We have a deep and abiding love for classic cocktail books. There was a simplicity to the recipes, which seemed much more interested in getting you gooned than worrying about proper balance, the sourcing of the ingredients, or whether or not it was a trendy spirit.
One of our favorites, thanks to our love of New Orleans, is the 1937 waif of a book New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em by Stanley Clisby Arthur. Supposed to be a personal favor of H.L. Mencken – one of our favorite journalists, writers, and drinkers – it has some amazing recipes that maybe don’t get as much attention these days as they should.
One we came across was brilliant in its simplicity – the Viva Villa. We adjusted it for our taste, but we think you’ll like it just as much as we did.
- 3 oz anejo tequila (We’re in love with Tequila Avion right now, but any high-quality anejo tequila will do)
- Juice from one lime
- 1 bar spoon fine sugar
- 1 pinch Mediterranean Sea salt
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Dash of water
- Crushed ice
Place the sea salt, sugar, and water in the bottom of a frozen rocks glass and stir until dissolved. Fill the entire rocks glass with crushed ice. Add the tequila and bitters, then stir vigorously. Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Viva Villa features tequila front and center with the remaining ingredients playing the Pips to the tequila’s Gladys Knight.
Mark Vierthaler is the founder and Editor of Cocktails, 365. His work appeared in The Tasting Panel Magazine, Savvy Host, Liquor.com, and countless other websites and blogs. He is Bar Smarts certified, and works with bars and restaurants in cocktail creation and pairing. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org