Remember the Maine


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Welcome to the timeless allure of the Remember the Maine, a cocktail that embodies the elegance of the pre-Prohibition era. This drink is a perfect blend of rich flavors and historical intrigue. It’s a sophisticated choice for those who appreciate a storied cocktail with depth.

The Remember the Maine cocktail is a symphony of whiskey, cherry liqueur, absinthe, and sweet vermouth. Its name is a tribute to the USS Maine, adding a touch of history to every sip. Let’s dive into the layers of this classic concoction.

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious enthusiast, this cocktail is sure to impress. Its complexity is a testament to the craft of cocktail making. Join us as we explore the nuances of the Remember the Maine.

Key Facts About the Remember the Maine

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 28% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 180 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 8g
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Typical Garnish: Brandied cherry

Interesting Facts about the Remember the Maine

  • The cocktail’s name serves as a reminder of the USS Maine, whose sinking led to the Spanish-American War.
  • It’s a stirred cocktail, not shaken, to preserve the clarity and integrity of the ingredients.
  • The inclusion of absinthe adds a subtle anise flavor that was highly popular in pre-Prohibition drinks.

Remember the Maine Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Remember the Maine is a cocktail with a rich, complex flavor profile. The rye whiskey foundation offers a spicy kick, which is beautifully rounded out by the sweet vermouth. The cherry liqueur adds a hint of fruitiness, while the absinthe provides a subtle herbal undertone.

This cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy a drink with depth and history. It’s perfect for sipping on a chilly evening or as a sophisticated after-dinner digestif. The Remember the Maine is suited for occasions that call for reflection and appreciation of the finer things in life.

Its bold flavors make it a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts and those who favor classic cocktails. The balance of sweetness and spice ensures that it’s a hit at any gathering, providing a touch of elegance and nostalgia.

History of the Remember the Maine

The Remember the Maine cocktail has its roots deeply planted in American history. The drink’s name is a rallying cry from the late 19th century, following the mysterious sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor. This event was a catalyst for the Spanish-American War and has since been immortalized in cocktail form.

The exact origins of the cocktail are somewhat murky, much like the historical event it commemorates. However, it’s widely accepted that the drink was created before Prohibition, a time when American cocktail culture was in its golden age. The inclusion of absinthe is a nod to the popular tastes of the time.

Over the years, the Remember the Maine has seen a resurgence in popularity. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of well-crafted cocktails. The drink stands as a reminder of the past while continuing to delight modern palates.

Remember the Maine Ingredients

  • Rye Whiskey (2 oz / 60 ml): The backbone of the cocktail, providing a robust and spicy flavor.
  • Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz / 22 ml): Adds sweetness and complexity, balancing the whiskey’s heat.
  • Cherry Liqueur (1/4 oz / 7 ml): Offers a touch of cherry sweetness, enhancing the overall profile.
  • Absinthe (2 dashes): Contributes a subtle anise flavor, adding depth to the drink.
  • Brandied Cherry: Serves as a garnish, providing an edible accent that complements the cocktail’s flavors.

Did you know? The Remember the Maine is often considered a cousin to the Manhattan, sharing several key ingredients but distinguished by its unique use of cherry liqueur and absinthe.

Ingredients for Remember the Maine

Remember the Maine Method

Chilling the Glass

Start by chilling your cocktail glass. This can be done by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water. A cold glass will ensure the cocktail stays chilled longer.

Combining the Ingredients

In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and absinthe. The ice should be of high quality to prevent dilution.

Stirring the Cocktail

Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds. This method chills the drink while maintaining its clarity and texture. Stirring is preferred over shaking for this type of cocktail.


Once the cocktail is well-chilled, discard the ice from the cocktail glass if you used water to chill it. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass, ensuring a smooth pour.


Finish by garnishing with a brandied cherry. This not only adds to the visual appeal but also complements the cherry notes in the drink.

Serving Suggestion

The Remember the Maine should be served in a chilled cocktail glass. The shape of the glass concentrates the aromas, enhancing the drinking experience.

As for garnishes, a brandied cherry is traditional. It’s a nod to the cherry liqueur in the drink and adds a touch of elegance. Ensure the cherry is of high quality to match the sophistication of the cocktail.

Elevating the Remember the Maine

  • Use premium rye whiskey for a smoother, more refined flavor.
  • Opt for artisanal sweet vermouth to add complexity to the drink.
  • Experiment with different brands of cherry liqueur to find the perfect match for your palate.
  • Control the amount of absinthe to ensure it complements rather than overpowers the other ingredients.

These professional tips will take your Remember the Maine to the next level, impressing even the most discerning cocktail aficionados.

Remember the Maine Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Remember the Maine

If Cherry Heering is unavailable, consider using another high-quality cherry liqueur. The goal is to maintain the cocktail’s signature cherry note.

For those sensitive to absinthe, Pernod or another anise-flavored spirit can be a suitable substitute. Use sparingly to keep the flavor balanced.

Similar cocktails include the Manhattan and the Sazerac, which share whiskey as a base and have a comparable depth of flavor.

Add a Twist

Consider adding a dash of aromatic bitters to introduce additional layers of flavor. Bitters can enhance the complexity of the cocktail.

Another twist could be the use of a smoked cherry garnish. This would add a smoky dimension that pairs well with the whiskey.

For a sweeter variation, a splash of maraschino liqueur can replace the cherry liqueur, offering a different type of cherry flavor.

Preferred Liquors for the Remember the Maine

When it comes to rye whiskey, brands like Rittenhouse or Sazerac offer the spiciness and body ideal for the Remember the Maine.

For sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula is a top choice for its rich, vanilla notes that complement the whiskey.

Cherry Heering is the traditional choice for cherry liqueur, but Luxardo or Maraska are also excellent options that provide the desired cherry sweetness.

Similar Cocktails to the Remember the Maine

The Manhattan is a close relative, sharing whiskey and vermouth but omitting the cherry liqueur and absinthe.

The Sazerac also has a whiskey base and uses absinthe, but it features a sugar cube and Peychaud’s Bitters for a different taste profile.

The Boulevardier swaps out the rye whiskey for bourbon and includes Campari, offering a bittersweet twist on the whiskey-vermouth combination.

Food Pairings to go with the Remember the Maine

Classic steak tartare is a bold choice that matches the intensity of the Remember the Maine.

For a lighter option, consider a cheese platter featuring aged cheddar or gouda, which complements the whiskey’s richness.

Chocolate truffles make for a decadent pairing, with their sweetness balancing the cocktail’s spice and herbal notes.

Remember the Maine FAQs

Can I use bourbon instead of rye whiskey? Yes, bourbon can be used, but it will alter the flavor profile, making it sweeter and less spicy.

Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for absinthe? Non-alcoholic anise-flavored syrups can mimic the flavor without the alcohol content.

How important is the quality of the cherry liqueur? High-quality cherry liqueur is crucial for achieving the right balance of sweetness and cherry flavor.

Can I make the Remember the Maine in a shaker? It’s recommended to stir this cocktail to maintain its clarity and texture.

What’s the best way to garnish the Remember the Maine? A single, high-quality brandied cherry is the traditional garnish for this cocktail.

Remember the Maine_001

Remember the Maine

A classic cocktail that harkens back to the pre-Prohibition era, Remember the Maine is a sophisticated drink with a storied past. It's named after the USS Maine, which sank in Havana Harbor in 1898. This cocktail combines the sweetness of cherry liqueur with the warmth of whiskey, balanced with the complexity of absinthe and vermouth.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass


  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz cherry liqueur (such as Cherry Heering)
  • 2 dashes absinthe
  • Brandied cherry for garnish


  • Chill a cocktail glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water.
  • Add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and absinthe to a mixing glass filled with ice.
  • Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds until well-chilled.
  • Discard the ice from the chilled cocktail glass if used.
  • Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass.
  • Garnish with a brandied cherry.


The Remember the Maine is a cocktail best enjoyed slowly to appreciate the melding of its complex flavors. The absinthe should be used sparingly to not overpower the drink. If Cherry Heering is unavailable, another high-quality cherry liqueur can be substituted.
Keyword absinthe, aromatic bitters, cherry liqueur, Classic Cocktail, Pre-Prohibition, Remember the Maine, Stirred Cocktail, sweet vermouth, Whiskey

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