Friday, March 29, 2013

dove & daisy

1 1/2 oz Milagro Silver Tequila
1 oz Combier Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3 inch swath Grapefruit Peel

Shake with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed Collins glass filled with ice. Top with ~2 oz soda water and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
paloma margarita no.9 park tyler wang dove and daisy
The final drink that I had at No. 9 Park was Tyler Wang's Dove & Daisy. Tyler described it as a combination of a Paloma and a Margarita which are the Spanish words for dove and daisy, respectively. Once mixed, the grapefruit twist aroma mingled with the tequila notes on the nose. A carbonated orange, lime, and Aperol sip gave an almost grapefruit-like taste, and the tequila rounded out the swallow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

diversionary dam

1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Angostura Bitters
1 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon Kübler Absinthe

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After my first drink at No. 9 Park, bartender Ted Kilpatrick swooped in from working the floor to make me my second drink, the Diversionary Dam. The recipe was created in honor of two regulars, Noah and Liz, who served as Ted's safe distraction during the craziness of Restaurant Week one night. When I heard the recipe, it seemed like Ted had merged the Silent Order with an Angostura-heavy drink like the Stormy Mai Tai.
no. 9 park cocktail ted kilpatrick
Once mixed, its frothy redness attracted the attention of a woman a few seats down who declared that she wanted one. Considering that she asked for a Cosmo for her first round, her boyfriend, the barstaff, and I all deterred her from thinking this was something cute and fruity. Instead, the Diversionary Dam greeted the nose with an herbal Green Chartreuse aroma; as the drink warmed up a little, it gained absinthe notes and spiced ones from the Angostura's clove and allspice. The lime sip was then followed by Green Chartreuse herbal flavors on the swallow and Angostura's dryness on the finish.

spice & wine

2 1/2 oz La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz House Spirits "Krogstad" Aquavit
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Berg & Hauck's Celery Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured down to No. 9 Park for drinks after getting dinner in Chinatown. For a first libation, bartender Tyler Wang suggested a sherry-based number he calls Spice & Wine. His recipe was influenced by Sahil Mehta's Butchertown that Tyler enjoyed at Estragon. Instead of the Butchertown's kümmel, Tyler opted for aquavit, and in place of the honey bourbon, he reached for honey-sweetened Yellow Chartreuse.
no. 9 park cocktails tyler wang
The Spice & Wine offered a bright lemon aroma over a savory one from the sherry and the aquavit's caraway. Next, a grape sip was tinged with a light honey-like flavor, and the swallow was herbal and nutty with a light celery note at the end.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the grand tour

1 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and add a straw.
craigie on main central square cambridge cocktail
The drink that Andrea requested at Craigie on Main was the Grand Tour which was a lighter drink featuring Amontillado sherry and a small amount of tequila. Moreover, with the pineapple syrup, citrus, and ice, it was almost Fix-like. The Grand Tour offered up a tequila and lime aroma. A lime and grape sip was followed by a swallow that began with tequila and ended with pineapple and nutty sherry notes.

dusty trail

2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
1/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I decided to do the Chef's Whim at Craigie on Main. Of course we opted for sitting at the bar, and we were greeted by bartenders Ann Thompson and Jared Sadoian. For a first drink, I asked Ann for the Dusty Trail which seemed like a cross between a Rum Old Fashioned and a Pirate's Cocktail (a/k/a Rum Manhattan). Moreover, the concept was similar to Jamie Boudreau's Chet Baker, but instead of a rich Jamaican rum, they opted for a white local one -- Privateer.
craigie on main dusty trail cocktail
Rum and vanilla mingled elegantly on the Dusty Trail's nose. A light grape and vanilla sip led into a rum, vanilla, and chocolate swallow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

red right hook

1 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1 oz Scarlet Ibis Rum (Smith & Cross)
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Campari
2 dash Chocolate Bitters

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

Two Fridays ago, I made a drink that I spotted on Eric Witz's tumblr that he created called the Red Right Hook. The recipe was a mashup of a Manhattan variation, the Red Hook, and a Rum Negroni, the Right Hand, with a nod to Nick Cave's Red Right Hand song for a name. The only substitution I made was using Smith & Cross in place of the Trinidadian rum he called for; perhaps, I should have reached for a less aggressive rum though.
The orange twist's oils brightened the funky rum's aroma. A malt and grape sip led into a swallow that began with a rye and rum combination that seemed like neither base spirit. The swallow ended with a Campari and Maraschino pairing and a chocolate finish.

[ghost of castle island]

1 1/2 oz Bacardi Select Rum
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Pedro Romero Oloroso Sherry
1/2 oz La Favorite Blanc Rhum Agricole

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

The second drink that bartender John Mayer made for me at Local 149 from his Bacardi competition recipes was a rum and sherry Bijou-like drink. For a name, I thought of the beach near the bar in South Boston. A few blocks away on Castle Island, the government built Fort Independence which was a hotspot for ghost activity in the 19th century. In fact, when Edgar Allen Poe was stationed there in 1827, he heard the local lore about how an unpopular officer was bricked up alive in the fort following his killing of a more popular officer in a duel; this tale led Poe to later write "The Cask of the Amontillado." Since the drink has sherry in it, I figured the "Ghost of Castle Island" was a good place holder of a name as any.
local 149 john mayer bacardi bijou
The drink began with an orange oil aroma that punctuated that of the Green Chartreuse. A tart and grassy grape sip was followed by the rums' flavor on the swallow. The swallow ended with herbal Green Chartreuse notes and a lingering rhum agricole finish.

Monday, March 25, 2013

face for radio

1 1/2 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Pistachio Orgeat (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Cinnamon Honey Syrup (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
(*) I surmised that using regular orgeat and/or cinnamon syrup or honey syrup here would create a delicious parallel drink.

Two Thursdays ago, Andrea and I met up at Local 149 for dinner. When speaking with bartender John Mayer, he mentioned that he was working on a few drinks for a local Bacardi competition. The one that caught my attention for its ingredients also captured my intrigue with the name, Face for Radio. John explained that the housemade pistachio orgeat led to an unattractive appearance, but the flavor combination was good enough for him to overlook it.
john mayer local 149 bacardi rum cocktail
The Face for Radio proffered a rum and nutty aroma. A lime and honey sip led into a rum swallow that finished with pistachio, clove, and cinnamon flavors. Yes, the drink was not very sightly, but its voice was definitely captivating in a spiced Mai Tai sort of way akin to Ben Sandrof's Cuban Anole.

fernet me not

1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Honey Syrup 1:1 (I used 3/4 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
fernet me not
After the Latin Trifecta, I opted for the Fernet Me Not that I had spotted on the Imbibe Magazine website. The recipe was created by Florian Minier of Haddingtons in Austin. Once mixed, the Fernet Me Not started with a lemon and honey aroma. The honey continued into the sip where it mingled with the sweet vermouth's grape. Finally, a honey-tempered Fernet Branca herbal flavor began the swallow that ended with a floral-menthol finish.

Friday, March 22, 2013

latin trifecta

1 oz Blanco Tequila (Piedra)
1 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau Oloroso)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

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

Two Mondays ago, I attended a Boston USBG-sponsored talk about aperitifs and digestifs at Backbar. In one of the recipe handouts was Jamie Boudreau's Latin Trifecta, and its tequila, Cynar, and sherry combination seemed alluring. While the sheet did not give a source for the recipe, it does appear in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2009. So two Wednesdays ago, we decided to start the evening with this libation.
jamie boudreau cocktail
The Latin Trifecta presented a dark Cynar aroma that was offset by the bright orange oil notes. A rich caramel and grape sip led into the tequila followed by orange, nutty sherry, and herbal Cynar on the swallow.

borgias

1 oz Bols Barrel-Aged Genever
1 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry
1/2 oz Bittermens Citron Sauvage Liqueur
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Mondays ago, we ventured down to Estragon for dinner. For a drink, bartender Sahil Mehta showcased a recipe, the Borgias, that he created for an upcoming cocktail-paired dinner. The Borgias is to be paired with a duck dish, so he needed an acid-forward, food-friendly drink to accompany it. To that effect, he reached for Palo Cortado sherry which he described as sweet but containing lots of acidity. Also in the mix were barrel-aged Genever, Maraschino liqueur, and the Bittermens Citron Sauvage -- a grapefruit liqueur that contains herbal notes including a decent gentian signature.
estragon sahil mehta
The Borgias greeted the nose with a malty and Maraschino aroma with hints of citrus peel. A malty sip shared the grape's acidity, and the swallow was fruity from the Maraschino and grapefruit liqueur. Finally, the drink ended with a bitter botanic finish. Probably a less acid-driven light sherry like a Fino or Manzanilla would work better if the cocktail is not drank with food.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

lord sheffield

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Crème Yvette
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Salers (or Suze) Gentiane Liqueur
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Two Mondays ago, I was speaking with Ben Sandrof, our St. Germain, Crème Yvette, and Slow & Low representative, about Yvette drinks. I mentioned that I was curious if the berry notes in Yvette would work well with a gentian liqueur as they do in Scott Holliday's Br'er Rabbit and Tyler Wang's L'Année du Mexique. When I got home, I decided to give the idea a try, and I opted for whiskey since it seems to pair rather well with gentian liqueurs, such as in the Harry Palmer. After a few iterations, I had a berry and floral Manhattan variation that I dubbed the Lord Sheffield after the Sheffield Company of Connecticut who first produced the liqueur starting in the 1890s. Note: the Yvette used in this drink was from a new bottle and not the dusty (and empty) relic in the photo.
creme yvette sheffield company connecticut
The Lord Sheffield presented a floral Manhattan-like nose. A grape- and berry-filled sip was followed by a swallow that began with the rye and ended with gentian-violet flower flavors that were rounded out by the Punt e Mes' bitter notes.

the noble order

1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Apricot Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

For a second drink at the Hawthorne, I turned to the new Scotch section on the menu and asked bartender Daniel Lynch for the Noble Order. The Noble Order was created by Katie Emmerson, and Dan commented that he enjoyed how the apricot liqueur in the drink brought out the stone fruit notes in the Scotch.
katie emmerson hawthorne boston
The grapefruit twist contributed greatly to the nose and led into the delicate sip containing light malt and grape flavors. The swallow then began with the Scotch and ended with the apricot-amaro pairing that came across as a dark candied orange-like taste. Indeed, the whiskey, apricot, and amaro combination reminded me of Misty Kalkofen's Cocktail Miranda at Green Street, but the Noble Order was a touch more on the lighter side of the spectrum.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

esperanto

2 oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
3/4 oz La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I stopped in at the Hawthorne for drinks after dinner at India Quality. For a first drink, I asked bartender Dan Lynch for the Esperanto from the sherry section of the menu. The recipe was created by bar director Jackson Cannon himself for the 2012 Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition, and it later garnered him third place and a trip to Spain.
jackson cannon hawthorne cocktail
The Esperanto greeted the nose with a lemon aroma and a savory brine note from the sherry and mezcal combination. A dry grape sip was followed by a smoky mezcal and nutty sherry swallow.

fantastic fizz

3/4 oz Laird's 7 1/2 Year Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
3/4 oz Leblon Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a Fizz glass, top with soda water (~2 oz), and twist a lemon peel over the top.

Two Saturdays ago, I was flipping through Kevin Liu's new science-y cocktail book Craft Cocktails At Home and spotted an interesting split spirit Silver Fizz. The drink was called the Fantastic Fizz and was created by Angus Burton of the Canvas Club in Brisbane, Australia. While I have had a cachaça-pisco combination in the Loreto Swizzle, the pairing of cachaça-apple brandy seemed equally as novel and inviting.
kevin liu craft cocktails at home
The lemon twist's oils joined the cachaça's grassy aroma on the nose. Next, a lemon and floral sip led into an apple and grass swallow. Funky, floral, and fantastic, indeed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

cuzco

2 oz Pisco (Encanto)
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass rinsed with kirsch (1/4 oz Trimbach) and filled with ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I opened up our copy of The P.D.T. Cocktail Book and spotted the Cuzco, a drink created by Julie Reiner back in 2007 after she returned from a tour of pisco distilleries in Peru. Once mixed, the grapefruit twist provided much of the Cuzco's aroma. A citrus and Aperol sip led into a pisco swallow with a cherry finish. Indeed, the kirsch added a pleasing complexity to the Aperol and worked rather well in this combination.

white giuseppe

2 oz Gran Classico
2 oz Lillet Blanc
1 barspoon Grapefruit Juice
2 dash Fee's Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters

Build in a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish the ice cube with a pinch of salt and a grapefruit twist.

For a second drink at Sichuan Garden II, bartender Ran Duan made me the White Giuseppe, his riff on the products of a Stephen Cole-Misty Kalkofen game of bartender telephone. Stephen Cole of the Violet Hour crafted the Bitter Giuseppe using Cynar and sweet vermouth while Misty Kalkofen at Drink came up with the Little Giuseppe using Cynar and Punt e Mes. Here, Ran swapped Gran Classico for the Cynar, Lillet for the vermouth/Punt e Mes, and grapefruit for the lemon juice.
white giuseppe little giuseppe bitter giuseppe ran duan
The White Giuseppe's grapefruit twist provided much of the drink's aroma and prepared the mouth for the grapefruit juice-citrus wine sip. Next, the Gran Classico came through on the swallow and its bitterness was softened by the salt.

Monday, March 18, 2013

royal flush

2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Crème de Cacao
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz St. George's Absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Two Wednesdays ago, we made a pilgrimage up to Woburn to visit Ran Duan at Sichuan Garden II. One of the drinks on the menu that Ran posted online had caught my attention, and I asked him for the Royal Flush as my first libation. The ingredient list reminded me of an Appetizer l'Italienne with added cacao notes. Ran described how he was working with the vermouth, Fernet Branca, and absinthe combination, and he felt that it needed to be softened; the cacao worked perfectly to achieve that goal. Indeed, crème de cacao works amazingly well in the Fernet Alexander I crafted; the pairing was one that I learned from an old boss and I dubbed that 4 parts cacao to 1 part Fernet Branca ratio the Hansen Special after him.
sichuan garden 2 ran duan cocktail
The absinthe's anise and other herbal elements contributed greatly to the Royal Flush's bouquet. A rich grape sip led into chocolate tempering the Fernet Branca on the swallow and an absinthe finish.

symphony of moist joy

1/4 Crème de Rose (3/4 oz Royal Rose Rose Syrup)
1/4 Yellow Chartreuse (3/4 oz)
1/4 Crème de Menthe (3/4 oz Tempus Fugit)
1/4 Cognac (3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840)

Stir with ice and strain into a wine glass filled with shaved ice. Garnish with berries (omitted).

One drink that has always captivated me due to the name was the Symphony of Moist Joy from the Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book; however, one of the ingredients, crème de rose, is rather hard to source. I did try to acquire a bottle of Crispin's Rose Liqueur made out of the Germain Robin distillery and was willing to pay the $85 for the half bottle, but they do not sell the product outside of California and I cannot have liquor sent to me easily here in Massachusetts. Later versions of this drink substitute grenadine in place of the crème de rose, but that seems like an uninspired substitution. After trying out a craft rose syrup, I figured that could split the difference between the rose liqueur and grenadine recipes with this syrup and decided to give the recipe a go. I also opted for the mixed version instead of the Pousse-café recipe, for the sum of the parts seems more interesting to me than each individual layer on its own.
symphony of moist joy waldorf-astoria bar book
The crème de menthe played a major role in the aroma department, and this mintiness carried over into the sip along with the rose flavors and into the swallow along with the other herbal notes. Since the crème de menthe played such a large role in the drink, I recommend using the best one that you can find for this recipe.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

adlon cocktail

This month's Mixology Monday theme, "From Crass to Craft" (MxMo LXXI), was picked by Scott Diaz of the Shake, Strain, & Sip blog. Scott's challenge was, "The evolution of the cocktail has been a wondrous, and sometimes, frightful journey... But with all this focus on 'craft' ingredients and classic tools & form, it seems we have become somewhat pretentious... Remember, the bar was created with pleasing one particular group in mind: the guest. As such, this month’s MxMo theme... will focus on concocting a craft cocktail worthy of not only MxMo but any trendy bar, using dubious and otherwise shunned ingredients to sprout forth a craft cocktail that no one could deny is anything less... So grab that bottle of flavored vodka, Jägermeister, cranberry juice, soda, neon-colored liqueur, sour mix, or anything else deemed unworthy of a craft cocktail, and get mixin'!"

As I was discussing the theme with Scott a month or so ago, I already had the idea of doing something with Jägermeister especially after my experiences with it Portland Cocktail Week. One of the events that week was a Jäger-sponsored Tankz Und Dränkz night that I was hoping would portray the liqueur in a good light. While it was fun, it certainly did not bestow any great level of dignity to this age old spirit, nor do I look good in an orange wig.
portand cocktail week jägermeister
Although the Jäquiris served that night by Jeffrey Morganthaler out of a frozen Daiquiri machine weren't bad; in fact, Morganthaler has listed Jägermeister and the Jägerita as one of his five guilty pleasure drinks. The true dignity that was bestowed to Jägermeister during Portland Cocktail Week was during Tad Carducci and Todd Richman's Blinded by the Dark talk on herbal liqueurs. Beside the better known amaro category were examples of kräuterlikör with the only major difference being one is made in Italy and the other in Germany. In this tasting session, Jägermeister held its own, and it was easy to forget all of the negative connotations (even if the company revels in some of it for marketing purposes).
portand cocktail week amaro
For a direction, I thought about the success of Kitty Leroy and other pineapple-amaro paired drinks, and I figured that the rich caramel and herbal notes in Jägermeister would similarly work well with pineapple. When I considered spirit-pineapple recipes to riff off of, I remembered my love of Algonquins which I made quite frequently during the summer of 2007. Instead of the 3 parts rye, 2 parts pineapple juice, 1 part dry vermouth that I enjoy, I figured that I would need to dry out the liqueur here and I upped the dry vermouth to a 2:1:1 ratio; indeed, this ratio is the one presented in Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology that he acquired from Ted Haigh. For a name, I searched for fancy hotels in Germany with a grand literary linkage like the Algonquin Hotel and its witty Round Table; however, I was unsuccessful. But when I mentioned the Adlon Hotel, Andrea related how she enjoyed a $150 lunch there during a business trip once, and how ritzy the place was. That seemed like as good a name as any.
Adlon Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz Jägermeister
• 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
• 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On the nose, the Jägermeister and dry vermouth donated an herbal, minty, and almost gentian aroma that worked well with the pineapple notes. The pineapple continued on into the sip where it paired elegantly with the liqueur's caramel. Next, the swallow offered herbal and pineapple flavors with a lingering mint-like note similar to the one from the nose.
jägermeister
So thank you to Scott for not only hosting this month's Mixology Monday but for getting me to use one of the neglected bottles on my shelf and for letting me try to shine an honorable light onto a much maligned liqueur in the craft cocktail world. Cheers!

The roundup post for this Mixology Monday has been posted here. Go check out the other dignities  bestowed by bloggers across the globe...

Friday, March 15, 2013

tia mia

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum
1 oz Del Maguey Via Mezcal
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an orchid, pineapple leaf, and either a lime wheel or a sugarcane stick.
julie reiner lani kai
Two Tuesdays ago, we started the evening with the Tia Mia from a collection of rum drinks presented by Julie Reiner in World's Best Cocktails. I later discovered that it was not Julie who created this recipe that appeared on the Lani Kai menu, but Ivy Mix who incorporated her love of mezcal into a Mai Tai variation. Moreover, Ivy rearranged the letters of Mai Tai into Tia Mia which means "my aunt" in Spanish. Once mixed, the lime wheel garnish's aroma added to the drink's agave notes. The lime and caramel from the aged rum sip was followed by the rest of the rum notes and the smoky mezcal on the swallow and a soft almond finish.

cruella

1 1/2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 Lemon Peel (twist and include)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Twist another lemon peel over the top.

For Andrea's last drink at Tavern Road, she asked Will for the Cruella which turned out to be another one of his creations. While I neglected to ask him if the drink name was a Disney reference, I did discuss the use of the lemon twist in the ingredients. Will explained that he included it in the mix to elongate the citrus flavor on the finish of this decadent and smooth drink. With cachaça, Galliano, chocolate, and anise notes, the ingredients list somewhat reminded me of Jacob Grier's Midnight Shift.
tavern road congress street boston
The lemon oils on the surface of the drink joined the aroma of the cachaça and Peychaud's anise. Next, a lemon and grassy sip led into a swallow containing vanilla and chocolate notes with a hint of Maraschino. For some reason it was the cacao-Maraschino combination that seemed most pleasing on the swallow.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

down & brown

2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Bénédictine
1/4 oz Maraschino

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

For my last drink at Tavern Road, I asked bartender Will for the Down & Brown, another drink created by bar manager Ryan McGrale. It was pretty amusing that I had selected two drinks invented by Ryan and Andrea doubled up on drinks created by Will. I believe that I opted for the Down & Brown since it had been a few weeks since I last had drank a stirred rye drink. Will commented that he had to make the drink that night with Rittenhouse for the bar was out of Riverboat Rye, and this perhaps suggests the success of this menu item.
ryan mcgrale tavern road
The orange twist worked well with the Maraschino aroma that let through a hint of Fernet Branca. The malty sip led into the rest of the rye flavors on the swallow. The rye was then followed by a Fernet-Bénédictine combination that ended with a lingering menthol and Maraschino finish.

tartini sling

3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Dry Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Bénédictine

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass with ice. Top with ~1 1/2 oz High & Mighty Beer Of The Gods blonde ale and add a straw.

The drink that Andrea started with at Tavern Road was the Tartini Sling, and bartender Will was rather pleased by that choice since it was his creation. Will described how he riffed off of the classic Singapore Sling and swapped the orange liqueur for Cynar and the soda for beer. Sadly, I never got around to asking what the Highball was named after, but the possibility that it was named after Giuseppe Tartini, an 18th century Italian baroque composer and violinist, exists. Will's punk rock tattoo might suggest otherwise though.
tavern road fort point boston
The Sling's Cynar joined the citrus notes on the nose. On the sip, the lime and beer's malt were most apparent with a pleasing sort of apple-like flavor that neither Andrea or I could explain. Next, the cherry, bitter, and herbal notes came through on the swallow along with a lime finish.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

fishnets & fangs

3/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
1/2 oz El Bujo Mezcal

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Sundays ago, we decided to pay a visit to Tavern Road which just opened up a few days prior. Tavern Road and Blue Dragon both recently joined the Fort Point neighborhood to keep Drink company, and soon Trillium Brew Pub will be added to that list. For a first drink, I asked bartender Will for the Fishnets & Fangs which was created by bar manager Ryan McGrale. The Fishnets & Fangs like Ryan's Bittah Walshie is bitters heavy, but this time instead of Angostura he reached for Peychaud's. While the large amount of Peychaud's made me think of the Gunshop Fizz and its descendents like the Ran Duan's Antoine's Demise, the bitters, citrus, and raspberry combination reminded me of Ezra Star's Little Red Lion. I do regret not asking Ryan if the vampy name was somehow a tribute to the rebirth of the ManRay night club in Central Square.
tavern road ryan mcgrale cocktail
The lemon twist added to the berry-citrus aroma. The raspberry and lime continued on into the sip, and this was followed by the mezcal and the Peychaud's bitter flavors. Overall, I was impressed at how well the raspberry and Peychaud's worked together flavorwise besides the color coordination aspect; moreover, I enjoyed how the large amount of Peychaud's did not come off as extreme to the palate.

thamyris

2 oz Gin (Farmer's)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's)
1/4 oz St. Germain

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

For the cocktail hour two Fridays ago, I decided to make the Thamyris found in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2010. The recipe was created by Chris Hannah from Arnaud's French 75 Bar in New Orleans, and Chris named the drink after a poet in Greek mythology who boasted that he could outsing the muses. Needless to say, Thamyris lost that competition, and they punished him by blinding him and depriving him of his ability to create poetry and play the lyre. For the drink, I selected our bottle of Farmer's Gin for I felt that its floral notes would bolster the small amount of St. Germain in the mix.
chris hannah thamyris french 75
The Thamyris greeted the nose with orange oils with a darker note underneath from the Cynar. The sip had a vague fruitiness from the St. Germain, and the swallow offered gin followed by Cynar herbal notes and a floral-ginger finish.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

palmer

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/4 Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist.
After the Kal Katz, I decided to stick with the same era and search through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. When I spotted the Palmer in the whiskey section, it reminded me of the Standish Arms which also appears in that book. Upon shaking the drink and straw tasting it, I needed to up my first interpretation of 2 dashes of grenadine from 1/4 to 1/2 oz for balance. I also added a grapefruit twist to the recipe which added some bright aromas that led into the grapefruit and pomegranate sip quite well. Next, the swallow was all about the rye with herbal and spice notes from the dry vermouth and bitters. Perhaps I enjoyed the Standish Arms more, but the Palmer was definite worth a try.

kal katz

1 oz White Rum (Banks)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
2 dash Crème de Menthe (1/4 oz Tempus Fugit)
2 dash Maraschino Liqueur (1/4 oz Luxardo)

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through Tom Sandham's World's Best Cocktails and spotted a classic from the 1930s. The drink was the Kal Katz that José Abeal created at Sloppy Joe's in Havana for their 1932-33 menu. The book points out that is seems to be a variation of the Mary Pickford, another Cuban drink that was created a few years before the Kal Katz (see the link for more historical info).
sloppy joe's havana kal katz
The Kal Katz began with a pleasing combination of pineapple and mint with perhaps a hint of Maraschino. While the fruitiness of the pineapple came through on the sip, the rest of the pineapple flavors appeared on the swallow along with the rum followed by a Maraschino and mint finish.

Monday, March 11, 2013

sufrimiento de simon

2 oz Eight Six Co. Tequila Cabeza
3/4 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz Galliano Ristretto
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Add a straw and a paper umbrella.

After Drink, the party bus whisked us away from Fort Point, up Mass Ave, and into Central Square, Cambridge. Our destination was Brick & Mortar, and we were greeted with a small version of Sufrimiento de Simon to showcase the Eight Six Co's tequila. On the menu were a larger format of this drink as well as several other tequila cocktails including the El Ranchito with peach tea syrup and Suze gentiane liqueur which I tried.
86 company simon ford tequila cabeza
The Sufrimiento de Simon showcased a fruity lemon aroma. The citrus continued on into the sip along with a berry note from the sloe gin. The swallow then provided tequila, coffee, and pineapple flavors with growing clove notes. Indeed, Misty utilized the agave-sloe gin combination that worked great in her Gail Collins, but overall, the libation reminded me more of the Lani Kai Sling with additional coffee notes (besides a change of base spirit).

:: 86 company spirits ::

[Brava Daiquiri]
2 oz Eighty Six Co. Caña Brava Rum
2/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Cinnamon Syrup
Few drops Herbsaint
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Wednesdays ago, Simon Ford was in town for the launch of The 86 Company's spirits line that he helped to found. For the launch, they had four products to showcase -- a gin, a rum, a tequila, and a vodka -- each produced in collaboration with a different well-respected distiller. The event was spread out over three destinations with each bar featuring one of the spirits (with the vodka one being left unaccounted for except at the tasting), and in between each leg was a 80s-themed party bus that took us from the Hawthorne to Drink and from Drink to Brick & Mortar. The event started at the Hawthorne with a tasting of the four spirits followed by classic gin cocktails. Here are my notes from the tasting:
Ford's Gin - Simon's namesake gin was produced in collaboration with the distiller at Thames Distillers in London. In the botanical mix besides juniper are corriander, bitter orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, jasmine flowers, orris, angelica, and cassia, and their website in a brave degree of honesty actually lists the percentages of each botanical by weight in the infusion. On the nose, the gin reminded me a lot of Bombay Sapphire, No. 3, and Nolet's gin due to angelica or orris in conjunction with the juniper. At first the gin was rather earthy and low in citrus when tasted neat; however, after adding a splash of water to this 90 proof spirit, grapefruit peel and cinnamon suddenly became quite apparent.
Aylesbury Duck Vodka - This spirit is made from white winter wheat grown on small farms in western Canada and is distilled to 193 proof before being diluted for bottling at 80 proof. Yes, it was vodka, but it was not absolutely flavorless and I enjoyed the light grain notes when tasted neat similar to that in Russian Standard. A few did not enjoy that like I did, but the biggest complaint was a glycerol sweetness and body aspect to it. Compared to a pot stilled spirit, it was slight and I did not really have a problem with this.
Caña Brava Rum - The rum was made in conjunction with Panamanian distiller Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez who is also the maker of Ron de Jeremy. The 86 Co. sought him out for his experiences of making rum in Cuba before Castro and they wanted to make a Cuban-style white rum that would be perfect for Daiquiris. The end result is a rum made from wild sugar cane grown on volcanic soil in Panama, aged up to three years in wood, blended, and stripped clean of color through charcoal filtration. I was hoping for something grassy like I had heard old Cuban rums were, but instead the sugar cane notes were more subtle in this smooth and clean white rum. The vanilla notes from the barrel aging were there but not as robust as say El Dorado 3 Year. Bottled at 86 proof.
Tequila Cabeza - For all that I found the rum to be on the subtle end of things, the tequila was quite the opposite. The spirit was produced in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, and the Vivanco family opted for cooler, slower winter fermentation to bring forth this extra flavorful style. I enjoyed the spirit for it had more vegetal and fruity notes to it as opposed to many of the tequilas that are on the market. Also bottled at 86 proof.
Besides the tasting at the Hawthorne, bartenders Katie Emmerson and Nicole Lebedevitch were mixing up cocktails with the gin. Before the tasting, Jackson Cannon offered me a gin and tonic which was good but hid the gin a bit too much to make a decent call. For a cocktail later, I chose a Martinez and the gin worked well to add extra spice and citrus notes to the mix. I think the gin will appeal the No. 3 and Nolet's crowd more so than the Beefeater or Plymouth set.
After the Hawthorne, we loaded up onto the party bus and traveled to Fort Point to have punch and cocktails made by the Drink crew. The Don's Mix-laden Daiquiri of sorts that I tried was crafted by Josey Packard; perhaps it was closer to a Donga Punch. The cinnamon on the nose led into a sweet grapefruit sip. Next, the swallow offered rum, cinnamon, and spice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

:: untappd beer app ::

Besides the OnTheBar app for mobile phones, the next most useful drink-associated app I have found has been the Untappd beer one. I believe that I first learned of it through a friend's tweet announcing a beer he drank, and I decided to download the app and give it a shot -- especially since there is very little risk in trying out a free application. Here is my impression after trying it out for 6 weeks.

I have really only used some of the features on Untappd and will mention the others that perhaps some of you will find useful too. In essence, you can enter beers, rate them zero to five stars (with half star increments), make tasting notes, and enter a location (if away from home base) for your own personal drink diary. The information can also be accessed in a feed (see below) such that you can see what and where you and your friends have been drinking and whether there is a beer or bar that you should make note of. The app allows you to find friends through Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare contacts as well as entering in people's names; moreover, you can search your friends' friends lists for others that you might have missed. One downside of logging in with your personal accounts is that the app tries to push notifications and announcements to your feed; after my first badge got posted on to Twitter, I learned how to turn off these notifications so it is no longer an issue. Others will probably love the automatic posting and boasting ability, but I prefer my Twitter feed to be less encumbered. Thanks to the Droid operating system being difficult, I was unable to take a screen shot, so I took one on the web version. The web version looks slightly different such as lacking the star rating values when displayed like this as a feed:
untappd beer app
Other useful features include BeerAdvocate-like notes about the beer for some of the beers, whereas others, such as more rare ones that were user entered, lack details. This includes proof, IBU, style, and tasting notes. It certainly does not replace BeerAdvocate or RateBeer, but the extra information can certainly be useful in making a pick. The app also has a badge system to reward you for your drinking; there are badges for trying certain beer styles, going to different venues, and the like. Beers at home as well as beers away are both welcome. And the app is great for taking notes during tastings and reviewing them later to figure out later what was notable and worth revisiting. The app also allows the integration of photos and I have used this on occasion (although only when the beer is in a photo-worthy situation), and it allows for commenting on each others' brew choices.

Functionalities that I do not use are a mapping system to locate your drinking buddies as well as nearby beers, bars, and breweries. Perhaps I am more old fashioned in my approach to drinking such that I do not think in these terms, but the bar locator might be perfect for me when traveling. The app also will relay trending beers with choices for macro- and microbrews; while knowing that Guinness and Bud are popular isn't that interesting, knowing that Stone's Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA and Tröegs's Nugget Nectar are both out now and popular can be.

Overall, the app has been quite handy in tracking my and my associates' beer drinking. I also have learned to appreciate the badge system; at first, I found it silly and unnecessary, but I began to enjoy checking in a beer at a bowling alley, a beer from a foreign country, or another IPA to further progress on certain badges. Anything that reminds you to change up your routines and explore is good in my book. The app also points out how unusual a beer is by how many people have checked in; while Heady Topper is much sought after, I was #24,000-or-so to have check in with that, but I would be the 46th person to check in with Abita's Zach's Special Bitter; therefore, I knew it was more rare and special before I ordered it. Moreover, I was able to complement the bar manager, Jamie from Stoddard's, for yet again being able to score such an unusual beer.

For more information, look here. Or download the app through iTunes or GooglePlay.

Friday, March 8, 2013

witchy woman

1 1/2 oz Campari
1 oz White Rum (Turkey Shore)
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Swizzle in a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice and a sprig of mint (omitted).
witchy woman campari swizzle
After the Midas Touch two Tuesdays ago, I decided to take a more bitter route with the Witchy Woman that I had spotted in the Imbibe Magazine online recipes. The drink was created by Yao Lu of Houston's Anvil Bar & Refuge, and I would surmise that the name is a tribute to the Eagles song. After swizzling, the Witchy Woman offered an orange aroma from the garnish that joined the Campari notes. An orange, lime, and Campari sip was followed by a rum and orgeat swallow than finished with the rest of the Campari flavors.

midas touch

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
3/4 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 oz Royal Rose Saffron Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Aromatic Bitters (Fee's Boston Cocktail Summit Bitters)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
royal rose syrups
Via the Royal Rose Syrups twitter feed, I watched a video about the Midas Touch that used their saffron syrup. I was intrigued by the combination and decided to give the recipe a shot. Once mixed, the Midas Touch offered a lemon and sherry aroma, and the lemon and grape notes continued on into the sip. On the swallow, the Cognac was followed by saffron and then a nutty sherry, cinnamon, and spice finish. With the lemon, sherry, and bitters, the Midas Touch reminded me a little of the Barbara West.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

[jab molassie]

2 oz Scarlet Ibis Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
1/4 oz Coconut Cream
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

For Andrea, Sean Frederick at the Citizen made a drink that captured his experiences in Trinidad and recreated them in a glass. For ingredients, he used a Trinidadian rum, Scarlet Ibis, for the island, and Angostura Bitters for the competition that he was down there for. The coconut cream represented the coconut water that he used to keep hydrated, and the pinch of salt to symbolize all of the sweating everyone did during that week. Since he was down there during Trinidad's carnival season, I considered dubbing the unnamed drink after that except that Kevin Martin had previously named a pisco drink the Carnivale. Instead, I dubbed it after one of the traditional characters in the Trinidad carnival, the molasses devil or Jab Molassie.
sean frederick citizen angostura competition
The drink proffered a citrus aroma that led into a lime and coconut sip. While the swallow presented the rum and Angostura spice, it was pretty smooth for a drink containing that much Scarlet Ibis and bitters; perhaps a combination of the salt and the coconut cream softened the swallow.

broadside

2 oz Hayman's Royal Dock Navy Strength Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Rooibos Tea Syrup
5 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass that had been smoked with a smoldering cinnamon stick.
sean frederick angostura contest citizen public house boston
Sean Frederick was one of the American finalists in the 2012 Angostura Bitters Cocktail Challenge, and that honor allowed him to compete recently for the global competition in Trinidad. When Andrea and I stopped in at the Citizen two Mondays ago, I asked Sean about his trip and the experience which happened to center around their carnival. As we got to talking, I asked if he could make me one of the drinks that he competed with; Sean replied that he only had the ingredients on hand to make one of them, the Broadside. The Broadside utilized a smoked cinnamon treatment to the inside of the glass before the drink was strained, and the smokiness matched the nautical meaning of the name. A broadside in naval warfare is the simultaneous firing of all of the cannons on one side of the warship which can definitely be a rather smoky ordeal. Indeed, once mixed, the smoke joined the spice aromas on the nose. Next, a lime and floral sip led into gin, tea notes, and spice on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

:: this must be the place ::

While preparing for my first bartending gig last month, I read various treatises on the vocation in order to mentally prepare myself for the night. In reading Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders: 2011 about the mindful bartender, I was struck by a quote taken from This Must Be the Place. That book was a biographical number penned by Morrill Cody about bartender Jimmie Charters' time in the Montparnasse area of Paris when it was a vibrant artist and literary enclave after World War I that fizzled out shortly after the onset of the Great Depression. During Jimmie's time behind a few of the bars there, he served literary giants like Ernest Hemingway, artists like Marcel Duchamp, and models like Kiki. The following quote moved me enough to find the book and read it:
Almost anyone can learn to mix drinks accurately and fast. That is the least of it. I have always believed success behind the bar comes from an ability to understand the man or woman I am serving, to enter into his joys or woes, make him feel the need of me as a person rather than a servant.
Regan expounded on that quote by trying to figure out why a person is there at the bar and what they are trying to get out of the experience. From that, a mindful bartender can determine how much or how little interaction is desired and of what type. Likewise, Jimmie spoke of trying to size up a customer to determine if they want to be alone or are really looking for companionship. Jimmie also made observations on the effects of alcohol on people:
Liquor always has one of three effects on people. Upon a few it brings a deep depression, because, I suppose, there is some sorrow there already. On the normal person, though, the effect is either to make him amorous or belligerent, and he or she can jump from one state to the other without difficulty.
This is an added dimension to the earlier point -- it is not just why a person is there at the bar, but how the experience can shape the side that comes out that night. Jimmie offered tales and tactics of how to diffuse fights, introduce people, and offer free drinks and other distractions to make the evening go smoothly. "Diplomacy," he explained, "is a first requisite, without which a man can never be a success in anything but a very formal bar." Moreover, keeping the customer satisfied is part of the game both with the bartender experience as well as with the fellow clientele. In dealing with drinkers, Jimmie learned to handle drunks from being drunk himself. His tactic was, "I have sympathy for them, and they respond to that treatment like no other. Criticism always makes them worse." Regan took it a step further by explaining certain phrasings that avoids the criticism aspect, such as "I wonder if you could think about lowering your voice just a little, please" instead of telling them bluntly to quiet down and stop annoying everyone.

Throughout the book are glimpses of life in Paris during that time -- everything from the art students and their gala events that were captured well in William Morrow's Bohemian Paris of To-Day to the surrealists including André Breton and Man Ray. While the book does delve into quite a bit of gossip of the day, the text returns to the art of the bar with some amusing anecdotes. One cute one was where a customer ordered a Port Flip, and after Jimmie had made that, he proudly presented it to the waiter in his best French "Porto Flip." A bit later, the person who ordered it got a bit peeved and wanted to know where his drink order was. Upon Jimmie asking the waiter, the waiter explained, "Porto flip? I thought you said porte au flic (take it to the cop)!" at which point Jimmie peered through the window at a police officer on the street corner enjoying his gift.

In my night behind the stick, I certainly did not see the wide spectrum of people and experiences, but it did help going into it somewhat prepared. Part of that experience got described in a BostonChef's Drink Like a Pro article, but many of the details and moments never made it in there.

broken flower

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolón)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynolds)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make the Broken Flower that I found in the supplemental recipes to the current issue of Imbibe Magazine. When Andrea heard the name, she asked if we had tried that one before, but that was Kelley Swenson's unrelated Broken Flower recipe. This Broken Flower was crafted by Chris lane at Lolinda in San Francisco. With tequila, lime, and cinnamon, it reminded me of the Gilda Cocktail recipe but perhaps one that had been crossed with the Peralta or perhaps the Under the Volcano.
broken flower tequila cocktail
The grapefruit and Cynar began the drink's aroma, but over time, the tequila gained some space on the nose. A grapefruit and lime sip gave way to a tequila and Cynar swallow that ended with cinnamon notes.

white lion

1 wineglass Santa Cruz Rum (2 oz Caliche White)
1 tsp Sugar (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
1 tsp Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 tsp Raspberry Syrup (1/4 oz)
Juice 1/2 Lime plus Rind (1/2 oz + Rind)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with shaved ice. Garnish with fruit.
jerry thomas white lion
After having Max Toste's White Lion variation at Deep Ellum, I decided to made the original that appears in Jerry Thomas' book. Once mixed, the White Lion offered a fruit aroma from the garnishes and ingredients. A lime and orange liqueur sip led into a rum and raspberry swallow with a lime peel bitterness on the finish. Indeed, the Curaçao and raspberry flavors were rather subtle here; later versions, such as the one in The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book change that in the direction of the Boston version of the Periodista's proportions:
White Lion (1935)
• 1/2 glass Jamaican Rum
• 1/4 glass Curaçao
• 1/4 glass Raspberry Syrup
• Juice of Lime or 1/2 Lemon
Shake with ice and strain into a tumbler filled with shaved ice. Garnish with fruit.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

fearless

1 1/4 oz Rhum JM Gold
3/4 oz Campari
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 pinch Salt
Lemon oil from a long twist

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with the oils from another long lemon twist.

After the Rubus Swizzle, I decided to stick with the rum theme and make the Fearless from Portland, Oregon. The recipe was given to me by Central's Dustin Knox along with the one for the Twelve Rounds; my reason for asking for them was that when we went to Central during Portland Cocktail Week, there was a special event and we did not have a chance to experience the house recipes from regular menu.
central portland oregon dustin knox
The copious amounts of lemon oil contributed greatly to the Fearless' aroma, and perhaps the oils joined the Cocchi Americano to donate a light citrus flavor to the sip. Most of the flavor came through on the swallow that packed an intense grassy and herbal wallop followed by lingering bitter notes. The pinch of salt did help to shape the drink by making the Campari less sharply bitter and thus more complementary to the aged rhum agricole.

rubus swizzle

1 1/2 oz White Rum (Privateer Silver)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
1/4 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)

Swizzle in a Collins glass with crushed ice to mix and chill. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a blackberry.

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make the Rubus Swizzle from this month's Imbibe Magazine. The drink was crafted by Hal Brock at Houston's Anvil Bar & Refuge, and it appeared like a nutty Swizzle variation of the White Lion. Instead of the Nicaraguan rum that their menu lists, I opted for a local one, Privateer Silver, since I felt its fruitier notes would do well here.
anvil houston hal brock
The lemon garnish's aroma prepared the mouth for the lemon sip that was joined by a berry note. Most of the raspberry flavor appeared on the swallow though along with the rum, and the swallow ended with hinds of almond nuttiness on the finish.

Monday, March 4, 2013

sideways in reverse

3/4 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Rose Dragon, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted in the SeriousEats article about Philadelphia's Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.'s new drink menu. While it was mainly a photo album, the Sideways in Reverse slide mentioned that it was equal parts of Laird's Bonded, Campari, St. Germain, and lime. The slide also described how the recipe was crafted by Colin Shearn shortly before he moved off to Louisville to run the Franklin's sister establishment, St. Charles Exchange. Considering the good luck I have had with Colin's recipes, I was definitely excited about trying the drink. With many of Colin's drink names being musical references, I surmise that the drink is named after a Mark Lanegan song.
franklin mortgage and investment company philadelphia
The Sideways in Reverse began with a fruity nose that contained an apple aroma spiked with some Campari notes. Lime and St. Germain's fruity flavor filled the sip, and the swallow began with apple followed by the Campari tempered by St. Germain floral notes. Finally, the drink shared a pear-like finish. Overall, I was impressed at how well the apple brandy paired with the St. Germain; moreover, I was quite surprised how few recipes on the blog use that combination, but one of them, the Boutonnière, is still a major seller at Rendezvous in Cambridge. In addition, the pairing of Campari and St. Germain is one that has worked well before in the Cell #34 that Ben Sandrof made for me and the St-Argent served at the Franklin Southie.

rose dragon

1 1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Royal Rose Rose Syrup
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass

About two weeks ago, I received a bunch of samples from Royal Rose Syrups. I had met Emily Butters, one of the two owners of the company, right before my book signing at the Boston Cocktail Summit last October in the Boston Shaker store's room. Recently, Emily asked if I wanted to try out the syrups, and after looking through the recipes on their page, I was definitely excited about a few of them, so I gave her the thumbs up. The ones that I was most excited about trying used the rose syrup, and the recipe that called out to me the most was the Rose Dragon which seemed like a riff on the Last Word. A short time later, I also made a drink with the saffron syrup that I will cover soon; the five other syrups include raspberry, three chili, tamarind, lavender-lemon, and cardamom-clove. Locally, Adam at the Boston Shaker store in Somerville sells seven of Royal Rose's syrups; while he lacks the saffron I mentioned, he does carry a strawberry-fennel that I have heard good things about.
royal rose syrups cocktail recipe
The Rose Dragon presented a gin and Chartreuse aroma that was joined by sweet floral notes. The lemon sip was joined by some herbal notes that were perhaps due to the rose syrup; however, most of the rose came through on the swallow where it mingled with the gin and Green Chartreuse botanicals. Indeed, the rose syrup played a similar role as the Maraschino Liqueur in a Last Word.

Friday, March 1, 2013

the old (barbara) west

1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Meletti Amaro
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Salt

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

Two Mondays ago, we headed down to the Blue Room for the third installment of Wild West-themed Whiskey & Amari Night. The hosts that evening were Sam Treadway of Backbar and Noon Inthasuwan of Moksa. While Andrea went with Noon's green tea-laden 6 Shots in My Gun, I opted for Sam's variation on the Barbara West he called the Old (Barbara) West. Though the recipe varied by including some amaro and simple syrup, the real game changer was a pinch of salt which altered the roll of the gin in the classic.
The lemon twist aroma joined that of a sweet grape. A slightly tart lemon and grape sip transitioned into a lightly herbal swallow with a pleasantly lemony finish. Indeed, the salt squashed a lot of the flavor of the hearty Ransom Old Tom Gin as well as that of the Meletti Amaro; however, as the drink warmed up, the swallow became more flavorful. Perhaps doubling the Meletti and removing the simple syrup would help push the swallow into a more herbal realm. Moreover, perhaps the salt helped to increase the perception of sweetness in this recipe that would otherwise appear to be rather dry and tart.

cappa cocktail

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Ryan & Wood Knockabout)
1 1/2 oz Pineau des Charentes
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

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

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a cocktail that Gary Regan posted about called the Cappa Cocktail. The drink was created by Ms. Franky Marshall of The Tippler and The Monkey Bar in New York City, and the spirit-fortified wine-Maraschino trio and proportions reminded me of the Creole Contentment. Instead rye and Madeira in the Creole Contentment, the Cappa called for gin and Pineau des Charentes, and this recipe won her a recent Plymouth mixology contest.
franky marshall cappa cocktail
The lemon twist's oils and the Maraschino liqueur aroma also contained a floral note. A clean, sweet grape sip was followed by gin and then Maraschino on the swallow. Overall, I was quite impressed at how well the Pineau des Charentes worked with the Maraschino liqueur.