Thursday, September 3, 2015

hold the line

1 1/2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
1/2 oz St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For Yacht Rock Sunday two weeks ago, I was thinking of uses for Velvet Falernum and returned to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Instead of orange liqueur, I opted for an elderflower one since the one drink on the Yacht Rocktail list using it, Hungry Like the Wolf, had been bumped to the main list where it is a top seller. The drink was a bit sweet, so I tried Angostura Bitters to beat back the sweetness and complement the falernum spice, but this took the drink in a dark and unpleasant direction. I, therefore, tried Peychaud's Bitters next and they worked great; soon, it dawned on me that I had formulated the rum drink similar to Brother Cleve's Bourbon libation the Ninth Ward. For a name, I opted for a song title from Toto from the playlist, Hold the Line.


3/4 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
3/4 oz Aged Rum (Seleta Cachaça Gold)
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Two Saturdays ago, I turned to the Tiki Drinks: Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar book where I had spotted the Outrigger; the drink called out to me for it seemed like an interesting ginger and clove variation on a Daiquiri. In the glass, it offered a mint bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and dark molasses notes on the sip led into dark caramel, grassy funk, ginger, and clove on the swallow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

golden shellback

1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 1/2 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Rum (Denizen White)

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with Tiki intent, and add a straw.

My quest for my nightcap drink two Fridays ago started earlier that week with an Instagram from CocktailWonk mentioning that he made at home Jason Alexander's Golden Shellback that Jason created at Tacoma Cabana in Washington State. This sent me on a search to find a recipe since the ingredients sounded intriguing, and luckily Tiare had posted one in an interview she did with Jason.
Since the drink was an attractive yellow color instead of a murky brown one, I decided to show off the drink in a fancy glass vase instead of an opaque mug. Once constructed, the Golden Shellback shared floral and mint aromas. Next, the sip was lemon with a fruitiness from the pineapple, but most of the pineapple flavor came through on the swallow along with rum notes, nutty orgeat, and a pleasing herbal complexity.

shingle stain

1/2 Lime (1/2 oz Juice)
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1/2 oz St. James Rum (Vale d' Paul Aguardente Nova de Santo Antão)
1/4 oz Pimento Dram (St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram)
1 dash Pomegranate Syrup (1/4 oz)

Shake with cracked ice and pour over cracked ice in a 12 oz chimney glass.

Two Thursdays ago after a shift at work, I turned to Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink and returned to the Shingle Stain. I had passed over this recipe before due to the name, but I gave in due to Vic's plea, "Now don't take a shingle off the roof. This is really good. No fooling." Moreover, I figured that it was a good recipe to break in one of my new purchases at the Boston Shaker store's tiki sale.
The garnishes I added contributed mint and floral aromas to the drink that masked the funky and grassy rums and allspice liqueur. Next, the sip shared the dark rum's caramel notes along with lime and pomegranate flavors, and the swallow featured the grassy and funky rums that were complemented by an allspice finish.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


1 1/2 oz Quebranta-style Pisco (Macchu Pisco)
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1/4 oz Cachaça (Seleta Gold)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

After the early 20th century Quaker, I turned to Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book for a more modern recipe. There, I spotted Seattle bartender Jay Kuehner's Cienciano that he named after the Peruvian soccer club founded in 1901. I was drawn towards the recipe for it paired pisco and cachaça that I have also combined in Javari Mai Tai and the Loreto Swizzle. In this straight spirits drink, the two liquors were accented by a dry nutty sherry and a rich cola-orange amaro which seemed like a great combination.
The Cienciano conjured orange aromas from the garnish and floral ones perhaps from the pisco. Next, caramel and grape from the amaro and sherry filled the sip, and on the swallow, the nuttiness of the sherry was complemented by the clean grape distillate of the pisco. Finally, the swallow ended with an herbal, grassy funk on the finish; moreover, the drink ended drier than it began on the sip.


2/3 Ice in glass
Jigger Jamaican Rum (1 1/2 oz Denizen 8 Year)
2 dash Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
2 dash Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz Royal Rose)

The recipe lacks preparation instructions so I shook with ice and strained in a rocks glass with crushed ice. It does say to decorate with slices of orange, but here I used lime.

Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Pioneer of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to start the cocktail hour. There, I spotted the Quaker in the rum section; I had passed over this recipe before because I figured that it was a variation on (or predecessor of) the Quaker's Cocktail from Harry McElhone's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails. As I considered the two recipes, the only overlap was the rum and raspberry syrup; however, one used lemon and the other lime, and one split the spirit with brandy and the other flavored things with apricot. Perhaps the two are closer if the Quaker's apricot brandy is actually dry eau de vie instead of sweet liqueur as I opted for. This time, the recipe reminded me of a Periodista with raspberry in place of the triple sec, and I decided to give it a go regardless of the other drink entry in the collection here.
The Quaker began with a fresh lime and vaguely fruity funk of an aroma. The lime notes continued on into the sip where they mingled with hints of berry and orchard fruit, and the swallow broadcasted the funky Jamaican rum that was pleasantly soothed by the apricot.

Monday, August 31, 2015

london calling

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Bloomsbury Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass. Top with 2-3 oz sparkling wine and twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

Two Tuesdays ago, I attended Tanqueray's launch party at the Sinclair for their limited edition Bloomsbury Gin. I already had a sneak peak at the gin during mid-June's Tanqueray Green Room events. There, I had the opportunity to select a recipe from Angus Winchester's cocktail book collection and one of the gins in the Tanqueray arsenal, so I chose the new Bloomsbury and Jamie Boudreau's Petruchio. The Bloomsbury recipe was created by Charles Waugh Tanqueray, the second generation of distillers back in the 1880s. It kept true to the London Dry style and bolstered Tanqueray's four botanicals, namely juniper, angelica root, coriander seed, and licorice powder, with two additional ones -- cassia and winter savory. Bloomsbury itself refers to the first Tanqueray distillery in the 1830s.
The drink that I tried this day was created by and prepared for me by Sinclair's Dale Murphy called the London Calling. In the flute, it shared grapefruit, orange, and pine aromas. A carbonated sip offered crisp grapefruit and wine notes, and the swallow presented gin, rhubarb, and floral flavors.

mon sherry amour

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
2 dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a single old fashioned glass.

For my second drink at Estragon, I delved deeper into the Sahil Mehta cocktail playbook and pulled out one that Andrea had tried as the drink of the day a year or two ago but I never wrote about called Mon Sherry Amour. Elements of the drink reminded me of Sahil's ShakeStir submission to their Negroni variation competition a few months ago called the Pantomimist, so I was curious as to how this one fit into the cocktail creation progression.
The Mon Sherry Amour greeted the senses with smoky aromas with briny-savory notes. Next, the sip was rich with body and showed off light grape notes, and the swallow showcased the smoky agave with a bitter orange and chocolate finish.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

roger that

1 1/2 oz The Knot Irish Whiskey
1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette
1/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a single old fashioned glass. Garnish with 2 dash Barkeep's Lavender Bitters.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I made our way down to the South End to visit Estragon and bartender Sahil Mehta. For a starter, I selected the Roger That from Sahil's cocktail notebook. Sahil described how he made it for one of his regulars named Roger who lives above the restaurant. I was drawn to it for it reminded me somewhat of an Aviation, and the airplane lingo name seemed to support that concept.
The Roger That presented a floral aroma from the lavender bitters. Grape from the sherry and Punt e Mes dominated the sip, and the swallow was all about the whiskey and a nutty-bitter combination from the Punt e Mes leading into the sharper grape-violet flower finish. When Andrea tasted the drink, she commented that it was "old school like out of [the] Café Royal [Cocktail Book] -- dark, rich, raisiny, and saturated [with flavor]."