Thursday, January 31, 2013

in the bond

2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/2 oz King's Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist and add straws.
jm curley boston cocktail
Two Mondays ago, I stopped in at J.M. Curley, and for a drink, I asked bartender Daren Palacios for the In the Bond. The lemon twist's aroma brightened that of the apple brandy. A sweet, vaguely fruit and spice sip was a foreshadowing of the swallow which contained most of the apple, ginger, and cinnamon flavors. Moreover, the apple notes lingered pleasantly on the swallow, and as the ice melted, the In the Bond gained allspice and clove elements.

throw the horns

1 oz Rye (Rittenhouse 100)
3/4 oz Madeira (Blandy 5 Year Verdelho)
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters (Angostura)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Saturdays ago, right after making the Third Man for Mixology Monday: Fortified Wines, I made another fortified wine drink called Throw the Horns. I found the recipe on the Imbibe Magazine website, and it was attributed to Jeff Baumann of Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. In the end, I decided to feature the Third Man for Mixology Monday for Pineau des Charentes needed to be represented in that event over Madeira which I felt was sure to receive some attention in other participating blogs.
prohibition pig waterbury vermont jeff baumann cocktail
The Throw the Horns' Maraschino seemed to dominate the drink's bouquet. A grape and grapefruit sip was followed by a swallow containing rye and a Maraschino flavor that was softened by the grapefruit juice. Overall, the grapefruit-Maraschino pairing worked rather well here as it does in the Hemingway Daiquiri. Moreover, the combination of Madeira and Maraschino reminded me of the Creole Contentment from Charles H. Baker's Jigger, Beaker and Glass.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

jarabe tapatío

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
3/4 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Campari
1 oz Lime Juice
3 dash Day of the Dead Bitters (sub Boston Bittahs)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with black pepper.

For a final cocktail at Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, bartender Ran Duan mentioned that he had a mezcal cocktail featuring the Day of the Dead Bitters that I had given him last time we were there. The bitters contain Calendula marigold petals which are tied to the Day of the Dead celebration and donate great floral notes to drinks (I can publish the recipe if people would like). As a substitute, a floral bitters like the Bittermens Boston Bittahs would work rather well here. Ran had dubbed this drink the Jarabe Tapatío which translates to the infamous Mexican Hat Dance.
mezcal mexican hat dance jarabe tapatio
The black pepper garnish worked well with the floral aroma notes from the bitters. A lime and pomegranate sip led into a smoky mezcal, Campari, and floral swallow.


1 1/2 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
3 dash Smoking Ban Bitters (sub Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a cherry.

For a second drink at Sichuan Garden II, bartender Ran Duan described the Gianopulos, an intriguing aged rum and bitter liqueur cocktail named after one of his friends. His friend's favorite amaro, namely Nardini, is in the mix along with his love of cigars in the tobacco bitters.
sichuan garden II woburn ran duan gianopulos cigars nardini
The aged Demerara rum and Punt e Mes' grape contributed to the Gianopulos' aroma, and as the drink warmed up, the nose gained clove notes. A caramel and grape sip contained some rather complementary vanilla notes, and the swallow showcased the rum, Campari, clove, and other spice notes. As the drink acclimated to the room's temperature, the bitters' tobacco tannic spice became more evident on the finish.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

soul patch

1 1/2 oz Weller 12 Year Bourbon
1/2 oz St. George Agricole Rum
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Cherry Shrub (*)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.
(*) Equal parts syrup from a Luxardo cherry jar and vinegar.

Two Wednesdays ago, we ventured up to Woburn for dinner to pay a visit to bartender Ran Duan at Sichuan Garden II. For a first cocktail, Ran recommended the Soul Patch that he created for an Ugly Sweater Party they held a few weeks before on Christmas Day. The Soul Patch had the quirky combination of a whiskey with an agricole-style rum that I had not seen since the Start of a New Road and before that the Two Worlds Sour. With the balance seeming like it would be on the drier side, I gave Ran the thumbs up.
sichuan garden II woburn ran duan
The Soul Patch proffered an orange oil nose that later shifted to a cherry-Bourbon one. A grassy sip shared dry wine and malt notes, and the funky rum continued on into the swallow where it stood out more than the Bourbon. In addition, a dry cherry came through on the swallow along with a spice-laden finish.

corpse reviver #6

3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Becherovka
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and add straws.
citizen public house corpse reviver #6
Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I decided to get dinner at the Citizen Public House. For a drink, I asked bartender Andrea Novak for the Corpse Reviver #6 which was a honey and spice variation on the citrus and absinthe classic. The cocktail's lemon twist filled the aroma and prepared the mouth for the lemon juice and citrus wine sip. Next, a gin, clove, cinnamon, and honey swallow gained more spice notes over time as the ice melted.

Monday, January 28, 2013

sid & nancy

3/4 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
3/4 oz Spiced Syrup (*)

Build in a pre-warmed glass cup. Top with ~4 oz steamed half and half. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
(*) Contains star anise, clove, and cinnamon.

Two Mondays ago, we had dinner at Eastern Standard after I my DJ set. The drink that Andrea had was one that I had read about in Josh Childs' column a few weeks ago. Josh described how the hot drink was created by Eastern's Bobby McCoy as a riff on the Tom & Jerry. Instead of taking a Christmas carol angle, Bobby went punk rock with a tribute to Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Andrea's that night was made by bartender Seth Freidus.
eastern standard boston
Once made, the nutmeg spice complemented the aroma of the hot milk. A creamy sip offered up the aged rum's caramel notes, and the rum along with the Cognac flavors filled the swallow. Finally, the spiced syrup began to increase on the finish over successive sips.

sloe ryed

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
>1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
7 Mint Leaves

Stir with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass.

The other drink bartender Tyler Wang wanted to make for me was one he created for a regular named Brian. Brian had asked for a drink to match the name Slow Ride, and Tyler formulated a sloe gin and rye whiskey cocktail to fit. When I heard the ingredients, the classic feel of it appealed to me as the mint with fruit notes reminded me of the Derby and the sloe gin and apricot made me think of the Millionaire.
no. 9 park cocktail
The apricot appeared in the Sloe Ryed's nose and preceded a wine sip that had hints of sloe gin and the mint's greenness. Next, the whiskey began the swallow followed by apricot notes and a sloe and mint finish.

Friday, January 25, 2013

l'année du mexique

2 oz Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1+ barspoon Crème de Mûre (*)
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.
(*) Perhaps crème de cassis would work in a pinch.

Two Sundays ago, I ventured down to No. 9 Park where Tyler Wang was tending bar. For a first drink, Tyler recommended the L'Année du Mexique that he had created. The drink's name refers to a year long celebration honoring Mexican culture planned in France that was unfortunately canceled. Regardless, the drink brings together a combination of French and Mexican spirits without any political discord. When I heard the ingredients, it made me think of Scott Holliday's Br'er Rabbit, so I gave Tyler the thumbs up on the idea.
barbara lynch no. 9 park cocktail
The L'Année du Mexique presented an orange oil and agave aroma with hints of berry on the nose. Next, a grape sip was followed by a tequila swallow chased by the gentian's bitter notes. Finally, the drink finished with blackberry and lingering agave flavors.

muckraker punch

1 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
3/4 oz Dry Sack 15 Year Sherry (Lustau East India Solera)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Two Saturdays ago, we made another recipe from SeriousEats' Seattle punch article. This one was the Muckraker Punch created by Jim Romdall of Vessel. Since muckraking is a form of investigative journalism, I wonder if this drink is a variation on the Journalist Cocktail with the gin, vermouth, and curaçao exchanged for brandy, sherry, and apricot liqueur. Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but the two do share a similar structure.
The lime twist provided much of the drink's aroma. A lemon and grape sip led into a Cognac, sherry, and apricot swallow. Finally, the drink finished on the dry side from the bitters and citrus. Overall, the sherry and apricot paired rather well here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


1 jigger Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Farmer's)
2 dash Swedish Punsch (3/8 oz Kronan)
2 dash Cherry Brandy (3/8 oz Cherry Heering)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Green Fairy, I opened up my 1975 The Official Mixer's Manual For Home and Professional Use by Patrick Gavin Duffy and found an interesting Swedish Punsch recipe called the Wellington. The combination of Swedish Punsch and cherry brandy seemed a bit unusual, but I did have it two years ago in an obscure and oddball recipe called the Madam. Finally, I interpreted the two dashes of Punsch and cherry brandy by what I thought would balance the tartness of the lime juice.
patrick gavin duffy
The Wellington offered up the funky aroma of the Swedish Punsch. Next, a lime and cherry sip gave way to a gin, Batavia Arrack, and tea-laden swallow. Overall, the Wellington was a funkier version of the Gilroy or the Golfer's Special.

green fairy

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)
3/4 oz Green Tea Syrup 1:1 (1/2 oz Jasmine Green)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with 7 drops of St. George Absinthe.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a gin Daisy that I spotted in North Star Cocktails called the Green Fairy. The recipe was created by Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Kopowitz, and what lured me in was its use of green tea syrup which I had previously used to good effect in the Pokey Crocus. However, I could not find our green tea proper, so I opted for a jasmine green tea that I bought for the Masked Booby Punch over the smokier bancha green tea I found in the cabinet. The other green aspect of the drink was the absinthe used in garnishing the egg white froth. In addition, I ended up scaling down the drink since the recipe stated to strain into a coupe and a sidecar glass for the overflow, and my scaled down version fit perfectly into a coupe.
An anise and mint aroma from the absinthe greeted the nose and preceded a creamy lemon sip. The gin and green tea notes in the swallow were joined by bonus floral ones from the jasmine and were chased by a light anise finish. Despite the jasmine not being in the recipe, it was a nice touch to give the drink some added complexity.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

winter daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Aged Rum (Turkey Shore Tavern Style)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup (B.G. Reynold's)
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel studded with 3 cloves.

Two Wednesdays ago, we decided to make one of the drinks from Imbibe Magazine's vanilla article, namely Mindy Kucan's Winter Daiquiri. We not only had a chance to meet Mindy at Portland Cocktail Week in October, but we had the great opportunity to have her make us drinks at Hale Pele, the Tiki bar in Portland she works at, later that week. While it was not on the menu at that time, her Winter Daiquiri could easily mingle with all of the classics on the Hale Pele's menu.
hale pele mindy kucan winter daiquiri
The aged Turkey Shore rum offered butterscotch and some funkier rum notes along with the other ingredients' clove and vanilla aromas. A caramel, butterscotch, and lime sip proceeded well into the rum and vanilla swallow that gradually gained more and more allspice flavors.

quin quina crusta

2 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Dry shake the ingredients to mix and pour into a cocktail glass rimmed with sugar and filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon twist (added after the photo was taken).

A few weeks ago, my friend Jake Parrott was in town; Jake is our regional Haus Alpenz rep, and he showed me the company's pamphlet and recipe sheet. One the drinks, the Quin Quina Crusta, was one I had spotted back in November in a Washington Life article on Bonal-based cocktails. I definitely remember the recipe for its edginess but questioned Jake if it was truly balanced. Jake explained that there was plenty of sugar in the Bonal to keep the citrus and Peychaud's notes in check. The recipe itself was created by Leo Robitschek of Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, and two weeks ago, we gave it a try.
bonal gentiane quina crusta
The Quin Quina Crusta offered a fennel-like aroma from a combination of the Peychaud's anise and some of the Bonal's herbalness that was all brightened by the lemon oil. Next, a lemon and grape sip was chased by bitter herbal notes transitioning into Maraschino on the swallow. As the ice melted, the drink became more bitter and spiced, so the sugared rim came in handy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[the blue hour]

3/4 oz Eau de Vie de Mirabelle (*)
3/4 oz Pineau des Charentes
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Twist a lime peel over the top.
(*) A dry plum; other fruit eau de vie would probably work well here too.

Monday two weeks ago, we went to Pomodoro in Brookline when Stephen Shellenberger was bartending. Stephen mentioned that he has been enjoying the pairing of fruit eau de vie and Pineau des Charentes, and he asked if I was interested in trying one. The drink he made contained a Mirabelle plum spirit that was sweetened by Pineau des Charentes and Aperol. For a name, the Mirabelle made me think of French New Wave film maker Eric Rohmer's Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle; the first of the four adventures was "L'Heure Bleue."
stephen shellenberger boston apothecary pomodoro brookline
The lime oil aroma gave way to a wine and plum bouquet over time. A crisp lime sip shared fruity orange and grape notes that became more wine-like as the drink warmed up. Next, a dry plum swallow was chased by Aperol on the finish. Indeed, I could definitely see other eau de vies working well in this basic equation.

cambridge tea

1 1/2 oz Benedictine
3 oz English Breakfast Tea (hot)
4 1/2 oz Steamed Milk (hot)

Build in a heat resistant Highball glass and stir.

For a nightcap at Bergamot, bartender Paul Manzelli offered up a hot drink called Cambridge Tea. Paul described how the mother of one of his old girlfriend's had referred to English Breakfast Tea as Cambridge Tea, and he later decided that he need to recreate an adult version of this libation at the bar. With tea and steam milk, the recipe reminded me of ArtBar's Early Fog that went in a more herbal and less orange and spice direction.
bergamot somerville
The Cambridge Tea presented a caramel aroma in a buttered popcorn sort of way. The warm milk sip led into a tea and herbal swallow; moreover, the tea worked well to dry out the Cambridge Tea on the finish.

Monday, January 21, 2013

royal jubilee

1/2 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass. Top with sparkling Malbec rosé wine.

Sunday two weeks ago, Andrea and I paid a visit to Bergamot when bartenders Paul Manzelli and Kai Gagnon were at the bar. For a drink I inquired about the Royal Jubilee, and Kai explained that the sparkler was in honor of the Queen of England spending her 60th year on the throne. Paul's explanation was about how the Becherovka's spice reminded him of Christmas, and Christmas reminded him of Friendly's seasonal Jubilee Roll; I think that Paul rather enjoys that explanation for it makes Kai shake his head and roll his eyes. Overall, the structure of the Royal Jubilee reminded me of Eastern Standard's Belle de Jour with its Cognac and Bénédictine swapped for apple brandy, Becherovka, and Peychaud's.
bergamot somerville cocktail royal jubilee
The Royal Jubilee showcased a fruity aroma in a rosé wine-grenadine sort of way along with anise accents from the Peychaud's Bitters. A crisp, carbonated sip presented the lemon and grape notes, and the apple and spice pleasantly rounded out the swallow.

hoots mon

1/2 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse + 1 bsp Caol Ila 12)
1/4 Lillet (3/4 oz Cocchi Americano)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist to complement the Lillet and vermouth.

After the On the Boulevard, I decided to pick the Hoots Mon off of the Anvil's new 100 Drink list. In searching for some history on this Scotch drink, I accidentally swapped which word had the "s," and the search engine asked if I was looking for "hot moms." The proper spelling avoided this, and I learned that it was a Scottish phrase for "hey man" with some definitions including a sense of impatience or dissatisfaction. The recipe appears in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, and I had seen it there and other places for years; however, I passed over it each time without giving it a chance. The structure of the drink reminded me of Highland Kitchen's Buckminster with gin and Maurin Quina in place of the classic's Scotch and vermouth; since that was quite delicious, I was game to try the Hoots Mon.
hoots mon savoy cocktail book scotch lillet vermouth
The Hoots Mon presented an orange oil and Scotch aroma that led into a citrus-grape and malt sip. Next, the smoky Scotch and vermouth came through on the swallow. The drink was a bit more sweet vermouth driven when cold, but the Cocchi Americano began to play a larger role as it warmed up. Overall, the Hoots Mon was sort of like a Rob Roy, but the the Cocchi Americano gave the balance a lighter and more citrusy feel. Perhaps this drink would shine with a single malt Scotch that showcased lemon notes from the malted barley such as a Glenmorangie 10 Year.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

the third man

This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Fortified Wines" (MxMo LXIX), was picked by Jordan Devereaux of the Chemistry of the Cocktail blog. Jordan's challenge was, "Fortified wines began, in large part, as a way to deal with the difficulties of shipping wine long distances in the holds of sailing ships. Without the rigorous sterilization that is possible today, wines would often spoil en route. However, increasing the alcohol concentration... was enough to keep them from going off... These wines held an important place in... punch and have continued on in cocktails proper. [These wines include] sherry, port, and, to a lesser extent, madeira and marsala, all find their way into various mixed drinks... They can play many different roles -- from taking the place of vermouths in classic drinks, to providing richness and sweetness in winter tipples, to serving as a base for lighter aperitifs. Whether forgotten classics or new creations, let's see what you can put together."

In thinking about this theme, I was curious about marsala wine since I have not seen it in that many recipes, but I was unable to find one tempting enough to go out and buy a bottle for this event. Instead, I thought about one of the lesser used fortified wines, Pineau des Charentes, which has appeared in some delicious recipes. Pineau des Charentes is a French fortified wine made by blending lightly fermented grape must with Cognac eau de vie, and this sweet spirit comes in both white and red/rosé varietals. The earliest Pineau des Charentes recipe I know about is Frank Meier's Pompadour from 1934 The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks. Moreover, I have enjoyed two out on the town here in Boston, namely Craigie on Main's Marksman and Bergamot's Oaxaca Moon.
dan greenbaum the beagle manhattan
While searching for a good article about Pineau des Charentes usage in cocktails to put on the Mixology Monday Twitter even before I had chosen a wine, I stumbled on this one from StarChefs. Attached to that article was a recipe for the Third Man by Dan Greenbaum of The Beagle in Manhattan. The recipe was alluring for it followed a familiar pattern of spirit, wine product, and small amount of gentian liqueur that I have been pleased with before in drinks such as the Harry Palmer.
The Third Man
2 oz Blue Gin (Barr Hill)
3/4 oz Pineau des Charentes (Chateau de Beaulon)
1/4 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur (Salers)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
The Third Man began with a lemon oil and floral aroma with the latter perhaps stemming from the gin made from a honey distillate. On the sip, the Pineau des Charentes donated a mouthfeel and grape flavor, and the swallow then offered gin, gentian, and Peychaud's spice with lingering pine notes. It was definitely a gin-forward drink that would especially appeal to a classic Martini lover looking to branch out; perhaps some of this could stem from the flavorful gin that we had just opened for this drink.

Cheers to Jordan from Chemistry of the Cocktail for hosting this month and for picking such an excellent theme!

Friday, January 18, 2013

on the boulevard

1 oz Bourbon (Weller 107)
1 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Crème de Cassis
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

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

Two Saturdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with the On The Boulevard recipe from the online supplement to the current issue of Imbibe Magazine. The recipe was crafted by Lynn House of Chicago's Blackbird, and I was drawn to it for it reminded me of a Bourbon-containing variation of the quirky Teresa from Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology. For a whiskey, I opted for Old Weller Antique for I figured that the recipe could use something punchier and overproof.
blackbird chicago lynn house
The lemon oils from the twist supplemented the cassis' berry aroma and hint of Bourbon. The lemon notes continued on into the sip along with a fruitiness from the Aperol and currant liqueur. Finally the swallow offered the richness of the Bourbon that transitioned well into the cassis' tartness. Overall, the On The Boulevard was not as cassis forward as I had first expected and was reasonably well balanced.

andrea & the governor

1 oz Bastille French Whisky
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
2 dash Mansinthe Absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

For a final cocktail at Local 149, bartender John Mayer suggested another drink with the Bastille French whisky he was calling Andrea & the Governor. Both Andrea and the Governor are characters in the zombie apocalypse televisionseries The Walking Dead, and in one of the episodes back in November, there was a product placement of this whiskey. Over all, the whiskey is on the lighter style and most comparable to an Irish whiskey.
bastille whisky cocktail local 149
The absinthe began the drink with an anise aroma. A citrus and floral sip led into a whiskey and citrus swallow with an absinthe finish.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

miss francine kelly

1 1/2 oz Chamomile-infused Bastille Whiskey (*)
1 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Pear
1/2 oz Water
1/4 oz Absinthe
1 dash Acid Phosphate

Build in a snifter glass and stir. Note: this is a room temperature cocktail.
(*) Perhaps a dash or two of Bittermens Boston Bittahs would donate enough chamomile notes.

After Drink, I made my way to the far end of South Boston to meet up with Andrea at Local 149 for dinner. For a beverage, I asked bartender John Mayer about the Miss Francine Kelly on the menu. John described how he was tinkering at home with Bols Genver, Belle de Brillet pear liqueur, and absinthe and noticed that it got worse after adding ice. Therefore, he decided that the combination worked best as a room temperature cocktail. When I inquired about the name, John laughed and said that everyone thought that it was a nice sounding Irish lady's name; however, it is their nickname for the "marry f*** kill" game that they sometimes play at the bar.
local 149 john mayer marry fuck kill
Miss Francine Kelly offered an anise and floral bouquet that transitioned into a malty sip. The whiskey continued on into the swallow along with chamomile and absinthe flavors and a pear finish.

five points pop-in

1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1 oz St. Teresa 1796 Rum
3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a Highball glass containing 2 oz Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

For my second libation at Drink, bartender Will Thompson recommended a style of drink that he has been enjoying a lot called a Pop-in. Pop-ins are an old style of beer cocktail featuring a lightly hopped beer spiked with spirits, amaros, and liqueurs. Will was introduced to this concept at Dead Rabbits in the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan; Dead Rabbits features a wide variety of 19th century style offerings including a recreation of an old style of cocktail bitters made in that neighborhood that competed with Angostura. The name Dead Rabbits refers to one of the local gangs during the 1850s that was later fictionalized in Scorsese's Gangs of New York.
dead rabbits pop-in beer drink will thompson
Will and I bounced spirit ideas around for a while before a split rum and brandy option seemed most appealing. The Pop-in's nutmeg garnish contributed greatly to the aroma. A dry and creamy sip showcased the caramel notes of the stout and rum, and the swallow offered up the Cognac with a pleasant oatmeal stout finish.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

little valiant

2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
2 oz Cocchi Americano
1 barspoon Lemon Juice
3 dash Orange Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add a large ice cube, and stir to chill. Garnish with a pinch of salt.

Two Thursdays ago, I met up with a friend at Drink by Will Thompson's station at the ice bar. For a first cocktail idea, Will suggested a variation he created on the Little Giuseppe that was a follow up to his Copper Canyon called the Little Valiant. Will explained that Valiant was a bull from the same region in France that makes Salers Gentiane Liqueur, and Valiant was the first of the breed to reach North America. Experts believe that the Salers cows' ancestry can be traced to ancient Egyptian cattle, and their lack of relation to modern cattle allows for good hybrid vigor when crossed.
will thompson drink fort point salers cocchi americano
The Little Valiant presented an herbal bouquet with citrus brightness from the Cocchi Americano and lemon juice. The citrus continued into the sip where it mingled with a hint of brine from the salt garnish. The salt also toned down the Salers' gentian on the swallow which also contained the bitters' orange notes; Will commented that the herbal notes here reminded him of celery root. Finally, as the ice melted over time, the citrus quotient diminished.

island of misfit toys

2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Meletti Amaro
1/2 oz Kümmel
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

Two Wednesdays ago, we stopped in at Brick & Mortar where Joe Staropoli and Evan Harrison were tending bar. For a drink, I asked Joe if there was anything interesting from recent Spin the Bottle events. Joe showed me a list from late December for the Drinkle Bells night featuring Brother Cleve as the DJ, and the Island of Misfit Toys stood out as the winner. The name is a reference to the place in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer where flawed and unattractive playthings end up; luckily, there was no jack-in-the-box sentry that I had to get around to have this libation.
brick & mortar central square cambridge misty kalkofen
The Island of Misfit Toys offered an orange oil and smoky agave aroma. A caramel sip gave way to a mezcal swallow which showcased the kümmel's caraway and cumin spice and the amaro's herbal elements. The Meletti seemed to take the edge off of the mezcal and the kümmel, but as the drink warmed up, the kümmel began to play a larger role in the flavor balance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

la yapa

1 oz Rye (Rittenhouse 100)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. I opted for an orange peel garnish.

Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to make a drink I had spotted on the Imbibe Magazine website's additional recipes for the current issue called La Yapa. La Yapa was created by Jamal Hassan from the Ox Restaurant and adjoining Whey Bar in Portland, Oregon, as a rye Tiki drink.
jamal hassan ox whey bar portland
The orange twist contributed a bright aroma that later gave way to a lemon juice nose with light herbal notes. The lemon continued on into the sip along with the rye's malt and the Fernet Branca's caramel; this combination almost came across as orangey perhaps due to the grenadine. The swallow then showcased the rye and Fernet flavors with a menthol-clove finish. As the ice melted over time, the La Yapa became more Fernet Branca forward.

birthday suit

1 3/4 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 oz Gran Classico
1/2 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez Sherry
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
backbar journeyman somerville
For my second drink at Backbar, I asked bartender Alex Homans for the Birthday Suit. Bartender Joseph Cammarata had created the recipe in honor of Backbar's first anniversary in mid-December, and it appeared to be a delicious Boulevardier variation. Once mixed, the Bourbon contributed greatly to the drink's aroma, but as it warmed up, the Gran Classico's herbal accents began to take hold. A grape sip offered a hint of malt, and the rest of the Bourbon appeared in the swallow beside the Gran Classico's bitter flavors and growing cinnamon notes. Andrea thought that the Birthday Suit tasted a little like cherry from a combination of the Gran Classico and the sherry.

Monday, January 14, 2013

confederation bridge

1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Sunday two weeks ago, Andrea and I paid a visit to Backbar in Somerville where Sam Treadway and Alex Homans were tending bar. For a first drink, I asked Sam for the drink of the week called the Confederation Bridge. The recipe was a collaboration of a few of the bartenders as a riff on the classic Drambuie cocktail, the Prince Edward. For a name, they chose the bridge that connects New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
backbar somerville journeyman union square
The Confederation Bridge presented the twist's orange oil that later gave way to darker aromas. The sip was fruity from the Dolin Blanc, honey from the Drambuie, malty from the whiskey, and caramel from the Cynar. Next, the rye and the Drambuie's Scotch began the swallow which ended with the Cynar's bitterness and the Angostura's spice.

yule flip

1 1/2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
1 oz Heavy Cream
1/2 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso Sherry
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup (2:1)
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a snifter glass (rock glass) and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Saturday two weeks ago, we were in the mood for a nightcap, and I decided upon the Yule Flip from the rum booklet of The Cocktail Hour series. This à la minute egg nog was crafted by Sue Erikson of Grüner in Portland, OR. While we never made it into Grüner itself, we did visit the adjoining sibling establishment Kask when we were there.
gruner portland kask yule flip
The nutmeg garnish added spice to the dark rum's aroma. A rich, creamy sip proffered the rum's caramel note, and the rum continued on into the swallow along with the sherry's nuttiness and the dram liqueur's spice. I was most impressed at how well the oloroso sherry works here with the dark rum to make this a delightful Flip.

Friday, January 11, 2013

pendennis cocktail

2 oz Gin (Cascade Mountain)
1 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2-3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Paper Trail, I decided to turn to the Anvil's new 100 Drink List. To stick with the Louisville, Kentucky, theme of the evening, I selected the Pendennis Cocktail. While this recipe is a gin one, the  club where it was invented also lays claim to the Old-fashioned Bourbon Whiskey Cocktail. David Wondrich in a post on the Chanticleer Society provided a few recipes for the drink, and the ones that appeared in Esquire Magazine in 1931 and Baker's Gentleman's Companion in 1946 share similarity to the above recipe save for calling for Hungarian apricot brandy which is an eau de vie. However, it was the closest one to the Anvil's list of ingredients down to the Peychaud's Bitters except that the Anvil prescribes apricot liqueur. This reminded me of a cocktail on the last 100 Drink List -- the Dulchin which was created with dry apricot eau de vie (which is how I had it) but I later learned that the Anvil uses the sweet liqueur instead. I found a compromise to all the recipes by opening up Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and making it with Ted Haigh's proportions.
pendennis club cocktail gin apricot lime
The Pendennis Club presented an apricot nose with a hint of lime. The lime joined forces with the fruitiness of the apricot liqueur on the sip, and the gin filled the swallow along with an apricot and bitters finish. I can see why some people have likened this drink to a Pegu Club; however, it reminded me a lot more of the Boomer in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933.

paper trail

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur

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

Two Friday's ago, I was flipping through the January/February issue of Imbibe Magazine and spotted the Paper Trail. The recipe was created by Colin Shearn who recently left the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia to help open St. Charles Exchange, the Franklin's sister establishment in Louisville. With Bourbon and Aperol in the mix, I could not help but wonder if the Paper Trail was influenced by Sam Ross' Paper Plane; however, the Paper Trail uses Salers Gentiane Liqueur in place of the Paper Plane's Amaro Nonino and lemon as well as different proportions.
paper trail imbibe magazine
The Paper Trail offered up a grapefruit oil and Aperol aroma. A malty sip shared Aperol's orange-rhubarb flavors, and the swallow presented the Bourbon and the Salers' bitter gentian softened by the Aperol. The grapefruit twist was indeed a good choice for the Salers and the Aperol synthesized a grapefruit-like impression.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

savannah unknown

1 1/2 oz Appleton Rum
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Pink Grapefruit Cordial (*)
1 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
(*) An oleo saccharum of grapefruit peel and sugar; add the same amount of grapefruit juice as sugar to make a 1:1 syrup. In a pinch, a 1:1 syrup of grapefruit juice to sugar would do, and for drier palates, grapefruit juice would work; however, both of these shortcuts will lack the peel notes.
craigie on main cocktail
After Clio, I crossed the river to meet up with Andrea for dinner, but I was a bit early. Therefore, I popped into Craigie on Main for a drink where Anne Thompson and Zachary Evans were tending bar. From the menu, I asked Anne for the Savannah Unknown. The drink greeted me with an aged rum and grapefruit oil bouquet. A grapefruit sip showcased the Averna's caramel notes, and the rum filled the swallow along with grapefruit peel and bitter notes. Lastly, as it acclimated to the room's temperature, the Savannah Unknown got a bit sweeter.

brazilian million

2 oz Germana Cachaça
1/2 oz Averell Damson Gin (*)
1/2 oz Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur
1 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and add a straw.
(*) Previously made with Plymouth Sloe Gin, so feel free to substitute.
clio todd maul cocktail cachaça
Two Thursdays ago, I paid a visit to bartender Todd Maul at Clio. For a cocktail, I requested the Brazilian Million which was his cachaça-laden variation of the classic Millionaire. The drink began with an apricot aroma with hints of the damson plum fruit. Next, the lime sip contained a berry-like flavor and was followed by a grassy swallow with a tart apricot and lime finish.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

fourth regiment cocktail

1/2 jigger Whiskey (1 oz Ryan & Wood Rye)
1/2 jigger Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Celery Bitters (my own)

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

After the punch, I decided to knock another drink off of the new Anvil 100 Drinks List. The one I picked was the Fourth Regiment Cocktail -- a drink I had seen many times before but had skipped over for it seemed too much like a Manhattan, albeit one with orange and vegetal notes. The two recipes I have found list the drink as Angostura Bitters one despite the Anvil posting it as a Peychaud's. Jacques Straub's 1914 Drinks has it as an Angostura Bitters recipe pretty close to what is listed above save for the aromatic bitters identity. And so does Charles H. Baker's 1931 recipe with the only additional differences from above being the 4 oz size and a lime instead of lemon twist; Baker declared that it was brought to his attention by a Commander Livesey "in command of one of His Majesty's dapper little sloops of war" in Bombay. The Peychaud's Bitters does appear in a recipe that Robert Hess found in an obscure 19th century book he owns called 282 Mixed Drinks for the Private Records of a Bartender of the Olden Days (cerca 1889). Thus, the recipe given above is a hybrid of Straub and the one Hess provides on his site.
fourth regiment cocktail whiskey vermouth
The lemon oil joined the celery note from the bitters on the nose. A grape and malt sip led into a rye and spice swallow with an orange and vegetal finish. Overall, no great surprises here, but the Fourth Regiment Cocktail is a worthy Manhattan variation or tweak, and the celery notes are not out of place.

marky mark's funky punch

1 1/2 oz Aged Cachaça (Seleta)
1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz B.G. Reynold's Passion Fruit Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to make one of the Seattle punch recipes from an article in SeriousEats. As a pun on the early 1990s hiphip group, the Marky Mark's Funky Punch by Jim Romdall of Vessell stood out despite the name. With a mixed spirit base of cachaça and Smith & Cross Rum, the funk was definitely in this punch.
vessel seattle jim romdall
The funky rum and cachaça aroma was spiced by the nutmeg and brightened by the citrus. A grassy lime and passion fruit sip was followed by the funky sugar cane spirits that were smoothed out by the passion fruit syrup. A touch of pepper heat from the bitters finished off the swallow.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

averna stout flip

2 oz Averna
1 oz Stout (Mayflower Oatmeal)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a wine glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.  The dry shake will also help to de-gas the beer.

After returning home from Trina's Starlite Lounge on Christmas Eve, we were in the mood for a nightcap. The drink that I had in mind was Jacob Grier's Averna Stout Flip that he had posted about earlier in the week on his blog. Jacob recommended a smooth stout with a rich mouthfeel such as St. Peter's Cream Stout, Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, or Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Luckily, I still had a bottle of oatmeal stout in the house to make this delight.
The nutmeg's spice contributed to the roasted malt aroma from the stout. A creamy caramel and roast-laden sip led into a coffee-like swallow filled with herbal notes from the Averna, the beer's hops, and the Angostura Bitters.


1 1/2 oz Cutty Sark Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Nocino Walnut Liqueur
1 dash Fee's Black Walnut Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Christmas Eve, we headed over to Punjabi Dhaba to have our traditional December 24th Indian food before Trina's Starlite Lounge opened at 9pm. Another good reason to get food there was that Trina's was only opening the bar and not the kitchen that night. We and others were indeed glad that co-owner Jay Bellao had volunteered to unlock the doors and step behind the bar.
trina's starlite lounge somerville
For a drink, I asked Jay for the Expatriot which was a walnutty variation of a Rob Roy or Bobby Burns that reminded me a little of Brick & Mortar's Sentimental Gentleman. The Expatriot differed from the Sentimental Gentleman from the start for its aroma had the richness from Carpano Antica besides the walnut liqueur. The sip was filled with grape, a hint of malt, and a dark note from the walnut. Finally, the Scotch began the swallow that ended with the walnut's tannic bitterness.

Monday, January 7, 2013

battle of new orleans

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
2 dash Absinthe (1/4 oz Kübler)
1 dash Anisette (1 barspoon Raki)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

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

Friday two weeks ago, I decided to pick another cocktail off of the new version of the Anvil's 100 Drink List. The one that called out to me was the Battle of New Orleans. For an early recipe source, I looked to the web, and a search brought me to a post Paul Clarke wrote that mentioned Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion where I had seen it before. I had viewed the drink as a Bourbon Sazerac of sorts with some additional flavors from the anisette and orange bitters and had previously skipped over it; however, Paul warned, "If you sip one of these, hoping for a Sazerac experience, you'll be disappointed. Just savor it on its own, for what it is, though, and you'll find it a pretty agreeable companion." Indeed, while many absinthes have anise notes in their herbal complexity, the anisette brings this to another level with a more singular addition to the flavor balance.
battle of new orleans bourbon cocktail
The combination of the absinthe and Raki's louching donated a hazy glow to the Peychaud's red-hued drink. On the nose, the lemon oil melded well with the anise aromas. Next, a malty sip led into the rest of the Bourbon flavors on the swallow along with anise and other herbal elements from the absinthe and bitters on the finish. The Bourbon itself made this a mellow Sazerac of sorts -- it lacked the sharpness of a rye one but certainly not the smoothness of a Cognac one. I am still unsure whether the drink would have been better by halving the Raki (perhaps more potent than anisette proper), but it did give a different herbal tonality to the drink than just absinthe alone.

queen of sheba

1 1/2 drink Brandy (1 1/2 oz Foret)
2 dash Sherry (1/4 oz Lustau East India Solera)
1 dash Port (1 barspoon Taylor Fladgate Ruby)
1 dash Sweet Vermouth (1 barspoon Cocchi)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 dash Curaçao (1 barspoon Pierre Ferrand)
2 barspoon Sugar (1 barspoon)
2 Egg Yolks (1 Yolk)

Shake with ice and strain into two (here 1) long thin glass. Crown each glass with an egg's white beated stiff. Sprinkle colored sugar (sugar infused with beet) on top. Note: the original was for two drinks and I scaled it down to one.

After the Joliet, I was in the mood for another drink so I peered into William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl for something unusual. The late 19th century gem I selected was the Queen of Sheba which reminded me of a Knickebein with the liqueur, egg yolk, and spirit layers mixed together into a Flip. With that lack of separation, the style is a lot more casual and there is less weight put on the presence egg yolk. The Queen that the recipe refers to is a 10th century BC ruler of Ethiopia, and back then that empire would have included a vast stretch of land extending through the Middle East and into Armenia.  She was a contemporary of King Solomon and paid him a visit in Jerusalem.
william schmidt the flowing bowl
Once assembled, I regretted not having green colored sugar in addition to the red to give the drink a Christmas feel appropriate for the week it was made. Besides decorative, the egg white crown did function to dampen the ingredients' aroma. Once past the meringue layer, the sip was a creamy grape flavor. Finally, the swallow began with the brandy and ended with the liqueurs' orange and Maraschino notes.

Friday, January 4, 2013


2/3 Rye (1 1/2 oz Ryan & Wood)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez)
1 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a cherry to the recipe.

Thursday two weeks ago, I was flipping through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a cocktail. In the whiskey chapter, I spotted the Joliet that seemed like an interesting Brooklyn-Red Hook-Manhattan sort of drink. I opted for a sweet sherry to balance the dry vermouth and for a smaller portion of Maraschino so as to keep its flavor in check.
gold rimmed cocktail glass
The Joliet started with a rye and Maraschino aroma that later gained raisiny notes from the sherry as it warmed up. The fullness and grape from the Pedro Ximénez joined the whiskey's malt on the sip. The whiskey continued on into the swallow along with the sherry's raisin flavor, and the drink finished with Maraschino and the spice of the Angostura Bitters. Overall, the Joliet was sharper than a Manhattan most likely from a quarter of it being dry vermouth.

[blue point]

1 1/2 oz Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon
1/2 oz El Maestro Oloroso Sherry
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

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

For my second drink at the Blue Room, bartender Matthew Schrage suggested a Bourbon drink that sounded much like a Green Point with oloroso sherry in it. For a temporary name, I have dubbed it the Blue Point as a combination of the Blue Room and Green Point. Although there is no Blue Point in Manhattan or any of the other boroughs, there is a Blue Point in New York on the south side of Long Island.
blue room kendall square cambridge
The cocktail began with grapefruit oil over a grape and herbal aroma that gave way to a dry malt and grape sip. The swallow then offered the Bourbon flavors, Punt e Mes bitter notes, and the sherry's nuttiness which coupled well with the bitters' clove and the Yellow Chartreuse's herbal notes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

nebbia di garda

1 1/2 oz Meletti Amaro
3/4 oz S. Maria Al Monte Amaro
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Build in a Highball glass and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and freshly grated nutmeg, and add a straw.

Two weeks ago on a Wednesday, I paid a visit to bartender Matthew Schrage at the Blue Room. For a first cocktail, Matthew suggested an amaro-forward drink he called Nebbia di Garda. When I inquired about the name, he explained that it meant the "fog of Lake Garda," and that alpine lake in northern Italy is near where S. Maria al Monte Amaro is made.
blue room kendall square cocktails
The mint and nutmeg garnishes contributed greatly to the Nebbia di Garda's nose. A caramel and lemon sip containing a mint-like note was followed by a violet flower and herbal menthol swallow. For a cold Winter's eve, the drink did have a lot of welcomed Springtime elements to it.

[rusty cadillac]

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with drops of Angostura Bitters.

A few Tuesdays ago, we ended up at No. 9 Park for cocktails when Ryan Lotz was bartending. For a drink idea, Ryan proposed a Flip that he had started working on while at the Hawthorne. Since I have enjoyed many of Ryan's Flips from his days at Lineage, I gave it the thumbs up. Since the drink lacked a name, Andrea noted the Galliano and crème de cacao that are in the Golden Cadillac and suggested the Rusty Cadillac after the overriding color of the Angostura Bitters.
no. 9 park cocktails
The Flip offered allspice and cherry aromas from the Angostura Bitters. A creamy sip led into a rum, vanilla, and nutty-chocolate swallow. Finally, the drink ended with a lingering spice finish that contained mint-like and clove elements. In addition, as the drink warmed up, the Galliano's star anise became more noticeable on the swallow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

:: fred's picks for the top cocktails of 2012 (in) ::

And for a third year running, I will complete my trilogy of year end wrap up posts by picking out the best recipes we tried at our home bar this year. While I did create a few recipes this year, I will tack a few of my favorite ones at the end and keep this list solely to recipes created by bartenders, living and deceased, from around the world.

January: The best drink we had at home in January is Casey Robinson's El Nacional perhaps for how the Campari and Ramazzotti acted together. For runners up, Jacob Grier's Mexican Turnover and the Swedish Punsch and Pimm's Pimmeron from 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar.
February: Cale Green's dark and herbal Daiquiri called the Dirt'n'Diesel gets the nod for February. Runners up are Sidecar-ish They Shall Inherit the Earth from Esquire's The Art of Mixing Drinks and Brian Miller's Benjamin Barker Daiquiri.

March: The month's winner is Palliative Potion for Pomona as a rum and Swedish Punsch Corpse Reviver from Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion. Next in line are the Supreme from The How and When which conjured up a Tango #2 and Rum Frisco, and the Chelsea Sidecar-like Snake in the Grass from Café Royal Cocktail Book.
April: The tequila and sherry El Molino from PDT Cocktail Book was quite a delight in April. Runners up are the rye Hot Spring from Café Royal Cocktail Book and Clive's Classic Lounge's anti-Tiki Tar Pit that I discovered in a Diageo happy hour recipe book from Tales of the Cocktail in 2011.

May: May was a month of four equal parts drinks with or without absinthe. For a winner, I guess I'll go with Joaquin Simo's Naked and Famous. For runners up, Sam Ross' Sunflower and Jason Lograsso's Flower's of Distinction.
June: A Last Word-Jack Rose hybrid by Clover Club's Brad Farran, the Jack's Word, caught my attention for June. Erik Adkin's Pisco Ramos-like San Francisco Fizz and the lesser known Monte Carlo -- the Madeira-containing one from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 -- get the nod for runners up.

July: July's pick is the reposado tequila, Punt e Mes, and strawberry-containing Resting Point from the P.D.T. Cocktail Book. For runners up, the Martinez-like L'Aurore from William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl and the absinthe-laden Pontarlier Julep caught my attention.
August: Maksym Pazuniak's bitter and smoky Barefoot in the Dark is my pick. For runners up, the Periodista-like Superior from Boothby and Milk & Honey's Rome with a View are worthy potations.

September: The Pacer, a Bobby Burns-like drink with extra savory herbal notes from Yellow Chartreuse, deserves some extra attention. For runners up, I selected the Old Hall, a Martini crossed with a Gimlet, and P.D.T. Cocktail Book's Siesta.

October: Chris Hannah's Pomme en Croute in homage to the Crusta first made in New Orleans was rather good. The Harry Palmer is a good use of gentian liqueur in a whiskey drink and Bottom's Up's Of Thee I Sing, Baby is an interesting Periodista-like drink.
November: Despite my initial hesitation at the name, Fo Swizzle My Nizzle is a solid Cynar and gin Swizzle. For runners up, I looked to two variations: the Lion's Tail always seems like it should be a rum drink and the Hair of the Lion follows through; the Colonial is a good Pisco Punch riff.

December: The After Dark not only won the 2012 Vino de Jerez competition but also my vote for December's recipe. Strong runners up are the New Orlean's feel of the Cock 'n Bull Special and the Swedish Punsch-laden Stinger, the Tangier Night.
My favorite creations of 2012: I narrowed it down to five in no particular order. A Sainted Devil is a Fernet and tequila riff of a Blood and Sand. A Pegu Club crossed with a Scofflaw by way of some passion fruit syrup in the Tanglin Club. The classic feeling Black Friar. Finally, the rum and cacao The Cross and the Switchblade and the Batavia Arrack-driven Javanese Crusta.