Saturday, June 23, 2018

gold coast punch

8 oz Bacardi Ocho Rum (4 oz Don Q Añejo)
4 oz Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs)
3 oz Pineapple Juice (1 1/2 oz)
3 oz Lime Juice (1 1/2 oz)
2 oz Simple Syrup (1 oz)
2 oz Allspice Syrup (1 oz Hamilton's Allspice Dram)

Combine over ice (shake all but the sparkling wine with a few ice cubes, add the champagne, and pour into a bowl). Fill with crushed ice and garnish with lime wheels and orchids (mint sprig and honeysuckle blossoms).
Two Saturdays ago, I bought pineapple juice to make a recipe that I had spotted earlier in the week in Tom Sandham's World's Best Cocktails. That drink was Julie Reiner's Gold Coast Punch that she had created at Lani Kai in Manhattan; I was drawn to the combination for the rum, pineapple, lime, and allspice have worked well in libations like the Piñata and the Mytoi Gardens. Once prepared, the punch donated a mint and floral aroma from the garnishes over pineapple and allspice notes with hints of lime on the nose. Next, a lightly carbonated sip displayed caramel, pineapple, and lime flavors, and the swallow rounded things off with rum and allspice elements.

Friday, June 22, 2018

prize winner

2/3 Brandy (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Regan's)
1 dash Kümmel (1/4 oz Helbing)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I set out in search of a nightcap in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. There, I spotted the Prize Winner that came across like an orange spiced Cognac Old Fashioned that seemed like it might live up to its name. Once prepared, it shared a Cognac, orange oil, and caraway-cumin spiced nose that preceded a lightly orange sip. Next, the swallow gave forth brandy, orange, and caraway flavors. Over all, it was a solid tipple, but perhaps not dynamic enough to get a trophy or a ribbon.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

negroni crusta

3/4 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a narrow cocktail glass (sub narrow wine glass or small flute) rimmed with sugar, and garnish with a long wide lemon or orange twist (lemon twist) wrapped around the interior of the glass' rim.

Two Thursdays ago in the midst of Negroni Week, I began pondering what Negroni mashups that I could do. My mind set off in a Tiki direction such as I did last year for Negroni Week with the Negroni on Saturn and as I have done more recently with the Negroni Grog and the Zombie riff The Count Rides Again. Somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that a Crusta would be delightful. I had not touched the 1852 vintage structure since last summer with the Deauville Crusta. In pondering whether to make the added sweetener to balance the citrus and bitters the classic curaçao or the slightly newer Maraschino, I thought "why not both?" akin to what I did with the Bamboo Crusta years ago. While curaçao would round out the orange flavor in Campari, I have learned from drinks like the Carnivale (née the Pisco Disco) how Maraschino can soften Campari in the direction of Aperol. Lemon juice and Angostura Bitters were the additions that I went with by routine, and I did consider a wide orange swath for garnish but my orange at home has had too much peel taken off of it to make that happen. I ended up sticking with a lemon peel garnish, but orange would not be out of place here.
The Negroni Crusta greeted the nose with lemon oil over an orange and grape aroma. Next, the sip mirrored the bouquet with lemon, orange, and grape notes, but the swallow took things in a more complex direction with gin, bitter orange, and nutty Maraschino flavors and a clove and allspice finish. Overall, the citrus and liqueurs worked to make this rather gentle for a Negroni-based drink.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

tropical champagne

3/4 oz Dark Rum (1 oz Coruba)
3/4 oz Orange Juice (1 oz)
dashes Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
dashes Passion Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a Champagne flute, and fill with Champagne (~2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). I added an orange twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I recalled someone mentioning Charles Schumann's 1991 American Bar book earlier in the week and I reached for my copy. There, I was drawn to the Tropical Champagne that seemed to be a Schumann original that he dated as a 1980 creation. With dark rum and passion fruit in this sparkler, I felt that it was worth a try. Once prepared, the orange twist that I tacked on to the recipe added bright citrus aroma on top of the passion fruit nose. Next, a carbonated orange and lemon sip shared hints of passion fruit, and the swallow presented funky Jamaican rum, passion fruit, and dry white wine flavors. Overall, the drink succeeded in being both tropical and elegant.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

midnight mountain

1 1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Menthe (Tempus Fugit)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap to round off my work night. In the fortified wine section was an alluring amaro-driven number called the Midnight Mountain by Brad Farran circa 2013. The drink was centered around Amaro Nardini and seemed to build on the chocolate and mint notes that I often find in that liqueur such as in the Stigmata and the Bitter Swagger. Once prepared, the Midnight Mountain shared orange, herbal, and caramel notes to the nose. Next, grape and caramel on the sip slipped into bitter herbal, minty, and chocolate flavors on the swallow. The end result was something more akin to Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies than Fernet Branca.

Monday, June 18, 2018

lodge negroni

1 oz Scotch (7/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1/8 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed twist).

To mark the beginning of Negroni Week two Mondays ago, I turned to the recipe section of Imbibe Magazine online for their suggestions. The Lodge Negroni called out to me since Scotch has worked rather well in Negroni-like drinks like the Caustic Negroni and Bitter Nail. Moreover, coffee liqueur and Campari have proven to be an excellent pairing in drinks like the Lonnie Desoto and Coffee Negroni. Therefore, I decided to give this drink by James Grant of Edmonton's Wilfred's a whirl.
The Lodge Negroni proffered a bright orange nose over peat smoke and darker coffee aromas. Next, grape and roast on the sip gave way to smoky Scotch and bitter coffee-orange flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

vert poinçon de lait

4 Lemons & 4 Limes (or 12 Limes)
1 bottle Green Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten
1 qt Scalded Milk
1 (or 1 1/2) qt Water
1/2 pound Sugar

Peel the citrus and steep the peels in the three spirits for 6 hours or overnight. Next, juice the citrus and add it to the mixture. Heat the milk to 180°F to scald it; add it, the water, and the sugar to the mix; and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let sit 12 hours or overnight, strain, and bottle. The recipe generates around a gallon of punch and can easily be scaled back a few fold. For a more detailed protocol on Drink's milk punch production, see this post.

Two Sunday nights ago, I was prompted by a discussion of clarified milk punches on Facebook to look into my liquor shelves. One of the participants in that thread was Drink alumni Scott Marshall who commented that he had come up with a Chartreuse Milk Punch recipe that was rather good. That reminded me that I had a small bottle of said punch that he had gifted me at Tales of the Cocktail 2011. Soon after, I sent Scott a message asking for the recipe and permission to share it, and he was enthusiastic that it would be given new light. Scott sent me two recipes that varied by citrus type, amount of water, and resting times, and I merged the two here. The name provided was Vert Poinçon de Lait, or the green hole-punch (as in a ticket punch) of milk, and the punch after 7 years of resting looked rather good albeit with a layer of sediment on the bottom. For a more detailed protocol, see the link above that leads to Drink's Rum-Hibiscus Milk Punch recipe instructions.
The bottled-aged Vert Poinçon de Lait when served at room temperature greeted the nose with a citrus notes and green herbal aroma that was oregano-like as its dominant aspect. Next, a syrupy smooth but not sweet sip shared some lime accents, and the swallow was a gentle medley of Batavia Arrack and herbal flavors. Overall, the nose was more reminiscent of Green Chartreuse while the flavor itself was more akin to Yellow Chartreuse.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

agricole daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Jamaican Pot Still Rum (Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Martinique Petite Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lime (floated lime wheel).
Two Saturday nights ago, I ventured into Shanna Farrell's Bay Area Cocktails book and came across the Agricole Daiquiri by John Fragola of Beretta in San Francisco. Since a Daiquiri Time Out seemed appropriate, I got out my two rums, my cane syrup, and a lime for juicing and set to work. Once mixed, the Agricole Daiquiri donated a grassy nose brightened by lime aromas. Next, the lime continued on into the sip where it was balanced by the cane syrup, and the swallow gave forth grassy and funky flavors. Overall, it was bold with a lot of character all while still being rather approachable.

Friday, June 15, 2018


1/2 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
2 dash Crème Yvette (1/4 oz)
2 dash Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Friday nights ago, I had just closed up the bar and needed to get some sleep before I opened the bar for brunch the next day. However, I felt the need to pamper myself with a drink, so I compromised and took a low proof approach that would not muck with my sleep quality as greatly. For a selection, I opted for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Victor. The Victor had the curious combination of Crème Yvette and Amer Picon that I recalled working well in the Manhattan riff the La Salle from the same book, and the presence of pineapple juice could do no harm in this sherry cocktail.
The Victor offered a bright floral and berry nose with darker undertones from perhaps the sherry and Picon. Next, grape and pineapple mingled on the sip, and the swallow gave forth nutty grape and floral flavors with a tropical bitter orange finish.