Sunday, October 21, 2018

amped-up pimm's cup

1 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 oz Beefeater Gin
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
3 leaf Mint
1 Strawberry
1 slice Cucumber

Muddle the mint, strawberry, and cucumber in a shaker tin. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and double strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with 2 oz ginger beer (Reed's) and garnish with a cucumber slice, lemon wheel, mint sprig, and half a strawberry.

Two Sundays ago after having a large dinner at Vee Vee, I sought out a ginger beer drink to settle the stomach. My search led me to Carey Jones' Brooklyn Bartender where there was a ginger beer variation in the Pimm's Cup section (where I found the Wire + String) called the Amped-Up Pimm's Cup; despite Jones attributing the rest of the drinks to individual bars and bartenders across Brooklyn, this one lacked any information so perhaps it was the author's contribution to the borough's tapestry. I was also excited that the recipe would provide a fourth use of my strawberry purchase.
The Amped-Up Pimm's Cup donated strawberry, cucumber, and mint notes to the nose. Next, a carbonated berry sip slid into gin, ginger, cucumber, and mint flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

smoke & mirrors

1 1/2 oz Dorothy Parker Gin (Tanqueray)
1/2 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed).
Two Saturdays ago, I was in the mood for a nightcap, so I sought out Sother Teague's I'm Just Here for the Drinks book. There, I spotted the Smoke & Mirrors which seemed like an interesting Martini riff or perhaps a Martini meets a Rob Roy cocktail; since the name sounded familiar, I had to check but it was not either of the two with that same name for they were both mezcal drinks. Once mixed, Sother's Smoke & Mirrors met the nose with orange oil over peat smoke aromas. Next, a semi-dry red grape sip gave way to pine, smokiness, and nutty flavors on the swallow. Indeed, the cocktail had a delightful savory aspect to it from perhaps the Scotch, vermouth, and sherry that Andrea commented that it "tastes [a little] like olive juice."

Friday, October 19, 2018


1 1/2 oz White Rum (Privateer Tres Aromatique)
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)
1 Strawberry

Muddle the strawberry in a shaker tin. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass (Tiki sea shell mug), and fill with ice (crushed ice). Garnish with an orange wheel and strawberry (orange peel, strawberry, mint sprig).

In looking for a third recipe that called for strawberry to round out the cocktail hat trick, I came across a drink in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 that took things in a Tiki direction. That one was the Louanalao by Richard Boccato then of New York City's Weather Up Tribecca, and perhaps this one was created during his time at Painkiller (a/k/a PKNY) before that. I was drawn to the recipe (besides the strawberry paired with Campari part) for it combined allspice dram and Campari which worked rather well in the Chester Rapkin, King Slayer, and other drinks.
Once prepared, the strawberry from the drink and the garnish filled the nose, and the sip led into the strawberry balanced by lime notes. Next, the swallow shared funky rum, berry, bitter orange, and allspice flavors.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

kentucky buck

2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 medium Strawberry
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Muddle the strawberry, add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and double strain into a Collins glass (copper mug) with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer (2 oz Reed's) and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Since I had bought strawberries to make the Andalusian Fog Cutter, I decided to make a recipe by Erick Castro called the Kentucky Buck that he created at San Francisco's Rickhouse in 2009. While some of the recipes I found called for ginger syrup and soda water, I utilized the one from Imbibe Magazine which specified ginger beer. Once prepared, the Kentucky Buck welcomed the senses with lemon, strawberry, and ginger aromas. Next, a carbonated lemon and berry sip slid into Bourbon, strawberry, and ginger notes on the swallow. While most people who have asked me for a Kentucky Buck at work wanted something closer to a Moscow Mule (I usually push them towards lemon over lime since it pairs more elegantly with American whiskey), the strawberry and bitters definitely provide a great summery feel and depth of flavor to the mix.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

andalusian fog cutter

1 oz Lustau Brandy (Camus VS Cognac)
1 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
1 oz London Dry Gin (Tanqueray)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Strawberry Syrup (1 Strawberry + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup, muddled)
1/4 oz Orgeat

Whip shake (I added a fine strain step to remove the muddled strawberry), pour into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime shell/orange peel sailboat.
Two Wednesdays ago, I continued on with my recipe findings from the Lustau competitions, and I selected another recipe from Jason Saura of Seattle's Navy Strength after enjoying his 2018 entry called the Cutlass. His 2017 drink was a Spanish riff on the Fog Cutter that he dubbed the Andalusian Fog Cutter. Once prepared, the Tiki libation proffered a strawberry and mint bouquet to the nose. Next, lime and orange notes complemented the strawberry on the sip, and the swallow donated gin and nutty sherry and orgeat flavors with a strawberry finish.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

christopher moody

1 oz Dark (or Aged) Rum (Plantation Original Dark)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Pear Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 light dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I uncovered a ShakeStir competition entry that I had submitted in October 2014 but never had time to make called the Christopher Moody. The contest was rather seasonal for my description was, "Who wouldn't want to be a pirate for Halloween? And drink rum like a pirate? This dark rum and pear-tinged riff on the Scofflaw pays dark tribute to one of the scallywags of the High Seas." My original spec called for Zacapa 23 Rum and St. George Spiced Pear, but here I utilized Plantation Dark and Rothman & Winter Pear Liqueur perhaps yielding a bit less depth of flavor.
The Christopher Moody greeted the senses with lemon oil brightening the dark rum nose. Next, the lemon mingled with the rum's caramel on the sip, and the swallow offered rum, pear, and clove spice notes to round out this Autumnal Sour.

Monday, October 15, 2018

must be nice

1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1 oz Appleton Estate 12 Year Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 oz Fassionola or Grenadine (Grenadine)

Whip shake, pour into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with pineapple leaves, pineapple crescent, lime wheel, cherry, and toy gold coins (mint sprigs and nasturtium flower).
Two Mondays ago, I was desiring a tropical drink to escape the cold drizzle that was rolling over our fair town. Therefore, I decided upon the Must Be Nice created by Kevin Beary at Chicago's Three Dots and a Dash; I had spotted the recipe in the Lustau 2017 competition archives, and it seemed worthy of braving the rain to gather garnishes. Once prepared, my choice of garnish gave forth a mint and peppery floral nose over the drink's cinnamon and grape aromas. Next, grape, lime, and pineapple combined for a fruity sip, and the swallow presented rum, smoky mezcal, and nutty grape with a pineapple and cinnamon finish. Overall, I was impressed at how well the Amontillado, mezcal, and cinnamon trio played out to provide complementary flavors and offer the drink a solid backbone.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

second line season

2 oz Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp Amaro Montenegro (1/3 oz)
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur (1/6 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Boker's Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)

Shake with ice, strain into a wine glass half rimmed with sugar, fill with pebbled (crushed) ice, and garnish with 3-4 dried (fresh) apple slices and freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Sundays ago, I went shopping for an apple to properly garnish a cocktail that I had spotted in Punch Drinks called the Second Line Season. The recipe was created by Nick Detrich and Chris Hannah as they prepare to open the Jewel of the South in New Orleans. The original Jewel of the South was the bar at the New Orleans City Exchange on Gravier Street in the American Quarter (just west of the French Quarter) where Joseph Santini invented the Brandy Crusta circa 1852. The new Jewel of the South will be on St. Louis Street near N. Rampart Street in the French Quarter with an eye on preserving bits of history such as this tribute to the Crusta akin to how Detrich and associates Bellocq paid respect to the Cobbler at Bellocq.
The Second Line Season offered up apples accented by woody spice on the nose. Next, the apple continued on into the crisp sip along with lemon notes, and the swallow followed up with more apple, nutty Maraschino, orange, and spice on the swallow.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

parisian sour

2 oz Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac (Camus VS)
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cane Syrup (Simple Syrup)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with chocolate bitters (Bittermens Molé).
After getting back from a bar shift two Saturdays ago, I wanted to treat myself to a cocktail, so I reached for Sother Teague's I'm Just Here for the the Drinks book. There, I was lured in by the Pisco Sour riff, the Parisian Sour, that subbed in overproof Cognac and blanc vermouth for the pisco. Since I lacked strong Cognac, I opted for a sturdy 80 proof one and balanced that by toning down the sugar content by using simple syrup instead of cane syrup (cane syrup is closer to 2:1 simple). In the glass, the Parisian Sour presented a chocolate and Cognac bouquet in an earthy way. Next, a creamy lemon sip slid into a Cognac and floral-herbal swallow.