I feel sorry for people that don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day. ― Frank Sinatra
100 years ago today, Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Italian immigrants. He would go on to be a influential force in both the musical and film worlds and ranks among the best-selling artists of all time.
So to honor his centennial, raise a glass to the Chairman with one of our authentic Frank Sinatra Drinks!
Frank Sinatra Drinks
- Dry Martini
- Rusty Nail
- Flame of Love
- Blended Scotch Whisky (single malts were years away from the American shores)
In their company, I’m sure Frank downed the same, but his day to day drinking habits were a lot more particular:
Sinatra’s hey day was the era of the dry Martini. Anyone who put too much dry vermouth in their drink was looked upon with suspicion as if they were “some kind of commie”.
Victor Gower, head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar had this to say about Sinatra’s Martini preferences:
Frank was a regular guest. Whenever he was in London he’d stay at The Savoy and come for a drink in The American Bar, but he never spoke directly to us. He’d either stand at the bar or take a table in the middle of the room for him and his guests. Where he positioned himself might change but he was always very particular about his choice of drinks. He’d go for a classic Martini – Beefeater gin with a shadow of vermouth, served on the rocks with a twist of lemon. And we had to make sure his glass was filled with ice.
Peter Dorelli, one of Gower’s successors, further detailed Sintra’s exacting tastes:
He liked things to be just-so. He’d have the same room on the fifth floor of the hotel, the same waiter at the bar and the same drinks. I remember his Martini had to be very dry and very, very cold – the temperature of his Martini was very important. So was the amount of liquid in his glass. If one small detail was wrong, everyone would know about it.
Above all, Sinatra was a firm believer in the well-mixed cocktails, no bartender every gained favor by heavy-pouring the chairman’s drink.
Daniels. Over ice.
Daniels. Over ice, — with a splash of water — was indisputably Frank Sinatra’s signature drink and would hold the glass, cupped in his hand, resting on a cocktail napkin. Sinatra was allegedly introduced to Jack Daniel’s at Toot Shor’s bar in Manhattan by Jackie Gleason.
Frank’s drink of choice was “Daniels” [sic] on ice. Not Jack like you might be calling it. Nope. It’s Daniels. Over ice. – Tina Sinatra
So why would “The Bourbon Baritone” become so enamored with something as mainstream as Jack Daniel’s? We have to take a look at the time:
Vodka slowly but surely becoming the dominant spirit, and Jack Daniels still only made in small quantities, hardly the brand juggernaut it is today. Until the middle of the 1950’s, “Daniels” as Sinatra liked to call it, was only known of by word of mouth, and barely did any advertising, so basically it held the same prestige as some of the more obscure craft spirits do today.
Sinatra, when he passed in 1998, was even buried with a small bottle of “Daniel’s”
To learn how to make The Chairman’s favorite drink, check out this step by step guide from eHow.
Saluting Ol’ Blue Eyes:
To mark Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday, Del Frisco’s Grille Hoboken, and the Waldorf Astoria New York are featuring new, signature Sinatra-themed drinks:
Sinatra Cocktail ($25)
Sinatra first discovered a passion for music in his birthplace of Hoboken, arranging bands for school dances while in high school.
Recipe courtesy of Del Frisco’s Gille, Hoboken
- 2 oz. Jack Daniels Sinatra Select
- .5 oz. Cherry Heering
- .5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Dashes Peychauds Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a pint glass, fill with ice and stir 15-20 times. Strain into a chilled Martini glass, garnished with flamed lemon peel
Frank’s Boulevardier ($18)
Sinatra called the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria home for nearly 25 years, occupying the Cole Porter Suite, which is named after the famed composer who lived there before him.
Recipe courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria New York
- 1.5 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Stir briefly for integration. Strain into chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with iced cubes or sphere. Orange twist, for garnish.