The perfect martini. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

More than any other type of post, readers have asked for a Friday cocktail post and so, for the fall at least, starting next Friday, we will return to posting on classic or great cocktails. Let me know if there’s a specific cocktail you’d like to see covered, or photographed (I think one of my all-time fave Donna pix is of the Paloma; refreshes me just to look at it). Thanks to all for your encouragement to return to this noble and important subject!


Cocktails made thus far.

Dark and Stormy

Gin & Tonic

La Paloma

This is an old-fashioned Manhattan, with jarred maraschino cherries like my Uncle Jon loved. But make a good one. With Fabbri cherries and good rye. Straight up. The skewer holding the cherries is an emblem of my childhood. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman



The Berkshire Martinez

Mint Julep

A great summertime drink, the Cuban Mojito. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman


Moscow Mule


Whiskey Sour


51 Wonderful responses to “The Friday Cocktail Returns”

  • KristineB

    Belini, sangria (I use a Bobby Flay recipe that’s pretty good, but always looking to try another), something tropical, like a Bahama Mama. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gin & tonic, or martini, but sometimes I like to shake it up (no pun intended).

  • allen

    The smokey Rob Roy in a champagne glass. Give it a try. And lets not forget the Aviation with Luxardo and Creme De Viollette, one of my favs on rosemaery, lemon, caper, chicken night!

      • allen

        Using the smokey Laphroaig or other Islay scotch served in cold champagne glass with dash of bitters, lemon peel and cherry, that’s how I had it. Delicious!

  • Steve

    I would love to see a pisco sour (with egg white). It’s a great way to start a meal.

  • Pat

    I’d like to know more about various daiquiris and caipirinhas. (NOT SNOW CONE blender drinks!) I mean a real daiquiri. Just lime & rum & simple syrup, please. Why is it that so many bars can’t make a simple daiquiri any more?

  • Chris

    I real mai tai – the rum, orgeat, lime, curocao variety, not the blended fruit juice bomb type. Mine often come out too sour and not rummy enough.

    • allen

      Emeril made one on his Polynesian show,with fresh citrus and fresh pineapple, the best Mai Tai I’ve ever had. I just with they replayed the old episodes so I could find the exact process. The next best fav for me was at the Hilton on Waikiki.

  • James

    Make an old-fashioned…Old Fashioned. If it were warmer, I’d suggest a Daquiri.

  • Morris Jones

    My current favorite is the Sazerac, a classic New Orleans cousin of the Old Fashioned. Peychaud’s bitters and an absinthe rinsed glass are a must. A little Agustora bitters in there to bring up the vanilla notes. Lately i’ve been making them with Bullet Rye Whiskey.

  • Carly

    I used to drink a lot of gimlets, but it’s been a while and I never bothered making one myself. So that gets my vote.

  • Jon

    I’ve been making the Mojito regularly ever since I saw your first posting of it. In fact, I planted a lot of mint this year expressly because of the Mojito.

    • KristineB

      Oh duh. I was just wondering last night, as I worked in my garden, what to do with all that mint. Thanks.

    • Elke

      Yes, I’m looking for a summer punch recipe for this weekend, so I guess I need to wing it!

  • John Paulun

    I would like to a post on the Boulevardier. It is a fantastic vehicle for Campari that is perfect for the start of autumn.

  • allen

    The first cocktail I saw on this blog was the Aviation. Am I missing the link to it?

    I am going to start calling that little spot on the frosted stem where you grab it the Ruhlman ring, the place where there is no frost and the rest is frosted.
    I like my glasses chilled and know how much work is involved in getting that perfect picture Donna takes. I am always making my the guest move there “asses to the glasses” when I take them out of the freezer. Otherwise why bother icing them?

    I had a couple of martini’s when I was in Lake Tahoe, one at a fancy bar on the top floor served by cute blondes, and on in the bottom floor at a casino bar served by a friendly bartender.
    The view of the lake was spectacular from the top floor but the martini was bad.
    At less than half the cost the martini in the dingy casino bar was far superior, made by a humble, friendly bartender who first filled the glass with ice and then topped it with ice water to chill while he made the cocktail. The proportions came out perfectly when he chucked the ice water and topped off the glass. It was nicely chilled and way better than the one in the fancy bar.

    No dumb blonde jokes here, just that the location for a good drink is not always the finest establishment, the technique of using ice water to chill the glass makes perfect sense. Water is a great conductor of transferring energy, but you don’t get that lovely Ruhlman ring on the stem. Which would look lovely on the chilled champagne glass for the smokey Rob Roy by the way.

  • allen

    I want to make note of a great cocktail by a Seattle Blogger named Salty Seattle. She makes fantastic elaborate dishes and this cocktail is excellent.
    It’s called the Green Gargoyle and is a perfect balance of heat, sweet, salty and acidic.
    I just made a batch for guest coming to dinner tonight. It’s very attractive and mainly about balance. A great cocktail worth mentioning and worth Googling.

    Also non alcoholic cocktails. The mention of Mai Tai made me think of that, I was making them with fresh citrus and pineapple from and old Emeril recipe and using fresh ingredients makes all the differnce. A Shirley Temple made with homemade sauce.
    I made some Spruce beer with Alberta spruce tips steeped in simple syrup, strained and topped with sparkling water for a great non alcoholic drink.
    You know, for those times when you have to say enough is enough? Like that song, ” I left my liver in El Segundo”, or was it my “wallet in San Francisco”?

  • Christine

    Love gin and tonics especially in this LA heat. While I like Tanqueray ($$$), I’ve found Gordon’s equally, if not a little more “juniper-y” but less $$. Would you say Barton’s had the same juniper overtones? Sorry, very fond of Genever (old and young) due to visits to my pen pal of ages in The Netherlands. Am sort of “stuck” on that note and wondered what other gins fit the bill. Any thoughts?

      • Will

        Love to see the Beefeater in acton, thought I was the only one left who requested it for my martinis. Everyone else, it seems, is obsessed with vodka and believe Grey Goose is what a martini is all about. I order a gin martini and people are shocked, especially when I don’t at least call saphire.

  • allen

    She had the apple bottom jeans. With the fur! Everyone in the club was loookin @ huuuuur!

  • allen

    K. Im gonna bhave. No crazy shit. Lights out. Nigh nigh. Peace. Luv. Fri cocktail post can b a good thing. Group hug, no drool

  • cleek

    there’s a nice champagne cocktail called a “high sage”: 1.5 oz Hendrick’s gin, 1 oz sage simple syrup, 4 oz prosecco, cucumber slices for garnish.

    light and refreshing.

    the only trouble is having to make the sage simple syrup, which isn’t hard but does take a bit of time.

  • Mandy

    Michael, I had a drink called a “North End” at The Corner Room in Portland, Maine. It was Gin and fresh basil and a few other things that I do not know about, but it was DELICIOUS 🙂 Wish the mixologist, Jordan would share her secret lol.

  • Rob DeWald

    Ruhlman, You forgot a key ingredient in you Manhattan recipe. If you are using homemade Maraschino Cherries, and you should be (Lil’ Ruhlmanism there), add a tablespoon of the “cherry juice”. It makes all the difference in the world.

    • Murray

      Yes! Homemade maraschino cherries. My family is big Manhattan drinkers, from 3 generations back. I’ve been making my own Maraschino cherries for several years when the local cherries are at their peak. I can them with a “brandied cherry” recipe, but substitute Maraschino liqueur for the brandy. I prefer Maraska brand over Luxardo, if you can find it. Completely different beast to the commercial kind. Totally worth the summer day spent pitting cherries (though this year I experimented with leaving the pits in) and standing over the large pot of boiling water.

  • Kimber

    I’d like to know more about drinks/cocktails that include herbs(mint,basil etc.) and spices(nutmeg,clove,cinnamon etc) some exotic, unique mixes vs enhanced standard ones, and about nice accompanying garnishes, like the the pickled beans I had vs celery,(yuck) with a Bloody Mary on the Natchez riverboat in New Orleans. I love Sangria, and would like to know about different versions,…….

  • DPP

    The Last Word

    Finest cocktail I’ve ever had. Gin, Chartreuse, Maraschino, and lime juice, in equal parts.

      • Odi et Amo


        And I agree, the last Word is a fantastic cocktail. Measure the ingredients, though: you want an equal part of each.

  • Wilma de Soto

    I know you’re not into it, but Tequila with home made Sangrita might persuade others.

  • allen

    I had these with lemons right off the tree in Az. they go down way to easy and you need to get fancy cognac. A good brandy would probably be fine.

  • allen

    I’ma cocktail blog hoarder. 1 more idea is limonfukencello. Limoncello goddamit! Brings out the best after a fine meal & tells your company ”party’s over, get the F out”


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