Once you find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole of the classic cocktail catalog, you may feel a sense of déjà vu. Each new favorite you encounter is likely a twist on the last one, which is turn a play on yet another. Mixology is like a big, boozy family tree of spritzes, sodas, and sours, a web that the authors of our 2019 Book of the Year, Cocktail Codex, help to untangle.
Take, for instance, the Fish House Punch, which is essentially a variation on the timeless Sidecar. Instead of pairing brandy, orange liqueur, and lime juice, this version includes both cognac and rum for a bit more edge, plus a peach liqueur in place of triple sec. After shaking and straining those ingredients, effervescence from a splash of soda wakes up the spirits’ flavors and pinch of nutmeg lends some intriguing aroma. Garnished with a lemon wheel and served in a punch bowl, it’s a stiff but refreshing start to your Friday happy hour. Get the recipe.
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Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.