Sunday, June 24, 2018


3/4 oz jigger Sherry (2 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/4 jigger Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Copper & Kings)
1 dash Absinthe (1 scant bsp Butterfly)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my work shift two Sundays ago, I wanted to treat myself to a drink despite it being at such a late hour. Therefore, I opted for a low ABV recipe from the fortified wine-based section of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 called the Octogenarian. Perhaps sherry had a bad rap even back then as being an old lady's drink as Derek Brown once spoke about. In the glass, my choice of Amontillado as the sherry provided a nutty bouquet along with the anise and floral orange aromas from the other ingredients. Next, orange and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered grape, nutty, orange, and absinthe spice flavors. Overall, the combination reminded me of something William Schmidt would have created circa 1890, as well as a Fancy (and slightly Improved) Adonis.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

gold coast punch

8 oz Bacardi Ocho Rum (4 oz Don Q Añejo)
4 oz Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs)
3 oz Pineapple Juice (1 1/2 oz)
3 oz Lime Juice (1 1/2 oz)
2 oz Simple Syrup (1 oz)
2 oz Allspice Syrup (1 oz Hamilton's Allspice Dram)

Combine over ice (shake all but the sparkling wine with a few ice cubes, add the champagne, and pour into a bowl). Fill with crushed ice and garnish with lime wheels and orchids (mint sprig and honeysuckle blossoms).
Two Saturdays ago, I bought pineapple juice to make a recipe that I had spotted earlier in the week in Tom Sandham's World's Best Cocktails. That drink was Julie Reiner's Gold Coast Punch that she had created at Lani Kai in Manhattan; I was drawn to the combination for the rum, pineapple, lime, and allspice have worked well in libations like the Piñata and the Mytoi Gardens. Once prepared, the punch donated a mint and floral aroma from the garnishes over pineapple and allspice notes with hints of lime on the nose. Next, a lightly carbonated sip displayed caramel, pineapple, and lime flavors, and the swallow rounded things off with rum and allspice elements.

Friday, June 22, 2018

prize winner

2/3 Brandy (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Regan's)
1 dash Kümmel (1/4 oz Helbing)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I set out in search of a nightcap in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. There, I spotted the Prize Winner that came across like an orange spiced Cognac Old Fashioned that seemed like it might live up to its name. Once prepared, it shared a Cognac, orange oil, and caraway-cumin spiced nose that preceded a lightly orange sip. Next, the swallow gave forth brandy, orange, and caraway flavors. Over all, it was a solid tipple, but perhaps not dynamic enough to get a trophy or a ribbon.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

negroni crusta

3/4 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a narrow cocktail glass (sub narrow wine glass or small flute) rimmed with sugar, and garnish with a long wide lemon or orange twist (lemon twist) wrapped around the interior of the glass' rim.

Two Thursdays ago in the midst of Negroni Week, I began pondering what Negroni mashups that I could do. My mind set off in a Tiki direction such as I did last year for Negroni Week with the Negroni on Saturn and as I have done more recently with the Negroni Grog and the Zombie riff The Count Rides Again. Somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that a Crusta would be delightful. I had not touched the 1852 vintage structure since last summer with the Deauville Crusta. In pondering whether to make the added sweetener to balance the citrus and bitters the classic curaçao or the slightly newer Maraschino, I thought "why not both?" akin to what I did with the Bamboo Crusta years ago. While curaçao would round out the orange flavor in Campari, I have learned from drinks like the Carnivale (née the Pisco Disco) how Maraschino can soften Campari in the direction of Aperol. Lemon juice and Angostura Bitters were the additions that I went with by routine, and I did consider a wide orange swath for garnish but my orange at home has had too much peel taken off of it to make that happen. I ended up sticking with a lemon peel garnish, but orange would not be out of place here.
The Negroni Crusta greeted the nose with lemon oil over an orange and grape aroma. Next, the sip mirrored the bouquet with lemon, orange, and grape notes, but the swallow took things in a more complex direction with gin, bitter orange, and nutty Maraschino flavors and a clove and allspice finish. Overall, the citrus and liqueurs worked to make this rather gentle for a Negroni-based drink.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

tropical champagne

3/4 oz Dark Rum (1 oz Coruba)
3/4 oz Orange Juice (1 oz)
dashes Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
dashes Passion Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a Champagne flute, and fill with Champagne (~2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). I added an orange twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I recalled someone mentioning Charles Schumann's 1991 American Bar book earlier in the week and I reached for my copy. There, I was drawn to the Tropical Champagne that seemed to be a Schumann original that he dated as a 1980 creation. With dark rum and passion fruit in this sparkler, I felt that it was worth a try. Once prepared, the orange twist that I tacked on to the recipe added bright citrus aroma on top of the passion fruit nose. Next, a carbonated orange and lemon sip shared hints of passion fruit, and the swallow presented funky Jamaican rum, passion fruit, and dry white wine flavors. Overall, the drink succeeded in being both tropical and elegant.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

midnight mountain

1 1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Menthe (Tempus Fugit)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap to round off my work night. In the fortified wine section was an alluring amaro-driven number called the Midnight Mountain by Brad Farran circa 2013. The drink was centered around Amaro Nardini and seemed to build on the chocolate and mint notes that I often find in that liqueur such as in the Stigmata and the Bitter Swagger. Once prepared, the Midnight Mountain shared orange, herbal, and caramel notes to the nose. Next, grape and caramel on the sip slipped into bitter herbal, minty, and chocolate flavors on the swallow. The end result was something more akin to Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies than Fernet Branca.

Monday, June 18, 2018

lodge negroni

1 oz Scotch (7/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1/8 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed twist).

To mark the beginning of Negroni Week two Mondays ago, I turned to the recipe section of Imbibe Magazine online for their suggestions. The Lodge Negroni called out to me since Scotch has worked rather well in Negroni-like drinks like the Caustic Negroni and Bitter Nail. Moreover, coffee liqueur and Campari have proven to be an excellent pairing in drinks like the Lonnie Desoto and Coffee Negroni. Therefore, I decided to give this drink by James Grant of Edmonton's Wilfred's a whirl.
The Lodge Negroni proffered a bright orange nose over peat smoke and darker coffee aromas. Next, grape and roast on the sip gave way to smoky Scotch and bitter coffee-orange flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

vert poinçon de lait

4 Lemons & 4 Limes (or 12 Limes)
1 bottle Green Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten
1 qt Scalded Milk
1 (or 1 1/2) qt Water
1/2 pound Sugar

Peel the citrus and steep the peels in the three spirits for 6 hours or overnight. Next, juice the citrus and add it to the mixture. Heat the milk to 180°F to scald it; add it, the water, and the sugar to the mix; and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let sit 12 hours or overnight, strain, and bottle. The recipe generates around a gallon of punch and can easily be scaled back a few fold. For a more detailed protocol on Drink's milk punch production, see this post.

Two Sunday nights ago, I was prompted by a discussion of clarified milk punches on Facebook to look into my liquor shelves. One of the participants in that thread was Drink alumni Scott Marshall who commented that he had come up with a Chartreuse Milk Punch recipe that was rather good. That reminded me that I had a small bottle of said punch that he had gifted me at Tales of the Cocktail 2011. Soon after, I sent Scott a message asking for the recipe and permission to share it, and he was enthusiastic that it would be given new light. Scott sent me two recipes that varied by citrus type, amount of water, and resting times, and I merged the two here. The name provided was Vert Poinçon de Lait, or the green hole-punch (as in a ticket punch) of milk, and the punch after 7 years of resting looked rather good albeit with a layer of sediment on the bottom. For a more detailed protocol, see the link above that leads to Drink's Rum-Hibiscus Milk Punch recipe instructions.
The bottled-aged Vert Poinçon de Lait when served at room temperature greeted the nose with a citrus notes and green herbal aroma that was oregano-like as its dominant aspect. Next, a syrupy smooth but not sweet sip shared some lime accents, and the swallow was a gentle medley of Batavia Arrack and herbal flavors. Overall, the nose was more reminiscent of Green Chartreuse while the flavor itself was more akin to Yellow Chartreuse.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

agricole daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Jamaican Pot Still Rum (Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Martinique Petite Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lime (floated lime wheel).
Two Saturday nights ago, I ventured into Shanna Farrell's Bay Area Cocktails book and came across the Agricole Daiquiri by John Fragola of Beretta in San Francisco. Since a Daiquiri Time Out seemed appropriate, I got out my two rums, my cane syrup, and a lime for juicing and set to work. Once mixed, the Agricole Daiquiri donated a grassy nose brightened by lime aromas. Next, the lime continued on into the sip where it was balanced by the cane syrup, and the swallow gave forth grassy and funky flavors. Overall, it was bold with a lot of character all while still being rather approachable.

Friday, June 15, 2018


1/2 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
2 dash Crème Yvette (1/4 oz)
2 dash Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Friday nights ago, I had just closed up the bar and needed to get some sleep before I opened the bar for brunch the next day. However, I felt the need to pamper myself with a drink, so I compromised and took a low proof approach that would not muck with my sleep quality as greatly. For a selection, I opted for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Victor. The Victor had the curious combination of Crème Yvette and Amer Picon that I recalled working well in the Manhattan riff the La Salle from the same book, and the presence of pineapple juice could do no harm in this sherry cocktail.
The Victor offered a bright floral and berry nose with darker undertones from perhaps the sherry and Picon. Next, grape and pineapple mingled on the sip, and the swallow gave forth nutty grape and floral flavors with a tropical bitter orange finish.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

phoenix feather

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was browsing the BarNotes app for interesting recipes when I spotted a Cognac Negroni riff called the Phoenix Feather in a section dedicated to the upcoming Negroni Week. The drink was crafted by T. Read Richards while at the Valkyrie in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and he described his creation as, "An original that was conceived as a quick insomnia cure. A brandy Negroni, with altered proportions and a touch of earth from the Benedictine." Once mixed, the Phoenix Feather shared a grape and orange aroma that preceded a grape-driven sip. Next, Cognac, bitter orange, and herbal flavors rounded out the swallow. Overall, it was not as bitter as many Campari cocktails perhaps due to the smoothing effect of Benedictine, and Andrea noted that the combination here offered a hint of Coca Cola.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

sherry tonga

2 oz Amontillado or Oloroso Sherry (Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 oz Brandy (Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. I garnished with a mint sprig, but an orange slice and cherry would not be out of place here as a garnish (in addition to the mint or in place of it).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was in the mood for a lower proof drink to round out the evening. I began thinking about Tiki drinks that I could alter to utilize an aromatized or fortified wine as the base, and I ended up on Trader Vic's Tonga from the punch section of his 1946 Book of Food & Drink. To the original, I replaced the rum with dry oxidized sherry, swapped passionola for passion fruit syrup, and changed the proportions of lemon, orange, and grenadine. Once prepared, the Sherry Tonga greeted the nose with mint aromas over brandy, berry, and tropical notes. Next, orange, lemon, passion fruit, and berry on the sip led into nutty sherry on the swallow with a tropical finish.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

mandarin house zombie

2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (1 3/4 oz Coruba + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice and pour into a Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry (mint sprigs).
On Tuesday night two weeks prior, I was in a Tiki mood and began thumbing through David Montgomery's Zombie Horde book. There, I spied the Mandarin House Zombie that appeared like a Planter's Punch more than a Zombie with layers of complex flavor and spice; the recipe was a more modern one created at the Mandarin House restaurant in San Diego during the juice-forward era of the 1970s. Once prepared, this Zombie riff offered a mint aroma over a vague fruit note and the dark rums' caramel. Next, caramel, berry, lemon and tropical flavors on the sip led into pineapple and dark rum on the swallow with rum funk and additional pineapple notes on the finish.

Monday, June 11, 2018

san remo

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Amaro (Averna)
1/4 oz Crème Yvette

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

Two Mondays ago, I ventured into the Tales of the Cocktail 2009 recipe book, Stir Your Soul, to uncover a lost gem. There, I spotted the San Remo by Thomas Waugh then of Death & Co. who offered up this drink at the St. Germain tasting room that year. I pondered the vagueness of the "amaro" ingredient and figured that was the reason why I had passed over this recipe each time. San Remo is in on the coast in the northwest part of Italy, and S. Maria al Monte is produced somewhat nearby. However, I lacked that amaro and opted for Averna instead figuring that it would allow the featured Crème Yvette to shine. I did consider Campari especially with how well it worked with the liqueur in the El Brioso.
The San Remo gave forth an orange oil, whiskey, and berry bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and berries on the sip preceded rye, cherry, bitter herbal, and floral elements on the swallow. Overall, the San Remo reminded me of a more complex Caboose.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

juniper #3

1 oz Barrel-aged Gin (Seagram's)
3/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Campari
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass.

Two Sundays ago, I ventured into Brad Parson's Amaro book for a drink idea. There, I gravitated toward the Juniper #3 by John deBary of Manhattan's Momofuku Ssämbar. The gin, apricot, Campari, and lemon reminded me of the St. Botolph Club and the pinch of salt in the mix made me think of the Absent Stars. deBary described the Juniper #3 as, "It tasted like someone was making a Whiskey Sour and a Negroni at the same time and accidentally poured them into the same glass." The gin I used was only lightly barrel aged, so it would not fully offer up the whiskey-like note in that description though.
The Juniper #3 gave forth an apricot, orange, and floral aroma that led into a lemon and orchard fruit sip. Next, the swallow shared juniper, apricot, orange, and herbal flavors, and overall, the balance was rather on the dry side here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


1 oz Aged Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
1 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1 Orange Wedge

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon (freshly grated cinnamon).

On Saturday night two weeks ago, I spied the Wildflower in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 that seemed like a curious Daiquiri of sorts with a Cognac component like the Boukman Daiquiri and a maple syrup one like the Volcano Bowl and Mr. Howell. Moreover, it was shaken with an orange wedge akin to Sam Ross' Too Soon?. This recipe was called the Wildflower crafted by New York City bartender Richard Boccato as his riff on the Night Flight from Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide.
The Wildflower proffered a cinnamon, orange, and grassy nose. Next, maple's richness countered the lime on the sip, and the swallow paired the Cognac and funky rhum followed by a maple and citrus finish. Moreover, as time went on, the cinnamon from the garnish began leaching into the flavor profile.

Friday, June 8, 2018

eye opener

1/2 jigger Brandy (1 1/2 oz Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 jigger French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Butterfly)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry and a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I pointed my night's drink search to the pages of Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up. There, I was lured in by the Eye Opener that seemed like a Metropole Cocktail with a combination of Fancy and Improved flourishes. Once prepared, the Eye Opener shared a lemon oil, Cognac, and orange peel aroma to the nose. Next, a semi-sweet white wine sip gave way to Cognac, nutty, orange, and absinthe flavors on the swallow. I later discovered that this recipe was rather similar to the Morning Cocktail from Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How To Mix Them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


1 1/2 pony Tom Gin (1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
1/2 pony Port (1/2 oz Sandeman Tawny)

Stir the gin and bitters with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Next, carefully add the port and let it settle to the bottom of the glass.
After making the Princeton Cocktail from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, I decided to make the older and relatively better known Princeton from George J. Kappeler's 1895 Modern America Drinks. Kappeler's recipe is a layered cocktail of a bone dry Old Tom Gin Martini floating on top of a port wine base. After carefully layering the drink, the nose offered a piny juniper aroma in an almost grapefruit-like way. Next, a semi-sweet sip transitioned into pine on the swallow, and as the port began to enter into the equation, the drink gained grape richness on both the sip and swallow. Moreover, towards the end, the balance shifted more to juniper-flavored port.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

puerto rican racer

2 oz Ron del Barrilito 3 Star Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
scant 1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 tsp Grenadine
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.

Two Wednesdays ago, I selected the Death & Co. Cocktail Book to guide me for the evening's nightcap. There, I spotted the Puerto Rican Racer which was one of their riffs on the Diamondback that called for Puerto Rican rum instead of rye whiskey and added a touch of grenadine and Peychaud's Bitters to the mix. Since I had enjoyed their brandy riff, the Sidewinder by Phil Ward, I was game to try Thomas Waugh's 2009 creation named after another poisonous snake.
The Puerto Rican Racer greeted the nose with an apple aroma accented by herbal notes. Next, caramel and honey with a hint of berry on the sip led into rum, apple, and minty-herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

the invitation

1 dash Gum (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
1/2 small drink Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 small drink Vino Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice and strain into a fancy glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for William Schmidt's 1891 The Flowing Bowl in search of an elegant oddity. There, I selected the Invitation that came across like an absinthe-tinged Adonis which sounded rather delightful and seemed to suggest by both the name and the ingredients that it would make for a fine aperitif. In the glass, the Invitation reached the nose with nutty grape aromas brightened by minty herbal accents. Next, a semi-dry grape sip was followed by a sweeter and rounder grape flavor on the swallow that led into an anise-herbal finish.

Monday, June 4, 2018


1 dash Bitters (2 dash Angostura)
1 lump Sugar (1 small Demerara Sugar Cube)
1 jigger French Vermouth (2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
Ice Cubes
1 bottle Ginger Ale (1/2  can (6 oz) Blue Sky Soda)

Dash bitters onto the sugar cube in a Collins glass, add vermouth followed by ice, and top with ginger ale.
I recently was reminded of the Roofgarden from the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and then realized that it was probably the inspiration for Brick & Mortar's Rooftop Cooler. Therefore, two Mondays ago I decided to make this recipe that reminded me of a low proof Champagne Cocktail given the bitters-dashed sugar sugar cube and carbonated component. Once assembled, the Roofgarden gave forth a ginger, cinnamon, and clove bouquet. Next, a semi-sweet carbonated sip led into a herbal, ginger, and spice swallow. With a sugar-sweetened (instead of corn syrup) and slightly drier ginger ale, the Roofgarden was an elegant low ABV refresher.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


1/2 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Maurin)
2 dash Byrrh Grand Quinquina (1/2 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On Sunday night after my work shift, I began perusing Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a glossed-over gem. There, in the American whiskey section was the Newton that appeared like a Manhattan laced with Byrrh Quinquina which seemed like it had to be a winner. I upped the 2 dashes of Byrrh to a half ounce (one-sixth of the drink build) to allow the ingredient a chance to shine. Once prepared, the Newton offered a sweet herbal and grape bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and malt mingled on the sip, and rye and dry cherry and grape flavors rounded off the swallow with a bitter quinine and clove finish.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

lucky bird

1 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 oz Angostura 7 Year Rum
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1 bsp Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Saturdays ago, I spotted a recipe on the Kronan Swedish Punsch Facebook page called the Lucky Bird that seemed delightful. Not only did the recipe sound alluring with its Swedish punsch-apricot liqueur combo that worked well in the Havana Cocktail and other drinks, it was made by Arthur Boothe whom I met on my 2016 USBG-sponsored excursion to the Patron distillery in Mexico. Arthur crafted this drink for the Spring menu at Bitters & Brass in Sanford, Florida.
The Lucky Bird greeted the senses with a caramel rum aroma with fruity and chocolate undertones. Next, caramel notes with hints of orchard fruit on the sip were chased by rum, apricot, tea, and funky Batavia Arrack flavors on the swallow with a chocolate finish.

Friday, June 1, 2018


2/3 Brandy (2 oz Camus VS Cognac)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Maurin)
2 dash Pineapple Juice (3/4 oz)
1 dash Boker's or Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Fridays ago, I began perusing the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 book for the evening's drink. There, I spotted the Princeton that seemed like a refreshing brandy libation. The better-known Princeton was first published in 1895 by George Kappeler in Modern American Drinks as a layered cocktail of 1 1/2 oz Old Tom gin and 3 dash orange bitters that were stirred and strained into a cocktail glass before a 1/2 oz port was carefully sunk to the bottom. Here, the Princeton was the brandy, sweet vermouth, and pineapple juice with bitters. Since Amer Picon works so well with pineapple, I took that route instead of Boker's. I initially was reminded of a brandy Algonquin of sorts, but the combination was a common one in Pioneers with the rye one appearing twice here in the blog as the Radio Call and the Franklin Square.
Once prepared, this Princeton offered up grape and dark fruit bouquet to the nose. Next, grape, caramel, and a tropical note on the sip transitioned into Cognac, pineapple, and bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

algiers point

1 oz Cognac (Hennessy VSOP at Work; Courvoisier VS at Home)
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass rinsed with Herbsaint, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.

Two Thursdays ago, a pair of cocktailians that I know from around town came into River Bar. For their second round, they asked for something herbal like a Green Point, or perhaps something inspired by John Gertsen. So I thought, "Why not both?" Since John was a big fan of Sazeracs and its variations, why not merge a Cognac Sazerac with a Green Point. Gertsen at No. 9 Park was also excited about serving Green Points (except that the house take on it called for Green Chartreuse instead of the standard Yellow), so it all fit into place. I had previously done a similar thing for a Manhattan-themed Mixology Monday post where I took the Manhattan and crossed it with a Sazerac for the Merchants Exchange Manhattan. For a name, I honed in on the "Point" part of the 2005 Milk & Honey neoclassic and dubbed this one after the section of New Orleans on the other side of the Mississippi River, namely Algiers Point.
The guests rather enjoyed the drink and inquired when I had created this drink; they were surprised when they had heard that it was on the fly. When I got home, I recreated the recipe as close as possible with the only notable change being the Cognac brand and age. When I mixed it for myself, the Algiers Point brought lemon oil and anise aromas to the nose. Next, grape and malt on the sip gave way to rye's spice, Cognac's richness, Punt e Mes' bitter, and Yellow Chartreuse's herbal flavors on the swallow with Herbsaint's anise spice on the finish.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

who dares win

2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Kümmel (Helbing)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a star anise pod.
Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for Clair McLafferty's The Classic & Craft Cocktail Recipe Book for the night's libation. There, I was drawn to the Who Dares Win by Scottish bartender Mike Aikman for it reminded me of an Army & Navy crossed with a Silver Bullet. Once prepared, it gave forth a spiced nose mostly from the caraway with perhaps lighter notes from cumin, star anise, and juniper. Next, the creamy lemon sip transitioned into gin, nutty, and caraway flavors on the swallow; moreover, towards the end, the star anise from the garnish seemed to infuse into the drink itself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

brazilian vesper

1 oz Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
1 oz Vodka (Bar Hill)
1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1 bsp Passion Fruit Syrup

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I was lured in by a cachaça recipe posted by Imbibe Magazine, namely the Brazilian Vesper by Jacyara de Oliveira of Chicago's El Che. I had previously written a rant about the Vesper for a Mixology Monday event about how I did not understand the drink and why one would slightly want to diminish the flavor of gin by 25% with neutral spirits. In addition, I have only had one person ever request gin and Lillet Blanc before (previously, I had said no one, but one of the servers at Our Fathers preferred her Martinis that way as she tasted through the gins). Here, instead of a 3:1 of flavorful spirit to vodka, the mix is equal parts and this could help to mitigate cachaça's grassy funk (although I love it especially in Seleta and other better brands). For a vodka, I opted for the brand I used in the classic Vesper post -- a fuller one made from honey by Caledonia Spirits so that it would not be perfectly neutral. And my complaint about the Lillet taking up one-ninth of the pre-melt build volume in the classic was solved by putting it in equal parts footing with the cachaça and vodka; moreover, the fruit element was bolstered by a dash of passion fruit syrup here.
The Brazilian Vesper's lemon twist garnish offered up citrus aromas to accent the Brazilian spirit's grassy funk and complement the Cocchi Americano and passion fruit to follow. Next, a peachy citrus sip led into a delightful medley of cachaça, honey, passion fruit, orange, and lemon flavors on the swallow.

Monday, May 28, 2018

el rey

2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
2 dash Boker's Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain over ice, and garnish with an orange-cherry flag.
After making the Royal Street Royale, I wanted to keep things on the lighter side, so I opted for a sherry recipe that I had spotted on the BarNotes app. That drink was the El Rey crafted by Nick Jarrett at the Clover Club in 2010 as a sherry egg white Sour. Once prepared, it gave forth a nutty sherry and orange peel aroma that led into a creamy, semi-dry grape and lemon-flavored sip. Next, the Amontillado's oxidized nuttiness came through on the swallow with a lightly spiced finish. Overall, it was light and playful yet elegant.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

royal street royale

1 cube Demerara Sugar
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 rinse Herbsaint
4-5 oz Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine (Willm Blanc de Blancs)
1 Lemon Twist

Soak the demerara sugar cube in 3 dash Peychaud's Bitters. Rinse a flute glass with Herbsaint, add the bitters-soaked sugar cube, and top with the Champagne (leaving 3/4 inch or so of head space on top for the Herbsaint-coated walls to provide aroma). Garnish with a lemon twist. A large coupe, a double old fashioned, or small wine glass might work well here too. Filling the glass all the way up would stymie the Herbsaint rinse's aroma though.

Two Mondays ago, I had been thinking about the 1850s Champagne Cocktail and how I have never written it up on the blog. I have written up variations such as the Alfonso and Casino Imperial, and I intended to do the classic. However, my mind drifted to how to change things up. For bitters, I considered Peychaud's instead of the Angostura generally associated with the classic, and this got me thinking about taking things in a New Orleans direction with Herbsaint. So what would a Champagne Cocktail crossed with a Sazerac be like as a Champagne Sazerac (instead of a Rye Sazerac floated with Champagne such as the Sea Captain's Sazerac)?
Playing off of the term Royale used to describe Champagne drinks, I paired it with one of the main streets in New Orleans' French Quarter, namely Royal Street, to make this the Royal Street Royale. Once mixed, the libation offered lemon and anise notes to the nose. Next, a crisp, carbonated sip transitioned to a dry and fruity swallow with an anise-driven finish.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


1 1/4 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/2 oz Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1/4 oz Jamaican Rum (Smith & Cross)
2 tsp Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1 tsp Passion Fruit Liqueur (Ezequiel's)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Saturdays ago, I was lured in by a recipe posted in Imbibe Magazine for the Highwayman by Tyson Buhler at the new Death & Co. bar that opened up in Denver. The Highwayman came across as a three spirit Old Fashioned of sorts and the trio of Bourbon, Scotch, and Jamaican rum reminded me of Sahil Mehta's Bootlegger's Breakfast. Here, the sweetener was the duo of coffee and passion fruit liqueurs -- a flavor combination that appeared in Tiki drinks like the Kiliki Cooler and Espresso Bongo.
The Highwayman gave forth an orange oil and rum funk bouquet with hints of coffee to the nose. Next, malt and a dark roast note filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the whisk(e)ys, rum's funk, and a touch of smoke with a coffee-passion fruit finish.

Friday, May 25, 2018

my old piano

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/4 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
2 dash Apple Bitters (Bittermens Burlesque)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

For my Friday's nightcap, I turned to Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails and I paused on the My Old Piano presented by Sother Teague at Amor y Amargo. I had passed over this drink since I lacked BarKeep's Apple Bitters (or homemade ones), but I decided that I could probably get by with another fruit and spice bitters. With a little research, I discovered that the drink was created by bartender Ari Form, and I was lured in by the combination of rye over mezcal that worked well in drinks like the Last Caress, Red Ant, and other recipes. I was also curious about the kümmel ingredient; I recalled how well it paired with whiskey in William Schmidt's 1891 Gladstone. Moreover, modern mixology has demonstrated how well kümmel works with agave spirits such as in the Island of Misfit Toys and Mission Bell.
My Old Piano greeted the nose with grape, smoke, and cumin notes. Next, grape and malt mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered rye along with smoky vegetal flavors with a caraway and cumin finish.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

threepenny opera

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Campari
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and add an orange twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I began flipping through Food & Wine: Cocktails 2016 until I came upon the Threepenny Opera. The recipe was crafted by Ryan Puckett at Indianapolis' Libertine Liquor Bar as a rather amaro-heavy libation featuring the Fernet-Campari "Ferrari" combination. The musical name along with the Fernet, Campari, and vermouth trio reminded me a bit of Short & Main's Jukebox Opera that came out later that year, but here, the bitterness was mollified by a pinch of salt as was done in the Cornerman and other drinks.
The Threepenny Opera gave forth an orange aroma that met up with a hint of Fernet's menthol on the nose. Next, caramel, grape, and orange on the sip led into bitter herbal-menthol flavors on the swallow. Overall, I was impressed at how the curaçao worked with the Campari to push the balance in a citrus direction to counter the salt-quenched Fernet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

commodore no. 2

1/3 Bourbon Whiskey (2 oz Larceny)
1/3 Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
1/3 Crème de Cacao (3/4 oz Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
I recently saw a riff on the Commodore No. 2 in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2010, and two Wednesdays ago, I decided to make the original instead. The classic recipe appeared first in the 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book as a Whiskey Sour with crème de cacao and a touch of grenadine as the sweeteners, and I modified it slightly to make it more spirit forward. Once prepared, the Commodore No. 2 proffered lemon oil over Bourbon and chocolate aromas. Next, a lemon and berry sip led into a whiskey and raspberry-chocolate swallow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

zombie julep

1 oz Appleton Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
1/4 oz Demerara 151 Proof Rum (Lemon Hart 151)
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Grenadine
10 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in the syrup and liqueurs in a Julep cup (or double old fashioned glass), add rest, stir, and remove mint leaves. Add crushed ice, stir, and garnish with a mint sprig.
Since my mint patch has come back for yet another season, I decided two Tuesdays ago to finally make the Zombie Julep that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine. The article cited Travis Brown at Raleigh's Fox Liquor Bar as the creator, and it described how he merged (or was inspired by) two classics, the Zombie and the Mint Julep. Once prepared, the Zombie Julep shared a mint nose over rum notes. Next, caramel, light cherry, and berry flavors on the sip transitioned into rich rum, nutty, mint, and clove elements on the swallow.

Monday, May 21, 2018

cigarettes and chocolate milk

1 oz Michter's Bourbon
1 oz Hamilton's Demerara Rum (*)
1/2 oz Coffee Heering
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
(*) Sahil made the drink earlier in the evening with the 86 proof but ran out. When I requested it, he tried it with the 151 proof. It shifted the balance away from the whiskey and more towards the rum.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to Estragon for dinner. For a cocktail, I asked bartender Sahil Mehta for his drink of the day. Sahil described how the evening's cool weather made him veer away from a citrus drink, so he offered a straight spirits number. With the coffee liqueur and smoky Guyanese rum, he wanted to call this Coffee and Cigarettes, but he ended up naming it Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk after the Rufus Wainwright song.
The Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk began with a caramel, smoky Demerara rum, and bright orange oil bouquet that led into a caramel and roast-filled sip. Next, the swallow offered rum, molasses, and mocha flavors that reminded me of an Imperial stout beer.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


1 oz Mezcal
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Carpano Antica (Maurin Sweet Vermouth)
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1 bsp Campari
1 bsp Grenadine

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

On my walk home from work two Sunday nights ago, I began perusing the OnTheBar app's recipe collection for mezcal drinks. There, I spotted Dan Braganca's Langosta that he crafted at Backbar in 2015. Dan was inspired by two events on a trip to Portland, Maine. The first of these was a shot of mezcal, pineapple juice, and Campari that he was served at the Bearded Lady' Jewel Box; the second was a chocolate lobster candy left on his pillow at the hotel. These ingredients got Dan thinking about the Floridita from Cuba and the Tortuga from Trader Vic. Dan also included the equal part Campari and grenadine mix that Trader Vic utilized a lot and that I described in a bit more depth here; moreover, a Torturga riff I wrote about called the Isla Tortuga also opted for that combination. Finally, Dan dubbed his libation the Langosta after the Spanish word for "lobster."
The Langosta proffered smoke overlying bright orange oils and other fruit notes to the nose. Next, lime, pineapple, and grape on the sip led into mezcal and pineapple on the swallow with a bitter chocolate finish.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

singapore sling

2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass filled with ice (wine glass without ice), and garnish with a cherry and a pineapple slice (omit garnish).

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make the Singapore Sling for the blog. It was a drink I frequently made a few months ago as it was one of the two dozen or so gin classics on the menu at Our Fathers; in fact, one thing I did to speed up the process was making "Sling Juice" that was a one ounce dispense of the three liqueurs from a cheater bottle. The recipe that I utilized here was the one from the PDT Cocktail Book; the one at Our Fathers was similar save for the gin call and only a quarter ounce of grenadine. Moreover, I opted here for a fashion closer to the way we served it at the bar which was in a cocktail coupe sans garnish. While the Singapore Sling was perhaps created around or before 1915 at the Raffles Hotel by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, the recipe above is a more modern one. Moreover, the recipes for this drink vary greatly in the literature.

To get at the heart of the matter, I went back to my notes from Tales of the Cocktail 2016 to a talk by Jared Brown entitled, "The Life & Times of the Singapore Sling." Singapore is a one city country in the East India Isle chain near Vietnam. The various islands there all adopted Slings as a popular drink type. Sir Stanford Raffles worked for the East India Trading Company in the 19th century, and he selected Singapore to settle down since it was not occupied by the Dutch like many of the other islands. The hotel itself opened for business in 1887.

Slings have a long history with one of the earliest mentions being in 1759 from the History of Sweden where it noted that "Long-sup or sling was one half water and one half rum with sugar in it to taste." In 1862, Jerry Thomas defined the Gin Sling as the same as the Gin Toddy except a little nutmeg is grated on the top. So with sugar, water, gin, and ice, the Gin Sling appeared to have been derived from Punch with the citrus and spice dropped from the roster (the nutmeg garnish could be considered a spice in a way). By the turn of the 20th century, the drink was so common that there was a dedicated glass -- an article in 1903 mentioned a "Gin Sling glass" in Borneo. Around 1908 is when the Gin Sling is speculated to have arrived in Singapore, and the first recipe for a Gin Sling there was recorded in 1913 with a description of "They walked into the S.C.C. [Singapore Cricket Club] and ordered one cherry brandy, one D.O.M. [Benedictine], one gin, one lime juice, some ice, water, and a few dashes of bitters." The bartenders apparently would not mix it for them, so the guests chose to assemble the drink for themselves.

Ngiam Tong Boon started bartending in the late 1890s before retiring shortly before his death in 1918. He is believed to have created the Singapore Sling around 1915, but not the Singapore Sling recipe that is served today at the Raffles Hotel. Moreover, attribution of the drink occurred several decades after his death, so it may be inaccurate (see the Wondrich hoax link below where a recipe was found in a hotel safe). Around that time in the 1910s, a dozen bars in Singapore were making Gin Slings and half of those had a drink called the Singapore Sling. The Straits Hotel has a famous Straits Sling of gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters, and orange bitters, and other places were making their pinkish Slings with sloe gin or claret in place of the cherry brandy. Jared surmised that Boon made the best one of these Singapore Slings which is why it survived and got famous.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Savoy Cocktail Book, Café Royal Cocktail Book, Stork Club, and Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide all published recipes, and Jared suggested that the Stork Club's was the closest. In tracing the drink recipe's history, the 1960s saw recipes that included orange liqueur as well as the orange-cherry garnish. And by the 1970s, pineapple juice had entered the equation along with gin, the three liqueurs, lime juice, and Angostura Bitters. Jared's history did not mention when grenadine appeared, but David Wondrich at a 2017 Tales of the Cocktail talk on "Great Hoaxes of Cocktail History discussed the financial desire to make the drink more affordable to produce. The drink had always been pink, so perhaps grenadine replaced some of the cherry liqueur as a cost saving measure along with the extra juices not found in the early recipes.
So the bottom line is that the original sling was probably closer to the Raffles Hotel Sling (here is a rum riff of it from the 1970s). As prepared in this more modern way, the Singapore Sling yielded pineapple, cherry, and clove aromas that later yielded gin notes to the nose as it warmed up. Next, creamy pineapple and vague fruit notes played on the sip, and the swallow offered gin, cherry, and pineapple flavors with an herbal finish.

As I curious side note, I was reminded of a 2009 recipe for a Shanghai Sling that I created as a Raffles Hotel Sling that swapped Chinese 5 spice syrup for the Benedictine.

Friday, May 18, 2018

library card

1 1/2 oz Scotch (1 1/4 oz Famous Grouse + 1/4 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1/2 oz Bonal (or other) Quinquina
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Friday nights ago, I was reminded of the great flavor combination of dark amari (like Cynar and Averna) and apricot, and it made me think about the Mulberry Bend and other recipes where it worked well. Given how my blended Scotch at home, Famous Grouse, has an apricot undertone perhaps from the Glenrothes single malt in the recipe, Scotch seemed to be a direction. To fill out the recipe, I kept with my quinquina kick, but decided to give Bonal some love over Byrrh. For a name, I had the blended Scotch brand Bank Note in my head and it made me think of the the 1970s era checkout card at the back of the retired library book on Scotch that I bought used; therefore, I went with the Library Card.
The Library Card shared peat smoke brightened by orange oils on the nose. Next, malt, grape, and a fruitiness from the apricot brandy on the sip gave way to smoky whisky and bitter apricot on the swallow with an orange-apricot and quinine finish.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

desk job

3/4 oz Zacapa 23 Rum (Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva)
3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lime twist.
For a nightcap after my Thursday night bar shift two weeks ago, I returned to Food & Wine: Cocktails 2016 and landed on the Desk Job. The recipe was crafted by Donny Clutterbuck of Rochester's The Cure as his happy hour drink if he had a desk job. The dual rums, vermouth, and Cynar aspect reminded me of the Blossom Bar's Palm Viper, but here there was extra depth from a bitter vermouth and a funky rum. Once prepared, the Desk Job's lime oils from the twist joined the caramel and rum funk bouquet on the nose. Next, grape and caramel paired elegantly on the sip, and the swallow brought forth funky rum matching funky bitter flavors.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


2/3 Bacardi (2 oz Barbancourt 8 Year + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
2 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)
2 dash Kümmel (1/4 oz Helbing)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)

Stir with ice and strain.
After my bar shift two Wednesdays ago, I dove into Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. There, the Minsky with its spirit, Maraschino, and kümmel reminded me of William Schmidt's 1891 Gladstone from a few weeks ago, so I was curious to see what a rum-forward cousin would be like. In the glass, the Minsky proffered Jamaican rum funk and hints of caraway to the nose. Next, caramel from the aged rum on the sip gave way to rum, nutty, and orange flavors on the swallow with a cumin followed by caraway finish.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

spider of the evening

1 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimmarron)
1 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with 3 dash mole bitters (Bittermens) and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I set out to craft a Swizzle utilizing Katie Emerson's tribute to the Death & Co. formula, the Company Swizzle, as my recipe skeleton. For a spirit and fortified wine combination, my mind drifted to tequila and Swedish punsch which worked great in my Metexa riff Chutes & Ladders. While Swedish punsch is not a fortified wine, it can act as a substitute for one as demonstrated in Crosby Gaige's 1941 Corpse Reviver #2 which swapped the punsch for the original's Lillet. Tequila and Swedish punsch went rather well with Campari in the Mambo #5, and Campari and passion fruit are a match made in heaven as I first discovered in the Novara. Finally, lime juice and molé bitters garnish were the last two elements of the Company Swizzle format to round out the recipe.
My Eyes on the Table named after Remedios Varo kept me in the surrealist painting mindset, so I began looking over Salvador Dali works. Given the tequila aspect, I did confirm that Dali visited Mexico, but he found that he could not stay there, for "There is no way I'm going back to Mexico. I can't stand to be in a country that is more surrealist than my paintings." His 1940 Spider of the Evening seemed to connect with the feel of the drink and won out here. In the glass, the Swizzle donated a chocolate aroma from the bitters that later allowed hints of the agave spirit through. Next, lime and a touch of passion fruit danced on the sip, and the swallow gave forth tequila and a tropical orange flavor that came across in an almost grapefruity way.

Monday, May 14, 2018

french aquatics

2 oz Orgeat
1 oz Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
1 oz VS Cognac (Courvoisier)
1/2 oz Hamilton's Demerara 151 Proof Rum (Lemon Hart 151)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

Shake with ice and pour into a Collins glass.

For a drink to round out that Monday night two weeks ago, I perused Food & Wine: Cocktails 2016 for a recipe idea. There, I landed upon the French Aquatics crafted by Cleveland bartender Shannon Smith at the Tiki Room and Porco Lounge. His creation paid tribute to French ingredients in classic Tiki, and here, orgeat, Calvados, and Cognac were three of the main players in a Scorpion Bowl-like number.
The French Aquatics greeted the nose with apple and nutty aromas with a brightness from the citrus. Next, a creamy sip shared tropical notes from the pineapple, and the swallow gave forth apple, Cognac, pineapple, and nutty orgeat flavors to make for a rather fruity but complex refresher.

improved dunlop

2 oz Croft Reserve Tawny Port
1 oz Clement 6 Year Rhum Agricole
1/4 bsp Cane Syrup
1 dash Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Mondays ago, I attended a seminar on port wine at the Hawthorne given by Chris Forbes, a Fladgate Export Manager, and Andy Seymour of Liquid Productions. Throughout the seminar, we tasted various ports as well as a handful of port cocktails crafted by Liquid Production's Lulu Martinez. One of my favorites of the collection was a simple modification of the Dunlop that appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. The Savoy's Dunlop was a 2:1 rum to sherry cocktail embittered by Angostura akin to Trader Vic's Arawak. Here, the fortified wine was swapped to tawny port, the rum to wine proportions were inversed, and the bitters were changed to chocolate molé. Andy started his talk by describing how underdog spirits can be introduced to people using cocktails as a bridge, and this strategy worked wonders for gin, mezcal, and sherry. So here, a sherry drink was elegantly modified into a port one.
The Improved Dunlop greeted the senses with bright grapefruit oils that countered darker notes from the port on the nose. Next, the sip showcased a crisp grape note, and the swallow had grassy rhum meeting earthy grape and dried fruit notes with a chocolate and acid-rich finish.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

le negociant

1 oz Rhum Agricole (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina
1/2 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays ago, I was inspired by a thread about St. Germain recipes on Facebook to make a recipe called Le Negociant. I was able to trace the recipe back to 2012 post on eGullet that cited the back of the Byrrh Quinquina bottle as the source of the recipe. When I checked my recent bottle, the two recipes on the back were not this one; since it reminded me of Misty Kalkofen's Maximilian Affair, I was game to give it a try. The French name certainly matched the three French (or French isle) ingredients in the mix.
Le Negociant gave forth a rose-like scent from the elderflower being modulated by the Byrrh's grape in addition to a grassy note from the rhum. Next, the lemon and grape danced on the sip, and the swallow continued on with grassy, floral, and bitter quinine flavors.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

mai tai suissesse

1 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)
1 oz Heavy Cream
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. The contest restricted things to 7 ingredients so I could not garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, but feel free to add it if desired.

A few weeks ago, I submitted a recipe to the USBG Cocktail Classique sponsored by Lucid Absinthe. It ended up making the cut to compete in the New York semi-final round, but it was not a convenient time for me to travel, so I bowed out. My drink idea began with considering how Tiki drinks are very absinthe friendly, and I selected the Mai Tai as a starting place. Instead of swapping pure absinthe in place of one of the rums in a Mai Tai, I opted to swap in the delightful New Orleans treat, the Absinthe Suissesse, in place of that rum. My rational was that both drinks contained orgeat as a common ingredient, and how the creamy, rich, nutty, citrus, and grassy combination in the mashup would complement the herbal spice notes in absinthe.
Once prepared, the Mai Tai Suissesse gave forth an anise aroma from the absinthe that was mitigated by a sweet creaminess on the nose. Next, creamy lime and orange notes on the sip slid into grassy, nutty, and surprisingly lightly absinthe-driven swallow. Overall, the mix was closer to a classic Absinthe Suissesse with some citrus and grassy rum flavors as accent than to an adaptation of a Mai Tai itself.

Friday, May 11, 2018

pine room pippen

1 jigger Scotch (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse)
1/2 oz Dubonnet (1/2 oz Byrrh Quinquina)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Juice 1/2 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1/4 tsp Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a libation to round out Friday evening two weeks ago, I opened up Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up for a previously glossed over gem. The one that spoke to me that evening was the Pine Room Pippen attributed to the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The recipe was a Whisky Sour colored by Dubonnet Quinquina and Angostura Bitters, and I was curious as to how Byrrh would fill in for Dubonnet of that era. Once shaken and strained, the Pine Room Pippen gave forth a Scotch bouquet with a brightness from the lemon juice to the nose. Next, the lemon mingled with the grape on the sip, and the swallow showcased the Scotch that was accented by elegant herbal-spice notes.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


2 oz Bacardi Rum (DonQ Añejo)
1 peel of a Lemon (Full peel of a small Lemon)
1 tsp Sugar (1 Demerara Sugar Cube dissolved in 1/2 oz Water)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Whole Egg

I muddled the sugar cube with the lemon peel in water and stirred to dissolve. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake once, add ice, and shake again. Strain into a cocktail glass.

My desire for a nightcap two Thursdays ago led me to Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink. There, I was lured in by the Mofucco that was "a pleasant variation of a Bacardi Flip from La Florida Bar in Havana," and I was curious to see how the lemon peel in the shake colored the drink. As for the name, perhaps it was a misspelling of a Cuban necessity that sprung up around the time of the book's publishing; my search discovered that "a combination of ethanol and gasoline called mofuco was employed during World War II [in Cuba]" that does not seem to different from today's gasohol.
While I stuck with a Spanish-style rum, my mind drifted to El Dorado 151 and a few others in the collection that would remind me more of a mix of gasoline and ethanol. Instead, I opted for an aged Puerto Rican rum from DonQ for this drink. In the glas, the Mofucco proffered rum, lemon, allspice, and clove notes to the nose. Next, a creamy caramel sip shared a brightness from the lemon peel, and the swallow was all about the rum that was colored by the bitters' dark clove spice.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

the bobby boucher

2 oz Overproof Bourbon (Fighting Cock 103)
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice, strain into a ice-filled coupe (no ice), and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for the 2011 volume of Food & Wine: Cocktails, and I turned to John Coltharp's section on whiskey drinks. The Bobby Boucher, his creation at the Tasting Kitchen in Venice, California, stood out as a take on the 1930s Bobby Burns but made more Southern. To me, it also appeared like a cousin of the Remember the Maine with Benedictine in place of absinthe and bitters. While there are a few semi-famous Bobby Bouchers in history, my guess is that the name refers to Adam Sandler's Southern-born character in The Waterboy.
The Bobby Boucher greeted the nose with orange, Bourbon, and cherry aromas. Next, malt and a dark cherry and grape sip gave way to whiskey and cherry-herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

wire + string

1 1/4 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 1/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, and top with soda water (2-3 oz); I added a lemon wheel as garnish.

After dinner two Tuesdays ago, I began perusing the Brooklyn Bartender book for a way to round out the evening. There, I was drawn to the Wire + String crafted by Maks Pazuniak at Jupiter Disco. The combination of Pimm's, Campari, and pineapple was one that worked well in the Royal Cup #4, so I was definitely interested in seeing Maks' take on an embittered Pimm's Cup.
In the Wire + String, the lemon wheel garnish added to the Campari's orange bouquet. Next, a complex red fruit- and orange-flavored sip gave way to tangy bitter orange and pineapple notes on the swallow. Overall, an aspect of the profile here was reminiscent of strawberries perhaps from the Pimm's being modulated by the other fruit elements in the mix.

Monday, May 7, 2018


1 oz El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/4 oz Marie Brizard White Crème de Cacao (Bols)
1/4 oz Campari
1 tsp Ginger Syrup (1 coin Ginger, muddled)

Shake with ice, strain into a flute glass, and top with champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs).

Two Mondays ago, I selected the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a recipe idea. There, I landed upon the Flaquita by Jessica Gonzalez; she created this drink in 2011 and dubbed it after her nickname from when she worked in restaurants back in Florida. With the agave, Campari, and cacao combination found in Mon Sherry Amour and other drinks, I was game to give this one a go.
The Flaquita's herbal notes from the tequila mingled with sparkling wine and hints of chocolate on the nose. Next, a carbonated white grape and lemon sip led into tequila and bitter orange-chocolate on the swallow that finished with ginger's bite.