Saturday, September 23, 2023

gusano rojo

1 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with cayenne chili powder.
Two Saturdays ago when I got home from my barshift, I was feeling creative. Perhaps it was spotting the cayenne chili powder on the shelf, but I decided to make a mashup of the Red Grasshopper with the Mezcal Negroni as Negroni Week 2023 was coming up. I dubbed the end result the Gusano Rojo which is the Red Chili Worm that grows on mezcal plants. Once garnished, the Gusano Rojo opened up with vegetal, red pepper, and smoke aromas. Next, honey and lime on the sip crawled into vegetal and bitter orange flavors on the swallow with increasing amount of pepper heat over time.

Friday, September 22, 2023

remember the maine

1 jigger Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse)
1/2 jigger Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1-2 tsp Cherry Brandy (1/4 oz Cherry Heering)
1/2 tsp Absinthe (Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a lime or lemon twist (lemon).
I realized when writing up the Julia's Hand and making reference to the Remember the Maine that I had never put that classic on the blog. It is a drink that I first made in November 2007 and put on my LiveJournal that I sourced from Salvatore Calabrese's Complete Home Bartender's Guide which described it as "a rusty red cocktail with a bitter sweet taste and an aniseed-flavored overlay"; moreover, it was a cocktail I mixed up frequently when I started bartending at Russell House Tavern in 2013 where it was on the menu. The recipe that I utilized above is the one from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s Jigger, Beaker, and Glass that Baker had in Havana in 1933. In the glass, the Remember the Maine rallied to the nose with lemon, cherry, and anise aromas. Next, grape and dark cherry on the sip sailed into rye, black cherry, and licorice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

physically forgotten

1 1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Maraska)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I opened up the Raising the Bar book by Jacob Grier and Brett Adams and spied the Physically Forgotten by Alise Moffatt at Shift Drinks in Portland, Oregon. The combination of gin, Cynar, and Maraschino reminded me of drinks like the Yeoman Warder and Double Entendre, so I set to work in mixing one up. In the glass, the Physically Forgotten glistened with a lemon, nutty cherry, pine, and herbal aroma. Next, caramel-cherry notes on the sip led into gin, herbal, cherry, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

four by four

3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Senior Dry Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
3/4 oz split Ginger/Honey Syrup (3/8 oz each)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Wednesdays ago, I re-read Robert Simonson's article on Boston's number name cocktails that he wrote after purchasing my first book Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book at The Boston Shaker Store. What I missed last November was that Jackson Cannon left a comment a few days later to add on the Four by Four (a/k/a 4x4) that Katie Emmerson created at the Hawthorne. Its honey-ginger syrup fondly reminded me of the Juju Man that I made a few nights before, and with Smith & Cross in the mix, how could I resist? In the glass, the Four by Four donated caramel, rum funk, and orange aromas to the nose. Next, lemon, caramel, and honey notes on the sip traversed into funky rum, tropical, orange, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

caught in a cabaret

1 oz Blanco Tequila (Olmeca Altos)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Sloe Gin (Plymouth)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I spotted a reference to Ted Haigh's Millionaire variation that reminded me of a Charlie Chaplin with its apricot, sloe, and lime. That got me motivated to riff on that trio of ingredients, and I latched onto the sloe gin aspect and decided to mash the Charlie Chaplin up with Phil Ward's Lipspin that complements the sloe gin with tequila and Cynar. For a name, I dubbed this after one of Charlie Chaplin's films and called it Caught in a Cabaret. Once prepared the Caught in a Cabaret welcomed the senses with vegetal, lime, salinity, and orchard fruit aromas. Next, lime and red fruit on the sip danced into funky, vegetal, cherry, and apricot flavors on the swallow.

Monday, September 18, 2023

juju man

1 oz Black Strap Rum (Cruzan)
1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Honey Syrup
3/8 oz Ginger Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a glass; the photo showed an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube and garnished with a cube of candied ginger on a pick (omit garnish).
Two Mondays ago, I opened up the Bartender's Choice app on my phone and landed upon the Juju Man by Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin at Lion Lion in 2017. The recipe was described as "the Penicillin but in funky rum form," and I was curious to try this rum take on Sam Ross' modern classic with thoughts of Meaghan Dorman's Amoxicillin and John Gertsen's Panacea in mind. In the glass, the Juju Man proffered a molasses, rum funk, and ginger bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel and lemon notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow danced its way in with dark rum, funk, honey, and ginger flavors.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

rags to riches

2 oz Fighting Cock Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101°)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
2 dash Root Beer Bitters (The Bitter Queens Sarsparilla)

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.
Two Sunday mornings ago, I was scanning a collection of flashcards from the now closed Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan, and I spotted the Rags to Riches from their Spring 2015 menu. The recipe called for vanilla syrup which I have been out of for a while, so I decided to make a batch that would be ready for my nightcap after my bar shift that evening. Once prepared, this Manhattan variation of sorts conjured up Bourbon, plum, and vanilla aromas. Next, grape and plum notes on the sip transformed into Bourbon, herbal, root beer, and vanilla flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

critical mass

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Aperol
1/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/8 oz Green Chartreuse

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I was perusing a set of online flashcards when I spotted a drink called Critical Mass. I was able to identify the source as the Burritt Room in San Francisco via a 2010 Thrillist article. Overall, I was lured in since it reminded me of Eastern Standard's Prospect Park with a hint of Chartreuse instead of Maraschino. Once prepared, the Critical Mass met the nose with rye and herbaceous aromas. Next, grape and orange notes on the sip led into rye, herbal, and herbaceous flavors on the swallow.

Friday, September 15, 2023

julia's hand

1 1/2 oz Ardbeg 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Orange Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
1/4 oz Cherry Liqueur (Cherry Heering)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Two Fridays ago, I spotted a recipe called Julia's Hand in an online flashcard set, and I was able to confirm the recipe in a 2017 article in Celebrity Tastemaker. The drink was crafted by Tonia Guffey at Featherweight in Brooklyn that appeared like it might come across like a smoky and orange version of the Remember the Maine. In the glass, Julia's Hand gave forth peat smoke and orange aromas. Next, grape and cherry notes swirled on the sip, and the swallow wrapped things up with smoky Scotch, cherry, and orange flavors on the swallow.