8 Iconic Cocktail Debates Slideshow
December 9, 2010
Martini: Shaken or Stirred?
A drink so iconic it merits two great debates. Even if you haven't seen the movies or read the books, you know the line, "Martini, shaken, not stirred." Yet it's a request that might make some martini drinkers shudder. According to those of the stirring faction, shaking with ice can "bruise" the gin and make it slightly bitter tasting. However, there are those that contend that shaking is better because it makes it colder.
Martini: Gin or Vodka?
Blame James Bond for this one. Apparently, the vodka Martini gained popularity as a result of Ian Flemming's novels, as it is the drink that the dashing 007 famously always orders. However, adamant traditionalists will tell you that anything other than the original recipe of gin, vermouth, and a dash of bitters is simply not a martini. And don't even get them started on the Appletini...
French 75: Cognac or Gin?
The first recorded publication of the recipe lists gin as the principal ingrent, yet David Embury, in his book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, says that mixing this cocktail without Cognac makes it not French. It's a claim which ignores that the drink's French origins actually come from being named after the kick of a WWI-era French 75-milimeter gun.
Margarita: Salt or No Salt?
Mint Julep: To Muddle or Not To Muddle?
The controversy surrounding the Kentucky Derby's iconic drink has to do with how best to incorporate the mint. Anti-muddlers maintain that the strong-handed action can crush and destroy the integrity of the herb. As an alternative, some might instead opt to combine the mint with simple syrup, or even infuse it.
Manhattan: Bourbon vs. Rye Whiskey
Bourbon vs. rye whiskey — of course, it's really a matter of personal preference. Still, the original recipe calls for rye whiskey and those who feel strongly about the matter might even go so far as to seek out places that will make it with straight rye whisky. Manhattan-drinkers that go the bourbon route tend to prefer that the spirit is slightly sweeter.
Daiquiri: Shaken or Frozen?
Here's one that might surprise a few people. Apparently, the Daiquiri was originally conceived as a shaken cocktail, not a frozen one, as many know it today. According to cocktail author David Embury, the first incarnation of this drink called for fresh-squeezed lime juice, sugar, and of course, rum, shaken over ice and served up.
Dark 'n Stormy: What's Your Ginger Beer?
If you tried to spar with someone about whether or not a Dark 'n Stormy can be made with a rum other than Goslings, you would lose. It can't — seriously, it's the law. The company actually trademarked the drink so that only those made with their rum can legally be called a Dark 'n Stormy. Where there is still some room for debate is over which ginger beer is the correct one to use. For many, it has to be Barritts, a brand from Bermuda, but for others the Goslings brand ginger beer is the way to go. And of course, many of today's top bars opt to make their own in-house.