No, it's not.
What's missing is a sense of "role". Spirits should map to spirits, liqueurs to liqueurs etc.
There's usually only a few "slots" with cocktails: one (or sometimes a few) base spirits, something aromatic such as bitters or a vermouth, a sweet thing and/or a citrus.
(I once made a spreadsheet that I dubbed "the period table of cocktails - turns out the gaps usually lead you to an obscure variation you'd never heard of)
Or the Negroni:
> A Negroni is a Manhattan but you replace bitters with campari and replace whiskey with gin.
So a Negroni should have a couple of dashes of Campari.
Personally I think the classic Negroni is interesting because if you play with the ingredients (and/or ratios) in the right way you get a lot of interesting variations:
- An Americano is a Negroni without the gin
- A Boulevardier is a Negroni with the gin swapped for bourbon
- A Black Negroni is a Negroni with the Campari swapped for an amaro (e.g. Averna)
- A Negronino is a Negroni with part of the Campari swapped for Amaro Nonino
- A Quill is a Negroni with the addition of 1/2 oz absinthe
As I know them, these are the classic variations of negroni:
- sbagliato: prosecco instead of gin
- Americano: soda instead of gin
- bicicletta: white wine instead of Martini; soda instead of gin
Of course, there's also the spritz - prosecco, Aperol, and soda. The Aperol can be swapped with Campari or amaro to your taste.
One more random tidbit regarding Italian liquors - the traditional after dinner drink in Italy is an amaro. It's both quite strong (~40% alc) and quite sweet - almost syrupy. The name comes from the bitter herbs that give it its flavor/aroma. ("Amaro" literally means "bitter.") Amaro is served in a shot glass, but sipped like a bourbon.
Each village/region makes its own amaro, with its own blend of herbs. For instance, Braulio is a minty amaro that comes from Bormio, a mountain town in the Alps. Over the past few years, it's become much easier to find amari in the US. We even have some varietals that my Italian friends don't know. (In Italy, Nonino is a grapa, not an amaro.)
You have probably heard of amaretto - the almond liqueur. Its name means "little amaro." The most well-known brand is Disaronno. Saronno is a town near the Milan airport. Disaronno is "di Saronno," the amaro from the town of Saronno.
> It’d be nice for the difference algorithm to know about ingredient types, so that it suggests, say, replacing vermouth with sugar (because they’re both there for making things way too sickly sweet), rather than replacing vermouth with vodka.
But yeah, his reasoning is terrible and really doesn't seem to take into account cocktail components, their role, taste, etc...
That book, and Death & Co's first book, "Modern Classic Cocktails" , are good reads for the person who is a fan of quality cocktails and wants to make something at home that's really good, and frequently better than what you get when you're dining out.
You will likely need to invest in some booze and stuff to be able to fully enjoy them, but just pick a drink a week, buy what you need, and pretty soon you'll have a collection that will allow you to make most of the things in the books.
Once you learn the foundational stuff of making cocktails (with a small investment in some gear and plenty on a variety of booze) it's surprisingly easy to make really good drinks. What I found interesting is how you intuitively starting learning some fundamental bases which you learn, where it becomes easy to make up your own drinks when you don't have access to the book's ingredient lists or you're at the liquor store without one in mind.
It's not just an endless list of popular cocktails recipes but structures it around bases which you build on. And it made me a big fan of gin (they almost entirely skip vodka, besides a few recipes, which I found interesting).
Learning how to make cocktails is underrated skillset IMO. At least compared to people knowing scotch or understanding good wines.
I think it's an oversimplification, but it's still useful advice. FWIW, this is by far the best book on cocktails i have ever read. Although i am going to buy a copy of 'Cocktail Codex', i think.
“A Manhattan is a Martini but you replace dry vermouth with bitters, replace gin with sweet vermouth, and add whiskey.”
This is the wrong way to think about it. The rye (aka “whiskey”) in a Manhattan is conceptually and functionally equivalent to the gin in the martini.
The graph doesn’t seem to understand the concept of base liquor, which makes it a really cool exercise, but not functional.
Still, I love the idea.
Can't wait to explain this one to my bartender tonight!
Radio Yerevan answered: "In principle, yes. But first of all it was not Grigori Grigorievich Grigoriev, but Vassili Vassilievich Vassiliev; second, it was not at the All-Union Championship in Moscow, but at a Collective Farm Sports Festival in Smolensk; third, it was not a car, but a bicycle; and fourth he didn't win it, but rather it was stolen from him."
The Manhattan & Martini both derive lineage from the Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned was so named in the late 19th century as it was trying to recreate the original cocktail, as in "Don't give me one of those drinks with all the stuff in it, give me an old fashioned cocktail".
The Martini derives from the Martinez which is a much sweeter drink. Heavy on sweet vermouth and using a heavier & sweeter style of gin. It should be clear at that point that the Martinez and Manhattan aren't super far apart.
So, we trawl IMAP to extract the addresses and find close matches for open orders with Levenshtein. Not perfect, especially when one customer places more than one order, but saves us a lot of time.
We do use SmartyStreets to normalize the address before submitting, but the 3rd party uses something else. Also, address correction is a weird space. UPS, for example, delivers to many places that the USPS does not. Rural communities are especially tricky. UPS, Fedex, and USPS disagree on things like "Rural Route 24" vs "State Route 24" versus "Arizona Route 24".
That should give you the necessary match.
Also, address correction doesn't know anything about people's names, business names, etc. Sometimes you need those to disambiguate.
The best change I made was having them first enter zip code, then pick city/state from a list that goes with that zip code. Both Google and the USPS have apis for that mapping.
Also, fun fact: UPS charges me $15 if they have to make an address correction at delivery time. So, for example, if a customer fails to put a Suite number in, and the UPS software doesn't tell me it's missing, UPS charges me $15. I've complained that I shouldn't have to pay when their software fails. They don't care. Argh!
What I have works well enough. It shows the matches in a UI, so a human has final say.
The UI looks like this: https://imgur.com/a/C0GziSe (redacted to hide store/customer info). So it's easy to eyeball the match and make sure it's okay. One button to assign the tracking number. The "match %" field is derived from the Levenshtein distance.
I'm skeptical that ingredient order makes any difference in a cocktail (unless you're doing things like setting them on fire, etc.) ... could you provide an example ?
You can also think about recipes and cocktail names; order does matter to the corpus of recipes and lore and creative naming of drinks as much as it may (or may not) matter to taste. I didn’t invent cocktail history, so it’s not exactly my place to defend this, but I believe it’s fair to say that there are lots of recipes that call for ingredients in a specific order, in addition to all the examples where order is clearly needed/used.
Well, no, quantity matters for cocktails, which puts it in the opposite direction of set distance from a comparison where only order matters in terms of complexity.
Which seems obvious, but the idea is to apply it to less-obvious drinks: if I have a fairly well-stocked bar, should I buy Angostura bitters or créme de violette to maximize the range of things I can make?
(I’ll admit, the author kinda buried the lede, but I think that was their idea.)
Construction methods also matter.
Firstly, you need similar measurements. Second, replacing one ingredient for another affects the chemical composition that directly influences the perceived flavor (sweet, bitter, sour, salt, fat). Third, the physical acts of stirring vs shaking affect texture, temperature, and dilution all at once.
All this would need to be added to the model to begin to approximate actually similar cocktails, and not just a comparison like "Hey, you can take the sugar and eggs out of cake and make bread!"
(The fact that the author conflates sweet and dry vermouth is also not great; that's like confusing a Riesling with Extra Brut Champagne)
"A The Last Word is a Gin Gimlet but you replace simple syrup with green chartreuse, replace lime juice with maraschino, and add lime."
It appears that "lime juice" and "lime" exist as separate ingredients in the ingredient lists, even though they're exactly the same thing. It looks like this is causing a false separation of the Last Word cluster (drinks containing "lime") from the Gimlet cluster (drinks containing "lime juice") in the 2D plots.
(1) When I google "gin gimlet recipe", all search results I looked at (the top 4) call for "fresh lime juice" as the ingredient, leading me to believe that fresh lime juice is more common as a gimlet ingredient. The article you linked even states that fresh lime is more common: "A lot of bartenders out there adopt the fresh-lime-juice-and-sugar method of making lime cordial."
(2) Why would a recipe use the word "lime" to refer to Rose's lime juice? It seems like no one would ever be able to make the cocktail correctly if they had to infer that "lime" refers to Rose's lime juice rather than fresh lime juice.
Last word: 3/4oz ea of gin, maraschino, green chartreuse, lime juice. Shake over ice. Delicious in served in a coupe glass garnished w a maraschino cherry.
Isn't this all recipes?
As other commenters pointed out, there's a whole science behind how the ingredients associate.