Monday, April 30, 2012

old england

1/3 Gordon's Gin (1 oz Cold River)
1/3 Odd Bottle Sherry (1 oz Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado)
1/6 Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1/6 Pollen's Orange Curaçao (Senior Curaçao)
3 dash Peach Bitters (Fee Brothers)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Friday night two weeks ago, we began the evening with the Old England from from 1934's 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar. One of the curious ingredients was the Odd Bottle Sherry; with a little searching, I was able to find a vintage 1930s advertisement on eBay which described the style as an old amontillado. I am not sure if Lustau's Los Arcos Amontillado is similar, but it was the closest I had.
The Old England offered up a sherry aroma that contained hints of orange and perhaps some peach. With fruit notes from the sherry's grape and Curaçao's orange on the sip, the swallow showcased the sherry's nuttiness, the Benedictine and gin's herbal notes, and a spicy peach finish.

fratelli fizz

2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Cream
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a highball glass containing 2 oz of soda water. Garnish with a mint sprig and an orange twist; add a spoon straw.

For Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum two weeks ago, I decided to riff off of the Ramos Gin Fizz as I had once before with the Stamos Gin Fizz. Instead of gin, I subbed in Fernet Branca and named it after the Fratelli Branca distillery where that amaro is made.
The Fratelli Fizz first presented an orange oil and mint aroma from the garnishes, but later as the glass' walls became exposed, Fernet notes began to enter the nose as well. Next, the creamy, crisp citrus sip gave way to a smooth swallow that showcased the menthol and other botanical notes from the Fernet. Considering that the Ramos Gin Fizz was a popular morning drink and given that Fernet has great stomach settling abilities, my guess is that the Fratelli Fizz would make an excellent hangover palliative.

Friday, April 27, 2012

hot spring

3/6 Seagram's Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Redemption Rye)
1/6 White Curaçao (1/2 oz Senior Curaçao)
1/6 Pricota (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
On Wednesday last Week, I spotted the Hot Spring in the Café Royal Cocktail Book, and it reminded me of a rye and lemon Periodista. The Hot Spring began with a lemon and apricot aroma. A citrus sip from the lemon juice and orange liqueur preceded the rye blending into the apricot on the swallow.

chica fácil

2 oz Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1 dash House Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Squeeze a lime wedge over the top and drop in.
Tuesday last week, we went over to Max Toste's new restaurant, the Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston next to Deep Ellum. Off of their tequila and mezcal-focused menu, I picked the Chica Fácil since agave spirits seem to go so well with Aperol such as in the Division Bell. The drink began with a lime and tequila aroma that led into a rhubarb and lime sip. The swallow was a smooth orange and agave combination, and overall the drink lived up to its name for it was rather soft and easy to drink.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

four moors

1 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
1 oz BG Reynolds Orgeat
1/2 oz Mirto Liqueur

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

For my second drink at Estragon, bartender Sahil Mehta made me the Four Moors which sounded appealing for its inclusion of Mirto, a Sardinian bitter liqueur flavored by myrtle berries and leaves. The name Four Moors is a reference to the four Moors on the Sardinian flag; moreover, the Moors' ties to Spain is what prompted Sahil to use sherry as the base spirit. In addition, the combination of sherry and orgeat was also tempting for it worked rather well in Clio's Joe Bans You.
The Four Moors began with a lemon oil and orgeat aroma that later became more sherry driven. The amontillado's grape filled the sip, and its nuttiness paired with the orgeat on the swallow. Finally, the Mirto's bitter notes worked well to give the Four Moors some complexity at the end.

remembrance of things past

2 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lavender-Lime Cordial (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 sprig Thyme

Shake with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig.
(*) 2 parts lavender simple syrup to 3 parts lime juice. In a pinch, making the cordial with simple syrup and lime juice will work if 1 tsp of dried lavender flowers are put into the shaker.

Two Mondays ago, we made a pilgrimage to Estragon in South Boston to sit at Sahil Mehta's bar. For a first cocktail, Sahil recommended the Remembrance of Things Past. When Sahil had read about Ted Gallagher's Everybody is a Nun in regards to how well Green Chartreuse and a lavender-lemon cordial paired, he thought about the lavender-lime cordial that he had at the bar. Basing the drink off of Ben Sandrof's Silent Order, he replaced the original's basil with thyme. For the name, he considered the French ingredients of lavender from Provence and Chartreuse, and he dubbed it after Marcel Proust's seminal work which he found multi-layered, elegant, complex, and beautiful like the cocktail itself.
The Remembrance of Things Past offered up an herbal aroma showcasing the lavender and thyme notes. At first the sip contained solely lime notes, but over successive sips, the thyme flavors entered into the equation. Finally, the swallow was the beautiful pairing of the Green Chartreuse and lavender with the latter lingering somewhat on the aftertaste.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

pacific daylight

3/4 oz Don Q White Rum
3/4 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Strawberry Preserves Syrup (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
(*) 10 oz jar of strawberry preserves mixed with 1 liter of Bols Triple Sec (or 1 oz preserves to 3.3 oz triple sec). I am unsure if it was heated to get the preserves into solution better or whether it was just mixed or shaken, but the syrup did seem strained. A decent short cut would be to add 1 heaping barspoon of preserves and a little over 1/2 oz triple sec per drink directly to the mixing glass.

The other drink I asked bartender Hugh Fiore for at Eastern Standard was the Pacific Daylight. I was correct in my guess that it was created by bartender Carrie Cole; however, I was wrong in my initial reason why. The drink's name reminded me of the Saving Daylight served at Bartenders on the Rise two years ago. While Carrie did participate in that event, her drink was the mezcal Loose Translation, and not the Saving Daylight that Bobby McCoy actually crafted. Perhaps, I was correctly swayed by Carrie's history of using jams and jellies in drinks such as the marmalade-containing Jubilee Line.
The Pacific Daylight offered up a tequila and fruity bouquet that led into a berry and lime sip. Next, the swallow contained spirit notes from the tequila and rum, fruit notes from the strawberry syrup and orange liqueur, and a mineral finish from the tequila.

saveur d'elegance

3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Mirto
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

Stir with ice and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with ~2 oz sparkling wine and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I ventured over to Eastern Standard for dinner. For a starter, I asked bartender Hugh Fiore for the Saveur d'Elegance which was subtitled "A taste unexpected: bitter sweet." It turned out that this was one of Hugh's creations that just appeared on the Sparklers section of the menu. The drink began with an orange oil aroma with an herbal element lurking underneath. The crisp sip contained fruit notes from the Lillet and Aperol that came across as orangey, and the sparkling wine flavors appeared on the swallow along with Mirto's bitter complexity.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


2/3 Swedish Punsch (1 1/2 oz Kronan)
1/3 Sherry (3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera)
Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1/2 tsp Sugar

Stir sugar with lemon juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist to the recipe.
After the Ghost in the Graveyard, we decided to have the Tarpon from the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 rum's Sour section. The drink is named after a popular salt water sports fish, and its use of sherry and lemon to complement the Swedish Punsch seemed rather delightful. The Tarpon presented a rum and lemon oil aroma. Next, the fruity sip offered lemon and grape notes, and the swallow began with rum and ended with the sherry's nuttiness and the Punsch's tea.

ghost in the graveyard

1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Two Saturdays ago, our mint patch had finally returned and grown enough that we could make the Ghost in the Graveyard from Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011. The drink was created by Jane Lopes from Chicago's Violet Hour, and it called for Amaro Montenegro which we bought specifically for this drink. The Ghost in the Graveyard offered up a mint nose over herbal notes from the liqueurs. A crisp lime and Cocchi Americano sip led into a Yellow Chartreuse and Amaro Montenegro swallow that possessed mint notes that complemented the garnish's aroma. Overall, the drink started more citrus and Yellow Chartreuse driven, and as the ice melted, it became more bitter and Amaro Montenegro focused.

Monday, April 23, 2012

aster family flip

1 1/2 oz Cynar
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1 Whole Egg (*)

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with drops of Angostura Bitters.
(*) Note that the original, the Aster Family Sour, calls only for egg white.
After the L'Aiglon of Chicago, Andrea wanted to end the evening with a Flip. When I spotted a recipe from Rob Roy's Zane Harris in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011, I figured that his Aster Family Sour could easily be converted into a delicious Flip by including the egg yolk in the recipe. The end result fell somewhere between Scott Holiday's Cynar Fizz and Corey Bunnewith and Ben Sandrof's Cynar Flip and into the realm of deliciousness. Indeed, the Flip's Angostura Bitters garnish contributed an allspice aroma. Next, its creamy and sweet lemon and orgeat sip complemented the Cynar's herbalness on the swallow.

l'aiglon of chicago

1 jigger Cognac (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 jigger Curaçao (3/4 oz Senior Curaçao)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 dash Pernod (1/8 oz Pernod Absinthe)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Fridays ago, we began the evening with a drink served at the L'Aiglon Restaurant in Chicago that appeared in Ted Saucier's Bottom's Up. L'Aiglon opened in 1926 and reigned as one of Chicago's finest restaurants; it served French cuisine out of its space located in a historic mansion until it closed in 1962. The drink began with an orange and absinthe aroma that led into a candied citrus sip from the lime and orange liqueur. The swallow then offered the Cognac flavor that ended with anise and tart lime notes. Overall, the lime juice and absinthe took the drink in a different direction from the classic Sidecar.

webster cocktail

1 oz Dry Gin (North Shore Distillers No. 11)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I was delving into our 1947 edition of Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide and spotted the Webster Cocktail. One of the earliest appearances of this recipe in the drink literature is in the Savoy Cocktail Book where it explains that it was "a favourite cocktail at the bar of the S.S. Mauretania." When the Mauretania was launched in 1906, it was one of the fastest ocean liners and captured the Blue Riband for the quickest transatlantic passage in 1907. The Mauretania snatched that honor from her sister ship, the Lusitania, which was also launched in 1906. The Lusitania was honored with a drink named after it before it reached its untimely demise at the hands of German U-Boats in 1915. The Mauretania was luckier and avoided U-Boats during World War I and served at first as a troop carrier followed by its role as a hospital ship.
The Webster presented an apricot aroma along with floral notes from the North Shore Distillers gin and perhaps the dry vermouth. Next, the sip was a combination of the tart lime and a clean wine note from the Noilly Prat, and the swallow was apricot and rather gin forward and ended with the gin's violet note. Overall, the drink reminded me of the Boomer which used lemon juice and Peychaud's Bitters instead of lime juice.

Friday, April 20, 2012

strange bedfellows

2 oz Glenlivet 12 Year Scotch
3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
1/2 oz Aperol
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a short Highball (or rocks) glass rinsed with spritzes of Caol Ila Scotch and containing coffee ice cubes. Twist an orange peel over the top.

The most dynamic drink of the charity J.D. Salinger-themed event was the Citizen's Sean Frederick's Strange Bedfellows based on the "Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes" story. Local organizer Misty Kalkofen collected a summary of the drink from Sean that read, "Smoke hangs heavy over this drink, inspired by a sordid tale of adultery, power, and guilt. The cocktail evolves with the story - which closes with a triangle of characters fixed in the same physical location as we first saw them, yet an entirely upended dynamic. What begins as vibrant and forward ends as bitter and weakened. The final sips should taste like regret: coffee and cigarettes, the official flavors of self-reckoning." The last time I had a drink with melting coffee ice cubes was Vandaag's Dutch Flip, and I was quite eager to give Sean's Strange Bedfellows a try.
The drink began with an earthy coffee and smoky Scotch aroma. The sip contained grape and light fruit notes from the Aperol, and the swallow showcased the Scotch along with coffee and Maraschino flavors. As the coffee ice cubes melted, its bitter notes helped to dry out the drink considerably.  Indeed, I was pretty impressed at how the smokey whisky in the Strange Bedfellows lost out to the coffee's dark roast over time.

down at the dinghy

2 oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Cucumber Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a flute (or cocktail) glass.

One of the surprise winners of the Le Mixeur Sharky Nine Stories event for me was bartender Rob Kraemer's Down at the Dinghy. The drink was named after the J.D. Salinger story where a boy overhears two house servants talking about the family, and he hurries to the pier where he tries to run away in a boat. With Chartreuse and cucumber juice, the drink reminded me of LUPEC's Irma la Douce, and with whiskey and a vegetable juice syrup, it shared some similarities to Rob's Lamplighter at Chez Henri.
The Down at the Dinghy began with a soft Irish whiskey and cucumber aroma that was complemented by savory herbal notes from the Yellow Chartreuse. A malty cucumber-flavored sip had some crisp citrus notes from the lemon juice, and this led into a savory Yellow Chartreuse swallow that displayed the drink's sweetness.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

comanche club

One of the most curious drinks served at the Le Mixeur Sharky Nine Stories charity event held at the Hawthorne was No. 9 Park's Ted Kilpatrick's Comanche Club. The Comanche Club was the name of a Boy Scout-like troop in J.D. Salinger's "The Laughing Man" story. Ted honed in on Salinger's literary technique of the story within a story and replayed it via a drink within a drink. The Comanche Club was subtitled in the event program as "4 Parts Negroni, 3 Parts Last Word"; guests that night puzzled over the meaning of how a three part Negroni could be four and the four part Last Word could be three? In fact, I was still confused until I asked Ted for the recipe. He explained that it was four volumes of Negroni (2 oz) and 3 volumes of Last Word (1 1/2 oz). In recipe format, it would be:
Comanche Club
• 1 1/24 Gin
• 2/3 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 2/3 oz Campari
• 3/8 oz Green Chartreuse
• 3/8 oz Maraschino Liqueur
• 3/8 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The recipe's unattractive appearance but flavorful strengths mirrored the attributes of the Comanche Club's leader who told the story within the story of the Laughing Man character. Moreover, the nontraditional drink concept mirrored the story's abstract structure.

one for jimmy

1 3/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Laphroaig Scotch
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball filled with fresh ice cubes. Top with ginger beer, garnish with a lime twist, and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago was a charity event held at the Hawthorne to benefit a local autism center; the night was part of a series organized by Seattle's Ted Munat and based on the J.D. Salinger Nine Stories collection. For the theme, nine bartenders from seven bars across town donated their time and efforts by contributing a recipe based on one of the stories and serving it that night. I had already had a sneak preview of Ted Gallagher's Everybody is a Nun based off the "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period," and I was able to capture a few of the other recipes offered that night.

Another impressive drink was from Tyler Wang of No. 9 Park who created the One for Jimmy after the "Uncle Wiggly Goes to Connecticut" story. Tyler had described his recipe to local organizer Misty Kalkofen as, "The name refers both to the invisible character in the story and Jimmy Lee, the first child I cared for when I worked as an after school aide for an elementary school. In the story Jimmy meets an ill-fated though imaginary death. I believe the death of this invisible and imaginary character parallels the failure of the two main women's dreams to come true. I imagine Jimmy represents the possibilities we can all fulfill if only we realize them. The women drank Scotch highballs throughout the story so I based my cocktail off of a Mamie Taylor. I wanted my drink to be one that COULD realistically be imbibed all day long, so I based it with sherry and only hint at the Scotch with the powerful smokiness of Laphroaig."
The One for Jimmy offered up a fresh lime oil aroma that later gained ginger notes and preceded the carbonated lime and grape sip. Next, the swallow started with the sherry's nuttiness blending into the Scotch's smokiness on the first sip, and on later sips the ginger began to take dominance here. Moreover, the Maraschino liqueur notes were lurking in the ginger-spiced finish to complement the fruity and nutty elements in the drink.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sloe 75

1 oz Gin
3/4 oz Bitter Truth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. Top with 2 oz of prosecco wine. Garnish with a wide lime twist.

Another drink that Max Toste made us was fellow Deep Ellum bartender Jennifer Salucci's Sloe 75. As a variation on the French 75, the addition of sloe gin and Aperol and the change of lemon for lime juice significantly shifted the flavor spectrum. Here, the oils for the lime twist prepared the senses for the citrus in the sip which was joined by berry and sparkling wine notes. The drink concluded with gin and lime notes on the swallow. Indeed, it was curious how the drink was high in acids, but it came across as being bright without seeming tart.

[yellow hook]

2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye
1/2 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz House Amer Picon Replica
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (1/8 oz)
1 dash House Aromatic Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

On Monday night last week, Andrea and I visited Deep Ellum for dinner. For a drink, bartender Max Toste wanted to tinker with the classic Brooklyn. With a change from dry to sweet vermouth, an alteration of proportions, and the addition of bitters, the recipe reminded me of the Liberal Cocktail. For a name, I took the leftist aspect of the word "liberal" and picked the far left part of Brooklyn called Yellow Hook since it was similar to the Red Hook named after a different section of Brooklyn.
The cocktail began with an orange oil aroma with a darker fruit note from the Picon or sweet vermouth. The liqueur's orange peel notes filled the sip along with grape and malt flavors, and the swallow began with rye and bitters notes and ended with the Maraschino Liqueur.

back word

1 1/2 oz Oxley Gin
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Syrup
1 dash Berg & Hauck's Lemon Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon peel boat impaled by a short sprig of rosemary.

After Ben Sandrof's Sureau Fizz, bartender Joseph Cammarata pointed out a new menu item, the Back Word that he and bar manager Sam Treadway had created. The Last Word variation, subtitled "a reversal of the Last Word," used yellow instead of green Chartreuse and Lillet and lemon bitters instead of lime juice. Moreover, in place of Maraschino liqueur, they opted for the syrup from Luxardo Maraschino cherry jars as Hawthorne had done with their Fino Swizzle. I was definitely intrigued so I gave Joe the thumbs up.
The rosemary in the garnish contributed greatly to the Back Word's bouquet especially since its placement during the sip was often right under the nose. The sip was full of cherry and citrussy notes, and the swallow offered up gin and savory herbal flavors from the Yellow Chartreuse and ended rather cleanly. With the rosemary, gin, Chartreuse, and citrus notes, the Back Word conjured pleasant memories of Jamie Boudreau's Rubicon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

sureau fizz

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz St. Germain Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz Heavy Cream
1 Egg White
1 drop Orange Blossom Water

Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a Highball glass containing 2 oz of soda water. Twist an orange peel over the top and discard, and garnish the froth with 3-4 additional drops of orange blossom water. Add a spoon straw.
Two Mondays ago, I heard that Ben Sandrof was doing a guest bartender spot at Backbar which seemed like a good excuse to stop by. Since leaving the full time bartender role, Ben was working for M.S. Walker before picking up the Cooper Spirits product line which includes St. Germain and Crème Yvette. The third addition to the line is a Rock and Rye called Slow and Low. Rock and Rye is a liqueur style of rye whiskey sweetened by rock candy and sometimes flavored by botanicals; often it weighs in at 50-60 proof. Slow and Low does not mess around at a mighty 98 proof though; its base is a 6 year old rye whiskey flavored with lemon, grapefruit, and orange peel, rock candy, honey, and horehound. Essentially, the product is an ice cube and a citrus twist away from an Old Fashioned. Ben had no information on when the product would officially be released, but hopefully it will not suffer the same delays as Crème Yvette did.
For a start, Ben suggested a drink that won him the St. Germain Can-Can Classic back in 2008. While I had tried his fellow competitor Misty Kalkofen's Summer of Sureau, his elderflower take on the classic Ramos Gin Fizz had eluded me. The Sureau Fizz offered an elegant orange aroma from the twist and blossom water garnish. Next, the crisp, carbonated sip contained the citrus flavors from the juice and a pear fruit note from the St. Germain. Finally, the swallow began with a cream and egg white-smoothed gin flavor that ended with a floral aftertaste.

bournemouth limited

1/2 Lillet (1 1/2 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/4 Vat 69 Whisky (5/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1/8 oz Caol Ila 10 Year Scotch)
1/4 Drambuie (3/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry (Luxardo Maraschino).

The other drink we had that Saturday night was the Bournemouth Limited from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. The drink, created by UK Bartenders Guild member R. Sleight, honors the soccer team founded in 1899 that later merged with the Boscombe Athletic Football Club to become the modern day AFC Bournemouth Limited team. I was drawn to the recipe for it appeared like an aperitif version of the Rusty Nail, and the half Lillet, quarter spirit, quarter liqueur structure reminded me of the Metexa from the same cocktail book.
The Bournemouth Limited presented a lemon oil, floral, and smokey aroma. The sip showcased honey, citrussy wine, and malt notes that led into a Scotch swallow. Andrea's description of "rather lovely and delicate" was rather spot on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

el molino

1 1/2 oz Sombra Mezcal
3/4 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry (3/8 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso, 3/8 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Saturdays ago, we started the evening with a drink from the PDT Cocktail Book called the El Molino. The name translates into "the mill" used for grinding fresh roasted cocoa beans into chocolate; while I have not seen chocolate production in Mexico, I have taken a tour of Somerville's own Taza Chocolate factory which utilizes a traditional stone molino (photos in the link). With the mezcal and bean grinding imagery, the El Molino reminded me of Misty Kalkofen's homage to coffee bean processing in Mexico, the Beneficio de Café.
The El Molino greeted the senses with the mezcal's smoke and agave notes along with a hint of the liqueur's chocolate. The sip offered a light grape from the sherries, and the sherry continued on in the swallow as a nuttiness along with the mezcal and cacao notes. As the drink warmed up, the swallow became spicier with the pimento dram flavors becoming more prominent.

tar pit

2 part Zacapa 23 (3/4 oz)
2 part Fernet Branca (3/4 oz)
2 part Myer's Dark Rum (3/4 oz Gosling's Black Seal)
2 part Lime Juice (3/4 oz)
1 part Falernum (3/8 oz Velvet)
1 part Orgeat (3/8 oz BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. A picture I later found on the web shows it being served in a mason jar filled with ice and garnished with mint sprigs, a lime wedge, and a straw.

Two Fridays ago, I was browsing the recipe book from Diageo's Cocktails from Around the World Happy Hour at Tales of the Cocktail last year. One appealing recipe that I did not try at the event was the Tar Pit from Clive's Classic Lounge in Victoria, British Columbia. While I missed the chance to have bartender Shawn Soole make me one, I was finally able to experience the drink described as "an Antiki (Anti-Tiki) cocktail showing that Tiki drinks can take many forms." I found the drink's subtitle to be a little odd especially considering that Imbibe Magazine found Clive's to be one of the top 10 Tiki bars. I am not sure what rums Clive's regularly uses for the Tar Pit; here, they opted for two dark rums from the Diageo portfolio to appease the sponsor.
With dark rums, lime juice, and Fernet Branca, the recipe for the Tar Pit reminded me of the Dirt'n'Diesel. Like that drink, the aroma began with the Fernet Branca and aged rum notes. On the sip, the lime juice countered the caramel notes of the dark rums. The rums continued on into the swallow along with the Fernet Branca botanicals interacting with the tart lime; moreover, the orgeat syrup acted with the rum to smooth out the flavors on the swallow. Strangely, the drink smelled more intensely of Fernet Branca than it tasted. Indeed, Andrea commented that "It's a nice Fernet drink -- the Fernet is not being a surly prick"; the surly prick part was a reference to a comment Paul Clarke made about the liqueur in a post on the Appetizer à l’Italienne.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

banana dance

3/4 oz Aged Rum (Plantation Barbados 5 Year)
3/4 oz Port (Taylor Fladgate Ruby)
1/2 oz Crème de Banana (Gifford's Banane du Brésil)
1 Lemon Peel (around 2 square inches)
1 Egg Yolk

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night two weeks ago, the theme was "double entendre." In searching for an idea, I began perusing essays on the classic burlesque scene for the genre is ripe with double entendres in addition to strong helpings of parody and risqué sexuality. My search eventually took me to some of the performances of Josephine Baker, and I instantly recalled the delicious dessert cocktail named after her from the 1935 Cuban La Florida Cocktail Book. The performance that caught my eye was her infamous "banana dance" (video) that she first performed in the mid-1920s, and with a swapping of crème de banana for the original's apricot liqueur, the idea was set into motion. I also changed the spirit from Cognac to rum and removed the additional sugar in the recipe.
The drink offered up a cinnamon and banana aroma that led into a creamy, fruity sip that contained the port's grape and lemon peel's brightness. The port continued on into the beginning of the swallow along with the aged rum, and the swallow ended with banana and spice notes from the cinnamon garnish.

Friday, April 13, 2012

black friar

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gyn
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

About a month ago, I submitted a recipe to a Plymouth Gin cocktail contest which was in honor of their new bottle design. The object was to use either their gin or sloe gin to celebrate the distillery's history. In researching the distillery, the building used to be where the Black Friars' monastery had been. Since the Black Friars were a Dominican order, I latched onto the idea of using Bénédictine, a liqueur made by another Dominican order in France. To that, I added lemon juice to counter to the liqueur's sweetness as was done in the Frisco Sour as well as Cocchi Americano and Angostura Bitters to round out the drink. Overall, the recipe's structure took the form of the Genever-based Zeeland.
The Black Friar had an herbal and lemon oil aroma that led into a citrussy sip from the lemon juice and Cocchi Americano. Finally, the drink ended with a pleasant combination of the Benedictine's complexity, gin's botanicals, and lemon's tartness.

white negroni

2 oz Death's Door Gin
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Suze

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

The other drink Scott Holliday made for me at Rendezvous was a White Negroni using a bottle of Suze that he acquired through a French friend of his. Suze is a French wine-based bitter liqueur flavored with wild gentian root and other botanicals, and it substitutes here for the Campari in the regular Negroni. The PDT Cocktail Book provides a history that the recipe was created by Wayne Collins in London cerca 2002; the recipe that the book presents was similar save for 3/4 oz of Suze instead of the 1/2 oz that Scott used. As I mentioned in the Two Cups of Blood post, it is still unclear whether Suze will be entering our market anytime soon with so many exciting promises left unfulfilled over the past few years.
The White Negroni's lemon twist donated the initial bouquet before gentian and other vegetal aromas came to the forefront. The Cocchi Americano's citrus wine notes filled the sip, and the swallow offered Suze's pleasing bitterness that played well with the gin's botanicals.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

johnny jump up

3/4 oz Morin Selection Calvados
3/4 oz Luxardo Triple Sec
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Pastis

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Wednesday last week, Andrea and I went to Rendezvous for dinner. For my first cocktail, bartender Scott Holliday made me his tribute to spring named after the Johnny Jump Up flower. The plant is native to the Pyrenees which is not too far from where the Calvados in the drink was made; cultivars planted in American gardens eventually escaped and spread throughout much of the United States. Besides the seasonal flower aspect, the name was in part a tribute to Johnny Appleseed, the American Dionysus, who brought cider apple trees westward and in part a nod to the Corpse Reviver in which the drink was based.
The Johnny Jump Up greeted my nose with an apple and lemon aroma that later gained a hint of anise as the drink warmed up. Citrus notes from the lemon and Cocchi Americano filled the sip, and the swallow offered orange liqueur and apple flavors with a light anise note at the end. Overall, I think that the drink reminded me more of an apple Hoop La than a Corpse Reviver #2.


1/2 Dry Gin (1 oz Bluecoat)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir without ice. Pour into a cocktail glass rinsed with Benedictine.

After the Caricature, I began flipping through the Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted a curious room temperature, non-diluted recipe called the Toothful. The drink was created by U.K. Bartender's Guild member V.A. Tooth, and it was rather reminiscent of the Rolls Royce from the Savoy Cocktail Book.
The Toothful's aroma started with sweet vermouth notes; after a few sips, gin began to appear as the sides of the glass were exposed. The sip offered a sweet grape from the Italian vermouth, and there was enough sugar on the swallow to smooth over the gin's heat. The swallow also contained some added complexity from the Benedictine via minty and herbal notes and from the bitters' orange flavors that complemented the gin's botanicals.

caricature cocktail

1 1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Tuesday last week, we started the evening off with Gary Regan's Caricature Cocktail that I found in his Bartender's Gin Compendium; the drink is his tribute to artist Jill Degroff who has drawn caricatures of many famous bartenders in the industry. While the recipe reminded me of the Jasmine and Lucien Gaudin cocktails, Gary based the drink in 2001 after Dale Degroff's Old Flame which was quite fitting for a tribute to Dale's wife.
Old Flame
• 1 oz Bombay Dry Gin
• 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
• 1/2 oz Cointreau
• 1/4 oz Campari
• 1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist. From Dale Degroff's The Craft of the Cocktail.
The Caricature Cocktail initially offered an orange and juniper aroma that later gained blood orange-like notes from the Campari entering the picture as the drink warmed up. The vermouth's grape joined the citrus notes from the orange liqueur and grapefruit on the sip, and the swallow began with Campari softened by the Cointreau and finished with the gin botanicals.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the gypsy

2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz St. Germain
1 oz Lime Juice

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

On Monday last week, Andrea and I stopped in for a drink at Toro after dining at Myers & Chang. After perusing the menu, I asked bartender Andy McNees for the Gypsy as the combination of Yellow Chartreuse, St. Germain, and citrus worked rather well in the Beehive's Yellow Jacket. Andy lamented that they were out of the Death's Door Gin that they normally make the Gypsy with, and instead he substituted Plymouth.
The Gypsy's aroma was a combination of the lime juice and the Yellow Chartreuse's herbal notes. The lime juice countered the honeylike flavor from the Yellow Chartreuse on the sip, and the swallow presented the gin with St. Germain's floral and Yellow Chartreuse's savory elements. Overall, the drink was sweet but not cloyingly so, and the liqueurs helped to end the drink on a soft and pretty note.


1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
6 drop (1/8 tsp) Pernod
4 oz Crushed Ice

Blend 5 seconds and pour into a tall glass. Top with crushed ice. Instead of using the blender, I shook with ice and strained into a glass filled with crushed ice. I then garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.

Two Sunday's ago, I delved into Beach Bum Berry's Sippin' Safari to find that evening's libation. The Cobra, created at Chicago's Kon-Tiki restaurant in 1962, stood out for it would make good use of our bottle of Lemon Hart 151 without the recipe being containing too much alcohol overall like many seem to do. The flavorfulness of the overproof rum would stand out though, and the drink got its name for its strong, potent bite.
The rich Demerara rum aroma greeted the nose, and the rum's dark caramel flavor showed in the sip along with the citrus and passion fruit notes. The rum continued on into the swallow that ended with an absinthe finish that came across as anise and a bit minty.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

penn r.r. sour

1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2/3 wine glass Old Crow Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon)
1/3 wine glass Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)

Stir with ice and strain into a Sour glass garnished with fruit. Add a dash of Jamaican rum (1 tsp Smith & Cross, floated) and a dash of abricotine (1/4 tsp Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, floated).

Two Saturdays ago, the drink that called out to me was the Penn R.R. Sour from James Maloney 1900 book, The Twentieth-Century Cocktail Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks. Maloney paid tribute to the Pennsylvania Railroad which reached out from the East Coast westward to where he worked in Chicago. While the Sour did not have his trademarked bell-ringer rinse of apricot brandy, the liqueur was included as a floated dash to contribute to the drink's aromatics.
At first, both the rum and apricot aromas dominated the nose; part of the way through the glass though, the rum's contribution dissipated and the Bourbon began to appear. On the tongue, the crisp grape sip led into a whiskey and tart lemon swallow that had hints of funky rum notes. The drink did come across as a soured Manhattan in an acidic and not especially a citrus sort of way; moreover, stirring the Sour instead of shaking it was also quite unusual. In addition, the Penn R.R. Sour shared similarities in composition to his Manhattan Bell-Ringer.


2/3 Sweet Vermouth (2 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
1/6 Brandy (1/2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1/6 Curaçao (1/2 oz Senior Curaçao)
1 dash Fernet Branca (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
After the Count Diablo, I wanted a lighter style nightcap to end the evening. The one that was in my to-drink list was the Legion from 1934's 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar. Indeed, the combination of grape, orange liqueur, and Fernet Branca has worked before in drinks like the Don't Give Up the Ship and Scotland the Brave. The Legion began with a grape and orange oil aroma that possessed a hint of menthol from the Fernet. Next, the sip showcased the sweet vermouth with a tinge of orange, and the swallow offered the brandy's strength with an herbal finish. The vermouth really soothed the Fernet; the fullness of the Cocchi Vermouth di Torino reduced its effect enough that I doubled the initial barspoon I had first used.

Monday, April 9, 2012

count diablo

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolón)
1/2 oz Crème de Cassis (G.E. Massenez)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's Ginger)
1/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

Two Fridays ago, we started the evening with the Count Diablo from Food and Wine: Cocktails 2009. Ted Kilgore from Monarch in St. Louis created this recipe by merging aspects of a Negroni (or a tequila variation like the 1836) with a Diablo. Instead of the Highball style of the Diablo, ginger liqueur was substituted for the ginger beer and the cocktail format of the Negroni won out.
The Count Diablo offered an orange and berrylike cassis aroma with a hint of tequila. The fruity currant and lime sip transitioned to a Campari, tequila, and mineral accented swallow. Over time, the ginger notes became more pronounced on the finish.


1 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Gin (Cascade Mountain)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Peach Syrup (recipe) (*)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
(*) Sub crème de peche or peach liqueur in a pinch.

For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night two weeks ago, the theme was dry vermouth. Instead of using it as an accent like I did in the first recipe I crafted that evening, I utilized it as the base. To that, I added the pairing of peach and Campari notes which worked rather well in the Bitter Peach. Finally, a little gin and a dash of Peychaud's Bitters donated extra herbal notes and alcohol backbone to the recipe. Taking a page from one of the naming conventions in the Café Royal Cocktail Book and Approved Cocktails, I called this aperitif cocktail the Campeche after the two central flavors in the drink.
The orange twist contributed greatly to the Campeche's aroma. The dry vermouth's citrus and the syrup's peach notes in the sip led into Campari and gin on the swallow and Peychaud's anise on the finish. Overall, the drink came across like an lighter strength peach Negroni.

Friday, April 6, 2012


3/4 oz Scarlet Ibis Rum
3/4 oz Bowmore Islay Scotch
3/4 oz Averna
1/2 oz Barolo Chinato
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
2 dash Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with 3 spritzes of Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal. Twist an orange peel over the top.

For my second drink at Craigie on Main, bartender Jared Sadoian took my suggestion for a brown, bittered, and stirred drink and set to work. What he concocted reminded me of a Scotch and rum Black Manhattan (rye, Averna, Angostura Bitters); given the aromatized wine aspect, I had dubbed the style in the past a Brown Manhattan. With the Trinidad rum, demerara syrup, and the smoky notes from the Scotch and mezcal, I thought about how some islands burn their sugar cane fields before harvest in order to make the process easier and require less manual labor. In Trinidad, the burn is called Canboulay from the French cannes brulées meaning "burnt cane," and it is celebrated with a harvest festival that includes calypso music and a masquerade carnival. Since the drink needed a name, I figured Canboulay would make for a fine place holder for the time being.
The smoke notes and orange oils paired rather well on the nose. The Averna's caramel and the Barolo Chinato's grape dominated the sip, and the swallow began with the smoky Scotch followed by the rum. The swallow ended with Averna's herbal flavors with lingering chocolate, cinnamon, and clove notes. While the swallow was sweet, the sip was surprisingly drier; Andrea's reaction to this sweet swallow was to comment that "it's like candied Scotch!" Jared mentioned that the demerara syrup in retrospect was probably overkill, and I surmise that he would make up the difference with additional Barolo Chinato in the future.

everybody is a nun

3/4 oz Willet Rye
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Lavender-Lemon Cordial (*)
2 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Shake with ice and double strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Add 2 oz sparkling wine, stir, and add a straw. Garnish with a lemon wheel rolled in dry lavender flowers.
(*) Substitute 1/2 tsp dried lavender. There might have also been a 1/4 oz of lemon juice added as well.

When you are offered a cocktail called "Everybody is a Nun," you should definitely consider it. And when the bartender informs you that there are two Chartreuses and an overproof rye in the mix, that consideration should just turn to a thumbs up and a nod. Wednesday last week, Andrea and I stopped into Craigie on Main where bartenders Ted Gallagher and Jared Sadoian were manning the helm. The drink that Ted proposed to me was one he was developing for an upcoming event (he was not specific but later my suspicions were confirmed that it was this one). The inspiration for the drink was from a short story in J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories entitled "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." The story involves a young man who took a position as an instructor at a by-mail correspondence art school. While most of his pupils were rather talentless, he became rather smitten by a religious painting he was sent of a nun. For the base spirit and drink style, Ted honed in on the line, "I drew suntanned young giants in white dinner jackets, at white tables alongside turquoise swimming pools, toasting each other with highballs made from a cheap but ostensibly ultra fashionable brand of rye whiskey." For the liqueur and floral ingredients, Ted was taken by the description of "a hefty girl of about thirty, in a green, yellow and lavender chiffon dress." That girl spurred the protagonist to write in his journal, "I am giving Sister Irma her freedom to follow her own destiny. Everybody is a nun."
Ted had not crafted his lavender-lemon cordial yet, so he substituted a half teaspoon of dried lavender flowers that he incorporated during the mixing process. The other lavender flowers were on the lemon wheel garnish, and the garnish's floral and citrus aromas contributed greatly to the Everybody is a Nun's nose. The citrus and sparkling wine flavors filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the Green Chartreuse. After a few swallows, the rye whiskey became noticeable at the beginning of the swallow and a lingering lavender note joined in at the end. Of all the flavor combinations, I was most impressed at how the lavender notes flowed into and complemented the Green Chartreuse.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

the reliever

Juice 1/2 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1 barspoon Sugar (1/4 oz Jaggery Syrup)
2/3 Jamaican Rum (1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1/3 Port Wine (3/4 oz Sandeman Tawny)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice for a full minute and strain into a fancy glass.

For a followup to the Jacksonia, I found the Reliever in William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl from 1892. The text provided no hint to the meaning of the drink's name as to whether it was a morning hangover curative, an evening stress palliative, or other; perhaps it was the Painkiller rum drink of the day. In addition, the Reliever recipe shares similarity with the soda water-lightened Chicago from the Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. After posting this, I received a comment from Dagreb asking if there was a baseball connection considering that the season was starting. My knee jerk reaction was to say no, William Schmidt and baseball? However, I remembered that the book contained a recipe for "Base-Ball Lemonade" (lemon juice, sugar, water, milk, ice), so it was possible. Moreover, the first relief pitcher in history was in 1876 and the rules on this were formalized in 1889 which pre-dates the publication of the book by 16 and 3 years respectively, so the drink could indeed be celebrating the new laws and the addition of a game closing pitcher.
The Reliever's nose offered a bounty of Smith & Cross rum notes with hints of the citrus juice's brightness. The rich, creamy lemon sip contained the fullness of the port wine, and as the drink warmed up, the sip became more grape as well. This was followed by a tart swallow showcasing the port's grape and a mellowed out funky Jamaican rum flavor.


1/3 Gordon's Gin (1 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth (1 oz)
1/3 Fockink Cherry Brandy (1 oz Cherry Heering)
1 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Senior Curaçao)
1 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Kübler)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Last Tuesday, we began the night with the Jacksonia from 1934's 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar. The combination of ingredients reminded me some what of a gin version of the Infurator. The drink began with an absinthe aroma on top of a fruit note from the cherry or orange liqueurs. The cherry and dry vermouth sip came across as a plummy flavor, and the swallow contained additional cherry notes along with the gin as well as an absinthe and orange finish.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

virgin de guadalupe

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolón)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Grapefruit Juice

Build in a Highball glass with ice and top with 3 oz of ginger beer (AJ Stephans). Garnish with a long grapefruit twist after squeezing some of the oils over the drink.

Tuesday last week, I decided to make the Virgin de Guadalupe that I found in Gary Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011. Adrian Biggs of La Descarga in Los Angeles named his drink after a vision of the Virgin Mary who appeared to Juan Diego near Mexico City and told him to build a church in the 16th century. The icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe later became Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image. The drink itself reminded me of the Tequila Buck El Burro, and its Yellow Chartreuse aspect made me think of the Restauranteur.
The grapefruit oil paired well with the soda's ginger notes on the nose. The carbonation sharpened the lime and grapefruit on the sip, and the tequila and ginger rounded out the swallow. The Yellow Chartreuse did not stand out as distinctly for me but seemed to complement the flavors in the swallow; perhaps our extra potent A.J. Stephans brand ginger beer was a bit too distracting.


3/4 oz Old Port Rum
3/4 oz Lemon Hart 151 Rum
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/4 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprigs; add straws.

After the Aprilia, I asked bartender Josh Taylor for the Hau'oli that just appeared on the Tikisms section of Eastern Standard's menu. Bartender Kevin Martin created this drink and named it after the Hawaiian word for happiness and joy. Josh mentioned that the drink was very Mai Tai-like and that the extra juice was needed to balance out the heat of the overproof rum. Moreover, the combination of ingredients did share some similarity with their Rapa Nui, but the differences in syrups, rums, and orange varietal made the Hau'oli a distinct creation.
The Hau'oli greeted the nose with a fresh mint bouquet. The citrussy sip showcased the orange and lime juice, and the orange notes continued on in the swallow from the triple sec. The orange liqueur flavors were also joined by the orgeat and dark, flavorful rums. Definitely the orange juice and darker rum notes did their job in distracting me from any strong similarity to the Mai Tai.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


1 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
1 oz Amaro Nonino
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters

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

For dinner two Sundays ago, Andrea and I visited Eastern Standard where bartenders Hugh Fiore and Josh Taylor were behind the long marble bar. For a start, I asked Josh for the Aprilia created by Kit Paschal. Given how March was about to end, I assumed that the Aprilia was a tribute to the changing season; however, the drink's subtitle of "a fast start and a long finish" made me wonder. Instead, like the Moto Guzzi (equal parts Booker's Bourbon and Punt e Mes stirred with ice and strained into a rocks glass), I believe that the drink was named after an Italian motor cycle company.
The Aprilia began with a grapefruit aroma that later gained dark herbal notes from the Amaro Nonino. The sip offered a combination of citrussy wine and rich caramel flavors that led into a swallow that began with the amaro's bitter notes followed by the gin's botanicals. Moreover, the grapefruit peel in the Beefeater 24 in conjunction with the grapefruit bitters donated a pleasing finish to the drink.


2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
2 dash Apricot Liqueur (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

After the Gilda Cocktail, I opened up Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Boomer. Obviously this book pre-dates the Baby Boomers by a generation or two for it falls during the General Issue (1900s-1920s) and Silent (1920s-1940s) Generations. During the late 19th century until the 1920s, a boomer was a transient worker who would travel from boom town to the next in search of temporary jobs; this included everyone from bridge builders to thieves. With its ingredients, it reminded me of a few drinks including the Darb, Prudence Prim, and Forty Eight cocktails.
The Boomer greeted the nose with fresh lemon oils along with a fruitiness from the apricot brandy. The sip paired the lemon with the dry vermouth's wine flavor, and the swallow ended drier with apricot notes followed by herbal ones from the gin and Peychaud's Bitters.

Monday, April 2, 2012

gilda cocktail

2 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolón)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup (B.G. Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Two Saturdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with a recipe from Manhattan's Death & Co. that we found in Imbibe Magazine. The Gilda Cocktail was essentially a Tequila Sour that included some tantalizing pineapple and cinnamon notes. The drink's agave and cinnamon aroma reminded me of the Firecracker Cocktail, especially as similar fruit flavors later appeared on the tongue. The sip began with a sweetened lime and led into tequila and pineapple on the swallow. Finally, the cinnamon positioned itself as a lingering note that grew with successive sips.

montego bay

1 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba Dark)
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1/4 tsp Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)
1/8 tsp (6 drop) Pernod
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Put ingredients plus 3 oz of crushed ice into a blender and blend for 5 seconds. Pour unstrained into a Sour glass. Instead of using a blender, I shook with ice and strained into a small Highball glass filled with crushed ice. I garnished with a lime wheel and added a straw.

After the Tango #2, we decided to stick with the rum and citrus theme and find a Tiki drink in Beach Bum Berry Remixed. The one that called out was the Montego Bay by Don the Beachcomber for it shared a lot of similarities with his Zombie without being over-the-top in potency. While many modern versions of the Montego Bay use Smith & Cross, we had just used it in the Tango #2; instead, I reached for the Coruba which is rather dark but not as overpowering in flavor.
The Montego Bay's aroma proffered dark rum and lime notes. The honey and citrus sip showcased the lime more than the grapefruit juice. Finally, the dark funky rum started the swallow that ended with light spice notes of anise and allspice; moreover, the drink finished dryly in a clove sort of way.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

tango #2

1/5 Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1/5 Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/5 Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
1/5 Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1/5 Orange Juice (1/2 oz)

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

After having the Supreme Cocktail last week and noting the similarities to the Tango #2, we decided to revisit this classic from Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. Our introduction to the drink was Wayne Curtis' variation at Tales of the Cocktail 2009 where he substituted Cynar and Angostura Bitters for Benedictine.
The Tango #2 offered an orange oil aroma; while I also got a funky note from the Smith & Cross, Andrea perceived something a bit more savory from perhaps the Benedictine or vermouths instead. Next, the sip was grape and orange, and the swallow ended with the Jamaican rum and Benedictine's herbal notes. Indeed, the Smith & Cross' strong flavor profile caused that equal part to play a much larger role in the drink than most other rums would, but the recipe seemed adaptable enough to handle that shift.