James Bond made it clear how he liked his martinis. Shaken, not stirred. But it wasn’t just the vodka martini that Bond imbibed. He also was fond of the old fashioned, Americano and stinger.
Even before the suave Bond sidled up to the bar on screen, Americans were experimenting with all varieties of spirits. Gin. Vodka. Scotch. Even Crème-de-menthe. Prohibition, followed by the Great Depression and World War II, had left Americans wanting a good drink. From bustling cities to dewy new suburbs, high-quality liquor was flowing freely.
During the 50+ years that have ensued, cocktail crazes have come and gone. Today, the making of a cocktail has become a culinary craft. Mixologists concoct their own tonics, syrups and infusions and blend them with finely crafted, small-batch spirits.
Leafing through two enchanting cocktail books we’ve found two classic midcentury cocktails that have been recreated for today’s inquisitive paletes. Bottoms up!
The 1022 Martini
Vodka or gin, shaken or stirred, the martini stands as the iconic midcentury cocktail. While most of us no longer partake in the three-martini lunch, you can enjoy this delicately woodsy version made with Douglas fir-infused brandy.
2 oz. gin
½ oz. Lillet blanc
½ oz. Clear Creek Douglas fir eau de vie
Combine the gin, Lillet blanc and eau de vie in a mixing glass, add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Benton’s Old Fashioned
From Craft Cocktails
The sleekly suited advertising executives on the hit series Mad Men love to tipple. For creative director Don Draper, the drink of choice is the old fashioned. Here we offer a craft version made with bacon-infused bourbon.
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
¼ oz. Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup
2 oz. Benton’s Bacon-infused Four Roses Bourbon (see below)
Orange twist for garnish
Place all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add large ice cubes and stir thoroughly. Taste for balance. Add a large ice cube to a chilled old-fashioned glass. Slowly pour from mixing glass, taking care not to aerate. Garnish and serve.
Benton’s Bacon Infusion
1-1/2 oz. fat from Benton’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon
750 ml bottle Four Roses Bourbon
Warm the bacon fat in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until it melts, about 5 minutes. Pour the liquid fat into a large nonreactive container. Add the bourbon and stir. Cover and let stand for 4 hours. Then place the container in a freezer for 2 hours. Remove the solid fat and strain through a terrycloth or cheesecloth. Return the result to the original bottle and label it. Yields 24 oz.
Love the midcentury look? Here’s how you can achieve it outdoors. “Shaken, Not Stirred: Cool and Charismatic Midcentury Design”