Saturday, March 25, 2023

painted lady

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Aged Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cynar
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Kübler) rocks glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I became inspired by Maks Pazuniak's 100 Year Old Cigar and took the rum-Scotch combination in a gin-applejack direction by way of the Pink Lady. It seemed that Peychaud's Bitters would round out the combination better than Angostura, and I dubbed this one the Painted Lady as perhaps a nod to the Women of the Wild West night I did back with Katie Emmerson at the Blue Room a decade ago last month. The Painted Lady led off with an anise aroma from the absinthe rinse. Next, apple and caramel notes on the sip danced into pine, apple, herbal, and caramel flavors on the swallow with an anise finish. A few folks made it after I posted it on Instagram, and one declared "A fantastic beverage. Made it this evening. The makings of a modern classic."

Friday, March 24, 2023

diamonds & toads

1 1/2 oz Louis Royer Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
3/4 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Suze
5 dash Absinthe (1/2 tsp Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I logged into ShakeStir to peruse their recipe database. There, I was lured in by Diamonds & Toads created by Nick Bennett circa 2013 while he was at Booker & Dax in Manhattan. He named his Cognac riff on a White Negroni after a French fairytale, and the combination of Cognac, Suze, and absinthe reminded me of Gary Regan's La Tour Eiffel. After mixing up this drink, it donated a lemon and herbal aroma to the nose. Next, white wine notes on the sip hopped into Cognac, gentian, and anise spice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

pocket square

1 1/2 oz Amaro Ciociaro
1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin (Beefeater)
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was scanning the Kindred Cocktails database and came upon a good follow-up to the amaro-heavy Copper Dagger from the night before called the Pocket Square. The recipe was created by Toby Maloney at the Violet Hour in Chicago and published in a 2011 Complex article. Its structure reminded me of an Amaro Ciociaro for Campari version of Toby's Eeyore's Requiem in Sour format. In the glass, the Pocket Square presented a grapefruit aroma from the twist. Next, caramel, orange, and lemon notes on the sip tucked into a bitter orange swallow with hints of grapefruit and pine. Overall, the combination reminded me of a reverse Jasmine of sorts.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

copper dagger

1 3/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 drop Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with 7 drop Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters.
Two Wednesdays ago, I opened up the Bartender's Manifesto by Toby Maloney and Emma Janzen and came across the amaro-laden Copper Dagger as a curious egg white Sour. The recipe was crafted by Ira Koplowitz in 2008, and the combination reminded him of all the great flavors in Coca Cola like lavender and citrus. The healthy slug of Averna here reminded me of the Averna Diamond Fizz that I did at Loyal Nine, so I was definitely curious about giving it a try. Once prepared, the Copper Dagger donated a cinnamon and molasses bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and caramel sip flowed into caramel, cola, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

sure fire

1 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Amaro Nardini

Build in an old fashioned glass, add ice, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago for the cocktail hour, I pulled up the Bartender's Choice app and came upon the Sure Fire by Michael McCollum at Attaboy in Nashville. Its combination of sherry and Amaro Nardini made me recall the Blade of Destiny and the Andorra, so I was game to give this a go. In the glass, the Sure Fire conjured up orange, caramel, and herbal aromas. Next, grape and caramel on the sip gave way to nutty, bitter, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Monday, March 20, 2023

too weird to live, too rare to die

3/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Branca Menta
3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Mondays ago, I returned to Seattle Cocktails by Neil Ratliff to make a strange Branca Menta recipe. That drink was the Too Weird to Live, To Rare to Die by Dave Flatman and Kraig Rovensky at The Old Sage that they created due to their shared love of Branca Menta as a riff on the Last Word. The combination first reminded me of the Accidental Hipster with the Fernet ingredient and Maraschino in an equal parts number, and later it made me recall the Alligator Monday with the mezcal and Branca Menta. Here, the cocktail began with mint, smoke, and roasted vegetable aromas. Next, lime, caramel, and a hint of cherry on the sip flowed into smoky agave, mint, and nutty cherry flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

closing argument

2 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101°) (*)
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
2 dash Chocolate Bitters (Bitter Truth)

Build in an old fashioned glass, add ice, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
(*) This would prosper with a softer Bourbon or a barspoon of Demerara syrup.
Two Sundays ago, I opened up the Bartender's Choice app and came upon the Closing Argument that reminded me of a Monte Carlo with Amaro Nardini and chocolate bitters instead of Benedictine and Angostura. This Old Fashioned variation was created by Matty Clark in 2017 at Attaboy in Manhattan. Once built, it came through to the nose with an orange, caramel, and herbal gentian aroma. Next, caramel on the sip gave way to Bourbon, gentian bitterness, herbal, and chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

devil makes work

1 1/2 oz White Rum (Privateer Silver)
1/2 oz Rhum Agricole (Rhum JM Blanc 100°)
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/4 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago I became inspired after discussing online how the Don't Give Up the Ship was originally the Napoleon in the Savoy Cocktail Book but Crosby Gaige's renaming of it made the combination successful. I decided to mashup that classic with the Corn'n'Oil akin to my A Six for A Nine that combined the Creole with the Corn'n'Oil. I originally tried aged Barbados rum as the base, but it needed a lighter spirit and some funk. For a name, I opted for a saying common on Barbados of the Devil Makes Work with leaving out the "for idle hands to do" part. Prepared with the agricole, it donated an orange, grassy, and menthol aroma to the nose. Next, a sip with light citrus peel notes sailed into grassy rum, lime, bitter herbal, orange, and spice flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 17, 2023


2 oz Bourbon (Evan Williams Bonded)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 bsp Orange Marmalade (Trader Joe's Seville Orange)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, double strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, Al Sotack posted a link to his new Epicurious article which had a recipe that he created at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. years ago called the Kensington. Al named his Manhattan riff after a Philadelphia neighborhood, and he included marmalade in the mix which I found unique since it was a stirred cocktail. In the glass, the Kensington showcased an orange oil bouquet over Bourbon and more orange aromas. Next, grape with a citrussy accent on the sip flowed into Bourbon, candied orange peel, and anise flavors on the swallow.