Saturday, December 29, 2007


(thanks to Avery Glasser of Bittermens for the correct drink name... I thought Misty had given me a year for the drink name but ADD girl that I am, I didn't hear nor retain it!)

1 1/2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Campari
1-2 dash Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Man, I've really been a teetotaler the past couple of weeks! It's unintentional; the weather has me going for teas I suppose...

Last night we had dinner plans with a (straightedge) couple we know, however they had to cancel because of a cold, I was in the city anyhow for an appointment... so we went over to Green Street instead! Misty made me this drink, the name of which escapes me. Andrea had told me about the small-batch bitters from Bittermens Bitters, and I was keen to try this particular flavor. She gave credit to John from no 9 for the recipe. Like with a Negroni (may favorite go-to drink!), I found that it got extra tasty after a few minutes of warming up -- maybe it's just me -- but it was a lovely balance, with the spicier ingredients propping up the Campari nicely.

Postnote: 9/28/17 by Frederic
It came up on Reddit that the 1794 was always made with molé bitters which was not the case. The drink was created in 2004 at Range, and the Bittermens produced the first reported molé bitters in 2007. The first published recipe with molé bitters I could find was the above one our blog. A recipe from February 2007 lacked it (as did an eGullet bar report from that time point), so I believe that bitters entered the equation sometime that year. Our post from late 2007 has it, but on the East Coast. Avery Glasser of the Bittermens chimes in here on this post's comments.

Friday, December 14, 2007

:: fee bros peach bitters ::

Found in Porter Square 12/13/07, at the liquor store with the name I don't recall that's in the complex where Tags is, next to Radio Shack. Husband tried them in an old-fashioned -- they are très délicieux!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

pink lady

1 1/2oz gin
1/2oz Applejack
3/4oz lemon juice
splash grenadine

Shake well with ice, strain into a wine glass. Recipe: Robert Hess

Finally, a drink I don't especially like! Seriously, this whole "oh everything is so good" thing I had going on was getting weird. Kit @ ES made me what appeared to be a perfect Pink Lady, it's just the citrus that turns me off. I think I'll do well to stay away from drinks that have more than 1/4oz. The drink itself was quite pretty, and I can see it as perhaps a good introduction to eggy cocktails? I did finish the drink, it just didn't really send me into paroxysms as their gin flip does (so I had two of those afterwards because I have no self control).

Kit also gave us a taste of an Aperol-based flip. That was really nifty!

Saturday, December 8, 2007


2oz rye whiskey
1/4oz Fernet-Branca
1/4tsp sugar
dash Angostura bitters

Recipe: CocktailDB

Wonderfully balanced flavor, and awfully good with the brownie sundae... I'm just saying! I really liked this one and wonder if it might be a more gentle introduction to Fernet than taking a shot. Although I will say, I've managed to cajole three newbies in as many weeks into doing such a thing and all enjoyed the experience.

Well, except for C. the next morning: he did so after two Gibsons, and then some Rittenhouse 100 neat... over the course of something like an hour. Actually, I shudder to think what he would have felt like were it not for that Fernet at the end!

widow's kiss

1oz Calvados
3/4oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4oz Benedictine
dash Angostura bitters

Garnish with a cherry. Mixed by Misty, recipe at CocktailDB.

I had an appointment to get my skin scratched off in Harvard Square in the late afternoon, so we made plans to meet at Green Street for dinner. I'd had a sip of this drink from Andrea on Wednesday, and really wanted one all to myself! It's somewhat sweet but not at all cloying, and just really tasty all around.

Postnote: This drink first appeared in George Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks as 1 oz apple brandy, 1/2 oz Benedictine, 1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse, and 2 dash Angostura that were stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass.

Friday, December 7, 2007

:: la fée verte ::

The stuff of legend, recently attainable without having to pay fifty bucks to have it shipped surreptitiously as an undervalued "beverage" from the UK -- although, really, going to the post office to sign for a package containing nothing but alcohol is pretty amusing despite not being able to tell anyone there what you're doing (and trying not to giggle when the guy at the window next to you is turned away for trying to mail some scotch).

Yes, so. Absinthe. I do like anise, and in fact really like this anise toothpaste a lot. And my burgeoning drink-snob streak appreciates the easier availability of an important ingredient. Wednesday my boss handed me this article in the NYT to read, and I am really excited to try this new one! I also appreciated an article in a major publication that was not fixated on the mistruths and sensationalism the topic can engender.

My boss, in fact, is becoming a bit of an absinthe fiend himself. We do a monthly champagne-and-cheese event at the shop, and last month I brought my bottle of Nouvelle-Orléans so I could make a Death in the Afternoon for my boss. He really dug it, and the next week when I went to the wine/gourmet shop down the road (they have great takeaway sandwiches) I saw they'd just gotten some Lucid in. So I gave him a bottle as an early Hanukkah gift. Apparently the bottle is half-finished now.

Another good article published this week, here.
The Wormwood Society

Next: designing some really cool absinthe spoons in sterling... Should be fun!

rye whiskey flip

rye whiskey
touch simple syrup

Yay for flips. Really tasty, as all flips seem to be. When I need to drive myself later, however, I get really paranoid about my consumption. I only started driving a bit over a year ago so it's still kind of new, the going out then heading home thing... ah well. I'm sure it'll get easier/less stressy with time and experience (not drinking and driving of course, just the paranoia that I might be somewhat affected).

vieux carré

Old Overholt rye
fine brandy
dry vermouth
Angostura bitters
Peychaud's bitters

Slightly different recipe at Gumbo Pages.

Very pleasant drink, easy to sip. Although I wonder if I would have been better off sticking with gin for the evening... I am going to experiment with sticking with one base spirit in an evening, and then comparing the effects.

:: Repeal Day ::

Husband was knackered after working from home all day, so I went down from Marblehead alone and made do with my proxy husband for dinner. Fred and Andrea showed up not too long afterwards, so it was a really nice time -- you'd think I'd spend more time at the bar with the people responsible for this new fixation of mine, no? Will have to remedy that.

Spent some time shyly sitting alone at the bar in the beginning and perusing the special cocktail menu for the event: Misty came up with an awesome assortment on one side of the sheet, and the other side featured "Esquire's Top Ten Cocktails of 1934"... I need to get better at the "talking to new, random people" thing. I digress.

Only two drinks, since I had to drive myself home. To live on Essex St again...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

final ward

Luxardo Maraschino
lemon juice

From what I can tell from my 3 minutes of browsing (I need to get in the shower and off to work, sigh) this drink is a variation of the Last Word, and named to honor its creator. Citrus and I don't always get along but this drink was really lovely in a cool way. Definitely a nice finisher.


1 1/2 oz blanco tequila
3/4 oz Amer Picon
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3 dashes orange bitters

Garnish with flamed orange peel. Source:

I'd been meaning to try this drink for some time, and we were having dinner at the Standard again... I don't know a hell of a lot about tequilas but I did like this drink. Everything blended so well together. Husband couldn't take more than a sip though, as he'd had a bad tequila experience in his youth that seems to have ruined him on the stuff. More for me, I guess!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

boozy hot cocoa, take one: amaretto

2oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2oz amaretto (I used Luxardo, which I lurrrve)

Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces, no bigger than 1/4" in size, and put into a small bowl. Bring the milk and cream to a boil, and pour over the chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to help the cream get into the chocolate, and let sit for 30 seconds or so. Mix slowly to blend the chocolate and cream together. Put the amaretto into your large mug, then pour the chocolate mixture over it. Stir to mix the liquids, then enjoy.

Earlier today I made ganache for the first time, following the instructions from the fabulous Secrets of Baking. Then later today, we went over to Marty's specifically to get Luxardo's Amaretto as we'd discovered how wonderfully sublime and better than DiSaronno earlier this week (thanks, Kit). I know amaretto with chocolate is sort of basic and almost boring, but damn: it is tasty, gauche or no.

I need to play around with making ganache-type things more, since the blending didn't work out so well (some chocolate chunks towards the bottom of the mug, nothing particularly fatal). I may have to change it to a two-stage process, blend the cream and chocolate and then add in the milk. I want to try this with Fernet now!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

-> Repeal Day!

Andrea told me about this upcoming event earlier this week. I won't be toasting right at 5:32, but I'll be there not too long afterwards! See you there?
Join the ladies of LUPEC on Wednesday, December 5th at Green Street in Cambridge for a drink because...well, because we can! No pomp, no circumstance and no cover. Just a casual gathering of folks who like cocktails. The festivities begin at 5:32 PM. Pull out your 30's fashions and belly up to the cash bar which will feature a special menu highlighting cocktails of the era.

arsenic and old lace

1 1/2oz gin
1/2oz pastis (I used Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe and a dash of sugar)
1/2oz creme de violette
1/4oz dry vermouth

Stir with ice and strain. Recipe: CocktailDB

Frederic reminded me of this one earlier this week -- the name caught my eye a while back, before I'd secured my creme de violette.

It's an awfully pretty, pearly-purple drink, yet tastes pretty absinthy. Not that this is a bad thing, mind. It's suiting my mood just fine, thank you very much!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


1 part Bourbon
1 part apricot liqueur
1/4oz? Gammeldansk bitters

Ben came by while we were still waiting for seats at the bar with this drink for us to try -- apparently it will be on the menu this week. Very interesting drink, as the Bourbon intensity is tamed, making it a bit too easy for me to drink. I don't know what it is about Bourbon that kicks me so hard, I can only assume it's something to do with the higher sugar content of corn versus rye grains? A fine, fine drink.

Post Note 10/16/23: I found the recipe on DrinkBoston as such:
Copenhagen (Ben Sandrof, No. 9 Park)
1 1/2 oz Fighting Cock Kentucky Bourbon
1 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Gammel Dansk
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

colleen bawn

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 oz Benedictine
1 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 Egg

Shake without ice and then with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

Flippy goodness.

So, like, I met this guy at the bar Monday night, and he turned out to be a bartender at a restaurant we'd been meaning to check out. So for the second night in a row, I took the train down to Boston, met Husband, and spent my night hanging out at a bar! No 9 Park has a damn tasty menu, I have to say. The bar is sort of small but well-stocked and certainly seems to live up to its hype so far. There was an estimated wait of an hour to be seated at the bar (yes, at the bar), so I decided that something with an egg in it would keep my belly happy enough so I wouldn't have to eat the well-dressed leg next to me out of hunger.

Thanks to Miz Misty for pointing out my typo in the name, and the story behind this drink from The Cocktail Chronicles:

Oh, and the name? I don’t know where Spencer came across the drink, but the name is related to the notorious 1819 murder in County Limerick of a 15-year-old farmer’s daughter named Ellen Hanley — thereafter known, for reasons opaque to me, as “the Colleen Bawn” — by her newlywed husband, a well-to-do man named John Scanlan, and by his servant, Stephan Sullivan, who shot Hanley and dumped her body in the Shannon. The trial and subsequent executions of Scanlan and Sullivan, with their overtones of love, murder and class divisions, was the news item of the day, and spawned the publication of a bestselling novel, The Collegians, in 1829, and the even more popular Broadway and West End drama, The Colleen Bawn, in the 1860s, followed by the opera The Lady of Killarney, in 1862; the silent-film feature, The Colleen Bawn, in 1914; and the 1934 film, Bride of the Lake. (and not a speck of that’s from Wikipedia….) At the time of Spencer’s book, the story was still a hot number in London, so I’d venture to guess he or an acquaintance nabbed the name and stuck it to the drink.

charles de gaulle

Green Chartreuse
mug of hot cocoa
cream on top

I will have to check on the quantity of Chartreuse that went into this because it was awfully tasty. The herbal flavor plays nicely with the chocolate somehow. I bet Benedictine used in this fashion would be luscious, too. Great end to the evening. The party that sat next to us all had shots of Fernet, which put that idea into my head, though I can't quite remember if the Fernet came before Chas. or after... Regardless, light conversation ensued and our neighbor turned out to be Ben of no 9 Park, who would be tending the next night... Thus, even more entries to catch up on!

ES gin flip

Beefeater gin
simple syrup
rock candy syrup
almond syrup
Grate nutmeg over the top -- with a Microplane, of course.

Okay, I so need to start making flips at home. This was a treat after dinner that was totally unexpected and ohmygod, why have I not had one before? So very yummy. We are talking dessert here.

Postnote: Frederic added on February 11, 2012
• 1 heaping barspoon Sugar
• 2 oz Beefeater Gin
• 1/2 oz Almond Syrup (a/k/a Orgeat)
• 1 Egg
Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth (*)
1 part Aperol
orange twist

i.e. a Negroni with Aperol instead of Campari. Extra points to Kit for pulling a variant of my favorite drink out of the ether for me without my mentioning it!

(*) Postnote: the recipe was created with dry vermouth, so this is a Contessa variation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


2parts Bluecoat gin
1part sweet vermouth
1dash Angostura bitters
1dash Regan's #6 orange bitters

stir well and strain into a rocks glass, lemon twist. recipe: Kit @ES

Doing our part to strengthen the cause, we met a friend at the bar at Eastern Standard for dinner Monday night -- after spending a huge portion of Thanksgiving talking about cocktails, I wanted to make sure he had the chance to be served by a real craft bartender. Kit is awesome and we had a great several-hours at the bar. In fact, I was able to muster some tolerance and got to have several drinks, each of which I'll detail in its own post.

The Hearst is what Kit made up for me approximately thirty seconds after we met for the first time. He said he'd gotten the recipe from no 9 Park. It was totally up my alley. Score one for the psychic bartenders of Boston.

A slight variation can be found here.


1tsp simple syrup
3-4dashes Peychaud's bitters
2oz rye
absinthe rinse
lemon twist

Stir, serve in rocks glass. Recipe: Chuck Taggart

I've been lax about both trying new things, and blogging about them. We met up for a Friday night dinner at the Eastern Standard before a birthday party; Husband's been really stressed so I was the driver for the night, which is why I only had one drink. He, on the other hand, started off with two shots of Fernet and from that point on and with the tender ministrations of Jackson, he was in a much better mood quickly.

So, about that Sazerac: oh, yummy. A whole ton of Peychaud's bitters ended up in my glass which proved to be a Good Thing. A subtle, tasty drink. Sort of sweet but not in a tooth-hurty way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

nirvana cocktail

2oz Rye (I used Michter's US1)
1oz Amer Picon
1/4oz Maraschino
1/4oz Benedictine

Stir and strain, garnish with orange twist.


I had such a crush on the pre-junkie Kurt Cobain... I am out of oranges so I skipped the garnish. This has a great rye-fuzziness to it, and the Picon is a nice sweet touch. Cool color, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

-> Tiki tiki tiki!

WAITIKI presents An Exotic Beantown Sippin Safari featuring Beach Bum Berry! Pho Republique will host this exciting event, a tiki-filled evening which includes four amazing tropical concoctions available (and mixed by the Bum!), dim sum apps ala Pho, and a special photographic slideshow by the Bum about the history of these drinks. Br. Cleve to keep the beat going between sets and other surprises may follow! There will also be tiki raffle prizes given out!

For all you tikiphiles: drinks will be sourced from the original recipes of some classic cocktails found in legendary Boston tiki establishments of the past (Trader Vics, Kon Tiki Ports, etc.) Check out Beach Bum's 2007 Salon mag interview; a hoot!

RSVP today at as there is limited seating for this free event. Or call (617) 262-0005.

flora vieja

From the Green Street menu:

2 oz El Jimador Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
1 dash Angostura bitters

Fred had mentioned this one a while back to me: it was lovely, well-balanced and floral enough (but not too much!). Misty, you mix a mean drink. =) I don't know a hell of a lot about tequila, other than some horror stories that came out of uninformed drinking. Thankfully, I don't have any stories of my own.

I can't decide if having Green Street in its current incarnation transported back a few years to when I still lived in Central would be a good or bad thing... I'd be living there!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I have never ever taken a shot of anything, until just now. For the past few hours I've had a tummyache because I had an entire pot of Assam over the course of an hour (but it was sooo good!). We went out, ate, and I still have a tummyache. Remembering that I'd just picked up a bottle of Fernet-Branca and that it's a digestif, I poured myself a half-shot. Having never taken a shot of anything before, I practiced with water! And then, down it went.

And I really sort of like this stuff. And I hope my tummy starts to feel the same too, and soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

fancy free

2oz Bourbon
1/2oz Maraschino
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Stir, strain. Garnish with a cherry. Source: Chuck Taggart

I skipped the garnish, as my cherries are not here yet. Apparently the wildfires in Calif. have delayed the shipment... And I'm quite happy that that is the least of my fire-related problems.

Very tasty drink. Buzzy upon first sip, and then extremely smooth and interesting to imbibe. Husband put in a request for a Bourbon-based nightcap (he feels a bit guilty for the bottle of Maker's getting passed over for his new friend, Rye), and I found this one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


3oz gin
1oz cherry brandy (Cherry Heering)
1/2oz Campari

Stir and strain. Garnish with a cherry. Source: Kaiser Penguin

Ooh, no garnish yet... but the cherries are supposed to be in soon. Nice and buzzy, a tasty little thing! Actually, not so little; I used the amounts listed and split it into two glasses, and don't feel too cheated in terms of drink size. I really, really do seem to like Campari bunches. I'll soon move on to trying more intense bitter liqueurs, methinks.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

monahan cocktail

1 1/2oz whiskey (I used Michter's US1 Rye)
1/2oz sweet vermouth
1/2oz Amer Picon

Stir with ice, strain. Source: CocktailDB

Well, tonight didn't turn out as planned. Husband met a cool couple at the LUPEC function a couple of weeks back and made plans to meet them tonight at No 9 Park, along with another couple they know. When we got there, we found out that the other couple had gotten sick and the reservation had been canceled. Boo. And, it being Saturday at 8pm and all, there was no room for us anywhere at the joint. So we had a quick dinner elsewhere, I had a perfectly serviceable Negroni (which has fast become my drink of choice when unsure about the bar), and came home and made this up. Quite smooth and tasty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

:: psa ::

Marty's Liquor in Newton has Plymouth gin on sale for $15/bottle.

They also have Creme de Violette on the shelf -- and all the other Haus Alpenz offerings in stock, too. A fabulous selection all around, actually. We were pleasantly impressed.

I was inspired to pick up a bottle of Austrian cream liqueur (the cream liqueur of my people!), and Husband just had to try the Austrian stone pine liqueur... I felt pretty on-the-pulse when I saw that Chuck Taggart had blogged about this same stuff right about the same time I was purchasing it! Husband invented a cocktail that used the pine and it added a really interesting, refreshing note -- I think it'll be great for summer. Once he comes up with a name for it, I'll post his recipe.

red hook

2oz Rye (mine was made with gin, bartender's recommendation)
1/2oz Punt e Mes
1/4 - 1/2oz Maraschino to taste

Stir with ice, serve in cocktail glass

Source: Cocktail Chronicles

Mmm, it had a real Maraschino cherry in it. I cannot wait to get my hands on those (a local gourmet food store is getting in the Luxardos for me, via a personal connection. I'll publicize once I get my hands on my share!).

And damnit: now I need to buy Punt e Mes.


2oz Plymouth gin
3/4oz Torani Amer (however, I believe Amer Picon was used)
1/2oz Maraschino
1/4oz Cointreau
1 dash orange bitters
flamed orange peel

Source: Chuck Taggart

We finally made it over to Eastern Standard -- and wow, I have a crush on Jackson. He's obviously a person who takes seriously one's craft, and considers the responsibility one carries with such things... Husband was really appreciative of the Old Fashioned he made for him and spent some time chatting with him. I was my typical antisocial self and did no such thing -- another time, however, I will. We were seated at a table, but when the server came back to see if we needed new drinks, she said that he had suggestions for each of us -- which we both took, and were quite pleased with. My second drink was a Red Hook with gin instead of whiskey, and I'll list that recipe in a separate post.

I had to order the Hoskins, because it was Frederic linking to Chuck Taggart's blog that got me on this cocktail thing. And my, that's one tasty cocktail.

And the Standard itself -- wow. I really, really want to spend more time there. The food, the service, it was all so so nice, and a great way to spend a few hours. Oh, to live in the city again. Sigh.

Friday, October 12, 2007

brooklyn, the second

1 1/2oz rye
1/2oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Amer Picon
1/4 oz marachino liqueur

Source: Frederic

Definitely preferring this recipe over yesterday's. Besides, how do you measure out a dash of anything that doesn't come with the bitters-dripper top thing?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

:: my friends are wicked cool ::

Fred and Andrea are like, famous or something.

Now you know who to blame for my becoming a lush/this blog.


1 1/2oz rye whiskey (or Bourbon)
1/2oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Amer Picon
1 dash Maraschino

Stir with ice, serve in cocktail glass. Source: Robert Hess

Frederic had mentioned that he was a fan of this drink, I've been meaning to consume more whiskey in general, and I came home to this after driving Husband to Logan to catch an early flight. That there is my workroom. Somehow the photograph does not capture the sheer amount of reading material one needs to wade through to get to my workspace. I don't know if the top bookshelf was a disaster waiting to happen, if there was cat involvement, or what... but it came down and took the lower shelf with it and now my floor is full of books. I was considering a nap when I came across the scene (aside from waking up so early, I'd only had five hours' sleep, maybe) but I was so annoyed when I saw this this I couldn't do it. Mind, I was too annoyed to clean up the damage either. Grr.

So yes, this drink? Is totally doing the trick.

stone fence

We met up and had dinner at Green Street with N., whom I'd spent the day with at a jewelry trade show in Providence. I'm a fan of stopping off in the general Boston area when driving back, to break up the drive... and I really like the hot dogs at Green Street!

2 oz Bourbon whiskey (Old Fitzgerald's 1849)
2 oz Apple Cider
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Serve in highball with ice and lemon wedge garnish.

A recipe for this drink can be found at CocktailDB. Postnote: recipe updated with Green Street recipe.

Very easy to drink, and it's totally the season for cider...

*unnamed drink*

Earlier this week, we found ourselves at the newly-luxurized Natick Mall on a mission for a blazer for Husband. As a result of our awesome planning, we hadn't eaten upon completion of the mission at 9.30 so we went over to the Metropolitan Bar and Grill for some meat product -- and I spied a bottle of St. Germain at the bar! I asked our server if the bartender would make something for me with it. The bar manager was around, so he mixed this up for me -- I have no idea what the proportions are, but I am guessing 2:1 gin to St. Germain maybe?

St. Germain
"splash" grapefruit juice
simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters

Husband decided it tasted like Florida. I have never been to Florida, instead I decided it was tasty for a sweet drink. Discussion ensued regarding whether or not it actually was a sweet drink (I vote yes). We did manage to eat as well, thankfully.

Monday, October 8, 2007

the scofflaw

1 1/2oz Rye
1oz French Vermouth
3/4oz Lemon Juice
3/4oz Homemade Grenadine

Source: straight from the LUPEC ladies (thanks!)

Alternate version: Robert Hess

Husband's favorite for the evening!


2 1/2oz Bourbon
1tsp Cointreau
1tsp Maraschino
1tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Amer Picon

Source: Robert Hess

A. split this one with me. Deep color and warm flavor.

flapper jane

1 3/4oz Plymouth Gin
1/2oz lemon juice
3/4oz Wu Wei infused simple syrup
1 dash Peychaud's bitters

Source: Boston LUPEC

Sweet and tasty and didn't bother my teeth much -- I am such an old lady to worry about these things!

-> LUPEC Boston Tea Party

Wow, that was fun! We made our way to Lewis Wharf last night to mingle with the hipsters of the Boston cocktail scene and take tasty sips from our tea cups. Husband's the social one, so he flitted around meeting people while I hung out with our friends F&A (the unintentional instigators of this experiment of mine!). I really hope these events become a regular thing as I'm always interested in an excuse to dress up. I'm still working out the best logic for posting, so I am going to take each of the three drinks I sampled and make a post for each.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

fin de siècle

1 1/2oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
1/4oz Amer Picon
1 dash orange bitters

Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Source: Robert Hess

I tried a teeny sip of the Amer Picon straight and did not find it as intimidating as I'd been lead to believe it should be -- in fact, I thought it was pretty darn good. This drink has a nice sharpness to it, and is really smooth to sip. Nice tingle. I do seem to be gravitating towards the gin/bitter drinks; I should try playing with whiskey for a change.

EDIT: I was really enjoying this cocktail until Husband knocked a large portion of it into my crotch. Rather than change out of my jeans, I finished it off and now I am going to bed, pouting all the while.

Friday, October 5, 2007

:: aftermath ::

Husband escaped Brix easily with the Creme de Violette, Amer Picon, and a bottle of Peychaud's bitters. That could have been much uglier, but he said it was fairly busy when he dropped in so he stuck to the mission.

I decided to can the dress for Sunday. The neckline isn't thrilling me and one aspect of the construction is being more difficult than it ought to... so I'll just wear something else. It won't be period, but that's fine -- it'll be in the spirit. Plus I am so wearing my cloche, I don't care if my outfit ends up temporally schizophrenic. Frederic, are you guys going to be stopping by the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration before heading out to the riverboat?


1 1/2oz gin (Plymouth)
1/2oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2oz Creme de Violette
1/2oz lemon juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Source: Gary Regan via Chuck Taggart

I think this settles it... I just am not so into the citrus juice. It's kind of funny, since for years and years I'd go for whiskey or amaretto sours when I was out (but then, we're talking sour mix rather than actual juices). I mean, I like the taste but the citrus gets to be distracting. I'm going to try reducing the proportion next time and see if I can't find a balance I like.

Now, the violet liqueur... ohh, neat it's really amazing. I mean, it really is pure, distilled violet. The color is amazing, too. Husband was so impressed that he insisted I snap a photo and I wasn't at all set up for it and was in a hurry to actually try the stuff, so here is a quick, mediocre photograph!

I am definately looking forward to playing around with this gorgeous, purple stuff. It's funny, I'm finding that I gravitate towards liqueurs of impressive color (see: Campari, Chartreuse), despite the vastly different flavor profiles. What does that say about me?

:: much too excited ::

There's a bottle of Creme de Violette with my (well, Husband's) name on it sitting at Brix right now and I'm much too excited over that fact. I also had them put one of their very last bottles of Amer Picon aside, too. Husband has been informed that he's stopping off to pick these up on his way home tonight. It sounds like they got in the full Haus Alpenz line so I am wondering if it's more or less dangerous that Husband is the one to go pick these up instead of me...

I foresee an Aviation in my near-future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

the last word

1oz gin
1oz Maraschino liqueur
1oz green Chartreuse
1oz lime juice

Source: er...?

I've started a habit of writing down a recipe on paper and then not noting the source. I know that Robert Hess covers this one... But I must have gotten this from somewhere else because his version calls for equal 1/2oz parts.

Wow, sour! I like lime juice, but this is almost too much. Perhaps I really am leaning towards the more bitter drinks...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

l'amour en fuite

1 ½ oz Plymouth gin
¾ oz Lillet
¼ oz St Germain
absinthe rinse

place all into an iced mixing glass and stir
strain into an absinthe-rinsed cocktail glass


I had to do something about my "buying faster than trying" problem -- this took care of the Lillet and St. Germain (will have to do a side-by-side on the gins at some point soon). The St. Germain on its own was lovely, lovely stuff. I sort of wish that this recipe was a bit heavier on it and might try it again with slightly different proportions. This cocktail has a great buzzy taste, and the whiff of anise is pleasant.

:: recent acquisitions ::

I seem to be acquiring alcohol at a faster rate than I'm actually trying it... Will have to work on that. Today I found St. Germain, Luxardo maraschino, and picked up a bottle of Plymouth gin to compare to the Bombay Sapphire (all found at Cambridge Wine and Spirits, neé Mall Discount Liquors). Later on I went to China Fair and found a Boston shaker (metal bit only) for $4... Tim has been wanting to pick one up, as he's all about the tools. Last week I found a hand-cranked ice crusher for him; me, I'm content to make do with basics! I did order a reproduction Absinthe spoon (for reference; I am considering making sterling versions with my own modern designs for sale), which is about as specific as I've gone in the bar-tool world.

Hrm, I've managed to stay up past the threshold to do some more work on my dress, and I'm almost thinking it's too late to enjoy a drink. Hmm, almost...!

Monday, October 1, 2007


1oz gin
1oz sweet vermouth
1oz Campari
garnish with orange slice.

I neglected to buy oranges, so I added in the teeniest micro-dash of orange bitters to simulate the slice.

I am really liking this drink. I keep thinking back to that Tailspin I had last week, so decided to give this a shot since I've seen mention that the Tailspin was based off of this classic. I've also seen mention that Campari is considered to be somewhat scary stuff, but I have to say that (in this limited exposure) I've really been liking it as an ingredient. And the color is so, so lovely. So does this make me badass, my apparent taste for Camapri?? :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Last night we went by Green Street to buy our tickets to the LUPEC tea party -- we hadn't been since well before it changed hands -- and ended up having a quick dinner there. And I ordered their Tailspin -- and it was really, really good! CocktailDB lists the recipe as such:

1oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
3/4oz green chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters

stir in mixing glass and garnish with lemon twist, cherry, or olive.

Mine had an orange twist for garnish. I rather enjoyed it; well-balanced flavor and easy to drink. Tim was really pleased with his (rye) old-fashioned (he's discovered through the wonders of sense-memory that this drink is what his uncle and aunt would make at home and the smell reminds him of visiting them as a child). The food was fabulous too; we ate at a table but our server was happy to talk about the drinks with us.

I've since discovered that this is not an uncommon drink, and is listed elsewhere as using a dash of Campari in place of the orange bitters... and I believe that what I had this night used Campari, although I thought it definately had a orange bite to it. May my palate develop quickly and be more reliable! I suppose the only thing to do is make one of each and do a comparison.

And, oh! I cannot wait for the tea party. I have the deranged idea to make a period dress to wear -- and I have a gorgeous cloche I just bought for winter.

Postnote: 8/21/11 by Frederic
The Green Street cocktail book lists the recipe as:
• 1 oz Gin (Plymouth)
• 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1/4 oz Campari
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

absinthe: PF 1901

Details here. I figured that my first foray into traditional French Absinthe might as well be the one designed as a recreation of pre-ban Pernod Fils. Served traditionally in a roughly 3:1 water:liqueur ratio with the water poured over a small sugar cube. I can see what people are talking about when they go on about the "mouth-feel" of absinthe; it's like drinking velvet. Bringing the glass to my lips is an interesting sensory experience, picking up the scent in my nose as I take a sip. Color after adding water is a vaguely translucent, pale green glow. Strong stuff: I was feeling a mild buzz after a few sips. Next time I think I will go for a 5:1 ratio.


1oz gin
1/2oz sweet vermouth
1/2oz dry vermouth
1/2oz strawberry liqueur

Shake with ice, serve in cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

The second drink of the evening. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.

lucien gaudin cocktail

1oz gin
1/2oz Cointreau
1/2oz Campari
1/2oz dry vermouth

Stir with ice& strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

Nice one. We hosted an impromptu cocktail party that indicated that I should have more than eight cocktail glasses... and I wasn't paying as close attention to what I was drinking as I should have. I did like this one, however. This seems to have been named after a skilled fencer:

Gaudin had an extraordinary fencing career from 1904 to 1929, with a first World Title in 1905. He was however not selected for the Olympic Games in 1908, and French fencers did not compete at Stockholm, so he had to wait until 1920 for an Olympic appearance. At Antwerpen, he won team silver, but was wounded by an American, so again he missed out on individual honours. At Paris, after winning the team title, at which he contributed 22 wins out of 22, with 110 hits against 21, he felt an acute pain in his left hand, and once more he had to retire. He finally won his individual Olympic titles at Amsterdam, at the age of fourty-two. He was declared 'Hors Classe' by the French Fencing Federation, an honour never before bestowed on any fencer.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

elephants sometimes fuck up

this was supposed to be an Elephants Sometimes Forget:

1oz gin
3/4oz cherry flavored brandy (Cherry Heering)
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
1/4oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

shake in iced shaker, strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

...but I somehow misread and put 3/4oz dry vermouth in. I also am really good at knocking things down on a table or dropping things before I start drinking... Hmm. Perhaps I should drink more, because it only seems to happen when I am sober.

My friend Fred had posted this recipe to his livejournal and I loved the name and it sounded really tasty. I picked up a citrus squeezer today and couldn't wait to try this one! Despite my mis-measure the result was rather good and I plan to try this one again soon.

rex cocktail

1 3/4oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

I had thought that a dash was literally a shake of the bottle, but I've since discovered that it is actually 1/8tsp -- so the version I made the other night was not quite right. I will have to try it again with the correct amount of bitters (Fee Bros.), as we both found this to be okay but uninspired.

I tasted the two vermouths I have before mixing it up because I was curious what the difference between sweet and dry was... both were a sickly-sour that goes to show that indeed, sometimes the sum is greater than the parts.

kiss in the dark

1 1/2oz gin
3/4oz dry vermouth
3/4oz cherry flavored brandy (Cherry Heering)

stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass. source: CocktailDB (and modified to match the 1895 recipe).

The very first cocktail I have made! And no, I didn't choose the Heering to be funny/punny and actually didn't pick up on the double entendre until just now. How very appropriate of me to miss that...

Unfortunately at this point I'm not really able to say much more than I liked it and it was yummy. I tried some gin (Bombay Sapphire) straight before I mixed this because, well, I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like! I could definately see how alcoholic beverages were first developed as medicinal tonics... what a wonderful, penetrating tingle. I will have to do a taste comparison of different gins at some point.

:: an introduction ::

So welcome to this, the public record of my foray into the world of mixed drinks. I'm mainly starting this blog to keep track of what I try and record thoughts about booze in general -- but if you're reading this, it's not exactly private, no? So who knows what this will become. Likely, I'll lose interest and stop updating it!

About me: in my baby book, the first sentence I spoke is listed after my first word (for the record, no), being the succinct I want wine. My nana had something to do with that one! And I do like wine, having been introduced to it at her dining table. When we would have dinners there, I had my very own wine glass (really, a little port glass or something). Alcohol was never a big deal. And as a result, I never really was attracted to it for its intoxication effects as a teen (and a good thing, in the years of wine coolers and Zima).

But I've never really known much about what's out there, never educated myself about wines or anything. And mixed drinks? I knew even less. I'd order Whiskey Sours in bars for years, until a year ago when a friend suggested an Amaretto Sour. I knew there was a vast world of tastiness out there but I didn't know where to start, so I stuck with what was familiar.

So for some time now, a friend has been posting in his livejournal about the traditional cocktails he and his girlfriend have been trying. And it all sort of sounds neat. Then a few weeks ago, they went to an event put on by the LUPEC that was featuring Chartreuse-based cocktails. I read up about his experience and I got to thinking... I actually like herbal flavors, and I did have a stint when I was younger where I'd drink Chartreuse neat: I thought it was a really cool, weird color and I liked the nose-tickle taste. I like anise too, and other flavors that can be off-putting to some. So really, why don't I try delving into the long tradition of the cocktail and see what's to be seen? Er, tasted. Anyhow.

I've never been much of a gourmand but this is somewhere to start! My husband's on board (he's a scotch drinker, something I could never get into), our liquor cabinet is growing by the week, so here we go!