Wednesday, June 28, 2017

esmeralda's elixir

1 1/2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with several drops of Angostura Bitters swirled into the egg white froth and with freshly grated cinnamon.
Two Wednesdays ago, I made my way to North Station to visit Shelter, a speakeasy that has popped up behind Hurricane O'Reilly's. While most of the menu sticks with the Caribbean theme via rum, there are singular whiskey, gin, and vodka drinks as well; and there was also a cachaça drink called Esmeralda's Elixir that I selected that was created by bartender Will Isaza. Once prepared, this egg white Sour offered up cinnamon and cachaça funk to the nose. Next, a creamy lime and orange sip transitioned into grassy funk and cinnamon on the swallow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

night shift

1 1/4 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned glass, fill with fresh ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to my relatively new copy of the Brooklyn Bartender book and became curious about the Nightshift crafted at The Richardson. The combination of smoky spirit, grapefruit, and orange liqueur reminded me of the Scotch-based Polly's Special but here with bitter notes from the Campari and spiced ones from the cinnamon syrup. Once prepared, the Night Shift offered an orange and smoky agave nose. Next, a moderately dry grapefruit sip perhaps displayed a citrus note from the Campari, and the swallow mingled mezcal and bitter orange flavors with a cinnamon and smoke finish.

Monday, June 26, 2017

sheltering sky

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Mondays ago, I spotted a recipe that I submitted to a 2014 ShakeStir competition; however, I never got around to making the drink since time was running out before the deadline. For this Cognac event, I was inspired by the Rocket from Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933 with its brandy, Swedish punsch, sweet vermouth, and Picon elements. I converted the vermouth to nutty sherry and the Picon to Benedictine and Angostura Bitters. For a name, I remember strolling over to one of my bookshelves, spotting the Paul Bowles' mid-century classic, and figured that it represented world travel in a glass.
The Sheltering Sky presented an orange and nutty bouquet to the nose. Next, a rich grape sip led into Cognac, tea, minty, chocolate, and nutty flavors on the swallow with an allspice and rum funk finish.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

gantt's tomb

3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz El Dorado 151 Proof Rum
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth's)

Shake with ice, strain into a Pilsner glass (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Two Sundays ago, I began flipping through Beachbum Berry's Remixed for recipes that I had not tried yet. There, Brian Miller's 2008 Gantt's Tomb that he created at Death & Co. called out to me. The drink was inspired by Don the Beachcomber's Zombie and all of its layers of flavor, and Miller named it after Don whose real name was Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt.
Gantt's Tomb proffered a mint aroma that preceded the fruity lemon, orange, and pineapple sip. Next, caramel rum, rye spice, and allspice rounded out the drink on the swallow which ended with a light jet fuel finish from the El Dorado 151 that melded with pineapple notes lingering there.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

tiki tak

1 oz Dry Vermouth (La Quintinye)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a stemless wine glass (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with an umbrella-cherry-lime wedge (sprig of chocolate mint).
Since I had to get up early to open the bar for brunch on Sunday morning, I looked to Punch Drinks' article on low proof Tiki for an answer two Saturday nights ago. There, I selected Andrew Porteus' dry vermouth-based Tiki Tak that he crafted at Montana's Trail House in Brooklyn. With my choice of garnish, the Tiki Tak infused the air with chocolate-mint and banana notes. Next, a crisp pineapple and lime sip transitioned into herbal, banana, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Friday, June 23, 2017

sailor's negroni

1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Galliano Ristretto)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, fill with ice, and garnish with an orange slice (orange twist).

Two Fridays ago at the tail end of Negroni week, I looked to a post that I had spotted on my Imbibe blog feed called the Sailor's Negroni. The recipe was crafted by Flavio Angiolillo of MAG in Milan, Italy, and my curiosity about the name was assuaged when I figured out that it was named after the Sailor's brand coffee liqueur. Given how agave, Campari, and coffee work well together such as in the Razor Ramon, I was excited to give this one a try.
The Sailor's Negroni reached the nose with orange and coffee roast aromas. Next, a citrus peel-tinged grape on the sip gave way to coffee and bitter orange on the swallow with a smoky agave finish.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

lumberjack julep

1 oz Bourbon (Larceny)
1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/4 oz Maple Syrup
3 sprigs Mint

Muddle the leaves of the mint sprigs, add the rest of the ingredients and crushed ice, and stir. Top with crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig, and add a straw.
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I returned to my Food & Wine: Cocktails collection to discover an unmade gem. In the 2013 edition, I came across Josh Durr's Lumberjack Negroni that utilized maple syrup as the sweetener to the dual American whiskey base. Once prepared, the Lumberjack Julep gave forth a mint aroma that led into maple richness and malt on the sip. Next, rye spice and mint on the sip was followed by maple and additional mint notes on the finish.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

caustic negroni

1 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Amaro Sfumato
1/2 oz Averna
1 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1 bsp Vanilla Syrup

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was invited to do a guest bartending shift at Backbar as a book launch party for my Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told. For the night, I assembled a 7 drink menu of personal creations ranging from 2013 to present that do not currently reside on a formal menu. When the Backbar staff asked if I wanted to put a "dealer's choice" option on the menu, I replied that they were going to do it anyways so perhaps we should save on the ink and space. During the night, one of the guests at a table asked a server for "something like a Negroni but kind of caustic," and that server asked if I could actuate on that request. My mind immediately jumped to Sfumato that was already in one of my drinks, and Sfumato's similarity to Zucca made me think of a Scotch pairing such as in the Zucca Hour. Sweet vermouth and Averna helped to soften the combination, but the drink felt a little flat. To give the drink a touch of roundness, I opted for a barspoon of vanilla syrup.
I later made the drink for two other people that night, and then posted it on Instagram. There, I was questioned "Is this not however stretching the very definition of the word Negroni?" I replied, "The White Negroni using Suze Gentian Liqueur did that about a decade ago. It is in the style of a Negroni though: an Americano (which isn't necessarily a Campari drink but a class of anaro-vermouth-soda drinks) with the soda substituted for spirit." I also ran into a similar feud that week when I posted the Negroni on Saturn on Reddit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

negroni on saturn

1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/4 Orgeat
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with Tiki intent (here, mint sprigs but at Loyal Nine I did a lime wheel ring-cherry picked Saturn garnish as seen in CocktailWonk's Instagram).

During Negroni Week two Tuesdays ago, I pondered gin drinks that I could do a mashup and my mind wandered over to the late 1960s Tiki wonder, the Saturn. I got excited since the combination of gin, Campari, passion fruit syrup, and lemon in the mix reminded me of Jamie Boudreau's Novara; moreover, the addition of sweet vermouth, orgeat, and falernum only seemed to add to the picture. I was so pleased with the combination that I later served it at Loyal Nine to Matt of CocktailWonk (see a link to his Instagram above) and several other guests that weekend. My first garnish pass at home was with mint sprigs, and on the way to work on Friday, I envisioned the Saturn garnish; in slower moments, those guests got the lime-cherry Saturn with a dusting of nutmeg, and during busier periods, I could only afford to do a grating of nutmeg.
The Negroni on Saturn shared mint aromas here over tropical notes from perhaps the passion fruit. Next, lemon, grape, and passion fruit conjoined into a mango-like flavor, and the swallow gave forth pine that transitioned into bitter orange with a nutty and clove finish.