Tuesday, November 30, 2010

hawaii cocktail

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Fee's Orange Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with; strain into a wine glass.

After the main four-way battle went down at the Woodward, Andrea and I departed for the crowd was getting rather densely packed. We, therefore, missed the consolation round showdown of John Gertsen versus Jackson Cannon as well as more complementary spicy Sailor Jerry punch and cans of Narragansett beer. Instead, we headed up the Red Line to visit bartender Derric Crothers at Green Street for a nightcap. The drink I ordered off of the large A-to-Z cocktail menu was one that I had danced around, the Hawaii Cocktail. I have had similar drinks including Stanley Clisby Arthur's State Street Cocktail and the herbaceous Celeriac from Left Coast Libations, but never Trader Vic's classic (albeit a slight variation from the one in the book). While those three pineapple juice-egg white drinks are gin based, Duffy does offer up the rum-based cousin, the Hawaiian.
Floating over the Hawaii Cocktail's frothy egg white and pineapple juice head was a fruity, pineapple aroma. A sweet, rich sip was followed by pineapple and gin flavors on the swallow. Moreover, the aftertaste was all about the orange bitters. The egg white donated a good deal of smoothness to make the Hawaii Cocktail a pleasure to drink.

union station swizzle

2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Add to a highball glass filled with crushed ice and swizzle to mix. Float Herbsaint and Angostura Bitters on top and add a straw.

Before heading over to the final edition of the Cocktail Wars at the Woodward two Sundays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Drink in Fort Point. One of the drinks that bartender California Gold made for me was something she created for her shift at the Patterson House in Nashville, Tennessee. She was down that way after taking a Bourbon tour, and one of her fellow Tales of the Cocktail apprentices invited her for a guest bartending shift.
Cali named the drink the Union Station Swizzle after a grand 19th-Century railroad station in Nashville that was restored and converted into a hotel. Back in the day, amidst the stunning Victorian architecture were two alligator ponds located on the track level! The Swizzle's aroma was dominated by the Herbsaint's anise-heavy aroma. A somewhat dry and fruity apricot and lemon sip was chased by rich Bourbon and funky Maraschino notes on the swallow. While not quite all that tropical, the Swizzle did fit in with the night's Tiki Sunday theme.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

dead reckoning

2 oz Aged Rum (Appleton V/X)
1/2 oz Navan Vanilla Liqueur
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Tawny Port (Sandeman)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with cracked ice. Top with 1 oz of soda water. Garnish with a mint spring and a lemon zest spiral.

A week and a half ago, I spotted a collection of recipes from New York and San Francisco bartenders on the TastingTable website. On Friday night, after spying that our mint patch was resistant to the killing frosts we have recently experienced in the past few weeks, I decided that we should give Martin Cate's recipe from Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco a try. True, the recipe, the Dead Reckoning, could be made without a mint sprig garnish, but we wanted to experience it as Martin intended it.
The drink was the perfect accompaniment to that night's dinner of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Tamarind Lentils recipe. The Dead Reckoning's mint and lemon peel garnishes contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The rich rum was complemented by the maple and port on the sip, and this was followed by a pleasing vanilla and light spice flavor on the swallow. Thinking back, the maple and tawny port combination in Hungry Mother's No. 43 was also a quite solid one. Andrea commented that the drink was "pretty spectacular... and superbly balanced," so between it and the Tamarind Lentils dinner was a success!

masked booby punch

1 oz St. Germain
1 oz Gold/Aged Cachaça (Seleta)
1/2 oz Jasmine Green Tea, strong
1/2 oz White Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass (alternatively mix and chill in glass with ice). Twist a lemon peel and grapefruit peel over the top.

About two weeks ago, Andrea and I submitted a punch for the St. Germain Rock'em Sock'em Punch Bowl Brawl. Our punch made the top 3 cut to be served at the event out of a few dozen entries! The recipe we submitted was slightly different than the one above, but it was closer to how we intended it. The major difference beside scale and chilling with an ice block was the syrup. When we crafted the small scale sample, I made a ginger-citrus peel simple syrup which involved making an oleo saccharum with grapefruit and lemon peels and sugar. The concept was to extract the oils out of the peels and into the sugar to make an "ambrosial essence" of the fruits. David Wondrich in Punch traced back the process to a recipe written in 1670. After that, I grated fresh ginger and muddled it into the oil-soaked sugar before adding warm water to make the syrup. The effect was stunning when we did it at a small scale.

Unfortunately, when it came to competition time, my scale up on the ginger was wrong. I guesstimated how much ginger I initially grated, and perhaps the effects of scale up itself (can effect spices and bitters) might have played a role. Therefore, I recommend using a ginger syrup -- commercial or perhaps even homemade -- to standardize the process. While the oleo saccharum added an extra layer of citrus wonder to the drink, the hour extraction in sugar might deter many people from casually giving this recipe a try. Plus, over the large portion of citrus juice in the recipe, the oleo saccharum's effect only added a slight highlight of aroma.
Initially, we had submitted the punch to the boxing-themed event as the Palooka Punch. Given our base spirit of cachaça, we tried to figure out a good boxer or MMA star to name the punch after, but none of the Brazilian names seemed to make good drink names. Instead, we switched to boxing terms, and out of all the boxing terms, only "palooka" seemed to pair up with the word "punch" well. Later, we decided the definition of "an incompetent or easily defeated athlete, especially a prizefighter" was a bit too ironic. Instead, Andrea suggested that we switch to the fauna and flora of Brazil. Over brunch, we sat with our respective smartphones until I found the large, handsome sea bird, the masked booby. A "Masked Booby Punch" sounded rather kinky and in line with St. Germain's advertising campaigns using old erotica images and comparable to Emma Hollander's St. Germain sparkler, the One-Armed French Hooker.

For the competition, I ended up making the tea and the ginger-citrus peel syrup to bring to the event. The ginger -- the key weapon in our punch -- while seemingly strong in the syrup was way too subtle in the bowl. Moreover, as the ice cubes (instead of a large ice block) diluted the bowl's contents over the two hour span, the tannins in the tea became stronger in the balance as the other flavors were diluted away. Our St. Germain rep Kate even asked if I wanted to spike the bowl with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, but I figured that it should stay as is and also I feared the explosion that would occur if the two feuding brothers' product met (then again, for a fightsport theme, it would work). However, the cachaça still did a good job in assisting the tea and lemon juice in cutting down the sweetness of the St. Germain and syrup, so that aspect went as planned. In the end, we placed second.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


2 oz White Horse Blended Scotch
1 barspoon Caol Ila 12 Year Scotch
1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 barspoon Henri Bardouin Pastis

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.
For my second cocktail at Rendezvous, I asked bartender Scott Holliday for suggestions on my next drink. He mentioned that the restaurant's sous chef Ben rather likes the Glasgow; Ben learned about the drink in Esquire and was drawn to it when David Wondrich called it the Crispin Glover. Wondrich explained, "Only through the Glasgows of this world do the Manhattans truly become what they are. Without its Crispin Glovers, high school would not, in esse, be high school." Just like Ben, when I heard that it was the Crispin of Cocktails, I too needed to try one.
The Glasgow greeted me with a lemon oil aroma coupled with a briny, smoky Scotch note. A semi-mellow malt flavor on the sip was chased by smoke from the Scotch, anise from the pastis (the original calls for absinthe), and bitter notes from the vermouth and Peychaud's on the swallow. Lastly, the Glasgow was rather dry from the French vermouth combined with a lack of sweetener (save for the small amount of sugar from the barspoon of pastis). While the drink was an odd ball that could be made more standardized with sweet instead of dry vermouth or by the addition of a muddled up cube of sugar, it was definitely not the newer Crispin Glover vintage that casts a movie full of Down Syndrome actors or rats, but the earlier Back to the Future oddball days. To summarize the essence of the drink with a quote, Mr. Glover said, "I do like things that are not necessarily a reflection of what is considered the right thing by this culture. Somehow, promoting that status quo I find uninteresting."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

rum scaffa

1 1/2 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
1 1/2 oz Cynar
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir without ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Wednesday, Andrea and I went over to Rendezvous to have dinner and cocktails. For my first drink, bartender Scott Holliday wanted to show me one of the simple drinks (number of ingredients-wise) he had been working on. The Scaffa recipe above actually came later, for he served me the cocktail version first:
• 1 1/2 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
• 1 1/2 oz Cynar
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.
The spirit plus Cynar essence of this drink reminded me of Aaron Butler's Scottish Play (although Aaron's drink has two addition ingredients as minor components). While I did not ask Aaron's rationale, Scott made the pairing for he liked the rich caramel flavor of the rum and how it emphasizes sweet flavors, so he therefore mixed it with something bitter. Scott's drink started with an orange nose paired with some dark undertones. A rum and caramel sip was followed by a rich and complex swallow. Moreover, the oils from the orange twist contributed a light Lillet-like citrus flavor on the sip. What was most odd was that it tasted drier on the sip and sweeter on the swallow; generally, drinks with bitter liqueurs finish in the opposite direction. Lastly, as the drink warmed up, the Cynar became more dominant in the flavor profile.
Scott mentioned that he enjoyed the initial experiment of mixing the rum and the liqueur at room temperature more than he did in the chilled cocktail itself. At that point, I brought up the Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night where the theme was Scaffas -- stirred, un-iced cocktails often as simple as a spirit, a liqueur, and a dash of bitters. Scott decided to mix up this cocktail in Scaffa format and pour it into cordial glasses for the three of us to try. Definitely, at room temperature and undiluted, the drink was a different beast. The Rum Scaffa was even more caramel and more intensely Cynar than the ratio of spirit to ice melt would suggest. In addition, the transition from sip to swallow had a better continuity of intensity and flavors, and I believe that all three of us concluded that while the cocktail version was delicious, the Scaffa form was superior.

great barrington

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers' Ragged Mountain Rum
3/4 oz Bianco Vermouth
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1 dash Housemade Wormwood Citrus Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I went to Deep Ellum after attending a reception for David Wondrich at Drink to celebrate his new book Punch: the Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl. While one of the three punches at the event was rum based, I evidently was not tired of the spirit for I asked bartender Jen Salucci to make me the Great Barrington off of their menu. The drink was named after the town in western Massachusetts where Berkshire Mountain Distillers is located. On the nose, the Great Barrington started the drink's citrus wave with a lemon oil aroma. The citrus notes continued in the slightly sweet sip from the bianco vermouth and Cocchi Americano, and the swallow had a nice bitter finish with a rum aftertaste.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

mary sharon

1 1/2 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Bianco Vermouth
1/2 oz Mirto
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

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

For my second cocktail at Eastern Standard two Sunday nights ago, I asked bartender Josh Taylor if he had any new tricks up his sleeve. He thought I might be interested in the Mary Sharon and I became intrigued after I heard it was a variation of the "Sex in the City" classic, the Cosmopolitan, albeit an abstract one using Mirto liqueur instead of cranberry juice. Moreover, he mentioned that Avery Glasser of the Bittermens had a hand in the genesis of this recipe most likely similar to how he helped create Craigie's Bird Bath and Green Street's Avery's Arrack-ari. For a name, the myrtle berry liqueur's Sardinian origin prompted a Mediterranean theme; the cocktail became dubbed the Mary Sharon after Kristin Scott Thomas' character in Prince's 1986 movie Under the Cherry Moon.
The Mary Sharon's aroma was full of citrus oils but I was confused as to whether it was orange or grapefruit. When I asked Josh, he informed me that it was actually lemon and explained that the bounty of orange notes in the bianco vermouth was really that strong. Indeed, the vermouth presented a good amount of citrus peel flavors and the sip was a rather blood orange-Campari taste when combined with the Mirto. The minerality of the tequila and a hint of bitter orange came through on the swallow followed by chocolate from the mole bitters at the very end.

Monday, November 22, 2010

surbiton road

1/2 Lime (cut into wedges)
1 small handful Basil Leaves (~12)
1 oz Vanilla Rock Candy Syrup
1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1/2 oz Punt e Mes

Muddle lime, basil, and syrup. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a basil sprig and a straw.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I went down to Eastern Standard for dinner and drinks. When bartender Naomi Levi came by to talk about cocktails, I asked if she had any basil to make me a drink that Devin Hahn of the Periodista Tales blog had told me about. When she heard the request for basil, she immediately knew what I wanted and ran off to see if she could find any in the kitchen. The drink was called the Surbiton Road after the street in Kingston, Jamaica, where the Italian Consulate is located. Her premise was to figure out what could be made in Jamaica given only two things that the Consulate could bring over from Italy. For those two items, she selected basil and the amaro-like sweet vermouth Punt e Mes.
The Surbiton Road greeted my nose with an aroma of basil and rum. The sip was a combination of the lime, funky pot stilled Smith & Cross, and molassesy Blackstrap rum flavors that were followed by vanilla from the syrup and both grape and bitter notes from the Punt e Mes on the swallow. The basil added greatly to the sip to make it more complex than the swallow. Overall, the Surbiton Road was a savory smash that was a good departure from the bar's more standard mint-based ones.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

golden cadillac

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LII) was picked by Dennis of the Rock & Rye blog. He chose the theme of "Forgotten Cocktails," but unlike Ted Haigh's book, Dennis does not care what decade in which the drink originated or was forgotten. He described the concept as, "bring[ing] to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-Prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80's, it doesn't really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up."

About two weeks ago, Andrea and I attended a Boston launch party for Galliano Ristretto coffee flavored liqueur. That night was also National Harvey Wallbanger Day, so they were honoring Galliano L'Autentico (a recent return to the original recipe) as well. Andrea and I fondly remembered a Galliano drink we had on Christmas eve last year. We were sitting at the bar at Eastern Standard and watching bartender Hugh Fiore churn out drink after drink at the service end of the bar for the rather thirsty patrons on the restaurant floor. When we saw him making a drink using Galliano, we asked what it was. Hugh mentioned that it was the Golden Cadillac that bar manager Jackson Cannon had just put on the dessert section of the menu. We were a bit skeptical of the drink, but Hugh declared that it was rather good and that he would make a little extra next time so we could have a taste.

When I mentioned this Mixology Monday theme, it was not long before the idea of the Golden Cadillac as a forgotten cocktail arose. And considering that we were gifted a bottle of Galliano L'Autentico at the event to replace our pre-2009 formulation, it seemed like a good idea. Gary Regan in The Joy of Mixology placed the drink's creation sometime during the sixties or seventies at Poor Red's Bar-B-Q in El Dorado, California. Whether the drink was named after El Dorado being in the heart of the old California gold rush, the color of Galliano itself, the Eldorado Cadillac car, or the 1956 movie The Solid Gold Cadillac, I am not certain (*). But I am certain that Poor Red's makes so many of these drinks to this day that they are Galliano's largest account in this country. Definitely, the drink is not forgotten in El Dorado, but to the rest of the world, the drink has sort of slipped away to the realm of the Pink Squirrel and the like.

The ingredients of the drink are the trinity of Galliano, crème de cacao, and cream. You might think this is an absurd combination until you realize that it is essentially an Alexander sans a nutmeg garnish, except here the spirit is Galliano instead of the classic gin or more traditional brandy. Moreover, similar nonstandard spirits have been utilized in Alexanders including my Fernet and Bobby Heugel's Campari ones. The proportions vary from Gary Regan's crème de cacao heavy one to Stan Jones' cream-laden one, but I will stick to the one I first tasted at Eastern Standard which is an equal parts recipe:
Golden Cadillac
• 1 oz Galliano
• 1 oz Clear Crème de Cacao
• 1 oz Cream
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Poor Red's apparently prefers to serve theirs in a coupe glass.
With the new reformulation of Galliano (which approximates the original), this drink was rather tasty. Vanilla and chocolate notes helped to modify the sarsaparilla flavor on the swallow. Unlike the previous incarnation, the current Galliano is light on the licorice note, so it was rather absent in the drink's flavor profile. Andrea commented that despite the vanilla on the nose, the drink tasted a bit like a good root beer soda. The cream seemed to sooth the Galliano and shape the drink into something surprisingly elegant.
Cheers to Dennis for hosting this month's Mixology Monday and to Paul Clarke for organizing the shindig month after month!

(*) The American Bartending School video poetically told me that it was called the Golden Cadillac for Galliano is yellow and "quite expensive" like a Cadillac. Sadly in the video, the host does not drop a bottle or anything intriguing like his other ones save for spilling some of the ingredients on the bar top.

rogue angel

1 oz Gran Centenario Rosangel Tequila
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Meletti
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a hibiscus petal (omitted here).

For my second drink at Russell House Tavern, I asked bartender Aaron Butler if he had been working on anything new. The drink he wanted to show me was his submission to the monthly St. Germain cocktail competition called the Rogue Angel. The drink featured (beside St. Germain of course) Gran Centenario Rosangel, a hibiscus-infused reposado tequila that sees some time in a used port barrel after a year in a standard oak one.
The Rogue Angel greeted me with a St. Germain aroma that was complemented by grapefruit notes from the bitters. A sweet St. Germain and citrus sip was chased by a drying wave of tequila and spice flavors on the swallow. If I were to compare it to a better known drink, Misty Kalkofen's Maximilian Affair comes to mind, although Aaron's was less smokey and more approachable. While one cannot forget that they were drinking tequila in this cocktail, it was gentle enough that it would make for a good agave spirit entry drink.

Postnote: As of June 2011, the drink appears on the Russell House Tavern menu as the "City of Eternal Spring."

kivik apple market

2 oz Karlsson's Potato Vodka
3/4 oz Apple Cinnamon Syrup (see here)
3/4 oz Meletti Amaro
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Last Saturday while Andrea was working at the Boston Shaker store, I went over to visit bartender Aaron Butler at Russell House Tavern. One of the new drinks on the menu pairs up the same apple cinnamon syrup in the Wigglesworth with Karlsson's Vodka which is more like a potato eau de vie. For a name, Aaron combined the spirits' country of origin and the syrup's fruit base to create the Kivik (pronounced "Shivick") Apple Market after a giant festival held in southern Sweden every year.
The Kivik Apple Market's nose was full of apple and spice aroma with some darker notes mixed in. The sip was rather appley with a rich mouthfeel of a swallow; the swallow contained some herbal complexity which meshed well with the apple flavors. Moreover, the aftertaste was a zingy cinnamon which combined with the other flavors to produce an almost gingery effect. Overall, the drink was savory and refreshing with a delightful autumnal feel.

Friday, November 19, 2010

kilted pistolero

1 1/2 oz Tequila Blanco (Espolón)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Drambuie
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Last Friday night for cocktails, Andrea requested the Kilted Pistolero that she spotted in the latest issue of Imbibe magazine. The drink was created by Greg Best of Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta Georgia and features a combination of tequila and Drambuie balanced by citrus and bitters. After being introduced to the tequila and Drambuie pairing by Misty Kalkofen via a Prince Edward variation and reinforced by my Gory Guerrero, I was excited about giving the Kilted Pistolero a try.
The cocktail started with the aroma of the freshly grated nutmeg with hints of tequila poking through. A honey sweet-lemon sip was followed by a medley of vegetal notes from the tequila, spice notes from the Angostura, and floral ones from the Drambuie. While the drink had a slightly sharp edge to it, it was not as sharp as many tequila drinks. Moreover, I quite enjoyed Greg's choice of garnish for nutmeg and tequila go surprisingly well together.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

orange scaffa

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/4 oz Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir without ice and pour into a cocktail glass (building in a cocktail glass and stirring is fine too). Garnish with an orange twist.

For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night last week, the theme was a classic, albeit an obscure classic one -- Scaffas! What's a Scaffa? It is a mixed drink, often a liquor and a liqueur or two, stirred in the absence of ice to cool and dilute it. Historically, bitters and syrups have been considered fair game too; in fact, thinking of it as a Pousse-café that was stirred has been suggested before. It should not, however, be called a proper cocktail for it lacks the water component (a proper cocktail by the early 1800's definition means that it contains spirit, bitters, sugar, and water/ice). For a liqueur, my eyes set on Grand Marnier which is sippable on its own. To build on that, I thought of John Gertsen's Grand Marnier sensation, the Mission of Burma, and Don Lee's non-potable bitter-heavy drink, Don's Little Bitter. Combining aspects of both, I ended up with the Orange Scaffa.
The Scaffa started with a dark orange aroma from the liqueur and bitters combined with the light orange note from the twist. For an undiluted cocktail, the sip with smooth and surprisingly did not singe the palate with a hot alcohol sting in the least. Flavorwise, the sip tasted like a candied orange peel, and the swallow was full of caramel notes and spices.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Dubonnet (Bonal)
1/2 oz Cream

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After a big, spicy dinner at India Palace in Union Square on Wednesday night, we desperately needed a digestif. I, therefore, opened up Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to look for something in the liqueur section to give us some relief. What I spotted was a strange creature of sorts, the Appetizer, but between the Fernet Branca and the sizable helping of Angostura Bitters, I figured it would work despite the name. True, Dubonnet (or the Bonal we used) can make for a good aperitif, but cream, amaros, and bitters not so much. In fact, I could not see having this as an appetizer; perhaps it is the same confusion of calling one island Greenland and one island Iceland despite only the latter being inhabitable.
Indeed, this beast was rather effective in settling our stomachs! The nose started with Fernet Branca with minor spice notes from the Angostura Bitters. A minty flavor on the sip was followed by Angostura Bitters and Fernet Branca's menthol on the swallow. The cream functioned to tone down the potable and "non"-potable bitters so that the drink was not as intense as the other ingredients would suggest yet letting it be just as effective as a doctor prescribed medicine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

[bulls eye flip]

2 oz High West Silver Western Oat Whiskey
1/2 oz S. Maria al Monte Amaro
1/2 oz Tahitian Vanilla Bean Syrup
1/4 oz Cream
1 Egg

Shake one round without ice and one round with; strain into a cocktail glass.

For my second drink at No. 9 Park, I asked bartender Ted Kilpatrick if he had any flip ideas, for his egg drinks, such the Orinoco and the "Mokulele Flip" (our name for it), have been inventive and spot on. The drink Ted pulled out of his bag of tricks was another yet-to-be-named one that was inspired by the Toronto. For the whiskey component, he chose the lightly aged oat one from High West that Todd Maul introduced to me, and for a liqueur, he used the Fernet-like S. Maria Almonte that Scott Holliday first brought to my attention.
The flip's aroma was that of burnt sugar. Likewise, the sip was very caramel-like with bitter notes on the swallow followed by a vanilla finish from the syrup. Well, the vanilla was present throughout the drink but shone through the most at the end. Overall, it was dessert-like but dry. Moreover, the effect was quite stunning and unexpected given the amaro -- the S. Maria al Monte came across as surprisingly tame with very little of its characteristic menthol notes. The flip's caramel flavor reminded me of Goetze candies, and Andrea helped to give it the informal name of the "Bulls Eye Flip" after one of the cream caramel's nicknames.

la palabra

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Combier Liqueur d'Orange
1 1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
On Tuesday night last week, Andrea and I went over to No. 9 Park for cocktails. One of the drinks bartender Ted Kilpatrick wanted to show me was his take on the Last Word using Mezcal that he dubbed La Palabra. Ted was rather excited about the drink for he liked how the Mezcal Vida brought out the vegetal notes of the Chartreuse. The cocktail's aroma was mainly the herbaceous green Chartreuse supplemented by a hint of smokiness from the Mezcal. The sip was dry and crisp with citrus notes; in fact, it was the driest Last Word variation I have tasted. The swallow was similar to the nose for it was replete with smoke and Chartreuse flavors. Ted explained his breaking from the standard Last Word's equal parts recipe as Chartreuse did not play well with the Mezcal so he had to up the liqueur's proportion to make it stand out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

[billybob appleseed]

2 oz Tea-Infused Bourbon
1/2 oz Cider Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail class. Twist a lemon peel over the top.
(*) To make the syrup, boil down cider in half. Add an equal amount of sugar. For the tea infusion, use this as a guide.

For my second drink at Ben Sandrof's Sunday Salon, I inquired about one of the ingredients he previously mentioned that he might be making for the night, namely tea syrup. While Ben got distracted by the other syrups he had made for the night, he did have a black tea-infused Bourbon at his disposal. Instead of a tea syrup, I wondered what he could do with that whiskey combined with an apple cider syrup he had just made. The options of going shaken with lemon juice or stirred with dry vermouth were bandied about. Since I had just had a citrus drink, I thus opted for the vermouth.
The drink started with a pleasing combination of lemon and tea on the nose. A fruity apple sip was dried out by the tea, vermouth, and barrel flavors on the swallow. When I let Andrea try it, she commented that there was a "spread out Bourbon taste on the swallow that ends with buttered corn."

pineapple tree

1 1/2 oz Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Top with soda water, float a few dashes of Angostura Bitters on top, and garnish with a wide lime twist, a pineapple fruit leaf, and a straw.
Two Sundays ago, Ben Sandrof was hosting another Sunday Salon in the back room of a local establishment, and since I had missed the last one (co-hosted by Deep Ellum's Max Toste) when I was in Ireland, I was extra eager to attend this one. New on the menu was the Pineapple Tree which Ben sold me on with the declaration that it was on the dry side. The drink started with a lime aroma from the twist and a clove note from the bitters. A crisp pineapple sip was chased by lime and the rhum agricole on the swallow. Ben's assessment that the Pineapple Tree was on the dry side became even more true once the floated Angostura Bitters' spice became integrated into the sip. Just like his CLT Peche, the Pineapple Tree went down rather fast and I could easily see drinking many of these if it were not for variety's sake and the fact that I had work the following morning.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

mortal sunset

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Black Tea Maple Syrup (2 part Maple:1 part Tea) (Oolong Tea)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a floated orange wheel and drizzle a dash of Cherry Heering on top of it.

Last Saturday night, I turned to the September/October 2010 issue of Imbibe to make Chantal Tseng's Mortal Sunset. Andrea and I met Chantal at Tales of the Cocktail back in 2009; while we have not made it down to Washington, D.C., to visit the Tabard Inn, we can at least sample one of her recipes in the mean time. And how could we not be drawn to this recipe for it includes two of our favorite ingredients, namely tea and the bitter liqueur Cynar?
In making the drink, I had problems with the Cherry Heering staying on top of the orange garnish. The orange wheel in the magazine's picture looks more like a dried or partially dried one so their Cherry Heering stayed in the pocketed regions instead of rolling off and sinking to the bottom like ours did (*). Otherwise, in our drink, there was still enough Cherry Heering on the surface to make a significant contribution to the nose along with orange and something herbal form the Cynar. The sip was mostly about the rye-maple pairing followed by the Cynar on the swallow; this combination came across almost as a blended Scotch note. The orange juice appeared as a very smooth and subtle citrus flavor that worked to round out the drink. We pondered a bit about the tea component and figured that it merged with the Cynar on the swallow. Andrea commented that the Mortal Sunset "is a very ambitious drink" -- it has a sweet aspect to it but a sharpness as well. Moreover, it would probably make a good introduction to rye for people who think they do not like it.

(*) Postnote: the orange wheel was most likely candied such as by this recipe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


2 oz Gin (Aviation)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz 2:1 Simple Syrup
4 dash Celery Bitters (recipe)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a cocktail or coupe glass. Optional to mist more bitters across the top.

Friday after dinner, an intriguing egg white cocktail with a savory touch caught my eye in Left Coast Libations. Portland's Kelley Swenson's Celeriac seemed somewhat tropical except for the addition of celery bitters which threw me for a bit of a loop. I was also willing to give it a go since we rather enjoyed his Toto/Broken Flower a year or two ago. While in this drink he uses Bitter Truth's Celery Bitters, I used my own bitters recipe which is a lot more robustly celery; Scrappy's would probably work but Fee's might be a bit too bouillon-y. In a pinch, muddling a scant barspoon of celery seeds and letting it soak in the gin for a few minutes would probably be sufficient (just remember to fine strain).
The Celeriac we made possessed a glorious froth from the egg white and pineapple juice, and the aroma was definitely all about the celery. The sweet pineapple and lemon combination that started the sip was chased by gin and celery on the swallow. For a gin, we chose Aviation from Oregon to get us more in tune with the other coast, and its lavender donated a pleasant floral note to the herbal complexity on the swallow. Overall, the Celeriac was really smooth from the egg white, and the flavor transitions from sip to swallow were rather mild and flowing. Toward the end of the drink, we realized just how well celery and pineapple pair up! The celery definitely elevated the drink above Clisby's State Street Cocktail or perhaps Trader Vic's Hawaii Cocktail (link has recipe for both).

hot jersey shrub

1 oz Applejack (Laird's Bonded)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Raspberry Syrup (Homemade)

Add to a small hot drink glass (4 oz) and top with 2 oz of boiling water. Mix with a spoon, and garnish with a "slice lemon twist" (round slice of lemon).

On Friday night as I was making dinner, we were in the mood for something warm to take the evening's chill off. Since Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 is a repository of quirky drinks both hot and cold, I found my answer there -- the Hot Jersey Shrub (it was just listed as "Jersey (Hot)" under the Shrubs category, so the drink name parsing is mine). The Jersey part of the name most likely refers to the apple spirit base of the drink. Besides most of the applejack in this country being made in New Jersey, the state was known for using the spirit (a/k/a "Jersey Lightning") as currency to pay for road construction during colonial times. The book defined a Shrub as "same as a Sangaree only a round slice of lemon in glass" and a hot Sangaree as sugar, liquor, and hot water. A mere garnish separated the two by their somewhat unique definitions.
The Hot Jersey Shrub's aroma was fruity with the raspberry aroma standing out the most; moreover, the heat volatilized the apple brandy's alcohol base so that it played a noticeable role on the nose. The classic raspberry-lime pairing worked well on the sip as it does in the Double Standard. Moreover, this slightly tart sip was complemented by the aged apple brandy notes on the swallow. Perhaps a teaspoon of simple syrup in addition to the raspberry syrup might put the sweetness balance in tune with more modern sensibilities without changing the flavor ratios.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


1 1/2 oz Whiskey (Old Overholt Rye)
1 oz Apple Cider (nonfermented)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with 7 drops of Allspice Dram on the egg foam and an apple wedge.

For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night, the theme was apple cider, and I decided to go the flip route using some nonfermented apple cider (hard cider was another possible interpretation of the theme). As a starting point, I chose the Jerry Thomas classic, the Stone Fence. To spice things up, I added Benedictine which has complemented apple flavors before in drinks such as the Honeymoon Cocktail, Full House #2, and the Essence of Winter Sleep. Moreover, I added the floated garnish of Allspice Dram which worked rather well in the Judgment Day. For a name, I stuck with the autumnal theme and dubbed it the Hayride.
The Hayride started with an apple and allspice aroma from the garnishes. The Benedictine spice and rye whiskey complemented the apple notes as hoped for, and the egg donated a luxurious smoothness to the drink. When I was planning the drink on my drive home from work that day, my whiskey concept was actually a blended Scotch. When it came time to mix the drink, I forgot this part of the brainstorming session and grabbed the rye. I think a light or medium smoky Scotch might work rather well with the other flavors, although I was definitely not disappointed by how rye worked in this flip.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

le quebecois

1 1/2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Flame an orange peel over the top and drop in.
After the Banks Rum at Drink on Wednesday, Andrea and I decided to get a late dinner and a nightcap at Bergamot. For a beverage, I asked bartender Paul Manzelli to make me the Le Québécois off of the cocktail menu. Kai Gagnon, Bergamot's wine director and the creator of this drink, took his inspiration from the Brooklyn and the Red Hook by combining the two in his tribute to Quebec. Le Québécois started with a burnt orange oil and rye aroma. Whiskey with hints of citrus on the sip led into a combination of Punt e Mes' bitter and Maraschino's funky notes on the swallow. Overall, Le Québécois was a good addition to the Manhattan family despite being named for a neighborhood a little ways out from the Big Apple.

leonora banks

1 1/2 oz Banks Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 dash Bittermens Tiki Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and a straw.

My third cocktail at the Banks Rum event at Drink was bartender Scott Marshall's recipe made for me by the man himself. Scott told me that he based his drink off of the classic Mary Pickford and named it after Joseph Bank's wife Leonora. The rum itself was named after Joseph Banks, a British explorer who gathered botanical samples from around the South Pacific and Caribbean; in addition, his travels are symbolized by the rum choices in the blend. While researching Joseph Banks, I discovered that he married Dorothea Hugessen. The menu did say "Leonora Banks" was the name of the drink, and I just confirmed this with Scott Marshall over the phone. No clue where this transcription error occurred, but the drink was darn tasty so let us not dwell on who Leonora Banks was or how these things happen in rum-muddled environments.
The Leonora Banks' spicy nutmeg floating on the pineapple juice foam was slightly outdone by the aroma of the robust cinnamon syrup in the drink. On the sip, a funky pineapple flavor was followed by the Maraschino and cinnamon notes on the swallow. The combination was unusually flavorful for a Tiki drink, and the Leonora Banks was definitely more intriguing than the Mary Pickford that Scott used as inspiration.

Monday, November 8, 2010


2 oz Banks Rum
1/2 oz Ginger-Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Batavia Arrack.

For my second cocktail at the Banks 5 Island Rum event, I was drawn to John Gertsen's creation. His drink, the Panacea named after the the Greek goddess of healing, was a take on Manhattan bartender Sam Ross's cure-all, the Penicillin. Whereas the Penicillin uses a smoky single malt Scotch to add accent to a blended one, the Panacea calls for a Batavia Arrack to shift the direction and focus of the rum blend to something a bit spicier and funkier. For completion's sake, I should mention Sam's other paired cocktail, the Little Branch Cocktail, which jazzes up tequila with a hint of Mezcal.
All three of the drinks pair the spirit mix with a honey-ginger syrup; while both of Sam's cut the sweet with lemon juice, John chose lime juice to better complement the rum. The Panacea that bartender Bryn Tattan made me was like a bubbles-less Air Mail. Surrounding this impression, the Panacea started with a slightly smoky and funky nose and ended with a heavy ginger spice on the swallow.

snare drum

2 oz Banks Rum
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

On Wednesday evening, Andrea and I went down to Drink to attend the release party for Banks 5 Island Rum, a white rum that is a blend of spirits aged 3 to 12 years. Four of the rums (or rum blends) are from the Caribbean, namely Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Guyana, with the fifth being Batavia Arrack from Java. Five island is a bit of a misnomer as Guyana is part of the South American continent (but is still considered part of the Caribbean). The light touch of Batavia Arrack adds some spice to the vegetal rum laced with barrel-aged vanilla notes. Jim Meehan from Manhattan's Please Don't Tell was at the event, and I had a chance to speak to him about his role as a rum blend adviser for the spirit. His beverage contribution for the evening was a tea-laden punch that was a good welcome to the event.
The cocktail menu had five other drinks, and luckily I bumped into John Gertsen who talked me through the history and happenstance for each of the recipes created by the Drink staff. The first one I sampled was bartender California Gold's Snare Drum which she made for me over at the ice bar. Her drink was a take on the High Hat substituting the classic's rye for the Banks Rum. To take the drink in a different and more tropical direction, she supplemented the Cherry Heering and lemon juice with orgeat, cinnamon syrup, and Peychaud's Bitters. A lemon oil aroma kicked off the drink, and the sip was fruity with the lemon and cherry flavors followed by orgeat's almond notes on the swallow. In addition, with successive sips, the cinnamon from the syrup played a increasingly stronger role on the swallow. The rum created a lot lighter style of drink than the High Hat's whiskey, and the drink was further softened by the sugary syrups in the mix. Also noteworthy was how well the rum's vanilla notes complemented the Cherry Heering.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

hotel georgia

2 oz Gin (Cascade Mountain)
1 oz Orgeat (Trader Tiki)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
10 drop Orange Flower Water
1 Egg White or Whole Egg (Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a cocktail glass.

After dinner on Tuesday, I began a search for a good dessert cocktail. When I opened up Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up, I immediately spotted the Hotel Georgia which I had noted before when I was in the mood for something either lighter or drier. The drink was created at the hotel of the same name in Vancouver sometime after it opened in 1927 and before the book was first published in 1951. I probably was slightly deterred before as the ounce of orgeat and the ten drops of orange flower water both seem a little over the top in quantity; perhaps the egg white would be able to tone down their intensity and sweetness.
The Hotel Georgia's nose was a bouquet of citrus from the lemon juice and orange flower water. The orange flower water also played a large role in the flavor profile as it remained from sip to swallow. The rest of the flavor was the lemon with an interesting herbalness to it. Furthermore, the orgeat appeared on the swallow although it was surprisingly muted for orgeat; as the drink warmed up, it became sweeter and more almondy. Overall, the Hotel Georgia made for a tasty dessert cocktail.


3/4 oz Swedish Punsch (Homemade)
1/2 oz Cherry Brandy (Cherry Heering)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Ojen or Absinthe (1 barspoon Herbsaint)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Tuesday night as I was making dinner, I flipped through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Madam. This straight spirits drink intrigued me for it paired the spicy and rummy Swedish Punsch with cherry brandy which I interpreted as the rich Cherry Heering instead of the dry Kirsch. In addition, the small recipe size would give me an excuse to bring out some of our collection of smaller-sized vintage cocktail glasses. My only fear was that the drink was going to be too sweet.
The Madam's nose was cherry -- at least there was a part of her that was -- combined with a citrus note perhaps from the lemon-rind infused Swedish Punsch coupling with the citrus-peel containing dry vermouth. A sweet cherry sip was chased by a rum swallow punctuated with spicy notes from the Herbsaint and the Swedish Punsch's Batavia Arrack and spices. After a few sips, the Herbsaint's anise became a light, lingering flavor throughout the sip. Andrea enjoyed the drink which she felt made a decent aperitif despite its sweetness; she commented in regard to the spice notes that "this is a Madam with a wink!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

[winifred banks]

2 oz Banks Rum
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters
2 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

On Monday night, we headed over to Drink for their Day of the Dead celebration. While waiting for seats at the bar, bartender Tyler Wang came over and took our drink orders. I had to pass on a drink order until he came back with Andrea's Rosita. At that point, I had the idea of a Mezcal Sazerac and Tyler seemed pretty stoked by the concept. I guess that I was pleased by the result too, for he later made three more after people heard what I was drinking.

Finally, some seats opened up at Josey Packard's station. When I asked if there was anything new that she had been working on, she replied that she had created a drink for the Banks Rum release party later in the week, but her entry was too late to be considered (I will speak more about the rum itself in later posts about the event). The drink lacked a name, but I was intrigued when I heard that the other two major ingredients were Galliano and Benedictine. When I inquired as to why she chose the yellow liqueur of 1970's wonder, Josey explained that Galliano was the other Maraschino to her. It has a lot of body and richness like Maraschino but not as pushy; moreover, she discovered that it pairs well with Benedictine.

Josey dared us to come up with a name for the drink. The best I could do today was Winifred Banks -- the children's mother who sings the empowering "Sister Suffragette" number in Disney's Mary Poppins (*). The drink's nose was full of herbal notes such as Galliano's vanilla and sarsaparilla and Benedictine's darker notes. The Galliano definitely complemented the rum's vanilla and fruity notes and the Benedictine the rum's earthy ones. The Galliano seemed to stay more in the sip and the Benedictine in the swallow; the transition between the two was smooth and the Benedictine functioned to dry out the swallow a bit.

(*) Andrea went the other direction and recommended Briana Banks, the adult film star. Her blond hair does match Galliano's hue.

hot kentucky flip

1 Egg
1 pinch ground Clove (1 clove, muddled)
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
Juice 1/4 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1/2 tsp Sugar (Turbinado)
1 jigger Jamaica Rum (1 oz Appleton VX, 1 oz Smith & Cross)

Beat up egg with spices. Add rest of ingredients and mix (shake in cobbler shaker). Divide equally into two hot drink glasses. Fill with boiling water (4 oz each), stir, and serve. I added a lemon peel as a garnish to each.

On Saturday night, we were in the mood for a toddy and I spotted the Hot Kentucky Flip in George J. Kappeler's Modern American Drinks. From the name, you would expect the drink to be made with Bourbon, but alas, it calls for Jamaica rum. With only a jigger to divide between two portions, an overproof like J. Wray & Nephew or Smith & Cross would put this drink in the right boozy ball park. I opted for some funky overproof of Smith & Cross combined with the richness of Appleton; moreover, I increased the rum volume to a full ounce per serving.
The flip's steam was filled with lemon and pot-stilled rum aromas. The sip contained lemon and the egg's richness followed by rum, clove, and cinnamon on the swallow. The addition of the lemon peel was a positive one, for it donated considerably to the aromatics of this drink as it does in many hot toddy recipes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

judgment day

3/4 oz + 1/2 tsp Pisco (25 mL Macchu Pisco)
3/4 oz + 1/2 tsp St. Germain (25 mL)
1/3 oz Lime Juice (10 mL)
1/3 oz Lemon Juice (10 mL)
1 tsp Simple Syrup (5 mL Gomme)
1/2 tsp Absinthe (2.5 mL Pernod Fils)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with 4 drops or 1 spray of Allspice Dram.
For a cocktail on Friday night, I flipped through my new purchase of Absinthe Cocktails and spotted a recipe by Charles Vexenat of London's Lonsdale bar. We got to hear Mr. Vexenat speak this year at Tales of the Cocktail as he was one of the presenters for the Bariana: The Golden Age of French Cocktails seminar. He created this drink for a friend of his who helped him out of a "stick situation" and modified the Pisco Sour into something much more complex and intriguing. While the book did not elaborate, the web did:
On 16th May 2008, superstar bartender Charles Vexenat was unjustly jailed in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail after Dre dropped a glass bottle in the Old Absinthe House. Fortunately for Charles he was saved a second day in the slammer by Melanie Asher, owner of Macchu Pisco, who bailed him out. This cocktail, created at PDT, New York City, is Charles's tribute to Melanie.
Judgment Day started with aromas from the Allspice Dram garnish floating on the egg white foam and from the abundant portion of St. Germain liqueur in the mix. Like a Pisco Sour, the drink had a sweet citrus sip combined with the aromatic grape notes of the pisco. However, the Judgment Day differed from the classic on the swallow, for there it had extra botanical flavors from the St. Germain and the light touch of absinthe.

fresa catrina

2 oz Espolón Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup (Gomme)
1 small Strawberry
10 Black Peppercorns

Muddle peppercorns and strawberry. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Pernod Fils) cocktail glass.

With today being the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead, I am right on time to post this last holiday-themed cocktail. After posting the Ashes to Ashes created by H. Joseph Ehrmann for Espolón Tequila, a rep spotted that we had made their drink with the reposado tequila we had on hand. She wrote and asked if we wanted some samples to try out the drinks the way they were intended to be made. Of course we agreed, and a few days later, their reposado and blanco were at our door in festive Day of the Dead packaging. I had my eye on the Fresa Catrina, one of the other recipes beside the Ashes to Ashes that we were sent, and opened the blanco for a taste. The Fresa Catrina was created by Thomas Waugh of Death and Company in New York, and I could see why he paired up the tequila with black peppercorns. The Espolón tequila had a rather intriguing peppery note on its own. The Catrina of the drink is the "Lady of the Dead" associated with the holiday and often represented as a well-dressed upperclass female skeleton; the Fresa of the name is the Spanish word for strawberry.
The Fresa Catrina's nose was ripe with strawberry (perhaps greatly aided by our freshly cut strawberry garnish) and hints of tequila and the absinthe's anise. A sweet strawberry and lemon sip led into tequila spiced with a light amount of anise notes. In addition, the muddled peppercorns exquisitely complemented the natural peppery aftertaste of the Espolón blanco tequila. I was a bit surprised that the drink was not overly sweet despite the recipe having more simple syrup than citrus; in fact, as the drink warmed up, it even became a little bit on the tart side.

Monday, November 1, 2010

pride of the neighborhood

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Averna
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/4+ oz Blackberry Syrup (housemade)
2 dash Mole Bitters
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with 8 drops of Tiki Bitters.

On Wednesday night after attending the wonderful Science of Taste through Cocktails class hosted by LUPEC Boston at Eastern Standard, I felt that I needed a nightcap. The bar at Eastern Standard was already full of patrons and attendees who did not dawdle around after class chatting, so I decided to venture onward. My travels took me across the bridge and into Cambridge. I figured by this hour, the bar at Craigie on Main should have at least one seat open, and I was right. Bartender John Mayer greeted me and asked what I was in the mood for. When I replied a nightcap, he countered "Egg?" With the affirmative, he proceeded to name the ingredients one by one in this flip, and the affirmatives kept on coming until I nodded that he should make the darn thing already. The drink was named "Pride of the Neighborhood (Donald Fagen is a Vampire)" after a lyric from the Steely Dan song "Josie." John would not elaborate too much on why Donald Fagen was a vampire other than that it was obvious, but as we all learned from the Appleton Remixology contest, the man is very serious about his music and uses it quite well for recipe inspiration.
The Pride of the Neighborhood started with a cardamom and cinnamon aroma from the housemade tiki bitters floated on the egg froth. These spice notes from the bitters on the nose transitioned very well into the Averna flavors on the tongue. The malty and rich sip from the Bols Genever and egg was followed by a complex berry and cherry flavor combined with the dark amaro notes of the Averna on the swallow. I will not fathom a guess as to how this drink related to the song, but the dark, bitter berry smoothness was quite a smash hit.