Sunday, September 20, 2020


2 oz Bourbon (Angel's Envy)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
1/2 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. The house spec had no garnish but Sam has added 3 raspberries on a pick and a lemon twist in competitions.

Two Sundays ago, I opted to make a recipe that I had bookmarked for its use of raspberry syrup as well as Bourbon which would work with Angel's Envy's Toast the Trees. Toast the Trees is a yearly event coinciding with National Bourbon Heritage Month to draw attention to our waning oak forests in America that are essential for Bourbon's aging. For each social media post with the hashtag #ToastTheTrees in September, the distillery will plant an oak tree in the Spring. So with Bourbon's future in mind, I decided to make a classic from Russell House Tavern that I recall seeing on the menu on 2012, and I certainly made a bunch when I started working there in 2013 called the Whippersnapper. The drink was bar manager Sam Gabrielli's Bourbon and bitters riff on Jerry Thomas' rum Knickerbocker, and I spotted it on the restaurant's social media this month, so it is still being enjoyed in town.
The Whippersnapper attacked the nose with an orange and raspberry bouquet. Next, lemon, berry, and malt notes on the sip wisened up to Bourbon and orange flavors on the swallow with a raspberry and clove finish. Definitely the addition of bitters to the mix provided extra structure to this Daisy.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

la condesa

1 oz Apple Brandy (Morin Selection Calvados)
1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a cherry.
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to Imbibe Magazine to make the La Condesa by bartender Eron Plevon at Alex&nder, the bar at the Copper & Kings Distillery in Louisville. The recipe reminded me of Jerry Thomas' split base Manhattan, the Saratoga, and the split base here of apple brandy and mezcal is one that has worked in drinks like the Sailor's Delight, Downtown at Dawn, and Moment in the Sun. In the glass, La Condesa shared an apple and smoke aroma with a fruit note from the cherry garnish mingling with the vermouth and brandy elements. Next, a fruity grape sip passed into apple, vegetal, and smoke flavors on the swallow with a chocolate finish.

Friday, September 18, 2020

talking walls swizzle

1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
3/4 oz Gin, preferably floral (GrandTen Wire Works)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a pineapple front, pineapple wedge, and edible flower (chocolate mint sprigs and a nasturtium flower).
Two Fridays ago, I was in the mood for something on the lighter side, and I recalled a recipe in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine. That drink was the Talking Wall Swizzle by Alba Huerta at Houston's Julep that seemed like a more herbal cousin of the Royal Hawaiian. Once prepared, the Talking Wall Swizzle met the nose with a peppery floral and chocolate mint aroma over pine, pineapple, and gentian notes. Next, a creamy pineapple sip led into delightful herbal and earthy flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

romancing the stone

1 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
3/4 oz Zucca or Sfumato Rabarbaro (Sfumato)
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I began to ponder ingredient combinations as I scanned my liquor shelves, and I conjured up an Scotch abstraction of the Bijou taken in the Caustic Negroni direction. Since Scotch goes well with amari like Sfumato in the Preceptor and Cardamaro in the Great King Street, Green Chartreuse and orange bitters would round out the combination nicely. Moreover, Bijou means jewel, so I dubbed this one the Romancing the Stone after the 1984 romantic adventure comedy.
The Romancing the Stone proffered up grapefruit, smoky, and funky herbal aromas to the nose. Next, grape and roast notes on the sip stole away into Scotch and bitter smoky rhubarb root flavors melding into Green Chartreuse's herbal ones on the swallow. Over time with a little ice melt, the aggressiveness of the ingredients relaxed and became a touch more cohesive of a drink.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Damrak)
2 dash Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash French Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2 dash Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a grapefruit twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted another use for my new batch of raspberry syrup in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 called the Florida. With the gin and dry vermouth in the mix, it reminded me of the Clover Club that I had just made minus the egg white. And like other Florida-themed drinks in that book such as the Jacksonville, Augustine, and Orlando, the Florida here had grapefruit juice as the citrus.
The Florida wafted a grapefruit and juniper combination to the nose. Next, grapefruit and red berry notes on the sip slid into gin, raspberry, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

blind river cocktail

3/4 oz Gin (Barr Hill)
3/4 oz Genever (Bols)
3/4 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I went through my list of recipes that I had spotted online and selected the Blind River Cocktail from Imbibe Magazine created by Jesse Carr at Justine in New Orleans. The drink was named after a river in Cajun country and was crafted in the style of the Creole Cocktail. The combination of gin, white vermouth, Benedictine, and orange bitters reminded me of the Poet's Dream, and the Genever in the mix had shades of the Houdini.
In the glass, the Blind River Cocktail raced to the nose with orange, juniper, malt, and honey aromas. Next, that honey-floral element continued on into the sip along with a caramel note from the Benedictine, and the swallow showcased malty, juniper, woody, and herbal flavors with a minty orange finish.

Monday, September 14, 2020

o.p.p.k. (old port painkiller)

1 oz Rhum Agricole (Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Pot-Stilled Jamaican Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross + 1/2 oz Plantation Xaymaca)
1 oz Orgeat
2 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Rich Simple Syrup (1 1/3 oz 1:1)
3 dash Lime Bitters (Scrappy's)

Blend with 1 1/2 cup crushed ice (10 oz cracked ice) until smooth, pour into a Tiki mug, and garnish with a cherry (omit) and paper umbrella.
Two Mondays ago, I ventured into Andrew and Briana Volk's Northern Hospitality book of recipes generated at the Hunt & Alpine Club in Portland, Maine. The drink that called out to me was their inaugural blender creation on the menu -- a riff on the 1971 Painkiller. Besides swapping the rum for a grassy Martinique rhum and a funky Jamaica rum, the bigger change was replacing the coconut cream for orgeat. In the Tiki mug, the O.P.P.K. (Old Port Painkiller) met the nose with a caramel and rum funk bouquet. Next, a creamy orange sip cured itself with a grassy and funky rum and nutty orgeat swallow with a lime finish from the bitters.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

prince henry punch

3/4 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Aged Rum (Plantation Fiji)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
6 dash Angostura Bitters

Whip shake, pour into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with mint and fruits in season (omit fruits).
In searching for more uses of the raspberry syrup batch that I had just made, I found the Prince Henry Punch created by Los Angeles bartender Pablo Moix in Punch Drinks. Its combination of Chartreuse and raspberry syrup made me recall the Frida crafted at the Waldorf-Astoria in 2010. Once prepared, the Prince Henry Punch welcomed the senses with a mint aroma over funky rum, caramel, and hints of herbal Chartreuse. Next, lime, berry, and caramel notes swirled on the sip, and the swallow proffered grassy and funky rum, raspberry, and Chartreuse flavors with a dry clove finish.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

clover club

1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Egg White (1 Egg White)

Shake without ice and then with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with 2 raspberries on a pick (omit)

While flipping through Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails book, I was reminded that I had never had Julie Reiner's version of the Clover Club that she serves at the Brooklyn establishment under that name. I had previously written about the Clover Club as made at Green Street, but Julie's sourced a historical recipe first recorded in 1909 that includes dry vermouth along with the gin, citrus, raspberry, and egg white. Moreover, I have heard that the dry vermouth helps to tie together all of the flavors, and that it makes for a superior tipple. Despite its pinkness, the libation started as a men's drink at a club that did not even allow women to enter, but that association began to switch shortly after World War II before falling out of fashion as bars were less apt to make egg drinks.
The Clover Club with dry vermouth welcomed the nose with pine and raspberry aromas. Next, a creamy lemon and berry sip opened up into a gin and raspberry swallow. The dry vermouth was not an apparent flavor in the mix, but perhaps it was the glue that united parts better into a whole. Not that the vermouth-free one was all that shabby. I have yet to make them side-by-side to truly compare -- I am basing my memories on a drink I had in 2009; in addition, the Green Street recipe included a dash of Peychaud's Bitters perhaps derived from Stanley Clisby Arthur's Famous New Orleans Drinks & How to Mix'em.

Friday, September 11, 2020


2/3 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Cutty Sark Prohibition)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Dubonnet (1/2 oz)
1 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

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

Two Fridays ago, I returned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and decided to make the Narragansett. While this Scotch drink shared the namesake of the Rhode Island brewery that was founded in 1890 and was once a major sponsor of the Red Sox for the first half of the twentieth century, the name goes much further back. It is an Algonquian Indian language, and the word means "(People) of the Small Point" (the point being on the Salt Pond in Rhode Island). Overall, the Narragansett reminded me of the Chancellor where the whisky was supported by aromatized and fortified wines as well as orange bitters.
Once prepared, the Narragansett donated a lemon, peat smoke, and cherry-like grape aroma. Next, malt and plum notes on the sip slid into Scotch, nutty, and cherry fruit flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

the herbivore

1 1/2 oz Genever (Bols)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dash Celery Bitters

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

Two Thursdays ago, the cooler evening weather made me seek out a stirred drink. The one that stood out as right for the moment was the Herbivore by Juliet Ceballos of the City House Nashville that was published in Punch Drinks. The Herbivore seemed like a win for I have found that Genever and Cardamaro are a great duo in drinks like the Walking Spanish, Deck Hand, and the Kid with the Replaceable Head. Moreover, Green Chartreuse and celery bitters felt like wonderful accents to bring the balance a touch more to the herbaceous side.
The Herbavore proffered a lemon and malt aroma that gave way to a malt and grape sip. Next, Genever and herbal flavors on the swallow finished off with elegant Green Chartreuse and celery notes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

postcard home

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with fresh ice and pre-rimmed with salt, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, we had a rather large dinner at the Smoke Shop's patio in Kendall Square, and Andrea was in the mood for a drink with amaro to settle her stomach. I ended up going with a recipe called the Postcard Home that I had spotted on Kindred Cocktails. Wayne Curtis had written about this drink created by Amanda Schmadel at New Orleans' Barrel Proof in a 2019 article in Garden & Guns magazine. The Postcard Home delivered a grapefruit oil and smoke aroma to the nose. Next, lemon and roast-like notes from the Sfumato on the sip transitioned into smoky agave blending into funky-smoky rhubarb root on the swallow. Indeed, the salted rim worked its wonders by cutting back on the rabarbaro's bitterness to better match the vegetal agave flavor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

rio bravo

2 oz Sagatiba Cachaça (Salinas Umburana)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat (3/4 oz)
3 quarter-sized slice Ginger

Muddle the ginger in the orgeat. Shake all the ingredients with ice, double strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I picked the PDT Cocktail Book as a source of the night's libation. The recipe that drew me in was Nidal Ramini's Rio Bravo that he created in 2006 at the Dusk Bar in London for the Sagatiba Cachaça competition. Once prepared, the Rio Bravo shared an orange, grassy funk, and nutty aroma that led into a creamy lime sip. Next, the swallow came through with grassy spirit melding into earthy almond and ginger spice flavors with a zingy finish.

Monday, September 7, 2020

right handed planter

2 oz Aged or Dark Jamaican Rum (Plantation Xaymaca)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz Black Tea, a strong steep, cooled (Lychee Black Tea)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar
3 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice and cooled tea. Shake with ice, strain into a rocks or Collins glass with fresh ice (cracked ice), and garnish with a mint sprig and freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Mondays ago, I was pondering Lemon Hart Rum's Colonel A.R. Woolley's Improved Planter's Punch presented by Jeff Berry in his Potions of the Caribbean book where the traditional drink was augmented by cooled tea as the weak element. My mind drifted to figure out a good riff on that, and I landed on a mashup of the Rum Negroni-like Right Hand as the second recipe point. Merging together the two concepts and including my choice of mint and nutmeg garnishes that I opted for in the Improved Planter's Punch, the Right Handed Planter was born.
The Right Handed Planter reached the nose with a woody spice and mint bouquet. Next, lime and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow launched into dark rum with a hint of funk, tea, bitter orange, and chocolate flavors on the swallow with a tea tannin-tinged finish.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

mexican monk

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau Amontillado)
1/4 oz Coffee Liqueur (Galliano Ristretto)
1/4 oz Benedictine

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

Two Sundays ago, I selected the Mr. Boston 75th Anniversary Edition book and stumbled upon the Mexican Monk created by Eric Alperin of Los Angeles' Varnish. The combination of sherry, coffee liqueur, and Benedictine reminded me of Misty Kalkofen's rye-based The Streets of Gettysburg, and the agave spirit in there reminded me of her Pare de Sufrir and Beneficio de Cafe as well. Two articles in 2011 in the Los Angeles Times and Wine Magazine place its invention sometime between that year and the Varnish bar opening in 2009; both of those articles cite Amontillado as the dry sherry of choice.
The Mexican Monk welcomed the nose with a lemon oil and agave aroma colored by darker elements from the coffee liqueur and sherry. Next, grape and roast notes on the sip led into tequila, nutty sherry, coffee, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

tao of pooh

2 oz Coconut Water
1 1/2 oz 42 Below Honey Vodka (Barr Hill)
1/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico
2 dash Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters (Berg & Hauck)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to the PDT Cocktail Book and spotted the Tao of Pooh that would make good use of the coconut water that I had in the refrigerator. The recipe was created by bartender and bar owner Jim Meehan in 2010 as "a tribute to Winnie the Pooh's love of honey." Lacking 42 Below's product, I instantly recalled the vodka distilled from honey crafted by Caledonia Spirits in my collection. Once prepared, the Tao of Pooh met the nose with a honey, star anise, and vanilla bouquet. Next, a briny sip with some heft to it gave way to honey, anise, vanilla, nutty, and lemon flavors on the swallow.

Friday, September 4, 2020

frozen east side

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 handful Mint (12 leaf)
5 slice Cucumber

Blend with 6-8 oz ice (7 oz cracked ice) until smooth, pour into a chilled double old fashioned glass, and garnish with a cucumber slice and mint sprig.

Two Fridays ago, I was in the mood for a refreshing drink, and I recalled Natalie Jacob's Frozen East Side that she had recently posted on Instagram with a note to check her Arsenic & Old Lace blog for the recipe. In my write-up on the regular East Side, I described how the drink was attributed to Lynette Marrero in the mid-00s at the East Side Company which was one of Sasha Petraske's Milk & Honey offshoots. Technically, the East Side is the South Side with cucumber served up, and when it is presented on the rocks, it becomes the Old Maid. Here, Natalie chose not to create a third name for the blended version when she posted about it two years ago.
The Frozen East Side proffered mint and cucumber aromas mostly from the garnish. Next, lime and herbal notes on the sip led into gin and mint flavors on the swallow with a cucumber finish.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

fino island

2 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime wheel and pineapple frond on an umbrella pick (omit frond).

Two Thursdays ago, I received the list of the winning recipes from the Tio Pepe (Sherry) Cocktail Contest, and I immediately latched on to the Fino Island created by Sam Treadway of Backbar. The combination of pineapple, orgeat, and Chartreuse was one that worked well in the 19th Century Swizzle and the Kumulipo, and I was curious to try it with Fino sherry as the base. Sam described how he reflected on his year in Hawaii after he left Drink before returning to the mainland to open Backbar as his inspiration here.
The Fino Island welcomed the nose with lime and crisp sherry aromas. Next, a creamy pineapple sip gave way to a sherry, nutty, and herbal swallow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

pancho and lefty

2 oz Dickel Whiskey (Old Overholt Rye)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Peach Bitters (Fee's)
3 leaf Sage

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with a sage leaf.
Two Wednesdays ago, I was rooting through my cocktail book library and rediscovered Daniel Yaffe's 2013 Drink More Whiskey. There, I honed in on the Pancho and Lefty that I must have skipped over due to lacking Tennessee whiskey, but I figured that with my sage plant doing rather well this year, I ought to give it a go with another American whiskey. Once prepared, this tribute to the Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson song crafted by bartender Samir Osman presented a malt, smoke, and sage bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and maple on the sip transitioned into whiskey, smoke, sage, and peach flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

sleeping lotus

2 oz Dry Gin (Damrak)
1 oz Orgeat
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
10 leaf Mint

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and an edible orchid (pea blossoms).
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to Chloe Frechette's Easy Tiki and spied the Sleeping Lotus created by Sierra Kirk of Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon. The page offered up a great description of, "The Sleeping Lotus drinks like the Army & Navy Cocktail on leave in the Bahamas," although less romantic would be calling it an Army & Navy taken to the South Side. Once prepared, the Sleeping Lotus met the nose with a mint, nutty, and pine bouquet. Next, a creamy lemon sip dozed off into gin, earthy and nutty orgeat, and vibrant mint flavors on the swallow.