Wednesday, February 29, 2012

mabel berra

1/2 jigger Sloe Gin (3/4 oz Averell Damson Gin Liqueur)
1/2 jigger Swedish Punsch (3/4 oz Kronan)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After the Hot Zombie, I still had some lime juice left over, and I remembered that one of the drinks I noted in Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual (1975 edition), the Mabel Berra, called for lime juice. I later checked and the drink also appears in our 1940 reprint of Duffy's 1934 drink book. I made note of the Mabel Berra in the write-up of Citizen-Worcester's Ticket to Paradise for both drinks curiously feature sloe gin and Swedish Punsch. Instead of sloe gin proper, I used the related damson gin which I find to be more pleasing in flavor.
Historically, Mabel Berra was dubbed the "Venus of Vaudeville" for her work in comedic opera during the early part of the 20th century. With 3 octaves of range and a sultry way, she had great success in America and Europe before her untimely demise in 1928. In the drink tribute to her, I noted the Swedish Punsch's rum and Batavia Arrack aromas while Andrea picked up on the fruit notes with a cherry-like aroma. The sip offered lime and tart berry notes that came across almost like strawberry. Finally, the swallow presented Swedish Punsch's complex rum, tea, and spice notes that finished with the damson gin flavor.

hot zombie

2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 small chip Butter
4 oz Boiling Hot Water

Build in an 8 oz mug and stir.

Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a drink I spotted while searching for my Mixology Monday Tiki submission in Jeff Berry's Sippin' Safari. The drink that caught my eye was a hot version of the Zombie published in a 1941 Ron Rico Rum Company recipe book. With the passion fruit syrup, lime and pineapple juices, and brown sugar, Berry pointed out that the recipe shares a resemblance to Louis Spievak's Zombie that was published a few years later in Barbeque Chef from 1950. While Spievak claimed that this was recipe was given to him by Donn Beach, it diverges from Beach's Zombie and aesthetic. So perhaps Spievak modified the Hot Zombie himself into his 1950 recipe.
The Hot Zombie greeted the nose with a steamy pineapple aroma at first that gained passion fruit notes later as it cooled. The brown sugar flavor mingled with the lime and passion fruit ones on the sip, and the rum and pineapple filled the swallow. While there was no spice, absinthe, or bitters in the drink, nutmeg or clove would definitely not be out of place here. Overall, the Hot Zombie was an unusual concept but one that worked in the same way that Deep Ellum's Hot Old Fashioned did.
I also did the Hot Zombie at Loyal Nine when a cold front demolished our hot buttered rum batter stocks right before Valentine's Day 2016. For the holiday drink menu, I had two count of the Hot Buttered Rum but offered for the same price the Hot Zombie. I followed the recipe as above except that I utilized Old Monk Rum instead of Puerto Rican rum and garnished with a floated lime wheel studded with 3 cloves. The garnish donated a Frankenstein monster sort of effect in my mind.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

cortez the killer

2 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolón)
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.

After the Heart's Desire, I was still in the mood for a nightcap. Therefore, I opened up Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011, and Cortez the Killer from Brent Butler of San Francisco's Blackbird fit the bill. The drink is named after a Neil Young song about the Spanish explorer who conquered Mexico for Spain in the 16 century. With the tribute to the fallen Aztec civilization, Butler selected tequila as the based spirit for this drink. Moreover, Gary Regan mentioned in SFGate that Blackbird serves the drink as a barrel-aged one.
The Cortez the Killer presented a tequila and orange oil aroma that led into a dry grape sip. The swallow offered up a complex bitter tequila flavor that finished with complementing chocolate notes. Indeed, the Bonal worked rather well to accentuate the agave notes in the tequila. Looking back, it is very similar to a mezcal cocktail created by John Gertsen and Misty Kalkofen at Drink; while it was served to me with Bonal, it was originally created with another quinquina, namely Boroli Barolo Chinato.

heart's desire

1/3 Swedish Punsch (1 oz Kronan)
1/3 Bacardi Rum (1 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year)
1/3 Grapefruit Juice (1 oz Pink)
2 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Senior Curaçao)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist to the recipe.
Two Saturdays ago, I spotted another good use for Swedish Punsch in 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar from 1934. While I have had Swedish Punch paired with orange, lemon, and lime juice, I had never had it with grapefruit so I was tempted by the Heart's Desire. The recipe also appeared in the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild's Approved Cocktails book where it was attributed to a C.S. Ferrari. The drink began with a funky rum aroma that was accented by fresh grapefruit oils. Next, the pink grapefruit notes bolstered by the Curaçao filled the sip, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of the rum and Swedish Punsch's Batavia Arrack and tea flavors. As the drink warmed up, it became drier and more tannic. Overall, the drink reminded me a bit of a rum-based Bohemian that Josey Packard made me one afternoon at Drink.

Monday, February 27, 2012

dee don

3/8 Booth's Gin (1 oz Beefeater)
3/8 Lillet (1 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/8 Benedictine (1/3 oz)
1/8 Pash, Dry (1/3 oz Ezequiel Passion Fruit Liquor)
Spot of Egg White (1/3 Egg White)

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

Two Friday nights ago, after making the Don's Beach Planter for Mixology Monday, we were still in a slightly tropical mood. When my eyes spied the unopened bottle of Ezequiel Passion Fruit Liquor, I decided to retry the Dee Don. The first time we made the recipe, I had used Passoã but I did not appreciate how the product was rife with artificial colors and flavors. While I am used to liqueurs being artificially colored (i.e.: Campari), the candy-like faux passion fruit flavor irritated me. Therefore, we asked bartender Stephen Shellenberger, and he recommended the Ezequiel brand which is devoid of artificial flavors and colorants.
The Dee Don from the Café Royal Cocktail Book was a 1930's original of the UK bartenders guild. The drink presented a floral, apricot-like aroma from the pairing of the Cocchi Americano and the passion fruit liqueur. The sip was citrus and passion fruit driven, and the swallow showcased the gin, floral, and Benedictine's herbal notes.


1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac 6)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Perhaps an orange or lemon twist would work well here.

Two weeks ago for Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum, the theme was "Bitter" and it might have been in the wake of the previous one entitled "Not Love, Just Lust." The event was described as, "Because you know, sometimes, you just have to say 'fuck the world' and drink something dreadfully bitter." For a starting point, I thought about the Fernet Branca-laden Alcazer and made it into a Sour. With Fernet putting up a fight, the drink got dubbed after one of the famous pugilistic match ups of the last century; it also helped that I thought the classic was spelled Alacazer.
The Ali-Frazier punched the nose with orange and menthol notes. While the sip was citrussy from the lemon juice and orange liqueur, the swallow was started with the rye and a big minty wave of flavor that ended with lingering menthol and lemon notes. Overall, it reminded me a lot of the Frisco Sour in how the liqueur was softened by the citrus component.

Friday, February 24, 2012

bramble and arabica

1/4 oz House Coffee Liqueur (*)
1 oz Privateer Amber Rum
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 barspoon Massenez Crème de Mûre
1 pinch Salt
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a dusting of fine espresso coffee grounds.
(*) Coffee liqueur was made from Bully Boy White Whiskey, Tony Maws' house coffee blend containing Guatemalan, Sumatran, and a third type of coffee beans, and the house espresso roast beans. A 24-hour steep followed by straining and sweetening with demerara syrup.

After the Eastern Promise, bartender Ted Gallagher suggested a Flip that recently appeared on the menu. Ted found the drink, the Bramble and Arabica, interesting in how it played with the bitter, fruity, and acid notes found in coffee. Clearly, the Arabica part of the name referred to the coffee part of the drink, and the Bramble was a nod to the blackberry liqueur that also appears in the neo-classic Bramble drink or perhaps just where blackberries can be found. While I have not noted blackberry notes in coffee recently, I have enjoyed the blueberry flavors that appear in the Fair Trade Guatemalan beans that Harvest Co-op in Central sells.
The Bramble and Arabica greeted the nose with a dark roast coffee aroma, and the roasted flavor continued on into the rich, creamy sip. The swallow offered up the more bitter and earthy elements of the coffee along with added complexity from the Punt e Mes; finally, the drink ended with a light and lingering fruit note from some combination of the blackberry liqueur, the coffee beans' terroir, and the Punt e Mes' grape flavors. When I commented to Ted that the rum was rather subtle in the drink, he replied that it served to provide a good backbone to the drink and that it was rather complementary to the coffee flavors.

eastern promise

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato
1/2 oz Zucca
1 barspoon Jeppson's Malört

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass rinsed with Caol Ila Scotch.

Wednesday last week, Andrea and I paid a visit to Craigie on Main where bartenders Ted Gallagher and Jared Sadoian were behind the stick. When I asked Ted if he had any new drink ideas, he did not miss a beat and pulled out the bottle of Jeppson's Malört. I had completely forgotten than he had taunted me a week or two earlier with a photo of the stuff on Facebook. Malört is a bitter Swedish style of schnapps made domestically and sold in Chicago that is renowned for its bad taste and the faces people make when trying it. Ted gave me a taste, and I was surprised at how delicious it was with its gentian, minty, and wormwood notes. Ted surmised that people might not like it since it is low on the sugar content to balance the bitterness, but after tasting so many nonpotable bitters, I was unphased.
For a drink, Ted suggested the Eastern Promise named after the hope that his friend would bring him back a bottle of this European-styled spirit. The Eastern Promise's Scotch rinse paid dividends on the aroma for it contributed an alluring smokey note. The chinato's grape filled the sip, and the swallow began with the Cognac that led into the chinato and Zucca notes. The Malört worked quite well to impart a light, lingering bitter note to the aftertaste.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

warning label

1 oz Cynar
1 oz Overproof Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart 151)
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
1 dash Grapefruit Bitters (Housemade)

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

The Capetown's rum notes from the Swedish Punsch tempted me to have another rum cocktail that night. When our unopened bottle of Lemon Hart 151 caught my eye, I decided to find Maksym Pazuniak's Warning Label from Beta Cocktails to give that bottle some use. While the recipe calls for an overproof Demerara rum, I found the El Dorado High Strength Rum to be a little too gasoline like for my tastes. Therefore, I held off on making this recipe until we had a bottle of the Lemon Hart 151 which recently returned to the American market.
The Warning Label began politely with a lemon oil and rich Demerara aged rum aroma that led into a grape and caramel sip. The swallow, however, presented the rum's overproof heat, followed by the Punt e Mes' bitterness, and finally the Cynar's herbalness. Strangely, something in the mix was donating a minty note to the swallow, and we surmised that it was the rum's punch interacting with the Cynar's botanicals. Looking back, I did note a similar combination of rum and Cynar conjuring a mint-like flavor in the Cynar Julep (and perhaps the Art of Choke) as well.


2/3 jigger Swedish Punsch (1 1/2 oz Kronan)
2 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera)
2 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist garnish.
Tuesday last week, I wanted to experiment some more with the Kronan Swedish Punsch after enjoying the Green Line. Within the rum section of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, I found the Capetown; given the name, I was surprised that it did not contain the defunct South African quinquina Caperitif that is often found in similarly names drinks. The Capetown offered an orange and lemon aroma that led in a lemon and grape sip. On the swallow, the Swedish Punsch's funky spice, rum, and Batavia Arrack notes were balanced by the rich sherry; overall, the Punsch and the sherry were a novel combination for me and I was impressed at how well they worked together.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

queen eleanor

1 1/2 oz Gin (Ryan & Wood Knockabout)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Crème de Pêche (Briottet Maison Edmond CdP de Vigne)
1 dash Celery Bitters (homemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Monday last week, I selected the Queen Eleanor from Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 as our nightcap. This Martini variation was created by Brandon Josie of 15 Romolo in San Francisco. The Queen Eleanor greeted us with a lemon oil aroma that contained a hint of peach. Next, the sip presented the dry vermouth flavors along with some added sweetness from the crème de pêche. On the swallow, peach flavors led into the bitters' celery and the gin's botanicals at the end; surprisingly, the peach and celery notes complemented each other rather well.

gail collins

1 1/4 Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Top with ~3 oz soda water and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist and add a straw.

Two Sundays ago on the way home from dinner at Vee Vee in Jamaica Plain, we stopped into Brick & Mortar for a drink. On the highball section of the menu was Misty Kalkofen's tribute to the New York Times' op-ed columnist Gail Collins. Misty described how the drink was originally created a few years ago as a tequila recipe; in switching to mezcal, she had to reduce the spirits volume from 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 oz to maintain the same balance.
The wide lemon twist contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The sip presented the citrus and the sloe gin's berry notes, and the swallow started with the smoky mezcal and ended with Maraschino. Indeed, the sloe gin in the sip and the Maraschino in the swallow provided a pleasing transition that held the drink together.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

sleepy hollow

1/2 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
1/4 jigger Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Vya)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Hawaiian Room, Andrea wanted something lighter to drink and asked if I could find a sherry recipe. Having remembered a few decent sherry ones in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, I found and offered up the Sleepy Hollow. Generally, most associations with this part of Tarrytown, New York, have to do with the 1820 short story about Ichabod Crane. Indeed, during the drink book's time period, a silent film version of the story, The Headless Horseman, was released in 1922 that starred Will Rogers as Ichabod and could have served as the impetus for the drink's name.
The Sleepy Hollow greeted the nose with an apricot and sherry aroma. A lime and grape sip led into a delightfully sour prunish flavor on the swallow. We surmised that the prune aspect was from the apricot liqueur being influenced by the sherry, vermouth, and citrus.

hawaiian room

1 oz Rum (Appleton V/X)
1/2 oz Applejack (Morin Selection Calvados)
1/2 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I delved into Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up and discovered a drink named after the Hawaiian Room at the Hotel Lexington in New York City. In 1937, the hotel converted their unsuccessful basement dining room into a Hawaiian themed extravaganza that included a band, hula dancers, South Seas decor, and Polynesian food. Often touted as pre-Tiki, the success of this venture helped to launch Hawaiian rooms in other locations. In mixology lore, one of the people associated with the room's success was Joseph Baum; in one of Joe's later ventures, he influenced a young Dale Degroff and introduced Dale to Jerry Thomas' Bon-Vivant’s Companion.
The Hawaiian Room presented a fruity aroma from the pineapple juice and orange liqueur. With a lemon and orange sip, the apple and rum notes filled the swallow along with the pineapple. With the rum and apple flavors, the Hawaiian Room reminded me of the peach- instead of pineapple-driven Everyman Afterall created at Jbird, a mere 30 blocks away from the Hotel Lexington.

Monday, February 20, 2012

hannibal hamlin

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack (van Oosten)
1 1/2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
3/4 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I split this recipe two ways and added a lemon twist.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided on a curious drink I spotted in the Big Bartender's Book called the Hannibal Hamlin. Actually, there were two versions of it, and I was drawn more to the Batavia Arrack one found in F.J. Beutel's 1919 Die Modernen Getränke than the other one listed below:
Hannibal Hamlin (variation)
• 1 1/2 oz Rum
• 1 1/2 oz Cognac
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/2 oz Orange Juice
• 1/3 oz Honey (2 tsp)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. From American en Fancy Drinks Ijsrecepten en Dranken by W. Slagter cerca 1920.
What was exceptionally curious is why two German recipe books have a drink named after a vice president of the United States. Hamlin only served under Lincoln during his first term before being replaced by Andrew Johnson. With Hamlin's poor political record, TIME magazine actually ranked him as one of the worst vice presidents ever. Instead of becoming president after Lincoln was assassinated in the subsequent term, Hamlin spent the time "cavorting around Europe with his wife as a diplomat to Spain, until the age of 75." I surmised that in one of his adventures, he charmed German barmen into naming a drink after him. With a little research, I discovered that Matt Hamlin of A Jigger of Blog spotted the drink's name in a late 19th century list of libations Harry Johnson made at his bar; however, Johnson never left a recipe for it to confirm if either of these two are similar to his. I later discovered that William Schmidt may have recorded the earliest written recipe for this drink in his 1891 The Flowing Bowl:
Hannibal Hamlin (variation)
• Juice 1/2 Lemon
• Juice 1/2 Orange
• 2/3 Peach Brandy
• 1/3 Old Jamaican Rum
• 2 Tbsp Honey
Shake with ice and strain into a fancy glass.
Given that the Only William's recipe is closer to Slagter's, I have to assume that the Beutel one is a more distant variation.
The Hannibal Hamlin began with a lemon oil and funky Batavia Arrack aroma. The orange in the sip was bolstered by the maple's richness, and the swallow presented the Arrack softened by the Cognac and maple syrup. Indeed, the Arrack was not as aggressive or quirky as it can be, although the balance did become a bit sharper as the drink warmed up.

30th century man

3/4 oz Ardbeg 10 Year Scotch (Caol Ila 12 Year)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
3/4 oz Cointreau
2 dash Kübler Absinthe (<1 br="" oz="">
Shake with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry (Luxardo Maraschino). One description of the drink I found online stated that the absinthe was added as a rinse instead of in the mixing glass.

After Thursday Drink Night last week, Andrea wanted a nightcap, so I opened up Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 and spotted the 30th Century Man created by Nathan Weber of Tavern Law in Seattle. The drink reminded me of a Scotch-based 20th Century crossed with a Corpse Reviver #2. The former must have been a bigger influence for Nathan given the name; moreover, he dubbed the drink after the Scott Walker song that appears in Life Aquatic.
The 30th Century Man greeted the nose with a Scotch and absinthe aroma. A sweet orange and lemon sip was chased by the swallow that presented Scotch followed by chocolate notes and an absinthe finish. Even with a smoky whisky like Caol Ila, the balance was rather mild for a Scotch drink.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

don's beach planter

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXIV) was picked by Doug Winship of the Pegu Blog. The theme he chose was "Tiki!" which is perfect for February has been Tiki month on his blog for the past few years. Doug described the month's theme as, "The Tiki scene, like classic cocktails in general, is reviving nicely these days. The lush, decadent marriage of tropical flavors and exotic kitsch carries us away to a better, less dreary place. Please join in and add your words, images, and offerings to the Tiki Gods."

Here in Boston, we have a strange predicament when it comes to Tiki. We have a gorgeously kitchy Tiki palace called Kowloon in the suburbs. Kowloon is one of the largest Tiki palaces in the country and replete with waterfalls, boats, carved statues, bamboo, and palm trees. While the food is Polynesian and the drinks have authentic names, what is served to you in glasses, mugs, and bowls is unrecognizable as a Mai Tai or other. I remember wondering which Suffering Bastard recipe I was going to receive only to discover that the answer was "none of the above." On the other end of things, we have establishments like Drink, Eastern Standard, and Clio all offering classic Tiki drinks on their menus with an eye on authenticity and quality; however, those bars are rather Western and undecorated.

At least when we make drinks at our home bar, we can flip through the pages of Jeff Berry's books to get the proper visual stimulation. In searching Sippin' Safari, I was intrigued by Don's Beach Planter, a creation of Don the Beachcomber back in 1937. This Planter's Punch-style drink shared some similarities with one of the more famous ones, the 1934 Zombie, especially with the anise accents from the Pernod; however, the passion fruit syrup and brandy took the drink in an entirely different direction.
Don's Beach Planter
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
• 1 oz Pineapple Juice
• 1 oz Amber Martinique Rum (JM Rhum)
• 1/4 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
• 1/4 oz Christian Brothers Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 6 drop (1/8 tsp) Herbsaint or Pernod (Pernod Absinthe)
• 4 oz Crushed Ice
Blend for 5 seconds and pour into a pilsner glass. Fill more crushed ice. Instead of blending, I shook with ice and strained into highball glass filled with crushed ice; I added a straw and garnished with a lime twist.
The Don's Beach Planter began with fruit notes that were accented by fresh lime oils. While the lime and passion fruit flavors filled the sip, the rums and a hint of pineapple came through on the swallow that concluded with spice from the Angostura and absinthe. The combination of the fruits presented an almost mango note and helped to make this drink way too easy to finish.
So Mahalo Nui Loa to Doug, our Luau host this month, and to Paul Clarke, the Big Kahuna who saves us from volcanoes and tidal waves each and every Mixology Monday.

Friday, February 17, 2012

crush on a bartender

1/2 oz Mezcal (Sombra)
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Pernod).

Last week for Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum, the theme was "Not Love Just Lust" in anti-honor of the impending Valentine's Day holiday. The event's theme was described as, "Sure Valentine's Day is coming, but let's skip past love and get to a drink that you don't want a relationship with, you just want to have and be done with. A shot, a cocktail with no mixer, something rough and delicious that'll leave you feeling sated and a bit guilty later." For the shot's sweetener, my eyes focused on Drambuie. Since Drambuie works rather well with tequila in drinks like the Kilted Pistolero, I wondered how it would work with mezcal. With lime to dry out the Drambuie and complement the agave spirit, I felt that the drink needed a bit more panache and thus added an absinthe rinse. Andrea was the one who came up with the name; she was perhaps influenced by Brick and Mortar's shooter special entitled "Crush on a Stripper."

The Crush on a Bartender began with an anise nose from the rinse. The sip matched the Drambuie's honey against the lime juice with accents from the absinthe's anise, and the swallow presented the smoky mezcal and tartness from the lime. Overall, I think the shooter fit the theme quite well save for the feeling guilty bit. Well, maybe I felt guilty about using the Yelp swag that I garnered at a Second Glass wine event last year but not for the drink itself.

king's bitter

1 oz Maurin Quina
1/2 oz King's Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz S. Maria al Monte Amaro
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with prosecco.

Wednesday last week, I attended a spirits tasting event at Hawthorne hosted by Origin Beverage Company. The bartenders there were mixing up a few cocktails using some of the product lines, and the drink that tempted me was the King's Bitter created at Island Creek Oyster Bar next door. The King's Bitter began with a ginger and dark grape aroma that later presented lighter grape notes from the prosecco. The sparkling wine's dry grape paired well with the lime on the sip. The swallow began with the Carpano Antica and Maurin's grape and fruit notes and ended with a dry lime finish. The ginger slowly crept up on the swallow such that it was detectable by the second or third sip and played an herbal role along with the amaro soon after.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

port royal

1 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
1 oz English Harbor 5 Year Rum
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 barspoon Grenadine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Add a straw and garnish with a lime wedge and a cherry.

For my second drink at Eastern Standard, I asked Seth Freidus for the Port Royal which he crafted for the new cocktail menu. With the subtitle of "change of rum, change of port," it was a variation of Don the Beachcomber's late 1930's Port au Prince. Instead of Haitian and Virgin Island rums, Seth opted for Jamaican and Antiguan spirits.
The Port Royal's aroma shared a dark rum and fruitiness with the senses. The sip contained the rum's caramel notes and lime juice, and the swallow presented the rum, pineapple, falernum's clove, and Angostura's spice. As the ice melted and the sugar was diluted, the Port Royal became more tart and spice driven.

coup d'état

1 1/2 oz Johnnie Walker Red Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Bauchant Orange Liqueur
1 barspoon (1/8 oz) Fernet Branca

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tuesday last week, Andrea and I had dinner at Eastern Standard. For a first drink, I asked bartender Seth Freidus for the Coup d'État. Seth explained that the recipe was created by bartender Josh Taylor as a variation of the rum classic El Presidente. While Scott Holliday had made me a Scotch Presidente before via a swapping of spirits, Josh's concept was a complete reworking of the concept and the name symbolized that quite well.
The Coup d'État offered a Scotch aroma with a hint of Fernet Branca's herbalness. The sip was fruit-driven with grape and pomegranate flavors, and the swallow began with the smokey Scotch pairing with the Punt e Mes' bitterness. Finally, the swallow ended with the Fernet's menthol notes and the Bauchaunt's orange ones.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

[latest buzz]

3/4 oz Grappa di Moscato
3/4 oz Cristinalda Brandymel Honey Liqueur
3/4 oz Vergano Americano Chinato
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and double strain into a wine glass.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured over to Brookline Village to eat dinner at Pomodoro. For a drink, I was eyeing the house Margarita and bartender Stephen Shellenberger asked if I wanted something in a similar style but with funkier ingredients. The most intriguing one he used was a Portuguese honey liqueur flavored with herbs. For the liqueur's base spirit, a moonshine brandy from the arbutus (sometimes called the medronho or strawberry tree) fruit is made by the local farmers. The farmers either trade the spirit for the use of the land or sell it to the liqueur maker directly. With a grappa as a spirit, a chinato for complexity, and lime juice for crispness, the drink took form as a curious Daisy. The honey liqueur played an integral roll in the drink and it first appeared in the aroma along with some floral notes. The lime, grape, and honey flavors filled the sip, and the swallow offered up more robust grape notes with the Brandymel's honey funkiness.

swamp water fix

1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 drop Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

Build in a water goblet. Fill with crushed ice and swizzle to mix. Insert a wide lime twist in the glass, top with ice, and add a straw.
For my second drink at No. 9 Park, I was envious of the one Andrea started with, namely the Swamp Water Fix. When I inquired about its origins, bartender Ted Kilpatrick described how an a middle-aged couple came into bar and spotted the bottle of Green Chartreuse. They asked Ted if he could make a Swamp Water which was a libation they used to have at the Rathskeller (now where Eastern Standard is) that contained Green Chartreuse and pineapple juice (and according to the vintage 1977 ad below, also lime juice). To more firmly support the drink's origins in the 1970s, Stan Jones' Complete Barguide is the earliest book I own to contain the recipe. Whether Ted served them the Swamp Water Fix then or created it later as an afterthought, the end result is quite stunning. Ted was quick to point out that the wide lime twist garnishing the drink is meant to resemble a serpent in the swamp water. With the green color, pineapple juice, and swamp theme, I commented that the idea reminded me of the Gator Cum drink that I was served in New Orleans in 2010, except here Green Chartreuse made for a better colorant than Midori. Moreover, I praised Ted for returning to the Fix after serving me a delightful Brandy Fix a year and a half ago.
The Swamp Water Fix presented a Green Chartreuse and lime aroma that led into a lime and pineapple sip. The swallow was funky meeting herbal with a bounty of Batavia Arrack and Green Chartreuse flavors. The pineapple returned as a lingering aftertaste that later gained a dry lime and an almost cherry-like note.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

figure eight

1 3/4 oz Anchor's Junipero Gin
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and double strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with 3 spritzes of juniper-infused Neisson Rhum Agricole.

On Superbowl Sunday, Andrea and I visited No. 9 Park where we were sure that no television would be the focus of the evening. Instead of the cheers and groans of sports fans, our ears were soothed by the sounds of French folk songs as No. 9 Park had converted itself into a tribute to Parisian bistro Chez L'ami Louis for the night. For a start, bartender Ted Kilpatrick recommended the Figure Eight. When I inquired why there was a juniper-infused rhum rinse when the spirit involved was the potent Junipero Gin, Ted explained that without the rinse, the drink came across a bit too much like an aperitif in style. The rhum aspect of the rinse helped to dry out the drink and bring out the falernum's notes, whereas the fresh juniper part brightened the drink and made it seem crisper. Indeed, he named it the Figure Eight for the alternation of the rhum-tropical and the gin-vermouth focus kept repeating like an infinity sign or a number eight.
The juniper-infused rhum agricole contributed greatly to the drink's aroma where it joined the falernum's lime and spice notes; later, the bouquet was more grassy and vegetal with a curry-like spice to it. The sip offered up the citrus and the Dolin Blanc flavors which led into the gin swallow that ended with the lemon's tartness.


2 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to peruse Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 for ideas. One that stood out was the Dirt'n'Diesel by Cale Green who bartends at Tavern Law (and the Needle & Thread located above Tavern Law) in Seattle. The recipe appeared like an embittered Corn'n'Oil, and the similarities of the two names seemed to support that. The drink was mention in a GQ article about 25 best cocktail bars in America; apparently, an organic farmer from Portland stepped into the bar and asked Cale to make him a drink that would honor spending all day on a tractor, and the Dirt'n'Diesel was the result.
The drink's aroma presented rich blackstrap molasses notes along with sharper ones from the lime and Fernet Branca. The sip matched up the molasses and lime, and the swallow showcased a tamed Fernet Branca that ended earthier instead of menthol-driven. Perhaps the Fernet-laden swallow was softened by the Cynar or perhaps the heaviness of the rum.

Monday, February 13, 2012

green line

1/2 Seagers Gin (1 1/2 oz Knockabout)
1/6 Gronsteldt Swedish Punsch (1/2 oz Kronan)
1/6 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/6 Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Bols Blue Curaçao (1 tsp Senior Curaçao + 1/2 drop blue food coloring)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the They Shall Inherit the Earth, Andrea wanted a Swedish Punsch drink that would utilize our unopened bottle of Kronan. For inspiration, I opened up the Café Royal Cocktail Book and found the Green Line. Just like the Bluebeard's Passion, the Green Line proves that drinks containing blue Curaçao are not necessarily cheesy; perhaps the 1930's British aesthetic assists in giving the recipes some dignity. The Green Line, of course, is not named after the subway line here in Boston but a train line in London that was converted from the Metropolitan Line into their subway's Green Line 1933.
While I do not own blue Curaçao, the addition of food coloring converted our ordinary clear liqueur quite well -- perhaps too well given its potency; indeed, it paired up with the orange juice to create the intended green hue. The Green Line began with a citrus and rum aroma that led into an orange and dry vermouth's grape flavored sip. The Swedish Punsch notes started the swallow that ended with the gin's botanicals. Overall, the drink was similar to an orange juice-laden Suedoise; aesthetically, that drink's orange color was much easier to process than the Green Line's artificial hue.

they shall inherit the earth

1/3 Brandy (1 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1/3 Lemon Juice (1 oz)
1/6 Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1/6 Benedictine (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.

Friday night after dinner, I was browsing Esquire's The Art of Mixing Drinks and spotted a drink I had made years ago before I started writing for the blog. The drink was created by author Morley Callaghan, and he named it after his novel, They Shall Inherit the Earth. The book was written in 1935 about a father and son's tribulations during the Great Depression, but I could not find any information about when the drink itself was actually created. Apparently, Morley was concerned later in life that he would be remembered solely for knocking down the larger Ernest Hemingway in a boxing match in Paris refereed by F. Scott Fitzgerald. While I have read none of his books (and thus living up to his fears), I will try to tack on this Sidecar variation onto his boxing prowess.
The They Shall Inherit the Earth began with an orange oil aroma with a hint of lemon notes which mirrored the sip containing lemon juice and orange liqueur flavors. Next, the swallow presented the brandy mixed with the herbal notes of the Benedictine and ended with a tart lemon note. While it was a drier, more complex Sidecar, it reminded me more of the apple brandy Honeymoon Cocktail that Ted Haigh unearthed in his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

oregon trail

1 3/4 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Charteuse
1/2 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/4 oz Soberano Brandy
4 drops Scrappy's Lavender Bitters

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

Two Fridays ago, I ventured down to Backbar and found a seat in front of bartender Joseph Cammarata. The item that intrigued me was the drink of the week, the Oregon Trail, created by bartender J.B. Bernstein. While the name made reference to the old computer game teaching kids about life out West in the 19th century, the drink taught imbibers about (18th and) 19th century style liquors made today out West. Indeed, the Old Tom Gin from Oregon's Ransom Spirits was the base for this herbal and floral number. While I had never had Zirbenz with Ransom's Old Tom before, I did enjoy it with Hayman's Old Tom in No. 9 Park's Bold Proposition.
The Oregon Trail began with a lemon oil aroma that was complemented by floral notes from the lavender bitters and perhaps elements of the Yellow Chartreuse. The sweeter aspect of the Yellow Chartreuse and the smooth brandy notes filled the sip; the brandy was added to this drink to donate a little extra body to the balance. The swallow began with pine notes from the Zirbenz and herbal elements from the gin; the swallow ended a little sharper with the Yellow Chartreuse and lavender notes. Luckily, true to the drink's description, no one died of dysentery that night.

Friday, February 10, 2012


2/3 jigger Rye (1 1/2 oz Sazerac 6 Year)
1/4 jigger Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Cherry Brandy (1/2 oz Cherry Heering)
1 dash Ojen Bitters (1/8 oz Herbsaint)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a Luxardo cherry.

After the Pare de Sufrir, I decided to make a nightcap from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 called the Infurator. I am still not sure if that was a misspelling of Infuriator (*), but the recipe reminded me of a dry instead of sweet vermouth Remember the Maine. Originally I made the drink with half as much Cherry Heering a listed above; however, the flavor was a little lacking without the sweet vermouth's fullness and sugar content. When I remade the drink with more cherry brandy the next day, I was quite pleased with the result.
The Infurator's aroma contained rye notes and I detected the Herbsaint's anise and Andrea picked up more on the cherry notes. The rye's malt and a slight fruit note from the dry vermouth and Cherry Heering filled the sip. The Cherry Heering really shone through on the swallow where it joined the Herbsaint's herbal notes which lingered on into the finish. The Infurator was pretty lightly bodied and dry compared to the Remember the Maine, and it possessed a beautiful subtlety to it.

(*) I later discovered an Infuriator but it was 2 parts brandy, 1 part anisette.

pare de sufrir

1 1/2 oz Lustau San Emilio Pedro Ximénez Sherry
5/8 oz Chichicapa Mezcal (Sombra)
1/2 oz Galliano Ristretto
1/4 oz Amaro Lucano (3 parts Amaro Nardini:1 part Fernet Branca)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (Housemade Abbott's)

Stir without ice and pour into an espresso cup. Garnish with a small amount of grated canela.

Two Thursdays ago, I opened Beta Cocktails and read off a few drinks to Andrea. She seemed most enthusiastic about the room temperature cocktail, Pare de Sufrir, created by Misty Kalkofen. The drink may be named after a popular mezcal bar in Guadalajara. With sherry and coffee liqueur, it reminded me of Tyler Wang's Rapscallion which may have been influenced by Misty's recipe or style since they both worked at Drink back then.
The Pare de Sufrir presented a coffee and cinnamon aroma with a hint of mezcal. The sip began with a rich, sweet grape flavor that led into a mezcal and coffee swallow. Next, the drink finished with a combination of smoke, bitter, and herbal notes. Indeed, the sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry seemed to soften the balance and allowed for the Pare de Sufrir to require neither chilling nor dilution with ice or water.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


1/3 Gin (1 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Heering)
1/6 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Armistice Cocktail, I opened up Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual and spotted the Gilroy; I tracked the recipe back to Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How To Mix Them before I gave up and decided to make the drink. I am always up for the Heering and lemon juice pairing after falling in love with the sour cherry flavor combination in the High Hat. The Gilroy is actually closer to another drink from a 1930's cocktail book, the Golfer's Special that I found in the Café Royal Cocktail Book. The two drinks are identical except for the Golfer's Special's using Lillet in place of the Gilroy's dry vermouth; however, when I made the Golfer's Special, I interpreted the cherry brandy as kirsch instead.
The Gilroy greeted my nose with a cherry aroma with perhaps a hint of lemon. The lemon and cherry on the sip came across almost like grenadine, and the cherry continued on into the swallow where it paired with the gin. Overall, the lemon and dry vermouth mellowed out the Cherry Heering such that it donated the cherry flavor but came across less like the liqueur and more like cherry juice.

armistice cocktail

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
2 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Wednesday last week, I reached for Left Coast Libations in hopes of finding an alluring recipe from the other side of the country. The one that caught my attention first was the Armistice Cocktail created by Erik Hakkinen of Seattle's Zig Zag Café. With dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, and Maraschino, it reminded me of a more subtle rye Californie Palace from Ted Saucier's Bottom's Up, and with the Manhattan variation structure, it also me think of a Brooklyn.
The Armistice Cocktail began with a Green Chartreuse aroma that was spiced by the bitters' cinnamon note. The rye's malt filled the sip along with Maraschino's more cherry flavors. The funkier aspect of the Maraschino came out in the swallow along with the rye's heat and the Green Chartreuse's complex herbal notes. Moreover, the lingering Maraschino notes were later joined by the bitters' cinnamon after a few swallows.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

dwight street book club

2 oz El Dorado White Rum
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Pedro Ximénez Sherry
1/2 oz Burnt Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass painted with two streaks of port reduction paint (post-rotovapping, boiled down).

Tuesday last week, Andrea and I took the opportunity to visit the newly redesigned bar at Clio. The bar gained about three seats in length as the lounge area on the short side of the bar was removed; this might be expanded to 4 or 5 more seats depending on the chair spacing. Moreover, the bar gained an additional work station for crafting drinks which will come in handy on the busier nights. In addition, the white marble bar top transformed into a wooden one, the back bar acquired a bit of lighting, and the television luckily evaporated. Still the same old Todd Maul behind the stick, but since we had last seen him, he gained a rotovap and seems to have had a lot of fun tinkering and extracting flavors with it. While Andrea tried a drink that had purified aspects of Lillet Blanc, I went with the Dwight Street Book Club that used remnants of a rotovapped port wine as a garnish.
The Dwight Street Book Club offered up a rum and sweet grape aroma. The grape continued on in the sip where it was countered by the lemon. On the swallow, the rum was followed by cinnamon and sherry notes. Overall, the drink was rather lightly bodied; however, as the paint shed from the sides of the glass, it made the last few sips much more heavier in body with rich port flavors.

temporary fix

2 oz Citadelle Gin
1/2 oz Crème de Cassis
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and add straws.

The other drink I had at Brick and Mortar was the Temporary Fix made for me by bartender Misty Kalkofen. Besides my adoration of the Fix, a classic but nearly lost and forgotten drink class, I was lured into ordering this menu item for it was in the structure of the Mississippi (or Missouri) Mule, a recipe we made from one of Duffy's cocktail books shortly after starting to make drinks at home years ago. While I did not ask Misty about how a Fix came on to the menu, I surmise that she wanted to find a good use for the small format ice machine the bar owns.
The Temporary Fix began with a lemony aroma that led into a lemon and berry sip. Most of the cassis notes came through on the swallow though; when paired with the gin's botanicals, the cassis gained an interesting bitter aspect to it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

sentimental gentleman

2 oz Douglas XO Blended Scotch
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I ate dinner at Veggie Galaxy and headed over to Brick and Mortar where bartenders Kenny Belanger and Misty Kalkofen were making drinks. For my first cocktail, I asked Kenny for the Sentimental Gentleman which offered up a peaty smoke aroma from the Scotch that later gained walnut notes as it warmed up. The malt from the Scotch filled the sip, and the swallow was an interplay of the herbal Benedictine and the walnut. Rather poetically, the Sentimental Gentleman got a bit more bitter and sharp over time as it acclimated to room temperature.

benjamin barker daiquiri

2 oz Aged Rum (1 oz Appleton VV, 1 oz Coruba Dark)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Simple Syrup (Jaggery)
1/8 oz Absinthe Verte (La Muse Verte)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a floated lime wheel.

Two Saturdays ago, Andrea was in the mood for an absinthe drink so I opened up Kate Simon's Absinthe Cocktails book looking for inspiration. The recipe that called out to me was from Brain Miller of Death & Co.; his Benjamin Barker Daiquiri was named after one of the aliases Sweeney Todd, the razor-wielding killer of The String of Pearls and The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. What drew me to the recipe was not the absinthe but the addition of Campari to the Daiquiri -- an addition that worked rather well in a Mai Tai variation I was served at Eastern Standard. The Campari also donated the sanguine hue that sparked Brian Miller's imagination in the naming process.
The Benjamin Barker Daiquiri greeted my nose with absinthe, lime, and resinous wood notes from the aged rums. The sip presented lime and rich caramel notes from the rum, and the swallow showcased the funkier aspects of the rums and the bitter notes of the Campari. A lingering absinthe note remained on the aftertaste that strangely seemed more menthol than anise. Overall, the richness of the rums and the raw sugar kept the Campari in check rather well.

Monday, February 6, 2012


1 1/2 oz Virgin Island White Rum (El Dorado 3 Year)
1/2 oz Dark Rum pref. Demerara (Lemon Hart 80)
3/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's Ginger)
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist spiral.

Two Fridays ago, I spotted a rum drink by Jeff Beach Bum Berry that we had passed over in Food & Wines: Cocktails 2010 called the Kon-Tini. The name stems from a reference in Jeff's Sippin' Safari where the introduction explained, "In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl sailed 4,300 miles across the Pacific in the Kon-Tiki, a rickety balsa-log raft. Heyerdahl was a lightweight. Beach Bum Berry's raft, the Kon-Tini, not only travels through oceans... but through time." While Heyerdahl was attempting to prove that pre-Columbian South Americans could have settled Polynesia, Berry's epic journey is to gather recipes inspired by Polynesian food and drink; in a way, their efforts are both valuable historical recreations.
Berry created this drink shortly after Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur came out for he felt that it would work well with falernum. Here, the lime and ginger notes filled the aroma and the sip. The swallow showcased the spicier elements of the ginger along with the rum and the falernum's clove. Overall, the Kon-Tini was a tasty spiced riff on the classic Daiquiri.

a two-fold operation

2 oz Genever (Bols)
3/4 oz Calvados (Morin Selection)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Javanese Crusta, I decided to make the other drink in the article where I found the Always Crashing the Same Car. This drink was A Two-Fold Operation created by Phoebe Esmon at Farmers' Cabinet. Phoebe named the drink after a quote by Falstaff in "Henry IV" that did not have to do with political intrigue as I first suspected but with the effect of sherry and the benefits of drink:
A good sherris sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and curdy vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes, which, delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme: it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour comes of sherris.
For a sherry, she chose an oloroso that is described in the article's text as a sweet style of sherry; we lacked a sweet one and used the Lustau Don Nuño Dry Oloroso we had on hand instead. We also split this drink two ways to make for a more moderate-sized nightcap.
The Two-Fold Operation began with Bols Genever's malty notes along with a hint of apple aroma. Unlike the nose, the sip offered up more of Calvados' apple than the Genever. Next, the swallow began with the sherry's nuttiness that led into the herbalness of the Benedictine and finished with lingering Genever botanicals. Indeed, the Calvados had a great effect of softening the Genever and making the drink a rather smooth sipper.

Friday, February 3, 2012

javanese crusta

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/4 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura

Shake with ice and strain into a small wineglass with a sugar-coated rim. Garnish with a wide lime peel looped around the inside of the glass' opening.

For Thursday Drink Night last week on Mixoloseum, the theme was "nuts." For a nut ingredient, I wanted to stay away from the temptation of trying to imitate the glory of the Peanut Malt Flip and instead focused on orgeat syrup. When thinking about orgeat recipes, I thought about the classic Cognac drink, the Japanese, and decided to make it a bit funkier by swapping in Batavia Arrack for the brandy. To add some extra flare, I paired the orgeat with cinnamon syrup as in Ben Sandrof's Cuban Anole and merged the concept with the Crusta. Using the Japanese cocktail name as a base, I dubbed it the Javanese Crusta.
The Javanese Crusta hit the nose with Batavia Arrack, lime oil, and cinnamon aromas. The lime and orgeat on the sip was followed by Batavia Arrack's funkiness spiced with cinnamon syrup and Angostura Bitters on the swallow.

zelda fitzgerald

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Mirto Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

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

Two Wednesday ago, Andrea and I went down to Craigie on Main for cocktails. For one of my drinks, I asked bartender John Mayer for the Zelda Fitzgerald. The drink was created back in spring of 2010 by then bar manager Carrie Cole, and I remember Andrea enjoying it a lot as I drank my Monmartre. Carrie based this drink off of a cocktail from Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli called the Camino that appeared on Craigie's inaugural cocktail list. From the Camino, Carrie swapped the housemade amber vermouth for Aperol and Cynar, doubled the nonpotable bitters content, and switched citrus garnishes.
The Zelda Fitzgerald began with a lemon oil aroma that was joined by Aperol and Mirto notes. The rye's malt appeared on the sip along with the soft Aperol flavors; the rye's heat competed on the swallow with Mirto and Cynar's bitterness. Interestingly, the combination of flavors on the swallow generated an almost Campari-like note.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


2 oz Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Pineapple Gum Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Salt

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

After the Omar, I decided to make Ryan Fitzgerald's Aguamiel that appeared in Imbibe Magazine. The last drink I had by Ryan was another pineapple-flavored one, the Far East Algonquin. Instead of whiskey, the Aguamiel used tequila along with Cynar; the combination of these two spirits with pineapple had worked well in the past, such as in Sahil Mehta's Alucarda, so I was definitely game to try this one. For a drink name, Ryan chose the Spanish word for honey water that is often used to describe the sweet juice extracted from the agave's piña.
The Aguamiel presented a lemon oil, tequila, and herbal Cynar aroma that led into a pineapple sip. The swallow began with the pairing of tequila and Cynar that combined so wonderfully in drinks like the Lipspin and ended with lingering Angostura spice notes. Moreover, the pinch of salt seemed to cut Cynar's bitterness into more earthy herbal notes.


3/4 jigger Applejack (1 1/2 oz Laird's)
2 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado)
2 dash Raspberry Syrup (1/4 oz)
1 dash Grand Marnier (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Tuesday last week, I was intrigued by a fruit-driven recipe called the Omar in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The Omar's fruity aroma gave way to an apple and orange sip. The sherry began the swallow by adding a bit of complexity with its dry nutty flavor, and this was joined by raspberry notes from the syrup. I do regret not using Calvados for this drink since the apple notes in Laird's Applejack were rather subtle in this recipe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


2 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 dash Fee's Chocolate Bitters

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

For my second drink at Highland Kitchen, I was tempted by the combination of allspice dram and Yellow Chartreuse, so I asked bartender Will Quackenbush for the Bristol. I was a bit curious about the name, and Will confirmed that the drink he created was indeed in honor of Bristol Palin. With an Alaska as a starting point, he converted the classic into a more warm and wintery recipe using a richer spirit and additional spicy ingredients. Will also mentioned that the name also pays tribute to Bristol, Vermont, where his dad did his pharmacy practicum years ago.
The Bristol's orange twist accented the rye whiskey aroma. Next, the sweet malt sip contained some light herbal notes from the Yellow Chartreuse, and the swallow presented the majority of the Chartreuse flavors along with the allspice and a lingering chocolate note from the bitters. While the whiskey kept a frontiers feel to the drink, I could see the basic recipe working just as well with Cognac or aged rum.

bitter end

1 1/2 oz Gordon's Dry Gin
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
2 dash Fee's Grapefruit Bitters

Shake with ice and pour into a rocks glass.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I went over to Highland Kitchen for dinner. The first drink on the cocktail menu to call out to me was the Bitter End which was their own take on the name as opposed to the two other Bitter Ends I have written about before. The grapefruit and Cynar pairing reminded me pleasantly of the Peralta; therefore, I asked bartender Will Quackenbush to make me one.
The Bitter End offered up a gin and grapefruit aroma that transitioned into a citrus sip filled with orange and grapefruit flavors. On the swallow, the Cointreau merged with the Cynar, and it ended with a lingering juniper note. The interesting orange liqueur-Cynar interaction was something that I had noted before in Ryan Lotz's Jupiter's Dilemma and Matthew Schrage's Hugo Ball.