Friday, February 27, 2015


The Cosmopolitan has been getting bashed a lot by modern mixologists as of late, and I have found myself defending it a bit more than expected. Sure, the 1980s drink got fame in the 1990s and made big splashes thanks to Madonna and Sex and the City. It is often touted as a chick drink as well. During my early bar years in the 1990s, the Kamikaze was still revered as a serious shot. Vodka, lime juice, and triple sec. So if you add a splash of cran to a Kamikaze, what do you get? True, it would be so much better as a gin drink, and that had already been done in the first few decades of the 20th century with the gin-based Cosmopolitan using raspberry syrup instead of cranberry. In fact, at a Milagro buy-out event, I asked the bartender for a tequila Cosmo perhaps with a hint of irony given that it was expected that I would request something highfalutin to stump the bartender. People looked at me funny until I explained that it was a Margarita with a dash of cranberry. The idea came to me after asking for a tequila Scofflaw since that whiskey classic was on their menu already, and I was thinking of other classics to tequila-ize.

Two days ago on Facebook, there was a thread where one bartender complained that, "Tonight a man told me, after ordering a Cosmo, that he 'truly hated' mine. And that it was 'undrinkable'." I commiserated and shared how someone once called my 3:1:1 Margarita at work the worst he had ever had. But the rest of the thread devolved into bashing the Cosmopolitan ranging from the drink itself to the people who order them as well as questioning their masculinity and class. It got me thinking about how the art form of a Daisy with a splash of tart and bitter cranberry juice could be elevated. My mind went straight for Fernet Branca for it works well in drinks containing triple sec and citrus such as the Ali-Frazier (which was inspired by the citrus-less Alcazer from the same book as the 1903-33 Cosmo). However, all that rosiness from the cranberry and brightness from the other ingredients would be drowned out by a sea of black or brown from the liqueur. But wait, what about Campari? It has worked well for drinks in Beta Cocktails, at the Anvil, and in my own experiments, so why not? I sent myself an email at 1:30 that day to remind myself to tinker with it at work during a slow moment over the next few days.
That night during my shift, CJ, one of the servers, had spoke highly of me to his table, and he came by to relay their question if I could make something with Campari as the base spirit. It just doesn't get any better timing than that! When the ticket for "Campari Up$ (Message: YARM)" came in, I set to work and whipped one up as a modification of my standard Cosmo (more lime and cranberry juice by a touch). It was still a bit bitter before I shook it, so I added a pinch of salt to cut that bitterness and bring out Campari's rich orange flavors that would complement the other citrus notes in the drink. Before I could get their opinion through the server, another ticket came in for "Campari Up$ (Message: YARM)" to the same table which answered my question. Apparently, one of the tablemates fancied it as well. That second one before I sent it out is pictured above. For a name, I opted for the Camparipolitan although the Cosmopari was a close second.
Camparipolitan (or Cosmopari?)
• 2 oz Campari
• 1 oz Triple Sec (Clement Creole Shrubb here)
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
• 1 pinch Salt
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. A home version of 1 1/2 : 3/4 : 3/4 : fat 1/4 : 1 pinch would work well too.
Yesterday, I made a mini version to get tasting notes. The orange twist at first contributed a lot of bright orange oil notes, but as those oils were sipped away, the nose became more orange peel driven over time. The sip was tart lime and orange, and a different orangeness, a darker more bitter one from the Campari, came through on the swallow along with the cranberry flavors. Finally, the drink ended with a slightly tart and bitter finish. Overall, it was like a Cosmo made with some extra citrussy vodka with some additional bitter herbal complexity.

The Daisy itself is such a strong base of a drink. I even tinkered with it for a recent Mixology Monday with the Double Daisy where I hybridized the Margarita and the Sidecar. Indeed, it is a family of drink that still makes people very happy and has a classic and elegant history and feel to it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

lake union

1 1/4 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
3/4 oz Old Monk Rum
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Caffè Borghetti
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, I ventured down to West Bridge after work. There, I was surprised when I spotted one of my old coworkers, Adam Palmer, behind the stick. For a first drink, I asked Adam for the Lake Union that he mentioned was Mike Fleming's creation. I was definitely curious to see how Cynar and coffee flavors would play out; despite it seemingly like such a natural pairing, I cannot recall a drink that did so. I do regret not finding out the secret to the name, but there is a famous Lake Union in the middle of Seattle, Washington, one of the coffee capitals of the country.
Once mixed, the Lake Union offered a bright lemon aroma that later shifted to darker notes from the rum and liqueurs. Next, a caramel-driven sip gave way to rye spice contrasting the dark rum and Cynar's herbal flavors on the swallow. Finally, the drink finished with coffee, allspice, clove, and char notes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grade B Maple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters and use a toothpick to draw designs through the drops.

Two Sundays ago, I turned to my copy of Left Coast Libations to see what gems left unmade. There, I spotted the Filibuster by Erik Adkin then of San Francisco's Heaven's Dog and Slanted Door. The recipe came across like the classic Maple Leaf (albeit using American rye instead of Canadian whisky) with egg white in the mix as well as bitters for garnish, so it seemed like it was worthy of a go.
The Filibuster's Angostura Bitters' designs contributed clove and allspice aromas to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and malt sip gave way to rye and rich maple flavors on the swallow. While nothing surprising, the drink was nothing but satisfying.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

50 shades of maguey

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and add a straw.

For Valentine's Day two weeks ago, I decided to make a mezcal drink that Jackie Patterson Brenner reposted on Instagram via Nuestra Soledad Mezcal called 50 Shades of Maguey. I was torn on whether to love or to groan at the name, but the thought of a mezcal Margarita supplemented by the great flavor combination of passion fruit and Campari set me in the shaker tin direction.
The 50 Shades of Maguey began with a lime and smoke aroma with hints of citrus and passion fruit on the nose. The lime and passion fruit came out strongest on the sip though, and the swallow offered the smoky mezcal followed by a bitter orange and Campari finish. Indeed, the drink did come across like a mezcal Margarita with more fruit notes and a more complex bitter finish.

Monday, February 23, 2015

schooner punch

1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 oz Plantation 3 Star Rum (Privateer Silver)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
2 oz Strong Black Tea, cooled (English Breakfast)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass or two punch cups.
Two Thursdays ago, I uncovered my collection of recipes from the Maine-Portland Pop-up Event at Thirst Boston 2014. From that series, I honed in on the Schooner Punch created by Central Provisions in Portland, Maine. With classic-feeling ingredients like a split spirit base of rum and brandy, black tea, citrus, and pineapple syrup, I felt it could do no wrong. Once prepared, the punch shared a roasty tea aroma with fruitiness from the lime and pineapple. The tea continued on into the sip in a drying sort of way along with the lime notes. And finally on the swallow, the brandy and rum mingled with the pineapple flavors.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

yeomen warder

2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for my copy of Death & Co. Cocktail Book and spotted the Yeomen Warder in the stirred gin section. This Martini variation was crafted by Phil Ward in 2008, and I figured that it would have work for Mixology Monday "That's Not a Martini!" if it were not for the Baton Rouge that I had made three nights before. Yeomen warders are the official guards at the Tower of London, so I figured that keeping the Beefeater Gin identity (with the guards on the label) was important symbolically here. Overall, the recipe fell between Craigie on Main's gin Brooklyn, the Montmartre, and Death & Co.'s Grand Street.
The Yeomen Warder offered a nutty cherry aroma with hints of juniper. A white wine sip with tinges of cherry gave an almost kirsch-like aspect to the sip. The swallow then showcased a combination of gin botanicals, nutty Maraschino notes, and Cynar's herbal complexity.

Friday, February 20, 2015

spindrift, jr

]1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum (El Dorado 3)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup

Shake with ice and pour into a tall glass. Top with more ice and add a straw. I opted to garnish with an orange slice and a cherry

Two Sundays ago to help honor the Pegu Blog's February is Tiki month theme, and I therefore reached for Beachbum Berry's Remixed. There, I spotted the Spindrift, Jr. which was a 2008 variation on what was originally Trader Vic's Rum Pot. In 1994, the junior's predecessor, the Spindrift, was created at the Venetian Hotel's Taboo Cove in Las Vegas; the junior stripped away two rums and a syrup from the mix.
The Spindrift, Jr. began with an orange aroma with hints of cherry from the garnish. The sip was a medley of fruit flavors including orange, lemon, and passion fruit, and the swallow focused more on the rum and vanilla flavors. Probably the drink would blossom more with an darker, richer Demerara rum instead of the white on the I selected.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

newkirk crusta

1 jigger Bacardi (1 1/2 oz Caliche Rum)
2 dash Port Wine (1/2 oz Taylor Fladgate Ruby)
2/3 Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
1/2 tsp Raspberry Syrup (1/4 oz Royal Rose brand)

Shake with ice and strain into a small wine glass rimmed with lime juice and encrusted with sugar on the rim. Add a wide lime twist.

After the Midnight Stinger, I decided to take it back to earlier in the century via Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. There, I spotted a quirky Crusta recipe in the rum section called the Newkirk Crusta. The Crustas in that book, such as the Rye Crusta often leave out key aspects or make strange additions (one has egg in it?!); here, both the Rye and Newkirk Crustas leave out bitters which seem to be a hallmark of the spirit plus small amounts of citrus and liqueur(s) plus bitters structure (not to mention the sugar-crusted rim) laid out in the mid 19th century. Regardless, I was game to try their nonstandard recipe.
The Newkirk Crusta began with a lime oil aroma from the twist along with a fruitiness from the raspberry syrup and port; later, the nose became more rum and lime driven. Next, the fruity grape aspect of the port joined the lime on the sip, and the swallow offered the rest of the port notes in addition to rum and raspberry flavors. Indeed, Andrea commented that despite the lack of bitters, it still "tastes very old school."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

midnight stinger

1 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 81)
1 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Build in a rocks glass and stir to mix. Fill with crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig (here, lemon twist), and add a straw.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on Campari-America's Instagram feed called the Midnight Stinger. The drink was attributed to Milk & Honey's Sam Ross although other sources include Michael McIlroy in on the action. Campari was promoting the recipe as part of a series of drinks in 2014 honoring the 6 decades that Jimmy Russell has been Wild Turkey's master distiller. I made the drink with Wild Turkey to pay tribute, although the recipe was perhaps developed initially with another whiskey. The use of Fernet Branca as a mint flavor source reminded me of the Prizefighter even though that was vermouth instead of whiskey based.
The Midnight Stinger began with a lemon oil (instead of a minty one since my mint patch is dormant not to mention buried under 4 feet of snow) aroma with herbal notes from the Fernet Branca poking through. A malty lemon sip gave way to a Bourbon swallow with a lot of Fernet Branca flavor. The Midnight Stinger was definitely Fernet-forward but the amaro did not linger on the palate like it often can. And over time, the libation mellowed with the dilution from the melting ice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

eye of the storm

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Clement Premiere Canne
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Caffè Borghetti
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass containing 2-3 oz ginger ale, ice cubes, and 3 lime wheels. Add a straw.
One of my favorite new drinks on the Russell House Tavern cocktail menu is the Eye of the Storm. This recipe was created by bar manager Ashish Mitra as a play on a Dark & Stormy with inspiration from the Jungle Bird and other tiki drinks. To me, it seemed like a more complex Suffering Bastard or a riff on a Mr. Bali Hai before I read the recipe notes. Once prepared, it offered the respective funkiness of the Smith & Cross and rhum agricole on the nose. Next, carbonated lime, rum's caramel, and hints of coffee roast filled the sip. Finally, the swallow was a combination of grassy and funky rums that finished with ginger, vanilla, and lingering dark roast coffee notes.

Monday, February 16, 2015

[la nuez de jerez]

1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1/2 oz Nocino Walnut Liqueur
1 dash Fee's Walnut Bitters
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Build in a wine glass and stir briefly without ice to mix. Note: this is a room temperature cocktail.

For a nightcap at Estragon, I asked Sahil Mehta for another one of his Scaffa recipes. Similar to his (not Scaffa) Little Sinner, he paired sherry and Bonal along with a liqueur. Here, the liqueur was a walnut one which works rather well with oxidized sherries such as in the Bittersweet Serenade. Lacking a name, I dubbed this one La Nuez de Jerez (the walnut of Jerez where sherry is produced).
The Scaffa began with dark aromas from the sherry and Nocino. While the sip was mostly grape, the swallow showcased nutty notes from the sherry and walnut liqueur and complex ones from the Bonal. Overall, the taste came across as a cohesive flavor combination such that I could almost believe that it came from a bottle as is.

Friday, February 13, 2015

tigress of forli

2 oz Carpano Bianco Vermouth
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz St. Germain
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Add straws. Optional garnish of lemon twist.

For my first drink at Estragon, bartender Sahil Mehta mentioned that he had Carpano Bianco vermouth back in stock so he could make me the Tigress of Forli that I requested on previous visits. The recipe was one that won him one of the ShakeStir site's flash mixology competitions, and on his competition entry there, he lists his inspiration as "Caterina Sforza, Countess of Forli." I was intrigued since the combination of Cynar and St. Germain has worked quite well starting with the Alto Cucina and here it was offered with a pinch of salt to perhaps alter the Cynar aspect.
The Tigress of Forli began with Cynar's herbal and St. Germain's floral aromas. A lemon and wine sip shared a fruity note from the St. Germain. Finally, the swallow paired up the St. Germain and Cynar which still had the complementary mix of bright floral and dark herbal elements.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[remedios varo]

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Palo Cortado Sherry
3/4 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1/2 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
1 dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago during the snow storm, Andrea met me at Russell House Tavern after my shift was over and suggested that we take the #1 bus down Mass Ave to visit bartender Sahil Mehta at Estragon. The plan worked perfectly save for the harsh winds between the Southend bus stop and the restaurant. Once inside though, Sahil and Estragon's warmth cured our chilliness. For a starter, Andrea opted for a mezcal drink that Sahil posted on Facebook and Instagram as his drink of the day. Given the Mexican ingredients of mezcal and Ancho Reyes, I dubbed this one the Remedios Varo after the Spanish-born surrealist artist who moved to and gained fame in Mexico.
The orange twist donated some bright citrus oil notes to the cocktail's sherry aroma. Next, the sip presented a light grape and caramel orange flavor combination. Finally, the complex swallow shared smoky mezcal with a mix of herbal complexity from the amaro and deeper notes from the sherry, and the swallow ended with a touch of the pepper liqueur's spicy heat.

baton rouge

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCIV) was picked by Dagreb of the NihilUtopia blog. The theme he chose was "That's Not a Martini!", and he elaborated on the theme with his description of, "A Telecaster's not an Esquire. A Melody Maker's not a Les Paul Jr. A Marauder ain't a Crown Vic. A Blue Moon is no Martini... well, almost. Take away the dash to a quarter ounce of Crème Yvette and we're left with gin (a must!), dry vermouth, and orange bitters. That's a Martini! It's at least one canonical Martini anyway. This month's Mixology Monday theme is that which is almost, but not quite, a Martini. Perhaps there are dashes (or more) of a liqueur (or two) added to the basic structure. Perhaps a Fino Sherry (or other fortified/aromatized wine) is standing in for vermouth. Maybe there's Oxygene instead of bitters? Gin, certainly! Use your imagination! Use your library! Make a Martini, that's wearing a hat!"
The literature around the turn of the 20th century is ripe with gin, vermouth, and a little something extra recipes. Even the Income Tax with its orange juice mixed in with gin, vermouths, and bitters fell in that ball park. Given its wealth of lesser known gems, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 from that general time period. There, I spotted a hybrid of a quintessential Gin Martini and the Hanky Panky that post-dated the Martini and potentially pre-dated the Fernet-tinged Savoy Cocktail Book classic. Here, the recipe was the Baton Rouge with gin, dry vermouth, Fernet Branca, bitters, and an olive that seemed perfect for the almost-a-Martini theme!
Baton Rouge
• 2/3 Plymouth Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
• 2 dash French Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
• 2 dash Fernet Branca (1 barspoon)
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive (Olive-It brand Hot Turkish Pepper-stuffed Olive).
To the base recipe, I increased the dry vermouth aspect to make it the 2:1 Martini base that I prefer. Meanwhile, I kept the 2 dashes of Fernet Branca close to the amount most people add to a Hanky Panky. While not a big garnisher with olives at home (I prefer my Martinis with lemon twists), I did have some vintage samples from Tales of the Cocktail 2010 when we had access to the media sample room. Here, I opted for the Olive-It brand hot pepper-stuffed over the blue cheese-stuffed ones that reside in our fridge. Once mixed, the Baton Rouge shared Fernet Branca's menthol notes that were accented by the gin's juniper on the nose. A light wine sip had wisps of caramel and led into a gin swallow with Fernet's herbal notes in the mix. Later, the hot pepper garnish contributed a small degree of spiced heat to the finish. I have to believe that the brine from the olive garnish helped to soften the Fernet Branca's bitterness a touch especially since there was very little sweetness in the vermouth (unlike in the Hanky Panky's Italian vermouth).

So thank you to Dagreb for picking the theme to challenge us to look at the classic Martini and figure out ways to call it our own, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the barspoons stirring and the spirit of the event alive!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


1 1/4 oz Cesar Florido Oloroso Sherry
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
On the way home from the Citizen Public House, I stopped into Viale. For a nightcap, I asked bartender Patrick Gaggiano for the Charterhouse as the the idea of a sherry cocktail seemed appealing. Once mixed, it gave forth Green Chartreuse herbal aromas that were tamed by that of the sherry. Next, lime and grape on the sip slid into nutty Chartreuse flavors on the swallow. The Charterhouse's structure reminded me of the Board of Directors that used dry vermouth instead of dry sherry as the cocktail backbone, but flavorwise, the Charterhouse reminded me of a more herbal form of Tavern Road's sherry "daiquiri" time out.

Monday, February 9, 2015

smoke & mirrors

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Oloroso Sherry
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
2 dash Bitter Truth's Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
Two Thursdays ago, I ventured over to the Citizen Public House after work. For a first drink, I asked bartender Mary Stout for the Smoke & Mirrors which recently appeared on their cocktail menu. Mary commented that she thought the drink tasted like caramelized apricots. Once prepared, it offered an apricot and grape aroma with hints of smoke. The grape continued on into the sip along with vague orchard fruit notes, and the swallow shared smoky agave, apricot, and bitter nutty grape flavors. Indeed, the oxidized sherry and apricot liqueur paired rather well together as they have in the past in drinks like the Daley Fix and the Muckraker Punch.

Friday, February 6, 2015

fleming fizz

1 1/2 oz Great King Street Scotch
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Ginger Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass with 2 oz of sparkling wine. Float 1/8 oz Laphroaig 10 Year and garnish with a lemon twist.

Some time last week at work, I decided to act on an idea I had about the neo-classic Penicillin Cocktail. While I have had variations that include spirit choice such as the Little Branch Cocktail (tequila and mezcal) and Panacea (Banks Rum and Batavia Arrack) and form such as the Penicillin Flip, what if I were to cross it with a French 75? I could not recall a smoky Scotch champagne cocktail off the top of my head, but I knew that blended whisky and honey do work in that format via the Dancing Scotsman.
For a name, instead of calling it a Penicillin 75, I thought about the scientist who discovered the drug back in 1928, Alexander Fleming. I opted to pay tribute with the Fleming Fizz, although the Fleming 28 did cross my mind. The drink's Islay Scotch float and lemon garnish contributed a bit of smoke and citrus oil to the aroma. A sparkling lemon, honey, wine, and malt sip gave way to the smoky Scotch swallow and a honey ginger finish. Indeed, the elegance of the French 75 was maintained with the idea of the Penicillin intact save for the flavor components being diluted a bit by the sparkling wine.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

wait until spring

3/4 oz Slightly Smoky Scotch (Buchanan 12 Year)
3/4 oz Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
3/4 oz Averna or Cynar (Cynar)
3/4 oz Heavy Cream (Half and Half)
1 Egg Yolk

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters (or freshly grated nutmeg).

Two Tuesdays ago, one of my drink recipes made it into Boston Magazine's article "A Dozen Ways to Hibernate Like a Bartender" right in the midst of the first big snow storm of the season. The drink was Wait Until Spring as the second part of my John Fante tribute, with the first being Ask the Dust. It was a variation on egg nog that start with A Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and I ended up splitting the spirit with apple brandy. The original and the variation were made with Averna first but it worked even better for my palate with Cynar here.
The Wait Until Spring began with Angostura spice aromas of cinnamon and clove. The creamy sip had hints of apple and malt, and the swallow displayed smoothed out smoke and earthy herbal flavors. Later into the drink, a spice-laden finish incorporated into the flavor profile as the bitters from the froth entered into the sip. In retrospect, I wish that I had heavy cream at home like I do at work; the Angostura Bitters garnish would have held up better given heavy cream's frothing ability. Therefore, I suggest returning to the A Drunk in a Midnight Choir's classic nutmeg garnish here if heavy cream is not available.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac (Pedro Domecq Fundador Brandy)
1/2 oz Appleton V/X Rum
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino (Averna)
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (BT's Jerry Thomas)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
After the Marqueray Cocktail, I decided to take a more modern turn and opened up the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. The recipe that caught my eye was Jillian Vose's Legend that she crafted in 2012. I was drawn to it for brandy and rum pair rather well together (a discovery made back in the days when punches ruled supreme), and the Manhattan variation-like structure of sherry and amaro could do no wrong. In the glass, the Legend presented a nutty but sweet sherry aroma. Caramel from the amaro and rum and grape from the sherry filled the sip, and the swallow proffered the rum and brandy pairing with a nutty, herbal, and spice finish.

marqueray cocktail

1 jigger Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray)
1/2 Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Butterfly)
1 Egg White

Shake once without the ice and once with the ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Mondays ago, I reached for my reprint of the 1934 A Life Time Collection Of 688 Recipes For Drinks and spotted an interesting egg white-laden Gin Sour accented with absinthe called the Marqueray Cocktail. The book gave no clue as to whom Marqueray was, but there is a 1920 book Marqueray's Duel written by Anthony Pryde that is perhaps the object of the tribute. Once prepared, the Marqueray Cocktail offered an absinthe aroma. A creamy lime sip shared fruity notes from the grenadine. Finally, smooth gin flavors on the swallow cleanly transitioned to light absinthe on the finish.

Monday, February 2, 2015

a simple quandry

1 oz Uncle Val's Gin (North Shore #6)
1 oz North Shore Aquavit (Krogstad)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I spotted an interesting drink on the ShakeStir website by Scott Diaz, the beverage manager for Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle. Scott's recipe, A Simple Quandry, was a finalist for the Uncle Val's Gin competition as well as making Gaz Regan's 101 Drinks list just a few days ago. I was intrigued by the drink for it reminded me of a light-spirited 1919 Cocktail.
The lemon twist on A Simple Quandry brightened the grape and caraway aroma. The Punt e Mes' grape was the most notable flavor on the sip, for most of the flavor was packed into the swallow. That swallow showcased the gin's juniper, Punt e Mes' complex bitter notes, Benedictine's chocolate-like herbal flavor, and the aquavit's caraway and anise.