Sunday, October 22, 2017

disco nap

1 1/2 oz Sombra Mezcal
3/4 oz Cucumber Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Sundays ago, I met up with Doug from the Ohio-based Pegu Blog to give him another glimpse into the Boston bar scene. For a first stop, we convened at Brick & Mortar. From their disco-themed menu, I went with the Disco Nap for the combination of Chartreuse and cucumber reminded me of the Irma La Douce. The more I thought about it, the Irma was a Green Chartreuse cocktail and the closer concept was the Going Back to Mezcali that paired Yellow Chartreuse with cucumber.
The Disco Nap proffered a soothing cucumber nose with a hint of smoke. Next, lime, honey, and green vegetal notes on the sip were followed by smoky agave and cucumber flavors on the swallow. Overall, the drink teetered on a bit too sweet for my palate and perhaps knocking the cucumber syrup down a quarter ounce or the lime juice up a quarter ounce would help bring this drink into alignment for me.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

dry tongue therapy

6 dash Angostura Bitters
4 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz St. George)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Gin (Damrak)
1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum

Whip shake with pebble ice and pour into a tulip glass (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a half grapefruit wheel, mint, and a smoldering cinnamon stick.
Two Saturdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood, so I decided to make one of the drinks that I had spotted on Punch called the Dry Tongue Therapy. The recipe was crafted by Guillermo Bravo of Brooklyn's Featherweight, and the combination reminded me of a Jet Pilot with gin and sweet raisiny sherry in place of two of the rums. Once prepared, the aroma was mostly the acrid scent of cinnamon smoke over more soothing mint and grapefruit elements. Next, grape from the sherry joined grapefruit notes on the sip, and funky rum, raisin, cinnamon, clove, and anise flavors on the swallow closed out the drink.

Friday, October 20, 2017

yucatan bird

1 oz Mezcal (Figencio Espadin Joven)
1 oz Black Strap (or dark) Rum (Cruzan Black Strap)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig; a pineapple wedge or leaves would make for a great garnish as well.

Two Fridays ago, I was thinking about how well Campari and crème de cacao work together such as in the Stagecoach Mary and Mon Sherry Amour as well as what a great duo mezcal and cacao are such as in the Ask the Dust and Guelaguetza. My mind wandered over to the Campari-Tiki drink the Jungle Bird, and I wondered if I could split the spirit to dark or black strap rum and mezcal and split the liqueurs to Campari and cacao (or better stated switch the simple syrup to cacao)? I do know that mezcal works as a base spirit substitution in a Jungle Bird after having one made for me at Drink two years ago. For a name, I opted for the Yucatan Bird after the part of Mexico that contains rain forests, a good number of jungle birds, and much of Mexico's chocolate production.
The Yucatan Bird greeted the nose with mint aromas over chocolate and smoke nose. Next, pineapple, lime, and molasses on the sip were joined by smoky agave as well as molasses' and Campari's bitterness melding into chocolate on the swallow with a lingering smoke finish.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

first of four

1 1/2 oz Prairie Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur (Salers)
1/4 oz Crème de Violette (Rothman & Winters)
1/4 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a cucumber slice (lemon twist).

On Thursday two weeks ago, I remembered the Punch Drinks article on how to use Avèze in cocktails. As I reread the text, the recipe that I decided to make with Luke DeYoung's First of Four that he crafted at Chicago's Scofflaw. I was curious to see if Salers would work just as well in DeYoung's riff on an Aviation as it did in the Of Lambs and Lions.
The First of Four greeted the nose with a lemon bouquet with a hint of gentian; had I used the cucumber garnish, it probably would have brought out and complemented the gentian notes more than the lemon twist. Next, lemon on the sip transitioned into gin, earthy-herbal, and floral flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

hinky dinks fizzy

2 oz Sparkling Wine (Willm Blanc de Blancs)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Blended Lightly Aged Rum (Plantation 3 Star)

Blend all but the sparkling wine with 12 oz crushed ice and 4-6 small ice cubes, and pour with a gated strain into a 22 oz snifter with the sparkling wine (shake with ice, strain into a 16 oz snifter with sparkling wine, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a mint sprig (mint and a nasturtium).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood so I reached for the Smuggler's Cove book and found the Hinky Dinks Fizzy. The drink was created by Trader Vic's in 1984 for their 50th anniversary, and it reminded me of their 1950s era Rum Keg punch with a few changes including splitting the rum with gin, switching lemon to lime, and lightening the body with sparkling wine. The name itself pays tribute to the original name of the first Trader Vic's, Hinky Dink's. Once prepared, the Hinky Dinks Fizzy gave forth a mint and floral aroma that led into a carbonated lime and tropical passion fruit sip. Next, the gin's botanicals joined pineapple, white wine, and apricot flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

amaro sour

1 1/2 oz Amaro (Ramazzotti)
3/4 oz Bourbon (Fighting Cock 103)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice or into a coupe without ice (rocks glass with ice), and garnish with a lemon-cherry flag.

Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea was in the mood for a digestif so I grabbed Brad Parson's Amaro. Out of the list of drinks I still want to make from that book, I was lured in by Brad's Amaro Sour that was based off of Jeffrey Morgenthaler's The Best Amaretto Sour in the World recipe. Brad swapped the amaretto for a dealer's choice pick of an amaro akin to Katie Emmerson and my Kitty Leroy Fix, and I opted for Ramazzotti which often gets overlooked on the amaro shelf despite being both affordable and flavorful.
The Amaro Sour when made with Ramazzotti began with a lemon and root beer aroma. Next, sweet caramel from the amaro was balanced by the lemon's crispness on the creamy sip, and the swallow offered root beer, licorice, and orange flavors that were well supported by the Bourbon backbone.

Monday, October 16, 2017

evening redness no. 1

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica (Cocchi Sweet Vermouth)
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Sugar Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a grapefruit (orange) twist.

Two Mondays ago, I was captivated by a recipe by Nicholas Jarrett called the Evening Redness No. 1 that I spotted on the Barnotes app. Jarrett crafted this number at Philadelphia's Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. back in 2009, and the drink reminded me of a embittered Martinez crossed with a hint of Negroni. As a side note, the Evening Redness No. 2 varied by calling for Junipero instead of Beefeater Gin as well as Amaro Nonino instead of Campari; since I lack Amaro Nonino at home, it was an easy choice to make. I trusted Jarrett's call to shake this straight spirits drink and figured that it would yield a frothiness from the Angostura Bitters.
In the glass, the Evening Redness No. 1 shared an orange and juniper nose that preceded a rich off-dry grape sip. Next gin, clove, cinnamon, and orange flavors on the swallow rounded out the drink.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

autumn daiquiri

2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum (Plantation Barbados 5 Year)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Sundays ago for the cocktail hour, I reached for the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. My search ended up in the Daiquiri variation section where I was drawn to Joaquin Simo's 2008 Autumn Daiquiri. The name reminded me of the Winter Daiquiri which used vanilla and allspice dram instead of the Autumn Daiquiri's cinnamon syrup and pineapple juice. In the glass, the Autumn Daiquiri presented the aged rum's caramel along with the syrup and bitters' cinnamon on the nose. Next, lime, caramel, and hints of pineapple on the sip led into rum, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove on the swallow.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


1 jigger Whisky (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Stir with a lump of ice, add a cherry, twist a lemon peel over it, and serve with a spoon (shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist).

Two Saturdays ago while cooking dinner, I began perusing the pages of Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them when I spotted the Southern. The drink reminded me of a Frisco Sour with grenadine as well as my Frisco Sour-Jack Rose mashup, the Frisco Rose without the apple brandy and Peychaud's Bitters. For the spirit, the book referred to whiskey as "whisky" perhaps as a throwback to Prohibition when most of the whisk(e)y was either Canadian or Scottish, and I opted for an American rye whiskey here. And for the proportions and style, I crafted this more like a Sour than a built drink.
The Southern gave forth a lemon, whiskey, and hint of pomegranate bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and berry on the sip led into rye and herbal notes on the swallow with tart lemon and pomegranate on the finish.

Friday, October 13, 2017


1 1/2 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Nardini Amaro

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a floated mint leaf.
After enjoying the Great Satan, I decided to make another recipe by Philadelphia bartender Paul MacDonald. The drink I made two Fridays ago was another straight-spirits Negroni-esque number that I spotted in the OnTheBar site called the Stigmata. Once prepared, the Stigmata gave forth mint aromas over dark notes from the aged brandy and the amaro's caramel. Next, caramel paired with sweet white grape on the sip, and the swallow supplemented the Cognac notes with herbal, chocolate, and mint elements from the vermouth and Nardini Amaro. Indeed, the mint garnish prepared the palate some of the amaro's botanical flavors on the finish.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

commando bird

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz Doctor Bird or Plantation Original Dark Rum (Plantation Dark)

Shake with crushed ice and pour into a glass (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). I garnished with nasturtium flowers and added a straw.

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on El_Nova_1's Instagram called the Commando Bird. The drink is a Jungle Bird riff crafted by Jason Alexander (a/k/a the Tiki Commando) of the Tacoma Cabana and Rum Bar. Here, the main variance from the late 1970s classic is that the simple syrup was switched to passion fruit syrup. Given how well Campari and passion fruit pair such as in the Novara, I was definitely intrigued. Moreover, the drink reminded me of the Urban Bird that I collaborated on for a drink of the day that swapped the classic's pineapple juice and simple syrup for orange juice and passion fruit syrup, and also the Aperol and gin 'I'iwi Bird came to mind.
In the mug, the Commando Bird donated a peppery floral aroma from my choice of nasturtium blossom garnish. Next, lime, pineapple, and a tropical note from the passion fruit filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the dark rum and the Campari-passion fruit bitter tropical flavors.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add a straw.

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to remake my submission to the 2017 Lustau Solera Stand Out competition. I was inspired by my Negroni Week offering that melded the classic Negroni with the 1960s Tiki drink the Saturn that I called the Negroni on Saturn. In remembering how well Amontillado and Oloroso sherry go well with nutty orgeat and tropical passion fruit, I rearranged the drink to make a sherry-driven Tiki drink with sherry subbing in for gin and sweet vermouth in my mashup and with molé bitters taking the place of the falernum as the spice element. For a name, I kept the god theme of the Saturn and went with a related one, Hercules, who was allegedly buried in Cadiz, Spain, the center of sherry production.
The Hercules began with a mint aroma that led into a creamy grape sip with hints of lemon. Next, the swallow was nutty from the sherry and orgeat with passion fruit softening Campari's bitterness, and it ended with a chocolate and passion fruit finish.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

aku aku

Juice 1 Lime (1 oz)
8-10 leaf Mint (10 leaves)
1 dash Rock Candy Syrup (1/2 oz Simple)
1/2 slice Pineapple (1 oz Pineapple Juice)
1/2 oz Peach Liqueur (Briottet Crème de Pêche de Vigne)
1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Angostura White Oak)

Blend with ice (~8 oz) and pour into a large cocktail glass (water goblet). I garnished with a mint sprig and a nasturtium blossom.
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for Trader Vic's 1972 edition of his Bartender's Guide where I spotted one of his originals, the Aku Aku. The recipe appeared to be his take on Don the Beachcomber's circa 1940 Missionary's Downfall with rock candy syrup instead of honey. Once prepared, the Aku Aku gave forth a glorious mint aroma. Next lime and pineapple mingled on the sip, and the swallow offered complementary rum, peach, and mint flavors.

Monday, October 9, 2017

part-time lover

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice (coupe glass sans ice), and garnish with a grapefruit (orange) twist.

Two Mondays ago for the cocktail hour, I turned to Imbibe Magazine online where I had bookmarked the Part-Time Lover created by Jon Weimorts at Los Angeles' Idle Hour. Indeed, the combination of Aperol, elderflower, and lemon reminded me of Paul Clarke's Dunniette and Josh Childs' Shaddock. Here, the spirit was tequila with an added spiced complexity from Angostura Bitters.
While the recipe prescribed an on-the-rocks presentation, I was more in the mood for an up drink and served it as such; I was also out of grapefruit, so I switched the twist identity to orange. With this change in garnish, the orange oil brought out the Aperol aroma on the nose. Next, lemon juice and Aperol's orange combined to generate an almost tangerine flavor, and the swallow gave forth tequila, rhubarb, and elderflower flavors with clove-driven bitters on the finish.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

mambo #5

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig and orange peel.

Two Sundays ago, I was looking through the OnTheBar drink directory when I spotted the Mambo #5 by Ian Kearney of Manhattan's The Daisy. The combination of tequila, Campari, and orgeat reminded me of Death in the Garden, and the Swedish punsch element seemed like it would complement the tequila and Campari as described in my Swedish punsch cheat sheet. So overall, I was definitely looking forward to trying this combination.
Once prepared, the Mambo #5 offered an orange and mint bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lime sip led into swallow which saw tequila's herbal flavors melding into the punsch's tea notes as well as the nutty orgeat working well with the Campari's bitter orange. Overall, the combination reminded me of the tequila Mai Tai called the Pinky Gonzalez with a touch of the Bitter Mai Tai thrown in too.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

tiger balm

2 oz Brugal Añejo Rum (Diplomatico Añejo)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup (2:1)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca Menta

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint leaf.
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to my 2009 copy of Rogue Cocktails to see I missed any recipes. There, I spotted the Tiger Balm, an herbal-minty Daiquiri variation crafted by Kirk Estopinal of New Orleans' The Cure. The drink also appears in the 2011 edition of the book that got renamed Beta Cocktails due to legal issues with a certain West Coast distillery, and its use of Fernet Branca Menta seemed to match my memory of Tiger Balm ointment's aroma. In the glass, the Tiger Balm gave forth caramel, mint, and menthol notes to the nose. Next, a rich caramel balanced by lime sip transitioned into rum on the swallow with a menthol finish. Overall, the Tiger Balm perfectly soothed my itch for a Daiquiri.

Friday, October 6, 2017

leyenda milk punch

1 1/2 oz Pampero Aniversario Rum (Diplomatico Añejo)
1 1/2 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
3 oz Whole Milk (Soy Milk)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon).

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted while reading Fred Minnick's Rum Curious book called the Leyenda Milk Punch. The recipe was attributed to bartender Max Solano, and I was drawn to it for I love New Orleans-style milk punches and even crafted one for my last program's brunch menu. As I wrote in my first exposure to the style, milk punches of this sort (opposed to the clarified type) appear in Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bartenders Guide: A Bon Vivant's Companion and later became popular brunch drinks especially in New Orleans.
Once prepared, the Leyenda Milk Punch shared a nutmeg and cinnamon aroma from the garnishes. Next, a creamy sip gave forth grape and honey notes, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of aged rum and nutty sherry with vanilla accents from the Licor 43.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

white zombie

1 1/2 oz Macchu Pisco
1 1/2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum (Plantation 3 Star)
1 oz Hayman's Royal Dock Gin
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Don's Mix (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Purée (1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (none, combined with purée above)
1 bsp Maraschino (Luxardo)
1 bsp Absinthe (Kübler)

Shake with ice and pour into a Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with an orange wheel, mint sprig, and a paper umbrella (mint sprigs and nasturtium flowers).

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a Tiki drink that I had spotted on Punch Drinks by Zac Overman of Fort Defiance in Brooklyn. Zac's White Zombie, besides perhaps being a tribute to the band, was a less colored riff on the classic 1934 Zombie. Instead of three rums, there was a single white one joined by gin and pisco. Moreover, the absinthe was increased and the classic's grenadine and Angostura Bitters were swapped for Maraschino liqueur and passion fruit purée here. Since I have enjoyed Zac's Three Scots and a Dash, Padang Swizzle, and Angostura Colada, I was game to give this one a try.
The White Zombie greeted the nose with mint and peppery floral aromas. Next, lime and grapefruit on the sip led into juniper, passion fruit, and Maraschino on the swallow with an absinthe and cinnamon finish. Overall, it was in the ballpark of the classic, and the addition of passion fruit was in line with the Spievak and Tonga Room Zombies.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

mexican-style mint julep

1/2 Felipe II Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 Sandeman Port (1 1/2 oz Sandeman Tawny)
1 tsp Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Lemon Peel
Peppermint (8 leaf)

Shake with ice in a double old fashioned glass and serve with 2 cherries without straining (Muddle the lemon peel with the sugar and then gently muddle the mint. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and remove the mint and peel. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs.).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was looking through the EUVS library and rediscovered the 1939 Floridita Cocktails book by Constante Ribalaigua Vert. What caught my eye in this Cuban tome were the two Mint Juleps inside with the more recognizable recipe being referred to as the "Virginia-style" one. The other was the "Mexican-style" Julep that had a mix of brandy and port with Maraschino, bitters, and citrus oil accents. The presence of a fortified wine in a Julep did not surprise me for I have had the Dubonnet Mint Julep as well as the sherry-based Platonic Julep before, but I could not remember a single time that I had mint muddled into a port drink. Once prepared, the Julep offered a mint aroma that gave way to a rich grape sip. Next, the swallow gave forth brandy, port, and a hint of nutty notes with a mint and clove finish.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit).
Two Tuesdays ago, I was perusing the A Spot at the Bar and found in the Gimlet section the Debutante that was their "go to for those who are after a Cosmo." I was able to trace back the recipe to the 1934 Jayne's Bartender's Guide, and it seemed like a pleasant way to round out the evening. In the glass, the Debutante gave forth gin and hints of lime on the nose with an orange note from some combination of my grenadine's orange blossom water and the recipe's orange bitters. Next, lime and berry flavors on the sip gave way to gin and pomegranate on the swallow. Overall, the feel of the drink reminded me of the Jack Rose with less fruit notes (there is the intermediate Blue Skies as well).

Monday, October 2, 2017

the great satan

1 oz Mezcal Vida (Fidencio Joven)
1 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 oz Punt e Mes

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was browsing the cocktail database on the OnTheBar app and I spotted an intriguing mezcal Negroni riff from one of my Instagram friends, bartender Paul MacDonald. Paul crafted this number, the Great Satan, at Philadelphia's Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and it seemed to match my mood for something bitter and stirred. Once prepared, the Great Satan provided an orange and smoky vegetal nose. Next, caramel and grape filled the sip, and the swallow offered agave and rounded bitter complexity with a dark orange and smoke finish.