Everything old comes back into style at some point. Throwback jerseys, 80’s neon, Pokemon, they all have had a resurgence as of late. So, too, have the cocktails of years gone by. If you mentioned a Mai Tai to me five years ago, I would have envisioned a couple of bright Hawaiian shirts, a Tiki bar and some bad hairdos listening to Don Ho. Not the case anymore, as swanky restaurants are crafting up gourmet versions of these and many other classic options. Thinking about a Whiskey Sour? Daiquiri? Sazerac? All of these have had there heyday in years gone by, but have found a foothold in the cocktail menus of many trendy restaurants around Jackson. Dishing is here to help you sort out some tasty classics, perfect for warm summer day.
Sazerac – Cafe Genevieve whips up a great version of this 19th century classic. Crafted in New Orleans, it is widely regarded as one of the oldest cocktails made in America. This version is made in traditional style with rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, absinthe and lemon.
Rum Runner – Created in 1972 during the height of the Tiki drink fad in the Florida Keys, the Rum Runner is a classic summer refreshment. The Kitchen has a modern take on this brightly colored classic with fruit juice, banana liquor, and light and dark rum. This drink is best enjoyed on the deck during their amazing happy hour.
Whiskey (Tokyo) Sour – The traditional whiskey sour recipe dates back to 1870 when it first appeared in a Wisconsin newspaper. My favorite version of this classic cocktail can be found at King Sushi where Asian flavors dominate the drink made for pairing with sushi. Featuring Makers Mark and their own yuzu-lemongrass-kaffir lime blend, this is a perfect refreshing summertime beverage
Negroni – I am a sucker for cocktails that are on the bitter end of the taste spectrum. The classic Negroni is my favorite option. Rendezvous Bistro has a great version utilizing blood orange juice in addition to gin, campari and vermouth. With its roots tracing back to the early 19th century in Italy, try it during their oyster happy hour on the porch.
Mai Tai – The grand daddy of all the Tiki drinks, the Mai Tai originated at one of the original Tiki bars, Trader Viks, in 1944. Two restaurants in Jackson have their own great takes on this classic. Local uses Appleton and Myers rum, Cointreau, Orgeat, lime, and a toasted almond rim. The Handle Bar has their own version with Bacardi light, Myers Dark, Orgeat, and pineapple Juice
Makers Maple Old Fashioned – Our only barrel aged drink on the round up, Spur has a smooth Old Fashioned worth a trip out to the village. Made with Makers Mark, maple syrup and house-made bitters, this cocktail goes great with one of their homemade meat or cheese boards.
Mojito – Quite possibly the most refreshing summertime drink, Hatch nails their own version of the classic cocktail. With roots going back to the 16th century in Havana, this classic is served with white rum, sugar, mint, lime juice and soda water, perfect for lunch on the patio.
French (Buffalo) 75 – This champagne cocktail dates back to World War I when it was said to pack the same punch as a 75mm cannon. The White Buffalo Club has a delicious version with cucumber infused gin, champagne, and lime twist.
Wyoming Whiskey Manhattan – One of the most classic of classic Whiskey drinks, the Manhattan is a staple of any well versed cocktail menu. Hayden’s Post does a great job of crafting their own unique offering with house aged Wyoming Whiskey, Dolin Rouge vermouth, Luxardo and cherry bitters.