Friday, December 6, 2019

morale & welfare

1 1/2 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe with an ice cube.

Two and a half weeks ago, La Brasa held its monthly E-Som (East Somerville) Market, and the guest bartender was Ryan Lotz representing Shore Leave (he is also the bar director of Bar Mezzana and Black Lamb). I have known Ryan for over 9 years since he was at the helm of the cocktail program at Lineage, and it was both an honor and a lot of fun to share the bar with him. Ryan mentioned that he was working a bar shift that Friday night, and I figured that it would be convenient to stop by after I took the first cut at Area Four as Shore Leave is two blocks away.
The drink that I selected two Fridays ago was the Morale & Welfare whose name reminded me of another Daiquiri riff, the Death & Sundries, and it was subtitled "This Daiquiri variation will keep your spirits high." The Morale & Welfare greeted the nose with dark rum notes with a hint of funk. Next, a caramel, lime, and grapefruit sip slid into a funky rum swallow with a cinnamon and chocolate finish.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

significant other

2 oz Blanco Tequila (Lunazul)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Combier)
1/2 oz 1:1 Agave Syrup
8 small pieces Chopped Celery

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice (cocktail coupe without ice), and garnish with a celery leaf.
After work two Thursdays ago, I turned to the Brooklyn Bartender book for a drink idea. There, I spotted Tom Dixon's fruity and vegetal Significant Other that he crafted at Roberta's. Once prepared, the Significant Other donated a vegetal nose from the agave and perhaps celery elements. Next, a lime sip slipped into tequila and apricot flavors on the swallow with a delightful celery finish.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

:: great gift ideas ::

1360 recipes from Boston from ~2005 to 2017: the Golden Age of Boston Cocktails! My first book, Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book came out in 2012 as my love letter to my city, its bartenders, bars, and recipes. That book alone drove me to drop my day job and become a professional bartender. My next, book, Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told in 2017 covers the next 5 years of progression tracing the diaspora of talented bartenders across town as new places opened up. A completely new book with no repeats (save for parts of the techniques section) with a dozen or so essays about hospitality, the Daiquiri Time Out origins, and the history of modern Boston speakeasies. While the first book captured a little over 40 bars and 505 recipes, the second was in excess of 100 locations and 855 recipes.

One of my favorite reviews on Amazon:

Perfect holiday presents right here:
Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book: on Amazon, B&N, and at the Boston Shaker (signed copies available online and in-store).
Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told: on Amazon, B&N, and at the Boston Shaker (signed copies available online and in-store).

final ward eight

1 1/4 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Grenadine
1/4 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist (a cherry or a lemon twist or no garnish at all would work well here too).

Two Wednesdays ago, Phil Ward's Last Word riff, the Final Ward, came into my mind. My mind free associated with the name and thought about the 1898 Boston classic, Ward 8. Those two drinks share two ingredients, rye and lemon juice, and one word in the name, so why not try to mash them up?
The Final Ward Eight was the end result, and it welcomed the nose with orange oil over rye whiskey and nutty Maraschino notes. Next, a lemon and berry sip slid into rye, nutty cherry, orange juice, and Chartreuse's herbal flavors on the swallow. Overall, it was not as blaring as the Final Ward and not as basic as the Ward 8 but somewhere pleasantly in between.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

magic truce

4/10 Segram's Bourbon (1 1/3 oz Wild Turkey 101)
3/10 Drambuie (1 oz)
1/10 Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth (1/3 oz)
1/10 Orange Juice (1/3 oz)
1/10 Lemon Juice (1/3 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
After having had success with the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book via the Morning Glory, I returned to that book two Tuesdays ago and found the Magic Truce. The recipe was crafted by UK Bartender Guild member C. Chiswell who was most famous for being one of the founders in 1951 of the International Bartender Association or IBA. Once prepared, the Magic Truce conjured up a lemon and floral aroma. Next, malt, orange, lemon, and honey on the sip agreed upon Bourbon, honey, and herbal notes on the swallow. Overall, it was not sweet as I first expected, but raising the dry vermouth and juice quotients a bit (or dropping the Drambuie amount) would make for a more balanced drink.

Monday, December 2, 2019


1 1/2 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau Fino)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Grand Lusso)
3/4 oz Campari

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was still exhausted from a long work week, so I wanted something low proof as a compromise to abstaining completely. Therefore, I reached for Drew Lazor's Session Cocktails book and spotted the Sharon by New York City bartender Tristan Willey. The Sharon was his lower proof Negroni riff, and he described how "Dry sherry has such as strong backbone. It lends so much to a drink while asking so little of the drinker." Once assembled, the Sharon welcomed the nose with savory and orange oil aromas. Next, an off-dry red grape sip stepped aside to sweet vermouth transitioning to dry, crisp sherry with bitter orange notes in between on the swallow.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

morning glory

1/2 Brandy (2 oz Camus VS Cognac)
1/4 Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao + 1 bsp simple syrup)
1/4 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Absinthe (3/4 bsp St. George)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Sundays ago, I revisited the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book for a drink idea. There, I was lured in by the Morning Glory which is not the better know Fizz one but somewhat close to the Morning from Boothby's 1934 edition. Moreover, it was similar to a Sidecar with absinthe and bitters or perhaps an Alabazam with absinthe. The idea appealed to me since earlier in the day, I made one of the servers at work a Sidecar for his brunch shift drink since he recently had an enjoyable one out on the town, and we spent a few moments discussing the drink's history and where it fits in with the cocktail families.
The Morning Glory opened up with lemon oil, brandy, and anise aromas. Next, lemon and orange notes on the sip climbed towards Cognac, orange, clove, and anise flavors on the swallow.