Saturday, November 18, 2017

leap frog

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
6 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in simple syrup, add rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I grabbed the PDT Cocktail Book off of the shelf and stumbled upon the Leap Frog. Jim Meehan created this drink as a riff on the Leaping Frog from Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender; his starting point was a recipe that was a shaken concoction of Hungarian apricot eau de vie and lime juice. The same drink idea appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book as the Hop Toad with lemon instead of lime. Here, it appears that Meehan was inspired by perhaps a combination of the Pendennis and Southside to make the original recipe more palatable.
The Leap Frog offered up an apricot and mint aroma that led into a lemon sip with a hint of orchard fruit. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and apricot flavors with a mint finish.

Friday, November 17, 2017

weirding way

1 oz Boomsma Oude Genever (Rutte Old Simon)
1 oz Batavia Arrack (Van Oosten)
1 1/2 oz Strong Black Tea (English Breakfast)
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz 2:1 Honey Syrup (1 oz 1:1)
3 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs (Burlesque Bitters)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel (lemon twist studded with 3 cloves).

On Friday night two weeks ago, I selected a few volumes of The Cocktail Hour series and found an intriguing gem in the gin booklet. The recipe was the Weirding Way crafted by Ricky Gomez when he was at the Tear Drop Lounge in Portland, and it included the description of, "gently spiced, with layers of trade routes in a glass." The drink name is a Dune reference describing a form of movement training useful in close quarters fighting, and the drink itself had elements of a classic punch to it.
Weirding Way gave forth a lemon, malt, and clove bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon, honey, and malt on the sip transitioned to Batavia Arrack's funk, Genever's malt and botanicals, and black tea flavors. True to a punch, the flavors were rather balanced here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

disappearing act

1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Linie Aquavit (Aalborg)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Giffard Peche Liqueur (1/4 oz Briottet Crème de Peche de Vigne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, top with sparkling wine (1 1/2 oz Ninety+ Cellars Prosecco), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through the pages of Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails when I spotted a recipe called the Disappearing Act that reminded me of the one that Paul Clarke crafted for a Mixology Monday event in 2012 with the same name. In essence, this Disappearing Act created by Manhattan's Nitecap bar was an aquavit for gin (or brandy) French 75 with Lillet and peach notes as accents. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon-floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a carbonated lemon and white wine sip led into caraway, citrus peel, and peach notes on the swallow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


2/3 Calvados (2 oz Boulard VSOP)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Liqueur)
3 dash Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for my evening's refreshment. There, I spotted the Harbor that reminded me of the Sonora and Tulip with their apple brandy, apricot liqueur, and citrus components. Once prepared, the Harbor shared an apple aroma with hints of apricot. Next, lime mingled with orchard fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow combined the apple and apricot into an almost novel flavor followed by a tart lime finish.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

mutiny of clowns

3/4 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with an orange peel "cup" peel side down, filled with 151 proof rum (El Dorado), and ignited.
On October 31st, I was flipping through my new book purchases and discovered that there was a small section of Halloween-themed recipes in Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails book. The one that seemed most appropriate to crown the holiday was the Mutiny of Clowns by David Nurmi of the now closed Jakewalk. Once built and after the rum burned itself out, the Mutiny of Clowns provided an orange oil bouquet over dark blackstrap rum and Cynar aromas and sharp lime notes. Next, the lime matched the rum and amaro's caramel on the sip, and the swallow offered dark rum and vegetal funk flavors with a ginger finish that helped to tie the drink together.

Monday, November 13, 2017

mojito from ipanema

2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 medium Nasturtium Leaves (sliced into 6ths)
1 Nasturtium Flower

Shake with ice, double strain into a Collins glass with 3 oz soda water, fill with ice, add a straw, and garnish with a fresh nasturtium leaf and flower.
Two Mondays ago, I began my Monday night residency at the Cocktail Lab at Earl's Prudential with a three drink menu. The theme tying the trio together were herbs and fruit that either I grew in my garden or were foraged within a half mile of my home. As for the foraged aspect, I had already described the Crabapple Fight! (now with a photo from the event) that utilized three types of crabapples from the Davis Square bike path, and the second drink utilized my garden's sage by way of the Oaxacan Smash that I came up with over the summer. The third menu item featured nasturtiums that are in full bloom right now on the fringes of the garden. I was originally considering pairing this with a rum, but when I learned that nasturtiums are from Peru, I decided to go with cachaça to maintain a South American theme. For a format, I decided that a Mojito would be recognizable enough to lure people into drink cachaça. Overall, the peppery notes from the nasturtiums worked rather well with the grassy funky flavors of the Brazilian spirit, and the presentation with the bright flower and lily pad-like leaf did not hurt either.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


1 3/4 oz White Rum (Denizen)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ruby Port (Sandeman Tawny)
2 tsp Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
2 tsp Sugar (Cane Crystals)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an ice cube. Note: I dissolved the sugar in the lime juice first.

To cap off Sunday two weeks ago, I reached for Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles where I came across the Malecon. I immediately recognized that name from Thad Volger's By the Smoke and the Smell where he documented his trip to Cuba to learn about its rum production. Here, the drink was crafted by Erik Lorincz at the American Bar at London's Savoy Hotel, and it was indeed named after Havana's waterfront promenade.
The grape from the Malecon's port was brightened by lime notes on the nose. Next, the lime and grape intermingled on the sip, and the swallow paired the rum with nutty sherry that led to an anise-herbal finish.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

legendre mint julep

1 Tbsp Water (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Bar Sugar (2 Demerara Sugar Cubes)
3-4 sprig Mint
1 oz Bourbon (2 oz Fighting Cock 103)
2 dash Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Herbsaint (1/8+ oz)

Muddle mint with sugar and water (I dissolved the sugar before adding the mint to muddle). Add the rest of the ingredients, remove the muddled mint, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and fruit (omit fresh fruit).
Two Saturdays ago, my search for that evening's drink led me to Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guide. In the Julep section, I was lured in by the Legendre Mint Julep named after J. Marion Legendre who helped to create the absinthe-substitute Herbsaint in New Orleans circa 1934 after learning how to make absinthe while in France during World War I. Besides the Herbsaint, the Julep contained the classic trio of Bourbon, mint, and sugar along with a dash of Jamaican rum which I often include in my Mint Juleps and Smashes. Once prepared, the Legendre Mint Julep shared a glorious mint bouquet to the nose. Next, a malt sip proffered a hint of vegetalness, and the swallow accented the Bourbon with a touch of rum funk and ended with a mint and anise finish. Indeed, the Herbsaint complemented the mint notes as they have in the Pliny the Elder and Pontarlier Julep.

punsch ghoul bowle

1 1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rum
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, add a straw, and float 1/2 oz of house red wine. Normally, the outer vessel would contain dry ice in a water bath to garnish the drink with fog, but their supplier was out of dry ice that day.

For my second drink at Backbar, I asked bartender Amanda Greenfield for the Punsch Ghoul Bowle which was the Halloween-themed drink of the week. The drink was crafted by Kat Lamper and was subtitled, "A Halloween treat for grownups inspired by a punch bowl cocktail popular in 1900." When I inquired as to which drink it was based off of, I was shown David Wondrich's Punch book that was open to the section on Punschglühbowle; that recipe consisted of two parts light red wine to one part Batavia Arrack along with orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar that was served both heated and flaming. Here, the drink was more spirit driven with the addition of Jamaican rums and flavored with chocolate liqueur.
The Punsch Ghoul Bowle began with a red wine aroma that gave way to a lemon and orange sip with a dark note from the crème de cacao. Next, the swallow showcased the funky rums and Arrack along with a complementary earthy note from the chocolate element. Over time, the red wine float entered the equation and appeared mostly in the sip.