a proper drink: a book review

A Proper Drink is part narrative, part recipe book. In it, Robert Simonson traces the origins and growth of the modern cocktail revival from a dark time before the ubiquity of different types of bitters to the present, where cocktail bars have begun to spring up in suburbs, Nick and Nora glasses are in high demand, and cocktail recipes appear after network news.


Familiar characters amongst cocktail folk, like Dale Degroff and Dave Wondrich* make their appearances — as do more surprising cameos, like TGI Friday’s, whose early days Simonson describes as an “incubator of bartending skill and discipline.” Philip Duff, quoted in the book, goes a step further — “there would be no cocktail movement without them.”  It’s hard to imagine now, when the first drink on their Handcrafted Cocktail Menu is an Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea.

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cameron’s kick

I’ve been feeling the absence of cocktails from my life lately, so I just bought a copy of the Savoy Cocktail Book.

It’s got so many gems (the Bobby Burns, the Oriental, the Champs Elysees)  and so many surprises (wine glasses seem to be a common measurement tool).

When I flipped to the page with the recipe for Cameron’s Kick, I thought it would be as good a place as any to dive in. It calls for scotch, Irish whisky, lemon and orgeat. I’m a fan of whisky sours, so I figured this would be comparable — with the richness of the egg in a sour substituted for the nutty, lightly fragrant addition of orgeat. If only I had some homemade orgeat on hand…nevertheless, this one will be a repeat.

camerons kick


cameron’s kick
1 oz blended scotch
1 oz irish whisky
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz orgeat 

Shake & strain.