If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'


Not Just history of cocktails, but history through cocktails. Currently in reproduction with a new format and cast of characters set at the Brixton in Andersonville Chicago.


The cutting edge of cocktail craft; an exploration of what's happening in the cocktail world now


Interviews with people in the industry and people all about the industry


How to make cocktails out of anything

Episode 53: Fool’s Paradise ...

Episode 53: Fool’s Paradise – The Blue Paradise

  The Blue Paradise, like many cocktails with blue in the name, is not blue. The ingredients must be blue then, right? Nope, purple, red and brown and we can pretty much guarantee that the mixing of these colors do not make blue either. This non-blue drink is credited to a Belgian bartender by the name […]

Episode 52: The Best Part of Waking U...

The Coffee Cocktail is unusual in that it does not contain any coffee in it, and if you go by the strict rules of what makes a cocktail, it isn’t that either. Jerry Thomas, who seems to be the first person to write the recipe down, calls it a “misnomer” because of the lack of […]

Episode 51: Taking Down the Chatham –...

The Chatham Hotel Special is pretty mysterious because it is not altogether clear where the recipe for this cocktail even came from. We had a hard time even finding any mentions of this drink anywhere, so it made it a little difficult to discuss something that doesn’t seem like it really exists. But that didn’t […]

Episode 49: Left Me Standing Alone – ...

Episode 49: Left Me Standing Alone – Blue Moon

Clearly the Blue Moon is named after the song, right? Nope, and if you run through the other references to blue moons it probably isn’t any of those either. Don’t try to figure it out, just drink it. The first place it is printed in a cocktail book is in Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1917) […]

Episode 48: With Blinders On – ...

Episode 48: With Blinders On – The Blinker

When I first heard the name of this drink, I was puzzled how one could get a cocktail name from a car’s turn signal.  Of course, this is another case wherein the “old timey” speak means something totally different from what it means today. Back at the turn of the 20th century, when this drink […]

Episode 47: Out of Our Skulls – The R...

If someone handed you a drink and told you it was called a Rattleskull, it would probably make you pause for a second, right? How could you not assume that you are about to drink something with the sole function of delivering blackouts and hangovers. Rum, brandy, and porter is surely no light concoction, but […]

Episode 46: A Sloe Death – Blackthorn...

Episode 46: A Sloe Death – Blackthorn Cocktail

The Blackthorn Cocktail is a real puzzler. It’s an example of another cocktail that has multiple versions, which is not that unusual, but in this case the resource we’re using has the outlying recipe. The name of the cocktail sounds sinister but it’s nothing more than a connection to a berry bush indigenous to the […]

Episode 45: What’s in a Name? –...

Episode 45: What’s in a Name? – The Bebbo

  Episode #45 I convinced Jay to come to the Brixton and record the history portion of the show. We sat down and Michael made us a couple of Bebbos. Our book tells us the word comes from an Indian dialect and means “toad”.  If that’s true, there better be a reason, however, there is […]

Episode 44: The Greatest Show on Eart...

Episode 44: The Greatest Show on Earth – Barnum (was right) Cocktail

Episode #44 features a popular personality from the cocktail era: Mr. PT Barnum. The name of the cocktail refers to Barnum’s supposed famous saying that a “sucker is born every minute.” But even as we look into this cocktail we can’t verify much of anything and even the attribution of that phrase seems off. Given […]

Episode 43: Who is Barbara West? – Th...

Episode 43: Who is Barbara West? – The Barbara West Cocktail

Initially we all figured that this cocktail history would be a slam dunk. It has a name of a person…it’s named after someone. It has to be easy to find out. We couldn’t have been more wrong. This drink was a complete mystery. Jay could not find any references to it anywhere prior to our […]

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