Friday, April 30, 2010

battle of trafalgar

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the drink and discard.

On Sunday night, I made my way over to Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square. Andrea had spoken highly of it when she went to the soft opening a few weeks ago, and the leftover veggie pizza that she returned home with backed up her story. The restaurant is spread out over two floors with a bar on each. I wandered down the stairs to the U-shaped bar where head bartender and Drink-alum Aaron Butler was behind the stick. The cocktail I started with was the Battle of Trafalgar; when I asked Aaron why he named the drink that, he replied that he was an English history major in college. Perhaps it was the Pimm's that made Aaron think of England and the lime that made him think of their Navy; regardless, it was a battle of some rather intriguing flavors in the drink's ingredients list.
The Battle of Trafalgar started off with a vibrant orange oil nose, and the sip was crisp and spicy from the St. Germain and lime juice. The Batavia Arrack appeared on the swallow with a pleasant lingering of Pimm's notes. It was interesting how the drink seemed sweeter on the swallow instead of on the sip as the honey coincided with the Pimm's flavors on the aftertaste. The recipe that Aaron provided me above was for a 3 1/2 oz drink he developed for the menu using solely 1 oz of Pimm's, and not the 4 oz drink that they now serve. In the adjustments made in the scale up, the drink changed a little and ended up a tad sweeter.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

moroccan old fashioned

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/4 oz Berber Syrup (* see below)
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 Orange Peels

Muddle an orange peel with rye, syrup, and bitters in a rocks glass. Add ice and garnish with a fresh orange peel twist and straws.

On Saturday, I spent the day in Nashua, New Hampshire, so for dinner, I made the trek up to Manchester to visit the Republic Cafe for dinner. Sean Frederick was not behind the bar but working the floor that night, and he recommended that I try the Moroccan Old Fashioned. Sean mentioned that the drink uses a syrup that they use in the flavored coffee they serve in the morning (3 oz coffee, 1 oz cream, 1 oz syrup) and that it worked surprisingly well with rye whiskey. On the menu, the drink had the caption, "American spirit tempered by sweet Berber spice" and it seemed like the perfect drink to go with my vegetable tangine.
The Old Fashioned's nose was filled with fresh orange oils. The sip was a spicy rye flavor with an even spicier swallow; indeed, there were two distinct waves of spice. The spices that stood out the most were the cardamom and allspice. As the ice melted and the drink diluted, the orange notes from the bitters and muddled peel came to the forefront. Sean later provided me with the recipe and mentioned that he wanted to experiment with adding coriander, chili, and peppercorns to the mix to more authentically represent the Berber spice palate. However, I did not feel shorted in the least by this version for it was quite flavorful and matched their kitchen's spices well.
Berber Syrup
2 Whole Star Anise Pods
1 1/2 Cinnamon Sticks (3 inch), coarsely cracked
2 rounded barspoon decorticated Cardamom Seeds
2 Black Cardamom Pods
20 Cloves
16 Allspice Berries, cracked
2 cup Sugar
2 cup Water
Combine all spices in medium saucepan, and toast over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and sugar, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow ingredients to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight. Finely strain spices from mixture and keep syrup refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

kroni berry flip

1 1/2 oz Old Monk Rum
3/4 oz Crème de Cassis
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 Egg

Shake one round without ice and one round with. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with five drops of Angostura Bitters.

For Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum, the theme was "Dark Rum," but the bottle that called out to me for inspiration was not a rum, but a liqueur -- Crème de Cassis. Something about its dark, rich berry flavor made me think that it would pair up nicely with a dark rum. When I started thinking about what other drinks I have had recently with this liqueur, the Diablo came to mind, and I wondered what a dark rum, Crème de Cassis, and lime combination would taste like. Perhaps influenced by the Farewell Flip from the night before, I decided to go the egg route.
My drink was done but it lacked a name. Trying to come up with something that played off the Diablo's devil name, I searched for Indian devils since I chose Old Monk Rum as my base spirit. Kroni, the primordial manifestation of evil, stood out, and the Kroni Berry Flip it became. The flip had a spicy nose from the Angostura Bitters garnish which was complemented by lime and berry aromas. The sip was full of crisp lime that was balanced by the rich currant and dark rum flavors.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

farewell flip

1 1/6 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Heavy Cream
1/3 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 tsp Simple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg Yolk

Shake once without ice and once with; strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Dust with grated nutmeg and cherry chocolate flakes (substituted grated 70% chocolate).
For our after dinner cocktail, we started flipping through Beachbum Berry's Remixed which Andrea had just bought at the Boston Shaker that night. The one that seemed to fit both of our moods was the Farewell Flip which was rather suiting since Andrea was departing the next day to visit her family out in Indiana. The Farewell Flip was created by Ladislav Piljar, the bar manager at Mark's Bar at Hix Restaurant in London. Given its British origin, the ingredients were listed in milliliters which I translated above into ounces and teaspoons. The grated chocolate and nutmeg as a garnish paid off wonderfully on the nose. Moreover, vanilla rum flavors filled the sip with cherry on the swallow that was bolstered by the grape notes of the Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. The Farewell Flip had a very thick mouthfeel from the cream and the egg yolk which helped to transform it into a delightful dessert. While the El Dorado 12 Year Rum is a rather amazing specimen, given this rich and complex recipe, one could probably get away with using a less expensive rum (like Lemon Hart 80) without sacrificing much on quality.

bloodhound cocktail

6 Raspberries
1/2 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
2/3 oz Dry Gin (North Shore No. 6)
2/3 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)

Muddle raspberries, add ice and rest of ingredients, shake, and double strain (to remove pips) into a cocktail glass. Alternatively, letting the ice cubes muddle the raspberries during the shake is an option.
On Wednesday evening before dinner, it was time for an aperitif cocktail. I began flipping through Robert Vermeire's Cocktails and How to Mix Them, and there I found the Bloodhound Cocktail which seemed like it would be a good reason to open our new bottle of Carpano Antica vermouth. It seems that many Bloodhound Cocktail recipes use strawberries; however, we followed Vermeire's recommendation with rather good success. After shaking the drink, the aroma was full of gin notes, but once the drink was poured, sweet vermouth and raspberries dominated the nose. The drink was rather sweet and fruity on the sip with gin flavors on the swallow. There was also a rather pleasant lingering raspberry flavor which reminded Andrea of "a very tasty version of cough medicine." Not sure I would associate such an enjoyable beverage with medication, but it was definitely more colorful than my description of it. Or perhaps I was just given the wrong cough syrup growing up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

rubicon

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XLVIII) is "Pain in the Ass Drinks" as picked by Seattle bartender Mike McSorley who runs the McSology blog. Mike described his chosen theme as, "document your (least) favorite drink that is the proverbial thorn in your side. It can be virtually anything stylistically- The point here is to have fun and share that little ticket item that throws you off your cleaning game 10 minutes before last call!"

This theme itself was a pain in the ass, for I was stumped as to what to make for it. While I know that Tiki drinks can be a major pain to make between the dozen different ingredients and the sometimes rather festive and ornate garnishes, I wanted to take a different route. Furthermore, the Ramos Gin Fizz with its multi-minute recommended shake did pop into my head, but I had already written about it here and created a playful variation of it as well. I also thought of a multi-leveled Pousse-Café, but after the last one, the effort did not seem worth the reward. Therefore, I asked bartender Sam Treadway for a suggestion when we were at Drink last Monday. The drink he suggest, the Rubicon, most certainly fit the bill.
Rubicon
• 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1 Rosemary Sprig
Curl sprig in a rocks glass and light Chartreuse on fire.
• 2 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
• 1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass to extinguish the flame. Top with crushed ice, and (optional) garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.
The Rubicon was created by Jamie Boudreau as he was toying with various aspects of molecular mixology. Jamie described the drink's name as, "The rosemary curled in the glass reminded me of Caesar's laurels and therefore I've named this libation after the famous river Caesar crossed in 49 BC after uttering the now famous words: ‘Let us go where the omens of the Gods and the crimes of our enemies summon us! THE DIE IS NOW CAST!’ It is with this action that the Roman Empire began, and western civilization as we know it."
While Rome was not built in a day, this drink was; however, it took a few fold longer to mix than an average drink. The drink began with me shopping for fresh rosemary to make the drink. The extra shopping step was the first of the pain in the ass aspects with the other being the fire step (and a paranoia that my rocks glasses would crack from the heat), the shaking step (standard, but with the added pressure to get it ready to extinguish the Chartreuse at the right time), and the crushed ice step.
Sam had originally described the drink as an Aviation on top of Chartreuse and rosemary, but the end product was pretty distant and more akin to a Last Word. The Rubicon started with an herbal burst of rosemary and green Chartreuse on the nose. The sip had a bitter lemon flavor with rosemary and Maraschino on the swallow. The rosemary made the drink more bitter than even the Last Word, and it worked well to bring out the juniper notes in the gin. The drink made me think of Christmas and Christmas trees (in a good way) as well as the Rosemary's Baby we had last summer.

In the end, the Rubicon was not that big of a pain in the ass after all, but time was on my side as I was not swamped with drink orders at that moment. And watching the rosemary and Chartreuse burn did make it all worthwhile not to mention the joy of actually drinking it myself.

Cheers to Mike for hosting and picking this month's theme and to Paul Clarke for being the wizard behind the MxMo curtain!

keep the doctor away

1 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1 oz Laird's 7 1/2 Year Apple Brandy
1 oz Aperol
1/6 Gala Apple

Slice up apple wedge into a dozen pieces. Add rest of ingredients and shake hard with ice to muddle up the apple. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an apple slice.

For my last cocktail at Drink on Monday night, bartender Sam Treadway mentioned that he had come up with a variation of Hungry Mother's No. 47. Besides switching the whiskey from Bourbon to rye, Sam upped the apple quotient not only by swapping the Laird's Applejack (at 35% apple:65% grain neutral spirit) for the more intense Laird's 7 1/2 Year Apple Brandy but by adding muddled apple to the drink. Sam dubbed his variation "Keep the Doctor Away," although given the amount of raw apple in the drink, you might want to drink more than one of these per diem to have the math work out. Doctor's orders.
The Keep the Doctor Away's nose started with a sharp apple smell coupled with rye's spicy aroma. On the sip, the drink reminded me of a candied apple (although not as sweet) with rye and Aperol adding a nice spice level on the swallow. The rye and Aperol complemented the apple flavors quite well, and as the drink warmed up, it became sweeter to my palate and more rye heavy.

don's little bitter

1/8 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/8 oz Angostura Orange Bitters
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum

Shake with ice and double strain into a coupe glass.

For my second cocktail at Drink on Monday night, bartender Sam Treadway lured me into having Don's Little Bitter by describing its bitter-laden recipe. Sam was originally served this drink after he had a big dinner at Sportello. When he went downstairs to Drink, he asked guest bartender Don Lee for something to help settle his stomach after his feast. Don Lee at the time was working at P.D.T (and now Momofuko Ssam Bar) in Manhattan, and I do not recall if his visit was a simple one way transaction or a bartender exchange like Eastern Standard's Kevin Martin did with P.D.T.'s Daniel Eun around a year and a half ago.

The drink Don Lee made for Sam had a walloping dose of three "nonpotable" bitters -- Angostura, Orange, and Peychaud's bitters -- and a sizable amount of a potable one -- Fernet Branca. One recipe I have seen online lists the nonpotable bitters as double what I was served (1/4 oz Peychaud's, 1/4 oz Orange, 1/2 oz Angustura), and my guess would be that the recipe was trimmed down to fit to Drink's standard 3 oz pre-ice melt volume. To round out the drink were the ingredients to a basic Rum Sour: Barbancourt rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
The drink ended up a magnificent deep red color mainly from the Angostura Bitters with additional help from the Peychaud's and Fernet Branca; I place a higher degree of blame on the Angostura Bitters as the hue reminded me a lot of the Trinidad Sour that Ben Sandrof made me. While I got a cherry-lemon nose on the Don's Little Bitter, Andrea perceived an "orangy spice... [that] smells like hippy tea." The sip proved to be the delicious bittered and tannic Sour as expected with a clove-like note and Fernet Branca flavors on the swallow. Just like Andrea's description of the nose, the drink was filled with orange and spice flavors from the orange bitters mixing with the other ingredients.

Friday, April 23, 2010

chee hoo fizz

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
4 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a highball glass and top with soda water. Rinse shaker with extra soda and strain on top to add more foam. Garnish with a wide lime twist and a straw.

On Monday night, Andrea and I ventured down to Drink and found seats at the center bar in front of bartender Sam Treadway. Even though we were a day late for Tiki Sunday, Sam was still game to make us Tiki drinks. While Andrea went with a Jungle Bird, Sam tempted me with another creation by Randy Wong, a local Tiki drink and music fanatic. Several months ago towards the end of Drink's last Tiki Sunday run, I had Randy's Helen the Pacific. This new one was entitled the Chee Hoo Fizz, and Sam sold it by describing it as a Cognac-based Tiki version of a Ramos Fizz.

When I inquired as to what "Chee Hoo" meant, John Gertsen chimed in and explained that it is what kids in the street would yell out in Hawai'i for something that was amazing and out of the world. Perhaps Randy had the Mai Tai in mind when he named it as that drink is named after the Tahitian word "Maita'i" meaning out-of-this-world good. And indeed, the Chee Hoo Fizz was extraordinary. A vibrant lime oil nose from the wide swath of lime peel on top of the drink led into a smooth and citrussy sip. The swallow was crisp and spiced with a lingering orgeat flavor. The egg white, beside adding a luxurious foam to the drink and thicker mouth feel to the sip, mellowed out the flavors much like it does in the Ramos Gin Fizz. Moreover, the egg-derived white foam head created a stunning contrast with the Peychaud's bitters-stained drink below. As the Chee Hoo Fizz warmed up, the falernum clove and allspice flavors became less hidden by the egg white and were much more pronounced in the flavor profile.

2 to 2

1 1/2 oz Aperol
1 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

For our second drink on Sunday night, I selected the 2 to 2 from the Rogue Cocktail Book. The drink was created by Violet Hour's Stephen Cole and works as a companion drink to the Broken Shoe Shiner in theme. The drink is another reference to Jean Lanfray whose murderous acts were blamed on absinthe consumption instead of just plain drunkenness. The name makes reference to how Lanfray was said to have been drunk from 2pm to 2am daily.
The combination of Aperol and absinthe's louching in the 2 to 2 produced an intriguing cloudy peachy orange color, and the drink's nose was dominated by the orange oils from the twist and the anise from the absinthe. The 2 to 2 was a bit more stripped down than the Broken Shoe Shiner as it lacks pineapple juice, Benedictine liqueur, and egg white, so the interplay with the absinthe, Aperol, and lemon juice was much more pronounced. The Aperol and simple syrup did a good job balancing the the absinthe and lemon, and the fruity orange flavors from the bitters and Aperol were rather pleasant on the swallow and accompanied absinthe's anise notes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

lalla rookh fizz

Juice of 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 barspoon Sugar
1/2 oz Vanilla (Navan)
1/2 oz Brandy (Château de Plassons VSOP Cognac)
1/2 oz Jamaican Rum (1:1 Smith & Cross:Appleton 12 Year)
1 barspoon Cream

Stir sugar with lime juice until dissolved. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, strain, and fill with soda water (~2 oz).

Sunday night, after shopping for vintage glassware at Felton Antiques (particularly the downstairs) and at a thrift store on Moody Street in Waltham, MA, it was time to put some of our plunder to good use! For a drink to fill our 74 cent highballs, I picked the Lalla Rookh Fizz from Jacques Straub's 1914 book Drinks. The name Lalla Rookh translates to "tulip cheeked" in Persian and is used in an endearing way; moreover, the drink may be a tribute to the work penned by Thomas Moore in the 19th century. One of the ingredients in the recipe was listed as "vanilla" which was probably short for "crème de vanille". Our bottle of Navan that we were sent as a sample seemed like a decent substitute as it is a vanilla-flavored Cognac-based liqueur. For a Jamaican rum, we could not decide whether we should go robust and funky with the Smith & Cross or go dark and rich with the aged Appleton, so we added a half portion of each. Moreover, I was unsure of how much soda water to add and I feared diluting the drink down too much, so I did a portion equal to the unshaken volume instead of filling the glass.
The Lalla Rookh Fizz had a rum funk and vanilla nose from the Smith & Cross and Navan, respectively. The sip was limey and rummy with a pleasant vanilla aftertaste. The cream added an opaqueness and perhaps tamed the flavors and spread out the finish. The drink was a lot sharper than a Ramos Gin Fizz, but it was still very refreshing. Perhaps this extra sharpness is why the drink screamed out to me that it needed an egg or egg white in the mix akin to the Ramos.

christmas goose

2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my third drink at the Bols Genever event last Thursday at the Franklin Southie, I ordered Franklin bartender Peter Cipriani's offering, the Christmas Goose. The drink started with a malty smell and I was quite surprised at how the drink was not too sweet given the other ingredients. The flavor was full of Christmas spice with berry notes on the sip, and herbal notes from the bitters, Benedictine, and Genever on the swallow. Despite the name, it is a drink that would work for any season.
Pictured behind my Christmas Goose cocktail is a bowl filled with the punch created by LUPEC Boston's own Pink Lady. In theory, the recipe reminded me a lot of a Hemingway Daiquiri, but my cup was a bit more intense than I remember Papa's Daiquiri recipe tasting. I did not have a chance to ask Ms. Pink Lady whether she modeled the recipe after the strawberry-flavored non-boozy Princess Punch that is often served at children's birthday parties.
La Principessa Punch
• 1 liter Bols Genever
• 2 cup Lime Juice
• 2 cup Grapefruit Juice
• 1 1/4 cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
• 1 bag Frozen Strawberries
Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl. Add ice ring to chill.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the one-armed french hooker

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz St. Germain
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Float prosecco (~1 oz) on top.
For our second round at the Franklin Southie's Bols Genever event on Thursday, both Andrea and I were drawn to the same cocktail. Entitled "Lady of the Night," it had the subtitle of "The One-Armed French Hooker." The latter name was the one that the drink's creator, Emma Hollander of Trina's Starlite Lounge, wanted to call it before it got semi-censored; moreover, the crowd that night definitely was drawn to ordering the drink by its more colorful name. The One-Armed French Hooker was an attractive pink color from the Peychaud's bitters, and the nose was strongly influenced by the St. Germain elderflower liqueur. The drink was crisp from the bubbles, and the sip contained St. Germain flavors followed by grapefruit. The malty Genever appeared on the swallow, and there was a lingering grapefruit and Peychaud's bitters signature at the end. Any time there is a pairing of St. Germain and grapefruit juice, the drink is almost guaranteed to be a success; one example that comes to mind is the Genever Horse's Neck that John Gertsen made for me a while back. Whatever the reason, Emma's drink did not disappoint, and she explained its popularity as, "[why of course], everyone loves a one-armed French hooker!"

zeeland

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Thursday, we headed down to the Franklin Southie for their Bols Genever night. For this event, bar manager Joy Richard asked us a few weeks ago if we wanted to submit a Genever recipe and we gladly accepted the challenge. I say challenge because Genever is not the easiest spirit to mix with for it can easily be overwhelmed. Not that the drinks lack deliciousness when mixed like that, but a lot of the beauty in the spirit can be lost (and Genever is mighty tasty drank neat). After a round or two of failed tinkering, I decided to adapt a whiskey drink into a Genever drink, and for a starting point I used the Scofflaw. I cannot remember now which Scofflaw version I used -- the grenadine or the Chartreuse one -- but the format of spirit, aromatized wine, citrus, and sweetener morphed into a Genever, Lillet, lime juice, and apricot liqueur recipe. The end result turned out to be rather similar to a rum-based recipe, the Culross Cocktail variation. For a name, I wanted to pay tribute to a Dutch scofflaw like Bruinsma, but Andrea found the idea of naming it after a criminal or mafioso a little too dark. Instead, I named it after after a province in the Netherlands which had a quirky name -- Zeeland. Not quirky when it translates into Sealand, but strange in terms of A-to-Z-land or in the inevitable similarities to Zoolander.
The drink seemed to be a success at the event given the positive feedback and my overhearing people recommending it to their friends. Joy Richard made me my Zeeland that night and it started with a malty nose. The sip was full of a dry citrus and apricot flavor with Genever botanicals and lime on the swallow. Andrea commented that it was a dry drink that would be perfect for a Martini lover, and Ben Sandrof likened it to a Periodista on a light note.

For Andrea's first drink, she chose the Cravat created by Brayden C. Burroughs, Esq., and I was lucky enough to score a taste:
The Cravat
• 2 oz Bols Genever
• 1/2 oz Luxardo Amaretto
• 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 2 dash Angostura Bitters
• 1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.
The Cravat was surprisingly dry which is an attribute I rarely associate with amaretto cocktails. It contained a delicate amaretto flavor with a decent bitters signature on the finish. One of the most notable flavor observations about the recipe was how well the amaretto complemented the malt flavors in the Genever.

Monday, April 19, 2010

leave it to me

1 2/3 oz Old Tom Gin (Hayman's)
1/3 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/3 oz Raspberry Syrup (Homemade)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Powdered Sugar

Stir sugar with lemon juice until dissolved. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

On Wednesday evening, I was flipping through my English translated copy of Bariana: A Practical Compendium of All American and British Drinks, a French cocktail book written in 1896. The book had sat on my shelf for a bit due to frustration that many of the recipes call for Crème de Noyaux which was added dash-wise along with bitters. Crème de Noyaux was a once prevalent liqueur made from the stone kernels of apricots and sometimes peach and cherry; however, with the fears of the cyanide produced from its digestion (specifically the amygdalin molecules), the product has disappeared from the American market (save for artificially flavored versions). Or perhaps it was due to recipes like the Pink Squirrel falling out favor around the same time.

Having gotten over that frustration (sans receiving authentic liqueur from France) or at least enough to proceed, I decided to make the Leave it to Me cocktail which lacks this semi-lost spirit in the ingredients list. The name probably stemmed from the answer to the conversation, "What are you having?" "I don't know.", especially since the I Don't Know (also known as I.D.K.) cocktail name was spoken for. The Leave it to Me falls in the Daisy camp along with the 1933 Cosmopolitan, the Margarita, and the Gin Daisy. Daisies are essential Sours with the sugar or simple syrup portion swapped for a sweet liqueur (including orange liqueurs and yellow Chartreuse) or fruit syrup (like grenadine); often times Daisies are served as tall drinks with the addition of soda water.
The Leave it to Me turned out a beautiful cloudy watermelon color from the raspberry syrup and lemon juice components. The drink had a fruity tartness at the beginning of the sip with a Maraschino liqueur bitterness accompanying the gin's botanicals at the swallow. The transfer from tart to bitter from the lemon and Maraschino, respectively, was rather intriguing. The annotation for the drink mentions how "raspberry and Maraschino is a very well-known combination, and it works beautiful as a Sour with Old Tom Gin." This pairing was more obvious as the drink warmed up and the raspberry notes came more to the forefront.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

port antonio

1 oz Gold Rum (Lemon Hart 80)
1 oz Dark Rum (Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlúa)
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

After hearing that the Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum's chatroom on the 29th would be Kahlúa-sponsored, I searched CocktailDB for Kahlua drinks and found the Port Antonio. I was able to track it down to Stan Jones' book, and I was lured into the drink by the combination of coffee and lime that has worked so well recently in the Zambito. That and the fact that the drink is very tiki in nature with parallels to the Mai Tai recipe. So on Tuesday night, I mixed up a pair of Port Antonios for Andrea and me.
The Port Antonio started with Kahlúa and lime aromas. On the sip was a slightly tart coffee syrup sort of flavor with falernum spices on the swallow. I believe that our drink was less balanced than it should have been since our lime that night was a little sharper than average. The rums, especially the darker one, mingled rather well with the coffee notes, and again the coffee-lime pairing worked splendidly.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

copley lady

2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye
1/2 oz Barbeito Bual Madeira Boston Special Reserve
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1 dash Fee's Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

For my second drink at Eastern Standard, I asked bartender Josh Taylor if he had anything that he had been tinkering with, and he replied that he had one with Madeira! And not just one with Madeira, but one that used a rather delicious one - Barbeito Bual Madeira Boston Special Reserve - that he let us taste. The spirit was sharp and raisiny and Andrea commented that it was "sweet and tangy" and a definite step up in quality and smoothness from our Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira at home.
The drink Josh proposed had rye paired with Madeira with some amaro and chocolate bitters to round out the drink. The Madeira beautifully brought out the malt notes in the rye, and the chocolate bitters and Amaro Nonino provided a pleasing bitter complexity on the swallow. Overall, the drink was kind of dry and rather delightful.

The drink lacked a name so we came up with two suggestions given the whiskey and Madeira pairing. The first was based on the Boston Flip which appears in the 1934 Boothby World Drinks And How To Mix Them (there are a few other old drinks with Boston in the name that contain Madeira like the Boston Egg Nog), and thus we came up with the Boston Clipper which also shares the nautical aspect of Madeira:
Boston Flip
• 1 oz Whiskey
• 1 oz Madeira
• 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
• 1/2 Egg Yolk
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Grate nutmeg over drink.
And the second was based on the Creole Lady which we had first spotted on the LUPEC website and made at home a few years ago. Since then, I have found the recipe in Stan Jones, and the earliest reference I have spotted was in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book in the supplementary list of cocktail names (sans recipe). The name we derived from this drink was the Copley Lady after near by Copley Square:
Creole Lady Cocktail
• 1 1/4 oz Rye (or Bourbon)
• 1 1/4 oz Madeira
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a green and a red cherry.
The dual cherry garnish screams out the Stan Jones' 1970's influence, and I would love to find the original recipe for it. After emailing Josh with our two suggestions, Josh approved of the Copley Lady and thanked us for alleviating the burden of naming the drink.

casablanca

2 oz Medjool Date-infused Gentleman Jack
1/2 oz S. Maria al Monte Amaro
1/2 oz Rock Candy Syrup
1 dash Ginger Bitters (Housemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

After my DJ gig on Monday night, Andrea and I walked over to Eastern Standard to get dinner and drinks. For my first cocktail, I asked bartender Josh Taylor for the Casablanca off of the infusion section of the menu. "A thousand and one pleasures to be yours" was the subtitle underneath the drink name, and Josh more aptly described the drink as a Toronto variation. The menu listed both dates and vanilla flavors; however, the vanilla was not in the whiskey but in the housemade rock candy syrup. When I inquired about the ginger bitters, Josh replied that they were his creation and were a result of needing to use an excess of ginger purchased for an event last year.

The Casablanca started with a whiskey, ginger, and herbal nose. The dates provided a richness that mellowed the whiskey, and the drink was minty and slightly spicy on the swallow. The S. Maria al Monte proved to be more gentle in this drink than the Fernet Branca in the Toronto.

Friday, April 16, 2010

[posta aerea ]

1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne and add a lemon twist.

For my last drink at Craigie on Main on Sunday night, I asked bartender Paul to make a drink that would complement the cheese plate we had just ordered. What would best sum up his drink is an Italian amaro variation of the classic Air Mail. Here, he used Campari and lemon juice in place of the rum and lime juice while keeping the honey syrup and sparkling wine ingredients intact. The Campari donated a vibrant red hue to the drink and the lemon twist added an equally vibrant nose. The Campari, lemon, and sparkling wine provided a pleasant sharpness that worked well with the cheeses. These sharp notes were partially balanced by the honey syrup which added both a rich mouthfeel and a degree of sweetness to the mix.

perfect hand

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Aperol
1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Dolin Dry
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
For my second drink at Craigie on Main, bartender Ted Gallagher suggested a variation on Milk and Honey and Little Branch's Left Hand that he created. Here, Ted swapped one malty spirit (Bourbon) for another (Genever); in addition, the variation split the sweet vermouth in the Left Hand into the classical "perfect" half dry and half sweet vermouth, and the sharper Campari was exchanged for the lighter Aperol amaro. The Perfect Hand led off with an orange peel and malty Genever aroma. The orange oil on the nose prepared the mouth for the Aperol on the front of the sip, and the drink was punctuated with Genever's botanicals and the bitter's chocolate on the swallow.

[ted's tiki hut]

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Barbancourt Estate Reserve Rum
1/2 oz Fee's Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 dash Bittermens 'Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Trim the fruit away from a lemon wedge; score the pith side of the peel with a few lines using a knife; place peel in plate and add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters followed by a dash of Lemon Hart 151 Rum; set afire on plate. As the peel is burning, shake rest of ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist peel over drink to express the oils and drop in glass.

On Sunday night, Andrea and I needed an adventure to get us out of the house, so we trekked over to Craigie on Main where Ted and Paul were tending the bar that night. When I asked bartender Ted Gallagher if he had any new drinks he was excited about, he mentioned only a few of the ingredients of this drink before I stopped him and gave him the thumbs up. Nothing seems to get the attention of other bar patrons than a drink -- or in this case garnish -- on fire, and Ted's theatrical preparation of this drink may have been overshadowed by the drink itself.
The drink lacked an official name so I dubbed it here Ted's Tiki Hut or perhaps the Tedtiki. The drink started with a lemon oil nose with hints of falernum and Angostura spices. Sweet lime flavors were on the sip, and the swallow proved to be crisp and spicy. The swallow also contained the funky pot stilled flavors of the Smith & Cross Rum as well. As the drink warmed up, the clove and allspice from the falernum and dram began to take a more dominant role in the flavor profile.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

alberto

1/3 Dry Gin (1 oz Ryan & Wood Knockabout)
1/3 Lillet (1 oz)
1/3 Dry Sherry (1 oz Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado)
1 dash Cointreau (1 barspoon)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

On Saturday, I spotted another Massachusetts gin at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Davis Square and this one was from the Ryan & Wood Distillery in Gloucester, MA. Previously, I had seen their Folly Cove Rum at Atlas Liquors and elsewhere, but our need for another rum on our shelves right now is rather low. Their gin did tempt me enough to buy a bottle for um, academic purposes and to fill the impending void when the last ounce of No. 209 Gin is drained. Tasting the spirit straight, it had a vibrant citrus nose and the taste was more juniper and licorice than citrus. Moreover, it had a sweet or malty grain aspect to it as well.
For a drink that night, I picked the Alberto from the Café Royal Cocktail Book as a good recipe to try out the Knockabout. The Alberto started with an orange aroma from the twist's oil and Cointreau. The sip was dry with light fruit notes from the Lillet and the Cointreau, and the swallow was a combination of the nutty sherry and the gin. Overall, the Knockabout worked rather well in the cocktail, and the Alberto recipe seemed like it would make for a rather good aperitif.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

portly penguin

3/4 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Port (Sandeman Tawny)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum, the theme was "gin". After avoiding the Pegu Club as a starting point and leaving it for Doug, and after a few failed attempts trying to make a Cynar, port, and gin drink, I shifted gears and used the Penguin Cocktail (equal parts gin, Cherry Heering, and Benedictine) that we served at our International Migratory Bird Day party two years ago as a new starting point. Perhaps I was also heavily influence by the Blood and Sand-like Riccardo from the night before; I swapped out the Benedictine for lime juice and the port that was still on the counter from the previous round of tinkering akin to the Riccardo's orange juice and sweet vermouth. I kept the equal parts ratio, and the cocktail ended up being dubbed the Portly Penguin. The drink was rather rich from the cherry brandy and tawny port, and the sip started with a thick mouthfeel that was cut into at the end by the lime's crispness. The swallow also contained the complex herbal notes from the bitters, gin, and Cherry Heering and this helped to dry out the drink's balance as well. As the drink warmed up a little, the balance began to shift a little to the tart side, so perhaps people who favor sweeter drinks might want to add a barspooon of simple syrup to the mix.

riccardo

3/4 oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
3 dash Chili Flake Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a cherry.

For my last drink at Coppa on Wednesday night, I asked bartender Ian to make me the Riccardo which seemed like an interesting twist on the Blood and Sand. Given that the Blood and Sand is named after a movie about bullfighting in Mexico, Mezcal and chili definitely seemed to make more sense than the original's Scotch. I wondered whether the Riccardo was named after a character in the movie so I asked bar manager Corey Bunnewith about the drink. Corey explained that it was named after a South End real estate guy who ordered enough of these concoctions to have the drink named after him. Apparently, this gentleman is as bright, cheerful, spicy, and full of life as the drink itself.
The Riccardo started with an almost Scotch-like nose due to the smoke notes in the Mezcal. The agave flavors appeared at the beginning of the sip, the orange and cherry notes in the middle, and the Mezcal's smoke on the swallow. Moreover, the chili pepper syrup generated a lingering tingle at the back of the throat after each swallow. Corey explained that the chili flake syrup was lightly flavored which was why the pepper notes did not come across as a burning heat on the tongue instead.

Monday, April 12, 2010

italian witch doctor

1 1/2 oz Giovi Grappa with Stinging Nettles & Lemon Peel
1/2 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (3:1)
2 dash Fee's Chocolate Bitters
1 pinch Maldon Sea Salt

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.
For my second cocktail at Coppa on Wednesday night, I asked bartender Ian to make me the Italian Witch Doctor. When I asked bar manager Corey Bunnewith about the grappa and what went into the infusion, I learned that he was using a pre-flavored grappa and he offered us a taste. The Giovi grappa was rather amazing. It started with a lemon bite at the beginning, a stinging bitterness at the end, and a milky aspect that mellowed it out. In the Italian Witch Doctor, the flavored grappa paired up nicely with another herbal ingredient, the Becherovka liqueur, which is full of cinnamon, anise, and clove notes. The pairing of Becherovka with honey reminded me of Eastern Standard's Metamorphosis, and the honey donated a glorious richness to the drink without making it too sweet. Perhaps it was the pinch of sea salt that helped to shift the drink away from seeming as sweet; this addition might have relieved the need to add a sour flavor to the drink to balance the sweetness level. While the honey did smooth out the drink, the clove and nettle flavors were still noticeable on the swallow along with the chocolate note from the bitters.

marconi wireless no. 2

2 1/4 Clear Creek Eau de Pome
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Punt e Mes

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

On Wednesday, I met Andrea in the South End after her hair appointment and our plan was to finally visit Coppa. We had delayed a trip over there due to the crowds and to the long walk from the subway that seemed daunting in the winter months. Alas, with this weather, the walk was rather pleasant, and with a short wait, we had a pair of seats at the bar. One of the interesting aspects of Coppa's bar is that the establishment has a limited cordial and liqueur and not a full liquor license. Therefore, certain verboten spirits were represented symbolically in syrups, infusions, or other substitutions. What makes this aspect succeed so well is head bartender Corey Bunnewith's classical training at the Culinary Institute of America which gives him some extra tools and ideas with which to work. It seemed like Andrea was more drawn to Corey's chef-tender concoctions like her first drink, a Tangerine Batida, which was a combination of tangerine, dulce de leche, toasted pignole, and xanthum gum-thickened Cabana Cachaca.
For my first drink, I asked bartender Ian to make me the Marconi Wireless No. 2 off of their cocktail menu. Corey described the drink as a combination of the original Marconi Wireless and a Green Point. Corey commented that people were a little taken aback by his green (instead of yellow) Chartreuse-containing Green Point, but I reassured him that I have seen and had it both ways. What I found more odd than his inclusion of Green Chartreuse in this chimera was the absence of orange bitters which is one of the major flavors to me in the Marconi Wireless as well as an ingredient in my preferred Green Point recipe. Since Corey could not use applejack or Calvados due to the licensing, he utilized an apple eau de vie instead.

The interplay of green Chartreuse and Punt e Mes in this drink was rather interesting. The combination donated an almost Fernet Branca-like hint, and the Punt e Mes seemed to mellow out the sharper notes in the Chartreuse. The apple flavor was a bit more subtle and appeared more on the swallow than on the sip like a Calvados would.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

sky pilot

1 1/2 oz Apple Brandy (Calvados)
3/4 oz Heavy Rum (Myers's Dark Rum)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

When it was time for my second drink at Rendezvous on Monday, I asked bartender Scott Holliday to make me another drink that I had spotted in their cocktail book, the Sky Pilot. This drink seemed like it would make a good follow up to the Mackinnon due to the overlapping ingredients of dark rum and lime juice. While cocktails called the Sky Pilot appear in my collection as early as 1937 in Café Royal Cocktail Book, I was only able to find one with this ingredient set in Stan Jones' 1977 Complete Bar Guide.
For a heavy rum, Scott chose Myers's Dark Rum instead of repeating the Old Monk from before. When I smelled the drink, it had a very apple nose from the Calvados whereas Andrea perceived the dark rum aromas more. The beginning of the sip was all about the rum, and the swallow was all the fruit flavors. I found it rather odd that the apple was not perceived at the beginning of the sip, but perhaps those flavors were just overwhelmed by the Myers's. Interestingly, both Andrea and Scott commented that the drink seemed a little salty to them.

mackinnon

1 1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Old Monk Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, and add straw.

On Monday night, Andrea and I headed over to Rendezvous for some dinner and drinks. It turns out that Mondays are their tapas night which is a supplement to their regular menu. For drinks, bartender Scott Holliday let me peruse through the house cocktail book for a selection. The one that stood out was the MacKinnon, an interesting highball that uses Drambuie liqueur as the primary spirit in a John Collins sort of way. The drink is named after the captain who gave Prince Charles Edward Stuart sanctuary back in 1746. The lore is that Captain John MacKinnon was rewarded by the prince with the recipe for Drambuie for his efforts, although some write off the tale as marketing ploy to sell more product. Either way, the recipe honoring the good captain first appeared in the 1938 Esquire Drink Book.

Scott and I bandied about what rum would work best. Apparently, the original recipe calls for a white rum; however, his recipe only lists "rum" and we figured a richly flavored one like Old Monk might give the drink a little bit more body. The MacKinnon proved to be a worthy highball with the Drambuie's sweetness being balanced quite well by the citrus and soda. The nose was filled with the citrus and the rum aromas, and the sip was rich, sweet, and Scotchy. The swallow contained the citrus crispness along with a cinnamon sort of flavor. When Scott straw-tasted the drink, he commented that the MacKinnon was his "new favorite Tiki"-esque drink.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

punchius pilate

My friend Matt called upon me again to make a punch for his party. The last time he made that request, I assembled the classic Xalapa Punch. This time it was for his 10th Annual Easter Party which every year has a tequila theme. Not sure how tequila relates to the Easter story -- perhaps agave look like a crown of thorns (*) -- but who am I to question this tasty tradition? The problem was that he wanted a tequila punch, and both the classic and more modern books in my library are surely lacking in this sort of recipe. So it was time to improvise and channel my punch-fu. Furthermore, he asked for it to be refreshing, so a challenging flavor profile was out of the question.

Thinking of what would go well with tequila, I was drawn to the idea of a smokey tea, and Lapsang Souchong was one that we had in the house. The tea concept evolved into a tea syrup that was spiced with clove, cinnamon, and ancho chili powder. For citrus, I decided to soften the flavor by using mainly grapefruit juice with a half part of lime juice to add some crispness while leaving the drink refreshing. I had been toying around with using a liqueur to add some more flavor to the mix with ideas for Drambuie, St. Germain, or Maraschino. Instead, I opted for a tawny port for some richness besides adding a little Sangre de Cristo symbolism to the punch. My original idea was for soda water to lighten up the mix; however, in the testing stage, the drink was a little too dry. Instead, I switched the soda water to ginger ale to work double duty to donate bubbles and sweetness.
750 mL Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
8 oz Spiced Lapsang Souchong Tea Syrup (**)
8 oz Grapefruit Juice (Pink)
4 oz Lime Juice
6 oz Port (Sandeman Tawny)
500 mL Ginger Ale

Chill syrup and ginger ale in refrigerator and tequila in the freezer. Mix in bowl, add ice ring (***), and add gingerale. Stir gentle, and serve.

(**) Lapsang Souchong Tea Syrup
1. Boil water and measure out 6 oz. Add Lapsang Souchong tea (I added 3 tea bags to 12 oz for a double batch) and let steep for 5 minutes.
2. While the tea is steeping, muddle 1-2 cloves (I used 3 for a double batch), add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8th tsp ancho chili powder, and the half the zest of a grapefruit.
3. Measure out 6 oz (by volume) of sugar. Add an ounce or two to the zest/spice mixture and muddle to extract the zest's oil.
4. After the tea is steeped, add in all sugar, zest, and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and let sit for a few hours. Strain through a tea towel and store in refrigerator. Makes around 8 oz of syrup.

(***) Ice ring: Use a metal bundt cake pan, add a centimeter or so of water and let freeze. Add citrus slices and add enough water to cover the slices and let freeze. Add another centimeter or so of water and let freeze. Repeat layers until pan is full. I used a layer of orange (rings cut in quarters) over a layer of lemon (rings cut in quarters as well).
Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the punch and by the time I thought of it, it was mainly gone. Yes, it went quick -- a double portion of the recipe above. Moreover, the ice ring garnered a few Martha Stewart comments thrown my way. The popular name for the punch ended up being Punchius Pilate which kept with the holiday theme. I do regret not getting organized sooner and ordering plastic crucifixes or other to freeze in the ice or to use as garnish.

In retrospect, the spice mixture could have been augmented. Perhaps doubling the cinnamon, ancho chili powder, and grapefruit zest might have added more flavors on the swallow. The clove seemed at the right level to me though. Then again, no one complained that the punch was boring or flavorless so perhaps the levels were just right.

(*) I apologize in advance if any of this offensive to your religion. I know only enough about Christianity to be dangerous, so there is a decent chance that some of it strayed from the intended light-hearted holiday humor into something else. And after 2 or 3 glasses of this punch, I would hope that bygones would be bygones.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

sabath cocktail

3/4 oz French Brandy (Château de Plassons VSOP)
3/4 oz Port Wine (Sandeman Tawny)
1/2 oz Black Coffee
1/2 barspoon Sugar
1 Egg

Stir the sugar and coffee until the sugar is dissolved. Add rest of ingredients and shake without ice. Add ice, shake, and strain into a claret (wine) glass.

On Saturday night, I was flipping through Jacques Straub's 1914 Drinks when I was finally lured into making the Sabath [sic] Cocktail. Overall, the recipe was very much like the Coffee Cocktail, except that the Coffee Cocktail unlike the Sabath Cocktail, well um, strangely lacks coffee. With recent java-containing successes such as No. 9 Park's Orinoco and the coffee-infused pisco-containing Zambito, I was curious to see how well the Sabath Cocktail would fair.
The beginning of the sip contained the brandy's heat coupled with the coffee's roastedness, and this was followed by the coffee's pleasantly bitter aftertaste on the swallow. I was surprised at how well the port complemented the coffee perhaps through their respective richnesses. As the Sabath Cocktail warmed up, the coffee and port flavors became more apparent and the drink reminded me of a lot of coffee syrup.

crepuscule

1/2 oz Cognac (Château de Plassons VSOP)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 barspoon Raspberry Syrup (Homemade)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 drop Bitters (Abbott's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Four raspberries muddled in a spoon of simple syrup can substitute for the raspberry syrup.
Our second drink on Friday night came from the 1934 edition of Boothby with the curious name of Crepuscule (meaning twilight). The drink had a rather attractive color that reminded Andrea of tangerines. The smell also reminded us of citrus as it had a spicy orange aroma due to our bitters choices. The Crepuscule had a dry fruit flavor and would probably make for a better aperitif cocktail than our attempt at a nightcap. Moreover, with the dash of Angostura Orange Bitters complemented by the dry vermouth, the drink was surprisingly much more orange flavored than it was raspberry.

Monday, April 5, 2010

white wine punch

2 oz White Wine (Cantarutti Ribolla Gialla)
1 oz Arrack (Batavia Arrack van Oosten)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Fill with soda water, and decorate with a slice of pineapple an a slice of orange (orange slices and a Luxardo Maraschino cherry). Serve with straws.

On Friday night, Andrea had opened a bottle of wine to go with dinner. Later, to use the remainder of the bottle, I found a recipe in our 1947 edition of Trader Vic for White Wine Punch which seemed alluring due to its inclusion of Batavia Arrack. Being frugal with the glassware, I used the wine glasses already on the table instead of fetching the proper highball glasses. The result ended up being a little stronger than the recipe intended.
White wine flavors were on the front of the sip with lemon and arrack on the swallow. The drink was rather crisp from the lemon coupled with the soda water, and it had a pleasant degree of sharp funkiness from the Batavia Arrack. Overall, it was a refreshing drink that would have been more refreshing had I made a tall drink out of it. However, the recipe seemed like it was missing something. The drink would definitely benefit from a barspoon or two of liqueur; perhaps some Maraschino, Cointreau, or St. Germain might elevate this punch to something rather elegant and noteworthy. Although I could see this recipe sans liqueur working quite well in much warmer weather.

joe's fashion

1 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
1 oz Applejack (Marquis de Saint-Loup Calvados)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Five Spice Simple Syrup (recipe)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
One of the drinks that stood out in Green Street's cocktail book was the Joe's Fashion. Since I was not sure whether or not the Green Street bar had five spice syrup made up, I decided to make this one at home last Tuesday. The drink was invented by Misty Kalkofen back in 2007 for a James Beard Taste America event; moreover, it was served that night along side cocktails by Jackson Cannon and John Gertsen. Our Joe's Fashion was rather apple at the beginning of the sip especially since we upgraded to Calvados from the recipe's call for Laird's Applejack (which weighs in at only 35% apple distillate). The apple was followed by the lemon in the middle, and spices and gin on the swallow. In addition, the Punt e Mes' botanicals meshed with the five spice simple syrup rather well. We were left still clueless as to Joe's identity, but we were quite delighted by the tribute.

Postnote 10/22/10: Joe's identity was revealed in a LUPEC Boston post.
Joe’s Fashion is named after the filly that Joseph Laird Sr rode in the 1840′s. Widely hailed as one of the greatest filly racers and top money winners of all time, Fashion’s abililties and winnings made it possible for the Laird’s to move their distillery to Scobeyville NJ.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

le sime

1/4 jigger Rum (1/2 oz Zacapa 23)
1/4 jigger Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1/4 jigger Cherry Brandy (1/2 oz Cherry Heering)
1 barspoon Simple Syrup
1/2 Egg White

Shake one round without ice and one round with; strain into a cocktail glass.

On Monday night, I was flipping through Boothby's 1934 edition of World Drinks and How to Mix Them when I spotted the Le Sime. The orange juice coupled with the cherry brandy made me think of the Blood and Sand regardless of there being no Scotch (or sweet vermouth) in the recipe. Andrea gave the thumbs up for an egg white drink and I decided that this curious recipe needed to be tried.
For a rum, we decided to go richly flavored and splurged on the Zacapa 23. I think Lemon Hart 80 would have worked splendidly here, as would almost any flavorful rum. Our Le Sime started with dark rum aromas coupled with a little bit of cherry and some woody notes. The beginning of the sip was full of rum and spice with some sort of fruitiness on the swallow. This fruitiness was not distinctly orange or cherry but it definitely complemented the taste of the rum.

Friday, April 2, 2010

burnt fuselage

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For my second drink at Green Street, I pulled a recipe from their cocktail book (an even larger set of recipes than the 6 page big cocktail menu) and ordered the Burnt Fuselage from Derric Crothers. This equal parts recipe can be found in the 1927 Barflies and Cocktails book, and Paul Clarke did a decent job of describing its history over at the Cocktail Chronicles. The drink had a rich orange nose from the Grand Marnier; when this was combined with the fresh lemon oil, the aroma smelled very much like Derric had used an orange peel as a twist instead of lemon. The Grand Marnier provided a robust orange flavor as well, and its sweetness was partially countered by the equal part of dry vermouth; still, the balance was a bit on the sweet side for me. The Cognac donated a vanilla aftertaste which followed the vermouth and Grand Marnier spice on the swallow.

kingston

1 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers' Ragged Mountain Rum
3/4 oz Gordon's Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
On Sunday night, Andrea and I ventured down to Green Street where bartender Derric Crothers was behind the stick. For my first drink, I requested the Kingston off of the big cocktail menu. The Kingston's aroma smelled like a very dark rum cocktail with hints of lemon; surprisingly, it was more of a molasses note than one would expect from an amber rum like Ragged Mountain. The lemon and gin flavors appeared on the swallow where their sharpness balanced the rich rum and sweet grenadine flavors at the beginning of the sip.