Tuesday, July 27, 2021

smoke & mirrors

1 1/4 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)
1 1/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I was perusing Kindred Cocktails section of aquavit drinks when I spotted the Smoke & Mirrors that it had sourced from the Drink Boy site. The recipe was created by Neil Kopplin at Clyde Commons in Portland in 2009 as a riff on the Trident. Indeed, the combination of Campari and Cynar has been interesting in the Bookbinder, Pinball Racket, and Uncle Negroni, so I was curious to give this one a whirl. In the glass, it met the nose with orange, caramel, and caraway aromas. Next, caramel and orange notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow wrapped things up with caraway and herbal bitter orange flavors.

Monday, July 26, 2021

walk on the wild side

1 1/2 oz Beefeater 24 Gin (regular Beefeater)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
2 dash Fee's Plum Bitters (Crude "Sycophant" Orange & Fig)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was perusing the Barnotes site for intriguing cocktails to make that evening. There, I spied Sean Kilfeather's Walk on the Wild Side gin drink that he crafted for the late Summer 2013 menu at Blackbird Bar in San Francisco. The combination reminded me of the Aprilia and perhaps the Marchessa, so I was intrigued to give it a go. In the glass, this tribute to either the 1962 movie or the Lou Reed song began with an orange, caramel, and minty-pine bouquet. Next, caramel and white grape notes on the sip slid into gin, minty, and orange flavors on the swallow with an orange and fruity finish.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

merchant of perth

1 1/2 oz Great King Street Glasgow Blend Scotch (Famous Grouse)
3/4 oz Peychaud's Apertivo (Martini Aperitivo)
1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
1/4 oz Cynar
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Sundays ago, I returned to the Hawthorne bar bible and spotted the Merchant of Perth. This recipe created by bartender Rob Ficks was subtitled "Tradewinds down the River Tay," and it reminded me a little of bitter Scotch drinks like the Preceptor and Black Francis. While the recipe book called for a Compass Box blended Scotch, the name and subtitle refer to Joseph Brown who founded the Famous Grouse, so perhaps Rob originally utilized that. Once prepared, the Merchant of Perth met the nose with grapefruit over raisin aroma along with a hint of smoke. Next, a rich grape sip fell aside to Scotch and raisin flavors on the swallow that finished in a delightfully bitter-herbal way.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

industry sour

3/4 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After writing up the Banana Toronto and the drink that inspired it, the Old Dog, New Tricks, I realized that I had never had the Industry Sour that influenced the earlier drink. The Industry Sour was crafted by Ted Kilgore at Taste in St. Louis, and Ted entered it into the Kindred Cocktails database in 2011. In Esquire, Ted described its genesis as, "This was a cocktail that I created on a Sunday night for an industry person. I basically thought to myself, 'What if I put all of my favorite things into a glass and just give it to him?' And that just happened in an equal-parts sort of scenario. Green Chartreuse is kind of a mixologist's favorite, as well as Fernet. Both of those ingredients have so much intense flavor that people often shy away from them, but bartenders definitely drink them... It's comforting at first, and then all of a sudden it hits your palate with a bomb of flavor." The combination of Green Chartreuse and Fernet has been utilized for around a century for I can trace it back to the Meditation in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, but only modern day mixology utilizes these liqueurs as the base spirits.
The Industry Sour welcomed the senses with green herbal, minty, and menthol aromas. Next, a lime and caramel sip closed out with Green Chartreuse herbal flowing into Fernet Branca's bitter mint-menthol on the swallow.

Friday, July 23, 2021


1 1/2 oz 100° Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I returned to Chad Austin's Everyone Has a F*cking Cocktail Book and spotted the Uptown. This Manhattan riff featured a hint of apple brandy to add to the complexity akin to the Historic Core Cocktail and Fallback. In the glass, the Uptown shared an orange, grape, and apple bouquet to the nose. Next, the vermouth's grape filled the sip, and the swallow showcased rye, apple, herbal, clove and allspice flavors.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

gumptions #2 cocktail

2 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I reached for Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller's 2010 Tales of the Cocktail A to Z book and found the Gumptions #2 Cocktail. This drink was presented by bartender Phil Ward at the "The Truth (La Verdad) About Mezcal: Its Past and Future" talk in 2010, and it reminded me of a mezcal Fancy Free. It seems that the original Gumptions was the Tequila Gumption -- a split of equal parts mezcal and reposado tequila similar to his Oaxacan Old Fashioned (although different proportions). Phil apparently created the original when he was at Mayahuel in New York City for the Jake Walk in Brooklyn where he was a regular (a/k/a he was dating one of the bartenders).
I was also intrigued for mezcal and Maraschino have paired rather well together in recipes such as the Señor Elmo's Fire and Division Bell. Here, the Gumptions #2 proffered a grapefruit, Maraschino, and vegetal aroma. Next, a light cherry note on the sip gave way to mezcal, nutty cherry, and spice on the swallow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

all she wrote

1 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/8 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add a large ice cube, stir, and garnish with a pinch of sea salt.
Two Wednesdays, I sifted through my cocktail book library and found Maggie Hoffman's Batch Cocktails. There, the All She Wrote by Jeremy Simpson at Bestia in Los Angeles seemed like an intriguing low proof number, and I adapted it from a batch to a single serving recipe. In the glass, it showcased a grape and cherry bouquet. Next, grape and grapefruit on the sip conjured up grape, herbal, cherry, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

boss lady

1 1/4 oz Old Grand-Dad 114° Bourbon
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 tsp Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1 tsp Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
1 tsp Demerara Syrup
1 dash Aphrodite Bitters (Bitter Cube Corazon)

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.
Two Tuesdays ago, I was perusing the Kindred Cocktails database and spotted the Boss Lady created by Colin O'Neill at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. circa 2013. The combination of coffee liqueur and Pedro Ximenez reminded me of the PX Sherry Mudslide, Pare de Sufrir, and In the Middle of a Foggy Sea, so I was definitely curious about trying this split base Old Fashioned riff. Here, raisin and coffee aromas rose to the nose. Next, grape and roast notes on the sip were pushed aside by Bourbon, Cognac, raisin, coffee, and pepper spice flavors on the swallow.

Monday, July 19, 2021

robert deniro's facial expression

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Aged Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz each Smith & Cross, Plantation Xaymaca, and Appleton Signature)
1/2 oz Artichoke Digestif (Cynar)
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Banana Liqueur (Giffard)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I selected Chad Austin's Everyone Has a F*cking Cocktail Book and spied the curiously named Robert Deniro's Facial Expression. Chad created at the drink at a R&D Night at Harvard & Stone, and its Cynar-banana combination reminded me of Sahil Mehta's Strangers With Candy and Banana Cup No. 1. Once prepared, it proffered an orange oil, rum and Cynar funk, and smoke aroma to the nose. Next, caramel on the sip transitioned into smoky mezcal, funky rum and Cynar, banana, and clove flavors on the swallow with a banana and smoke finish.