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The Definitive (?) List of Modern Classic Cocktails

Simulator Screen Shot Jan 13, 2016, 6.28.56 PMNew York Times writer Robert Simonson has released an app for iPhone and iPad in partnership with cocktail app-master Martin Doudoroff called Modern Classics of the Cocktail Renaissance. It costs ten bucks. 

Normally new cocktail recipe apps don't excite me, but Simonson has been spending a lot of time researching the subject matter lately - he has a written a book  called A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World, due out in September 2016. So if there was someone qualified to pull together these recipes, he's the one. 

The first version has about 100 recipes for cocktails, split into four sections. 

Modern Classics: "Twenty three bona-fide modern classics: original drinks that have traveled well beyond where they were created, appeared widely on cocktail menus, and achieved high regard within the bartending community."

Aperol Spritz - Corporate creation, somewhere in Italy.
Barrel-aged Negroni - Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland, OR, 2009
Benton’s Old Fashioned - Don Lee, PDT, New York City, 2007
Bramble - Dick Bradsell, Fred’s Club, London, UK, 1991/2
Breakfast Martini - Salvatore Calabrese, Library Bar, Lanesborough Hotel, London, 1997
Chartreuse Swizzle - Marcovaldo Dionysos, San Francisco, 2002
Cosmopolitan - Toby Cecchini, Odeon, New York City, 1988
Earl Grey MarTEAni - Audrey Saunders, Bemelmans Bar, New York City, 2003/4
Gin Basil Smash - Joerg Meyer, Le Lion, Hamburg, Germany, 2008
Gin Gin Mule - Audrey Saunders, Beacon, New York City, USA, 2000
Gold Rush - T. J. Siegel, Milk and Honey, New York City, USA, 2001
Gunshop Fizz - Kirk Estopinal and Maksym Pazuniak, Cure, New Orleans, 2009
Jasmine - Paul Harrington, Townhouse, Emeryville, California, 1990
Oaxaca Old Fashioned - Phil Ward, Death & Co, New York City, 2007
Old Cuban - Audrey Saunders, Beacon/Tonic, New York City, 2001
Paper Plane - Sam Ross, The Violet Hour, Chicago, 2007
Penicillin - Sam Ross, Milk & Honey, New York City, 2005
Red Hook - Vincenzo Errico, Milk & Honey, New York City, USA 2003
Tommy’s Margarita - Julio Bermejo, Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, San Francisco, early 1990s
Trident - Robert Hess, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2002
Trinidad Sour - Giuseppe Gonzalez, Clover Club, Brooklyn, NY, 2008
Vodka Espresso - Dick Bradsell, Soho Brasserie, London, 1980s
White Negroni - Wayne Collins, Bordeaux, France, 2001

Additional Candidates: "an additional fifty one originals that clearly meet some of these criteria, and might eventually meet all."

Simulator Screen Shot Jan 13, 2016, 6.28.58 PMAmaretto Sour - Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland, OR, 2010
The Art Of Choke - Kyle Davidson, Cure, New Orleans, 2009
Basil Gimlet - Greg Lindgren, Rye, San Francisco, 2006
Beuser and Angus Special - Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro, Victoria Bar, Berlin, 2007
Bitter Giuseppe - Stephen Cole, The Violet Hour, Chicago, 2006
Boss Colada - Nick Detrich, Cane & Table, New Orleans, 2013
Bourbon Renewal - Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Eugene, Oregon, 2001
Brancolada - Jeremy Oertel, Donna, Brooklyn, New York, 2012
Bywater - Chris Hannah, French 75 Bar, New Orleans, 2008
Carondelet - Maks Pazuniak, Maison Premiere, New York Ciy, 2011
CIA - Tonia Guffey, Flatiron Lounge, New York, 2011
Conference - Brian Miller, Death & Co., New York, 2007
Corpse Reviver Number Blue - Jacob Briar, Cocktail World Cup, Queenstown, New Zealand, 2007
Darkside - Adam Bernbach, Bar Pilar, Washington, D.C., 2008
Death Flip - Chris Hysted, Black Pearl, Melbourne, Australia, 2010
Division Bell - Phil Ward, Mayahuel, New York City, 2009
Eastside - George Delgado, Libation, New York, 2004
Elder Fashioned - Phil Ward, Death & Co, New York, 2007
The Ellison - Charles Hardwick, Blue Owl, New York City, 2007
Final Ward - Phil Ward, Pegu Club, New York City, 2006
Gin Blossom - Julie Reiner, Clover Club, Brooklyn, NY, 2009
Ginger Rogers - Marcovaldo Dionysos, Absinthe, San Francisco, 1998
Gordon’s Cup - Toby Maloney, Milk & Honey, New York City, 2002
Greenpoint - Michael McIlroy, Milk & Honey, New York City, 2006
Hard Sell - Brad Bolt, Bar DeVille, Chicago, 2009
Hard Start - Damon Boelte, Prime Meats, Brooklyn, New York, 2010
Jamaican Firefly - Audrey Saunders, Beacon, New York City, 2000
Joy Division - Phil Ward, Death & Co., New York, 2008
Juliet & Romeo - Toby Maloney, The Violet Hour, Chicago, 2007
Kentucky Buck - Erick Castro, Rickhouse, 2009
La Perla - Jacques Bezuidenhaut, Peche/Tres Agaves, San Francisco, 2005
Laphroaig Project - Owen Westman, Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco, 2009.
Little Italy - Audrey Saunders, Pegu Club, New York, 2005
Medicina Latina - Marcos Tello, The Varnish, Los Angeles, 2009
Moon Cocktail - Thomas Waugh, Death & Co., New York City, 2008
Naked and Famous - Joaquín Simó, Death & Co., New York City, 2011
Nuclear Daiquiri - Gregor de Gruyther, LAB, London, 2005
Paddington - David Slape, PDT, New York City, 2008
Porn Star Martini - Douglas Ankrah, Townhouse, London, 2001
Ranglum - Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro, Victoria Bar, Berlin, 2006
Revolver - Jon Santer, Bruno’s, San Francisco, 2004
Russian Spring Punch - Dick Bradsell, London, 1980s.
Siesta - Katie Stipe, Flatiron Lounge, New York City, 2006
Silver Lining - Joseph Schwartz, Milk & Honey, 2001
The Slope - Julie Reiner, Clover Club, Brooklyn, 2009
St. Germain Cocktail - Corporate creation, 2007
Staggerac - Don Lee, PDT, New York City, 2007.
Tantris Sidecar - Audrey Saunders, Beacon, New York City, 2000
Weeski - David Wondrich, Brooklyn, NY, 2004
Wibble - Dick Bradsell, The Player, London, 1999
Wildest Redhead - Meaghan Dorman, Lantern’s Keep, New York City, 2011

Critical Picks: (I assume these are recommended for classic status if Simonson had his way.)

The Criterium - St. John Frizell, Fort Defiance, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
Eeyore’s Requiem - Toby Maloney, Violet Hour, Chicago, 2010
Fernando - Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas, Employees Only, New York City, 2007
French Pearl - Audrey Saunders, Pegu Club, New York City, 2006
Kill-Devil - Erin Williams, Pegu Club, New York City, 2008
La Guepe Verte - Toby Cecchini, Candelaria, Paris, France, 2011
Mr. Brown - Franky Marshall, Clover Club, Brooklyn, NY, 2011
Remember the Alimony - Dan Greenbaum, The Beagle, New York City, 2012
Salt and Ash - Maks Pazuniak, The Counting Room, Brooklyn, NY, 2010
Seven-Spice Sour - Don Lee, Ma Peche, New York City, 2009
Star and Garter - Jessica Gonzalez, Elephant Bar, NoMad Hotel, New York City, 2012

Early Foundations (pre-dating the current craft cocktail renaissance)

Apple Manhattan - David Marsden, First on First, New York, late 1990s.
Añejo Highball - Dale DeGroff, The Rainbow Room, New York City, 1997-1999
Cable Car - Tony Abou-Ganim, Starlight Room, San Francisco, 1996
Combustible Edison - The Millionaire, Combustible Edison, 1994.
The Debonair - Gary Regan, 1993.
Drink Without A Name - Paul Harrington, The Townhouse, Emeryville, CA, 1990
The Fitzgerald - Dale DeGroff, The Rainbow Room, New York City, 1994-1996
Flying Kangaroo - Charles Schumann, Schumann’s American Bar, Munich, 1979
Juniperotivo - Jerri Banks, Fressen, New York City, 1999
Lemon Drop - Henry Africa’s, San Franciscso, 1970s
Perfect Pear - Marcovaldo Dionysos, Sauce Box, Portland, OR, 1995
Ritz Cocktail - Dale DeGroff, Aurora, New York City, 1985-1986
Swimming Pool - Charles Schumann, Schumann’s American Bar, Munich, Germany, 1979
Whiskey Smash - Dale DeGroff, The Rainbow Room, New York City, 1998-1999


What do you think? Anything missing? 




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Martin Auzmendi

Cynar Julep, create in Buenos Aires around 2004. There is a discussion between two bartenders, but for sure is a modern classic here

Camper English

Yes for sure a modern classic in Buenos Aires. It must be hard to consider modern classics globally - he has the Aperol Spritz that's huge in mainland Europe and several London drinks like the Wibble that didn't really make an impact in America, plus many of these drinks are mostly popular in New York. I've seen amari versions of Juleps in the US but not that many. Tough call!


Honestly, I wish that MixologyTech would make an Android version for their apps. I have wanted the PDT Cocktails app FOREVER! Now I want this one also.

Camper English

Yeah in this day and age it's kind of amazing that there isn't a code compiler thing that makes apps universal across all phones. If I ever switch away from iPhone I'll lose most of my recipe apps.

Ian Tuck

There is a development tool (RAD Studio) that allows for cross-platform apps, but it's not as popular w/developers, who prefer the Native iOS development environment.

I frankly don't care if they don't make an Android app themselves - I wish they'd license their data to someone who *would*, though. A competent android house shouldn't have much problem porting the PDT book or this one to the platform. So frustrating.

Martin Auzmendi

yes, thats true. But here is popular not only in Buenos Aires, you can find in bars in every big city like Cordoba, Rosario, mar del plata or Mendoza. And some bartenders do it in Perú or Brasil. But is at last, argentinian, where amaros are big and important. But also some modern classics in Northamerica are not important in southamerica.


Maybe I overlooked it, but he's missing probably my favorite classic cocktail, one that's become increasingly popular recently here in NYC - the Sazerac...

Camper English

While definitely enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the modern cocktail movement, the Sazerac is a super old creation - one of the original classics.


Also along that same line, I don't Vieux Carre here either, unless it's under another name...


Camper, what recipe apps Do you think are worth owning?


Good list/s. Lots I don't know.

Camper English

Good question. I don't often refer to apps for recipes so I'm not an expert on the topic, but I use several of the ones on the site. I have the previous version of Beachbum Berry’s Total Tiki, the PDT one, and I'm guessing that Martin’s Index of Cocktails is similar to the content on which is my prime source for classics. I haven't tried Bartender's Choice but heard it's good.


This is a fantastic list. Glad to see quite a few cocktails from Death & Co. I'm still devouring their book and hadn't yet noticed the Conference, which I'll be making tonight. I wish Mayahuel had more than one drink represented. Although I think the Division Bell is pretty good, I've had better drinks there. One drink I'd suggest adding: The Gentleman's Exchange from Eleven Madison Park / The NoMad, which I like because it's a coffee drink but not a dessert cocktail.

Frederic Arbona

Great idea guys ! so many good drinks here. just a few things : . Calabrese's breakfast martini is a rip off a much older recipe
Gin basil smash is way older than that, I was taught how to make one in 2004 and it wasn't a novelty back then.
Amaretto sour , 2010 ? that drink was already served in London in the 80's

And to finish, a little story : when asked why his nuclear daiquiri at a cocktail competition had no garnish, Gregor replied " because no garnish can sustain the power of a nuclear daiquiri ! "

Keep it up

Dinah Sanders

Sam Ross says 2008 for the Paper Plane

(and re: apps, I'm a big fan of Martin's Index)


I don't frequently allude to applications for formulas so I'm not a specialist on the subject, but rather I utilize a few of the ones on the I have the past variant of Beachbum Berry's Total Tiki, the PDT one, and I'm speculating that Martin's Index of Cocktails is like the substance on which is my prime hotspot for works of art. I haven't attempted Bartender's Choice however heard it's great.

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