Sunday, November 18, 2018

black friar tea

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Tanqueray)
1 1/3 oz Pimm's No. 1
2/3 oz Aperitivo Liqueur (1/3 oz Aperol + 1/3 oz Campari)

Build in a Collins or Highball glass with ice, top with 3 oz ginger beer (Reed's), and garnish with a lemon wheel and a lime wheel (lemon twist).

For the cocktail hour two Sunday nights ago, I began flipping through Lou Bustamante's The Complete Cocktail Manual to look for a passed-over gem. There, I spied the Black Friar Tea by Julian Miller of Tampa's USBG chapter. If I still had Plymouth Gin on my shelves, I would have utilized it here (given the name and the recipe's spirit call), for the distillery took over the Black Friars' monastery as I mentioned in my Plymouth tribute, the Black Friar. I later discovered and made a gin-based Black Friars from an old United Kingdom Bartenders Guild's Approved Cocktails book that was surely a tribute as well despite the lack of gin specification. Here, the recipe came across like a embittered Pimm's Cup crossed with a Fog Horn (gin, ginger ale +/- lime), so I was definitely curious.
For the aperitivo, I felt that Aperol would be quite pleasant here, but there was a chance that it could get lost; therefore, I split the volume with Campari. Once prepared, the Black Friar Tea donated a lemon, pine, and fruity bouquet to the nose. Next, a carbonated orange and berry sip was followed by juniper, bitter orange, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


1 liqueur glass Italian Vermouth (1 oz Cocchi)
1 liqueur glass Quinquina (1 oz Byrrh)
1 liqueur glass Rye Whiskey (1 oz Old Portrero 18th Century)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I ventured back into Louis' Mixed Drinks from 1906 and spotted the Aime that reminded me of the Marliave's Cocktail from that same tome. Moreover, the structure made me think of a less bitter 1794 with a quinquina in place of the 1794's Campari. Given that the drink name translates from French as "love," it has a much more positive feel than the previous night's Tainted Love.
The Aime offered up a nose that was mostly rye-driven in a Scotch sort of way followed by grape brightened by lemon oil aromas. Next, malt and grape on the sip gave way to rye and plum flavors on the swallow with a dry quinine and herbal finish.

Friday, November 16, 2018

tainted love

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
1/2 oz Meletti Amaro
1/2 Egg White (1 Egg White)
1 tsp Goya Guava Jelly (1/4 oz La Fe guava paste melted with a little water in the microwave)
1 tsp Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with Angostura Bitters.

Two Fridays ago, I returned back to my list of Amaro Meletti recipes that I had compiled and decided upon the Tainted Love. This one was not the Tainted Love that I created for Yacht Rock Sundays a few years ago, but it was the one created at Washington DC's Eat Bar for their Valentine's Day 2017 menu by way of a DCist article. The drink's guava jelly component is a classic ingredient that dates back to the Barbadoes Punch in Jerry Thomas' 1862 book if not earlier, and I used it in some of my own creations like the Fascination Street and the Jakartoni.
The Tainted Love shared a clove and allspice aroma from the bitters along with hints of Cognac on the nose. Next, a creamy guava and caramel sip led into Cognac blending into guava on the swallow with a floral finish from the amaro.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

cuban cocktail

2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
1 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 liquor glass French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry or 1 oz Dolin Blanc)
2 liquor glass Dry Spanish Sherry (2 oz Lustau Amontillado)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
At the end of the bar tools talk, we were provided with parting gifts that included some of Cocktail Kingdom's reprints from their Mud Puddle line. Therefore, for a drink that night, I delved into Louis' Mixed Drinks from 1906 and found the Cuban Cocktail. Of the three other Cuban Cocktails on the blog, this had a slight overlap with the Cuban from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars more so than the Cognac-based No. 2 or the rum-based No. 6. I first made this Cuban Cocktail utilizing dry vermouth, but the balance was rather dry considering that the only sweetness was coming from the Maraschino amidst the drying other components, so I repeated the drink with better success for my palate with blanc vermouth. Once prepared, both versions offered up a nutty, oxidized aroma to the nose with the blanc vermouth one sharing a floral note here. Next, red grape with hints of cherry on the sip was either dry or semi-sweet depending on the vermouth choice. And finally, the swallow gave forth a nutty combination of sherry and Maraschino with an orange and herbal finish; the blanc take on the drink also donated delightful floral notes here.

chatham artillery punch

Peels of 6 Lemons
1 cup Sugar
8 oz Lemon Juice
12 oz Maker's Mark Bourbon
12 oz Courvoisier VSOP Cognac
12 oz Plantation Xaymaca Rum
1 - 1 1/2 Bottles Sparkling Wine

Make an oleosaccharum of 6 lemon peels plus 1 cup sugar; after 1-2+ hours, dissolve the sugar in 8 oz lemon juice and bring the final volume to 12 oz with water. Add the syrup to 12 oz each of Bourbon, Cognac, and rum over large format ice in a punch bowl. Stir to chill and top off with the Champagne.
Two Thursdays ago, the Boston Shaker shop in Somerville hosted two rounds of the History of Bar Tools seminar. The seminar was taught by Ethan Kahn, the general manager of the Cocktail Kingdom store and product line, and I attended the noon session aimed at bartenders. To greet us, Lonnie Newburn of the Boston Shaker and Jack Kavanaugh of Beam Suntory assembled the Chatham Artillery Punch via the recipe provided in David Wondrich's Imbibe! and Punch books. I estimated that they made this recipe to half scale (and provided the measurements as such above) and assumed that any aberrations to Wondrich's recipe were slight. As a further connection to Wondrich, the punch was served in the bowl and ladle set that Cocktail Kingdom collaborated with him on, and I was impressed at how elegant the set was (see the second photo for the attention to detail).
In Punch, Wondrich described how the punch was created by Mr. A. H. Luce in the 1850s to welcome the Republican Blues when they visited Macon, Georgia. The earliest recipe that he sourced was from The Augusta Chronicle in 1885 which built the punch in a "horse bucket," and it was described as, "Rumor hath it every solitary man of the Blues was put under the table by this deceiving, diabolical and most delightful compound." Indeed, the combination was rather smooth with a lightly carbonated and citrus flavor and a blurred identity for the liquor component.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

harvest sling

1 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cherry Heering

Shake with ice, add 1 1/2 oz ginger beer (Reed's) to the shaker, and strain into a Collins glass with crushed ice. Garnish with half an orange wheel and two cherries on a pick (orange twist).
Two Wednesdays ago, I delved back into my Food & Wine: Cocktails collection and found an interesting Singapore Sling riff in the 2014 edition (although closer to the original than the more modern, fussy one). That recipe was the Harvest Sling of John Deragon at PDT in Manhattan, and the apple brandy and ginger beer direction seemed to fit the weather quite well. In the glass, the Harvest Sling greeted the nose with orange oil notes that preceded a carbonated cherry sip. Next, the swallow offered apple, more cherry, and herbal flavors with a ginger finish.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

high five

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a high five.

Two Tuesdays ago, I delved into my new copy of the Cocktail Codex and selected the High Five from the Daiquiri section. The book breaks down all drinks into six categories and discusses how modifying the base, balance, and seasoning will lead to new drinks. Here, the Alex Day riffed on the Hemingway Daiquiri and took things in a gin and Aperol direction from the classic's rum and Maraschino.
In the glass, the High Five proffered a pine, grapefruit, and orange nose. Next, the sip was rather citrussy with grapefruit, lime, and Aperol's orange notes, and the swallow began with the gin's juniper and continued on into slightly bitter orange flavors. Overall, the balance was rather light and refreshing like other Aperol-grapefruit drinks such as The 212.

Monday, November 12, 2018

la penumbra

1 1/2 oz Lustau Brandy (Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (1/2 oz)
1 bsp Tamicon Tamarind Concentrate
2 dash Chocolate Bitters (Bittermens)

Shake (stir) with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with an ice ball, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist. Although I stirred, shaking as written would break up the thick tamarind syrup better.

Two Mondays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted in the 2017 Lustau competition archives called La Penumbra. The drink was invented by Kate Perry in honor of the full solar eclipse that year. I was drawn to the concept for it utilized tamarind concentrate that I had tinkered with in the Final Countdown and Eye of the Tiger; moreover, Kate paired it with cinnamon as I had done in the Same Deep Water as You. I ended up increasing the cinnamon syrup amount after finding the balance a bit on the tart and dry side for my palate.
La Penumbra greeted the senses with bright lemon oil countering darker notes from perhaps the tamarind or the sherry. Next, grape on the sip was modulated by the tangy acids from the tamarind, and the swallow showcased brandy, nutty sherry, tamarind, and cinnamon flavors.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

grog of thor

1 oz Monkey Shoulder Scotch (1 oz Famous Grouse + 1 dash Laphroaig 10 Year)
3/4 oz Krogstad Aquavit
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with ice (ice cone), and garnish with an orange peel and a star anise pod (omit star anise).

Two Sundays ago, I kept in theme with the previous night's Commando Grog with Trey Jenkin's Grog of Thor. Trey created this recipe while at Peche in Austin for a ShakeStir competition in 2014, and since Scotch paired elegantly with Averna such as in the A Drunk in a Midnight Choir and the Holiday in the Sun, I was game to give this one a go. Moreover, I was curious to see how the spices of aquavit would play in the mix. In my excitement to make the drink later that night, I crafted a Navy Grog ice cone to adorn the drink.
Once prepared, the Grog of Thor offered an orange, caramel, caraway, and peat smoke bouquet to the nose. Next, orange and caramel provided a gentle sip, and the swallow showcased the peat smoke and Scotch, the caraway and star anise spices of the aquavit, and herbal flavors from the Averna.