Tuesday, November 21, 2017

quinquina cocktail

1 oz Brandy (Courvoisier VS Cognac)
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Absinthe (1 scant bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I began flipping through the pages of Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book when I came across the Quinquina Cocktail riff crafted by Chantal Tseng then of the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. I was already taken by the recipe, but I sought out more information on Paul's 2010 blog post about the drink. Chantal originally found the recipe in Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide but later traced it back to Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix Them. In my copy of Boothby's 1934 edition, the Quinquina recipe consisted of equal parts Cognac, quinquina, and peach brandy accented with two dashes of absinthe. Since dry peach brandy was not prevalent in 2010, it appears as though she swapped the orchard fruit to apricot liqueur and made the drink more spirit forward to dry out the balance.
The Quinquina Cocktail offered up a lemon and apricot aroma with a hint of anise. Next, the Bonal donated a red grape note to the sip, and the swallow began with Cognac followed by Bonal's bitter flavors melding into the apricot and ended with an absinthe finish.

fascination street

2 oz Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Jasmine Tea Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Liquidy Guava Jelly (**)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a punch cup, partially fill with ice, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
(*) A strong 5 minute steep of Twining's Jasmine Tea in boiling water. Strain (or remove the tea bag), add an equal volume of sugar, and stir to dissolve.
(**) Equal parts guava jelly (the pectinized brick type) and water. Cut the jelly into small blocks, heat with water such as through microwaving, and stir until liquidy. It will stay thick but pourable even if refrigerated, and will be good if kept refrigerated for 2+ weeks.
For my third drink for the Earl's Cocktail Lab two weeks ago, I decided on basing a drink on guava jelly. My mind quickly went to a pair of classic punches: the Barbadoes Punch from Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bartender's Guide and the West Indies Punch from 1869 Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. Similar to the Jakartoni, I kept the tea element found in the West Indies and other classic punches, and here I utilized a floral black tea in the form of a syrup. To balance the sweetness, I added lemon juice and a hint of a drying spice from Peychaud's Bitters. To round out the trilogy of drinks named after songs from The Cure's Disintegration album, I was lured in by Fascination Street.

Monday, November 20, 2017

the same deep water as you

1 1/2 oz Plantation Dark Rum
1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Tamarind-Cinnamon Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with a mint sprig (later, it was a mint sprig + a paper umbrella).
(*) In a pinch, substitute 3/4 oz cinnamon syrup and 1 tsp tamarind concentrate such as Tamicon from an Indian spice store, otherwise follow the directions below.
(*) To make this syrup, break up 4 cinnamon sticks and add to 10 oz water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer covered 10 minutes. Add 10 oz sugar and 4 oz tamarind concentrate, stir while bringing back to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let steep for 2 hours or more before straining.
In thinking about other ingredients to bring to the Cocktail Lab at Earl's Prudential two Mondays ago, I thought about tamarind syrup and recalled how well it paired with rum, cinnamon, and lime in the Final Countdown. Veering from that drink's Jet Pilot format, I dropped the grapefruit juice to make it more of a Test Pilot in structure and brought in a smoky mezcal akin to the Mr. Howell Daiquiri utilizing Scotch. I took the drink in a Tiki direction by serving it over pellet ice with a mint sprig (and later a paper umbrella) as garnish, and I kept with The Cure's Disintegration theme by dubbing this one The Same Deep Water as You.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

prayers for rain

2 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Cantaloupe Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico
1 dash Regan's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (or cocktail coupe), and garnish with an oregano sprig (here, clipped onto the glass with a slitted lemon twist).
(*) Cubed cantaloupe melon blended and fine strained. This juice was mixed with an equal part of sugar and stirred until dissolved. I avoided heat to retain more aroma and to not give the melon a cooked flavor.
Two Mondays ago for my second shift at the Cocktail Lab located in Earl's Prudential, I decided to do an uniting theme of drinks named after song titles from The Cure's Disintegration album. For the first of the trio that I dubbed Prayers for Rain, I was inspired by the cantaloupes that I had been buying at my local market, and it reminded me of a Day of the Dead cantaloupe drink that I had tried years ago called the Marigold Ofrenda. I thought of this drink as a re-envisioned Margarita and returned some orange notes to the mix via Regan's bitters. However, the combination needed some pizazz so I added a touch of Galliano to donate complementary vanilla and star anise notes to the mix. For a garnish, my oregano patch in my garden had been doing rather well and it seemed like a perfect Mexican-appropriate touch to the drink.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

leap frog

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
6 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in simple syrup, add rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I grabbed the PDT Cocktail Book off of the shelf and stumbled upon the Leap Frog. Jim Meehan created this drink as a riff on the Leaping Frog from Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender; his starting point was a recipe that was a shaken concoction of Hungarian apricot eau de vie and lime juice. The same drink idea appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book as the Hop Toad with lemon instead of lime. Here, it appears that Meehan was inspired by perhaps a combination of the Pendennis and Southside to make the original recipe more palatable.
The Leap Frog offered up an apricot and mint aroma that led into a lemon sip with a hint of orchard fruit. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and apricot flavors with a mint finish.

Friday, November 17, 2017

weirding way

1 oz Boomsma Oude Genever (Rutte Old Simon)
1 oz Batavia Arrack (Van Oosten)
1 1/2 oz Strong Black Tea (English Breakfast)
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz 2:1 Honey Syrup (1 oz 1:1)
3 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs (Burlesque Bitters)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel (lemon twist studded with 3 cloves).

On Friday night two weeks ago, I selected a few volumes of The Cocktail Hour series and found an intriguing gem in the gin booklet. The recipe was the Weirding Way crafted by Ricky Gomez when he was at the Tear Drop Lounge in Portland, and it included the description of, "gently spiced, with layers of trade routes in a glass." The drink name is a Dune reference describing a form of movement training useful in close quarters fighting, and the drink itself had elements of a classic punch to it.
Weirding Way gave forth a lemon, malt, and clove bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon, honey, and malt on the sip transitioned to Batavia Arrack's funk, Genever's malt and botanicals, and black tea flavors. True to a punch, the flavors were rather balanced here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

disappearing act

1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Linie Aquavit (Aalborg)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Giffard Peche Liqueur (1/4 oz Briottet Crème de Peche de Vigne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, top with sparkling wine (1 1/2 oz Ninety+ Cellars Prosecco), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through the pages of Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails when I spotted a recipe called the Disappearing Act that reminded me of the one that Paul Clarke crafted for a Mixology Monday event in 2012 with the same name. In essence, this Disappearing Act created by Manhattan's Nitecap bar was an aquavit for gin (or brandy) French 75 with Lillet and peach notes as accents. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon-floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a carbonated lemon and white wine sip led into caraway, citrus peel, and peach notes on the swallow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


2/3 Calvados (2 oz Boulard VSOP)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Liqueur)
3 dash Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for my evening's refreshment. There, I spotted the Harbor that reminded me of the Sonora and Tulip with their apple brandy, apricot liqueur, and citrus components. Once prepared, the Harbor shared an apple aroma with hints of apricot. Next, lime mingled with orchard fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow combined the apple and apricot into an almost novel flavor followed by a tart lime finish.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

mutiny of clowns

3/4 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with an orange peel "cup" peel side down, filled with 151 proof rum (El Dorado), and ignited.
On October 31st, I was flipping through my new book purchases and discovered that there was a small section of Halloween-themed recipes in Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails book. The one that seemed most appropriate to crown the holiday was the Mutiny of Clowns by David Nurmi of the now closed Jakewalk. Once built and after the rum burned itself out, the Mutiny of Clowns provided an orange oil bouquet over dark blackstrap rum and Cynar aromas and sharp lime notes. Next, the lime matched the rum and amaro's caramel on the sip, and the swallow offered dark rum and vegetal funk flavors with a ginger finish that helped to tie the drink together.