Three Ingredient Cocktails: From the Martini to the Moscow Mule with Robert Simonson

Three Ingredient Cocktails: From the Martini to the Moscow Mule with Robert Simonson


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What do most classic cocktails, from the Martini to the Moscow Mule, have in common? They are made of only three ingredients. This conversation will explore the simplicity of classic cocktails through the lens of NYT Bestselling Book Three-Ingredient Cocktails –– a finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Awards.

The triangle is the most stable of shapes, so it comes as no surprise, then, that the three-ingredient cocktail is the most sturdy and lasting of cocktail constructions. One ingredient makes for a nice dram. Two creates a highball. Get three things to marry together, and we will have a classic cocktail to enjoy. 

More than three ingredients and you’ve got a more complicated cocktail, not necessarily a better one. Since the cocktail renaissance began around the turn of the twenty-first century, detractors have been complaining about the new drinks being turned out by mixologists containing too many ingredients. If you spot a drink on a menu that has seven or eight things in it, chances are two of those are Band-Aids, attempting to mend a broken cocktail.

Led by Robert Simonson, drinks authority and cocktail writer for the New York Times, we will discuss this three-part phenomenon as we uncover the history and recipes behind a few of every barkeep’s simple, but enduring, three-part wonders. A list of suggested recipes will be provided.

Participants are welcome to join in the cocktail making! You'll want these ingredients and tools on hand:

JACK ROSE

  • Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy (Important to get this brand)
  • Lemon juice
  • Grenadine (good stuff, not Rose's)

 

FAIR HARVARD

  • Pisco Bianco Vermouth (Dolin is good)
  • orange bitters
  • Lemon twist

MARTINI

  • London dry gin
  • Dry vermouth
  • orange bitters
  • Lemon twist or olive

MOSCOW MULE

  • Vodka
  • Ginger Beer
  • Lime

TOOLS

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Mixing glass
  • Jigger
  • Hawthrone strainer
  • Bar spoon
  • Knife or Y peeler for twists
  • Ice
  • 4 coupes or cocktail glasses
  • If you can get a copper Moscow Mule mug, so much the better. They are pretty easy to find now. But not strictly necessary for this seminar.

Robert Simonson writes about cocktails, spirits, bars, and bartenders for the New York Times. He is also contributing editor and columnist at PUNCH. His books include The Old-Fashioned (2014), A Proper Drink (2016) and 3-Ingredient Cocktails (2017), which was nominated for a 2018 James Beard Award, and The Martini Cocktail (2019), which was nominated for an IACP Award. He was also a primary contributor to The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails (2015). Simonson won the 2019 Spirited Award for Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer, and his work, which has also appeared in Saveur, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, New York magazine, and Lucky Peach, has been nominated for a total of eleven Spirited Awards and three IACP Awards. A native of Wisconsin, he lives in Brooklyn.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.


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