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Friday, December 31, 2010


There's no sense writing a serious post about furniture or architecture on a holiday weekend. People are either too busy or feeling too jovial or too depressed to read something like that. Food and drink, on the other hand, are always good subjects for the holidays, so you'll get a couple more, and then we'll go back to my more standard fare till the next one rolls around.

I'm old enough to have seen my share of New Year's Eve parties in the 60s, and I remember some that my parents had in the 1950s.  If you're wanting an authentic mid-century party, then here are some drink recipes that were popular back then...starting with my favorite at the time, the whiskey sour. Have a wonderful New Year's Eve, and be sure to have a designated driver. We want you safe and sound tomorrow to celebrate New Year's Day!

Whiskey Sour

2 oz. whiskey
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. sugar
1 cherry
½ lemon slice

Put all ingredients in mixing glass and add ice cubes. Strain into highball glass. Add lemon slice and cherry to garnish.

Tom Collins

1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ oz. gin
Lemon slices

Mix sugar, gin and juice over ice in mixing glass. Stir, strain into cocktail glass with ice and top off with soda water. Garnish with lemon slices.

Brandy Alexander

¾ oz. cream
¾ oz. brandy
¾ oz. dark crème de cacao

Pour the liquors and cream into a mixing glass. Shake and pour into martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top or on rim of glass.

White Russian

1 oz. vodka
½ oz. coffee liqueur
1 oz. heavy cream

Pour vodka, coffee liqueur and heavy cream into a cocktail glass. Stir well.


1 ¾ oz. bourbon
¾ oz. sweet vermouth
1 dash aromatic bitters
1 Maraschino cherry

Pour bitters and liquors over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.


1 oz. cognac
1 oz. crème de menthe

Put all ingredients in mixing glass. Shake briskly. Serve in a brandy snifter.

Gibson Martini

2 ½ oz. gin or vodka
¾ oz. dry vermouth
3-5 cocktail onions

Stir gin or vodka and vermouth on ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a martini glass and add cocktail onions.

Old Fashioned

2 dashes aromatic bitters
½ tsp. sugar dissolved with water and bitters
1 ½ oz. bourbon
1 cherry
1 orange slice
1 lemon wedge

Fill glass with ice. Add cherry, orange slice and lemon wedge. Pour in bourbon. Serve in a rocks glass over ice.

Vodka Gimlet

1 ½ oz. vodka
¾ oz. lime juice
3-4 lime slices

Pour vodka and lime juice into mixing glass. Shake and strain into martini glass. Add lime slices.


  1. oh it's not even 9am and my mouth is watering for a Manhattan! these old-timey drinks are all the rage with hipsters now, and while things that are popular with hipsters I tend to shun, I'm kind of grateful that bars will serve a Tom Collins without giving me weird looks... for now! :) Happy New Year!

  2. I'll take a whiskey sour please. Have a very safe and Happy New Year!

  3. @stacey: Happy New Year to you too! For a big chunk of my adult life, I was a Vodka Collins drinker, and I got some of those weird looks too when I didn't order a Cosmo or an apple martini. I'm glad the old stand-bys are coming back in vogue.

  4. @Midcenturymadam: One whiskey sour coming right up...although I won't be mixing a 30-gallon trash can full of them like my friends did at parties when our husbands all came home from Viet Nam. Whew, those were the rowdy days...LOL

    Happy New Year to you too!