Monday, July 6, 2020


1 1/2 oz Ilegal Mezcal Joven (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a grapefruit twist laid over the cube.
Two Mondays prior, I returned to Ivy Mix's Spirits of Latin America book and spotted a Mezcal Martini of sorts, the Arinato. According to a video on PannaCooking, Ivy mentioned that the drink name does not mean anything per se, but it was invented for a friend of hers. In that video, she also recommended using a less smoky mezcal to provide a bit more harmony in the end result. Here with Fidencio Mezcal, the Arinato met the nose with a grapefruit and smoky vegetal aroma. Next, apricot and peach notes from perhaps the Cocchi Americano on the sip gave way to smoky agave softening into herbal flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

backward's point

2 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Sundays ago, I spotted the Backward's Point on Kindred Cocktails and learned its provenance on Reddit. This Scotch riff on Audrey Saunder's Little Italy was created by Andrew Rice at Attaboy in 2017 with the proportions of Cynar and sweet vermouth swapped. What drew me in was how well Cynar pairs with Scotch in drinks like the Black Diamond Flip and the Italian Heirloom. Once prepared, the Backward's Point proffered a peat smoke and orange oil bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel, malt, and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow continued on with smoky and briny whisky melding into funky herbal bitterness.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

ginger rogers

1/4 jigger Gin (3/4 oz Beefeater)
1/4 jigger French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
1/4 jigger Apricot Brandy (3/4 oz Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.

Two Saturdays ago, I began flipping through Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them for something easy to make and enjoy. There, I spotted the Ginger Rogers which pre-dated the tribute to the acting and dancing star one on here by Brian Miller of Death & Co. I upped the lemon juice to be an equal parts drink, and I later realized that I had previously enjoyed this combination as the Darb Cocktail over a decade ago. Moreover, the Boomer shared the mix with the inclusion of Peychaud's Bitters and more gin, and the Dick, Jr. Cocktail from Hugo Ensslin's 1916 book was a lime for lemon alteration.
The Ginger Rogers danced its way to the nose with orange and apricot aromas. Next, pear, orchard fruit, and lemon notes on the sip played into pine, apricot, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Friday, July 3, 2020

our man in havana

2 oz Byrrh Quinquina
1 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8 Year
1 tsp Dry Orange Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
1/2 tsp Orgeat
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a spiraled lime twist.

For a second drink from Chloe Frenchette's Easy Tiki book, I selected Our Man in Havana by Garret Richard at Existing Conditions in Manhattan as his perhaps Mai Tai-influenced take on the El Presidente (or the dry vermouth way we were first introduced to in 2008). As an aromatized wine-forward aperitif-style concept here with Byrrh instead of the dry or blanc vermouth, I was definitely curious especially with Paul McGee's Rum River Mystic in mind.
The Our Man in Havana welcomed the nose with lime aromas over orange, cherry, and grape ones. Next, a creamy red cherry and grape sip led the taste buds to rum, orange, nutty, and plum flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, July 2, 2020


3/4 oz La Diablada Ancholado Pisco (Macchu Pisco)
3/4 oz Ford's Gin (Tanqueray Malacca)
1 1/2 oz Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a Martini glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with a lemon twist and 2 Manzanilla olives (1 Kalamata olive).
Two Thursdays ago, I returned to pick a second cocktail from Ivy Mix's Spirits of Latin America book, and I spotted a recipe that would fulfill my recent hankering for a Martini. That drink was the 50/25/25 which was a play on the Fifty-Fifty Martini that appeared in William Boothby's World Drinks & How to Mix Them and was made famous over the last decade or so by Audrey Saunders at the Pegu Club. Here, the gin was split with pisco, and I have enjoyed that duo in the Martini riff the Diamond Queen. Once prepared, the 50/25/25 proffered a lemon, pine, and earthy grape aroma. Next, a dry white wine sip slid into a juniper, funky brandy, and orange swallow. The pisco was rather complementary with the gin flavors as it had in classics like the Juanito Rosado and modern ones like the Love Makes You Feel 10 Feet Tall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

careful whisper

1 oz Cardamaro
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to the Haus Alpenz recipe sheets where I latched on to the Careful Whisper. The drink was their riff on the Whisper from the Savoy Cocktail Book except with Cardamaro instead of whiskey. The Careful Whisper began with a grape and plum bouquet. Next, grape and cherry notes on the sip led into grape, bitter herbal, and plum flavors on the swallow. Overall, this lower proof version of the Whisper made for an elegant aperitif.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

spectacle island

3/4 oz Unaged Rhum Agricole (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Aged Domestic Rum such as Thomas Tew (Thomas Tew)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

Build in a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with mint sprigs, freshly grated nutmeg, and an ignited spent lime shell containing overproof rum (El Dorado 151).

Two Tuesdays ago, I wanted to make a recipe from my new purchase of Chloe Frenchette's Easy Tiki book, and I stopped my page turning when I came across the Spectacle Island. The recipe was crafted by Chantal Tseng of Washington DC's Petworth Citizen & Reading Room where Chantal and the staff are known for creating literary-inspired drink menus. This one besides being named for a Boston Harbor landmark was from a line in Neal Stephenson's 1988 novel Zodiac. The combination of rum, pineapple, Madeira, and Chartreuse reminded me of the Reverend Mather so I was game.
The Spectacle Island circled the nose with mint and nutmeg aromas. Next, grape, lime, and pineapple notes sailed into a swallow featuring grassy rum funk melding into Chartreuse's herbal flavors.

Monday, June 29, 2020


2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses Yellow Label)
1 bsp Honey Syrup (1/4 oz 1:1)
3 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Absinthe (1/2 bsp Butterfly)

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was flipping through the pages of Michael Madrusan and Zara Young's A Spot at the Bar book when I came across the Beekeeper in the section on Old Fashioned riffs. While the combination appeared very much like a Sazerac, the lack of an absinthe rinse to overwhelm the nose later did not support that conclusion. In the glass, the Beekeeper instead of anise and spice notes reached the senses with lemon oil, Bourbon, and floral aromas. Next, malt and honey on the sip buzzed into whiskey, anise, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

strawberry fix

1-2 Strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 oz Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Muddle strawberries at the bottom of a double old fashioned glass to make a jam, and top with crushed ice. Shake the rest with ice, strain over the top of the crushed ice, garnish with a fresh strawberry, and add a straw.
Two Sundays ago, I selected Sasha Petraske's Regarding Cocktails from my bookshelf, and I stumbled upon the Strawberry Fix that would make great use of the fresh berries that we had bought at the market. What surprised me was that the strawberries were not muddled, shaken, and strained with the rest of the ingredients, but they were muddled at the bottom of the serving glass and held in place by a mountain of crushed ice. Once assembled, the Strawberry Fix awoke the senses with Bourbon and strawberry aromas. Next, lemon and berry notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow came through with a delightful wave of whiskey flavors.