Tuesday, March 31, 2015


2/3 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
3 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
3 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Orgeat (1/2 oz BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I began the violet hour with a recipe I spotted in Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933's wine cocktails section called the Youngs. With sherry and orgeat in the mix, I figured that a nutty oxidative sherry would make this combination sing. While the balance at first reminded me of an Army & Navy, in retrospect, it does remind me of the Sherry Mai Tai that I concocted two years ago or perhaps Todd Maul's Joe Bans You. Once mixed, the Youngs displayed lemon and nutty sherry notes on the nose. The lemon and grape from the sherry were lightened by the dry vermouth's grape on the sip, and the swallow did not let me down on the orgeat complementing the sherry aspect that I was anticipating.

fort francais

1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Ambre
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1/8 oz Benedictine
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

On a cold, windy Tuesday two weeks back, I walked down Broadway in Somerville on my way to the Brewer's Fork in Charlestown for dinner. On the way, I passed by La Brasa and decided that it would be the perfect half-way spot for a nightcap on the walk home after pizza and beer at the Fork. Post dinner, I stuck to my game plan and took a respite from the brutal weather and found warmth and a seat in front of bartender Rob Hoover. For a drink, I requested the Fort Français which was Ryan Sullivan's French ingredient riff on a Vieux Carré.
The Fort Français shared a caramel and orange aroma that was brightened by the fresh citrus oils. The caramel continued on into the sip, and the swallow presented grassy rhum, rich brandy, and herbal orange flavors with a spice-driven finish. While a touch sweeter than a Vieux Carré, the orange liqueur and structure maintained a solid early 1900s feel to it.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

americano squeeze

2 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Aperol

Build in a Collins glass, fill with ice, and top with 3-4 oz pink grapefruit juice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and add a straw.
After Estragon, I made the best out of my South End excursion by stopping into the Franklin Café for one last drink. There, Kitty Amann and Jay Cool were mixing up drinks for a Fernet Branca-sponsored late-night brunch event named "Fernet Branca and Flapjacks." I wanted something on the lighter side, so I requested from Jay Cool the Americano Squeeze, a play on the Americano since Aperol and Punt e Mes have a similar flavor profile as Campari and sweet vermouth as well as being a riff on the Italian Greyhound (equal parts Punt e Mes and grapefruit juice, salted rim). I originally was not going to write up such a simple drink and only took a photo for an OnTheBar check-in; however, the flavor here was so delightful and refreshing! Grapefruit oil greeted the nose and prepared the mouth for the grapefruit complemented by the fruity notes of the Aperol and the bitter and grape aspects of the Punt e Mes. While I am not usually a fan of boozy brunch drinks (other than Ramos Gin Fizzes), I could definitely see myself making or ordering one of these.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

[bombos y platillos]

3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For a second cocktail at Estragon, I spotted a curious four equal parts drink in Sahil Mehta's notebook. Sahil mentioned that he was inspired by the Hoop La! that appears first in The Savoy Cocktail Book; there, the combination of brandy, orange liqueur, Lillet, and lemon was so popular that it went under three other names in the book: the Frank Sullivan, the Hey Hey, and the Odd McIntyre. When I inquired about the pinch of salt and whether it was to accent the Batavia Arrack, Sahil merely felt that the drink felt unseasoned.
For a glass, Sahil chose one from the set that he competed with in the Domaine de Canton competition back in 2011; it was at that competition that I first met Sahil and was impressed by his recipe creating aesthetic. Once the drink was strained into said glass, the nose proffered a funky apricot and citrus aroma. Next, lemon with a hint of fruitiness filled the sip, and the swallow gave forth savory Batavia Arrack flavors as well as apricot notes. For a name, I dubbed it the Bombos y Platillos (literally bass drums and cymbals) which is the Spanish colloquialism for "hoop la."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

[payaso de rodeo]

1 oz Xicaru Mezcal
1 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1/4 oz Avèze Gentiane Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Mondays ago, I made my way over to the South End after staff training to have dinner at Estragon. For a first cocktail, I flipped through bartender Sahil Mehta's drink note book and spotted a mezcal and sherry number that was his drink of the day almost three months prior. Last time I was in, I had a companion drink called the Little Sinner that called for an amontillado sherry as the base spirit. Sahil described how he always enjoys the pairing of mezcal and oxidized sherries, but the combination of the two alone do not have a lot of mouthfeel. Therefore, he added Bonal and Avèze to round out the drink by donating more heft. For a name, I free associated about the smoky (mezcal) and earthy (Avèze) aspects and thought about cowboys and bullfighting. Somehow that seemed to fit with Estragon's Spanish theme, but El Vaquero (the Cowboy) did not capture my attention as much as El Payaso de Rodeo (the Rodeo Clown) did.
The cocktail began with a briny smoke and earthy grape bouquet. The grape followed into the sip, and the swallow gave forth an earthy bitter and agave flavor with a smoke finish. Overall, the drink was rather light and somewhat aperitif-y especially with the savory acid and bitter elements.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

haunted house

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum
1 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/4 oz Ginger Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange (here, lemon) twist.

Two Fridays ago, I turned to Robert Simonson's The Old-Fashioned book that I purchased for this past Mixology Monday and made the Haunted House. The Haunted House was the recipe that initially caught my eye for the event, but with a liqueur in addition to the syrup, it felt more like a cocktail proper and less like an Old Fashioned. The book attributed the recipe to Jeremy Oertel of Donna in Brooklyn back in 2011. Jeremy dubbed his drink in tribute to Donna's owner's band of the same name.
In the glass, the Haunted House shared a lemon oil aroma that brightened the darker rum notes, and the sip offered malt and caramel flavors. Next, rye and rum notes from both the Swedish Punsch and Appleton began the swallow, and the swallow ended with a tea and ginger finish and lingering hints of ginger and the Punsch's Batavia Arrack.

Monday, March 23, 2015

otoño cocktail

1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey (Knappogue Castle 1995)
3/4 oz Patxaran (Axta)
1/4 oz Coffee Liqueur (Galliano Ristretto)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated dark chocolate.

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to use the bottle of Patxaran that I found for cheap in a liquor store outside of Inman Square. Patxaran (or Pacharán) is a sloe liqueur from the Basque region of Spain that differs from sloe gin by lacking a gin base as well as by having additional coffee, cinnamon, and anise flavors in the mix. The first drink that I wanted to recreate was a cocktail that Avery Glasser made for us at his apartment as thanks for helping him with a Bittermens bottling run cerca August 2010. Therefore, I wrote Avery and asked him for the recipe and a retelling of the backstory. Avery explained that the drink was created by Fernando del Diego at the Del Diego in Madrid back when the Glassers were living in Spain in 2007. Avery asked for something with Patxaran, and the rest is history.
The Otoño Cocktail began with chocolate, Irish whiskey, and medicinal fruitiness on the nose. Next, a caramel and fig sip gave way to soft whiskey on the swallow with a coffee and spice finish. Given that Patxaran is often drank as a digestif, it was not surprising that the cocktail was a perfect closure to our dinner that night.

Friday, March 20, 2015


1/2 Swedish Punsch (1 1/2 oz Kronan)
2 dash Bacardi (1 oz Caliche)
1 dash Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago for the cocktail hour, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933 once again for a diamond in the rough. There, I spotted the Romer which seemed like an interesting straight-spirits egg white drink calling for Swedish Punsch. Once mixed, orange and funk notes filled the Romer's aroma. Next, a creamy orange sip transitioned into a tea, orange peel, and funky rum swallow. I could not help but think that this combination would do better as a Flip with a grated nutmeg garnish, or perhaps a touch of lemon or lime juice to bring some brightness and cut the sweetness here. Also, perhaps a more flavorful rum option could add an additional dimension such as grassiness spirit or other.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


1 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass. Top with 2 to 2 1/2 oz cava and garnish with a long lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I found my way over to Straight Law for a drink. There, I asked bartender Sean Sullivan for the Albariza on the menu. Sean explained that this was his submission to the Vino de Jerez competition; it was "basically a Sour with manzanilla and topped with cava... a French 75 of sorts." The drink name is a tribute to the clay, calcium, and sea fossil soil of the sherry growing region in Spain. Albariza is what helps to define sherry grapes from the minerality of the soil to reflecting light back to to the vines to help them grow faster. Once in the glass, the Albariza cocktail presented a lemon, earthy, and floral aroma with notes of dry white wine. Next, a crisp and carbonated lemony sip gave way to an elegant swallow where earthy gentian flavors melded rather well with those of the sherry.

jake barnes

1 1/2 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge (optional, so here I garnished with a lemon twist instead).

Two Thursdays ago, I was rooting around the ShakeStir website's collection of recipes to uncover a gem. The one that caught me was the Jake Barnes by Natalie Jacob of Dutch Kills in New York. I briefly met Natalie two years ago during her tenure at PKNY -- well, not in Manhattan but in Boston where she worked a charity event called "Tiki for Their Troubles" as a benefit for the Boston Marathon victims. None of the drinks that night were her creations, so I was game to try one. In addition, I am always interested in Jack Rose variations such as the Jack's Word and David Embury's Applejack Rabbit, and this drink also had an Embury slant to it. Natalie explained, "Inspired by the Jack Rose... this cocktail combines citrussy and fruity flavors to make a sweet yet tart sultry number with a lot of depth... I also took inspiration from another one of my favorite cocktails found in David Embury's The Art of Mixing Drinks the 'Jack in the Box' aka 'Jersey City' cocktail which is an applejack sour with the addition of pineapple juice. Named after the character in Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun also Rises in which Jake Barnes orders a Jack Rose cocktail at the bar of the Paris Crillon Hotel." With this recipe, Natalie also won the War of the Jack Roses competition a year and a half ago.
One of the great aspects of this drink is that most beginner home bartenders can assemble it, and if they need to go buy applejack and Angostura Bitters, those ingredients ought to be on their shelves anyways. Once made, the Jake Barnes presented lemon oils and a dark spice aromas from the bitters on the nose. A fruity sip offered a medley of lemon, pineapple, and pomegranate notes, and the swallow showcased the apple brandy flavor and bitters spice complexity. Indeed, the pineapple and bitters donate a lot of extra flavor and depth to the Jack Rose. Normally the Jack Rose does not contain any bitters, but the previous link has Boston's Jack Rose Society's preferred one that includes a dash or two of Peychaud's along with a brief history of that legendary recipe crunching team.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


\1 1/2 oz Pineau des Charentes (Chateau de Beaulon)
1/2 oz Byrrh or Dubonnet Rouge (Bonal)
1/2 oz Dry Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Blood Orange Bitters (1 dash each Fee's and Angostura Orange Bitters)

Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Butterfly) glass; garnish with a flamed orange twist (not flamed).

Two Wednesdays ago for the cocktail hour, I reached for The Art of the Shim and spotted one that called for Pineau des Charentes called the Backpedal. The drink was created by Shaher Misif when he was at Cantina in San Francisco back in 2013; a year later, Shaher moved here to Boston where he now works at the Highball Lounge with such drinks as the Rubberband Man on the menu. I initially skipped over the drink for I lack either quinquina option listed, both Byrrh and Dubonnet Rouge, at the home bar, but I decided to make it with a third quinquina, Bonal, that currently graces my refrigerator shelves.
The Backpedal began with an anise and orange oil aroma. A floral and grape sip gave way to bitter orange elements on the swallow with a hint of anise on the finish.

Monday, March 16, 2015

chestnut cup

1 oz Gin (Tanqueray)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with crushed ice and garnish with an orange wheel.

Two Saturdays ago, I turned to the new issue of Imbibe Magazine (March/April 2015) and spotted the Chestnut Cup that seemed like a good conceptual transition from the Kingston Cup the day before. The recipe was attributed to Raul Yrastorza of the Chestnut Club in Santa Monica; perhaps the magazine recipe was an adaptation of the house one since the bar's menu also lists "bitters" as the fifth ingredient in the description.
The Chestnut Cup offered an orange aroma from the garnish that worked well with the hint of Campari on the nose. A lemon and almond sip gave way to a gin and Campari swallow and a nutty finish. Indeed, the orgeat lent a little texture and smoothness to the drink and the nutty notes shaped the combination of gin, lemon, and Campari very differently than Cointreau in the Jasmine or passion fruit in the Novara.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

bellocq's old-fashioned cobbler

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCV) was picked by Laura of the Sass and Gin blog. The theme she chose was "Call Me Old Fashioned!" which seemed like a great continuation of investigating the classics from February's Martini variation theme. Laura elaborated on the concept by describing, "The Old Fashioned is the original 'cock tail,' dating to the early 1800s. In this humble bartender's opinion, it is the pater familias of all other drinks, and it has taken its place as such in the recent cocktail revival. We have seen many variations of the Old Fashioned (i.e. Mayahuel's Oaxaca Old Fashioned, PDT's Benton's Old Fashioned) and the resurgence of similar cocktails (i.e. the Sazerac). The bitters market has exploded over the last decade, with more flavor profiles than ever before, and with a more health-conscious public, your local grocery store is likely to carry a selection of sugars to play with (agave, coconut sugar, turbinado, etc). So, here's the challenge: We will be sticking to the traditional ratios of spirit, bitters and sugar, but I'm challenging you to step outside the box with your selections. In addition, how will it be chilled or garnished? Do you want to add a secondary spirit or rinse? Go to town!"
For a starting point, I purchased a book that I had been meaning to order and read, namely Robert Simonson's The Old-Fashioned, and I hoped that it would arrive on time. Luckily, it did and I skipped the reading for later (I am in the midst of two other books at the moment) and went straight for the recipe section. There, I spotted an Old Fashioned that retained its Old Fashioned-ness despite changing structure similar to how Deep Ellum crafted the Toddy-esque Hot Old Fashioned. Instead of hot, it was New Orlean's Bellocq turning a Bourbon Old Fashioned into a Cobbler. Since I have not been back to New Orleans since Belloqc has opened, I figured this would a great way to get a glimpse at their program as best I can.
Bellocq's Old-Fashioned Cobbler
• 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon (Old Weller 107)
• 1/4 oz Demerara Syrup 2:1 (1/2 oz 1:1)
• 2 dash Angostura Bitters
• 2 drop Vanilla Extract
• 1 Orange Wheel (Cara Cara)
Muddle the orange wheel. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a Julep cup or Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with a flag consisting of fresh orange wheel and cherry on a pick. Note: this is an adaptation of the book's recipe; the book added the vanilla extract onto the orange wheel and garnished the flag with powdered sugar as well.
The Old Fashioned attributed this Cobbler to Kirk Estopinal as his take on the "muddled style Old Fashioned, the kind you used to get before the mixology movement took hold." While the structure was similar to an Old Fashioned, I was curious what this more refreshing and elegantly presented variation would offer. Once prepared, the flag garnish donated orange and cherry aromas. The muddled orange continued the citrus notes into the sip where it played well with the Bourbon's malt flavors. Finally, the rest of the whiskey notes came through on the swallow along with the bitter's spice and a vanilla finish. While inherently not too different recipe-wise from a New Fashioned Old Fashioned, the presentation distracted me from thinking about it as such.

So thank you to Laura for picking the theme and running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the mixing spoons stirring and the spirit of the event alive!

Friday, March 13, 2015

kingston cup

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Five Spice Ginger Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and 3 dashes housemade aromatic bitters, and add a straw.
(*) Perhaps 1/2 oz each of ginger syrup and Chinese five spice syrup would work in a pinch.

Two Fridays ago, I suddenly had the day off due to a surprise double shift the day before. After spending part of the day at the ICA museum, I traveled over from Fort Point to the Financial District to visit the Townsman that had just opened. Off of their opening menu, I asked bartender Shannon Higgins for the Kingston Cup, a spiced and Jamaican rum variation of the classic Pimm's Cup. Shannon described how the Cup was bar manager Sean Frederick's creation, but the final recipe went through a half dozen variations as a group effort with the staff. When I inquired about the "Szechuan spice" in the ingredients list, it was described as part of the ginger syrup and included pink peppercorn and star anise. Those spices sound very similar to the components of Chinese Five Spice syrup, and Sean's previous bar, the Citizen Public House, had a few drinks like the 1788 Buck and the Figawi that utilized said spices.
The Kingston Cup began with a cucumber and allspice aroma from the two garnishes. A fruity sip gave way to rum funk blending elegantly into ginger and pepper-laden spice on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

guiding light

2 oz Xicaru Mezcal
3/4 oz Gran Classico
1/2 oz Clement Creole Shrub
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

I was pleasantly surprised on the most recent Russell House Tavern cocktail menu that there was a drink on there by Joe Slavinski. Joe recently switched from being a server to a bartender and took to the trade rather quickly. His creation, the Guiding Light, was named as a homage to everyone he has learned from, but it was left unclear if he is also a soap opera junky (which would not interfere with his more nocturnal professional wrestling watching). In a way, his drink reminded me of a smoky and spiced agave-based Lucien Gaudin.
The Guiding Light began with an orange oil and smoky aroma with a hint of bubblegum from the Gran Classico. An orange-driven sip led into a smoky mezcal swallow followed by orange and bitter herbal notes and lastly a smoky allspice finish.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

coffee dto

1 1/2 oz Plantation Dark Rum (Diplomatico Exclusiva)
1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Allen's Coffee Brandy (Kahlua)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Iron Ranger served at Tales of the Cocktail 2014, I turned to my stack of recipe cards from 2014 Boston Thirst's Maine-Portland Pop-up Event. There, I spotted the Coffee DTO from Portland's Hunt & Alpine Club. Their Daiquiri Time Out variation reminded me a lot of a Mr. Bali Hai without the pineapple juice, so I was definitely intrigued. Moreover, our Mr. Bali Hai at Russell House Tavern also utilized a 3:1 split of rums with 3 parts dark Cruzan Blackstrap to a similar 1 part Smith & Cross. To make the drink truly Maine, I would have needed Allen's Coffee Brandy (or perhaps Somerville as well since it is made down the hill from me in East Somerville); though I have an Allen's winter cap from Hunt & Alpine's table at the event, I needed that night to utilize another coffee liqueur for this #DTO.
The Coffee Daiquiri Time Out began with caramel rum aromas complementing dark roast coffee ones on the nose. The caramel continued on into the sip where it contrasted the crisp lemon notes, and the funky rums on the swallow led into a coffee finish.

Friday, March 6, 2015

iron ranger

2 oz Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge (omitted) and freshly grated cinnamon.

Two Saturdays ago, I returned to the same list of drinks that I found the Midnight Stinger, namely the one created for the Tales of the Cocktail 2014 event honoring the 60 years that Jimmy Russell was the master distiller for Wild Turkey. The recipe that caught my eye was for the 1950s in honor of the Tiki craze called the Iron Ranger created by Erick Castro then of Polite Provisions. The Iron Ranger still gets served at Boiler Maker, the bar in New York City that Erick is helping to run.
The Iron Ranger began with cinnamon and pineapple aromas. A malty and lemon sip shared a hint of fruitiness from the pineapple. Most of the pineapple flavors came through on the swallow along with the Bourbon, clove and allspice notes. Indeed, I will have to throw this drink in with the list of whiskey Tiki drinks that I mentioned in the Kentucky Island post.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

jets to brazil

1 1/2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Aperol

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
(*) My old high school classmate Josh over at Inu A Kenu posted a great DiY recipe this week!
Two Fridays ago, I wandered down Mass Ave after work and stopped into Brick & Mortar. For a first drink, I asked bartender Will Thompson for the Jets to Brazil. Will described the recipe as a "Jungle Bird sans pineapple [juice]" (although there is pineapple infused into the rum). Later, bartender Matt Schrage came by and described how he and Will created and batched the drink for the bar's emo-themed night two days prior. Once mixed, the Jets to Brazil shared bright fruit aromas from perhaps the pineapple and lime with darker notes from the rum. The sip had a vague fruit flavor from the pineapple, Aperol, and lime, and lastly, the swallow offered pineapple notes with a degree of bitter complexity from the amari.
The second drink that Will made me was another variation of the Pop-In, an old style of beer cocktail featuring a lightly hopped beer spiked with spirits, amaros, and liqueurs that he was introduced to at Dead Rabbit in Manhattan. This one was essentially a Royal Fizz with an imperial porter as the carbonation source; while I did not get the exact measurements, I am using his last pop-in (see previous link) as a guide:
[Brick & Mortar Pop-In]
• 1 oz St. George Terroir Gin
• 1 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
• 3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
• 1 Whole Egg
Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with 2-3 oz Riverwalk Imperial Porter. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

hot egg nog

1 oz Rum (Diplomatico Exclusiva)
1 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1 tsp Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
Hot Milk (6 oz)

Mix egg yolk and sugar in a heated mug. Add rum and brandy and stir. Fill with hot milk and stir. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. See second paragraph for mixing suggestions to avoid egg white action.

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender Guide for their hot drink section. There, I found the Hot Egg Nog recipe which was quite curious. I have had other cold drinks turned hot including the Hot Zombie, Sazerac Toddy, and the Hot Old Fashioned, but Egg Nog was not something that I associated with as hot. Tom and Jerries, yes though, so why not Egg Nog?
Once prepared, the Hot Egg Nog proffered an elegant nutmeg aroma. The rich milk notes and caramel from the rum were augmented by the silkiness of the egg yolk. Lastly, the swallow then added light brandy and rum flavors. I definitely had some issues with egg white carry-over from the yolk cooking solid in to distracting chunky bits. Perhaps rinsing the yolk could help to free it from egg white contamination. Other ideas include fine straining the concoction before serving in the mug or just using warm milk instead of hot milk. Otherwise, the Hot Egg Nog was quite delightful!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

waltz of the flowers

3/4 oz Rhum JM Blanc
1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Aperol
1/4 oz Lime Juice
2 drop Orange Blossom Water
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Cristalino Brut Cava and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I stopped into Craigie on Main for a cocktail. For a drink, I asked bartender Rob Ficks for the Waltz of the Flowers. Rob explained that his creation was a tribute to Tchaikovsky's piece that appears in the Nutcracker. Once mixed, the Waltz of the Flowers offered an orange and mousy sparkling wine aroma. A crisp grape sip shared fruity orange-lime flavors from the Aperol, lime, and elderflower liqueur. Finally, the swallow proffered a mix of grassy and funky rhum agricole flavors along with floral and wine notes.

Monday, March 2, 2015


1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (here, Caffè Borghetti)
1/2 oz Bittermens Mole Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a rocks or similar glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg (here, omitted).
On the way home after West Bridge, I stopped into Trina's Starlite Lounge for a drink. There, I asked bartender Tony Iamunno for the #OSMC which stood for the "obligatory seasonal mixology cocktail." Mid-build, Tony realized that they were out of creme de cacao, so I suggested a coffee liqueur instead. Moments later, he could not find the nutmeg... Once fully mixed, the #OSMC began with a dark cherry aroma with a hint of smoke. A creamy cherry sip gave way to a smoky agave swallow with chocolate and coffee roasts on the finish.