Cocktails

Analysis of my favorite cocktails

Jonatan Pallesen
05-30-2020

Table of Contents


I have long been interested in cocktails, and took up making new ones as a hobby under the corona lockdown. It can be somewhat confusing with all the recipes available. Thinking in categories gives a better overview. In this document I will look at my favorites of the cocktails Ive made, and perform some analyses that can aid in finding new cocktail recipes that could also be successful.

Cocktail families

These cocktail families are somewhat inspired by The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan. But I’ve constructed my own based on what I see as the defining characteristic. Eg. cocktails with Campari always taste strongly of Campari, so they are put in a family.


Cocktail family Description
Sours Base liquor(s), lemon or lime, and a sweetening agent
Sours, sparkling family A sour with sparkling water
Sours, fruit family A sour with another fruit juice
Sours, Cointreau family A sour with Cointreau
Sours, egg white family A sour with egg white
Manhattan family Base liquor(s) and sweet vermouth
Old-fashioned family A base liquor, bitters, and a sweetening agent
Tropical cocktails Rum and fruit juice
Flips A cocktail with a whole egg
Cherry cocktails Cocktail with Cherry Heering as a central element
Campari cocktails Cocktails with Campari as a central element
Duos A base liquor and a sweeter liqueur
Duos with cream A duo with cream


Cocktail list

List of cocktails I have made where I like the recipe.

Cocktail Family Source
20th Century Cocktail Sours The Joy of Mixology
Aviation Sours Custom
Daiquiri Sours IBA Official
Hemingway Daiquiri Sours IBA Official
May Daisy Sours PDT Cocktail Book
Celine Fizz Sours, sparkling family Custom
Grapefruit Collins Sours, sparkling family Custom
High Five Sours, sparkling family Custom
Mojito Sours, sparkling family Custom
Tom Collins Sours, sparkling family IBA Official
Bramble Sours, fruit family Custom
Carioca Hawaiian cocktail Sours, fruit family Custom
Cosmopolitan Sours, fruit family IBA Official
Pink Elephant Sours, fruit family Custom
Between the Sheets Sours, Cointreau family Custom
Kentucky Corpse Reviver Sours, Cointreau family Custom
Sidecar Sours, Cointreau family IBA Official
Sunflower Sours, Cointreau family Steve the Bartender
Amaretto Sour Sours, egg white family Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Whisky Sour Sours, egg white family Custom
Blackthorn Manhattan family Liquid Intelligence
Manhattan Manhattan family IBA Official
Manhattan, perfect Manhattan family Joy of Mixology
Rob Roy Manhattan family Liquid Intelligence
Vieux Carre Manhattan family Liquid Intelligence
Improved Whisky Cocktail Old-fashioned family The Essential Cocktail Book
Old-fashioned Old-fashioned family IBA Official
Rum flip Flips Smuggler's Cove
Blood and Sand Cherry cocktails Custom
Singapore Sling Cherry cocktails Custom
Americano Perfecto Campari cocktails The Essential Cocktail Book
Boulevardier Campari cocktails Custom
Garibaldi Campari cocktails The Essential Cocktail Book
Negroni Campari cocktails Custom
Godfather Duos IBA Official
Brandy Alexander Duos with cream Custom
Godson Duos with cream Custom
Pina Colada Tropical cocktails Custom


Analyses

Volume and alcohol content

By far the largest outlier is the Singapore Sling which is a huge cocktail. I think this is reasonable, since it takes a long time to make, so you would want it to last once you have it. The Garibaldi is of course low in alcohol, since it is more in the direction of more interesting orange juice.


I define the strength of a cocktail as the ethanol * 10 / final volume.

Sweetness and acitidy

In the excellent book Liquid Intelligence Dave Arnold lists the sweetness and acidity for a number of ingredients. I guesstimated the content of some more ingredients based on his list, and from this we can estimate the overall acidity and sweetness balance of the cocktails.

[Techical note on bitterness: bitterness is harder to evaluate. But if I make the assumption that the cocktail families are on average balanced, we can make guesstimate it. If I regress the Campari content of Campari cocktails against their sweetness, we get a bitterness value of 3.8 per oz. if I regress the bitters content of Manhattan family cocktails and old-fashioned family cocktails against sweetness, we get a bitterness value of 0.7 per dash. I fill in these values, and look at the balance defined as sweetness vs acidity + bitterness.]

This looks quite accurate according to my impression. The cocktails lowest on the Y-axis are the flips and duos, which have a desert-like quality.

The balance is determined by (acidity + bitterness) / sweetness. I will call this ratio dryness. So a more dry cocktail would contain a low amount of sugar considering its other contents, whereas a less dry cocktail willl contain a proportionally large amount of sugar. Below is a plot of the dryness of the different families:

Probably for normal cocktails we would like a balanced dryness around 0.8-1.5. The Hemingway Daiquiry is famously dry, as this was the taste of Ernest Hemingway. The Sidecar is also known for its dry balance, and this is why the drink if often served in a sugar-rimmed glass. The Perfect Manhattan is an even drier version of the already quite dry Manhattan.


For many of the cocktails I have customized the recipes for my taste. For example, adjusting the dryness balance, or reducing the amount of Campari. Let’s see how the dryness balance has moved compared to the original recipes with my adjustments:

We can see here that in every case where I adjusted the balance, it has moved close to the calculated 0.8-1.5 balance ratio area. Since I only went by taste and had not done any calculations at that time, this is a good indicator for the dashed balance line, that the correct balance is somewhere around that level.

This indicates possible improvements by reducing the dryness of the Tom Collins and Kentucky Corpse Reviver, and possibly increasing the dryness of the Old-fashioned(!) and the Blood and Sand.

Cocktail recipes

For each of the cocktails I will list these three attributes


20 Century Cocktail

Ingredients
Gin 1.5 oz
Lemon juice 0.5 oz
Lillet Blanc 0.5 oz
Creme de Cacao 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.3
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 1.8

Aviation

Ingredients
Gin 2 oz
Luxardo Maraschino 2 tsp
Creme de Violette 2 tsp
Lemon juice 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.2
Alcohol units 2.5
Strength 2.1

I have added Creme de Violette (which was a traditional ingredient) to the official recipe.


Daiquiri

Ingredients
Light rum 2.25 oz
Lime juice 1 1/4 oz
Simple syrup 1 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.2
Alcohol units 2.4
Strength 1.4


Hemingway Daiquiri

Ingredients
Light rum 2 oz
Grapefruit juice 1 1/4 oz
Luxardo Maraschino 0.5 oz
Lime juice 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.9
Alcohol units 2.5
Strength 1.5

May Daisy

Ingredients
Cognac 2 oz
Lemon juice 1 oz
Green Chartreuse 3/4 oz
Simple syrup 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 3.0
Strength 1.7

Sparkling Sours

Celine Fizz

Ingredients
Plymouth gin 2 oz
Simple syrup 2 tsp
Elderflower liquor 1 oz
Egg white 1 egg
Salt 1 pinch
Sparkling water 1 top
Lemon juice 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.8
Alcohol units 2.6
Strength 0.8

Reduced simple syrup compared to official recipe


Grapefruit Collins

Ingredients
Sparkling water 3 oz
Old Tom gin 2 oz
Grapefruit juice 1 oz
Lemon juice 3/4 oz
Simple syrup 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.6
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 0.7

High Five

Ingredients
Sparkling water 2 oz
Gin 1.5 oz
Grapefruit juice 1 oz
Aperol 0.5 oz
Lime juice 0.5 oz
Simple syrup 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.0
Alcohol units 1.7
Strength 0.7

Added sparkling water


Mojito

Ingredients
Mint leaves 10 leaves
Light rum 2 oz
Sugar 2 tsp
Sparkling water 2 oz
Lime juice 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.7
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 1.1

Tom Collins

Ingredients
Sparkling water 3 oz
Old Tom gin 2.25 oz
Lemon juice 1.5 oz
Simple syrup 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.9
Alcohol units 2.3
Strength 0.8

Fruit sours

Bramble

Ingredients
Blackberries 6 berries
Plymouth gin 2 oz
Creme de Mure 3/4 oz
Lemon juice 3/4 oz
Demerara syrup 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.7
Alcohol units 2.4
Strength 1.6

Added muddled berries not present in the IBA recipe


Carioca Hawaiian cocktail

Ingredients
Light rum 2 oz
Pineapple juice 1 oz
Angustura 1 dash
Simple syrup 0.625 oz
Lime juice 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 1.3

Cosmopolitan

Ingredients
Vodka citron 2 oz
Cranberry juice 1.5 oz
Cointreau 3/4 oz
Lime juice 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness NA
Alcohol units NA
Strength NA

Pink Elephant

Ingredients
Gin 2 oz
Creme de Mure 2 tsp
Luxardo Maraschino 1 tsp
Simple syrup 1 tsp
Grapefruit juice 3/4 oz
Lime juice 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.3
Alcohol units 2.4
Strength 1.6

Cointreau sours

Between the Sheets

Ingredients
Cointreau 1 oz
Light rum 3/4 oz
Cognac 3/4 oz
Lemon juice 0.5 oz
Simple syrup 0.5 tsp
Attributes
Dryness 1.0
Alcohol units 2.5
Strength 2.1

Reduced syrup


Kentucky Corpse Reviver

Ingredients
Bourbon 3/4 oz
Lillet Blanc 3/4 oz
Cointreau 3/4 oz
Lemon juice 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.8
Alcohol units 1.9
Strength 1.6

A corpse reviver with bourbon instead of gin


Sidecar

Ingredients
Cognac 1 1/4 oz
Sugar 1 rim
Lemon juice 0.5 oz
Cointreau 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 2.3
Alcohol units 1.8
Strength 2.0

Sunflower

Ingredients
Gin 1 oz
Elderflower liquor 1 oz
Lemon juice 1 oz
Cointreau 1 oz
Absinthe 1 dash
Attributes
Dryness 1.0
Alcohol units 2.6
Strength 1.7

Egg white sours

Amaretto Sour

Ingredients
Amaretto 1.5 oz
Lemon juice 1 oz
Simple syrup 1 tsp
Egg white 1 egg
Bourbon 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 2.0
Strength 1.0

Whisky Sour

Ingredients
Rye 2 oz
Salt 1 pinch
Egg white 1 egg
Lemon juice 3/4 oz
Simple syrup 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.4
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 1.1

Manhattan family

Blackthorn

Ingredients
Orange bitters 2 dash
Plymouth gin 1.5 oz
Sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
Sloe gin 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 2.5
Strength 2.4

Manhattan

Ingredients
Rye 2 oz
Angustura 2 dash
Sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.5
Alcohol units 2.5
Strength 2.6

Manhattan, perfect

Ingredients
Bourbon/Rye 2 oz
Angustura 2 dash
Sweet vermouth 0.5 oz
Dry vermouth 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 2.0
Alcohol units 2.6
Strength 2.5

Rob Roy

Ingredients
Scotch 2.5 oz
Angustura 2 dash
Sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.5
Alcohol units 2.9
Strength 2.6

Vieux Carre

Ingredients
Rye 1 oz
Cognac 1 oz
Sweet vermouth 1 oz
Angustura 1 dash
Peychaud's 1 dash
Benedictine 1/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 2.8
Strength 2.5

Old-fashioned family

Improved Whisky Cocktail

Ingredients
Rye 2 oz
Simple syrup 1.5 tsp
Luxardo Maraschino 1 tsp
Absinthe 1 dash
Peychaud's 1 dash
Angustura 1 dash
Attributes
Dryness 0.7
Alcohol units 2.3
Strength 2.7

Old-fashioned

Ingredients
Angustura 2 dash
Bourbon 1.5 oz
Sugar 1 tsp
Attributes
Dryness 0.5
Alcohol units 1.6
Strength 2.8

Flips

Rum Flip

Ingredients
Dark rum 2 oz
Egg whole 1 egg
Demerara syrup 1/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.0
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 1.3

Cherry cocktails

Blood and Sand

Ingredients
Scotch 1.5 oz
Orange juice 1 oz
Cherry Heering 3/4 oz
Sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.2
Alcohol units 2.3
Strength 1.5

Singapore Sling

Ingredients
Sparkling water 3 oz
Gin 2 oz
Cherry Heering 1 oz
Lime juice 1 oz
Benedictine 0.5 oz
Cognac 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.1
Alcohol units 3.7
Strength 1.2

Campari cocktails

All Campari cocktails have reduced Campari compared to official recipes, as I find it too bitter

Americano Perfecto

Ingredients
Pilsner 4 oz
Campari 1.5 oz
Sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
Carpano Antica 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.1
Alcohol units 2.1
Strength 0.9

Boulevardier

Ingredients
Rittenhouse rye 1.5 oz
Sweet vermouth 1 oz
Campari 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.0
Alcohol units 2.7
Strength 2.5

Garibaldi

Ingredients
Orange juice 4 oz
Campari 1.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 1.0
Alcohol units 0.9
Strength 0.4

Negroni

Ingredients
Gin 1 1/4 oz
Sweet vermouth 1 1/4 oz
Campari 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.9
Alcohol units 2.3
Strength 2.1

Duos

Godfather

Ingredients
Scotch 1 oz
Amaretto 1 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.0
Alcohol units 1.8
Strength 2.7

Duos with cream

The 9% cream commonly found in Denmark is a good amount of heaviness of me

Brandy Alexander

Ingredients
Cognac 1.5 oz
Cream 9% 1 oz
Creme de Cacao 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.0
Alcohol units 1.9
Strength 1.5

Godson

Ingredients
Scotch 1.5 oz
Cream 9% 1 oz
Amaretto 0.5 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.0
Alcohol units 1.9
Strength 1.6

Tropical cocktails

Pina colada

Ingredients
Pineapple juice 2 oz
Light rum 1.75 oz
Coconut cream 1 oz
Pineapple rum 3/4 oz
Attributes
Dryness 0.4
Alcohol units 2.6
Strength 1.2