Shine the saxophone and get ready to scat because today is International Jazz Day! As the culmination of jazz month, International Jazz Day is recognized across the country (and even globally) as a day to celebrate its culture and role of uniting people from diverse backgrounds.
To really party in style, we’ve collected a handful of jazz-themed cocktail recipes that’d do Ella Fitzgerald and ol’ Satchmo proud. Mix these drinks up for yourself and some friends, for a truly Jazzy happy hour.
The South Side
Jazz culture is often synonymous with the roaring 20’s and prohibition. The South Side cocktail takes its name from the iconic Chicago district, home to Al Capone’s gang and many a speakeasy.
2 oz Gin
1 oz fresh Lemon juice
2 tsp Sugar
4-5 fresh Mint leaves
Mint sprig for garnish
Combine gin, lemon juice, sugar, and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and shake to bruise the mint leaves. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with soda. Garnish with a mint sprig, serve, and enjoy!
The Brandy Crusta
This cocktail is a New Orleans classic. Originally made with cognac, this one calls for rye whiskey instead. A Brandy Crusta is one of the rare cocktails that you actually garnish before making the drink.
2 oz Rye Whiskey
½ oz Orange Curaçao
½ oz fresh Lemon juice
½ oz Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon curl for garnish
Sugar to rim glass
Cut a lemon in half. Pare the full peel off half and squeeze the juice from the lemon. Prepare a glass by moistening the rim with lemon and dipping it in sugar, then carefully curling the lemon peel around the inside of the glass. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into glass, and add 1 small cube of ice.
The Rob Roy
Rob Roy is named after Robert Roy MacGregor—Scotland’s Robin Hood. Rumored to have been a favorite cocktail of jazz musician Miles Davis, this drink is a variation of the Manhattan, only crafted with scotch. This cocktail’s popularity has lasted since 1874—taste it yourself and you’ll understand why.
2 oz blended Scotch, we recommend King Robert II
1 oz Sweet vermouth
Dash of Angostura bitters
Add the Scotch, vermouth, and bitters to a mixing glass with ice. Stir, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drop in the maraschino cherry and serve.
We hope you enjoy celebrating International Jazz Day. Be sure to get the best deals on the Jazziest spirits from your local Spec’s.