Wednesday, July 31, 2013

moretta cocktail

3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz Calvados (Morin Selection)
3/4 oz Pimm's No. 1
3/4 oz Dry Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1 dash Celery Bitters (Housemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an apple slice, cucumber, and a sprig of mint (only a sprig of mint here).

A few Tuesdays ago, I spotted an interesting drink to make on the Mutineer Magazine blog called the Moretta Cocktail. The drink was to be featured at the Tales of the Cocktail's Spirit of Italy's Aperitivo Italiano event the following day. Since I was not attending Tales, I figured that I could share in some of the magic from afar this way albeit a day early.
The Moretta Cocktail proffered a mint aroma that spiced an otherwise nutty and apple-y nose. The apple continued on into sip along with the sherry's grape and a vague fruitiness from the Pimm's. The swallow then shared a pleasant nuttiness from both the sherry and the Maraschino liqueur.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

:: mixology monday flip flop wrap up ::

This year, I avoided the dreaded July Mixology Monday curse of getting bogged down with Tales of the Cocktail mayhem and got this event scheduled with enough time afterwards to allow for everyone to recover and still participate. This month's Mixology Monday is the 75th iteration of this online shindig and I chose the theme of Flip Flop!. A good number of participants made the time to play along; they took classics and neo-classics and altered a few of the ingredients to make a new libation while still leaving the recipe recognizable as a riff on the original. In order of their appearance in my comment section or email box:
• The Booze Nerds took the tiki classic, the Fog Cutter, and changed around the two base spirits and one of the citrus to craft the Sunbreak.
• The Sheik is Tempered Spirits' alteration of the Blood & Sand, a drink that I've enjoyed riffing off of in the past.
• Putney Farms takes the Manhattan and makes a rum-amaro variation called the Carlos Danger.
• I, Frederic of Cocktail Virgin, sauntered into the party batting fourth with a twist on the New Orleans' lesser known classic, the Cocktail à la Louisiane, that I dubbed Cocktail à La Salle.
• An Anise Hyssop Julep? That's the twist that Grow.Eat.Mix.Drink threw our way. They unnecessarily panicked that they only swapped a single ingredient, so they redid the drink with a change of base spirit as well.
• The Shorter Straw riffed on the tequila-grapefruit soda refresher to concoct the Huevo de Paloma. Check out the great drink vessel!
• Andrea of Gin Hound also ran with the Paloma and turned the dove into a goose with the El Ganso.
• Starting with the Blue Train Special from Stan Jones' Complete Barguide, A Drink With Forrest was inspired to craft the Especial Azul Tren
The Chancellor was Rowen of the Fogged in Lounge's contribution and one that riffed off of a previous contribution from MxMo Inverted.
• JFL of Rated R Cocktails continued on with his series on the Planters Punch with his variation, the Onirico Planter's.
• A Mexican take on the Singapore Sling? The Jalisco Sling is A Bar Above's contribution and he alters a few of the other ingredients to match the spirit change here. Video and all!
• Bartending Notes flipflops on Simon Difford's Cox's Daiquiri to generate the Burning Love that he makes at his behind the stick at the Elvis King Pub.
• Elana of Stir & Strain presents the Pelée Sunset, a riff on the Manhattan with rhum agricole and Pimm's.
• I knew that the Vieux Carré riff was inevitable and I am glad it happened! The Straight Up offers the Summer in the Old Square.
• Death to Sour Mix shares the Cosmopolis and schools us on what makes a good Cosmopolitan, riff or not.
• Inspired by Chris Hannah's love of Strega, Muse of Doom tinkers with one of his cocktails to produce the Penannular Brooch.
• Rafa was swayed by Colin Shearn's amazing contribution to Beta Cocktails and flipped it around into the Colossal Youth -- a cool Young Marble Giants reference.
• The Bolaños is Spirited Remix's spirited remix of the Bombay (not Mombai).
• Vidiot snuck in with a late submission. His photo won't be ready until later tonight (skipping it for now works well with my 3 across theme). He takes a gin slant at the Mai Tai with the George Takei tribute, the Oh Mai!
• Oh a straggler cerca 11pm! I'm a beer and a pair of cocktails in, so I'm not going to try to post Dagreb (of Nihil Utopia)'s drink photo, but his Onion Front is a Pickle Back turned topsy-turvey. Skol!
• Not quite a straggler, but a few hours after Dagreb's entry was added, the FrogPrincess realized that she never alerted me of her otherwise on-time entry. Never fear, for here is the Corpse Reviver #2 riff, You Only Live Twice.

Hopefully I didn't leave anyone out of this round up (pardon my quick and dirty approach, but time is short given my work schedule and all) and perhaps I will be tacking on some straggling cats that I missed in the first cat herding round up. Thank you all for participating this month and I raise a glass to all of you, readers and writers alike. Cheers!

Monday, July 29, 2013

3:20 in the morning

3/4 oz Great King Street Scotch
3/4 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a single Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon oil.

While filling my bartender moleskin with recipes to remember and use as inspiration, Jason Schiffer's Michigander caught my attention. Later, I decided to tinker with the four part recipe and expand it a bit. Taking the original's apple brandy base spirit, I added in an equal part of Scotch for I have found that smokey whisky and applejack work rather well together in drinks like Leo Engel's Little Rebel Cocktail. I kept the Cynar and lemon juice in place, but I swapped the honey for Drambuie. It was rather elegant but a touch on the tart side; I upped the sweetness initially with some simple syrup, but honey syrup seemed like a more flavorful option. For a name, I paid tribute to the bar that Jason works at -- 320 Main in Seal Beach, California.
I made this drink again for Tara, our Drambuie rep, when she stopped by Russell House Tavern during my shift on Friday; it was probably closer to 3:20 in the afternoon than the drink name suggests. In exchange for emailing her the recipe, I got her photo to use in return. Indeed, smokey Scotch, apple spirit, bright citrus, darker Cynar, and smooth honey notes worked rather well together.

[mansion in the sky]

1 1/2 oz Diabolique Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz Kümmel
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a snifter glass.
Two Mondays ago, I was planning on staying in, but eventually I needed to get out of the house. Therefore, I opened up the OnTheBar app and spotted that Sahil Mehta was working at Estragon. Of course, Sahil works most Mondays, but I had lost focus on what night it was and the app surely helped out. For a drink, Sahil mentioned that he had created something for a customer who wanted a riff on the house cocktail the Delta Dawn. The Delta Dawn combines Bourbon, a peach-ginger shrub, orgeat, lemon juice, and Angostura Bitters. Changing the shrub for apricot liqueur and the orgeat for falernum and kümmel, the next generation of drink was created, but it still lacked a name by the time it reached my glass. Delta Dawn is the name of a song written by child rockabilly star Larry Collins and songwriter Alex Harvey around 1971. I dubbed the drink the Mansion in the Sky after a line from the first verse:
Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
And did I hear you say he was a-meeting you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky?
Once presented to me, the cocktail offered an apricot and kümmel spice that came across as perfume-like with cherry-peach notes. Lemon on the sip joined a fruity note from the apricot, and as things warmed up over time, the cherry-like flavors began to appear on the sip as well. In retrospect, the cherry notes might be due to the Black Mission figs in the Diabolique Bourbon infusion (Estragon has a cordial license and cannot carry Bourbon proper). Next, the swallow showcased the whiskey followed by spiced apricot flavors.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

cocktail a la salle

This month's Mixology Monday theme, "Flip Flop!" (MxMo LXXV), was picked by um, well... me. I described this month's challenge as, "I thought of the theme for this month's Mixology Monday shortly after making the Black Rene, an obscure drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The combination of brandy, amber rum, lemon, and Maraschino was tasty, but I felt that the recipe could be improved if I swapped in different ingredients. Taking a page from Max Toste of Deep Ellum who converted the Black Devil into the White Devil, I flipped around the ingredients to be pisco, white rum, lime, and Maraschino instead. With this combination that I called the White Rene, the drink really sang but it was still recognizable as being an alteration of the original recipe... [So] find a recipe, either new or old, and switch around at least two of the ingredients to sister or cousin ingredients but holding the proportions and some of the ingredients the same. The new recipe should be recognizable as a morph of the old one when viewed side by side."

Initially, I thought of the Vieux Carré as a good starting point for it has worked well for Scott Holliday with the Piazza Vecchia and Central Carré. However, I have already tinkered with it in the Hasta Manzana and Marigny Cocktail. Therefore, I looked towards a lesser appreciated New Orleans classic, the Cocktail à la Louisiane, that I was introduced to by Misty Kalkofen back at Green Street cerca 2007. It takes the flavor profile of the Vieux Carré and intensifies it by increasing the Benedictine, dropping the Cognac, and swapping absinthe in place of the Angostura Bitters.
To change up the drink, I originally thought of flipping the rye whiskey to mezcal, but when I finally got around to making the drink last night, I reached for reposado tequila. Since agave spirits pair so elegantly with sherry (a trick taught to us by Misty herself), I used that fortified wine in place of the sweet vermouth. I kept everything else in line with the classic.
Cocktail à La Salle
• 1 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolón)
• 1 oz Dry Sherry (Lustau Oloroso)
• 1 oz Benedictine
• 3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
• 3 dash Absinthe (>1 bsp La Muse Verte)
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a name, I wanted to keep the "Cocktail à la" part and thought of La Salle -- a figure that plays into both New Orleans and Mexican history. Robert de La Salle (a/k/a René-Robert Cavelier) was a 17th century French explorer who ventured into the Gulf of Mexico and then up the Mississippi river through what is now New Orleans. Once this tribute drink was mixed, it offered an anise and herbal aroma. The sherry's grape filled the sip, and the swallow began with tequila followed by herbal and absinthe flavors. Finally, the swallow ended with a nutty sherry finish that offered Benedictine's chocolate and mint notes.

Usually I thank the host and I used to thank ring leader Paul Clarke, but since the host is me and I feel the need to thank someone, I'll give a big tip of the hat to Paul for starting this online cocktail party which now is celebrating its 75th iteration! Cheers to Paul and all of the participants who keep this event alive!

Friday, July 26, 2013

no. 64

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.
After the Hawthorne, I got dinner in Central Square and continued my meanderings that eventually led me to Hungry Mother where Heather Mojer was tending bar. For a drink, I requested the No. 64 which on paper appeared like a mezcal variation of the classic Bijou; it seemed like a good continuation of the mezcal theme I started at the Hawthorne. The No. 64 began with a lemon and agave aroma. Grape with hints of herbalness filled the sip; the swallow then proffered mezcal followed by the Chartreuse that was softened by the fullness of the Carpano Antica. Indeed, the vegetal flavors of the mezcal complemented the Green Chartreuse quite nicely.

company swizzle

1 oz Del Maguey Espadin Especial Mezcal
1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Housemade Ginger Syrup

Build in a Collins glass, add crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with mint sprigs, Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters, and Bittermens Mole Bitters; add a straw.

Two Sundays ago, I started my adventure by attending a talk at Russell House Tavern; Maggie from Privateer Rum was speaking to the staff about the distillery and the rum in preparation for her talk at Tales of the Cocktail that week. She also brought bottles of rather elegant sugar cane spirit-based gin and teased us with talk of Privateer's navy strength rum that might be out by the Fall. Afterwards, I headed down Mass Ave and stopped into the Hawthorne. There, I found a seat in front of bartender Carrie Cole. When I started looking at the Swizzle section of the menu, Carrie mentioned that Katie Emmerson had created a Swizzle earlier in the week that she was quite excited about.
Once Katie's Company Swizzle was mixed, it offered a mint, chocolate, and cinnamon aroma. A grape and citrus sip led into a smokey mezcal swallow that played nicely with the sharp ginger notes from the syrup. Overall, it came across like a gussied up Tombstone Mule.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

lord suffolk

1/2 jigger Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1 spoon Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 spoon Cointreau (1/4 oz)
1 spoon Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 spoon Sweet & Sour (1/2 oz either lemon or lime juice)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After Spoke, I decided to make a nightcap and reached for Boothby's World Drinks And How To Mix Them. There, I spotted the Lord Suffolk and was drawn into the Gin Crusta-like feel. I first made the drink using lime juice and returned to it a few days later and made it with lemon. With lime, the drink donated a gin, lime, and fruity aroma. Grape, lime, and orange notes filled the sip and gave way to gin swallow with a tart Maraschino finish. With the lemon, the nose was more gin- and Maraschino-driven. A lemon sip was joined by fruity flavors from the Cointreau and sweet vermouth; next, the swallow shared lemony gin and Maraschino notes. With the lime, the Lord Suffolk was a Pegu Club meeting an Aviation, while with the lemon, the drink was a softer and less floral Aviation.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 sprig Mint
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and add straws.
Two Thursdays ago, I stopped into Spoke and asked bartender Daniel for the Prizefighter. Offshift Spoke bartenders California Gold and Sam Karachi described to me how the drink was created by Nick Jarrett at a recent Tales of the Cocktail. The original called for muddled lemon wedges but the staff at Spoke decided to simplify the recipe for expediency purposes. Once mixed, the mint bouquet contributed greatly to the nose. A lemon, grape, and caramel sip led into Fernet Branca swallow that was modulated by the Carpano Antica and was followed by mint notes.

Postnote 09/15/17: I found the recipe that Nick posted on the Barnotes app.
Prizefighter No. 1
N. Jarrett original from Clover Club, 2010; Mr. Boston's Official Bartender's Guide, 75th anniversary edition.
• 1 oz Fernet Branca
• 1 oz Carpano Antica
• 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
• 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 6-8 leaf Mint
• 3-4 wedge Lemon
• 1 pinch Salt
Muddle lemon, mint, and salt in simple syrup. Combine other ingredients in tin, whip shake. Fine strain over crushed ice, garnish lavishly with mint. Two straws.


3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Amber Cognac
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Monte Cassino at Bergamot, the Cognac and Amaro Montenegro inspired bartender Paul Manzelli to riff on the classic Hoop La. To the original, he added a portion of Amaro Montenegro:
• 3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Amber Cognac
• 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
• 3/4 oz Royal Combier Orange Liqueur
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
While this drink was definitely good, I felt that the orange liqueur masked a lot of the beautiful herbal and citrus peel notes in the amaro. Therefore, I remade the drink on my own with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac and dropped the orange liqueur for I felt that the citrus notes in the Amaro Montenegro might be sufficient to carry the drink.
Once remade, the drink provided a herbal and citrus aroma. A slightly tart lemon and clementine sip led into a Cognac and herbal swallow. The change definitely lightened the heft of the orange peel notes from the Royal Combier and allowed the other ingredients to shine through.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

monte cassino

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Amber Cognac
1 oz Campari
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 dash Fee Brothers' Peach Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing fresh ice cubes.

Two Wednesdays ago, I dropped into Bergamot where Paul Manzelli was bartending. For a start, I selected the Monte Cassino off of the menu; no, it was not the same Monte Cassino that won NYC's Damon Dyer the Bénédictine 500th anniversary cocktail competition. Instead, it was a house original that appeared more like a loose riff on a Negroni with Cognac and Amaro Montenegro subbing in for the classic's gin and sweet vermouth. In the mix was also a dash of peach bitters; indeed, the combination of Campari and peach was one that previously worked rather well in Derek Brown and Brian Tetorakis' Bitter Peach.
The Monte Cassino offered a peach and herbal aroma. A sweet caramel sip transferred into a swallow that began with the Cognac flavors. Next, Campari softened by the Amaro Montenegro was followed by a peach finish.

Monday, July 22, 2013

fight in silence

1 1/2 oz Rhum Clément VSOP
1 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Brown Sugar Syrup (*)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Tony prefers brown sugar syrup, but only burnt sugar syrup was available at the bar that night.

Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured down to Stoddard's and found some standing room at the end of the bar along with a menu. Soon after, I was greeted by bartender Tony Iamunno and I commented that the Fight in Silence had his name written all over it. Tony was curious as to how I knew it was his creation, and I replied that it shared some similarities to the Blood of My Enemies that he crafted last summer both in name and in ingredients.
The Fight in Silence's orange twist greeted the nose and prepared the senses for the orange flavors to follow. A creamy orange and caramel sip was followed by a grassy rum swallow. After the rum notes, there was a bitter herbal and dark caramel finish that came across almost cherry-like at times.

queen elizabeth cocktail

1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Dolin Dry)
1/4 Benedictine (3/4 oz)
1/4 Lime Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After returning home from Steel & Rye, I was in the mood for a light nightcap to quench the night's warm air. In my 1940 edition of The How and When by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco, I spotted the Queen Elizabeth Cocktail which reminded me of the Board of Directors with its dry vermouth base. Once mixed, it offered a lime and herbal aroma that led into a lime- and wine-flavored sip. Next, the herbalness of the Benedictine filled the swallow that ended with a lime finish. Overall, the Queen Elizabeth was nice and cleansing and perfect for the hot evening.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

chutes & ladders

1 1/2 oz Zapopan Blanco Tequila
1 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a single Old Fashioned glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

One of the first drinks I created while working at Russell House Tavern was inspired by the untouched bottles of Kronan Swedish Punsch we had on hand that needed some love. I decided to riff on the Metexa from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. Taking that 1937 classic and making it less aperitif-like and more citrus-driven like a Margarita, the recipe began to take shape. I originally wanted to call the drink "(In the) Basement of the Alamo" but that seemed to long; not wanting to drop the pop culture aspect (but sadly dropping the Peewee Herman angle), I dubbed it Chutes & Ladders. The first person I made it for was Estragon's Sahil Mehta who visited me one afternoon; he enjoyed it so much that the person sitting next to him asked for a sip and then declared that he wanted one as his next drink. With KoldDraft cubes, the balance was spot on, but when I made it for Sam Gabrielli a few days later when we had only hotel ice, it was a bit more tart so he suggested the dash of simple syrup. I later remade the drink with a barspoon of simple syrup using KoldDraft cubes, and the extra sweetness did no harm and perhaps made the drink a bit more accessible. That time I mixed it for Taylor for the OnTheBar blog when he stopped by to interview me; read the OnTheBar Interview with Fred Yarm here. Perhaps this recipe will make the cut for the next Russell House Tavern cocktail menu in a few weeks...
The Chutes & Ladders began with an orange oil aroma that shared hints of the Swedish Punsch. A lime and citrus wine sip gave way to the tequila and Swedish Punsch-laden swallow. Overall, the cocktail is complex in flavor but without being all that difficult of a drink.

Friday, July 19, 2013

[lower mills]

1 1/2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Citrus Cordial (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing an orange wheel and filled with crushed ice. Add a straw.
(*) Sub triple sec in a pinch. See this post that includes a recipe for a grapefruit cordial the bar manager used to make while at Craigie on Main and perhaps sub lemon and lime.
Two Sundays ago, we stopped into Steel & Rye in Milton for dinner. There, bartender Ted Gallagher made me an Old Tom gin drink he had been tinkering with. Once mixed, it offered a citrus and grape aroma that led into a light citrus and grape sip. Next, the gin led off the swallow that continued on with nutty and gentian flavors and spice-driven swallow.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


1 1/2 oz Light Rum (Caliche)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1 tsp 151 Proof Rum (Lemon Hart)

Blend with 1/2 cup of ice. Instead, I shook with ice and strained into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Two Fridays ago, I continued on in my explorations of the Playboy's Host & Bar Book and decided to make a tiki-like drink called the Borinquen. It seemed perfect for a really hot night where we needed something cooling and refreshing. Since Borinquen is the indigenous Taíno name for Puerto Rico, I opted to use Caliche Rum from said island. Instead of the island-appropriate Bacardi 151 in our collection, I selected the more flavorful Lemon Hart as the spiritous accent here.
On the nose, the passion fruit's brightness was countered by the Lemon Hart's dark rum notes. The lime and orange citrus notes on the sip were smoothed out by the passion fruit, and the passion fruit continued on into the swallow where it mingled with the rum. Overall, the general feel of the drink reminded me of the gin-based Saturn that appears in Beach Bum Berry Remixed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

san juan sling

3/4 oz Light Rum (Turkey Shore White Cap)
3/4 oz Cherry Liqueur (Heering)
3/4 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, add a straw, and garnish with a lime twist.

After the Dot, I grabbed my copy of Playboy's Host & Bar Book and found the San Juan Sling. I was reminded of the recipe after reading DiscoInferno's Mixology Monday post for the recent "cherry" theme and then decided to hunt it out. The general recipe reminds me of a Raffles Hotel Sling recipe that I used to make with gin, and I figured that rum could do no wrong here.
The Sling's aroma was filled with lime oil from the twist and the sip offered lime juice and carbonation that balanced the richness of the Cherry Heering and perhaps the Benedictine. The swallow then offered the rum, cherry, and the Benedictine's herbal flavors.


1/2 Booth's Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Wire Works)
1/4 Dry Sherry (3/4 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso)
1/8 Bols Dry Curaçao (3/8 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1/8 Apricot Syrup (3/8 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was flipping through the Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the Dot Cocktail. I had neglected this recipe for I lack and have never made apricot syrup; however, that night, I felt that apricot liqueur would work quite well as a substitute. Once mixed, the lemon oils brightened a candied fruit note on the nose. A slightly sweet grape sip led into a gin and nutty sherry swallow with a lingering orange-apricot finish.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

red dwarf

2 oz Rye
1 oz Campari
1/2 barspoon Henri Bardouin Pastis
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

After Brick & Mortar, I headed across the street to Rendezvous to meet up with Andrea for dinner. There, bartender Scott Holliday wanted to make me the Red Dwarf - a drink I had read about in Luke O'Neil's article in the Boston Globe. The article describes how Scott took several classics including the Cocktail à la Louisiane, Boulevardier, and Sazerac and invented something inspired by these drinks. Scott was quoted as saying, "What we've done with the Peychaud's and pastis or absinthe is replace the aromatics of the vermouth in those cocktails with less sweetness, as you'd hoped, all while tipping the glass in the direction of New Orleans and Father Sazerac."
The orange oil from the twist played pleasantly with the herbal aromas of the Campari. Next, the rye's malt on the sip transitioned into its barrel notes on the swallow; afterwards, the Campari's complexity came through and things ended with the pastis' anise and other herbal flavors.

Monday, July 15, 2013

:: mixology monday announcement ::

MxMo LXXV: Flip Flop!

I thought of the theme for this month's Mixology Monday shortly after making the Black Rene, an obscure drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The combination of brandy, amber rum, lemon, and Maraschino was tasty, but I felt that the recipe could be improved if I swapped in different ingredients. Taking a page from Max Toste of Deep Ellum who converted the Black Devil into the White Devil, I flipped around the ingredients to be pisco, white rum, lime, and Maraschino instead. With this combination that I called the White Rene, the drink really sang but it was still recognizable as being an alteration of the original recipe. Others have done similar swaps with grand effect including the Bluegrass Mai Tai that that changes the two rums to two whiskeys and swaps lime for lemon from the classic while holding everything else the same.

Here's how to play:

• Find a recipe, either new or old, and switch around at least two of the ingredients to sister or cousin ingredients but holding the proportions and some of the ingredients the same. The new recipe should be recognizable as a morph of the old one when viewed side by side. Want to make an amaro version of a Vieux Carré or a new twist on a Negroni? Go for it!
• Make the drink -- and feel free to make the original one as well -- and then post the new and old recipes, a photo, and your thoughts about the libation and how it differs from the original on your blog or on eGullet's Spirits and Cocktails forum.
• Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Cocktail Virgin sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
• Post a link to your submission in the comment section here, or send an email to with the word "MxMo" somewhere in the subject line.

The due date is Monday, July 29th which I will interpret as whatever gets posted before I get home after my day bar shift on the 30th (yes, I will accept late entries but a deadline as a symbolic form of structure is needed for this sort of cat herding). Yes, we are doing this later in the month, but with Tales of the Cocktail this week, I figure this timing was the optimal so people could attend, recover, and still participate.


auld alliance

1 1/2oz Grand MacNish Blended Scotch
1/2 oz Dark Crème de Cacao
1/4 oz Galliano Ristretto
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into rocks glass with ice. Top with 2 oz of Page 24 Vieillie En Fût De Chêne, a barrel-aged brown ale (perhaps High & Mighty's Don Cornelius would work well in a pinch). Add straws and gently stir.

For my next drink, bartender Kenny Belanger asked if I wanted to stick with a beer cocktail theme. When I agreed, the drink he made for me was one that he crafted for a High & Mighty Spin the Bottle night. The brewers from High & Mighty brought Page 24 Vieillie En Fût De Chêne, a French barrel-aged brown ale, with them, and left a few bottles so that the bartenders could continue making the drink after the event was over. The name Auld Alliance refers to a 13th to 16th century agreement between Scotland and France that parallels the malt products in the mix.
The Auld Alliance greeted the senses with a lemon and malt aroma. A rich, carbonated, dark sip was brightened by the lemon juice. The Scotch led off the swallow that ended with more coffee than chocolate notes; as the ice melted, the Scotch became more prominent in the flavor profile.

son of dad

1 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz St. Germain
1/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

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

Two Wednesdays ago after work, I headed over to Brick & Mortar. There, Kenny Belanger suggested a drink that he had created for a Backlash Brewery-hosted Spin the Bottle night there a few weeks before. The drink was originally called Delayed Apocalypse and utilized one of Backlash's saisons, but for the regular menu, they opted for the Notch beer on tap. While the first name was taken from a list of possible drink names submitted by the brewers, bartender Cory Buono offered the name Son of Dad as a Seinfeld reference, namely Kramer's suggestion for a serial killer's nickname. Besides being a beer cocktail, the pairing of St. Germain and Campari appealed to me for it worked well in Ben Sandrof's Cell #34 and Colin Shearn's Sideways in Reverse.
The Son of Dad proffered a floral and herbal aroma with citrus notes. A carbonated malt and lemon sip led into a pearlike note on the swallow from the combination of the rye, St. Germain, orange bitters, and Campari. The small amount of Campari did a good job of modulating the drink without overpowering it and making it into a bitter Campari-driven one.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

:: summerfest - a celebration of farmhouse ale ::

Last night, I went to session 1 of Drink[Craft]Beer's Summerfest, a celebration of farmhouse ale. The festival featured 25 New England-based breweries who were presenting farmhouse ales, saisons, and summer beers, and some of the breweries brought an additional beer or two that fell out of that general range. One great aspect was the size of the event; with 25 breweries, I was able to hit them all throughout the night and there was little rush. Another was the proper ticket sales for the venue such that it was not hard to navigate and lines were rather short. Therefore, I spent more time talking to brewers and the staff, and less time waiting or being in a rush to see more booths. Finally, many of the brewers crafted a beer especially for the event; in fact, I had to create 7 new entries to the Untappd database last night from what I tasted. To see the complete list of what I drank, check out the Untappd mobile and web app (username: CocktailVirgin).
One of the things I was excited about was the fact that 3 of the booths were cideries, and while they had some more traditional offerings, they each brought something unique. Here were my favorites:
Bantam Cider (MA) @BantamCider - Smokey Saison. While I did try their delightful Wunderkind, it was their smoked cider that grabbed me. Great farmhouse cider notes crossed with a Scotch whisky-like wood smoke; it reminded me of how well apple brandy pairs with Scotch in cocktails except at a lower proof of 6% ABV.
Downeast Cider House (ME) @DowneastCider - Antoine Dod-saison. I love their Original Blend that we carry at work (and we sell a lot of it), but their cider saison was what I was looking forward to all week. A dry cider with a bit of funk and spice from the fermentation that was indeed worth the wait!
Urban Farm Fermentory (ME) @Fermentory - Sour Cidah. I regret not trying Urban Farm's kombucha that they had in a few flavors, but I am glad that I tried their spontaneously fermented cider. My notes read, "Crisp sour, apple cider vinegar notes, probably amazing with food."
For beers, here is a motley collection of interesting ones that I tried:
Trillium Brewing Co. (MA) @TrilliumBrewing - Wakerobin. I spoke about Trillium in my post on the American Craft Beer Fest in June, and they only repeated their flagship farmhouse ale. The Little Rooster American pale ale made with rye and wheat was rather good, but the Wakerobin, a hopped up red rye farmhouse ale, was the winner with its pine, earthiness, and rye spice.
Foolproof Brewing Co. (RI) @FoolproofBrew - La Ferme Urbaine Farmhouse Ale. Most of Foolproof's beers are straight forward, such as their Backyahd IPA that I tried, but the farmhouse that they made had gorgeous peppery, light funk, and drying hop notes at the end.
Cambridge Brewing Co. (MA) @CambridgeBrewer - Jack Straw. I did enjoy their Belgian-style saison, Bachelor's Buttons, though it was the all Brettanomyces blond ale, Jack Straw, that caught my attention. My tasting notes read, "Tart lemon, tropical fruit, green apple."
Battle Road Brewing Co. (MA) @BattleRoadBeer - Barrett's Farmhouse Ale. Their Belgian-style saison was delightful with lemon, grain-straw, and earthy-pine notes.
Notch Brewing (MA) @NotchBrewing - Notch Brett Saison. I didn't try their Session Pils since I pour it heavily 5 days a week for guests where I work and know it quite well. I did try the Notch Saison and returned at 8pm for the tapping of their Brett Saison. My tasting notes for the brett read, "Crisp, sour, vinegar, refreshing. Lemon and grain. Like their Pils without hygiene [in a good way]."
Night Shift Brewing (MA) @NightShiftBeer - Arnie. I have mentioned these guys in my writeups about the 2012 and 2013 ACBF events, and this time they brought some new brews. Their Arnie is accurately described on their webpage as, "Pretty much a funky beer version of the Arnold Palmer, Arnie's a saison with meyer lemon zest and juice, aged in white wine barrels, blended with Kombucha from Portland's Urban Farm Fermentory. It's tangy, tart, refreshing and delicious, and we hope to share it with you at the fest!" So I guess I did get to try Urban Farm's kombucha after all...
Allagash Brewing Co. (ME) @AllagashBrewing - Saison Rye. Allagash White is one that I pour all day long at work and I had tried their Curieux before, so I honed in on the rye. I described it as, "More sour and funky than the White. Similar soft touch."
Portico Brewing Co. (MA) @porticobrewing - Saison Charette. I quite enjoyed the Fuzzy Logic weiss-kolsch, but their Belgian-style saison aged on chamomile caught my attention. Floral aroma, anise-licorice notes on the swallow, and a chamomile finish.
Rising Tide Brewing Co. (ME) @RisingTideBeer - Lyra. We have their Ursa Major in large format and the Ishmael on draft at work, and I increased my breadth by trying the SuSpense rye saison and the Lyra, a saison aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Lyra's earthy and pine notes went well with the wine undertones here.
RiverWalk Brewing Co. (MA) @RiverwalkBeer - Charon. What caught me more than their Gnomad American farmhouse ale was the Charon, a dark saison with star anise that came across almost like a cocktail with delightful dark roast and anise notes.
Wormtown Brewery (MA) @WormtownBrewery - ALS Farmhouse Fundraiser. The corriander spice notes were so tasty in this that I inquired how the beer was made. The brewer commented that no spices were used, for it was their yeast giving this beer all that character.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

bitter baby julep

1 1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 Lemon (in wedges)
Fresh Mint Sprigs (2)

Muddle the lemon wedges, add the mint sprigs, and muddle lightly. Add rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain over a Julep cup (or Double Old Fashioned) filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a dash of Angostura Bitters and a fresh mint sprig.

To end the evening that Tuesday, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on a Cynar julep article on the Cocktail Enthusiast blog. Since the Cynar Julep from Rogue Beta Cocktails was so delicious, I was definitely game on trying one of them. From the trio of recipes, I selected the Bitter Baby Julep crafted by Tonia Duffy from Dram in Brooklyn. With the muddled lemon in the mix, perhaps a Bitter Baby Smash might be a more appropriate name; either way, this recipe was perfect for the warm summer evening.
The Julep welcomed me with a vegetal, mint, and allspice aroma. Lemon, caramel, and grape on the sip transitioned into Cynar and mint on the swallow and Campari on the finish.


1/2 jigger Rum (1 oz Coruba)
1/4 jigger Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 spoon Benedictine (1/4 oz)
1 spoon Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Grand Slam, I opened up Boothby's 1934 World Drinks And How To Mix Them and spotted the Irresistible. The drink called out to me because it reminded me of the Fig Leaf with Benedictine and different citrus, but in retrospect, it is closer to the Supreme with different proportions. The Irresistible No. 2 in that book is the same basic recipe but with apricot liqueur instead of the Benedictine (plus a lemon twist), and that shares similarity to the Superior. For a spirit in the Irresistible No. 1, Andrea requested Coruba dark Jamaican rum.
Once mixed, the Irresistible greeted the nose with a lemon, caramel, and funky aroma. A lemon and grape sip gave way to a Jamaican rum swallow that showed off the herbalness of the Benedictine and finished with a crisp lemon note.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

grand slam

1/2 Swedish Punsch (1 1/2 oz Kronan)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Dolin)
(1/4 oz Lemon Juice)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist here.
Two Tuesdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with the Grand Slam from the Café Royal Cocktail Book. For brightness, I added a small amount of lemon juice; moreover, Kronan Swedish Punsch seems to benefit from citrus notes since it is not as citrussy as other Swedish Punsches, and the lemon juice would help cut some of the sweetness here. Once mixed, the twist offered a bright lemon aroma. An almost honey-like grape sip transitioned into a swallow full of rum, tea notes, and herbalness. Overall, the Grand Slam was sweet, light, fruity, and complex.

me & my grandfather

3/4 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I traveled over to Brookline to have dinner at Pomodoro. For a first drink, bartender Steven Shellenberger suggested a simple split spirits Sour he called Me & My Grandfather. The name reflects the use of aged and unaged spirits, namely Cognac and pisco; moreover, he commented that the structure also works well with heavily aged and unaged rums.
The Me & My Grandfather began with a bright lemon and pisco nose. A sweet lemon sip gave way to a swallow that contrasted funky pisco and rounded, aged brandy flavors.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ciudad vieja

1 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Dry Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
1/2 oz Zacapa 23 Year Rum
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Creole Bitters (Peychaud's)

Build in a Double Old Fashioned glass. Stir with ice until well chilled and garnish with a lemon twist.

After returning home from No. 9 Park, I was in the mood for a nightcap. The drink that came to mind was the Ciudad Vieja that Gaz Regan had just written about as part of the teaser series for his 101 Best New Cocktails: 2013 book. The Ciudad Vieja was created by Alex Negranza of Seattle's Liberty Bar, and he based it off of a Vieux Carré. He crafted it for a customer who loves Sazeracs but wanted something more aggressive. With the inclusion of dark, aged rum, it seemed like the perfect end of the evening libation.
The lemon oil from the twist joined the dark notes from the rum and perhaps some from the Benedictine. On the tongue, an apple and caramel sip gave way to a rum and orange swallow that shared pleasant herbal and spice notes.

[devil's curve]

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea and I made our way over to No. 9 Park. There, bartender Tyler Wang mentioned that he had a few new cocktails to showcase. The one that grabbed me was an unnamed one that contained gin, falernum, and dry vermouth. Tyler did mention that he based the idea off of the Supreme, a rum, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, and lemon drink. Later, it dawned on me that it shared some similarities with the Figure Eight that appears on their menu. Therefore, I dubbed it the Devil's Curve after a mathematical equation that generates a figure 8 in the middle when graphed. The devil aspect of the equation relates to how the figure 8 looks like the juggling toy called the diablo, and not to Satan himself; I will leave all other interpretations up in the air though.
The cocktail began with a lemon and juniper aroma. The lemon continued on into the sip with wine and other citrus notes. Next, the gin led off the swallow that ended with a tart and lingering clove finish.

Monday, July 8, 2013

backyard bitter

1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Gran Classico Bitter
1/2 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso Sherry
2 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a grapefruit peel over the top.
Two Wednesdays ago, we had dinner at Tasty Burger in Fenway and then headed across the street to the Citizen Public House. There, Andrea asked for the Backyard Bitter from bartender Sean Frederick. Once mixed, the cocktail offered grapefruit and nutty sherry aromas. The sherry continued into the sip as a grape flavor, and the swallow began with the Cognac followed by the sherry's nuttiness and the Gran Classico's herbalness. Finally, the drink finished on a chocolatey note along with the Decanter Bitters' spice.

plateau cocktail

1 oz Dry Gin
1 oz Lillet Rose
1/2 oz Meletti Amaro
1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a big ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
For my first drink at Deep Ellum, I requested the Plateau Cocktail since the combination of gin, aromatized wine, and bitter liqueurs seemed perfect right before dinner. Indeed, the Plateau Cocktail did make for a great aperitif. Orange oils greeted the nose and gave way to a light caramel and wine sip. The swallow then offered floral, gentian, and juniper notes. Andrea commented that when she rolled it around on her tongue, it was candied and sweet, but that was countered by the bitter herbal swallow.

Friday, July 5, 2013

bitter collins

1 1/2 oz Damrak Gin
1/2 oz Campari
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup

Build with ice in Highball glass, top with soda, and gently roll to mix. Garnish with a cherry and orange flag, and add a straw.
Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to Deep Ellum for dinner. For a drink, Andrea asked bartender Danielle Berman for the Bitter Collins which seemed perfect for the warm weather. The drink began with an orange aroma from the garnish and prepared the mouth for the carbonated citrussy sip. Finally, a gin and herbal swallow ended with a tart lemon finish.


1/3 jigger Gin (1 oz Tanqueray)
1/3 jigger Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Cocchi)
1 spoon Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 spoon Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)
1/2 Egg White (1 Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist.

Two Mondays ago, I flipped through my 1934 reprint of Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix Them and spotted the Nullo. The combination of gin, sweet vermouth, and grapefruit juice reminded me of the Fibber McGee we made before I started writing for the Cocktail Virgin blog. Where the Fibber McGee had Angostura, the Nullo went in the direction of pomegranate and egg white. And the grapefruit, gin, and egg white also reminded me of the Marco Antonio from the La Florida Cocktail Book.
The Nullo began with a grapefruit oil aroma. A creamy grapefruit sip led into a gin, grape, and pomegranate finish. Overall, the Nullo was pleasantly light, and I could not help but think how cinnamon syrup instead of grenadine would not be out of place in this combination.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

six bells

1 wineglass Myers's Rum (1 1/2 oz Gosling's Black Seal)
1 liquor glass Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
12 drop Angostura Bitters (1 dash)
1 dessert spoon Sugar (1 barspoon Simple Syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the 91st Division, I opened up our reprint of the1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the Six Bells. I was drawn in for it seemed like a dark rum version of the gin-based classic, the Pegu Club. The book shares the history that retired Commander H.S. Cardale of the Royal Navy provided this recipe. Perhaps the name reflects how the Royal Navy divides the day up into 5 four hour shifts and 2 two hour shifts which are denoted and segmented by bell ringing. Six bells would be 3 hours into the four hour watches that end with the 8th bell. The U.S. Navy has a more simplified 6 four hour shifts with similar bell ringing.
An orange peel and dark rum aroma prepared the mouth for the caramel and grapefruit-like sip. The rum flavors continued into the swallow where they were followed by the orange and lime notes and an allspice and clove finish.

91st division

2/3 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Pig's Nose)
1/3 Madeira (3/4 oz Blandy's Verdelho)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Dolin)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Saturdays ago, we began the cocktail hour with a drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. While the book did not specify which 91st Division the recipe is named after, the most famous one was part of the U.S. Army and they smashed through three enemy lines in their first outing during World War I besides being heralded for their other campaigns. With Scotch and Madeira in this tribute, I was definitely game.
The orange twist's oils provided much of the drink's nose. A malt and grape sip gave way to a swallow that began with the Scotch and finished dry with orange peel and Madeira flavors. Indeed, the Madeira's smoky notes complemented those from the Scotch besides working in a vermouth-whiskey sort of like pairing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

death in a doublewide

1 1/2 oz Balcones Brimstone Corn Whiskey
3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/4 oz St. George Absinthe
1 1/2 oz Boiling Water

Build in a Blue Blazer mug that was pre-warmed by boiling water. Ignite on fire and carefully pass back and forth with another pre-warmed Blue Blazer mug. Pour into a heat-resistant punch cup and flame two lemon twists over the top. Extinguish the flame by covering the punch cup.

So the companion piece to Love in an Elevator by Matt Whitney was the Death in a Double Wide by John Mayer himself. I had no clue that he had started on my drink when he brought out two Blue Blazer mugs and set up about 12 feet away. I mentioned to Andrea that someone was silly enough to order a Blue Blazer on such a hot, almost summer evening. John put on quite the show for that section of the bar, and then he walked over to where we were sitting to pour out the flaming drink, ignite a pair of lemon oil puffs, and smother the flame. Around that moment I realized that I was the silly fool who was getting a hot drink on a warm evening... John described how the drink was inspired by the Diamondback, and bartender Matt Whitney recommended adding the Smith & Cross Rum to the mix. John knew that the smokey whiskey, rum, and absinthe worked well in pairs, but he could not get this trio to work when chilled. In stepped the Hawthorne's Carrie Cole who suggested to John that it might come together better as a hot drink instead, and the Death in a Doublewide finally took shape.
john mayer death in a double wide blue blazer
Once the flame was extinguished, the libation offered a hot and steamy lemon and anise aroma. The corn whiskey seemed to stay more on the sip, while the alcohol heat, rum, and absinthe notes filled the swallow. A flaming death, save for a BBQ, never tasted as delicious.

love in an elevator

2 oz Ron Zacapa Rum
1/2 oz Pedro Romero Dry Oloroso Sherry
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Flame an orange twist over the top.

Two Thursdays ago, we ventured down to Local 149 in Southie for dinner. For cocktail ideas, bartender John Mayer declared that he had two drinks in mind. The first was Love in an Elevator and the second was a companion piece called Death in a Doublewide. Love in an Elevator was created by Matt Whitney, and it sounded like the brown, bitter, and stirred drink that I had been craving.
matt whitney local 149 cocktail
The orange oils over the drink brightened the caramel aroma of the aged rum. Grape flavors from the oloroso sherry more so than from the Punt e Mes filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the rich rum along with nutty, spice, and bitter notes. As the drink warmed up, it gained additional minty-herbal notes on the swallow from the Benedictine.

Monday, July 1, 2013

last nights of paris

1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse 100)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 barspoon Lemon Juice
2 Blackberries

Muddle 2 blackberries with Maraschino and lemon juice. Add rest of the ingredients and ice. Stir and double strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel-blackberry flag on a cocktail pick.

For the Avèze recipe competition, I began to reflect on all of the gentian liqueur-containing cocktails I have had and what flavor combinations really shined. After having a White Negroni and other gin-based drinks, I discovered through PDT's Brown Bomber that gentian liqueurs seem to pair better with whiskey. What improved the Brown Bomber's Lillet Blanc was the Harry Palmer's call for sweet vermouth. And finally, Tyler Wang at No. 9 Park's L'Année du Mexique first demonstrated how well gentian works with blackberry notes. For a name, I wanted something French to represent the origin of the Avèze, and my mind drifted over to French literature that was written around the time that the liqueur was created in the 1920s. A lot of the French literature I have read of that era is from the Surrealists, and Philippe Soupault's charming Last Nights Of Paris was written within a year of Avèze's release. The book's capture of the intertwining of French and American modernism mirrors the French liqueur-American whiskey pairing here.
The Last Nights of Paris offered a berry and wine nose with hints of gentian. A malt sip shared fruit notes and some brightness from the lemon juice. Finally, the rye filled the swallow followed by the gentian bitterness which blended well with the blackberry and Maraschino flavors.