Thursday, April 22, 2021

adventures close to home

1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was more inspired to create something than search a bunch of books for a new recipe. I became inspired by the recent Amaro Nardini drinks and wanted to see how it would sooth aggressive spirits like rhum agricole and mezcal. To give it an extra dimension, I added in Swedish punsch and both Peychaud's and Angostura Bitters. For a name, I latched on to a song by the British 1970s punk band The Slits called Adventures Close to Home that sounded like a perfect way to sum up the last year of pandemic living. Once prepared, the Adventures Close to Home showcased grapefruit oil over grassy and smoke aromas. Next, a caramel sip led into grassy, vegetal, minty, smoky, chocolate, black tea, anise, and clove flavors on the swallow. Overall, the two liqueurs did a great job smoothing the edges on the rhum and mezcal.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

old money

2 oz Bourbon (Old Forester 100°)
1/2 oz Aperol
2 bsp Nux Alpina (1/4 oz Russo Nocino)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist and a spritz of allspice dram (3 drop Hamilton's).
Two Wednesdays ago, I spied the Old Money on Kindred Cocktails by Benjamin Schiller at Boka in Chicago circa 2009. Overall, the combination reminded me of a whiskey version of the Cognac-based Mr. Burgess. Here, the Old Money welcomed the senses with an orange, allspice, and walnut bouquet. Next, malt, berry, and darker notes on the sip passed into Bourbon, orange, and walnut flavors on the swallow with an allspice and clove finish.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

tuxedo park

1 oz Aged Bols Genever (1/2 oz Bols Genever + 1/2 oz Bols Corenwyn)
1 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Fino Sherry (La Gitana Manzanilla)
1/8 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the Hawthorne's bar bible and got lured in by the Tuxedo Park created by bartender Katie Emmerson (now Okane). The recipe reminded me of Eastern Standard's Tuxedo Cocktail #3 that was their aged Genever riff on the classic #1 and #2 gin versions. Relative to #3, this had sweet vermouth instead of dry and slightly adjusted proportions; moreover, it was named after a region just north of Manhattan that was once private hunting grounds in the 1880s and later became home to many socialites up until the Depression. The famous residents included J.P. Morgan, Emily Post, and William Waldorf Astor.

The Tuxedo Park began with an orange oil aroma over malt and hint of cherry on the nose. Next, a malty and grape sip rose to Genever's malt and botanicals, savory herbal, and nutty cherry flavors on the swallow.

Monday, April 19, 2021


2 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Russo Nocino)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass or serve on the rocks.
Two Mondays ago, I landed upon the Connery created by Rafa Garcia Febles in Manhattan circa 2014 as his tribute to the actor who portrayed James Bond and other roles. The idea of a Scotch Sour softened by honey and accented by walnut liqueur sounded delightful. Once prepared, the Connery welcomed the nose with a peat smoke and walnut aroma. Next, the combination of lemon, malt, and honey on the sip was displaced by Scotch, honey, and walnut on the swallow with a smoky finish.

Sunday, April 18, 2021


1 oz Jagermeister
1 oz Campari
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large cube (originally was served up in a coupe), and garnish with both an orange twist and a lemon one.

Two Sundays ago, I was perusing the ShakeStir drink database when I spotted the Saxoni that I had invented. I would not say made, for I had submitted it in 2015 without having put the ingredients together in a glass due to a time crunch -- yet it won second place in that Jägermeister competition. My description was "A Negroni inspired by a Black Manhattan," and it was not surprising that it was not the only Negroni riff (yet it got noticed). As I described in my Art of Naming a Drink essay two years later, "In competitions, the name can be rather important to win the judges' nod. Linking the name to a bit of history or geography about the ingredient can be helpful. For example, in one Jägermeister competition on ShakeStir, I stood out above the other competitors who created Negroni riffs by avoiding the common Jägeroni or Negronimeister ones that were submitted by paying tribute to the geography of the spirit and dubbing it the Saxoni."
Now almost 6 years later, I felt it was time to make this drink. The Saxoni unfurled a lemon and orange oil aroma over ginger and caramel notes. Next, caramel, citrus, and peach flavors on the sip led into ginger, bitter orange, and star anise on the swallow with a chocolate finish. After Andrea tasted it, she commented that she understood why this combination was in the winners' circle regardless of the name.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

the way of the sword

1 1/2 oz Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky (Kavalan)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Ruby Port (Taylor Fladgate)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I honed in on my Food & Wine: Cocktails section of my library, and I found the Way of the Sword in the 2015 edition. The recipe was crafted by Jason Patz at William & Graham as a riff on the Rob Roy; I had probably skipped over the drink for I lack Japanese whisky at the home bar, but I figured that Taiwanese might be close enough. In the glass, the Way of the Sword swung with an orange, grape, and vegetal aroma. Next, grape and caramel on the sip parried a whisky, dark grape, tobacco, and herbal swallow. Indeed, the port here worked rather well with the whisky as it had in other cocktails such as the classic Chancellor.

Friday, April 16, 2021

my idea of fun

3/4 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8 Year
3/4 oz Banks 5 Island Rum (Denizen 8)
1/2 oz Plantation Overproof Rum (Planatation OFTD)
1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Byrrh Quinquina
1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Root Beer Bitters (Bitter Queens Sarsaparilla)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange peel and freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Fridays ago, I spotted a recipe by Joaquin Simo on both BarNotes and Kindred Cocktails called My Idea of Fun. This 2013 creation at Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan seemed like the perfect Rum Manhattan of sorts to round out my day. Once prepared, the cocktail shared an orange, woody spice, molasses, and grape bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and caramel on the sip sailed into robust rums, caramel, nutty, and root beer flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, April 15, 2021


2 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey (2 oz Teeling's Small Batch)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Caol Ila Scotch
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe pre-rinsed with absinthe (Kübler), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I spied Jeff Mason and Greg Boehm's 2009 The Big Bartender's Book, and I wondered if I could uncover an interesting recipe that I have glossed over in the past. The one that appealed to me was Jim Meehan's Thornbush that was perhaps his riff on the Blackthorn from 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. In the glass, the Thornbush welcomed the senses with a lemon, anise, and peat aroma. Next, grape and malt on the sip transitioned to Irish whiskey along with Islay peat notes melding into the absinthe botanicals on the swallow with a clove and smoke finish.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Lillet or Cocchi Americano (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Green Chartreuse.

After thinking about the Jaguar after making the Camerone the night before, I decided to mash up the ingredients (tequila, Picon, Chartreuse, orange bitters) with another tequila drink -- the Metexa (tequila, Lillet, Swedish Punsch) from the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book. Since I felt that the Chartreuse might overtake the other flavors, I reduced it to a rinse. For a name, I wanted to keep the feline theme and dubbed this one the Tigrillo after the Mexican wildcat the Ocelot.
The Tigrillo pounced on the nose with a Green Chartreuse herbal aroma over agave notes. Next, caramel, citrus, and peach notes on the sip gave way to tequila, dark orange, and tea elements on the swallow.