Classic Cocktails: The Big Seven

written by: Mary Brown Malouf  |  photos by: Adam Finkle  |  Mixologist: Casey Metzger

Salt Lake City is gaining fame as an avid outpost of the craft cocktail movement. Bartenders here love to dream up kitchen-based drinks made with local syrups, bitters, mixers, herbs and other garden produce. But cocktails are all built on the same taste foundation: liquor, acid, bitters and sweetness. Here’s a look at the original basic cocktail for each liquor in your cupboard—and a few ideas from local mixers about how to jazz them up.

photos by: Adam Finkle

The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury (first published in 1948) lists six basic cocktails: martini, Manhattan, old fashioned, daiquiri, sidecar and the Jack Rose. For our list, we dropped the Jack Rose and added a Rob Roy to include all the main bar liquors, and we referred to the International Bar Association’s official guide for the recipes. That’s why everything is measured in centiliters (cL).

Be aware that in Utah bars, DABC restrictions necessitate a modification of measurements in almost every classic cocktail. Our cocktails were all made by Casey Metzger of Top Shelf Utah, a  bar catering service.

The Rob Roy – ScotchThe Daiquiri – RumThe Bloody Mary – VodkaThe Sidecar – CognacThe Old Fashioned – BourbonThe Margarita – TequilaThe Martini – Gin

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Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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