Working from the Negroni at the top to the Manhattan at the bottom, these drinks are classics. Read on, friends. 

I hope you are enjoying this summer weather as much as I am.  The days have been amazing and the and nights have been incredible.  Recently, Jackie and I and some friends ventured to a small, local restaurant in my hometown, and treated ourselves to some apps and “adult beverages” – you know the type – not just a glass of craft beer or wine (they did have some nice options), but the ones that come in funky glassware, with thingie’s floating on top.  Our waitress said the bartender had been working on some special treats which we were encouraged to try.  Damn was she right.  Tasty and zingy and perfect for a nice evening on their outdoor patio.  It got me to thinking about who created all the beverages I can remember my parents and their friends enjoying. So, I did a little digging, and came up with some fun trivia on the “classics”.  Enjoy the info and try them all – (not at once please!) and be sure to frequent your local watering hole to see what they have on the menu – and, be careful, as they can pack a punch!

Whether it’s an old fashioned or a classic daiquiri, every spirited sip got its start somewhere — though mixologists may argue about the true origins of these famous concoctions. (New York and London, for example, both lay claims to creating the first cocktail.) Here are 10 of our favorite cocktails and the bars that made them famous. Cheers!

  1. Negroni (Florence, Italy)- In 1919, Count Camillo Negroni bellied up to the bar at Café Casoni and asked for something stronger than his usual Americano (Campari, club soda, and vermouth). Fosco Scarselli obliged, replacing the club soda with gin, and the Negroni was born. While the ownership and name have changed a few times, you can still visit the original space on Piazza della Libertà, now known as Caffè Lietta. (Our advice for mixing the perfect version at home? Put Stanley Tucci in charge of the bar.)
  2. Daiquiri (Havana, Cuba) – Ernest Hemingway had more than one favorite bar, but in Cuba, it was El Floridita. The bar was founded in Havana’s Old Quarter in 1817, and it was already an institution as la cuna del daiquiri — the cradle of the daiquiri — when the famous author walked in. After sampling the original, Hemingway requested “more rum, less sugar” from legendary barman and owner Constantino Ribalaigua. You can still order a Papa Doble, Hemingway’s favorite, while sitting next to his life-sized statue.
  3. Old Fashioned (Louisville, Kentucky) – Kentucky gentlemen know from bourbon, so it’s no surprise that this Don Draper-approved cocktail hails from the Bluegrass State. Dubbed an “old fashioned” for the squat tumbler in which it’s served, this potion consisting of bourbon, sugar, bitters, and orange peel is said to have been invented at the private Pendennis Club in Louisville before making its way to New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
  4. Bloody Mary (Paris, France) – Everyone argues about this one, but most cocktail historians agree that the bloody mary (appetizingly nicknamed “the bucket of blood”) was born in 1920s Paris, when bartender Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot began experimenting with vodka at Harry’s New York Bar. The spirit, which he found tasteless, was popularized by Russian émigrés fleeing the revolution. Some canned tomato juice and a few spices later, he concocted the brunch staple we know and love today. Butch McGuire’s in Chicago takes credit for the celery stick swizzle, but the angel who added a slice of crispy bacon remains a mystery.
  5. French 75 (Paris, France) – Boozy and bubbly, this cocktail of gin, champagne, and lemon is named after a 75-millimeter World War I field gun and carries a combat-worthy kick. The invention of legendary barman and cocktail book author Harry MacElhone (who brought Harry’s New York Bar to Paris), the French 75 is essentially a Tom Collins, but with champagne replacing the original’s club soda topper.
  6. Martini (California or New York) – The “shaken or stirred” debate has nothing on the origin of America’s most iconic cocktail, which is vigorously argued by both of the nation’s coasts. The historic town of Martinez, California, swears the gin-and-vermouth classic was created as a celebratory Champagne replacement for a gold miner who struck it rich. New Yorkers insist it’s solely the invention of the bar staff at the Knickerbocker Hotel, named after the Martini in Martini & Rossi vermouth. Who’s right? Let’s think about it while we have another.
  7. Sazerac (New Orleans, Louisiana) – Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud is said to have served up a melange of his own bitters and his favorite cognac (Sazerac-de-Forge et fils) in a coquetier, or egg cup, in 1838. Over the years, rye whiskey replaced the cognac, and an antiques store replaced the apothecary at 437 Royal Street, but you can still sip a fine version at the Roosevelt Hotel’s historic Sazerac Bar.
  8. Margarita (Mexico) – Would a daisy by any other name taste as good? When the tequila is flowing, memories get fuzzy and the tales grow taller with every round. Regardless of whether this icy delight was invented by a barman-turned-milkman at the now-defunct Tommy’s in Juarez or at the still-kicking Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, this refreshing blend of tequila, Cointreau, and lime was popularized by Southern California liquor distributors who introduced agave-based spirits north of the border — and we’re forever grateful.
  9. Zombie (Hollywood, California) – Along with the fog cutter and many, many more Polynesian-inspired cocktails, we owe the invention of the zombie cocktail to a man named Ernest Gantt. He returned from bumming around the South Seas post-Prohibition, dubbed himself Don the Beachcomber, and opened the world’s first tiki bar in 1934. Heavy on rum, fruit juices, and fun, these potent potables offer a kitschy taste of vacation. While the original Don’s is long gone, zombie aficionados can still live the dream at Hollywood’s Tiki-Ti, serving nostalgia (and mai-tais) since 1961.
  10. Manhattan (New York, New York) – One legend says that this cocktail was first served at a party for Sir Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, at New York City’s Manhattan Club. That venerable lady can no longer confirm or deny, but the Manhattan Club still defends its claim to this heady combination of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. While the original site at 96 Fifth Avenue now holds an apartment building, and the social club was dissolved in 1979, you can make this venerable cocktail at home, courtesy of another Manhattan institution, The New York Times.

If you have any favorites (not on this list), be sure to send it to me at skowalski@khtheat.com.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


What Floats Yours?

Ahhh…the dog days of summer. When cold refreshing drinks are calling your name. Made from fruits, ice creams and sodas. Fancy and plain. Adult versions for, well, adults. It’s all a great part of summer. Read on for some really tasty recipes.


Summer.  August. Hot days. Beautiful nights.  Time for sitting on the back porch and sipping on a tasty float. Yep – big glasses, lots of ice cream, goodies, and bubbly beverages.  Open the windows, and let the breeze blow in, while enjoying yours.  As you know, I pretty much eat, and like, everything. (I am blessed this way!)  Ice cream floats – oh yea, bring ‘em on especially with freshly made popcorn or pretzels or crackers – see my dilemma!  My favorite is (Good ole vanilla ice cream and coke!) Jackie and the girls on the other hand love trying all sorts of different concoctions. They are not ice cream purists like myself – I love ice cream the way it was intended – Vanilla! Here’s some fun trivia, great variations, and a link to wonderful recipes. Thanks to tasteofhome.com, Wikipedia and the inventor of ice cream, King Tang – according to Google, an ice-cream-like food was first eaten in China in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, had 94 ice men who helped to make a dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor – way easier now just going to the grocery store … or was it a kind of ice-cream said to be invented in China about 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow… so where did the cherries and strawberries come from??

The ice cream float was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia, PA in 1874during the Franklin Institute‘s semicentennial celebration. The traditional story is that, on a particularly hot day, Mr. Green ran out of ice for the flavored drinks he was selling and used vanilla ice cream from a neighboring vendor, thus inventing a new drink.
His own account, published in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910, states that while operating a soda fountain at the celebration, he wanted to create a new treat to attract customers away from another vendor who had a fancier, bigger soda fountain. After some experimenting, he decided to combine ice cream and soda water. During the celebration, he sold vanilla ice cream with soda water and a choice of 16 flavored syrups. The new treat was a sensation and soon other soda fountains began selling ice cream floats.
Green’s lastwill and testament instructed that “Originator of the Ice Cream Soda” was to be engraved on his tombstone.
There are at least three other claimants for the invention of ice cream float: Fred Sanders, Philip Mohr, and George Guy, one of Robert Green’s own employees. Guy is said to have absent-mindedly mixed ice cream and soda in 1872, much to his customer’s delight.
In Australia and New Zealand, an ice cream float is known as a “spider”, because once the carbonation hits the ice cream, it forms a spider web-like creation.  In Mexico, it is known as “Helado flotante” (floating ice cream) and in Puerto Rico it’s referred to as a “black out”.
Root beer and Coke are typical carbonating beverages, but many variations exist (see recipes below).  Here are some fun variations – Although Root Beer and Coke are my favorites!

  1. Chocolate ice cream soda – this ice cream soda starts with approximately 1 oz of chocolate syrup, then several scoops of chocolate ice cream in a tall glass. Unflavored carbonated water is added until the glass is filled and the resulting foam rises above the top of the glass. The final touch is a topping of whipped cream and usually, a maraschino cherry. This variation of ice cream soda was available at local soda fountains and nationally, at Dairy Queen stores for many years.  A similar soda made with chocolate syrup but vanilla ice cream is sometimes called a “black and white” ice cream soda.
  2. Root beer float – Also known as a “black cow” or “brown cow”,the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but it can also be made with other ice cream flavors. The similarly flavored soft drink birch beer may also be used instead of root beer.
  3. Coke float – A coke float can be made with any cola, such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi, and vanilla ice-cream.
  4. Boston cooler – A Boston cooler is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream.
  5. Snow White – Snow White is made with 7 Up or Sprite and vanilla ice cream. The origin of this variation is unknown, but it is found in some Asian eateries.
  6. Purple cow – In the context of ice cream soda, a purple cow is vanilla ice cream in purple grape soda. In a more general context, a purple cow may refer to a non-carbonated grape juice and vanilla ice cream combination.
  7. Sherbet cooler – The American Friendly’s chain also had a variation known as a “sherbet cooler,” which was a combination of orange or watermelon sherbet, vanilla syrup and seltzer water. (At present, it is billed as a “slammer”.)
  8. Vaca-preta – At least in Brazil and Portugal, a non-alcoholic ice cream soda made by combining vanilla ice cream and coca-cola is known as vaca-preta (“black cow”).
  9. Helado flotante – In Mexico the most popular version is made with cola and lemon sherbet.
  10. Orange float – An orange float or orange whip consists of vanilla ice cream and orange soft drinks.
  11. Beer float – adult version is Guinness stout, Chocolate ice cream, and espresso. Although the Shakin’ Jesse versionis blended into more of a milkshake consistency, most restaurant bars can make the beer float version. When making at home, the beer and espresso should be very cold so as to not melt the ice cream.
  12. Nectar soda  A flavor popular in New Orleans and parts of Ohio, made with a syrup consisting of equal parts almond and vanilla syrups mixed with sweetened condensed milk and a touch of red food coloring to produce a pink, opalescent syrup base for the soda.
  13. Melon cream soda – Cream soda with melon flavor is a common drink in Japan. Melon soda is served with ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.



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