Sunday, November 19, 2017

prayers for rain

2 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Cantaloupe Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico
1 dash Regan's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (or cocktail coupe), and garnish with an oregano sprig (here, clipped onto the glass with a slitted lemon twist).
(*) Cubed cantaloupe melon blended and fine strained. This juice was mixed with an equal part of sugar and stirred until dissolved. I avoided heat to retain more aroma and to not give the melon a cooked flavor.
Two Mondays ago for my second shift at the Cocktail Lab located in Earl's Prudential, I decided to do an uniting theme of drinks named after song titles from The Cure's Disintegration album. For the first of the trio that I dubbed Prayers for Rain, I was inspired by the cantaloupes that I had been buying at my local market, and it reminded me of a Day of the Dead cantaloupe drink that I had tried years ago called the Marigold Ofrenda. I thought of this drink as a re-envisioned Margarita and returned some orange notes to the mix via Regan's bitters. However, the combination needed some pizazz so I added a touch of Galliano to donate complementary vanilla and star anise notes to the mix. For a garnish, my oregano patch in my garden had been doing rather well and it seemed like a perfect Mexican-appropriate touch to the drink.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

leap frog

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
6 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in simple syrup, add rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I grabbed the PDT Cocktail Book off of the shelf and stumbled upon the Leap Frog. Jim Meehan created this drink as a riff on the Leaping Frog from Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender; his starting point was a recipe that was a shaken concoction of Hungarian apricot eau de vie and lime juice. The same drink idea appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book as the Hop Toad with lemon instead of lime. Here, it appears that Meehan was inspired by perhaps a combination of the Pendennis and Southside to make the original recipe more palatable.
The Leap Frog offered up an apricot and mint aroma that led into a lemon sip with a hint of orchard fruit. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and apricot flavors with a mint finish.

Friday, November 17, 2017

weirding way

1 oz Boomsma Oude Genever (Rutte Old Simon)
1 oz Batavia Arrack (Van Oosten)
1 1/2 oz Strong Black Tea (English Breakfast)
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz 2:1 Honey Syrup (1 oz 1:1)
3 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs (Burlesque Bitters)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel (lemon twist studded with 3 cloves).

On Friday night two weeks ago, I selected a few volumes of The Cocktail Hour series and found an intriguing gem in the gin booklet. The recipe was the Weirding Way crafted by Ricky Gomez when he was at the Tear Drop Lounge in Portland, and it included the description of, "gently spiced, with layers of trade routes in a glass." The drink name is a Dune reference describing a form of movement training useful in close quarters fighting, and the drink itself had elements of a classic punch to it.
Weirding Way gave forth a lemon, malt, and clove bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon, honey, and malt on the sip transitioned to Batavia Arrack's funk, Genever's malt and botanicals, and black tea flavors. True to a punch, the flavors were rather balanced here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

disappearing act

1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Linie Aquavit (Aalborg)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Giffard Peche Liqueur (1/4 oz Briottet Crème de Peche de Vigne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, top with sparkling wine (1 1/2 oz Ninety+ Cellars Prosecco), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through the pages of Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails when I spotted a recipe called the Disappearing Act that reminded me of the one that Paul Clarke crafted for a Mixology Monday event in 2012 with the same name. In essence, this Disappearing Act created by Manhattan's Nitecap bar was an aquavit for gin (or brandy) French 75 with Lillet and peach notes as accents. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon-floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a carbonated lemon and white wine sip led into caraway, citrus peel, and peach notes on the swallow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


2/3 Calvados (2 oz Boulard VSOP)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Liqueur)
3 dash Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for my evening's refreshment. There, I spotted the Harbor that reminded me of the Sonora and Tulip with their apple brandy, apricot liqueur, and citrus components. Once prepared, the Harbor shared an apple aroma with hints of apricot. Next, lime mingled with orchard fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow combined the apple and apricot into an almost novel flavor followed by a tart lime finish.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

mutiny of clowns

3/4 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with an orange peel "cup" peel side down, filled with 151 proof rum (El Dorado), and ignited.
On October 31st, I was flipping through my new book purchases and discovered that there was a small section of Halloween-themed recipes in Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails book. The one that seemed most appropriate to crown the holiday was the Mutiny of Clowns by David Nurmi of the now closed Jakewalk. Once built and after the rum burned itself out, the Mutiny of Clowns provided an orange oil bouquet over dark blackstrap rum and Cynar aromas and sharp lime notes. Next, the lime matched the rum and amaro's caramel on the sip, and the swallow offered dark rum and vegetal funk flavors with a ginger finish that helped to tie the drink together.

Monday, November 13, 2017

mojito from ipanema

2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 medium Nasturtium Leaves (sliced into 6ths)
1 Nasturtium Flower

Shake with ice, double strain into a Collins glass with 3 oz soda water, fill with ice, add a straw, and garnish with a fresh nasturtium leaf and flower.
Two Mondays ago, I began my Monday night residency at the Cocktail Lab at Earl's Prudential with a three drink menu. The theme tying the trio together were herbs and fruit that either I grew in my garden or were foraged within a half mile of my home. As for the foraged aspect, I had already described the Crabapple Fight! (now with a photo from the event) that utilized three types of crabapples from the Davis Square bike path, and the second drink utilized my garden's sage by way of the Oaxacan Smash that I came up with over the summer. The third menu item featured nasturtiums that are in full bloom right now on the fringes of the garden. I was originally considering pairing this with a rum, but when I learned that nasturtiums are from Peru, I decided to go with cachaça to maintain a South American theme. For a format, I decided that a Mojito would be recognizable enough to lure people into drink cachaça. Overall, the peppery notes from the nasturtiums worked rather well with the grassy funky flavors of the Brazilian spirit, and the presentation with the bright flower and lily pad-like leaf did not hurt either.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


1 3/4 oz White Rum (Denizen)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ruby Port (Sandeman Tawny)
2 tsp Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
2 tsp Sugar (Cane Crystals)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an ice cube. Note: I dissolved the sugar in the lime juice first.

To cap off Sunday two weeks ago, I reached for Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles where I came across the Malecon. I immediately recognized that name from Thad Volger's By the Smoke and the Smell where he documented his trip to Cuba to learn about its rum production. Here, the drink was crafted by Erik Lorincz at the American Bar at London's Savoy Hotel, and it was indeed named after Havana's waterfront promenade.
The grape from the Malecon's port was brightened by lime notes on the nose. Next, the lime and grape intermingled on the sip, and the swallow paired the rum with nutty sherry that led to an anise-herbal finish.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

legendre mint julep

1 Tbsp Water (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Bar Sugar (2 Demerara Sugar Cubes)
3-4 sprig Mint
1 oz Bourbon (2 oz Fighting Cock 103)
2 dash Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Herbsaint (1/8+ oz)

Muddle mint with sugar and water (I dissolved the sugar before adding the mint to muddle). Add the rest of the ingredients, remove the muddled mint, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and fruit (omit fresh fruit).
Two Saturdays ago, my search for that evening's drink led me to Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guide. In the Julep section, I was lured in by the Legendre Mint Julep named after J. Marion Legendre who helped to create the absinthe-substitute Herbsaint in New Orleans circa 1934 after learning how to make absinthe while in France during World War I. Besides the Herbsaint, the Julep contained the classic trio of Bourbon, mint, and sugar along with a dash of Jamaican rum which I often include in my Mint Juleps and Smashes. Once prepared, the Legendre Mint Julep shared a glorious mint bouquet to the nose. Next, a malt sip proffered a hint of vegetalness, and the swallow accented the Bourbon with a touch of rum funk and ended with a mint and anise finish. Indeed, the Herbsaint complemented the mint notes as they have in the Pliny the Elder and Pontarlier Julep.

punsch ghoul bowle

1 1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rum
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, add a straw, and float 1/2 oz of house red wine. Normally, the outer vessel would contain dry ice in a water bath to garnish the drink with fog, but their supplier was out of dry ice that day.

For my second drink at Backbar, I asked bartender Amanda Greenfield for the Punsch Ghoul Bowle which was the Halloween-themed drink of the week. The drink was crafted by Kat Lamper and was subtitled, "A Halloween treat for grownups inspired by a punch bowl cocktail popular in 1900." When I inquired as to which drink it was based off of, I was shown David Wondrich's Punch book that was open to the section on Punschglühbowle; that recipe consisted of two parts light red wine to one part Batavia Arrack along with orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar that was served both heated and flaming. Here, the drink was more spirit driven with the addition of Jamaican rums and flavored with chocolate liqueur.
The Punsch Ghoul Bowle began with a red wine aroma that gave way to a lemon and orange sip with a dark note from the crème de cacao. Next, the swallow showcased the funky rums and Arrack along with a complementary earthy note from the chocolate element. Over time, the red wine float entered the equation and appeared mostly in the sip.

Friday, November 10, 2017

pisco flower

1 1/4 oz Macchu Pisco
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Violette
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/4 oz Simple Syurp
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an edible orchid.
Two Fridays ago, I needed to get out of the house so I walked over to Backbar. There, I found a seat in front of bartender Amanda Greenfield. For a first drink, I asked Amanda for the Pisco Flower that she attributed to Kat Lamper as her flowery take on a Pisco Sour. Once prepared, the Pisco Flower contributed a floral aroma from the orchid garnish and violet liqueur. Next, a creamy lemon sip led into pisco and a medley of floral flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Jigger 2/3 Sherry (2 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)
1/4 Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I ventured into Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and uncovered the Devonshire in the wine chapter. Given the Maraschino in the recipe, I figured that a nutty, oxidized sherry like an Amontillado would work perfectly here. Moreover, the combination of Cointreau, Maraschino, and Picon was one that I have seen in old recipes such as the Mother-In-Law and White Rat and in newer ones like the Hoskins, so I was excited to give it a try here with sherry.
Once built, the Devonshire shared an orange aroma over nutty grape and Maraschino notes. Next, the grape continued on into the sip along with a hint of orange, and this was chased by nutty sherry and cherry flavors on the swallow with a bitter orange finish.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

gunwale punch

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
10 drop Absinthe (St. George)

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with mint.

After the previous night's enjoyment of the Gun Club Punch #2, I decided to riff on the combination by switching the sweeteners from curaçao and rock candy syrup to apricot liqueur and Swedish punsch that had worked rather well in the Havana Cocktail. Moreover, I changed spirit base to a rhum agricole and tequila that impressed me in Martin Cate's Menehune Gonzalez. With the rum, grapefruit, and lime trio, I wanted to take a step closer to the Jet Pilot by adding back a small amount of spice through a dash of absinthe.
In the mug, the garnishes greeted the nose with a mint and peppery floral bouquet. Next, grapefruit and lime on the sip transitioned into the combination of grassy and vegetal spirits and the apricot-Swedish punsch duo on the swallow with a light anise finish. Overall, the presence of apricot in the mix reminded me of the Golden Gun to some degree.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

gun club punch #2

Juice 1 Lime (1 oz)
1 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 dash Rock Candy Syrup (2 demerara sugar cubes dissolved in above citrus juice)
1 dash Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
1 1/2 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Angostura White Oak)
1/2 oz 151 Proof Demerara Rum (El Dorado)

Blend with a scoop of ice, pour into a Big Shot mug, and fill with ice cubes (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with fresh mint and a fruit stick (mint sprigs and grapefruit swath).

Two Tuesdays ago, I was feeling in a tropical drink mood, so I selected Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guide from the book shelf. There in the punch section was the second variation of the Gun Club Punch; I had made the first variation about two years ago. In the second variation, the juices went from lime and pineapple to lime and grapefruit and the sweeteners from grenadine and curaçao to rock candy syrup and curaçao; moreover, the partner of the light Puerto Rican rum switched from dark Jamaican to overproof Demerara. In both cases, I upped the sweeteners to better balance the lime juice's tartness.
The Gun Club Punch #2 gave forth a mint and grapefruit aroma from the garnishes. Next, lime and grapefruit mingled on the sip, and the swallow shared rum, orange, and vanilla notes. Overall, the rums, lime, and grapefruit reminded me of a Jet Pilot albeit in a more mellow format without all of the spice notes.

Monday, November 6, 2017


2 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
1/2 oz Batavia Arrack Van Oosten
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz 2:1 Cane Sugar Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit).
Two Mondays ago, I reached for the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and ended up in the Daiquiri variation section. There, Phil Ward's 2008-vintage D.W.B. or Daiquiri with Benefits seemed like a good way to cap off the evening. For a spirit base in an otherwise straightforward Daiquiri was the funky combination of rhum agricole and Batavia Arrack which I have only had paired together in the Sang et Sable. Once shaken and strained, the nose offered grassiness from the rhum agricole and a funk from both liquors that were brightened by the lime aroma. Next, the lime sang out on the sip, and the swallow was the intriguing transition of grassy flavors finishing with dry funk from the Batavia Arrack.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

the last waltz

1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1 tsp Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe with 2 oz sparkling wine (90+ Cellars Prosecco), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Sundays ago, I thumbed through the new issue of Imbibe Magazine and spotted the section of Holiday cocktails. There, I was drawn to the Last Waltz by Justin Powell and Bobbi Kay at Berlin's Pauly Saal. Once prepared, the Last Waltz donated a lemon and rye aroma to the nose. Next, sparkling wine and a dark fruit note from the Cherry Heering filled the sip, and the swallow offered rye, chocolate, cherry, and spice flavors that made Andrea comment that it was "like a lightly carbonated Manhattan."

Saturday, November 4, 2017


1 oz Añejo Tequila (Lunazul Reposado)
1 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
1 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 oz Cynar
2 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I was perusing the OnTheBar drink database when I spotted an interesting drink from Jenna Rycroft called the Puhi. Puhi is the Hawaiian word for eel, and it appeared part of her circa 2015 series at No. 9 Park that included the 'I'iwi Bird. Since the combination seemed like a good digestif and nightcap, I gave it a go. In the glass, the Puhi shared an orange aroma over nutty sherry and root beer notes. Next, the amari's caramel joined the sherry's grape on the sip, and the swallow displayed the great interplay of tequila and Cynar's vegetal flavors along with complementary coffee and chocolate notes from the other ingredients.

Friday, November 3, 2017


1/2 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Bacardi (3/4 oz Clement Premiere Canne Rhum Agricole Blanc)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On Friday two weeks ago, I delved into wine chapter of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Stone. I followed the book's recommendation to substitute a rhum agricole for the call of early Bacardi Rum, and I figured that Rhum Clement would offer a bit of intrigue here. Once prepared, the Stone gave forth a grassy and mineral nose from the rhum agricole that joined notes of nutty grape from the sherry. Next, grape fill the sip, and it continued on into the swallow where it mingled with grassy rum flavors and was chased by a nutty and bitter orange finish.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

sun and shadow

2 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
3/4 oz Light 151 Proof Rum (Don Q)
1/2 oz Apricot Brandy (Rothman & Winters)
2 oz Pineapple Juice
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a 14 oz glass (Tiki mug), and fill with ice.

Two Thursdays ago, I searched through Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guuide and spotted the Sun and Shadow. The name reminded me of Joe Scialom's 1957 Sol y Sombra; however, the Scialom's recipe as provided by Jeff Berry's Potions of the Caribbean had different rums and an addition of bitters. Therefore, the Trader Vic drink seemed perhaps distinct enough to make as a variation.
The Sun and Shadow presented a mint and peppery floral nose given my choice of mint sprigs and nasturtium blossom garnish. Next, lime, the dark rum's caramel, and a hint of pineapple on the sip transitioned into dark rum, overproof rum's heat, and apricot flavors modulated by pineapple on the swallow. Overall, it was not greatly different from the Sol y Sombra save for how the greater amount of dark rum and inclusion of overproof rum shifted the flavor balance away from the fruit notes to a darker and more boozy hot and dry drink.

sally can't surf

1 oz Espolon Tequila
3/4 oz Appleton Estate Rum
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Aperol
2 dash Grapefruit Bitters
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
On my way from Harvard Square before meeting Andrea for dinner at Trina's Starlite Lounge, I popped into Kirkland Tap & Trotter for a round. For a drink, I requested the Sally Can't Surf that slightly reminded me of a Japanese in concept. In the glass, the Sally Can't Surf gave forth a lemon aroma with a fruity note from the Aperol. Next, a creamy orange-tinted sip shared the aged rum's caramel notes, and the swallow began with tequila and nutty flavors and ended with a bitter grapefruit finish and a richness from the rum and orgeat.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

les sablons

1 1/2 oz Absolut Elyx Vodka (Citadelle Gin)
1/2 oz Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Wendnesdays ago, I met friends at Les Sablons in Harvard Square. For a drink, I went with the namesake cocktail that has been attributed to bar director Jackson Cannon who also put the drink on the menu at sister restaurant Eastern Standard. As I have done with drinks such as the Parisian Orchid and Beacon Fix, I asked if I could have the Les Sablons with gin; in keeping with the French theme, I requested Citadelle Gin which I had spotted elsewhere on the menu. With gin, the drink recipe read like a Barbara West with Benedictine in the mix.
The Les Sablons with gin greeted the senses with a lemon, savory, and juniper nose. Next, the lemon and savory notes continued into the sip, and the swallow provided complementary gin and herbal flavors with a clean sherry finish.