Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist's Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night

Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist's Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night

by Molly Wellmann


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Featured in People's "6 Cocktails for Day Drinking - That Won't Make You Sleepy Later," Handcrafted Cocktails helps you create the perfect cocktail, any time! Enjoy classic cocktails in true pre-Prohibition style--throughout the day! Inside you'll find more than 100 recipes for the perfect brunch cocktails, refreshing afternoon cocktails and invigorating happy hour drinks, plus dinner cocktails perfect for pairing with meals, and relaxing nightcaps.

Each cocktail recipe is carefully crafted to create the perfect balance of the sweet, the sour, the bitter and the spirit, producing a delicious drink every time. The secret is using fresh, house-made mixers. You'll find complete instructions for making your own simple syrups, bitters, liqueurs and cordials using unique ingredients such as cardamom, cilantro, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, five-spice and more.

Plus you'll learn the fascinating histories of classic pre-Prohibition cocktails such as the very vintage Sherry Cobbler and the silky smooth Ramos Gin Fizz and try some new Prohibition-inspired cocktails such as the Kitty Burke and Bees in Kilts. Give these great cocktails a taste--you're sure to discover your new favorite drink.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440354991
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/30/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 907,684
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

Molly Wellmann is co-owner of Japp's, Japp's Annex, Neons and the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been voted best mixologist/bartender in the city for three consecutive years. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Bartending Tools and Techniques

I see bartending as an art form for all of the senses. It starts with an entertaining visual presentation and ends with a delicious combination of spirits and flavors. The right presentation turns a cocktail into an experience, and that's what drinking should be about — the experience.

Mixologists should always remember that whenever they are behind a bar, they are bartenders first. The difference between a mixologist and a bartender is that a mixologist takes bartending one step further. The bartender tends the bar, making sure everyone has a drink and the drinks are rung up and the bar is clean and taken care of. Mixologists are knowledgeable of everything on the back of the bar. They know how the spirits are made, where they come from, and what to do with them. And in addition to serving (and knowing the history of) the classics, they invent new drinks.

Bartenders should be friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable. They're not order takers; they are friendly salespeople ready to suggest something new for the guest to try — something the patron may have never had before but will crave in the future. Remember the first time you tasted your favorite drink? Something about that experience keeps you coming back to that drink. As a mixologist, I want to turn you onto something new to crave, and hopefully it includes a great backstory to complete the experience. Many of the recipes in this book include the drink's backstory that will help enhance the experience of your guests (whether they're guests at your home or paying customers at your establishment).

When it comes to making drinks, my philosophy is to balance the sweet, the sour, and the bitter along with the complementing spirit so the end result is interesting but not too sweet.

Bartending Tools

Whether you're a professional bartender or setting up a home bar, using the right equipment makes it quick and easy to mix a great cocktail every time. You can find these tools online or in higher-end kitchen stores or department stores.

Muddler: A muddler is a small, bat-shaped stick similar to a pestle that is used with a mortar, but it is longer so it fits into a mixing glass. I like to use a wooden muddler with a smooth end instead of a stainless steel muddler because the wood doesn't scratch the glass or rip the fruit apart too much.

Jigger: A jigger is an hourglass-shaped stainless steel cup with one end that is larger than the other. The larger end typically holds 1½ ounces (a standard shot), and the small end holds a smaller amount (½ ounce). A jigger is essential for quick and easy measuring.

Cocktail Shaker: There are a few different kinds of shakers. The two most common are the cobbler and the Boston. Cobbler shakers consist of three stainless steel parts that fit together: a mixing tin, a top with holes in it, and a cap that covers the holes as you shake. Boston shakers have two parts: a tin and a mixing glass that fits inside the tin. We use Boston shakers at Japp's.

Cocktail Strainer: A cocktail strainer is a stainless steel disc that has holes in it and is connected to a handle. Most of the disc is edged with a spring that helps seal the strainer to a cocktail shaker or mixing glass.

Bar Spoon: Bar spoons have very long (about 11 inches), twisted handles (the twists enhance the spoon's stirring abilities). In addition to stirring, bar spoons can also be used for measuring. They hold a teaspoon (5ml) of liquid.

Channel Knife: Channel knives are specifically designed to create twists. They are easy to guide and cut right through citrus rinds.

Bar Mat: Bar mats are made of black rubber. Always mix and pour over a bar mat. They provide a stable, slip-free surface for mixing, while containing spills and protecting the bar top.


Each recipe in this book tells you the type of glass used to serve the drink. Here's a list and brief description of the glasses used:

Cocktail Glass (also called a coupe): is stemmed and shallow with a wide rim

Champagne Flute: is stemmed and tall with a narrow rim

Highball Glass: is straight, tall, and has a narrow diameter

Old Fashioned Glass: is short with a wide diameter

Rocks Glass: is shorter than an old fashioned glass but has the same wide diameter

Mug: features heat-resistant glass with a handle

Bartending Techniques


Muddling means to smash or crush, and it's a technique used to release more flavor from fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs (such as mint) in a cocktail. Muddling releases juice and oils from the fruits' and vegetables' skins and releases the essence of herbs. To muddle, place your ingredients in a mixing glass and smash or crush them with a muddler.


One of the key ways to achieve a balanced cocktail is to measure. We're able to create great-tasting cocktails at Japp's because we measure! Our bartending measuring tool of choice is a jigger. We use a 1½ to 2 ounce pour in the majority of our cocktails. When it comes to measuring, a good rule of thumb is to not measure over the glass but a bit to the side so if the spirit overflows, the excess doesn't end up in the glass. (Measure over a bartending mat for easy cleanup.) Accurate measurements ensure all of the ingredients in a cocktail work together to create a delicious drink experience. Subtle flavor complements are easily lost or overpowered when too much of any ingredient is added.


Pouring, like measuring, is important to achieve a well-balanced cocktail. There's no need to overpour, and no one is crazy about an underpour. Also, a proper pouring technique will make you faster so you can serve more drinks. Here's the technique: Hold the neck of the bottle so you have control. Place your thumb on the base of the pour spout so it is secure and then turn the bottle over to pour.


Shaking is a big thing for me. I get so discouraged when I order a drink and the bartender haphazardly shakes it, like he's thinking Oh, God, I can't believe this girl ordered a drink that makes me take the extra time to shake it. If you're a bartender, you should enjoy making drinks for people, and you should look like you enjoy it! A proper shaking technique makes customers more excited about their drink orders and shows them you care about what you do. I like to mix everything in the mixing glass in front of my customers so they can see the process and everything that is going into the drink. I add all the ingredients first and then add the ice right before I'm about to shake it so the ice doesn't have a chance to melt and water down the drink.

After you have added everything that needs to be shaken, place the shaking tin on the glass at an angle and give the top a firm tap. This should seal the tin to the glass (get a good seal or you'll have a mess on your hands when you start shaking).

Hold the mixing glass in one hand and the tin in the other hand so they are firmly pressed together.

Turn the shaker so the opening of the shaking tin is pointed away from the customer. The opening of the shaker should never be facing your customer or your ice well just in case your seal isn't as strong as you thought. (You might get a cocktail shower, but better you than your guest, and it's better than the glass falling into your ice and having to burn the whole well.)

Hold the shaker up over your shoulder and shake vigorously. (Never shake low, in front of your body — it just doesn't look good. Get your arms up and give your guest a show.) Between ten and fifteen shakes should do it, depending on what kind of drink you're making. (Most important, smile while you shake! We are so lucky to have such a cool job!) After you finish shaking, hold the mixing glass and the tin in one hand with the mixing glass on top and the tin on the bottom. Place your hand where the mixing glass is tilted outward. With your other hand, slap the spot where the glass and the tin meet inward. This should release the seal, and all the liquid, ice, and ingredients should be in the tin. Don't ever tap on the bar — it looks bad and will ruin both your tin and your bar top.

Place the strainer over the tin and pour the drink into the appropriate serving glass. Shaking takes some practice, but once you've got it, you've got it!


When you are preparing a drink that is all alcohol (such as a classic martini), it's better to stir the drink rather than shake it. Stirring properly chills the drink while maintaining a soft feel in the mouth. It also keeps your drink crystal clear. A shaken drink becomes cloudy, and the liquor takes on a sharper feel in the mouth. The proper stirring technique is to put all the ingredients in the mixing glass, add ice, and use a stirrer or bar spoon to stir. For stability, hold the top of the glass as you stir.


At Japp's, we garnish a lot of our drinks with twists, usually from a lemon or an orange. The citrus peel has aromatic oils that delicately transform a drink and add a bit of freshness without the bite. We cut fresh twists for every drink as it's made. The easiest way to make a twist is with a channel knife or a zester. The trick is to let your thumb guide the channel knife and be careful! Again, practice makes perfect.


Spirits, Handcrafted Mixers, and More

When it comes to making drinks, my philosophy is to balance the sweet, the sour, and the bitter along with the complementing spirit so the end result is interesting but not too sweet. One way we accomplish this balance at Japp's is by making our own ingredients. We make everything from simple syrups to house-made liqueurs to cordials to bitters to tinctures to vermouths to squeezing fresh juices every day. Because we make our own ingredients, the sky is the limit on the drinks we can come up with. I'm not big on infusing entire bottles of vodka. I think you have a lot more flexibility by making a drink to complement what the distillers have already done.

The recipes in this book will yield the best results if you handcraft your own ingredients by following the instructions in this chapter.


The recipes in each chapter are organized by the main spirit used in the cocktail. Inferior ingredients will produce an inferior cocktail. Whenever possible, choose a high-quality brand of liquor. It will make all the difference. If a particular brand of liquor is noted in a recipe, use that brand because the other ingredients were selected to work with that particular spirit. You won't get the same balance of flavors if you use a different brand.

Here's a quick description of the spirits used, along with some brand recommendations.

Whiskey: Whiskey is distilled from mash, but a wide variety of grains can be used, including barley, rye, wheat, and corn. It has a light, caramel, oaky flavor. Two brands I recommend are Powers Irish Whiskey and Old Grand-Dad Bonded.

Rye: By law, American rye whiskey is distilled from a mash made of at least 51 percent rye. It has a spicy flavor. Two brands I recommend are Old Overholt and Russell's Reserve Rye.

Bourbon: Bourbon is an American whiskey distilled from a mash made of at least 51 percent corn. It has a heavenly flavor that includes vanilla and oak with sweet and spicy notes. I recommend Bulleit Bourbon and Old Forester Bourbon for mixing cocktails.

Scotch: Scotch is a whisky made in Scotland. It must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Two brands I recommend are Dewar's and Wild Scotsman.

Rum: Rum is distilled from either molasses or sugarcane juice. It has a sweet, floral flavor. Two brands I recommend are 10 Cane and Bacardi.

Gin: Gin gets its distinct flavor from juniper berries. With gin especially, it's important to select a good brand. The wrong one can turn a person off to gin for life. Two brands I recommend are Plymouth Gin and Watershed Distillery Gin.

Vodka: Although it can be made from potatoes, most vodkas today are grain based. I recommend Buckeye Vodka and OYO Vodka. Both brands are made in Ohio.

Tequila: Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant. It has a sweet, cool, "green" flavor. Two brands I recommend are Cazadores and Ocho Tequila.

Brandy: Brandy is made by distilling wine. Two brands I recommend are Rémy Martin VSOP and Hennessy VSOP.

Sherry: Sherry is a fortified wine. We use Sandeman brand sherry at Japp's.

Champagne: Champagne is a type of sparkling white wine that ranges in flavor from dry to sweet. For the cocktails in this book, I recommend a mumm cuvée champagne such as Moët.

Liqueurs and Cordials

Liqueurs and cordials are flavored spirits that are sweetened when bottled. Their history stretches back centuries, when they were commonly made by monks for medicinal use. At Japp's, we use a lot of the very old classic liqueurs, such as Licor 43, Bénédictine, whose recipe dates back to the 1500s, and Chartreuse from the 1600s (yes, the liqueur's distinct green color inspired the color of the same name). We also use some liqueurs developed in the 1800s, including Luxardo Maraschino and Grand Marnier, along with some quality newer ones from the twentieth century, St. Germain and Domaine de Canton.

But we do make some of our own. I like to make falernum (pronounced fah-learnum), which has a spicy ginger, almond, and rum flavor. It originated in the Caribbean islands in the 1700s and was a popular mixer in many tiki drinks during the 1930s.

I also make my own lime cordial, similar to the Rose's brand lime juice cordial, which was created in response to the Merchant Shipping Act of 1867. The act required British sailors to take a regular, specifically prescribed ration of lime juice to prevent scurvy. The cordial was a more enjoyable way to take the ration, and it soon caught on with the general public as well.


This is my version of falernum. It's usually made with almond extract, but I use vanilla extract.

1 bottle white rum
1 cup sliced ginger Zest from 8 limes
12 cloves
12 allspice berries
3 sticks of cinnamon
8 star anise
½ cup vanilla extract
2 cups simple syrup (give or take to taste)
Gallon glass jar with lid

In a gallon-sized glass jar add rum, ginger, lime zest, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Let sit twenty-four hours. Strain and add vanilla and simple syrup. Bottle.

Lime Cordial

1 cup sugar
1 cup water Zest from 3 limes

Add all the ingredients to a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly as you bring the mixture to a rolling boil. As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. Let the cordial sit for 30 minutes until it cools to room temperature. (Do not put in the refrigerator to cool.) Use a sieve to strain out the zest, and bottle the liquid. The cordial will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.


Many pre-Prohibition cocktails I make at Japp's include an aperitif or fortified wine, such as quinquina and vermouths (sweet and dry). In addition to carrying some of the quality classic vermouth brands, we also make our own vermouth at Japp's. Vermouth is a wine that has been fortified, usually with an unaged brandy, and then aromatized with different herbs, botanicals, and spices. Vermouth has been around since Roman times and was commonly used for medicinal purposes. One of the primary herbs used in making vermouth is wormwood, which is known to help ease digestive problems. The word vermouth means wormwood in German. The first commercially produced vermouth was a sweet vermouth that was made in Italy in the 1700s. A dry vermouth was produced in France soon after. Vermouth is an important ingredient in any classic cocktail that calls for it, especially the martini. In my eyes, it's not a martini unless it has vermouth in it. You'll find vermouth stays fresh and palatable if you store it in the refrigerator rather than on the back of the shelf.

Simple Syrups

Simple syrup certainly lives up to its name. It is about the simplest thing to make. It's basically equal parts sugar and water. You can easily flavor it with anything you like simply by adding the flavoring agent to the pot as the sugar is dissolving and then letting it infuse as the syrup cools down.

Bartenders have been using syrup in cocktails for a very long time, and for good reason. Straight sugar takes awhile to dissolve in a drink and mostly lands on the bottom of the glass — causing an unbalanced drink. Adding sugar in syrup form helps the flavor mix quickly and evenly with the other ingredients.


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Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Chapter 1 Bartending Tools and Techniques 16

Chapter 2 Spirits, Handcrafted Mixers, and More 28

Chapter 3 Drinks for the Morning 40


Noggin Cleanser 43

The Best Hangover Drink Ever 43

William III 45

Van Voast Cocktail 45


Sunshine in a Glass 46

Pretty in Pink Mimosa 49


Spring in a Glass 49

Summer Breeze 50

Under the Sea Bloody Mary 52


The Hobo Bloody Mary 52

SL Mary's Bell Ringer 53

Paris Kentucky 54

Seelbach Cocktail 56


Green Lantern 57

Chapter 4 Drinks for the Afternoon 58


Porch Swing 61

Mint Julep 62

Fig Jig 64

Pimm's No. 1

Smoked Pimm's Cup 67

Southern Comfort

Scarlett O'Hara 68


Pisco Punch 69


Knickerbocker 69


Sherry Cobbler 70


Kitty Burke 73

Last Word 74

Singapore Sling 75

Mary B 77

Tom Collins 77

Koala Cocktail 78

Chill Out Barbra 80

The Bee's Knees 82

Cherry Bomb 84

Am I Blue 86

Calm Down 88


Bumble Bee Cocktail 90

Amaretto Sour 91

Pisco Sour 91

Rosy Cheeks 93

Dover Club 94

Elks Club Fizz 94

Ramos Gin Fizz 95


Pear-Shaped Diamond 96

Chapter 5 Happy Hour Drinks 98


Moscow Mule 100

Mike Romanoff Cocktail 101

Spicy Man 102

Sweete Heat 104

Rosemary's Secret 107

Cilantro Blossom 108

Green Monster 110

OTR 113


Sazerac 114

Old Fashion 115

Manhattan 117

Algonquin Cocktail 119


Plum Crazy 120

Bourbon Daisy 120


Bees in Kilts 122

Blood and Sand 122


Martinez Cocktail 124

Classic Martini 126

Vesper Martini 127

French 75 129

Maiden's Prayer 130

Aviation 131

Southside 132

Communist Cocktail 133

Gaby de Lys 133

Suddenly Seamore 135

Attention Cocktail 135


Sidecar 136

Spfftcator 137


Between the Sheets 138

Airmail Cocktail 140

Lime in the Coconut 143

Queen's Park Swizzle 144

Dark and Stormy 145

Opy 146


Cinnamon Orange Margarita 148

Armillita Chico 150

Paloma 151

Puerto Vallarta 152

Hot Tijuana Nights 155

Chapter 6 Drinks with Dinner 156


Remember the Maine 158


Porter Cup 159


Apple of My Islay 161


Little Boy Blue 163

Cornucopia Cocktail 165


Brunswick Sour 167


Negroni 167

Ginger Rogers 168

Harvest Moon 171


Ichabod Crane 173

Beet Around the Christmas Tree 175

Chapter 7 After-Dinner Drinks 176


Apple Butter Toddy 179

Comfy Couch 179

Black Stallion 181

I'm a Nut 183


Coco Cool 183


Smokehouse 185

Rusty Nail 186


Yogi Bear 186


Hanky Panky 187

Index 188

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