Tuesday, July 16, 2019

barbadian gin punch swizzle

2 oz Genever (Bols)
2 oz Coconut Water
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Rich Demerara Syrup (3/4 oz 1:1)
2 dash Angostura Bitters, optional (included)

Build in a tall glass, fill with crushed ice, swizzle to mix and chill, and garnish with a lime wheel.

Two Tuesdays ago, I continued on with my coconut water recipes with a gem found in Imbibe Magazine. Drink historian David Wondrich wrote about some of the various punches found throughout the Caribbean in the 17th-19th centuries; while most of them were rum-based libations due to the abundance of the local spirit, he discovered that the Dutch utilized their home liquor of Genever through an 1876 travel book West India Pickles by William Talboys. Talboys was served a bowl of punch using Holland gin at a local planter's house in Barbados, and the spirit had been brought over by Dutch traders that were doing business throughout the Caribbean. Wondrich provided a recipe for this punch, but I was more taken by his single serving-sized Swizzle incorporating all of the drink elements.
The Barbadian Gin Punch Swizzle donated lime aromas over malt and coconut water notes to the nose. Next, lime and salinity from the coconut water on the sip led into malty Genever, wormwood, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Monday, July 15, 2019

arkansas traveler

1/2 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Dolin Blanc)
1/6 Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a grapefruit twist.
Two Mondays ago, I delved into Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Arkansas Traveler. After having the Brown Derby on my mind after trying the Santa Barbara from Boothby, I envisioned this similar in balance if the French vermouth were blanc instead of dry. Once prepared, the Arkansas Traveler gave forth a rye and grapefruit bouquet to the nose. Next, a semi-dry white wine and grapefruit sip moved along to a rye and floral swallow with a slightly bitter finish from the grapefruit and barrel-aged notes.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

watermelon negroni

(a.) 1 oz Campari
1 oz Watermelon Juice
(b.) 1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Grand Lusso)

Freeze the Campari and watermelon juice (2 cubes, will not completely freeze solid) in advance. Add the cubes, gin, and vermouth to a rocks glass, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Since it was the last night of Negroni Week and I was still on my watermelon kick, I searched for "watermelon Negroni" and found a recipe from food writer Alton Brown. I modified the recipe to be equal parts of the four ingredients as well as altering the preparation. I was bothered that I could not get my Campari-watermelon ice cubes to look as solid as Alton's, so I did the math. With Campari and watermelon being 22° and 7.8° Brix, respectively, that averaged out to around 15° Brix for the mixture; American Campari (yes, we get a lower proof than Europe) is 24% ABV, so that averaged out to 12% ABV for the combination. As I learned at Daren Swisher's frozen drinks class, the perfect alcoholic slushee will be between 12-15° Brix and 12-15% ABV; hence, solid cubes would not physically be possible at standard freezer temperatures. I was okay with the cubes being semi-solid for it provided an adequate amount of cooling with no additional dilution (the only dilution of the Negroni was by the watermelon juice). Also, this caused me to ask my wife if Alton was one of those food writers that tell you that caramelized onions take only 10 minutes to prepare.
My version of the Watermelon Negroni donated lemon oil over a fruity nose. Next, the vermouth's grape paired up with the watermelon on the sip, and the swallow proffered the gin and the intriguing melding of watermelon with Campari's bitter orange to make an almost watermelon candy-like flavor.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

pharaoh cooler

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Lunazul)
1 oz Watermelon Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lime Juice
4 drop Rose Flower Water

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with ice, and top with 1 oz soda water.

The other watermelon recipe in the PDT Cocktail Book was the Pharaoh Cooler that made me think of a watermelon-laced carbonated Mexican Firing Squad. Jack McGarry of Dead Rabbit fame created this drink when he was at the Merchant in Belfast and came over to the states for Tales of the Cocktail in 2009. Before he traveled down to New Orleans, he visited New York City and spent a night bartending at PDT. The book described how Jack "named the drink after the mythic Egyptian origins of watermelon seeds," and the PDT staff was so impressed by the result that they put it on the menu.
The watermelon element was joined by the tequila and rose water aromas on the nose. Next, a carbonated berry and lime sip led into tequila and watermelon flavors on the swallow. Andrea summed it up by declaring, "Mmm... that's summertime in a glass."

Friday, July 12, 2019

melon stand

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Tanqueray)
1 oz Watermelon Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with pebble ice (cocktail coupe without ice), and garnish with 3 watermelon balls on a pick (one watermelon chunk on the edge).

Two Fridays ago, I found myself at Haymarket after renewing my driver's license at the RMV. Among all of the produce, what caught my eye were the mini-watermelons; given the price and their size, it seemed quite worth lugging one home. For a drink, I spotted two recipes in Jim Meehan's PDT Cocktail Book, and the first one I made was the Melon Stand by Jane Danger circa 2008. The book provided the brief history of, "Danger named this drink after her Minnesota dream bar, Jane's Sweet Melon Stand." Tom Sandham's World's Best Cocktails also contained the recipe and provided a little more information through a quote from Jim Meehan, "This is Jane Danger's nod to Milk & Honey bartender Michael McIlroy and Richard Boccatto's Archangel, and Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders' Intro to Aperol."
The garnish supplemented the fresh watermelon aroma on the nose. Next, watermelon and lemon mingled on the sip, and the swallow offered up gin, more watermelon, and a lightly bitter orange flavor from the Aperol. Overall, it was rather summery and light with just enough complexity from the Aperol to keep things interesting.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


1 1/2 oz El Dorado 3 Year White Rum (Privateer Tres Aromatique)
1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 1/2 oz Coconut Water
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice, strain into a Hurricane-type glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a lime wheel and freshly grated nutmeg.
In my search for coconut water cocktails, I spotted the Kokomo on the BarNotes app that seemed like a great Tiki drink (and distinct from the other Kokomo on the blog). This Kokomo was created by Shawn Vergara in 2014 at Blackbird in San Francisco. Once prepared, the drink offered up woody spice and lime aromas that combined into a floral note. Next, a creamy lime sip led into rum, nutty almond, and coconut water flavors on the swallow with a banana finish.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

skull & bones

1 1/2 oz 151 Proof Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
1/2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
6 drop Herbsaint or Pernod (St. George Absinthe)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
8 oz crushed ice

Blend all but the ice to mix, blend with ice for 5 seconds at high speed, and pour into a skull mug or a double old fashioned glass. Top with crushed ice. I garnished with a bouquet of chocolate mint sprigs.

After seeing the call for the Skull & Bones Challenge on Instagram, I set about to research the drink. Previously, I had written up Jason Alexander's take on the Skull & Bones which came across like a spiced version of the Shrunken Skull (see the Skull & Bones link for a bit of the history). After Jason had come up with that recipe, Beachbum Berry uncovered an 1960s recipe crafted by a Don the Beachcomber's bartender, namely Tony Ramos, and published in Berry's 10th Anniversary Sippin' Safari book. The combination reminded me of the Fiji Mermaid with the grenadine and passion fruit syrups and the Jet Pilot-esque 6 drops of Herbsaint and a dash of Angostura Bitters for spices. The duo of passion fruit and grenadine also pops up in drinks like the Pahoehoe and the Cobra's Fang. Once blended and served, the Skull & Bones' garnish offered up mint aromas over the fruity nose. Next, lime, berry, and tropical notes on the sip flipped into rum, cherry, passion fruit, and spice flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

green isaac's negroni

1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Grand Lusso)
1 oz Campari
4 oz Coconut Water
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with ice, and garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.

One of the coconut water drinks that kept popping into my head was the Green Isaac's Special that was a modified Tom Collins of sorts with bitters which Ernest Hemingway came up with during his time in Key West in the 1930s. It first appeared in his Islands in the Stream and was named after the islands in question that are north of Bimini. Since it was Negroni Week, I wondered if the two classics could be mashed up, and I was curious how the coconut water's salinity would affect Campari's bitterness.
The Green Isaac's Negroni's freshly cut garnish welcomed the senses with a lime aroma. Next, grape and briny coconut water notes on the sip led into gin, orange, and clove flavors on the swallow. Indeed, the coconut water's salt content neutralized Campari's bitterness and let the liqueur's orange aspect shine similar to the pinch of salt in the Camparipolitan.

Monday, July 8, 2019

chien chaud

2 oz Coconut Water
1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricol Blanc (Rhum Clement)
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Fizz glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.
In continuing my search for coconut water recipes, I delved into the PDT Cocktail Book and turned up two cocktails. The one that called out to me was the Chien Chaud that the book's author Jim Meehan created with David Wondrich in 2008. Jim wrote, "After driving past a hotdog stand in Martinique, David Wondrich and I came up with this drink whose name means hotdog in French." With a slight 'Ti Punch feel to it, I was game to give it a go. Once prepared, the Chien Chaud donated a lime, grassy, and cinnamon bouquet to the nose. Next, a mellow sip with coconut water notes led into grassy and herbal flavors on the swallow with an allspice and coconut water finish.