Wednesday, February 26, 2020

laughing soup

1/2 jigger Gin (1 1/2oz Beefeater)
1/4 jigger French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
2 spoon Sweet & Sour (1/2 oz Lemon Juice + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
For a drink two Wednesday nights ago, I turned to Bill Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them and spotted the Laughing Soup. While I was intrigued by the concept of dry (or perhaps blanc) vermouth in a Gin Sour, the name lured me in for it reminded me of giggle water -- another late 1920s euphemism for an illicit cocktail. Here, the Laughing Soup toyed the nose with lemon and herbal aromas. Next, lemon and dry white wine on the sip chuckled into gin and herbal flavors on the swallow with a lemon finish.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

schrage muzik

1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (*)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Campari (*)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass without ice. Stir to mix, garnish with an orange twist, and serve at room temperature. Perfect of flask filling as well.
(*) This was originally created with 3/4 oz Swedish Punsch and 1/4 oz Campari which was tasty but I felt that the Campari needed to come forward more.

My Facebook memories reminded me that in 2013 I created a room temperature drink called the Madame Mustache for the Whiskey Amari series night I did with Katie Emmerson. The event organizer, bartender Matt Schrage, requested a Scaffa (a room temperature drink with bitters but no dilution) for his birthday which fell on our date. Since Matt was a fan of rhum agricole, I ended up utilizing that as a base. Now seven years later, I decided to pay tribute to Matt again on his birthday with a variation on that concept although sans opportunity to serve him one. For a name, I figured that this one might hit you like a WWII armament, and I dubbed it the Schrage Muzik.
The Schrage Muzik began with orange oil, grassy funk, and hints of smoke on the nose. Next, a rich caramel sip shot into a grassy, herbaceous, and orange-apricot swallow with smoke, tea tannin, and spice elements on the finish.

Monday, February 24, 2020

music that stay on for extra days

3/4 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Jagermeister
3/4 oz Cinnamon Falernum (3/8 oz each cinnamon syrup and Velvet Falernum)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Absinthe (20 drops St. George)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint bouquet, cinnamon stick, grapefruit twist, and an orchid (grapefruit twist and a cinnamon stick).
Two Mondays ago, I turned to a Tiki drink that I had spotted in Punch Drinks called the Music that Stays on For Extra Days. The recipe was created by Paul McGee of Lost Lake in Chicago as a lower proof Zombie riff using various amaro and herbal liqueurs in place of the rums. The ingredients minus the cordials reminded me of a Jet Pilot before reading that it was inspired by the Zombie though (perhaps it was the lack of grenadine). Once prepared, the Music that Stays on For Extra Days played into grapefruit and cinnamon aromas. Next, caramel, grapefruit, and lime mingled on the sip, and the swallow continued with earthy gentian, ginger, and bitter orange flavors with a cinnamon and anise finish.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

the war on christmas

1/4 oz JM Creole Shrubb (Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
1/4 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1/2 oz Rainwater Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1 1/4 oz Brennivin Aquavit (Aalborg)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist and sage leaf (omit the sage).
Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a recipe that Paul MacDonald posted on his Instagram called The War on Christmas. The recipe is part of his Fibonacci series (each measure is the sum of the previous two) that he has delved into at Philadelphia's Friday Saturday Sunday restaurant over the last few years, and this one has a bit of a Martinez feel to it. The War on Christmas met the nose with an orange, caraway, savory, and grape bouquet. Next, grape, caramel, and orange notes on the sip added up to herbal cola and orange flavors on the swallow with a caraway finish.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

gun metal blue

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Blue Curaçao (1/2 oz Cointreau + 1 drop Blue Food Coloring)
1/4 oz Peach Liqueur (Mathilde)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Bitter Cinnamon Syrup (*) (1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup + 1/8 oz Suze)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and float an orange coin twist skin-side down. Gently fill the coin with a few drops of overproof rum (Don Q 151) and ignite.
(*) Supercall provided the recipe of 4 cinnamon sticks, 2 oz gentian root, 4 cups sugar, and 2 cups water. Break up cinnamon sticks and heat in a pot until they become aromatic. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat until the sugar has dissolved at a low simmer, and let cool.

Two Saturdays ago, I was perusing Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails and I spotted the Gun Metal Blue. According to Difford's Guide, the drink was created in 2015 by Mike Shain and Nicholas Bennett at Porchlight in New York City, and Supercall attributed their inspiration to a trip to New Orleans where the bright green Hand Grenade that is drank up and down Bourbon Street caught their attention. Since the actual Hand Grenade recipe is proprietary (and probably rather artificial these days like Pat O'Brien's Hurricane), they delved into the flavors and picked out peach and citrus notes. The rest morphed into a Mezcal Margarita of sorts.
The Gun Metal Blue met the nose with peach and orange notes along with a hint of smoke. Next, lime, orange, and orchard fruit on the sip spread into smoky mezcal and peach flavors on the swallow with a cinnamon finish.

Friday, February 21, 2020

mayan mountain mystic

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Byrrh Quinquina
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I had been thinking about Paul McGee's Rum River Mystic, and I decided to riff on that for the evening's libation. Instead of rum and rye, I utilized the mezcal and Fino sherry pairing that worked well in the Smoke in Mirrors and Texas Cakewalk. Trying to keep the alliteration and location themes going, I dubbed this one the Mayan Mountain Mystic. Once prepared, it conjured up an orange oil, smoke, and red fruit aroma. Next, white grape and cherry notes on the sip led into smoky, vegetal, cherry, chocolate, clove, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

far east cocktail

1 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (2 oz Coruba)
1 tsp Curaçao (3/8 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
3 dash Grenadine (1/8 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters (2 dash)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry (orange twist).

For a nightcap two Thursdays ago, I turned to Trader Vic's 1974 Rum Cookery & Drinkery for ideas. The Far East Cocktail intrigued me for the name reminded me of the East India Cocktail as well as the Chinese Cocktail in both name and form. Here, the drink was a rum Old Fashioned served up with the grenadine-curaçao combination that Vic utilized frequently such as in his PB2Y2, Pondo Punch, and later Zombie recipes.
The Far East Cocktail met the nose with an orange, caramel, and molasses bouquet. Next, the caramel and orange notes continued into the sip, and the swallow offered funky rum, berry, and clove flavors.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

boothby's special martini

2/3 jigger Gin (2 1/4 oz Alchemy)
1/6 jigger Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Martini Grand Lusso)
1 dash Absinthe (12 drop St. George)
1 spoon Orange Blossom Water (3 drop)
2 drop Bitters (1 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter)

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I picked up Bill Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them and came across the section with eleven Martini recipes. One that stood out was the Special Martini that opted for Italian vermouth instead of French and accented by absinthe, orange blossom water, and a hint of bitters. When I dubbed it Boothby's Special Martini, I thought about The Boothby -- the name given to Boothby's special Manhattan where he upsold a Champagne float if he thought he could part a few extra coins from the guest.
The Special Martini greeted the senses with a complex lemon oil, pine, grape, floral, anise, and spice nose. Next, a grape sip transformed into an elegant juniper, chocolate, clove, cinnamon, and anise swallow.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

earl grey angel

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Averna
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters (*)

Build in double old fashioned glass, add ice, and stir. Garnish with a spritz of 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters.
(*) Perhaps a strong two hour Earl Grey tea infusion in Angostura (or other aromatic) Bitters would work in a pinch. Or a short infusion into vodka or grain neutral spirits and later blending it 50:50 with Angostura Bitters. The 2 hour time point was taken from Audrey Saunder's Earl Grey MarTEAni recipe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I headed down to Backbar in Somerville and was lured in by their drink of the week, the Earl Grey Angel, that sounded like a delightful Black Manhattan riff. The name reflected the key aromatic accent that also entered into the swallow: 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters. If these are unavailable in your market, a short but strong infusion of said tea leaves into Angostura Bitters would work in a pinch to get those great bergamot citrus notes along with the tea black accents. In the glass, the Earl Grey Angel proffered bergamot aromas along with dark and nutty notes to the nose. Next, a grape and caramel sip descended into Bourbon, nutty, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a pleasing cinnamon and tea tannin finish.