s wife, also had her own recipe that follows:
“Take one quart of brandy & a quart of white wine, & a quart of spring water. mix them together then slice 3 leamons & put in with a pound of sugar. stir these very well, cover yr pot close, & let it stand 3 dayes, stiring it every day. then strayne it, & bottle it, & crush ye leamons very well inside it.
Spruce Beer. When explorer Jacques Cartier was exploring the St. Lawrence River in 1536, local natives showed him how to boil the needles of evergreen trees to save his men who were dying from scurvy. Later spruce was added to ship-brewed beer during explorations of North America’s west coast. Spruce beer also became a common drink in the colonial United States due to recipes like the following one from 1767:
“To make a cask of spruce beer, there ought to be a boiler large enough to hold one-fourth more than the quantity under treatment. This is to be filled with water, and as soon as it begins to boil a bundle of spruce branches, broken into pieces, is to be thrown into the boiler. The bundle should be about twenty-one inches round at the place of ligature. The water is to be kept boiling until the rind, or bark, becomes easily detachable from the branches and whilst this process is going on, a bushel of oats is to be roasted, several times over in a large iron pan, and fifteen sea-biscuits, or, instead of these, twelve or fifteen pounds of bread, cut into slices, should be well browned, and mixed all together with the liquid in the boiler. The branches of spruce are then to be taken out, and the fire extinguished. The oats and bread fall to the bottom the leaves etc., floating on the surface of the liquid being skimmed off. Six parts of molasses, or coarse syrup of sugar, or, in default of these, twelve or thirteen pounds of brown sugar, are to be added. This mixture should be immediately turned into a fresh port-wine cask, and if it be intended to give a colour to the beer, the dregs, and from fix to six pints of the wine, may be left in the cask. Whilst the liquid remains tepid, half a pint of yeast must be added, and briskly stirred about in order to incorporate it well with the decoction after which the cask is to be filled up to the bung-hole, and the latter left open. The liquid will ferment, and throw off a great deal of impure matter. In proportion to the quantity which works out, the cask is to be replenished with some of the same decoction, kept apart for the purpose. If the bung-hole is stopped at the end of twenty-four hours, the spruce remains sharp, like cyder but if it is intended to drink it softer, the bung must not be put in until the fermentation is over, taking care to replenish the cask twice a day.”
Spruce beer sellers in Jamaica. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Warm Heart. This was said to be a nice cordial for evening parties, or if water was added, it could be used as a refreshing beverage during warm weather. It consisted of lemons, milk, syrup, spirits, brandy, rum, and wine.
Whip Syllabub. Another of the popular Georgian Era drinks was a relative to posset (hot milk curdled with wine or ale that was popular in medieval times). Whip Syllabub involved grating a lemon peel into a pint of a cream, adding sugar and a pint of wine with either orange or lemon juice. The mixture was then whipped and allowed to separate or put through a sieve and drained. What was left was then floated in a glass of wine. The liquid portion was sucked with a straw and the froth was eaten with a spoon.
Sink or Swim
The Depression of the 1930s made it difficult for some companies to stay profitable or in business altogether people were struggling just to buy nutritious food for their tables. For those who could afford the price of a candy bar, these were popular in the 1930s:
- 3 Musketeers (Mars Chicago, IL 1932)
- 3 Pigs (Hollywood Candy Centralia IL 1930s)
- 5th Avenue Bar (William Luden Co. Reading, PA 1936)
- Aero Bar (Roundtree York, England 1937)
- Amos & Andy candy bar (Williamson Candy Co. Chicago, IL 1930s)
- Broadway (Ucanco Candy Davenport, IA 1930s)
- Butterfinger (Curtiss Candy Company Chicago IL 1932)
- Chase’s Black Walnut (G. Chase Candy Co. St. Joseph, MO 1930s)
- Chase’s Candy Dogs (G. Chase Candy Co. St. Joseph, MO 1930s)
- Chicken Dinner bar (Sperry Candy Co. Milwaukee, WI 1920s)
- Chunky (Philip Silvershein/Wrigley New York, NY circa 1938)
- Cold Turkey (Sperry Candy Co. Milwaukee, WI circa 1933)
- Cool Breeze (Sperry Candy Co. Milwaukee, WI circa 1934)
- Forever Yours (Mars Chicago, IL 1939)
- Giants/Whoppers Malted Milk balls (Overland Candy 1939 - Leaf Chicago, IL 1949)
- Hail Candy (Hollywood Candy Centralia IL 1936)
- Mallo Cup (Boyer Altoona, PA 1936)
- Maltesers Chocolate Malted Balls (Mars Chicago, IL 1936)
- Mickey Mouse Toasted Nut Chocolate (Wilbur-Suchard Philadelphia, PA circa 1935)
- Oh Johnnie! (Ucanco Candy Davenport, IA 1930s)
Civil War Molasses Candy Recipe and Candy Pulls
"Candy Pulls," "Candy Parties" or "Molasses boilings" were common pastimes in the mid 1800s during the cold winter months. Groups of friends would gather around a pot of boiling molasses or other concoction and wait until it formed threads when a spoonful was dripped in cold water. They would keep stirring until the liquid formed a soft ball when a spoonful was placed in cold water. Finally, they waited until the liquid formed a stiff ball when placed in cold water. This meant it was ready.
The liquid was poured into buttered pans to cool and once there, the party began. Each member of the group would cover their hands in butter and begin to pull on a ball of candy. Pulling and folding, the group joked and gossiped until their balls of candy grew lighter in color. It was now time to form it into its final shape. It could be rolled into ropes and cut with scissors or twisted or braided, or molded into any number of shapes, but many young women preferred to make chain necklaces out of it. Seating around a warm fire with friends and the gingerbread like smell of molasses cooking wafting in the air, a candy pull was a nice break from an otherwise bleak and monotonous winter.
Making candy was mentioned frequently in Sarah Morgan's wartime diary and many letters of the time. In a letter from a Virginian in January 1861, Angus wrote to Kate of his holidays: " Was at a Taffy pulling had a fine time eating hard Molasses with unwashen hands . Did you ever pull any, when you had to spit on your hands to keep it from adhering to them?" Another Virginian, Mollie Houser, wrote to her cousin James " I Just wish you Could have been here we had a taffy stewing one nite they was a Couple of our soldiers home & some of the neighbours Came in & we had a fine time boililing molasses &. taffy."
The majority of recipes from this time period include only molasses, flavoring and bicarbonate of soda, known now as baking soda as the main ingredients and some recipes suggested that peanuts or blanched almonds might be added. However, The Cook's Own Book (1854) includes the addition of brown sugar and lemon juice which is more similar to recipes today. The recipe did not vary much and was a favorite in shops for those who did not want to make it themselves. A writer for the Southern Literary Messenger (1863) remembered going North for school and couldn't remember much about the food there except to say:
This recipe was cooked for the Historical Food Fortnightly. A yearly challenge that encourages bloggers to cook a historical food every two weeks.
The Challenge: Culinary Vices (January 15 - January 28) Some foods are really, really naughty. Globs of butter, lashings of sugar and syrup, decadent chocolate and wine. Bring out your naughty, indecorous side with foods associated with all the bad things, in the best ways.
The Date/Year and Region: 1850s-1860s United States
How Did You Make It:
Before you start, butter a large square casserole dish. Pour molasses in a large saucepan (much bigger than you think you need as it will boil up) on medium-high heat. Boil, stirring constantly until you reach the soft ball stage (240° F) add baking soda and stir until the mixture reaches the hardball stage (250° F). At this point, remove from heat and add the flavoring. Stir in the peanuts or blanched almonds if desired. Pour mixture into the buttered dish to cool. Leave in the dish until it is cool to the touch (5-10 minutes.) Enlist helpers. Once cooled, the candy should move in one globular mass. Divide the mass up and have everyone pull at a piece, fold it over and repeat until the candy turns a lighter brown. Form into ropes and cut small pieces with scissors. Wrap in pieces of wax paper or oiled paper.
Time to Complete: About 30-45 minutes
Total Cost: About $5.00
How Successful Was It?: Very. It has a light, sweet molasses flavor. It photographed dark but is actually an amber color in bright sunlight.
How Accurate Is It?: I used baking soda as in the first recipe instead of carbonate of soda which is today sold as washing soda. If you are interested in making carbonate of soda here's a page on how to do it.
The 50 Most Popular Cocktails in the World in 2021
In January 2021, Drinks International (DI), a trade publication for the alcohol industry, released its list of 2020’s best-selling classic cocktails around the globe. To create the annual ranking, DI surveys the world’s top bars and asks each to name its best-selling drinks for the year. The responses are then weighted and ranked. For the latest version, the publication surveyed 100 bars to create a ranking of the year’s most-ordered drinks at top establishments around the world.
A big takeaway from the newly released list is: Tropical cocktails are always in season. Three of the seven newcomers feature bright flavors and fruity ingredients — including the Jungle Bird, El Diablo, and the Zombie. Perhaps almost a year of staying at home has inspired imbibers to experience their beach vacations in a glass. On another note, the Long Island Iced Tea has found its way onto the year’s ranking, proving that these days, we should always expect the unexpected.
Here are the year’s top 50 cocktails.
50. Jungle Bird
This year’s list proves that tiki is still on the crest of its comeback. It doesn’t get more classic than the Jungle Bird, which was reportedly invented in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, circa 1978. While high-end cocktail bars often serve the drink in a bird cage for the ultimate presentation, at-home bartenders can stick with a rocks glass and a pineapple wedge garnish.
49. Long Island Iced Tea
New to the list in 2020, the Long Island Iced Tea combines four spirits: light rum, vodka, tequila, and gin. It’s the ultimate cocktail for indecisive imbibers. Love it or hate it, the sickly sweet cocktail is back.
48. Gin Gin Mule
You might do a double-take when you see the Gin Gin Mule on the list of the world’s most popular cocktails. The Gin Gin Mule (a.k.a. the Ginger Rogers) is a cross between a Moscow Mule and a Mojito, with gin as the star of the show.
47. White Lady
This cocktail originating in the 1920s was reimagined with a dash of egg whites by Peter Dorelli, former manager of The American Bar in London. Its base is gin, mixed with fresh lemon juice and either Cointreau or Combier.
46. El Diablo
An underrated tequila Highball and yet another example of tiki’s increasing popularity, the El Diablo combines reposado with ginger beer, lime juice, and crème de cassis.
The days of the Cosmo as the bartender’s piñata are over. You may even see crafted spins on this drink, but mostly, there’s indifference. If you need reminding, it’s vodka, triple sec, cranberry, and lime. Despite dropping 14 spots since 2017, the Cosmo has remained relevant, meaning it might be time to give the pink drink a second chance.
Fruity, bright, and crushable, this tiki cocktail was first invented in Hollywood, Calif. by bartender “Don The Beachcomber” in 1934. The cocktail consists of lime, lemon, and pineapple juices, passion fruit syrup, Angostura bitters, brown sugar, and three different types of rum (light, dark, and 151-proof).
43. Hanky Panky
Bartenders around the world are increasingly showing their love for amari, pushing the category into the mainstream. This cocktail is a simple combination of Fernet-Branca, gin, and vermouth.
42. Vodka Martini
The Vodka Martini spiked in popularity in 2017, dropping four spots since its peak. It’s pretty basic — a shot of chilled vodka mixed with a little dry vermouth — but is somehow still in demand at the world’s best cocktail bars.
Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, had its moment in the spotlight during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The following year, it claimed the No. 25 spot on this list. However, it falls to No. 41 in 2021. The cocktail is made with Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça, along with sugar and lime.
40. Tom Collins
The original Tom Collins recipe calls for gin, lemon, and soda water essentially, it’s a spritzy lemonade for grownups. This quintessential gin Highball, however, has fallen five places since the previous year’s list was released.
We may have sherry’s resurgence to thank for the Bamboo, a cocktail made with one-and-a-half parts sherry, one-and-a-half parts dry vermouth, two dashes Angostura bitters, and two dashes orange bitters.
38. Tommy’s Margarita
Developed by bartender Julio Bermejo of San Francisco’s Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in the 1990s, the Tommy’s Margarita doubles the amount of agave present in the traditional Margarita by swapping out the orange liqueur for agave syrup. You’ve probably had your share of Tommy’s Margaritas without even realizing it.
37. Last Word
A drink from the days of Prohibition, the revival of the Last Word — which combines gin, green chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and lime juice — has been credited to bartender Murray Stenson, who came across the drink in an old bar manual while working at Seattle’s Zig Zag Café in 2004.
36. Irish Coffee
The Irish Coffee was pioneered by Irish Chef Joe Sheridan in the 1940s. James Beard winner and author of “The Craft of the Cocktail” Dale DeGroff describes Irish Coffee as, “cold cream, hot sweet coffee, laced with wonderful Irish whiskey.” What’s not to love? Exact proportions and types of whiskey, sugar, and cream preparations can vary slightly, but when done right, it’s delicious.
After acquainting yourself with Tom Collins, meet an Aviation: Served up in a Martini glass, the gorgeous lavender-colored cocktail is made with Crème de Violette or Creme Yvette, Maraschino liqueur, gin, and lemon juice. The Aviation has had a bumpy flight these past few years, descending 15 spots since last year.
Brandy, tragically underrepresented on this list, earns a well-deserved moment in the worldwide spotlight as one of the world’s most ordered cocktails. The Sidecar is a good place to start for those not familiar with the category-spanning spirit: The drink mixes brandy, lemon, and triple sec, making a tart, refreshing tipple.
33. Pornstar Martini
A newcomer to the list, this passionfruit and vanilla vodka cocktail is traditionally served with a shot of Prosecco on the side. Yes, it sounds a little extra, but with a name like “Pornstar Martini,” would you expect anything less?
32. Piña Colada
Another nod to the tropical cocktails resurgence, this 1970s-era Puerto Rican slushie pleasure is made with white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice.
This famous Prosecco-based brunch staple was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The two-ingredient cocktail simply combines the Italian bubbly with peach puree in a flute glass.
30. Brandy Crusta
The Brandy Crusta is a complex creation inspired by New Orleans cocktail culture. It is a delicate combination of brandy, curaçao, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and Maraschino liqueur.
Created by Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London in the 1980s, the Bramble combines the bright, tangy berry flavors of gin and blackcurrant liqueur (Merlet Crème de Mures is a favorite of some bartenders, although crème de cassis works as well). It also includes gin, lemon, simple syrup, and plenty of crushed ice.
28. Gin Fizz
A delicious craft gin can make the Gin Fizz shine. The simple drink is a mix of gin, lemon, sugar, egg, and soda.
27. Rum Old Fashioned
Rum has grown out of its rum-and-Coke banality to world-class cocktail mixer. The Rum Old Fashioned is simply an Old Fashioned made with rum. Its simplicity seems to work in its favor, as the Rum Old Fashioned rose 10 places in popularity since last year.
26. Amaretto Sour
The Amaretto Sour is both a staple at the world’s best bars, and a drink we’ve compared to a liquid Sour Patch Kid. It’s both sweet from the nutty amaretto and sour from lemon juice, while egg white smooths out the tang.
Not to be confused with the espresso drink (in fact, it has nothing to do with coffee at all), this Italian cocktail was created by Gaspare Campari, who served it in his bar Caffè Campari in the 1860s. This Campari, vermouth, and soda water drink is quickly rising in popularity.
24. Vieux Carré
The Vieux Carré is an American cocktail invented in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Similar to the Manhattan, it’s made with brandy, whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura, and Peychaud’s bitters.
23. Pisco Sour
The Pisco Sour, made with the Peruvian and Chilean national spirit pisco, along with lime, syrup and an optional egg white, is appropriate for any occasion.
The Paloma is among the most-loved tequila drinks at VinePair. It entered this list for the first time in 2017, and it has not only stuck around, but raised in rank — moving up 14 spaces since last year. The Paloma mixes tequila and grapefruit — we think Avion, Spindrift grapefruit soda, and a squeeze of fresh lime work best — or you can switch it up with seasonal ingredients, or substitute tequila or slightly smoky mezcal.
21. French 75
The French 75 calls for gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. It’s a classy affair, but can also be found as one of our favorite canned cocktails.
The Sazerac has slipped from its former top 10 status, but its staying power is clear. The drink originated in the 1850s in New Orleans, and remains deeply entwined with Crescent City culture. It can be made with rye or brandy, along with Demerara syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, a lemon twist, and absinthe as needed.
19. Mai Tai
Perhaps the tiki-est of tiki cocktails, the Mai Tai was hard to resist among the world’s drinkers last year. Its recipe typically includes different varieties of rum, orange juice, triple sec, and several sweeteners.
The Boulevardier is the Negroni’s fraternal twin that utilizes whiskey instead of gin. It’s equal parts rye, amaro, and sweet vermouth. Garnish with an orange twist, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon.
17. Clover Club
The Clover Club was originally named after a men’s club in Philadelphia, but for us is synonymous with the eponymous premiere cocktail club in Brooklyn. The bright pink drink contains gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and an egg white.
16. Corpse Reviver
Talk about a revival. This drink rises eight spots this year, and has an interesting twist: There are two versions. Corpse Reviver #1 calls for Cognac, calvados, brandy, and vermouth while Corpse Reviver #2 uses equal parts gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, and a dash of absinthe. Choose wisely.
15. Dark ’n’ Stormy
The Dark ’n’ Stormy contains a mix of Gosling’s rum (and only Gosling’s rum) and ginger beer. Sometimes, simplest is best.
Nothing cures the weary winter drinker like a Penicillin, made with blended Scotch, smoky Islay Scotch, lemon juice, and honey ginger simple syrup. Created by Sam Ross, co-owner of New York’s Attaboy, it’ll bring you back to life like a Z-pack.
13. Moscow Mule
This famous mug-dwelling drink contains ginger, vodka, lime, and soda. It’s famously served in a Moscow Mule mug, which we venture to guess is much of its slushy appeal.
Two parts gin, one part lime juice, and one-half part sweetener, the Gimlet is an easy sipper that inspires many iterations, and has maintained its 12th place spot for two years running.
11. Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is as much an experience as a drink. The brunch-time staple is best enjoyed with a house mix of tomato juice, vodka, and spices. And, if it’s your thing, an array of garnishes — from celery and olives to bacon to entire cheeseburgers — are known to make appearances.
The Mojito might be Cuba’s most popular contribution to cocktail culture. The mix of white rum, lime juice, cane sugar, and soda (with muddled mint, please) is fresh and tropical, and it’s a classic that we don’t expect to disappear any time soon.
9. Aperol Spritz
If you haven’t noticed the Aperol Spritz, you haven’t been drinking (or on Instagram). Moving into the top 10 from No. 22 in 2017, this popular aperitif is as visually pleasing as it is tasty and easy to make: a three-two-one ratio of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda. May the summer of spritz compel you.
It’s hard to stray from the Manhattan, and the recent rise of rye whiskey makes it even more difficult. Spicy rye, sweet vermouth, and two dashes of Angostura, stirred, strained, and garnished with a brandied cherry can make you feel like a true class act.
7. Whiskey Sour
This dependable drink is an easy fit for whiskey lovers, as well as those weary of the brown spirit: its lemony lift and slight sweetness make it appealing for citrus lovers, too. The simple recipe calls for whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar.
6. Espresso Martini
Like a refined Red Bull and vodka for coffee lovers, the Espresso Martini promises a pick-me-up, calm-me-down effect in a tasty package. The after-dinner drink will wake you up while still keeping your buzz going. It’s also been called a Vodka Espresso and Pharmaceutical Stimulant.
The Margarita, in its tart, tangy simplicity, is probably the most well-known tequila cocktail in the world. It’s also one of the most popular cocktails in America. It keeps its spot as the world’s top tequila-based classic in 2021.
4. Dry Martini
A well-made dry Martini is elegance in a glass. The classic mix of gin and dry vermouth ranks No. 4 in the top 50 cocktails of the year.
The Daiquiri is often misunderstood. While many associate the drink with fruit and blenders, a true Daiquiri is simply made with white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. It is a clean and refreshing drink for any occasion.
We love Negronis at VinePair, and we’re sorely disappointed when a bartender doesn’t know how to make one. Thankfully, that shouldn’t happen much longer, as the Negroni claims the No. 2 spot for the sixth year running. Gin, Campari, and vermouth in a perfect, punchy package.
1. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is timeless. This simple classic made with rye or bourbon, a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, a thick cube of ice, and an orange twist delivers every time. That’s it — the most popular cocktail in the world.
Yum Yum Bars
We have a birthday party every year for my mom. I come from a large family, so it is a large celebration. All of my siblings are there, a lot of my mom’s grandchildren, and great grandchildren and this year there was a great great child at the celebration. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of food.
My family loves their sweets. Yeah, like they really like their sweets. We set up a table just for the sweets at this celebration and it is full of all kinds of bars and goodies. I always end up bringing the same bars to this celebration, well I should say to any of the family celebrations.
I think my family would be disappointed if I didn’t bring these yum yum bars to these celebrations. They always get rave reviews and when it is time to pack and go home there is usually just a few of these bars left. A lot of times I will hear people asking if Dawn brought the yum yum bars.
But then I can see why everyone loves these bars, they are fudgy, filled with gooey caramel, and chocolate chips. I love them because they are simple to make and just the fact that everyone loves them. The only thing that I don’t like about these bars is having to unwrap all of the caramels, it seems to take forever.
I have been making these bars for as long as I can remember. It has been so long that I don’t remember where the recipe came from.