Monday, September 25, 2017

brandy smash no. 2

1 jigger Brandy (2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy)
a few sprig Mint
1 lump Sugar (1 demerara cube)
a little Water (3/8 oz water)

Dissolve sugar in a mixing glass with a little water. Add mint and press gently with a muddler. Add brandy and shaved ice, stir, strain into a Champagne glass with a mint sprig stem down, and trim with fruit. Add a dash of Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross) before serving. Note, I strained the unchilled mixture into a Champagne glass and filled with crushed ice; my fruit was 3 slices cucumber and I added a straw.

While so many Smashes these days include an herbal element such as the traditional mint, they also include citrus wedges or juice that were not in the classic. Therefore, when I spotted the Brandy Smash series in George J. Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks, I decided to give it a go. Brandy was the original call for many of the upperclass Juleps served in the Colonial days of America for American whiskey was not very prevalent and rum was somewhat looked down upon. After the Revolution, whiskey began its ascent to take over as the preferred Smash and Julep call, and brandy began to fade in the early part of the 19th century. Jerry Thomas in 1862 differentiated between the Julep and the Smash by calling the latter "simply a Julep on a small plan." David Wondrich described in Imbibe how the Smash was a quick bracer often served without a straw and hit its heyday in the 1850s. While Jerry Thomas' Smashes included crushed ice, Kappeler's did not. Both Juleps and Smashes were referred to as "Mint Slings" so serving them without crushed ice back in the day would not be off by this definition. Kappeler's Brandy Smash No. 1 followed Thomas' recipe (save for the lack of ice in the serving vessel), but the No. 2 included a garnish of Jamaican rum which is what lured me in. I decided to split the difference for I could not parse the garnishes of a mint sprig and fruit trim served that way without ice as a base (plus, the chilled ingredients would only half fill a Champagne glass).
The Brandy Smash No. 2 began with the aroma of Jamaican rum funk accented by mint and smoothed by cucumber. Next, the sweet sip offered caramel derived from barrel-aged notes, and the swallow displayed brandy and mint flavors with hints of Jamaican rum creeping in over time. The float of funky Jamaican rum is something that I have included in many of my Juleps both whiskey- and brandy-based. For example, in summer 2016, one my bartender friends turned liquor sales rep texted me to see if he could swing by with the assistant distiller Travis from Copper & Kings to show off the product line. I cheekily texted back that they could swing by my place for Juleps for I was not scheduled to come into work that day. Five minutes later, I got a text back that they were on their way. I immediately began making simple syrup in the microwave and ran out to harvest mint for their arrival. I utilized their brandy adding my touches of the Jamaican rum and freshly grated nutmeg as additional garnish to the mint bouquet. The photo taken by either my rep or the distiller shows me floating the rum.
Brandy Julep (Fred's home recipe)
• 2 oz Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy
• 1/2 oz Cane Crystal Simple Syrup
• 8 mint leaves
Muddle mint in syrup in a double old fashioned (or Julep cup). Add brandy, fill with crushed ice, and stir. Garnish with mint sprigs, freshly grated nutmeg, and float 1/4 oz Wray & Nephew Jamaican Rum.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


3/4 jigger Whisky (2 oz Old Granddad Bonded Bourbon)
2 drop Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
3 drop Peychaud's Bitters (3 dash)
2 drop Bitters (2 dash Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Herbsaint) cocktail glass (rocks glass). Serve with an ice water chaser.

Two Sundays ago, I was perusing Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How to Mix Them and I spotted a pair of Creole cocktails. The Creole No. 2 was the better know one with whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and Amer Picon, while the Creole No. 1 was a bit of a surprise. The drink read like an orange-tinged Sazerac Cocktail served in a cocktail glass. I have already written about two Creole Sazeracs with one of them being a modern one calling for rhum agricole and orange liqueur similar to this whiskey and orange liqueur one (the other, the Death & Co. one, took a rum and brandy with simple syrup route). Gary Regan also had an orange liqueur sweetened Sazerac riff with the La Tour Eiffel. The 1934 Boothby recipe read like a shooter given the small addition of modifiers and the ice water back; however, the cocktail glass as a means to shoot a drink seemed a bit odd, and I morphed the recipe into something more akin to a Sazerac.
The Creole No. 1 began with an anise bouquet from the Herbsaint rinse. Next, malt and dark orange notes on the sip transitioned into Bourbon and orange on the swallow with an anise-herbal, mint, and clove finish. With the Pierre Ferrand's Dry Curaçao, the drink felt a little dark and perhaps flat as compared to the Cointreau (with added depth from gentian liqueur) in Regan's, and overall, I think the better known Creole No. 2 reigns supreme of the duo both in history and in flavor.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

prizefighter no. 7

3/4 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
6-8 leaf Mint
3-4 wedge Lemon
1 pinch Salt

Muddle lemon wedges, mint, and salt in simple syrup. Add the rest, whip shake, and strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint bouquet and add straws.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make one of Nicholas Jarrett's variations on the Prizefighter that I had spotted on the BarNotes app. The gist of the series is an amaro-vermouth Smash (the citrus wedge-mint variety popularized at Eastern Standard et al.) with a pinch of salt to mollify the bitterness. I narrowed the list of 8 down to two that contained gentian liqueur and blanc vermouth, and Andrea picked the one that had the addition of overproof funky Jamaican rum. Jarrett described how he created this at The Cure in New Orleans, and it appears to be a variation on the rum-less version (No. 6) that he listed as a 2012 invention.
The Prizefighter No. 7 greeted the nose with a mint aroma. Next, lemon with light green herbal notes on the sip led into gentian and floral flavors on the swallow with a hint of mint and rum funk on the finish. Indeed, perhaps due to the salt, the drink was a lot less rum funky as well as less minty than expected.

Friday, September 22, 2017

eskimo's kiss

10-12 leaf Mint (16)
2 cubes Demerara Sugar
2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
4 oz White Rum (3 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Star + 1/2 oz Rum Fire)

In an Imperial pint glass (regular pint glass), dissolve the sugar cubes in lime juice through muddling. Add simple syrup and mint and lightly muddle again. Next, add the rum, fill with chunky crushed ice, stir, add two straws, and garnish with a mint sprig (5 sprigs).
In "The Fix" section of Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails, Andrea and I were lured into the Eskimo's Kiss two Friday nights ago. The book described the drink as "a double Mojito in a large glass with two straws" (and no soda water) and mentioned how Sasha used to trade this drink at the nearby photocopy shop to have work done for the bar. With two straws, the instructions suggested to share with someone that you would not mind rubbing noses with. Once prepared, the Eskimo's Kiss shared a mint aroma, and when mutually leaning in for a sip, the drink lived up to its name. The sip gave forth lime balanced by demerara's richness and simple syrup's sweetness, and the swallow mixed funky rum and fresh mint flavors. Without soda water or a shaking step, the drink took on a less lively and more silkier feel akin to a Rum Julep (with citrus) such as the Santiago Julep.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

surf liner

2 oz Canadian Rye Whisky (Alberta Premium)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a pineapple leaf, edible orchid, and lemon wheel (edible nasturtium flower and lemon swaths).
Two Thursdays ago, I turned to Imbibe Magazine online for the evening's refreshment. There, I found Gabe Fonseca's Surf Liner that he crafted at Polite Provisions in San Diego, and the form reminded me of other Polite Provision recipes such as the Iron Ranger and the Tourist Trap which both were great. Once prepared, the Surf Liner gave forth a lemon and peppery-floral aroma from my choice of garnish. Next, a creamy pineapple sip gave way to whiskey and nutty flavors on the swallow with a lemon and anise finish. Here, the Canadian whisky really brought out the almond notes in my orgeat.

rolls royce

1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Benedictine (1/4 oz)

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

After returning home from Ward 8, I was in the mood for a nightcap, so I turned to the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. There, I spied the Rolls Royce Cocktail that came across as a Perfect Martini with a dash of Benedictine. The Savoy has other car-related drinks like the Bentley with a similar feel, and I was surprised that I had never written about this classic despite discussing variations of it like the Aston Martin. I did make reference to it in my old drink journal when writing about the Lamb's Club (which has equal parts gin and the two vermouths with two dashes of Benedictine), but I could not confirm if I had ever had the Rolls Royce itself.
In the glass, the Rolls Royce gave forth lemon notes to the nose before giving way to a slightly sweet grape on the sip. Next, the swallow proffered gin and a rounded herbalness with a light minty finish. The sweet vermouth in the mix seemed to obscure the Benedictine that shone through more in the Poet's Dream that only contained the dry vermouth.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

healthy scratch

1 1/2 oz Bache Gabrielsen VS Cognac
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
1/4 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I went over to Ward 8 to visit my old coworker Michelle Harrington who was at the stick that night. For a first drink, I asked Michelle for the Healthy Scratch that was new on their menu. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon and floral aroma which shared the richness of the Cognac. Next, a sweet white grape sip gave way to brandy on the swallow with an orange finish. Indeed, the pinch of salt significantly reduced the Campari's bitterness but retained its citrus-herbal complexity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses Yellow Label)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to A Spot at the Bar for recipe inspiration. There, I spied in the Sidecar variation section the Commando that was described as "a delicious Bourbon Sidecar with a cheeky dash of absinthe." The combination reminded me of a drink I used to make a regular who hated gin; I modified Sam Ross' Sunflower Cocktail to be a Bourbon drink and soon it became one of his two calls at the bar. Moreover, Drink once made me a Bourbon Corpse Reviver No. 2 that has a similar balance as the Commando.
The Commando greeted the senses with a lemon and anise nose. Next, orange and lemon on the sip preceded whiskey and tart orange on the swallow with an absinthe-herbal finish. Definitely, the dash of absinthe gave this Whiskey Daisy combination some panache.

Monday, September 18, 2017


1 oz Gold Rum (3/4 oz Diplomatico Añejo + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Galliano
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice (*)
1/4 tsp Sugar (1 bsp Simple Syrup) (*)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass or pineapple shell, and fill with Champagne (strain into a Champagne flute containing 2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). Garnish with a cherry and a lime wheel (nasturium flower).
(*) Increasing to a 1/2 oz lime juice and/or dropping the sugar/simple syrup aspect would probably not be out of line here.
While editing the blog to free myself of Photobucket (who drastically changed their TOS), I spotted Scott Holliday's Whiskey-A-Go-Go that he created at Rendezvous shortly after the Galliano L'Autentico (re)release in 2009. I read my post-note that Scott was inspired by the Galliano-containing Barracuda, and I was inspired to make the original which I found in Stan Jones' 1977 Complete Barguide. Once prepared, the Barracuda offered vanilla aromas that joined my garnish choice's peppery floral notes. Next, a crisp lime with hints of pineapple led into funky rum and vanilla on the swallow with a pineapple, white wine, and anise finish.