Friday, May 31, 2013

royal york special

1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)

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

After the Southpaw, I flipped through Ted Saucier's Bottom's Up and spotted the Royal York Special created at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. I upped the citrus quotient from a dash to a half ounce each to not only dry out the drink but to make it more like how I would craft a Maiden's Prayer. I thought of that recipe for the Royal York Special ingredient-wise is a grapefruit for orange juice version of that better known drink.
royal york special ted saucier bottom's up
The lemon oil from the twist I added filled the Royal York Special's nose. Next, a crisp grapefruit and orange sip gave way to a gin and orange peel swallow. While the lemon was somewhat detectable in the sip and swallow, it seemed to be more of a backbone ingredient than a dominant flavor here.


1 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Campari
1 barspoon Fernet Branca
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
southpaw left hand negroni variation
Two Sundays ago, we began the cocktail hour with the Southpaw that I found in Gary Regan's The Negroni book. The drink was created by Joseph Boley of Paris' Red House as a variation on Sam Ross' Left Hand. The Southpaw began with an orange and herbal aroma that led into a malt and grape sip. The swallow displayed the rest of the Bourbon notes along with the bitter Campari and Punt e Mes flavors and a Fernet Branca finish; indeed, the Fernet came across as rather tamed in the mix.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

mutiny suppressor

1 oz Amaro Nardini
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Navy Strength Gin (Hayman's Royal Dock)
1/4 oz Galliano

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large cube. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Fridays ago, I opened up Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 and honed in on the recipes crafted by Joaquín Simó. The one that called out the most was the Mutiny Suppressor, and on Manhattan's Pouring Ribbons' menu, they use the same Hayman's overproof gin that I reached for.
The Mutiny Suppressor greeted the nose with bright grapefruit oils, and the sip proffered grape and caramel notes. The swallow was an intriguing chocolate note from the Amaro Nardini with vanilla and anise from the Galliano, juniper from the gin, and other bitter herbal notes from the Punt e Mes and other ingredients.

crescent city cocktail

1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz White Label Rum (Smith & Cross)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
(1 dash Simple Syrup)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

One of the drinks on the Anvil's 100 Drink List version 2.0 that had befuddled me was the Crescent City Cocktail. I search high and low in my cocktail book library and on the web, but I could not find the recipe. However, in a package of vintage cocktail books that I recently bought on eBay was the 2nd edition of Angostura's Professional Mixing Guide from 1950, and there I finally spotted the recipe. Overall, the Crescent City Cocktail was much like a Fig Leaf (*). For a rum, I looked on the Anvil's list and it calls for a Jamaican rum; therefore, I used Smith & Cross and needed to add some simple syrup to balance its heat. Perhaps Andrea's suggestion of Coruba would have been better suited here as the rum.
crescent city cocktail
The Crescent City Cocktail began with Smith & Cross' funk with a vague fruitiness from the sweet vermouth and lime. A grape and lime sip led into swallow which offered the rum tamed by the vermouth and finished with lingering allspice and clove notes.

(*) After this post got some activity on eGullet, I learned that the recipe also appears in Embury. From the 1958 edition that sits by my computer:
Crescent City
• 4 parts Gold Label Rum
• 2 parts Sweet Vermouth
• 1 part Lime Juice
• 1-2 dash Angostura
Shake or stir with ice. 
Embury went on to say, "This cocktail, while not particularly good, is interesting in that it is a compromise between the aromatic type and the Sour type." Similar to Embury's style, it is more spirit forward and more tart than the one that I posted. With the one I made, I had to add extra simple syrup -- perhaps more due to the rum, but the lime juice quotient did not help, and Embury's has close to half the sweet vermouth amount.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

pals of old

1/3 Rye (1 oz Rittenhouse 100)
1/3 Bacardi (1 oz Appleton V/X)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Abbott's Bitters (My batch of replica)

Stir with ice and strain into a glass. I used a coupe, but a rocks glass with a big cube would work well too. Angostura Bitters would substitute well here in place of any of the soon-to-be less difficult to source replicas of Abbott's.

For a nightcap two Wednesdays ago, I searched in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a drink. There I found the Pals of Old which is somewhat different from the rye Negroni with a similar name, the Old Pal (or the Somerville riff, the Perfect Pal). I say somewhat since both drinks have a rye, vermouth, and third equal part format, with the Pals of Old calling for rum and sweet vermouth and the Old Pal for Campari and dry vermouth. Since the Pals of Old lacks a bitter liqueur ingredient, perhaps it is more similar to the Saratoga with rum here instead of Cognac. For a sugarcane spirit, I opted for something richer than the lighter, grassier Bacardi rum of that era, namely Appleton V/X, to mesh better with the aged rye.
The Appleton's aged rum notes filled the Pals of Old's bouquet. A grape and malt sip possessed a decent mouthfeel, and the swallow displayed a combined and smooth rye and aged rum flavor accented by clove-like spice.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


2/3 Cascades Rye (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100)
2 dash Dubonnet (1/2 oz Bonal)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
2 dash Lemon (1/2 oz)

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

After the Bottecchia, I opened up Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Vagabond. Since we do not have enough room in our fridge to carry two red wine-like quinquinas, I have been swapping Bonal for any call for Dubonnet lately with good results, and I decided to adapt the Vagabond recipe to my palate.
vagabond rye cocktail
The Vagabond greeted my nose with a lemon oil aroma that sometimes had more hints of rye and other times more hints of bitter grape notes. The malt-filled sip was fruity from the lemon, grape, and pomegranate elements, and the swallow offered up the rye that transitioned elegantly into Bonal's bitter herbal notes. With modern day American Dubonnet, the Vagabond would have been more like a Daisy, but with the Bonal, there was much added complexity.

Monday, May 27, 2013


1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Cynar
1 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Stir until the salt is dissolved. Add ice, stir again, and strain into a coupe glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

Two Tuesdays ago, I flipped through Gary Regan's Negroni book and stumbled upon the Bottecchia. Kevin Burke of Denver's Colt & Gray created this recipe where the gin of the classic Negroni was swapped for Fernet Branca and the sweet vermouth for Cynar. In addition, Kevin added a pinch of salt to temper the bitterness and to add a savory element to Bottecchia. For a name, he paid tribute to Ottavio Bottecchi, a cyclist who won the Tour de France in 1924 before dying mysteriously of unknown causes a few years later.
The grapefruit oils from the twist greeted the nose along with a dark herbal and earthy undertone. A caramel sip from the Fernet Branca and Cynar gave way to a swallow that began rather Cynar driven. Next, the swallow offered the Campari flavors along with a lingering light menthol note from the Fernet. Indeed, the salt really shifted the drink to a more mellow profile than the ingredients list would otherwise suggest.


2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/4 oz Kübler Absinthe
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a rocks glass. I later asked for a lemon peel to be twisted over the top.

A few Saturdays ago, I popped into No. 9 Park for a nightcap. For a drink, bartender Ted Kilpatrick suggested the Inventor, a Cognac Sazerac Flip of sorts created by Tyler Wang. Ted forewarned me that the Flip has the color of Strawberry Quik due to the egg and Peychaud's Bitters.
sazerac flip no. 9 park
Without the lemon oil, the Inventor presented a Cognac and anise aroma. A creamy sip then led into a Cognac swallow that finished with the absinthe and Peychaud's Bitters finish. After I requested the twist, the nose was dominated by the lemon and surprisingly the swallow seemed earthier.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


1/2 oz Mezcal
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Top with 1 oz Nino Franco Prosecco.

After returning from the Franklin Southie on the Red Line, I got off the subway at Davis Square and realized that there was still time to catch a nightcap at Spoke Wine Bar. At Spoke, bartender Sam Karachi mentioned that he could make his Last Word riff, the Afterword, that he could not make me as a follow up to the Saber & Foil since the bar was out of Amaro Montenegro at the time. With the Last Word symbolic foursome of ingredients being lightened by prosecco here, it reminded me of Trina's Starlite Lounge's Word to Your Mom which utilized Pretty Things Jack d'Or beer to a similar effect.
spoke wine bar davis square somerville ma
Once mixed, the Afterword's herbal notes from the amaro and Yellow Chartreuse joined the lime and wine aromas. The crisp sip from the citrus and dry sparkling wine transitioned into an herbal and slightly smokey mezcal swallow.


2 oz Zaya Gran Reserva 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Luxardo Espresso Liqueur
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Cream of Coconut

Shake with ice in a Highball glass. Add a straw.

Two Thursdays ago, I ventured over to the Franklin Southie to sit at Peter Cipriani's bar. For a drink, I asked Peter for the Sandpiper; while it seemed like a coffee-flavored riff on a classic Painkiller, the Sandpiper did reminded me of the Beach Cruiser from the Franklin's sister restaurant, the Citizen Public House, especially with the call for Zaya 12 Year Rum.
peter cipriani bartender franklin southie boston
The Sandpiper shared a dark rum and coffee nose that led into a caramel sip with the espresso liqueur's roast notes and the coconut's smoothness. The coconut continued on into the swallow but it was taken over by the pineapple, coffee, and dark rum flavors, and the drink's finish alternated between lingering pineapple and coffee roast notes. Indeed, the combination of pineapple, coffee, and dark rum turned out to be an amazing combination.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/2 oz Molasses Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing 3 ice cubes. Top with 2 oz of Notch Session Ale and add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured over to Brick & Mortar where Matthew Schrage and Phil MacLeod were tending bar. For a drink, I asked for the Blackheart off the menu for this beer cocktail had a pirate-y feel and both Batavia Arrack and beer as ingredients are big draws for me.
brick & mortar central square cambridge
The Blackheart's allspice and lime notes greeted the nose. The citrus continued into the sip where it mingled with the beer's crisp carbonation. The swallow presented the Batavia Arrack that was smoothed over by the molasses, and it ended with an allspice finish from the liqueur and bitters.

home wrecker

1 1/2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After having a drink at Stoddard's and chatting with bar manager Jamie Walsh for a bit, I headed over to Silvertone to attend the soirée held for Count Branca of Fernet Branca fame. The Count is a pleasing fellow that reminded people of Arthur with his carefree love of life (and all things Fernet Branca). One of the drinks I had was the Toronto and the Count was curious for he never had tried this gem first published in the 1940s; I was a bit surprised until he explained that in Italy, people drink it straight or in coffee, but he was game to drink one.
count branca event at silvertone cocktail by john nugent
Since the Branca product line contains other spirits including Punt e Mes, I also opted for an original created by bartender John Nugent called the Home Wrecker. John explained that Silvertone's John Childs asked for something summery, and for inspiration, John looked towards Misty Kalkofen's Maximilian Affair. Once shaken and strained, the Home Wrecker's nose was full of rye and floral notes. A malt and lemon sip led into a swallow that started with rye and ended with bitter floral flavors and a tart lemon finish.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

i'm on a boat

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Curaçao
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple fruit leaf, an orange twist, and a cherry, and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I stopped into Stoddard's before attending the soirée for Count Branca (of Fernet Branca) at Silvertone. I was originally going to get one of the interesting beers off of Stoddard's ever-changing list, but bar manager Jamie Walsh suggested that I try the new menu item, the I'm on a Boat. He explained that it was their riff on the Mai Tai that they named after the Saturday Night Live music video sketch.
snl i'm on a boat mai tai variation stoddards
The orange twist contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The grapefruit juice played a major part of the sip; moreover, the combination of lime, curaçao, and Angostura Bitters seemed to bolster this perception as it does in the Pegu Club. Finally, the Cognac notes appeared on the swallow along with the orgeat's nuttiness and the rum and bitters' spice.

captain kidd

1 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton VX)
1/2 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau Oloroso)
1/2 oz Scotch (Pig's Nose)
1 tsp Sugar (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain in a cocktail glass.

A few Mondays ago for the cocktail hour, I began to flip through my new acquisition of Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink which I found at a rather affordable price at an antique shop. I decided to go easy with the rum and Scotch choice using Appleton and a blended whisky instead of the Smith & Cross Rum and Laphroaig 10 Year that I might have grabbed on another evening.
trader vic's book of food & drink
The Captain Kidd presented a fruit aroma from the sherry that led into a dry grape and malt sip. The swallow then offered the rum, sherry's raisin, and hints of orange on the finish. Interestingly, the Scotch was at first more noticeable on the sip and then later on the swallow. Overall, the Captain Kidd reminded me a bit of an Arawac with extra complexity from the Scotch.

Monday, May 20, 2013

bayeux cocktail

1 1/2 oz Lecompte 5 Year Calvados
1/2 oz Krogstad Aquavit
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Earl Grey Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.
For a final libation at Craigie on Main, I asked bartender Ann Thompson for the Bayeux Cocktail. The drink's name makes reference to the town in Normandy where Lecompte Calvados is produced. Once mixed, the drink provided a fruity aroma from the orange oils, Calvados' apple, and Earl Grey's bergamot that was all spiced by the aquavit's caraway. The Calvados contributed both an apple sip and swallow, and the swallow was greatly complemented by the caraway and other herbal elements in the mix.


1 oz Batavia Arrack
1 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

After Myers & Chang, we stopped into Craigie on Main on the way home. For a first drink, I asked bartender Ann Thompson for the Passaggio created by Jared Sadoian. Jared later explained that it was his gateway to bitter drinks idea to bring guests into appreciating amaros and the like. Moreover, the Passaggio has a bitter edge but it is a little sweet and easy to drink. When I enquired about the Batavia Arrack, Jared explained that it was originally a rhum agricole drink (1 1/2 rhum, 1 Cocchi Americano, 1/2 Nonino) until this menu item depleted their agricole stock.
The orange twist contributed greatly to the Passaggio's aroma at first but later more and more Batavia Arrack notes crept in. The sip had the continuation of citrus notes along with the caramel from the Amaro Nonino, and the swallow showcased the Batavia Arrack's funk balanced by the rich herbal notes.

Friday, May 17, 2013


This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Witches' Garden" (MxMo LXXIII), was picked by Mark Holmes of the Cardiff Cocktails tumblr. Mark's challenge was, "As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington's 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber's ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So let's take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing."

When reading over the theme's description about the herb garden, I thought about what herbs were already up. Since there was already a mint-themed Mixology Monday, I considered the thyme, chives, catnip, and sage that are already up. The concept of a tequila-sage pairing came to mind, and I set about to find a recipe to match. While I did find a recipe, it was actually created as a rye drink first, and after making both, I felt that the rye version was superior despite my predisposition to the pairing. That recipe was Jacques Bezuidenhout's sage Sazerac, the Sagerac, and after Jacques became the Tequila Partida bartender ambassador, he created the tequila variation. Note: the below recipe has been adapted and scaled down by a third to make it less of a spirit bomb.
• 2 oz Rye Whiskey (*)
• 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
• 3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 4-6 Sage Leaves
Lightly muddle the sage leaves with the simple syrup and bitters. Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass rinsed with Herbsaint. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf.
(*) For the Tequila Sagerac, substitute 1 oz Reposado Tequila and 1 oz Blanco Tequila in place of the rye.
For the rye version, the sage and the Herbsaint's anise paired up on the nose to generate an almost minty aroma. A sweet, malty sip led into a rye swallow containing minty, anise, and spice flavors; finally, the swallow ended with lingering sage notes. The tequila version was not too much different, but the sip was less distinctive with only a slight aged flavor from the reposado tequila, and the swallow also began with the agave notes.
Jacques Bezuidenhout sage Sazerac
So thank you to Mark conjuring the witches but not having anyone turned into a toad during this month's Mixology Monday. Quite curious as to what other herbs people will select with for this event. Cheers!

black snake

1 1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Fizz glass. Top with 1 oz Coca Cola.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to Myers & Chang for dinner. Instead of a beer, I opted for a cocktail that I had spotted last time but passed on; this time, the combination of black strap rum, Cynar, lime, and cola was too curious to pass up. They had named the libation the Black Snake after the Chinese zodiac symbol for 2013. Cynar, black strap rum, and citrus have worked well in the past in drinks like Derek Brown's The Getaway, and Coke seemed like it would add some synergy to the mix.
myers & chang south boston black snake cocktail
The Black Snake proffered a lime and molasses nose that led into a lime and caramel sip. Most of the rum and its molasses flavors appeared on the swallow along with the Cynar-cola bitter notes. Over all, the Cynar and Coke worked rather well together, and the whole mixture came across like a more complex Kill Divil.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

turn of the century

3/4 oz Kübler (or other blanche) Absinthe
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)

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

Two Fridays ago for the cocktail hour, I opened up the new Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 and found the Turn of the Century by Maxwell Britten of Maison Premiere in Brooklyn. Maison Premiere is an oyster bar with an emphasis on Champagne and absinthe, and from their two dozen absinthes, Maxwell selected Kübler to craft a variation of the 20th Century.
maxwell britten maison premiere absinthe cocktail
The lemon twist brightened the absinthe's anise aroma and prepared the mouth for the lemon sip that was softened by the Cocchi Americano's sweet wine notes. The absinthe reared itself on the swallow which finished with a hint of cacao at the end. Whether it was the recipe's balance or the choice of Kübler, I was surprised at how the Turn of the Century was rather soft for such an absinthe-forward libation.

[gens du monde]

1 1/2 oz Maurin Quina
3/4 oz Bookers Bourbon
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
4 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a snifter glass.
local 149 john mayer maurin quina cocktail
While I was enjoying my 2011 at Local 149, John Mayer made Andrea a Bourbon drink that was heavy on the Maurin Quina. Since it lacked a name, I later dubbed it the Gens du Monde after a book of caricatures that Leonetto Cappiello did a few years before he got famous for designing a Maurin Quina poster that is now the bottle's label. Once mixed, the drink proffered a cherry and Bourbon aroma. The cherry continued into the sip where it paired with the Amaro Nonino's caramel. Finally, the swallow began with Bourbon and bitter herbal complexity and ended with a sweet chocolate-cherry finish. Overall, I enjoyed my tastes of Andrea's drink, but perhaps the cherry could be dialed back to an equal parts Maurin, amaro, and whiskey drink.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


1 oz Campari
1 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso Sherry
1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
1 pinch Salt

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

For my second drink at Local 149, bartender John Mayer suggested something on the lighter side containing Bonal. Originally, he had named it an "Acquired Taste," but he later changed it to a year. I mentioned that his tribute to what was en vogue then was similar to the Bartender's Bingo that Luke O'Neil and Sam Gabrielli invented the year in between then and now. Moreover, the combination of Campari and Bonal was one that I enjoyed recently in the Streets of San Miguel.
local 149 southie john mayer cocktails
The orange oil from the twist and the mezcal from the rinse greeted the nose. A grape sip shared a hint of orange, and a nutty, gentian, and Campari swallow rounded out the drink. Regardless of the year slapped on to the name, these flavor combinations still hold up rather well.

sock drawer sexuality

1 1/2 oz Luxardo Amaretto
3/4 oz Siete Leguas Añejo Tequila
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, Andrea and I ventured over to South Boston to pay bartender John Mayer a visit at Local 149. For a first drink, John recommended a drink that he had been tinkering with; he had riffed off of a recipe of his called the Rest Stop by substituting amaretto for the St. Germain, and adding tequila to the mix. For a name, he called it the Sock Drawer Sexuality which made me think of Clio's Mary's Sock Drawer. John did remind me that his wife is a sexuality teacher, so ideas like Magic Wand Malfunction are just common topics of conversation at home. The Sock Drawer Sexuality also reminded me a little of No. 9 Park's Diversionary Dam given the liqueur-Angostura combination.
The Sock Draw Sexuality began with the amaretto's almond aroma. The amaretto continued on into the sip along with the lemon and into the swallow where it mingled first with a glimmer of the tequila and then the dry wave of Angostura spice. The balance of amaretto with bitter and citrus here also made me think of Trina's Starlite Lounge's Suze-E-Q.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

elysian fields

2 oz VS Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/2 oz Orange Juice

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

Finally, after the Countless Night, I wanted a nightcap so I picked up the new Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 and found Chris Hannah's Elysian Fields that he created an Arnaud's French 75 Bar. With a decent but not overwhelming portion of Peychaud's Bitters balanced by Yellow Chartreuse, Maraschino, and orange juice, I was definitely intrigued by this Cognac drink. I am split as to what might have influenced Chris to name this drink the Elysian Fields more. On one hand, I figured that he named it after the street in New Orlean's Marigny that runs parallel to Frenchman (and also home to the Mixoloseum's bed & breakfast in 2010); on the other hand, Chris has shown an interest in Greek myths before such as with his Thamyris. In mythology, Elysian Fields are the final resting places for the heroic and the virtuous people's souls.
chris hannah arnaud's french 75 elysian fields
Once mixed, the lemon twist joined the Cognac aroma and hints of Maraschino and Peychaud's anise. An orange and cherry flavored sip gave way to a Cognac and Maraschino swallow with a dry herbal finish. While the orange juice seems to donate a bit of smoothness here, it did seem to make the Yellow Chartreuse rather subtle in the drink.

countless night

1 oz St. George Botanivore Gin
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
1/2 oz Fernet Branca

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

After the Archipelago Swizzle, I was really excited to chose a drink from Gary Regan's new The Negroni; while I got my copy through the Boston Shaker store, it is available at Amazon via the link above. In the book, besides my absurdist layered Knickroni, are drinks from Boston legends John Gertsen, Brother Cleve, Will Thompson, and Domingo-Martin Barreres, as well as other great bartenders across the country and world. For a starter, I picked Matt Seiter's Countless Night that he crafted at Sanctuaria in St. Louis. In this variation, he split the sweet vermouth into an intriguing combination of Fernet Branca and Bonal while holding everything else the same.
gary regan negroni book
The Countless Night's oils from the orange twist colored the herbal aromas. A grape and somewhat caramel sip led into a gin swallow that showcased the Campari cross with Fernet's menthol-laden bitterness. With the Fernet and Bonal, the balance came across as drier than a regular Negroni despite what is probably a slightly higher sugar content.

Monday, May 13, 2013

archipelago swizzle

2 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum

Build in a Collins glass, add crushed ice to fill, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a large bouquet of mint bound with a thin lemon twist and with 3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters. Add a straw.
Two Wednesdays ago, we began the evening with a drink that Colin Shearn created at the St. Charles Exchange in Louisville for the Bols Drink Around the World competition this year. I do not know whether I am a bigger fan of Swizzles or Colin Shearn's recipes, so when the two were in one, I was definitely game. Once mixed, the mint and lemon from the garnish joined the falernum and bitters' clove aroma. Next, a lemon and malt sip led into the Bols Genever flavors that were softened by the vanilla syrup. Towards the end of the drink, the bitters garnish entered into the taste profile and the Swizzle became rather dry and ripe with clove and allspice notes.

stagecoach traveler

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac (*)
1 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Amaro S. Maria al Monte

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass rinsed with Lucid Absinthe.
(*) Now made with 3/4 oz rye whiskey and 3/4 oz Cognac.

For Andrea's second drink, bartender Ted Gallagher made her one of the drinks he had been working on that lacked a name. In fact, when Ted emailed me the name later that week, he also had updated the recipe from a Cognac base to a split spirits base of Cognac and rye akin to a Saratoga. The tasting notes below are for the way it was served that night with the brandy base though.
steel and rye milton ma cocktails
The Aperol's orange notes on the nose were spiced by the absinthe rinse's anise, and as the drink warmed up, the Cognac grape aromas became apparent. The orange notes continued into the sip where it joined the amaro's caramel, and the swallow presented Cognac and the S. Maria's herbal flavors and finished with the absinthe spice.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

eddie lynch

2 oz Canadian Club Whisky
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
2 dash Green Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass containing fresh ice. Top with 2 oz soda water, add a straw, and garnish with a "traffic light" (lime twist, lemon twist, and cherry on a pick).

For my second drink at Steel & Rye, bartender Ted Gallagher recommended the Eddie Lynch, a tribute to his maternal grandfather; while Ted unfortunately never met his grandfather, he is name after him -- Edward Lynch Gallagher. Eddie grew up in Syracuse, NY, and he and his friends would break the traffic light in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood by throwing rocks at the red light. They complained to the city that the green should be on top (to mimic the Irish flag), and eventually the town gave in. To pay tribute to his grandfather's neighborhood, he based the libation roughly off of a Tipperary, and since Eddie grew up to be a Canadian Club salesman, Ted swapped the Irish for Canadian whisky.
steel & rye milton, ma ted gallagher cocktail
Ted's three color flag garnish captured the essence of his grandfather's childhood protest, and its green light on top provided a delightful lime oil aroma. A carbonated sip shared light citrus notes, and the swallow shared whiskey and hints of Chartreuse. I commented to Ted that the Eddie Lynch Highball reminded me of an easier drinking version of his Everybody is a Nun that he crafted for the J.D. Salinger 9 Stories event last year.

Friday, May 10, 2013

good cuban

1 oz Plantation 3 Star Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Mint Demerara Syrup
1/2 oz Kina L'Avion d'Or
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with 2 oz dry sparkling wine.
steel & rye milton
The libation that Andrea started with at Steel & Rye was the Good Cuban. Bar manager Ted Gallagher described how it was his take on the Pegu Club's neo-classic, the Old Cuban. Once mixed, the lime paired elegantly on the nose with the mint's greenness and spice. Next, a citrussy wine sip led into a swallow that shared a glimmer of the white rum's character but mainly the mint and the Kina L'Avion's herbal flavors. Definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum from the one Eastern Standard makes with aged Barbancourt.

maritime out

3/4 oz Rhum Clément
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quinquina
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a white wine glass.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to Milton to eat dinner at Steel & Rye. The bar program there is now headed by Craigie on Main and No. 9 Park alum Ted Gallagher and another of the bartenders is Green Street and Alchemist Lounge alum Derric Crothers. While it was Derric's night off, we did have the honor of getting to sit at Ted's bar again. For a light start to the evening, I asked Ted for the Maritime Out which was his addition to the Daiquiri Time Out (or D.T.O.) phenomenon in the area. Some bars, such as Brick & Mortar, have D.T.O.'s as shooters or cocktails on the menu, and others have Daiquiri variations such as Eastern Standard's Chappaquiddick. The Steel & Rye Daiquiri variation strayed by calling for rhum agricole with much of the spirit's potency cut with Bonal Gentiane Quinquina.
daiquiri time out d.t.o. steel & rye milton
The Maritime Out offered a grape and grass aroma. The grape continued on into the sip along with the lime, and the swallow offered the rhum's grassiness balanced by the Bonal's bitter herbal notes and finishing clean from the lime crispness.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

the maloney no. 2

1 1/2 oz Bonded Bourbon (Fighting Cock (*))
1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Not bonded, but at 103 proof, it is similar in strength.
Finally, after the High Noon, I began perusing Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 where I spotted the Maloney No. 2. The recipe was created by John Durr of the Hawthorn Beverage Group in Louisville, and this Manhattan variation seemed like it would make for a solid nightcap. Once mixed, the twist's orange oils elegantly mingled with a vanilla-like note that I assume was from the Bourbon's barrel aging. Similar to a Manhattan, the sip greeted the tongue with grape and malt flavors. Finally, the swallow began with the whiskey followed by the Cynar bitter notes and ending with a Maraschino finish with lingering herbal notes from the amaro.

high noon

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Piedra Azul)
1/2 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1/2 oz Campari
1 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

After the Sherry Mai Tai two Saturdays ago, I decided to make the High Noon from the May/June 2013 issue of Imbibe Magazine. The recipe was crafted by Naren Young of New York City's Saxon & Parole, and it appears in the magazine's "four ingredient challenge" article. I was lured in for the combination of Campari and pink grapefruit juice has worked so well in the past such as in Chez Henri's Shiver.
The aromas of the grapefruit oils mingled with the tequila notes on the nose. An orange and grapefruit sip was followed by tequila and Campari bitter flavors on the swallow and a peppery finish.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

sherry mai tai

1 1/2 oz Dry Nutty Sherry (Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 oz Sweet Sherry (Lustau Pedro Ximénez)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and add a straw.

After reflecting on Belly Wine Bar's sherry-centric cocktail menu, I wondered what classic cocktails could be sherr-ified. I began to process some of the pleasing sherry combinations that I have tried, and I honed in on how the nuttier sherries, such as Olorosos and Amontillados, work rather elegantly with orgeat such as in Sahil Mehta's Four Moors and Todd Maul's Joe Bans You. From the orgeat aspect, I immediately thought of the Mai Tai and how adaptable that recipe is such as with the whiskey-based Bluegrass Mai Tai and tequila-based Pinky Gonzalez. So why not a sherry Mai Tai?
mai tai tiki sherry
Since I was not sure whether lime would work in this drink or whether I would need to switch to lemon as the Bluegrass Mai Tai did, I made both; however, my gut instinct that lemon was the way to go was correct. Once mixed, the mint garnish added a sweet spice over the Pedro Ximénez's raisin aroma. A citrussy sip from the lemon juice and orange liqueur paired well with the fruity grape notes, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of nutty and raisiny elements. I am happier with the way it turned out than with the name I dubbed this one -- it says it all but lacks panache.

saber & foil

1 oz Rhum Neisson Blanc
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Gran Classico
1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado

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

Two Thursdays ago, I ventured over to Spoke Wine Bar in Davis Square. For a first drink, I asked bartender Sam Karachi for the Saber & Foil which he described as one of California Gold's creations. Cali later came over to discuss how she was influenced by Scott Holliday's Defensio, a rhum agricole riff on the classic gin-based Lucien Gaudin Cocktail. In keeping with the fencing theme and rhum agricole base, Cali shot for something a bit lighter in balance and similarly named the drink after some of the lighter thrusting weapons used in sword sport. Moreover, she wanted to keep the concept in line with a rhum agricole Negroni.
spoke wine bar davis square california gold
The Saber & Foil's grapefruit twist contributed greatly to the drink's aroma. The sip offered dry wine notes, and the swallow began with grassy followed by nutty and ending with bitter herbal flavors.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

time traveler

3/4 oz Citadelle Gin
3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz St. Germain
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

For my second drink at Brick & Mortar, I asked bartender Phil MacLeod for a drink called the Time Traveler that I had spotted on one of the Spin the Bottle menus that they had put on Twitter. The Time Traveler was served at the Spin the Bottle Turns 1 anniversary event a few weeks ago, and this elderflower Aviation of sorts was dubbed after the Saint Germain character who is a mysterious time traveler in the Castlevania video game series.
The Time Traveler greeted the nose with a gin and Maraschino aroma. The fruity sip shared the lemon juice and St. Germain's pear-like notes, and the swallow began with gin and ended with the Maraschino and St. Germain's floral elements.

10 cent loosie

2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Cardamaro
1/2 oz Black Cardamom Syrup
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured over to Brick & Mortar for cocktails. One of the new drinks on the menu, the 10 Cent Loosie, was created by bartender Kenny Belanger during an USBG-sponsored mezcal event which featured a talk given by Misty Kalkofen and a chance to play around with various mezcals. I believe that Kenny mentioned that he developed this one with Del Maguey Chichicapa, but they changed to the Vida to keep the menu price down. He also explained that he named the drink after single cigarettes that used to be for sale in certain stores for a dime, but I am guessing that the days of purchasing smokes for that price are long gone.
del maguey mezcal cocktail
The lemon oil from the twist brightened the mezcal and herbal aroma. The herbal notes continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Cardamaro's wine, and the swallow proffered the agave, cardamom spice, and bitter notes. Finally, the 10 Cent Loosie finished with a pleasing combination chocolate and smoke.

Monday, May 6, 2013

the olivia

2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's)
3 slice Cucumber

Muddle the cucumber. Shake with ice and double strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with another slice of cucumber.

After the Suze Bramble, I stuck with the agave theme and decided to make the Olivia that I spotted on the Del Maguey website. It was one of the two cucumber drinks that I was looking at for the "Eat Your Vegetables" Mixology Monday last month, but I opted to make the Going Back to Mezcali for the event instead of this one. The Olivia was crafted by Max Kestenbaum from the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice, California, and with honey and ginger flavors, it seemed like it would be a crowd pleaser.
Once mixed, the cucumber aroma mingled with that of the mezcal. A lime, honey, and vegetal sip led into the smokey agave and the zing of the ginger.

suze bramble

3/4 oz Suze Gentiane Liqueur (Salers)
3/4 oz Blanco Tequila (Piedra Azul)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 Blackberry

Shake with ice (I muddled the blackberry first) and double strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a fresh blackberry.

Two Tuesdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with a drink I spotted in the aperitif section of Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 called the Suze Bramble. The drink was created by Ira Koplowitz and Nicholas Kosevich of Eat Street Social in Minneapolis, and I was drawn to the recipe for I recall how well gentian liqueurs work with blackberries such as in Tyler Wang's L'Année du Mexique. In this Bramble, the fruit element was muddled or shaken into the drink instead of being drizzled over the top in the way Dick Bradsell created the original Bramble in 1984.
The Suze Bramble shared a tequila aroma with herbal notes from the Salers. Next, a grapefruit and blackberry sip was followed by the tequila and a bitter complexity from the gentian liqueur.

Friday, May 3, 2013


1 oz Citadelle Gin
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Curaçao
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Rhubarb Syrup (see recipe)
2 pod Cardamom
1 dash Orange Bitters

Muddle the cardamom pods with the bitters. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a cocktail glass. Top with 1 oz Louis Bouillot dry sparkling wine.

For my last cocktail at Bergamot, bartender Paul Manzelli suggested something that Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli had created at Craigie on Main called the 1771. The name refers to the year that the Citadelle Gin recipe was developed in Dunkirk, England. Moreover, the 1771's cardamom muddled in orange bitters as well as the sparkling wine reminded me of the Straits of Messina at Island Creek Oyster Bar, and I would not be surprised if Tommy played some role in that drink's genesis too.
The 1771 shared a bright orange and rhubarb aroma with a bit of cardamon spice. The sparkling wine on the sip joined the crispness of the citrus, and the swallow offered the gin and rhubarb flavors along with a bitter finish from the cardamom.

carlsbad flip

1 1/2 oz Becherovka
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Pineau des Charentes
1/2 oz Cream
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1 barspoon Simple Syrup
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I paid a visit to Bergamot for drinks and dessert. Hidden away on the dessert menu beside the Cambridge Tea was the Carlsbad Flip which seemed quite tempting. Bartender Paul Manzelli explained that he had created it one night for a guest who wanted an Egg Nog. The use of Becherovka in place of a spirit seemed Eastern Standard-inspired, such as with their Bees' Knees-like Metamorphosis and their Pisco Sour-like Kysely, but the use of Pineau des Charentes was very Bergamot. For a name, Paul chose the Carlsbad Flip after the locale where the Czech herbal liqueur is made.
becherovka egg nog
The nutmeg garnish combined with the Becherovka's clove to generate a gingerbread-like nose. The creamy sip contained honey flavors and perhaps a wine note from the Pineau des Charentes. Finally, the liqueur's clove and cinnamon spice rounded out the swallow.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

basin street blues

1 oz Nardini Amaro
1 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Turbinado Sugar Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 3 drops of a smokey Islay Scotch (Laphroaig 10 Year).

Two Saturdays ago, we were in the mood for something on the lighter side, and what came to mind was the Basin Street Blues that appeared in SeriousEats. The recipe was attributed to the Domenica Restaurant in New Orleans, and it is named after a song first published in 1926, frequently performed by Dixieland jazz bands, and made famous by Louis Armstrong. The connection to the Crescent City is that the song title and drink name refer to the main drag of Storyville, the French Quarter's old red light district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
basin street blues
The Basin Street Blues greeted the senses with a peaty smoke from the Scotch and a chocolate note from the Nardini. Next, a fruity sip containing the citrus and the Pimm's strawberry flavor was followed by an herbal, coffee, and orange swallow.

courtney riley cooper

4 part Cognac (1 1/2 oz Foret Brandy)
1 part Dubonnet (3/4 oz Bonal)
1 part Cointreau (3/8 oz)
1 part Lime Juice (3/8 oz)

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

After the Colonia Roma, I still had some lime juice left over, so I grabbed David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks to find a use for it. There I spotted the Courtney Riley Cooper. With the Dubonnet and orange liqueur, the recipe made me think of the Don't Give Up the Ship despite the different base spirit and presence of citrus here. The drink was named after Courtney Ryley Cooper who was a circus performer and later publicist for Ringling Brothers, Barnum, and Bailey Circus; moreover, Cooper was a prolific author of crime books and was Annie Oakley's first biographer.
david embury the fine art of mixing drinks
The orange oil from the garnish brightened the candied orange aroma from the pairing of the brandy and Cointreau. A sweet lime and grape sip led into a rich Grand Marnier-like swallow. Over all, the drink was an elegant tribute to a curious man.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

colonia roma

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Piedra Azul)
1 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Branca Menta
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon Simple Syrup

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

Two Fridays ago, my copy of Food & Wine: Cocktails 2013 arrived, and I started perusing the book for cocktail ideas. This year, the format is similar to 2011 where there drink recipes are divided up by spirit type, but instead of one contributor for each section, there are four. Some notable and familiar faces include Will Thompson of Drink, Ivy Mix of Clover Club, Erick Castro of Polite Provisions, Paul McGee of Three Dots & A Dash, Nicole Lebedevitch of The Hawthorne, and Kirk Estopinal of Cure. The one I selected to start with was a tequila drink, the Colonia Roma, from the Anvil's Bobby Heugel.
bobby heugel anvil tequila cocktail
The Colonia Roma proffered a grapefruit and mint-menthol aroma that blended in well with the agave nose. Next, a white wine and lime sip gave way to a minty tequila swallow with an herbal finish. Overall, the libation fell somewhere between a Virgin de Guadalupe and the Restauranteur.

are you for cereal?

1 1/2 oz Fidencio Joven Mezcal (*)
1 1/2 oz Cocoa Puffs-infused Cream
3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Jar Syrup (**)
1 Egg White

Shake without ice and then with ice. Garnish with a touch of cayenne pepper (*).
(*) Appears on the menu as Old Monk Rum and nutmeg.
(**) Cherry Heering or other cherry liqueur would probably sub well here in a pinch.

For a final drink at Sichuan Garden II, bartender Ran Duan made us something desserty off of the menu called the "Are You For Cereal?" Ran was influenced by Manhattan's Momofuku and their use of cereal-infused milk in many of their items; I did find a SeriousEats article that provides a basic recipe for the flavored milk. Normally, the drink appears on the cocktail menu as an Old Monk Rum drink garnished with nutmeg to make it more accessible, but Ran prefers it with mezcal and dusted with hot pepper which is how he made it for us.
sichuan garden II ran duan cocktail
Once mixed, the mezcal aroma joined that of the spicy pepper garnish. A creamy sip led into a gentle mezcal swallow containing a touch of cherry and chocolate notes. Over all, the drink made for a delightful dessert cocktail.