That is a nice query, as a result of when you haven’t hung out behind the bar, or haven’t learn a lot of basic cocktail books, you may assume these modifiers are nothing greater than advertising converse. Possibly you name this a Excellent Manhattan cocktail, bartender, however who’s to say I’ll agree? In reality, these two phrases do have which means in the case of drinks.
The phrase “improved” on this context means a bartender has taken a long-standard cocktail recipe and “improved” it with the addition of Maraschino liqueur or absinthe. This started occurring within the late 1800s, earlier than there have been many established cocktails. As an alternative, most recipes have been merely brandy, whiskey, or genever with sugar, bitters, and ice; so enhancing them with these two extra substances actually expanded the choices.
When the phrase “excellent” comes earlier than the title of a basic, often a Manhattan or a Martini, this implies the vermouth within the drink has been break up 50-50 candy and dry. In different phrases, 50 p.c of the called-for vermouth is nice; and the remaining 50 p.c is dry. These days, some bartenders will sub in liquids like sherry for one half of the break up vermouth, however the conventional approach is to make use of candy and dry vermouths for that Excellent Martini.