Thursday, November 26, 2020

the mayor's lament

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1 oz Amaro Nardini
3 dash Woodford Cherry Bitters (King Floyd Cherry-Cacao)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
Two Thursdays prior, I selected Brad Parson's Amaro book and found the Mayor's Lament. This Black Manhattan-like number featured Amaro Nardini as the sweet herbal element and contained accents of Peychaud's and cherry bitters. Brad attributed the recipe to Travis Brazil at 404 Kitchen in Nashville where Travis named it after a regular who portrayed Mayor Teddy Conrad on the television series Nashville. Once prepared, the Mayor's Lament proffered a rye, caramel, and mint bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel and malt on the sip transitioned into rye, chocolate, mint, cherry, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Cynar

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I was flipping through the Death & Co. Cocktail Book when I spotted the Cynartown crafted by Phil Ward in 2008. It appeared like a gin-based Little Italy which worked with his "Mr. Potato Head" substitution strategy for creating new drinks and functioned as a great tribute since he worked for Audrey Saunders at the Pegu Club when she crafted that Manhattan variation. Phil also utilized his riffing technique to generate the Augie March with reposado tequila.
The Cynartown began with a juniper, grape, and citrus aroma. Next, grape and caramel on the sip flowed into pine, funky vegetal, and plum flavors on the swallow. Without the barrel-aged structure of rye whiskey in the Little Italy, the Cynar and vermouth became more dominant flavors with gin as the base spirit instead of supportive characters in the play. I was also amused that it took writing this up to realize that Phil was making a pun on the Manhattan neighborhood near the Lower East Side.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

second sip & :: virginia distillery courage & conviction whisky ::

2 oz Scotch (Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Whisky)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Cockburn Tawny Port (Sandeman)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
I was recently sent to review a bottle of Courage & Conviction, the new release from Virginia Distillery Co. I became familiar with the brand when I worked their booth at a Taste of Boston event in late 2017, and I was gifted a bottle of their Port Cask-Finished Virginia-Highland Whiskey (Batch 5) as a thank you present from their ambassador. While the port-finished whisky I received was a combination of Scotch single malt blended with their own single malt that they make in Lovingston, Virginia, the Courage & Conviction is a single malt of their own distillate and not a blend with imported ones. The blending was probably crucial back in 2017 for the distillery only started distilling in 2015, so their stock was only a little over two years old at most at that point. This new release was inspired by the guiding principles of their founder, Dr. George G. Moore, to "have the courage of your convictions," and the batch was dedicated to Dr. Jim Swan who consulted with the distillery and guided them with their distillation and cask maturation strategies before passing away in 2017. Here, Courage & Conviction is a Virginia single malt whisky aged in used Bourbon, sherry, and cuvee casks.
Virginia Distillery Co. Port Cask-Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky (Batch 5, 2017)
Nose: A dry peat without much smoke, cherry, chocolate, and toasted wood.
Taste: Plum, hint medicinal, caramel, chocolate.
Finish: Cherry, chocolate, cinnamon.

Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction (Batch: Dr. Jim Swan, 2020)
Nose: Apricot, nutty, toasty, freshly shaved oak.
Taste: Orange, nectarine, cedar.
Finish: Chocolate, medicinal, red fruit.

Overall, the Courage & Conviction was a much more refined spirit than the one that they produced three years prior. It came across as softer and more finished of a spirit showing that the distillery is indeed heading in the correct path as their own products are maturing on site.
For a drink to mix this whisky, I selected from my notes a recipe on the Bittermens website. A few years ago, Avery and Janet Glasser challenged Brian Miller at Death & Co. to make a Scotch, Fernet, and bitters cocktail, and the Second Sip was what he came up with. The combination reminded me of a Chancellor with the whisky, port, and vermouth elements, but here, there was the addition of Fernet Branca to made for a bit more aggressive of a tipple (which I also attempted to do in the Preceptor using other amari). In the glass, the Second Sip donated a grape, malt, and menthol aroma. Next, grape and caramel swirled on the sip, and the swallow showcased whisky, dried fruit, and briny flavors with a menthol finish.

Monday, November 23, 2020


1 oz Hayman's Royal Dock Gin (1 1/4 oz Beefeater)
3/4 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/4 oz Punt e Mes
6 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was browsing the classics section in The NoMad Cocktail Book, when I spotted the Montauk that I was not too familiar with. The original is an equal parts Perfect Martini without bitters, and this variation was attributed in Punch Drinks to Leo Robischek. The book described the combination with the addition of Punt e Mes and Peychaud's Bitters to be Negroni-like; however, it came across more like a Martinez to my palate. In the glass, the Montauk welcomed the nose with lemon and pine aromas. Next, a grape sip slid into gin and bitter grape flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

conjurers & concubines

1 oz Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross + 1/2 oz Privateer Navy Yard)
1 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Benedictine
1 tsp Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.
To finish off the last night of Sherry Week 2020, I searched the Kindred Cocktails database for an interesting recipe. There, I latched on to Rafa Garcia Febles 2015 creation called the Conjurers & Concumbines that reminded me slightly of the Rum River Mystic. Once prepared, the Conjurers & Concubines gave forth a caramel, rum funk, and allspice bouquet to the nose. Next, a caramel sip stepped aside for funky rum, nutty sherry, and herbal flavors on the swallow with an allspice and chocolate finish. For a final sherry Haiku, I wrote one in honor of the sherry cup-on-a-stick that I was gifted to practice pouring as part of a sherry competition; the venenciador is utilized to dip into the barrel and then pour from a height into a glass (if successful) to aerate the sherry. "The cellar master/amazes me with his flair:/Venenciador"

Saturday, November 21, 2020

the second marriage

1 oz Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
1 oz Calvados or Laird's 7 1/2 Year (Morin Selection)
1/2 oz Valdespino El Candado Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
2 dash Angostura Bitters (*)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Omitted in Talia's book and my cocktail tasting notes here; included above afterwards via personal communication with the drink's creator.
As Sherry Week 2020 continued on, I selected Talia Biocchi's Sherry book to see if there were any recipes that I had not made yet. There, I was lured in by Dan Greenbaum's Second Marriage that reminded me of similar Old Fashioned-like drinks that utilized Pedro Ximenez sherry as the sweetener such as the Haitian Divorce and the McKittrick Old Fashioned. In the glass, the Second Marriage welcomed the nose with an orange, apple, and raisin bouquet. Next, dark grape and apple flavors on the sip shifted towards Bourbon, apple, and rich raisiny grape on the swallow. For a Haiku to match this drink, I crafted, "Raisiny goodness/From Talia's Sherry book/Pedro Ximenez".

Friday, November 20, 2020

du pont hotel

1 1/4 oz Brandy (1 3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac)
1 oz Dry Sherry (3/4 oz Lustau Oloroso + 1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, Sherry Week 2020 reminded me of a drink that was discussed on an episode of the Bartender at Large podcast called the Du Pont Hotel. The show's guest was Brian Bartels who recently wrote The United States of Cocktails book, and for Delaware, he featured this drink that was first published in Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up via said hotel in Wilmington. Using all dry sherry seemed a bit austere to balance the brandy's heat and the Angostura's bitter, so I added in a touch of sweetness from cream sherry. Once prepared, the Du Pont Hotel offered up orange oil over raisin and nutty grape aromas. Next, a semi-dry grape sip gave way to Cognac, nutty sherry, allspice, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow. My sherry-ku to support my post on Instagram was, "Ted Saucier's book/Naughty art and sherry drinks/Bottoms up, my friend."

Thursday, November 19, 2020

ibiza bum

2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with mint sprigs.

After the Geneva, I was inspired to create something for Sherry Week 2020. The Geneva's apricot-sherry duo had me searching for a Tiki drink with apricot liqueur to further the field of sherry Tiki that includes the Sherry Colada and Sherry Tonga. Soon, I landed on the Beachbum; besides replacing the two rums with Amontillado, I swapped the original's lime for lemon juice and added in the allspice dram that worked so well in the U.S.S. Wondrich. For a name, I went with the Spanish isle for lounging (despite it being on the opposite side of the country from the sherry-producing region) and called this the Ibiza Bum.
The Ibiza Bum met the nose with a mint bouquet over nutty grape, allspice, and orange-apricot aromas. Next, grape, pineapple, and lemon on the sip slid into nutty sherry, apricot, pineapple, and allspice flavors on the swallow. The combination of apricot and orgeat worked just as well here as it did in the 1937 Yellow Mist, and the Amontillado complemented those flavors rather nicely. For a Haiku to round off the drink, I riffed on the Bow Wow Wow song "I Want Candy" from the 1980s:
Sherry on the beach
(Ain't no finer wine in town)
There's nothing better

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


2/3 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/3 jigger Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet)
1 dash Apricot Liqueur (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter)

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to start participating in Sherry Week 2020, and I found the Geneva in the wine section of Pioneers of Mixing from Elite Bars: 1903-1933. To accompany the drink, I composed a Haiku to complement the experience (Sherrykus were requested by the week's host): Crisp autumn evening/I need a nutty cocktail/Amontillado. Since Amontillado and apricot liqueur have proven to be a great pairing such as in the Apricottage and Repossession, I went with that as the answer to recipe's vague call of sherry.
The Geneva flowed to the nose with an orange and apricot waft. Next, grape with a hint of orchard fruit on the sip entered into a nutty sherry and herbal swallow with an apricot finish.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


2 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
1/2 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with mint sprigs and freshly grated nutmeg.

As election night approached, I found myself spending a lot more time on social media and newsfeeds looking for tidbits of information about the various races. On the day itself, I spotted the term "doomscrolling" to describe what I and many of us were doing on our phones. The word reminded me of some of Jason Alexander's drinks like the Doomsayer's Grog and the Requiem for a Doomed Star, so I thought about creating a Tiki drink inspired by his style instead of searching through books for the some liquid distraction. Jason is a big fan of Plantation OFTD Rum, and I supplemented that with some rather smoky Scotch to amplify the doom quotient. To balance the lime juice, I opted for passion fruit syrup and Don's Spices as sweeteners which also feature prominently in Jason's creations. To tie together the aggressive rum and the burly Scotch, Benedictine seemed to be the answer to round off the drink with perhaps Shruff's End in mind. Usually, I come up with the recipe before the name, but the stress of election day helped to reverse the flow with the Doomscroller.
The Doomscroller cursed the nose with a woody spice and mint bouquet. Next, lime and caramel on the sip launched into funky rum, smoke, tropical, vanilla, and allspice flavors on the swallow. Overall, it was rather well balance to my palate, and it disguised its alcoholic potency quite well.

Monday, November 16, 2020

more supreme

1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole, pref. aged (Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cane Syrup (Sirop JM de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, pour 1/4 oz Campari down the side of the glass, and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper.
Two Mondays ago, I was in the mood for a Daiquiri when I remembered the More Supreme that I had spotted in Punch. The recipe was crafted by Alec Bales of the Ticonderoga Club in Atlanta as a rhum agricole Daiquiri in the form of a layered drink with a sink of Campari. Once prepared, the More Supreme met the nose with a grassy, lime, and black pepper spice aroma, and the pepper complemented the rhum rather well. Next, a lime sip gave way to a grassy and funky rum on the swallow that was later joined by bitter orange and quinine flavors as the Campari mixed into the cocktail.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

monte carlos

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Sundays ago, I began flipping through A Spot at the Bar by Michael Madrusan and Zara Young. There, I honed in on the Monte Carlos which was Chris Bostick's tequila riff on the whiskey-based Monte Carlo from David Embury's 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (rye, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters or a Frisco with bitters) that Bostick crafted at Half Step in Austin. Last year, I had enjoyed the Scotch version, the Highlander, from Paul Harrington's 1998 Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, so I was intrigued especially considering how well agave and Benedictine work together. In the glass, the Monte Carlos wafted lemon, vegetal agave, and allspice aromas to the nose. Next, a lightly caramel sip with a decent mouthfeel from the Benedictine led into tequila, herbal with minty-chocolate accents, clove, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

million dollar

2/3 Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1 tbsp Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass; I garnished with a few drops of Bitter Housewife's Cardamom Bitters.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a drink called the Million Dollar that I had spotted in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book; I had spied the recipe when researching the Brown Rumba for a video that I shot for Deep Ellum's riff, the Bourbon Rumba. Imbibe Magazine credited Louis Eppinger of Bamboo Cocktail fame for creating the Million Dollar towards the end of the 19th century, and it apparently is still considered a classic in Japan. There is a competing lore that it was first crafted by Ngiam Tong Boon of Singapore Sling fame at the beginning of the 20th century, but that story has less support with cocktail historians.
Once prepared, the Million Dollar donated a cardamom bouquet to the nose from the bitters garnish that I added to the recipe. Next, pineapple and berry notes on the sip stepped aside to gin, herbal, and pomegranate flavors on the swallow.

Friday, November 13, 2020

base camp

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
3/8 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/4 oz Creme de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Crude's Orange-Fig)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
For a nightcap two Fridays ago, I turned to the November/December 2020 issue of Imbibe Magazine to make the Base Camp by Matty Clark of Dutch Kills in Queens. This smoky Old Fashioned utilized a crème de cacao and allspice dram duo as sweeteners, and those two paired rather well in drinks like the El Molino, Jamaican Bobsled, and Sierra Madre. Once prepared, the Base Camp climbed to the nose with bright orange oil over peat smoke and darker notes from the allspice and chocolate liqueurs. Next, a caramel and malt sip led into Bourbon, smoke, allspice, and chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

colonial ties

1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
1 oz Jamaican Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross + 1/2 oz Plantation Xaymaca)
1 Brown Sugar Cube (Demerara)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 bsp Soda Water (1/2 oz Still Water)

Soak the sugar cube with bitters, add the soda water, and muddle into a paste. Add the spirits and ice, stir, strain into an absinthe-rinsed (St. George) whiskey glass, and garnish with a lemon twist on the edge of the glass.
Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a Sazerac-like drink created by Eric Alperin at Los Angeles' Varnish bar that he published in the recipe section of Unvarnished. With the spirit split between rye and Jamaican rum, it reminded me of the more common Sazerac crossed with the D Day Sazerac (with different bitters), so it seemed like a winner. Once prepared, the Colonial Ties proffered a lemon, anise, and pineapple-tropical fruit bouquet to the nose. Next, a caramel sip led into a rye, funky rum, and orange swallow with a hint of anise on the finish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

horror hotel

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters (or Fee's Old Fashioned)

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

As Halloween was approaching, I decided to craft this Autumnal smoky and bitter number as a The Misfits musical tribute. I was inspired by the Fall on Me to create a music-themed drink that utilized the apricot-herbal liqueur combination, and The Misfits fit the then approaching holiday. For this concept's herbal liqueur, I opted for Cynar which paired well with apricot in the One One Thousand, and apricot-Punt e Mes has proven to be a winner such as in the Slope. The song that matched the drink's and evening's feel was the Horror Hotel that they named after the 1960 movie.
The Horror Hotel crept to the nose with an orange, smoke, vegetal funk, and cinnamon aroma. Next, caramel and apple flavors on the sip lurched into a smoky and bitter apricot swallow with a cinnamon-tinged finish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

right hand

1 1/2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
1/2 oz Arkansas Black Brandy (Morin Calvados)
1/2 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
1/2 oz Cinnamon Demerara Syrup
2 dash Fee's Walnut Bitters (Strongwater)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with oil from an orange twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I selected Drinking Like Ladies and reconsidered the Right Hand created by Nicole Lebedevitch at Yvonne's in Boston. I had previously passed over it for I did not want to confuse things with the better known Right Hand, but this combination of whiskey, apple brandy, gentian herbal, and cinnamon was just too tempting. Nicole named it that for it was her tribute to Marguerite LeHand, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal assistant and confidant. LeHand was described as "the Swiss Army Knife of the White House" for her ability to multi-task behind the scenes.
The Right Hand donated an orange oil, Bourbon, and gentian bouquet to the nose. Next, apple notes from the brandy filled the sip, and the swallow displayed the Bourbon, apple, cinnamon, and earthy flavors with a walnut finish.

Monday, November 9, 2020


1 oz Laird's Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
2 dash Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters (Bittercube Jamaica #2)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Mondays ago, I ventured into The NoMad Cocktail Book and spotted Jessica Gonzalez's 1903. The 1903 reminded me of a Corpse Reviver No. 1 from the Savoy Cocktail Book with the vermouth aspect split with Cocchi Americano plus the addition of grapefruit bitters. Once prepared, the 1903 let loose an apricot, grape, and grapefruit aroma. Next, grape and pear notes on the sip led into apple, Cognac, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

take me to marrakech

1 1/2 oz Armagnac (Laressingle VSOP)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters (The Bitter Housewife Cardamom)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Sundays ago, I spotted the Take Me to Marrakech in Sother Teague's I'm Just Here for the Drinks that would make good use of my purchase of cardamom bitters (the ones I bought are similar in feel to Boker's Bitters). The aromas and flavors of the drink reminded Sother of the old marketplaces in Morocco which I attribute most to the exotic notes in cardamom. Once prepared, the Take Me to Marrakech proffered brandy, honey-floral, and cardamom aromas to the nose. Next, honey, lemon, and orange on the sip gave way to brandy and honey flavors on the swallow with a cardamom finish that came across very much like tea.

Saturday, November 7, 2020


1/2 Italian Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet)
1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz St. George)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Crude Orange-Fig)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I spotted the Vivary from the 1935 Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book in Frank Caiafa's 2016 The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book. The concept of a split vermouth base with absinthe reminded me of the Half Sinner, Half Saint, and when I made the drink, my recipe fell somewhere between the two recipes from the books above. In the glass, the Vivary displayed a lemon oil, red grape, and floral-anise aroma. Next, sweet red grape and orange notes on the sip slid into grape, herbal, anise, and fig flavors on the swallow.

Friday, November 6, 2020

bells & whistles

2 oz Old Grand-Dad 114° Bourbon
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1/8 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/8 oz Averna
1/8 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted on the Kindred Cocktails database called the Bells & Whistles by Kyle Davidson (of Art of Choke and Under the Volcano fame) at Blackbird in Chicago. Essentially, it was a Bourbon Manhattan with Bonal as the aromatized wine element along with a trio of modifiers. The first two modifiers were the Averna and apricot liqueur duo that I have utilized well in recipes like the Library Card and was probably introduced to in Misty Kalkofen's Cocktail Miranda at Green Street. The third modifier was a small amount of Amontillado sherry; someone commented on my Instagram post inquiring if a barspoon would really have an effect, and I related how a mere two dashes in the It's A Long, Long Way had me equally as skeptical except that the effect was most certainly there.
The Bells & Whistles began with a Bourbon-forward aroma with a hint of orchard fruit on the nose. Next, grape and caramel filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the Bourbon along with herbal and nutty flavors and an apricot finish. Finally, I was impressed at how this tasty drink became even more balanced as it warmed up over time.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

requiem for a doomed star

2 oz Rum Fire Overproof Jamaican Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
4 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Kübler)

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. I garnished with a spent half lime shell and chocolate mint sprigs. No instructions were provided with the recipe, so this was how I interpreted the build.

Two Thursdays ago, Jason Alexander posted a drink on the Tiki Recipes group on Facebook, and I decided to make this curiously named number, Requiem for a Doomed Star, that evening. I was able to track down that he has been serving this drink on the Devil's Reef menu since the beginning of the year. The form reminded me a little of a Test Pilot and a Jet Pilot, and the cinnamon and vanilla combination was one found in classics like the Nui Nui and more modern ones like the Expedition.
The Requiem for a Doomed Star broadcasted a chocolate mint aroma over funky rum, vanilla, cinnamon, and anise notes. Next, lime dominated the sip that transitioned into rum funk, anise, and cinnamon that came across like caraway on the swallow with vanilla and more funk on the finish.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


3/4 Bourbon (2 oz Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
1/4 Amer Picon (1/2 oz Torani Amer)
1 dash Maple Syrup (1/4 oz here, next time 1/8 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted as a note in Frank Caiafa's The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book that there was a variation on the classic Liberal Cocktail in Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up. Therefore, I retrieved my 1954 edition and found this twist that utilized maple syrup in place of sweet vermouth and orange bitters. Once the recipe crafted at the Colony Restaurant in New York City was stirred and strained, this Liberal Cocktail proffered lemon, maple, and dark orange aromas. Next, maple's richness and the whiskey's malt filled the sip, and the swallow continued on with Bourbon and dark bitter orange flavors on the swallow with a maple finish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

jimmie walker

3/4 jigger Whisky (2 1/4 oz Four Roses Bourbon) (*)
1/4 jigger Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
(*) Boothby used a generic "whisky" for all Bourbon, rye, and Scotch.
Two Tuesdays ago, I began scanning William Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them and spotted the Jimmie Walker. The name made me think of "Dyn-O-Mite!" Jimmie Walker from the Good Times comedy series; given that the recipe was recorded forty years before that television series, my second guess was that it was named after James John Walker, the mayor of New York City from 1926-1932. The feel of the drink reminded me of a Ward 8 which kept nicely with the political theme. Once prepared, the Jimmie Walker decreed a lemon, Bourbon, and berry aroma upon the nose. Next, lemon with red fruit notes on the sip carried into whiskey, grenadine, and vermouth's herbal flavors on the swallow.

Monday, November 2, 2020

the hearing trumpet

1 1/4 oz Scotch (Cuttysark Prohibition)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Campari
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

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

Two Mondays ago, I was feeling inspired to create a drink instead of rooting through my books to find a recipe. I had spotted the Barefoot in the Dark earlier in the week, and I took the Scotch, Swedish punsch, and Campari aspect from it and merged it with another whiskey and Swedish punsch drink, the Mortimer Stump. The Mortimer Stump contained Cardamaro which has proven to be a great partner for Scotch such as in the Great King Street and the Romancing the Stone.
For a name, I dubbed this one after the surreal story by Leonora Carrington called The Hearing Trumpet about growing old and retaining one's dignity. Once prepared, the Hearing Trumpet greeted the senses with an orange oil and peat aroma. Next, grape and malt mingled on the sip, and the swallow uncovered smoky Scotch, orange, caramel, and tea flavors with a chocolate finish.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

phoenix down

2 oz Applejack (Laird's Bonded)
3/8 oz Honey Syrup (3/4 oz)
3/8 oz Ginger Syrup (3 thin slice Ginger)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice (muddle ginger slices in the honey syrup, add the rest, and shake with ice), and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a spritz of absinthe (St. George) and candied ginger on a pick (omit).
Two Sundays ago, I reached for Eric Alperin's Unvarnished book and headed to the recipe section in the middle. There, I was tempted by a house recipe, namely Daniel Eun's apple brandy riff on Sam Ross' Pencillin using absinthe as the floater instead of a smoky spirit. Eun's Phoenix Down began with an anise and licorice nose. Next, lemon and honey on the sip slid into apple and ginger on the swallow.