Sunday, May 28, 2023

is that all there is?

3/4 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
3/4 oz Rhum Agricole (JM Blanc 100°)
1/2 oz Suze
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with grapefruit oil  from a twist.
Two Sundays ago, I became inspired by the Palm Sunday while writing it up on the blog. I extracted its Suze-Aperol combination and took it in a citrus direction akin to the Square Root. For the spirit, I went with the quirky combination of mezcal and rhum agricole that I have utilized before such as in the All of Freud's Beautiful Women. For a name, Sam Ross' Too Soon? made me think of another question – that being Peggy Lee's song Is That All There Is? The result began with grapefruit oil, vegetal, herbal, and smoke aromas. Next, lime and orange notes on the sip fell into grassy, herbal, smoky, earthy, and orange flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Saturday, May 27, 2023


2/6 gill Scotch (2 oz Famous Grouse)
1/6 gill French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
2 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
2 dash Absinthe (20 drop St. George)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Robert Vermeire's 1922 Cocktails: How to Mix Them and spotted the Whiz-Bang created by Tommy Burton at the Sports' Club in London in 1920. The drink was named after high velocity light shells fired by the Germans during World War I; the shells were traveling faster than the speed of sound, so soldiers heard the "whiz" noise of the traveling shell before the "bang" of the shell being launched from the gun reached them. The swapping of the order gave Allied soldiers almost no warning of incoming artillery fire. Besides the name, I was lured in by the recipe for it reminded me of a Scotch version of the gin-based Hasty Cocktail (or Piccadilly Cocktail) and the rum-based Milo. Once prepared, the Whiz-Bang launched off with a lemon, Scotch, and anise bouquet. Next, an off-dry malt and berry sip landed on a Scotch, pomegranate, and anise swallow.

Friday, May 26, 2023

lonely holiday

1 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1 oz Drambuie
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 tsp Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass (should be rocks glass with a large ice cube), and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Fridays ago, I was perusing that stack of online flashcards, and I was able to identify one of them, the Lonely Holiday, as being part of the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.'s 2011 menu. The drink was in their more challenging "I Asked Her For Water She Gave Me Gasoline" section, and it read like a smoky Rusty Nail meets an embittered Rob Roy. After I posted it on Instagram, Al Sotack and Colin Shearn who were bartenders there at the time chimed in. While the recipe that I found had it as an up drink, Al remembered it as one served on a big ice cube in a rocks glass, and I was able to confirm that via a photo on Yelp. Colin did not recall the back history on the drink other than it was named after the Old 97s song, and Al remembers that it was created at the end of 2010 to be launched in early January of 2011 along with the Infernal Architect.
Once prepared served up, the Lonely Holiday showcased orange oil over peat smoke and Scotch aromas. Next, a grape-driven sip gave way to smoky whisky, honey, bitter herbal, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

polar bear

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Menthe
6 drop Angelica Tincture (2-3 dash Celery Bitters (Bitter Truth) as a recommended sub)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Thursdays ago, I reached for Robert Simonson's Mezcal & Tequila Cocktails book and became curious about the Polar Bear. I had skipped over this recipe before, but after having written up the Stinger, I was interested in seeing what a mezcal twist crafted by the Bon Vivants at Trick Dog in 2013 would be like. The only other time I have had tequila or mezcal with crème de menthe was the Charo's Kick. Here, the Polar Bear swiped at the nose with roasted vegetal, smoke, and herbal aromas. Next, white wine with an herbal note on the sip flowed into smoky mezcal and mint on the swallow and a smoke-tinged finish.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

straight up

2 oz Scotch (1 3/4 oz Famous Grouse + 1/4 oz Ardbeg 10 Year)
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Amaro Meletti
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a cherry.
Two Wednesdays ago, I fired up the Bartender's Choice app and found the Straight Up that was described as "a slightly bitter summery Rob Roy." The recipe was created by Oska Jarvis-White at The Everleigh in Melbourne circa 2017, and it reminded me more of the Hoots Mon than a Rob Roy. Once crafted, the Straight Up showcased peat smoke and floral aromas. Next, caramel and orchard fruit notes on the sip slid into Scotch, smoke, lavender, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


2/3 Gin (2 oz Tanqueray Malacca)
2 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Tio Pepe Fino)
1 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/4 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Dry Vermouth (1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Ojen Bitters (20 drop St. George Absinthe)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to see if I could uncover a recipe that I had somehow overlooked over the past 13 years that I have been making drinks from it. The one that I found was the Tally that reminded me of the Bizarre Love Triangle but with absinthe (technically Ojen) assuming that I utilized a Fino or Manzanilla as the unspecified sherry. Once prepared, the Tally approached the senses with a pine, almond, and anise bouquet. Next, a crisp wine sip added up to a gin, savory, almond, and herbal swallow.

Monday, May 22, 2023

devil's staircase

1 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
3/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass.
After writing up the Crooklyn from the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. and noting that it was rather similar to Cure's Black & Bluegrass, I decided to put my own spin on the 3:1 Averna to curaçao with Angostura and Peychaud's Bitters Black Manhattan template. Here, I utilized an apple brandy and mezcal split, and I dubbed it the Devil's Staircase after an IPA on tap at Widowmaker Brewing when I went there last October. Once prepared, it donated an apple, caramel, herbal, and smoke aroma to the nose. Next, caramel and a lightly orange sip descended into apple, smoky vegetal, and orange flavors on the swallow with clove, smoke, and anise notes on the finish.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

brooklyn folly

2 oz Scotch (Famous Grouse)
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Sundays ago, I was perusing the online recipe flashcard set that I uncovered and spotted the curiously named Brooklyn Folly. The recipe looked less like a Brooklyn and more like Stephen Shellenberger's Alto Cucina; I was able to trace the recipe to the Clover Club circa 2012 which tied the drink not only to a Brooklyn-like structure but to a Brooklyn address. In the glass, the Brooklyn Folly presented a lemon, Scotch, and floral aroma. Next, light caramel and malt notes on the sip crossed into Scotch, herbal, bitter, and floral flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

gin & sin

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Absinthe (20 drop St. George)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I opened up the Bartender's Choice app and came across Sam Ross' Gin & Sin that he created at Attaboy in 2017. The name had me confused for a second with the Sin-Cyn (and Cin-Cyn), but this was a "a slightly sweet and fruit take on a Martini" instead of a bitter Cynar drink. Here, the Gin & Sin welcomed the nose with lemon and peach aromas. Next, a lightly fruity sip flowed into gin, apricot, and anise flavors on the swallow. Overall, it was delightful to drink and reminded me a little of the Van Zandt from Jack's Manual.