Improved Whiskey Cocktail

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (68 ratings)

Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Garnish:

Lemon zest twist

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass (preferably over a chunk of block ice).

Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Review:

An Old-Fashioned "improved" by the addition of maraschino liqueur.

History:

The Whiskey Cocktail, along with this Improved version appeared in Jerry Thomas's 1876 The Bar-tender's Guide. The book also includes "Improved" versions of the Brandy Cocktail, and Gin Cocktail which are all what we today call Old Fashioned cocktails. In the words of Jerry Thomas, they have been "improved by moistening the edge of the cocktail glass with a piece of lemon." Such "improved" American cocktails from the period are also distinguished by using European ingredients, particularly maraschino liqueur and/or absinthe.

109. Whiskey Cocktail.
(Use small bar glass.)
3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup.
2 do. Bitters (Bogart's).
1 wine-glass of whiskey, and a piece of lemon peel.
Fill one-third full of fine ice; shake and strain in a fancy red wine-glass.

241. Improved Brandy Cocktail.
(Use ordinary bar glass.)
2 dashes Boker's (or Angostura) Bitters
3 do. gum syrup.
2 do. Maraschino.
1 dash Absinthe.
1 small piece of the yellow rind of a lemon, twisted to express the oil.
1 small wineglass of brandy.
Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice, shake well, and strain into a fancy cocktail glass.
The favor is improved by moistening the edge of the cocktail glass with a piece of lemon.

242. Improved Whiskey Cocktail.
Prepared in the same manner as the Improved Brandy Cocktail, by substituting whiskey for the brandy.

Jerry Thomas, The Bar-tender's Guide, 1876

Nutrition:

One serving of Improved Whiskey Cocktail contains 165 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.7 standard drinks
  • 34.85% alc./vol. (69.7° proof)
  • 23.6 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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