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.