Monday, October 23, 2017


1 1/2 oz Gordon's Gin
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Highball glass with 3 oz soda water, and top with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and add straws.
After Brick & Mortar, I took Pegu Doug across Mass Ave and one street over to Green Street to give him an idea of what Boston cocktail was like a decade or more ago via this Cambridge cocktail mecca. The other connection is that Green Street is where I met Misty Kalkofen back in 2007, and after her stint at Drink, she returned back to Cambridge to open Brick & Mortar where we had just been. For a drink, I opted for the Skipaway -- a drink that I not only have not had before but one that I have not spotted in any drink book or web search to date. This grapefruit and Peychaud's Bitters for lemon Tom Collins began with a lime aroma from the garnish. Next, a carbonated grapefruit sip led into gin's juniper and other botanicals on the swallow with an anise and grapefruit finish.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

disco nap

1 1/2 oz Sombra Mezcal
3/4 oz Cucumber Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Sundays ago, I met up with Doug from the Ohio-based Pegu Blog to give him another glimpse into the Boston bar scene. For a first stop, we convened at Brick & Mortar. From their disco-themed menu, I went with the Disco Nap for the combination of Chartreuse and cucumber reminded me of the Irma La Douce. The more I thought about it, the Irma was a Green Chartreuse cocktail and the closer concept was the Going Back to Mezcali that paired Yellow Chartreuse with cucumber.
The Disco Nap proffered a soothing cucumber nose with a hint of smoke. Next, lime, honey, and green vegetal notes on the sip were followed by smoky agave and cucumber flavors on the swallow. Overall, the drink teetered on a bit too sweet for my palate and perhaps knocking the cucumber syrup down a quarter ounce or the lime juice up a quarter ounce would help bring this drink into alignment for me.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

dry tongue therapy

6 dash Angostura Bitters
4 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz St. George)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Gin (Damrak)
1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum

Whip shake with pebble ice and pour into a tulip glass (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a half grapefruit wheel, mint, and a smoldering cinnamon stick.
Two Saturdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood, so I decided to make one of the drinks that I had spotted on Punch called the Dry Tongue Therapy. The recipe was crafted by Guillermo Bravo of Brooklyn's Featherweight, and the combination reminded me of a Jet Pilot with gin and sweet raisiny sherry in place of two of the rums. Once prepared, the aroma was mostly the acrid scent of cinnamon smoke over more soothing mint and grapefruit elements. Next, grape from the sherry joined grapefruit notes on the sip, and funky rum, raisin, cinnamon, clove, and anise flavors on the swallow closed out the drink.

Friday, October 20, 2017

yucatan bird

1 oz Mezcal (Figencio Espadin Joven)
1 oz Black Strap (or dark) Rum (Cruzan Black Strap)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig; a pineapple wedge or leaves would make for a great garnish as well.

Two Fridays ago, I was thinking about how well Campari and crème de cacao work together such as in the Stagecoach Mary and Mon Sherry Amour as well as what a great duo mezcal and cacao are such as in the Ask the Dust and Guelaguetza. My mind wandered over to the Campari-Tiki drink the Jungle Bird, and I wondered if I could split the spirit to dark or black strap rum and mezcal and split the liqueurs to Campari and cacao (or better stated switch the simple syrup to cacao)? I do know that mezcal works as a base spirit substitution in a Jungle Bird after having one made for me at Drink two years ago. For a name, I opted for the Yucatan Bird after the part of Mexico that contains rain forests, a good number of jungle birds, and much of Mexico's chocolate production.
The Yucatan Bird greeted the nose with mint aromas over chocolate and smoke nose. Next, pineapple, lime, and molasses on the sip were joined by smoky agave as well as molasses' and Campari's bitterness melding into chocolate on the swallow with a lingering smoke finish.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

first of four

1 1/2 oz Prairie Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur (Salers)
1/4 oz Crème de Violette (Rothman & Winters)
1/4 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a cucumber slice (lemon twist).

On Thursday two weeks ago, I remembered the Punch Drinks article on how to use Avèze in cocktails. As I reread the text, the recipe that I decided to make with Luke DeYoung's First of Four that he crafted at Chicago's Scofflaw. I was curious to see if Salers would work just as well in DeYoung's riff on an Aviation as it did in the Of Lambs and Lions.
The First of Four greeted the nose with a lemon bouquet with a hint of gentian; had I used the cucumber garnish, it probably would have brought out and complemented the gentian notes more than the lemon twist. Next, lemon on the sip transitioned into gin, earthy-herbal, and floral flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

hinky dinks fizzy

2 oz Sparkling Wine (Willm Blanc de Blancs)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Blended Lightly Aged Rum (Plantation 3 Star)

Blend all but the sparkling wine with 12 oz crushed ice and 4-6 small ice cubes, and pour with a gated strain into a 22 oz snifter with the sparkling wine (shake with ice, strain into a 16 oz snifter with sparkling wine, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a mint sprig (mint and a nasturtium).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood so I reached for the Smuggler's Cove book and found the Hinky Dinks Fizzy. The drink was created by Trader Vic's in 1984 for their 50th anniversary, and it reminded me of their 1950s era Rum Keg punch with a few changes including splitting the rum with gin, switching lemon to lime, and lightening the body with sparkling wine. The name itself pays tribute to the original name of the first Trader Vic's, Hinky Dink's. Once prepared, the Hinky Dinks Fizzy gave forth a mint and floral aroma that led into a carbonated lime and tropical passion fruit sip. Next, the gin's botanicals joined pineapple, white wine, and apricot flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

amaro sour

1 1/2 oz Amaro (Ramazzotti)
3/4 oz Bourbon (Fighting Cock 103)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice or into a coupe without ice (rocks glass with ice), and garnish with a lemon-cherry flag.

Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea was in the mood for a digestif so I grabbed Brad Parson's Amaro. Out of the list of drinks I still want to make from that book, I was lured in by Brad's Amaro Sour that was based off of Jeffrey Morgenthaler's The Best Amaretto Sour in the World recipe. Brad swapped the amaretto for a dealer's choice pick of an amaro akin to Katie Emmerson and my Kitty Leroy Fix, and I opted for Ramazzotti which often gets overlooked on the amaro shelf despite being both affordable and flavorful.
The Amaro Sour when made with Ramazzotti began with a lemon and root beer aroma. Next, sweet caramel from the amaro was balanced by the lemon's crispness on the creamy sip, and the swallow offered root beer, licorice, and orange flavors that were well supported by the Bourbon backbone.

Monday, October 16, 2017

evening redness no. 1

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica (Cocchi Sweet Vermouth)
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Sugar Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a grapefruit (orange) twist.

Two Mondays ago, I was captivated by a recipe by Nicholas Jarrett called the Evening Redness No. 1 that I spotted on the Barnotes app. Jarrett crafted this number at Philadelphia's Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. back in 2009, and the drink reminded me of a embittered Martinez crossed with a hint of Negroni. As a side note, the Evening Redness No. 2 varied by calling for Junipero instead of Beefeater Gin as well as Amaro Nonino instead of Campari; since I lack Amaro Nonino at home, it was an easy choice to make. I trusted Jarrett's call to shake this straight spirits drink and figured that it would yield a frothiness from the Angostura Bitters.
In the glass, the Evening Redness No. 1 shared an orange and juniper nose that preceded a rich off-dry grape sip. Next gin, clove, cinnamon, and orange flavors on the swallow rounded out the drink.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

autumn daiquiri

2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum (Plantation Barbados 5 Year)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Sundays ago for the cocktail hour, I reached for the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. My search ended up in the Daiquiri variation section where I was drawn to Joaquin Simo's 2008 Autumn Daiquiri. The name reminded me of the Winter Daiquiri which used vanilla and allspice dram instead of the Autumn Daiquiri's cinnamon syrup and pineapple juice. In the glass, the Autumn Daiquiri presented the aged rum's caramel along with the syrup and bitters' cinnamon on the nose. Next, lime, caramel, and hints of pineapple on the sip led into rum, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove on the swallow.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


1 jigger Whisky (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Stir with a lump of ice, add a cherry, twist a lemon peel over it, and serve with a spoon (shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist).

Two Saturdays ago while cooking dinner, I began perusing the pages of Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them when I spotted the Southern. The drink reminded me of a Frisco Sour with grenadine as well as my Frisco Sour-Jack Rose mashup, the Frisco Rose without the apple brandy and Peychaud's Bitters. For the spirit, the book referred to whiskey as "whisky" perhaps as a throwback to Prohibition when most of the whisk(e)y was either Canadian or Scottish, and I opted for an American rye whiskey here. And for the proportions and style, I crafted this more like a Sour than a built drink.
The Southern gave forth a lemon, whiskey, and hint of pomegranate bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and berry on the sip led into rye and herbal notes on the swallow with tart lemon and pomegranate on the finish.

Friday, October 13, 2017


1 1/2 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Nardini Amaro

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a floated mint leaf.
After enjoying the Great Satan, I decided to make another recipe by Philadelphia bartender Paul MacDonald. The drink I made two Fridays ago was another straight-spirits Negroni-esque number that I spotted in the OnTheBar site called the Stigmata. Once prepared, the Stigmata gave forth mint aromas over dark notes from the aged brandy and the amaro's caramel. Next, caramel paired with sweet white grape on the sip, and the swallow supplemented the Cognac notes with herbal, chocolate, and mint elements from the vermouth and Nardini Amaro. Indeed, the mint garnish prepared the palate some of the amaro's botanical flavors on the finish.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

commando bird

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz Doctor Bird or Plantation Original Dark Rum (Plantation Dark)

Shake with crushed ice and pour into a glass (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). I garnished with nasturtium flowers and added a straw.

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on El_Nova_1's Instagram called the Commando Bird. The drink is a Jungle Bird riff crafted by Jason Alexander (a/k/a the Tiki Commando) of the Tacoma Cabana and Rum Bar. Here, the main variance from the late 1970s classic is that the simple syrup was switched to passion fruit syrup. Given how well Campari and passion fruit pair such as in the Novara, I was definitely intrigued. Moreover, the drink reminded me of the Urban Bird that I collaborated on for a drink of the day that swapped the classic's pineapple juice and simple syrup for orange juice and passion fruit syrup, and also the Aperol and gin 'I'iwi Bird came to mind.
In the mug, the Commando Bird donated a peppery floral aroma from my choice of nasturtium blossom garnish. Next, lime, pineapple, and a tropical note from the passion fruit filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the dark rum and the Campari-passion fruit bitter tropical flavors.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add a straw.

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to remake my submission to the 2017 Lustau Solera Stand Out competition. I was inspired by my Negroni Week offering that melded the classic Negroni with the 1960s Tiki drink the Saturn that I called the Negroni on Saturn. In remembering how well Amontillado and Oloroso sherry go well with nutty orgeat and tropical passion fruit, I rearranged the drink to make a sherry-driven Tiki drink with sherry subbing in for gin and sweet vermouth in my mashup and with molé bitters taking the place of the falernum as the spice element. For a name, I kept the god theme of the Saturn and went with a related one, Hercules, who was allegedly buried in Cadiz, Spain, the center of sherry production.
The Hercules began with a mint aroma that led into a creamy grape sip with hints of lemon. Next, the swallow was nutty from the sherry and orgeat with passion fruit softening Campari's bitterness, and it ended with a chocolate and passion fruit finish.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

aku aku

Juice 1 Lime (1 oz)
8-10 leaf Mint (10 leaves)
1 dash Rock Candy Syrup (1/2 oz Simple)
1/2 slice Pineapple (1 oz Pineapple Juice)
1/2 oz Peach Liqueur (Briottet Crème de Pêche de Vigne)
1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Angostura White Oak)

Blend with ice (~8 oz) and pour into a large cocktail glass (water goblet). I garnished with a mint sprig and a nasturtium blossom.
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for Trader Vic's 1972 edition of his Bartender's Guide where I spotted one of his originals, the Aku Aku. The recipe appeared to be his take on Don the Beachcomber's circa 1940 Missionary's Downfall with rock candy syrup instead of honey. Once prepared, the Aku Aku gave forth a glorious mint aroma. Next lime and pineapple mingled on the sip, and the swallow offered complementary rum, peach, and mint flavors.

Monday, October 9, 2017

part-time lover

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice (coupe glass sans ice), and garnish with a grapefruit (orange) twist.

Two Mondays ago for the cocktail hour, I turned to Imbibe Magazine online where I had bookmarked the Part-Time Lover created by Jon Weimorts at Los Angeles' Idle Hour. Indeed, the combination of Aperol, elderflower, and lemon reminded me of Paul Clarke's Dunniette and Josh Childs' Shaddock. Here, the spirit was tequila with an added spiced complexity from Angostura Bitters.
While the recipe prescribed an on-the-rocks presentation, I was more in the mood for an up drink and served it as such; I was also out of grapefruit, so I switched the twist identity to orange. With this change in garnish, the orange oil brought out the Aperol aroma on the nose. Next, lemon juice and Aperol's orange combined to generate an almost tangerine flavor, and the swallow gave forth tequila, rhubarb, and elderflower flavors with clove-driven bitters on the finish.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

mambo #5

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig and orange peel.

Two Sundays ago, I was looking through the OnTheBar drink directory when I spotted the Mambo #5 by Ian Kearney of Manhattan's The Daisy. The combination of tequila, Campari, and orgeat reminded me of Death in the Garden, and the Swedish punsch element seemed like it would complement the tequila and Campari as described in my Swedish punsch cheat sheet. So overall, I was definitely looking forward to trying this combination.
Once prepared, the Mambo #5 offered an orange and mint bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lime sip led into swallow which saw tequila's herbal flavors melding into the punsch's tea notes as well as the nutty orgeat working well with the Campari's bitter orange. Overall, the combination reminded me of the tequila Mai Tai called the Pinky Gonzalez with a touch of the Bitter Mai Tai thrown in too.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

tiger balm

2 oz Brugal Añejo Rum (Diplomatico Añejo)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup (2:1)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca Menta

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint leaf.
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to my 2009 copy of Rogue Cocktails to see I missed any recipes. There, I spotted the Tiger Balm, an herbal-minty Daiquiri variation crafted by Kirk Estopinal of New Orleans' The Cure. The drink also appears in the 2011 edition of the book that got renamed Beta Cocktails due to legal issues with a certain West Coast distillery, and its use of Fernet Branca Menta seemed to match my memory of Tiger Balm ointment's aroma. In the glass, the Tiger Balm gave forth caramel, mint, and menthol notes to the nose. Next, a rich caramel balanced by lime sip transitioned into rum on the swallow with a menthol finish. Overall, the Tiger Balm perfectly soothed my itch for a Daiquiri.

Friday, October 6, 2017

leyenda milk punch

1 1/2 oz Pampero Aniversario Rum (Diplomatico Añejo)
1 1/2 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
3 oz Whole Milk (Soy Milk)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon).

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted while reading Fred Minnick's Rum Curious book called the Leyenda Milk Punch. The recipe was attributed to bartender Max Solano, and I was drawn to it for I love New Orleans-style milk punches and even crafted one for my last program's brunch menu. As I wrote in my first exposure to the style, milk punches of this sort (opposed to the clarified type) appear in Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bartenders Guide: A Bon Vivant's Companion and later became popular brunch drinks especially in New Orleans.
Once prepared, the Leyenda Milk Punch shared a nutmeg and cinnamon aroma from the garnishes. Next, a creamy sip gave forth grape and honey notes, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of aged rum and nutty sherry with vanilla accents from the Licor 43.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

white zombie

1 1/2 oz Macchu Pisco
1 1/2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum (Plantation 3 Star)
1 oz Hayman's Royal Dock Gin
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Don's Mix (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Purée (1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (none, combined with purée above)
1 bsp Maraschino (Luxardo)
1 bsp Absinthe (Kübler)

Shake with ice and pour into a Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with an orange wheel, mint sprig, and a paper umbrella (mint sprigs and nasturtium flowers).

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a Tiki drink that I had spotted on Punch Drinks by Zac Overman of Fort Defiance in Brooklyn. Zac's White Zombie, besides perhaps being a tribute to the band, was a less colored riff on the classic 1934 Zombie. Instead of three rums, there was a single white one joined by gin and pisco. Moreover, the absinthe was increased and the classic's grenadine and Angostura Bitters were swapped for Maraschino liqueur and passion fruit purée here. Since I have enjoyed Zac's Three Scots and a Dash, Padang Swizzle, and Angostura Colada, I was game to give this one a try.
The White Zombie greeted the nose with mint and peppery floral aromas. Next, lime and grapefruit on the sip led into juniper, passion fruit, and Maraschino on the swallow with an absinthe and cinnamon finish. Overall, it was in the ballpark of the classic, and the addition of passion fruit was in line with the Spievak and Tonga Room Zombies.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

mexican-style mint julep

1/2 Felipe II Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 Sandeman Port (1 1/2 oz Sandeman Tawny)
1 tsp Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Lemon Peel
Peppermint (8 leaf)

Shake with ice in a double old fashioned glass and serve with 2 cherries without straining (Muddle the lemon peel with the sugar and then gently muddle the mint. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and remove the mint and peel. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs.).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was looking through the EUVS library and rediscovered the 1939 Floridita Cocktails book by Constante Ribalaigua Vert. What caught my eye in this Cuban tome were the two Mint Juleps inside with the more recognizable recipe being referred to as the "Virginia-style" one. The other was the "Mexican-style" Julep that had a mix of brandy and port with Maraschino, bitters, and citrus oil accents. The presence of a fortified wine in a Julep did not surprise me for I have had the Dubonnet Mint Julep as well as the sherry-based Platonic Julep before, but I could not remember a single time that I had mint muddled into a port drink. Once prepared, the Julep offered a mint aroma that gave way to a rich grape sip. Next, the swallow gave forth brandy, port, and a hint of nutty notes with a mint and clove finish.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit).
Two Tuesdays ago, I was perusing the A Spot at the Bar and found in the Gimlet section the Debutante that was their "go to for those who are after a Cosmo." I was able to trace back the recipe to the 1934 Jayne's Bartender's Guide, and it seemed like a pleasant way to round out the evening. In the glass, the Debutante gave forth gin and hints of lime on the nose with an orange note from some combination of my grenadine's orange blossom water and the recipe's orange bitters. Next, lime and berry flavors on the sip gave way to gin and pomegranate on the swallow. Overall, the feel of the drink reminded me of the Jack Rose with less fruit notes (there is the intermediate Blue Skies as well).

Monday, October 2, 2017

the great satan

1 oz Mezcal Vida (Fidencio Joven)
1 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 oz Punt e Mes

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was browsing the cocktail database on the OnTheBar app and I spotted an intriguing mezcal Negroni riff from one of my Instagram friends, bartender Paul MacDonald. Paul crafted this number, the Great Satan, at Philadelphia's Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and it seemed to match my mood for something bitter and stirred. Once prepared, the Great Satan provided an orange and smoky vegetal nose. Next, caramel and grape filled the sip, and the swallow offered agave and rounded bitter complexity with a dark orange and smoke finish.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

touch of love

3 oz Black Strap Rum (1 1/2 oz Cruzan)
3 oz Bourbon (1 1/2 oz Fighting Cock 103)
3 oz Amaro Montenegro (1 1/2 oz)
1 oz Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
5 oz Pineapple Juice (2 1/2 oz)
2 oz Lime Juice (1 oz)

Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice in a Tiki punch bowl. Top with soda (4 oz in the Tiki mug) and garnish with mint.
For the drink hour two Saturdays ago, I was drawn to a Tiki punch that I had spotted on Imbibe Magazine online. The recipe was the Touch of Love crafted by Jesse Bernal of Whisler's in Austin, Texas, where it currently resides on the menu. Jesse named the drink after the explanation his mom used to give as to why dinner turned out better this time. Once prepared, the Touch of Love gave forth a mint and citrussy aroma over darker notes from the black strap rum. Next, a carbonated caramel and lime sip led into dark rum, orange, tangerine, and pineapple on the swallow. Overall, the feel of the drink was dark, brooding, and murky like the Tar Pit and the Dirt'n'Diesel while mirroring some of the Jungle Bird's structure.

Friday, September 29, 2017


1 oz Campari
1 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
3-4 wedge Lemon
6-8 leaf Mint
1 pinch Salt

Muddle lemon wedges, mint, and salt in the passion fruit syrup. Add the rest, whip shake, and strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint bouquet and add straws.

Two Fridays ago, Nicholas Jarrett's Prizefighter No. 7 was still fresh on my mind and I was thinking about how the Prizefighter series never included a Campari recipe. I was considering an Americano direction and pairing the Campari with sweet vermouth (since that series generally contains an aromatized wine element), but instead I paired it with Fernet Branca with a nod to the 50:50 shot the Ferrari which has worked well in drinks like the Ferrari Colada. Moreover, I was introduced to the concept of muddling citrus wedges with Campari in the European riff of the Caipirinha, the Camparinha, and I generated my own Fernet riff that I dubbed the Brancinha. Instead of the Prizefighter's simple syrup, I took a page from Jamie Boudreau's Novara and reached for passion fruit syrup instead. For a name, I kept the boxing angle but went with the Cornerman (more attractive than the Cutman alternative that popped into my head) to perhaps start my own series with a nod to the inspiration.
The Cornerman presented a mint over tropical passion fruit nose that preceded lemon melding into passion fruit to make an almost mango-like sip. Next, orange and somewhat minty-herbal flavors rounded off the drink on the swallow. Indeed, the pinch of salt really reduced the amari's bitterness and made for a softer balance.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

tiara tahiti

1 1/2 oz Orgeat (1 oz Orgeat + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
3 oz Orange Juice (2 oz)
3 oz Lemon Juice (2 oz)
1/2 oz Brandy (1/3 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy)
3 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (2 oz Angostura White Oak)

Blend with 1 1/2 oz scoops shaved ice (shake with ice and strain). Pour into a bowl, fill with crushed ice, and decorate with a gardenia (mint, nasturtium and ornamental pea blossoms, and a lemon shell with ignited El Dorado 151 proof Rum).
Two Thursdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood and reached for Trader Vic's 1972 revised Bartender's Guide. There, I spotted the Tiara Tahiti perhaps named after the 1962 movie that reminded me of the classic Scorpion Bowl. I ended up scaling down the drink by a third to make it better for a single serving (also, my orange was not large enough to yield 3 oz of juice), and I added some simple syrup to the mix to better match the tart citrus content in the recipe. Once prepared, the Tiara Tahiti gave forth a lemon and orange aroma with floral and mint notes from the garnish. Next, a creamy lemon sip led into rum, orange, almond, and vanilla on the swallow.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

detroit diamond

1/2 oz Gin (Anchor Junipero)
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe with 2 oz dry sparkling wine (Willm Blanc de Blancs). Here, garnished with nothing but the beauty of my garden.

Two Wednesdays ago, I began thinking about how sparkling wine in Diamond Fizzes (Sours elongated by Champagne instead of soda water) such as the South Side Royale could change the balance of the regular drink (i.e.: the South Side) to a lighter one. The citrus-based classic that I honed in on was the Last Word and how that could use some softening. For a name, I paid homage to the Detroit Athletic Club where the drink was first recorded in 1916 with the name the Detroit Diamond; Urban Dictionary informed me that Detroit Diamonds are "broken glass from an automobile on the ground; usually from a theft" which seemed less regal but certainly fine by me. The end result was similar to Phil Ward's brandy and lemon Julien Sorel.
The Detroit Diamond presented itself with the intriguing interplay of nutty Maraschino with herbal aromas of Chartreuse and gin along with the Maraschino's fruit being modulated by the white grape nose. Next, a carbonated lime and light fruit notes from cherry and grape on the sip led into herbal and nutty elements on the swallow with a crisp wine finish. Definitely, the Detroit Diamond was less assertive than the Last Word and a lot better balanced especially for those whose palates are fatigued by Green Chartreuse burliness.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

cockpit country

1 oz Appleton Estate Signature Rum
1 oz Averna
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured down to Backbar for their Appleton Estate Rum night. For a drink, I asked bartender Matthew Conner for the Cockpit Country off of the special menu that he attributed to Carlo Caroscio. I asked Matt if the drink was sort of a riff on the Test Pilot with rum, two sweet modifiers, and lime juice (although sans bitters and absinthe), but I later got my answer from the regular menu that had it as a drink of the week. That described how it was "named after the unique geography that creates the perfect microclimate to create rum." Moreover, the recipe reminded me of some of Luc Thiers' recipes at Backbar such as the Daq in Black.
The Cockpit Country greeted the senses with dark notes over a lime aroma. Next, the sip continued likewise with caramel and lime flavors, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of rum and herbal elements.

Monday, September 25, 2017

brandy smash no. 2

1 jigger Brandy (2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy)
a few sprig Mint
1 lump Sugar (1 demerara cube)
a little Water (3/8 oz water)

Dissolve sugar in a mixing glass with a little water. Add mint and press gently with a muddler. Add brandy and shaved ice, stir, strain into a Champagne glass with a mint sprig stem down, and trim with fruit. Add a dash of Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross) before serving. Note, I strained the unchilled mixture into a Champagne glass and filled with crushed ice; my fruit was 3 slices cucumber and I added a straw.

While so many Smashes these days include an herbal element such as the traditional mint, they also include citrus wedges or juice that were not in the classic. Therefore, when I spotted the Brandy Smash series in George J. Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks, I decided to give it a go. Brandy was the original call for many of the upperclass Juleps served in the Colonial days of America for American whiskey was not very prevalent and rum was somewhat looked down upon. After the Revolution, whiskey began its ascent to take over as the preferred Smash and Julep call, and brandy began to fade in the early part of the 19th century. Jerry Thomas in 1862 differentiated between the Julep and the Smash by calling the latter "simply a Julep on a small plan." David Wondrich described in Imbibe how the Smash was a quick bracer often served without a straw and hit its heyday in the 1850s. While Jerry Thomas' Smashes included crushed ice, Kappeler's did not. Both Juleps and Smashes were referred to as "Mint Slings" so serving them without crushed ice back in the day would not be off by this definition. Kappeler's Brandy Smash No. 1 followed Thomas' recipe (save for the lack of ice in the serving vessel), but the No. 2 included a garnish of Jamaican rum which is what lured me in. I decided to split the difference for I could not parse the garnishes of a mint sprig and fruit trim served that way without ice as a base (plus, the chilled ingredients would only half fill a Champagne glass).
The Brandy Smash No. 2 began with the aroma of Jamaican rum funk accented by mint and smoothed by cucumber. Next, the sweet sip offered caramel derived from barrel-aged notes, and the swallow displayed brandy and mint flavors with hints of Jamaican rum creeping in over time. The float of funky Jamaican rum is something that I have included in many of my Juleps both whiskey- and brandy-based. For example, in summer 2016, one my bartender friends turned liquor sales rep texted me to see if he could swing by with the assistant distiller Travis from Copper & Kings to show off the product line. I cheekily texted back that they could swing by my place for Juleps for I was not scheduled to come into work that day. Five minutes later, I got a text back that they were on their way. I immediately began making simple syrup in the microwave and ran out to harvest mint for their arrival. I utilized their brandy adding my touches of the Jamaican rum and freshly grated nutmeg as additional garnish to the mint bouquet. The photo taken by either my rep or the distiller shows me floating the rum.
Brandy Julep (Fred's home recipe)
• 2 oz Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy
• 1/2 oz Cane Crystal Simple Syrup
• 8 mint leaves
Muddle mint in syrup in a double old fashioned (or Julep cup). Add brandy, fill with crushed ice, and stir. Garnish with mint sprigs, freshly grated nutmeg, and float 1/4 oz Wray & Nephew Jamaican Rum.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


3/4 jigger Whisky (2 oz Old Granddad Bonded Bourbon)
2 drop Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
3 drop Peychaud's Bitters (3 dash)
2 drop Bitters (2 dash Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Herbsaint) cocktail glass (rocks glass). Serve with an ice water chaser.

Two Sundays ago, I was perusing Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How to Mix Them and I spotted a pair of Creole cocktails. The Creole No. 2 was the better know one with whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and Amer Picon, while the Creole No. 1 was a bit of a surprise. The drink read like an orange-tinged Sazerac Cocktail served in a cocktail glass. I have already written about two Creole Sazeracs with one of them being a modern one calling for rhum agricole and orange liqueur similar to this whiskey and orange liqueur one (the other, the Death & Co. one, took a rum and brandy with simple syrup route). Gary Regan also had an orange liqueur sweetened Sazerac riff with the La Tour Eiffel. The 1934 Boothby recipe read like a shooter given the small addition of modifiers and the ice water back; however, the cocktail glass as a means to shoot a drink seemed a bit odd, and I morphed the recipe into something more akin to a Sazerac.
The Creole No. 1 began with an anise bouquet from the Herbsaint rinse. Next, malt and dark orange notes on the sip transitioned into Bourbon and orange on the swallow with an anise-herbal, mint, and clove finish. With the Pierre Ferrand's Dry Curaçao, the drink felt a little dark and perhaps flat as compared to the Cointreau (with added depth from gentian liqueur) in Regan's, and overall, I think the better known Creole No. 2 reigns supreme of the duo both in history and in flavor.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

prizefighter no. 7

3/4 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
6-8 leaf Mint
3-4 wedge Lemon
1 pinch Salt

Muddle lemon wedges, mint, and salt in simple syrup. Add the rest, whip shake, and strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint bouquet and add straws.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make one of Nicholas Jarrett's variations on the Prizefighter that I had spotted on the BarNotes app. The gist of the series is an amaro-vermouth Smash (the citrus wedge-mint variety popularized at Eastern Standard et al.) with a pinch of salt to mollify the bitterness. I narrowed the list of 8 down to two that contained gentian liqueur and blanc vermouth, and Andrea picked the one that had the addition of overproof funky Jamaican rum. Jarrett described how he created this at The Cure in New Orleans, and it appears to be a variation on the rum-less version (No. 6) that he listed as a 2012 invention.
The Prizefighter No. 7 greeted the nose with a mint aroma. Next, lemon with light green herbal notes on the sip led into gentian and floral flavors on the swallow with a hint of mint and rum funk on the finish. Indeed, perhaps due to the salt, the drink was a lot less rum funky as well as less minty than expected.

Friday, September 22, 2017

eskimo's kiss

10-12 leaf Mint (16)
2 cubes Demerara Sugar
2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
4 oz White Rum (3 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Star + 1/2 oz Rum Fire)

In an Imperial pint glass (regular pint glass), dissolve the sugar cubes in lime juice through muddling. Add simple syrup and mint and lightly muddle again. Next, add the rum, fill with chunky crushed ice, stir, add two straws, and garnish with a mint sprig (5 sprigs).
In "The Fix" section of Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails, Andrea and I were lured into the Eskimo's Kiss two Friday nights ago. The book described the drink as "a double Mojito in a large glass with two straws" (and no soda water) and mentioned how Sasha used to trade this drink at the nearby photocopy shop to have work done for the bar. With two straws, the instructions suggested to share with someone that you would not mind rubbing noses with. Once prepared, the Eskimo's Kiss shared a mint aroma, and when mutually leaning in for a sip, the drink lived up to its name. The sip gave forth lime balanced by demerara's richness and simple syrup's sweetness, and the swallow mixed funky rum and fresh mint flavors. Without soda water or a shaking step, the drink took on a less lively and more silkier feel akin to a Rum Julep (with citrus) such as the Santiago Julep.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

surf liner

2 oz Canadian Rye Whisky (Alberta Premium)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a pineapple leaf, edible orchid, and lemon wheel (edible nasturtium flower and lemon swaths).
Two Thursdays ago, I turned to Imbibe Magazine online for the evening's refreshment. There, I found Gabe Fonseca's Surf Liner that he crafted at Polite Provisions in San Diego, and the form reminded me of other Polite Provision recipes such as the Iron Ranger and the Tourist Trap which both were great. Once prepared, the Surf Liner gave forth a lemon and peppery-floral aroma from my choice of garnish. Next, a creamy pineapple sip gave way to whiskey and nutty flavors on the swallow with a lemon and anise finish. Here, the Canadian whisky really brought out the almond notes in my orgeat.

rolls royce

1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Benedictine (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.

After returning home from Ward 8, I was in the mood for a nightcap, so I turned to the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. There, I spied the Rolls Royce Cocktail that came across as a Perfect Martini with a dash of Benedictine. The Savoy has other car-related drinks like the Bentley with a similar feel, and I was surprised that I had never written about this classic despite discussing variations of it like the Aston Martin. I did make reference to it in my old drink journal when writing about the Lamb's Club (which has equal parts gin and the two vermouths with two dashes of Benedictine), but I could not confirm if I had ever had the Rolls Royce itself.
In the glass, the Rolls Royce gave forth lemon notes to the nose before giving way to a slightly sweet grape on the sip. Next, the swallow proffered gin and a rounded herbalness with a light minty finish. The sweet vermouth in the mix seemed to obscure the Benedictine that shone through more in the Poet's Dream that only contained the dry vermouth.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

healthy scratch

1 1/2 oz Bache Gabrielsen VS Cognac
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
1/4 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I went over to Ward 8 to visit my old coworker Michelle Harrington who was at the stick that night. For a first drink, I asked Michelle for the Healthy Scratch that was new on their menu. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon and floral aroma which shared the richness of the Cognac. Next, a sweet white grape sip gave way to brandy on the swallow with an orange finish. Indeed, the pinch of salt significantly reduced the Campari's bitterness but retained its citrus-herbal complexity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses Yellow Label)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to A Spot at the Bar for recipe inspiration. There, I spied in the Sidecar variation section the Commando that was described as "a delicious Bourbon Sidecar with a cheeky dash of absinthe." The combination reminded me of a drink I used to make a regular who hated gin; I modified Sam Ross' Sunflower Cocktail to be a Bourbon drink and soon it became one of his two calls at the bar. Moreover, Drink once made me a Bourbon Corpse Reviver No. 2 that has a similar balance as the Commando.
The Commando greeted the senses with a lemon and anise nose. Next, orange and lemon on the sip preceded whiskey and tart orange on the swallow with an absinthe-herbal finish. Definitely, the dash of absinthe gave this Whiskey Daisy combination some panache.

Monday, September 18, 2017


1 oz Gold Rum (3/4 oz Diplomatico Añejo + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Galliano
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice (*)
1/4 tsp Sugar (1 bsp Simple Syrup) (*)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass or pineapple shell, and fill with Champagne (strain into a Champagne flute containing 2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). Garnish with a cherry and a lime wheel (nasturium flower).
(*) Increasing to a 1/2 oz lime juice and/or dropping the sugar/simple syrup aspect would probably not be out of line here.
While editing the blog to free myself of Photobucket (who drastically changed their TOS), I spotted Scott Holliday's Whiskey-A-Go-Go that he created at Rendezvous shortly after the Galliano L'Autentico (re)release in 2009. I read my post-note that Scott was inspired by the Galliano-containing Barracuda, and I was inspired to make the original which I found in Stan Jones' 1977 Complete Barguide. Once prepared, the Barracuda offered vanilla aromas that joined my garnish choice's peppery floral notes. Next, a crisp lime with hints of pineapple led into funky rum and vanilla on the swallow with a pineapple, white wine, and anise finish.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

forbidden fruit

1 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados
1 1/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe glass, and garnish with a cherry with a little bit of syrup.

Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted on ShakeStir called the Forbidden Fruit. The recipe was created by Tom Richter of TomR's Tonic and formerly of Dear Irving in NYC for the book The Way We Ate as a way to correct the Apple-tini. Tom explained, "Instead of all the junk that goes in that drink, I use Calvados, and fresh ingredients, making this is a truly delicious, delicate, and elegant solution. The name is a double entendre of 1. the apple from Eden, and 2. the sensual aspect of the cocktail." Indeed, the recipe reminded me of how we used to make Jack Roses at a previous bar in response to a request for a Sour Apple Martini, but here the Jack Rose's grenadine and Peychaud's Bitters are swapped for orgeat and blanc vermouth.
The Forbidden Fruit greeted the nose with crisp apple with nutty unternones. Next, a creamy and crisp sip was followed by apple and nutty orgeat flavors with a crisp lime finish reminiscent of green apple.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

park genoves swizzle

2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 sprig Mint

Muddle the mint in the falernum and banana liqueur. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill while keeping the mint at the bottom. Add a straw, garnish with 2-3 dash Angostura Bitters and a mint bouquet.

Two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by some of the low proof sherry drinks that I had spotted while perusing this blog, and I decided to improvise. I was inspired by the sherry-based Platonic Julep and other drinks and took it in a Queen's Park Swizzle direction. Using sherry as a base for tropical and Tiki drinks has been an interest of mine such as in the Sherry Mai Tai and Jungle Bird, so taking it in a Swizzle direction seemed quite natural. For a name, I dubbed this one after an amazing park in Cadiz, the area of sherry production in Spain.
The Park Genovés Swizzle began with a spiced aroma filled with clove and mint notes. Next, lime meeting grape on the sip gave way to nutty and tropical banana flavors on the swallow with a return of clove and mint on the finish.

Friday, September 15, 2017

je suis le tigre

3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
3/4 oz Appleton Estate 12 Year (Appleton Reserve)
3/4 oz Bianco Vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1 bsp Benedictine
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Whip shake with 2 ice cubes, strain into a Hurricane glass, top with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with a mint bouquet and a brandied cherry (omit the latter).

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a Singapore Sling variation that I had spotted on Punch Drinks. The recipe crafted by Dan Sabo of Rick's Place in Los Angeles swapped the base spirit to rum from gin, removed the soda water, and added blanc vermouth and orgeat to the mix. The changes were familiar for I have had other Singapore Sling variations that have taken the rum route such as the Lani Kai Sling as well as the touch of orgeat way such as the City of Gold Sling and the Haji Sling. I also realize that I have never written up the classic recipe despite attending a seminar on its history at Tales of the Cocktail 2016.
The Je Suis Le Tigre's mint bouquet donated greatly to the nose. Next, a creamy lime and caramel sip led into a funky rum and herbal swallow with a nutty, cherry, and clove finish.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

three mile limit cocktail

2/3 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac)
1/3 Bacardi Rum (3/4 oz Privateer Tres Aromatique Overproof White Rum)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

While looking through my blog archives, I came across the Twelve Mile Limit and realized that I had never made the Three Mile Limit that preceded it. The three mile limit was part of international law that defined a country's territorial waters due to the distance that a cannon could fire upon a target. Cannons could eventually fire further than that, but due to the curvature of the earth, the targets would not be visible on the horizon. The three mile limit was what allowed liquor bootleggers during Prohibition to set anchor and trade close to shore. Harry & Wynn's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails captured that in liquid form as listed above. As Prohibition wore on, the limit got extended to 12 miles out to make smuggling rum and other spirits harder to do. Likewise, a Twelve Mile Limit recipe was added to the drink books that included rye whiskey as a third spirit to the mix and the drink became more rum- than brandy-forward instead. Since the Twelve Mile Limit only seems to shine when a rougher rum is utilized, I opted for a funky local overproof rum to fill the role in the Three Mile Limit, namely a double pot-stilled white overproof rum from Privateer.
Barflies & Cocktails attributed the drink to "Chips" Brighton of Harry's New York Bar in Paris with the description of, "one of the effects of the Volstead act, people get busy when outside of the three miles." Once prepared, the Three Mile Limit Cocktail gave forth a fruity aroma from the grenadine and lemon that was accented by aromatic rum notes. Next, lemon and berry flavors on the sip transitioned into Cognac and funky rum on the swallow. Overall, while not too complex, it did serve as an interesting split-base Daisy that reminded me of Brick & Mortar's Bokemon Daiquiri.

miami nice

2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 1/4 oz Coconut Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a small shaker tin (perhaps a Tiki mug, Collins glass, or double old fashioned would work well here), fill with crushed ice, garnish with a paper umbrella and a plastic mermaid, and add straws.
(*) Coconut syrup was made with dried shredded coconut steeped in coconut milk overnight, blended, strained, and cut 50:50 with simple syrup. In a pinch, 3/4 oz each of coconut milk and simple syrup would work well here.
For a drink at Firebrand Saints, Andrea asked for bartender Dave Erickson for the Miami Nice which turned out to be his drink. Once prepared, the Miami Nice did not offer much up in the aroma department but yielded a creamy coconut and lime sip. Next, the pineapple rum shined through on the swallow. Overall, simple but satisfying and delicious as a pineapple-coconut Daiquiri riff that reminded me a little of the Independent's Copacabana.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

witch from the west

1 1/2 oz Pig's Nose Scotch
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup

Build in a double old fashioned glass, add ice, and stir to mix and chill. Garnish with an orange twist and add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I made our way over to Firebrand Saints for dinner and found seats at Dave Erickson and Juan Mederos' bar. For a first drink, I asked Dave for the Witch from the West that he described was Juan's drink. Juan later explained that the witch in question was a girl who liked Scotch and would ask for cocktails to be made for her. This recipe went through 5 or 6 iterations before she like it, and the drink got its final name when she left him to go back West. Since Scotch and walnut are a natural pairing such as in the Expatriot and the Sentimental Gentleman, I was definitely willing to give this a go.
The Witch from the West presented an orange aroma that later displayed more dark notes once the citrus oil dissipated. Next, a grape sip from the Carpano Antica led into Scotch and walnut flavors on the swallow with a gentle vanilla finish.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

avenue a

2 oz Four Roses Bourbon (Larceny)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with lemon oil.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wanted a simple bitter and brown cocktail to wind out my day. The one that caught my attention was a recipe that I had spotted on the ShakeStir site called the Avenue A by Jesse Peterson at the Last Word in San Diego. Jesse described, "A cool spin of a Manhattan meeting a Boulevardier." The drink name reminded me of two things with the first one being the summer of 1992 when I was living in Manhattan. People advised me back then to not venture into "Alphabet City," and when my wanderings in the East Village led me to the cusp at Avenue A, I distinctly recalled turning around. The second is one of my personal post-shift late night drinks that got dubbed FLAN at Loyal Nine. Standing for "Fred's Lazy Ass Night Cap," the trend began when guests at tables began asking servers for amari to end their dinner. Often servers would have me approach the table and explain our rather undersized collection, and I would mention some of the 50:50 mixes such as Cynar:Averna that we did just to increase the options. As soon as I mentioned that I could make what I drank at home, a 50:50 of Cynar and Bourbon with a dash of Angostura, the one request at a table turned into two or three. As I mentioned in my Cocktails in the Colonies talk summary, people often want to drink like either the chef or the bartender, so that combined with the elegance of the pairing sold this drink well.
F.L.A.N. (Fred's Lazy Ass Nightcap)
• 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
• 1 1/2 oz Cynar
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Build in a rocks glass, add ice, and stir to mix and chill. At Loyal Nine, I added a lemon twist and straws; at home, I skipped all garnish and straws and utilized different Bourbons depending on mood.
The idea itself did not spawn from a Black Manhattan per se, but from a Camp Runamok 2015 ritual. I was in the Cynar cabin and we made it our tradition to do 50:50 mixes with other cabins (yes, even the Skyy Vodka cabin where it did alright with their peach-flavored spirit); our neighbors were in the Old Granddad Bourbon cabin, and that combination was fantastic! Here, in the Avenue A, the role of the Angostura Bitters for complexity was swapped for Tempus Fugit's glorious cacao liqueur. In the glass, the Avenue A gave forth bright lemon aromas over the darker notes swimming underneath. Next, rich caramel on the sip led into Bourbon along with Cynar melding with the chocolate to be less funky than usual. Over all, the Avenue A made for a delightful dessert-digestif hybrid cocktail.

Monday, September 11, 2017

polynesian remedy

1 3/4 oz Plantation Dark Rum
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1 oz Lemon Juice
4 dash Laphroaig Scotch (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with candied ginger, a lemon wheel, and a pineapple leaf (lemon twist, mint, nasturtium and ornamental pea flowers).
Two Mondays ago, I began flipping through the pages of the latest Imbibe Magazine issue and came across the Polynesian Remedy by Scotty Schuder of Paris' Dirty Dick. The description read, "This riff on the Penicillin swaps rum for whisky and adds orgeat to the mix"; moreover, I wrote about Scotty's bar in my review of the Pumping Out Paradise 2016 Tales talk. Once prepared, the Polynesian Remedy gave forth a minty and peppery-floral aroma from my choices of garnish. Next, a creamy honey and lemon sip transitioned into a rum, honey, and nutty swallow with a smoke and ginger finish. The orgeat definitely took the drink in a different direction whereas the rum added character but seemed to maintain the theme (especially considering most Penicillins are made with less descript blends as the base and utilize a smoky single malt as an accent as done here).

Sunday, September 10, 2017

harry's pick-me-up

1 glass Brandy (1 1/2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy)
Juice 1/2 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a wine glass, and fill with Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs); I added a lemon twist.
To close out Sunday night two weeks ago, I ventured into Harry & Wynn's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails to continue my sparkling wine cocktail run. The one I selected was Harry's Pick-Me-Up crafted by Harry McElhone in Paris in any one of the bars that he worked in or helped open during the 1920s. It was one of the recipes that I had spotted in A Spot at the Bar when I made the Fortune Cocktail on Friday night, and I opted to add the lemon twist to Harry's Pick-Me-Up that the newer book included in their recipe. Overall, the combination reminded me of an old Russell House Tavern recipe, and bar manager Sam Gabrielli crafted his as a riff on the Jack Rose and named it after his sister. I remember when one of the rather new bartenders came up to me during a shift confused about how to fulfill a request for a French 75; I explained that he already knew how to make the drink: just plug in gin (or Cognac) and simple syrup into the Emily Rose that was on the menu. That made his day!
Emily Rose by Sam Gabrielli, Russell House Tavern, 2014
• 2 oz Laird's Applejack
• 1/2 oz Grenadine
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a flute glass, top off with ~2 oz sparkling wine, and garnish with a lemon swath.
The Harry's Pick-Me-Up gave forth a lemon and brandy nose that preceded a crisp, carbonated lemon and berry sip. Next, the brandy came through on the swallow along with pomegranate and dry white wine notes.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


1 1/2 oz Mezcal Amaras Espadin
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was inspired by the waning days of Amaro Week to do something bitter and stirred. For a direction, I started with mezcal as the base spirit and thought about how well it paired with Cynar such as in the Midnight Marauder, Bitters & Smoke, and other drinks. To better join the amaro with the agave, I added Punt e Mes which often helps to round out bitter notes and Benedictine which often functions as a binder of disparate elements. To give some extra depth here, a dash of molé bitters finished the drink along with some bright aromas from an orange twist. For a name, I went with the South of the Border theme and dubbed this one the Chachita after Evita Muñoz, a starlet of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Friday, September 8, 2017

fortune cocktail

1 oz Apple Brandy (Copper & Kings Floodwall)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 small handful Mint Leaves (6 leaves)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and top with Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). Garnish with a mint leaf.
Two Friday nights ago, I was lured into opening A Spot at the Bar for my evening's nightcap. There, I spotted the apple brandy version of a South Side Royale called the Fortune Cocktail. The recipe was inspired by the Serendipity from the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Paris; that drink contains Calvados, apple juice, mint, sugar, and Champagne served in a Highball. Once prepared, the Fortune Cocktail gave forth a mint and white grape aroma. Next, a crisp, carbonated lemon sip shared a grape note from the sparkling wine, and the swallow offered a delightful pairing of apple and mint. No great surprises here but I made two rounds of this drink the following night at work; first for one guest seeking something light but crisp, and second for her drinking companion after she had a sip of her friend's.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

68 guns

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum
1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
10 drop St. George Absinthe

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Thursdays ago for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was inspired by No. 9 Park's Declaration while looking for Madeira drinks. Instead of gin and demerara syrup, I opted for rum and cinnamon here, and I also included some absinthe since the format reminded me of a Test Pilot. The name Declaration made me think of a song by the Celtic rock group The Alarm who was my first rock show back in the mid-late 1980s; one of my favorite songs from them is "68 Guns," so I went with that for a drink name.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

golden gate swizzle

1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
6 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a bouquet of mint and an orange slice (omit the latter).
Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for the Tipsy Texan book and uncovered a recipe by Matt Tanner of Houston. Matt's drink, the Golden Gate Swizzle, was his homage to San Francisco which is the largest consumer of Fernet Branca in the United States. Once prepared, the Golden Gate Swizzle greeted the nose with a wonderful mint aroma. Next, a creamy lemon and caramel sip gave way to Fernet's herbal flavors softened by orgeat's nutty notes on the swallow with a clove-menthol finish. Indeed, the Fernet-orgeat combination worked just as well here as it did in other drinks such as the Mansfield Cocktail and the Tar Pit.