Monday, March 18, 2019

la perla

1 1/2 oz Partida Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1 1/2 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau Fino)
3/4 oz Mathilde Pear Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
One of the unoxidized sherry recipes in the PDT Cocktail Book that I could not make until I bought a bottle of Fino was Jacques Benzuidenhout's La Perla that he created in San Francisco circa 2005. The drink was Jacques' nod to Tomas Estes' bar of London's Covent Gardens; Tomas owned the now defunct La Perla and is a renowned tequila guru who founded the Tequila Ocho brand. In the glass, La Perla began with a lemon and muted agave nose. Next, an off-dry white grape and pear sip led into a pear and agave medley with a hint of chocolate on the swallow. Overall, my balance was probably a lot less pear-forward given my liqueur choice (more natural and subtle than Mathilde) and its decade of sitting on my shelf (first blog post usage was this tequila Sour in April 2009).

Sunday, March 17, 2019

low hanging fruit

3/4 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3/4 oz Strega
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted earlier in the week on Christopher James' Instagram feed of something that he created at Felina in New Jersey. Chris was my Cocktails in the Country roommate back in 2015, so I felt comfortable inquiring about the recipe. I was intrigued because the combination reminded me of the Eulogy given the Strega and lime, and Chris described the name as, "It's the easiest drink to make hence the low hanging fruit moniker."
The Low Hanging Fruit tempted me with smoke and star anise aromas with hints of apricot on the nose. Next, the lime-driven sip gave way to smoky agave, apricot, and licorice flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

pink harmony

2 oz Barbancourt 5 Star (8 Year) Rhum
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne glass (coupe).
After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I reached for Trader Vic's 1974 Rum Cookery & Drinkery book to find something gentle to end my work week. There, I spotted the Pink Harmony that appeared like the lemon for lime juice version of the Champs-de-Mars Daiquiri. What was at the core of this rum drink was the Maraschino-grenadine pairing that shines in drinks like the Mary Pickford, Cuban, and the Hell in the Pacific Tiki drink. In the glass, the Pink Harmony proffered nutty cherry and lemon to the nose. Next, lemon along with light cherry and berry notes filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the rum with nutty and pomegranate flavors. Overall, the Pink Harmony had a softer feel with lemon in the mix instead of lime.

the lighthouse

2 oz Brugal Añejo Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Tio Pepe Fino Sherry (Lustau)
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
2 dash Scrappy's Lime Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Fridays ago, I was in the mood to give my new bottle of Fino bottle some more mileage, so I looked to the BarNotes app for inspiration. There, I was lured in by Matt Grippo's Lighthouse that was his first cocktail creation at the Blackbird Bar in San Francisco. While Matt said that it would taste great as described, the bar was selling this as a barrel-aged offering after 6 weeks in a small cask. What drew me in was the similarity to the Georgetown Club Cocktail from Charles H. Baker, Jr.'s South American Companion that I had great success with on the Loyal Nine menu circa 2016. Once stirred and strained, the Lighthouse shined out with aged rum and lime aromas. Next, caramel balanced by crisp white wine notes on the sip beaconed in rum, savory, clove, lime, and ginger flavors on the swallow. Like the Georgetown Club, there was enough sugar in the quarter ounce of falernum to round off the drink into a more gentle quaff.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

sky rocket

1 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101)
1 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Fee's Old Fashioned Bitters (Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I spotted the Sky Rocket in Imbibe Magazine. The recipe was created by Daniel Shoemaker at Teardrop in Portland, Oregon, and the name and Swedish punsch component reminded me of the Rocket from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. With a little thought, the Sky Rocket soon seemed like a gentle riff on the Boomerang from the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book with a different whiskey and aromatic bitters duo. Once prepared, the Sky Rocket launched up to the nose with lemon, Bourbon, and Swedish punsch's caramel aromas. Next, the sip cruised in with crisp lemon and white wine notes, and the swallow exploded with Bourbon, rum, tea, and cinnamon flavors.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

flip the bird

1 1/2 oz Blackstrap Rum (Cruzan)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, and garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and either lime oil from a twist or 5 drop lime bitters (Scrappy's Lime Bitters).

As I was coming home from work two Wednesdays ago, I was in the mood for an egg drink, and I pondered what fun Tiki drink could be reformulated as a Flip. My mind drifted over to the Jungle Bird, and I figured that it could turn out well as a Flip if I removed the lime juice component. I ended up putting the lime element back in as an aromatic garnish as a nod to the original recipe while still to keeping things soft and dessert-y. For a name, Andrea suggested Flip the Bird.
In the glass, the Flip the Bird greeted the nose with a lime aroma from the bitters garnish. Next, a creamy pineapple sip with hints of dark caramel led into molassy rum smoothly merging Campari's orange flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

foreign legion

1 1/2 oz Mount Gay XO Rum (RL Seale 10 Year)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1/2 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau Fino)
1 bsp Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Fee's Rhubarb Bitters (Regan's Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with an ice sphere, and garnish with an orange twist.
In continuing on to find more uses for my bottle of Fino sherry, I found my bookmark for the Foreign Legion in the PDT Cocktail Book; moreover, the drink would also utilize my purchase of the new reformulation of Dubonnet Rouge! The recipe was created by Melbourne bartender Greg Sanderson before his guest bartending shift at PDT in 2009. Once prepared, the Foreign Legion showcased an orange and grape aroma with darker notes from the chocolate liqueur and perhaps the Dubonnet. Next, grape and orange mingled on the sip, and the swallow had a delightful combination of rum, chocolate, and herbal flavors.

Monday, March 11, 2019

remember the alimony

1 1/4 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
1 1/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Beefeater Gin

Build in a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
In my shopping expedition to Sundays ago, I finally added a bottle of Fino sherry to my collection. For a starting point the following night, I selected Dan Greenbaum's 2012 Remember the Alimony that he crafted at the Beagle in New York City and that Robert Simonson published in his 3-Ingredient Cocktails book. I first learned of the drink when Zac Luther did a guest shift at Backbar two years ago, and he cited it as the inspiration for his Not a Melon cocktail. Once built, the Remember the Alimony donated orange and herbal notes to the nose. Next, a crisp white wine sip was balanced by the sweet caramel elements in Cynar, and the swallow broadcasted funky herbal flavors dried out by Fino's acid and accented by the gin's pine and other botanticals.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

fade to black

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Ramazzotti Amaro
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a Collins glass, and top with Negro Modelo beer (~8 oz Trader José's Dark Lager).

Two Sundays ago, I added a Negro Modelo beer to my shopping list to finally make the Fade to Black that appeared in Ron Cooper's Finding Mezcal book. The recipe was crafted by Jeremy Oertel at Death & Co., and he was influenced by his time spent at Phil Ward's agave bar Mayahuel. While in Trader Joe's where I had previously spotted single bottles of Negro Modelo, I found that they only had Modelo's regular pale lager. Andrea pointed out that they did have a house brand dark lager that I ended up purchasing. Luckily, I found that the Trader José brand brought more to the table with a delightful wood smoke nose complementary to the mezcal's aromas that is absent in Negro Modelo itself.
Overall, the style reminded me of the Pop-In -- an old style of drink that began as a shot in a beer (opposed to the classic Boilermaker which is a shot beside a beer). Will Thompson at Drink was the first to introduce it to me after he learned about it at Dead Rabbits in Manhattan, and their version was spirits, sweetener, and whole egg that was lightened by beer. Here, the spirits were mezcal and a hint of funky Jamaican rum and the sweetener was a dark amaro. Once prepared, the Fade to Black greeted the senses with a caramel and smoke-filled nose. Next, a creamy and caramel sip gave way to agave, wood smoke, and chocolate flavors on the swallow. The Smith & Cross' contribution was not especially apparent in the mix, but as Jim Romdall pointed out, rum funk is the seasoning of cocktails to provide depth of flavor, and many cocktails would be flatter without it.