Monday, August 31, 2015

london calling

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Bloomsbury Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass. Top with 2-3 oz sparkling wine and twist a grapefruit peel over the top.

Two Tuesdays ago, I attended Tanqueray's launch party at the Sinclair for their limited edition Bloomsbury Gin. I already had a sneak peak at the gin during mid-June's Tanqueray Green Room events. There, I had the opportunity to select a recipe from Angus Winchester's cocktail book collection and one of the gins in the Tanqueray arsenal, so I chose the new Bloomsbury and Jamie Boudreau's Petruchio. The Bloomsbury recipe was created by Charles Waugh Tanqueray, the second generation of distillers back in the 1880s. It kept true to the London Dry style and bolstered Tanqueray's four botanicals, namely juniper, angelica root, coriander seed, and licorice powder, with two additional ones -- cassia and winter savory. Bloomsbury itself refers to the first Tanqueray distillery in the 1830s.
The drink that I tried this day was created by and prepared for me by Sinclair's Dale Murphy called the London Calling. In the flute, it shared grapefruit, orange, and pine aromas. A carbonated sip offered crisp grapefruit and wine notes, and the swallow presented gin, rhubarb, and floral flavors.

mon sherry amour

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
2 dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a single old fashioned glass.

For my second drink at Estragon, I delved deeper into the Sahil Mehta cocktail playbook and pulled out one that Andrea had tried as the drink of the day a year or two ago but I never wrote about called Mon Sherry Amour. Elements of the drink reminded me of Sahil's ShakeStir submission to their Negroni variation competition a few months ago called the Pantomimist, so I was curious as to how this one fit into the cocktail creation progression.
The Mon Sherry Amour greeted the senses with smoky aromas with briny-savory notes. Next, the sip was rich with body and showed off light grape notes, and the swallow showcased the smoky agave with a bitter orange and chocolate finish.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

roger that

1 1/2 oz The Knot Irish Whiskey
1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette
1/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a single old fashioned glass. Garnish with 2 dash Barkeep's Lavender Bitters.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I made our way down to the South End to visit Estragon and bartender Sahil Mehta. For a starter, I selected the Roger That from Sahil's cocktail notebook. Sahil described how he made it for one of his regulars named Roger who lives above the restaurant. I was drawn to it for it reminded me somewhat of an Aviation, and the airplane lingo name seemed to support that concept.
The Roger That presented a floral aroma from the lavender bitters. Grape from the sherry and Punt e Mes dominated the sip, and the swallow was all about the whiskey and a nutty-bitter combination from the Punt e Mes leading into the sharper grape-violet flower finish. When Andrea tasted the drink, she commented that it was "old school like out of [the] Café Royal [Cocktail Book] -- dark, rich, raisiny, and saturated [with flavor]."

golden beautiful

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolon)
1/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

Short shake all ingredients with 3 ice cubes and strain into a snifter glass with a large ice cube. Top with 1 oz soda water and garnish with grated lime zest.
Sunday night after my Yacht Rock Sunday shift, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap. There, I landed on Thomas Waugh's Golden Beautiful that he created in 2009. Once in the glass, it offered fresh lime oil aromas over that of the tequila notes. On the palate, a carbonated lime and passion fruit sip led into a more complex swallow with tequila, vanilla, Campari, and passion fruit notes. Again, Campari and passion fruit turned out to be a magical pairing as they have in drinks like the Novara, but what surprised me was how the flavor combination in this drink brought out a rather vegetal quality in the tequila.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

key largo

1 oz Turkey Shore Tavern Style Rum
1 oz Lustau Brandy
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash St. George Absinthe

Shake with crushed ice for 5 seconds and dump into a tulip (or tall) glass. Top with crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig and a grapefruit twist, and add a straw.
Another drink idea I had for Loyal Nine's Yacht Rock Sundays two weeks ago was inspired by the Jet Pilot that I had at Tales of the Cocktail a few weeks before. First, I wanted to make it more punch-like so I split the rum base with brandy. To compliment the brandy better, I switched the lime to lemon juice. And finally, I took a more fruity instead of spice direction by subbing passion fruit syrup for the classic's falernum. For a name, I found the song title "Key Largo" on the playlist and figured that the area was rife with Tiki-inspired bars despite the song being very much non-Polynesian in feel.

take on me

1 oz Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with 2 oz soda water. Top with ice, garnish with an orange twist, and add a straw.
For Loyal Nine's Yacht Rock Sunday cocktail list two weeks ago, I was inspired by a guest's call for a Zucca Spritz akin to the more common call for an Aperol one. In thinking about amari and carbonation, I decided to go in the direction of Michael McIlroy's Rome with a View that I learned about via Tyler Wang's riff, Triumph of Pompei. In the end, my formulation took the shape of a Zucca and dry vermouth Daisy replete with citrus, orange liqueur, and soda water. With nothing all that Italian sounding in yacht rock playlist song titles, I opted for an A-ha moment with Take on Me.

Friday, August 28, 2015

kelbo's scorpion

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
3/4 oz Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1/2 oz Gin (Tanqueray)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)

Blend with 8 oz crushed ice and pour into a small Tiki bowl filled with ice.

I continued on with the post-shift Tiki drinks on Saturday night with inspiration coming from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari. The recipe that caught my attention was Kelbo's Scorpion, the 1950s variation of Trader Vic's classic Scorpion Bowl, that was created at Kelbo's on Fairfax. With the spirits split three ways into brandy, rum, and gin, it reminded me of a Fog Cutter. The major differences are that Kelbo's Scorpion used lime instead of the Fog Cutter's lemon; moreover, Kelbo's Scorpion had passion fruit syrup and the Fog Cutter had Angostura Bitters and a sherry float.
Kelbo's Scorpion let forth a floral, minty, and lime aroma. Tropical notes filled the sip as the lime, orange, and passion fruit flavors mingled. Finally, the swallow shared funky rum and the gin's juniper, and it ended with a nutty citrus finish.

lovely lovely

1 1/2 oz Bacardi 151 Proof Rum (Don Q 151)
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (Fair Trade's Organic Dark Brown Sugar)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Curaçao (Van der Hum)
1 1/4 oz Crushed Ice

Dissolve the sugar in the juice, blend the rest of the ingredients, and pour into a snifter glass or Tiki mug (shake with crushed ice and pour).
After my work shift on Friday night, I pampered myself at the home bar with a Tiki drink. For a recipe, I found the Lovely Lovely from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari. Berry attributed the recipe to "Danny" of the Papeete Bar in the Waikikian Hotel's Tahitian Lanai restaurant on Waikiki Beach in 1964. Once built, it gave forth mint and floral aromas. Next, the sip had molasses notes from the brown sugar that balanced crisp orange, lemon, and lime flavors. Finally, the swallow was mostly about the rum with a rich citrussy finish. Overall, the brown sugar gave the thin overproof rum some body and smoothness and seemed to tie the components of the drink together.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

test pilot

1 1/2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
3/4 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
6 drop Pernod

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 seconds and pour into a Double Old Fashioned glass (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice). Garnish with a cherry speared to a wooden oyster fork (mint and flowers).

Two Thursdays ago after my shift, I reached for my copy of Beachbum Berry's Remixed. There, I spotted the Test Pilot which appeared like a gussied up Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The Test Pilot was created by Don the Beachcomber circa 1941; while Don could have known about the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, it was published that same year in Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide & Ladies' Companion (perhaps well known in the Caribbean before that point though). Don's drink split the rum element and added spice from Angostura Bitters and pastis. The Test Pilot was later used as a template to create the Luau Room's Jet Pilot a decade later in the late 1950s.
Once prepared, the Test Pilot gave forth a mint aroma with hints of floral elements. Caramel and lime on the sip preceded funky rum, orange peel, clove, and brightness from the absinthe on the swallow with hints of spice on the finish.

dolores haze

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Dolin Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Aperol
2 dash Fee's Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a glass rinsed with Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch and Bittermens Mole Bitters. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The drink that Andrea requested at the Barrel House in Beverly was the Dolores Haze. Guest bartender Patrick Andrew from Bar Tek-Nique in New Hampshire described how he wanted to call this one the Rosita Lolita, but he felt that it could be taken as a little offensive. Instead, he dubbed it after the character in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The Rosita Lolita does reside in his OnTheBar drink database using an añejo tequila instead of reposado and no chocolate or mole bitters either.
The Dolores Haze began with a smoke scent with a vague fruit aroma from the Aperol and perhaps the vermouth. Next, grape and rhubarb notes on the sip led the way for agave, chocolate, and a hint of smoke.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

:: mxmo cocktail chronicles wrap up ::

As I described in my announcement post, it seemed appropriate at Mixology Monday #100 to pay tribute to the man (and his blog) that started it all, Paul Clarke (of the CocktailChronicles). It was also good timing that Paul's reason for not posting much to his blog and for participating much in Mixology Monday, namely his book The Cocktail Chronicles, was just published a few weeks ago! A lot of the book's focus was how the concepts of simplicity, elegance, and timelessness helped to predict or describe which drinks had lasting ability. Therefore, why not pay tribute to recipes that do just that! Without further ado, here are the participants for the historic 100th edition of Mixology Monday:
• Leading off the charge is Doc Elliot with a Whiskey Sour using Belle Meade Bourbon and egg white; simplicity with 4 ingredients and timeless due to the 19th century recipe not changing much indeed!
• I, Frederic from CocktailVirgin, threw in next with a drink recipe straight from Paul's book, the Gin Fizz Tropical, that was a West Coast bartender's modification of a Charles H. Baker drink in the style of a Ramos.
• Pete from Meticulous Mixing delves into the elegance of the Martini; Pete notes that Paul's recommendation for 2:1 is a solid recipe but tries a range from 1:2 to 7:1 to find out how the drink's flavor profile morphs by proportion.
• Katie of the Garnish Blog (and fellow Bostonian!) tackles the Old Cuban which surprised her how young this drink actually is as opposed to how old of a style it carries; she even searches to find that Paul Clarke wrote about this drink back in MxMo III!
• DJ Hawaiian Shirt surprises me by not doing a remix of a drink, and instead discusses the history of the Gimlet on the SpiritedRemix blog. From scurvy-prone sailors to lush detectives, this drink holds ground today, and DJ even argues for why Roses isn't something to fear.
• Event 100 brought out a first timer, namely Leigh from the Salt and Bitters blog! She tackled the Seelbach that's 2 years shy of its century mark, and she opts to switch the Cointreau for St. Germain.
• Kafka from KitchenShamanism delves into Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide for a simple but elegant tropical libation, the Congo Cocktail. Sort of a blended Piña Colada minus the pineapple part that would certainly be welcome in these waning nights of summer.
• RatedRCocktail's JFL needed some convincing by me to participate. I told him that simple, elegant, and timeless Tiki drinks were definitely fair game. And JFL answered the call with Fog Cutter and even ties the classic's motley assortment of spirits in with the Long Island Iced Tea that he has been paying tribute to lately. The L.I.T. will unfortunately probably end up timeless as well despite not being all that elegant (even if you ask for a top shelf version... and I charge you $17 for it). Unless perhaps you approach it as a 4-spirited Daisy with kola syrup and orange liqueur as the sweeteners?
• Stuart of PutneyFarms considers timelessness and elegance with the Martini variation, the Hoffman House. However, variation is not the right word for 2:1 with orange bitters and a lemon twist is just about right for my Martini save for my equal parts moments.
• With a little convincing and an audio recorder to capture the answer, I finally got Paul Clarke to participate in the first Mixology Monday since he handed over the reins three years ago with his well named drink the Disappearing Act for MxMo LXV in September 2012. Here, 35 events later, he gives extra dignity to the Gin & Tonic by changing the format into the GT Swizzle via craft tonic syrup and lime.
• Andrea of GinHound selected one of my favorite gin-egg white drinks, the Clover Club and also offers her variation using red currant syrup and grapefruit juice as well!
• Joe of Southern Ash should have been earlier in this lineup but I missed it at first since he had tweeted it to me. Here, Joel returns to one of his early drink epiphanies, the Gin Rickey and riffs on it, too! Just imagine this entry between Kafka and JFL's.
• BartendingNotes snuck this one in as I was making my first pass of the entries on Tuesday afternoon. He was inspired by Paul picking the Negroni as one of the five great drinks to riff off of, and here, he takes a Gaz Regan turn with a Jägermeister for sweet vermouth one! Will finger stirring become timeless (even if it's not elegant)?
• TartinesToTikis snuck in before my Wednesday at noon second last call with a tribute to Sasha Pretraske. Simple tweaks on the Bee's Knees and Gimlets show how close to the classics things stuck in 2002.
• Coming in after the last last call (so no image above) is Dagreb of NihilUtopia who ponders his changing tastebuds through the years and how the Gibson is one of his straight spirits gin drink of choice lately.
• One of my favorite parts of the event is the memorable lost cats that rejoin the herd on their own time scale, and here it is old school Jacob Grier reflecting on the Golden Years of blogging along side Paul and making the Tango #1 from The Savoy Cocktail Book. Then again it took me about 6 years of reading his blog before I made it out to Portland to sit at his bar, so a week late (and learning about it by spotting it on my Facebook feed) doesn't seem so bad...

Perhaps that'll wrap things up or perhaps there will be a few more cats to herd (but they won't get me to fire up photoshop and make more images though). Looking back on my time with Mixology Monday, I started with the dirty sounding MxMo XXX after having followed the event for a few before I had a blog to write in (and was still writing on LiveJournal). Since that start in August 2008, I have participated in 71 events and hosted 7 including this one. Thinking back, I do recall the glee I had when Paul accepted my theme of "Tea" that I ran with in January 2010! So it felt like a great tribute to throw the theme in honor of MxMo's founder. In reflecting on this event, two personal drinking experiences with Paul stood out. One was the first time I met him at Tales 2009 at the Diageo Happy Hour where he served me one of his own creations, the Dunniette which I still think holds true today (since I have seen others serve this combination under different names). The second was more poetic -- I cannot even remember what I was drinking. It was Sunday night at the end of Tales 2010; Andrea and I had an early flight out the next morning (a mistake never to be repeated), but instead of getting some sleep, we decided to spend the late night hours with Paul at the Monteleone's Carousel Bar -- chatting and slowly spinning around and around. Until the spinning stopped. Wait, we closed a bar in New Orleans? The world did continue and we have met again, but like that poetic moment, it is always good to pause at the wonder of the world. And for now, that wonder is hundred of these wonderful online cocktail parties! Cheers to Mr. Clarke and his glorious book, and cheers to all Mixology Mondayers past, present, and future! The bar will probably start spinning again tomorrow, but for tonight, let's finish this last drink with a toast!

lonely, dreaming of the west coast

1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum
1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Coco Lopez Coconut Cream
1/2+ oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2+ oz Lemon Juice
1/2+ oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice and add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I made the adventure up to Beverly to eat dinner at the Barrel House. One of the attractions was that Patrick Andrew of Bar Tek-Nique in Bedford, New Hampshire, was guest bartending. For a first drink, I asked bartender Sarah Walman for the Lonely, Dreaming of the West Coast from the night's cocktail menu. She commented that the list of ingredients confused her, but it turned out to be her favorite from that list; she soon passed that request on to Patrick who was mixing at the other end of the bar. A few minutes later, Patrick showed up with the libation and explained how it was a Piña Colada crossed with a Jungle Bird; perhaps there was a Negroni that he did not mention lurking in the shadows as well akin to the Amaro di Cocco. As for the name, he explained that it was a line from an Everclear song called Santa Monica.
The Lonely and Dreaming began with a vaguely fruity and herbal aroma from the Campari and Bols Genever. On the palate, a creamy citrus sip transitioned into a rounded out Campari flavor with a cinnamon finish.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

honey suckle

1 jigger Bacardi (1 1/4 oz Denizen 8 Year Rum)
1 dash Sherry (3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry)
1/2 tsp Honey (1/2 oz Honey Syrup)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz Lime Juice)

Stir with ice and fill with Vichy carbonated water; serve in a goblet (shake with ice and strain into a Fizz glass containing 2 oz soda water; garnish with a lime wheel).

After returning home from Backbar, we were in the mood for a nightcap. Therefore, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Honey Suckle. With rum, honey, lime, and carbonation in the mix, it reminded me of the Air Mail; however, instead of the better known drink's champagne, this one had a wine element of sherry and a carbonated element of soda water.
The Honey Suckle offered a funky dark rum bouquet to the nose. A carbonated sip showed off lime, honey, and caramel richness, while the swallow offered rum funk blending into nutty sherry flavors.

banana stand

1 1/4 oz Blackwell Jamaican Rum
1 1/4 oz Banana Purée (*)
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dash Fee's Black Strap Bitters
1 dash Salt Tincture

Shake with cracked ice, pour into a rocks glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.
(*) Banana chopped and mixed with caramelized sugar; sealed in a bag and steamed. Blended with demerara syrup and Xanthan gum.

The other drink we had at Backbar was the Banana Stand from the Trademan section of the menu. After bartender James Lamont made the drink for us, he got bartender Look Theres to come over to discuss how he made the banana purée. To make this, Look received a lot of pointers from the Journeyman kitchen with the key tip being that fresh banana purée does not taste as good as cooked banana purée. Moreover, Xanthan gum works similar to gum arabic as a thickener and a stabilizer, and I believe they used it here partly as an emulsifier to prevent the purée from separating over time. For more on Xanthan gum and its uses, read here.
Whether there was money in the banana stand, there sure was a whole lot of win in the glass. The nose began with bright lime aromas that led into a thick, caramel, and banana sip. The swallow finished things off with dark Jamaican rum and funky herbal notes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

easy e

1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 oz Pimm's #1
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an 'E' shaped lemon twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I ventured into Backbar after getting dinner in Union Square. For a cocktail, I asked bartender James Lamont for their Drink of the Week, the Easy E, for it appeared like an Army & Navy riff. James explained that it was bartender Look There's recipe, and he was inspired by Toby Cecchini's Improved Japanese Cocktail as well as his recent trip to New Orleans. Once in a glass, the Easy E proffered a lemon and nutty aroma. The lemon continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Bourbon's malt notes and hints of berry from the Pimm's. The rest of the Bourbon came through on the swallow along with the orgeat's nuttiness and a dry finish from the bitters.

outrigger tiara

1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (3/4 oz Coruba, 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice

Blend with 1 scoop of shaved ice and pour into a Scorpion bowl. Add ice cubes and decorate with a gardenia. Here I shook with crushed ice, poured into a Tiki mug, and garnished with mint and naturtiums.
Two Mondays ago for a nightcap, I reached for Trader Vic's 1974 Rum Cookery & Drinkery. There, I spotted the simple but refreshing looking Outrigger Tiara. Once in the Tiki mug, it offered peppery, floral, and minty aromas. Next, the sip was tart and citrussy with lemon and orange flavors and perhaps a berry note from the pomegranate, and the swallow was all about the funky rum medley.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

spiced park swizzle

1 oz Rhum Agricole (Vale d' Paul Aguardente Nova de Santo Antão)
1 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur (King's)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Build in a tall glass, fill with ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with 5 dashes Angostura Bitters.
After returning from working the bar at Loyal Nine's Yacht Rock Sunday two weeks ago, I was still in the tropical mood. Therefore, I reached for Tiki Drinks: Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar and found the Spiced Park Swizzle. Once built, the drink offered mint, clove, and cinnamon aromas. Next, lime and grape flavors on the sip transitioned into grassy rum and nutty notes on the swallow. Finally, the Spice Park Swizzle ended with ginger and clove on the finish, and once the bitters garnish entered into the equation at the end, clove and cinnamon became dominant.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

caribbean queen

1 oz El Dorado 3 Year White Rum
1 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
1/4 oz JM Blanc Rhum Agricole
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Blossom Oolong Tea Syrup (*)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug with crushed ice. Garnish with Tiki intent. Or scale up like we do, here in the photo, four fold, and serve with ice in a punch bowl or perhaps in a large format Tiki bowl with crushed ice.
(*) A strong steep of a hibiscus flower and tea blend mixed with an equal part of demerara sugar.
Dan and Rebecca had been asking for a large format drink to put on the Yacht Rock cocktail menu at Loyal Nine, and when I spotted the song "Caribbean Queen" on the night's playlist, it made me think of rum and an answer to their request. I kept with the Caribbean theme via a 4 rum blend from 3 islands and one Caribbean coast of South America country. Moreover, the hibiscus-driven blossom oolong tea syrup that I used in the Safety Dance seemed very much in theme. Once pineapple entered the picture, a touch of Green Chartreuse seemed fair despite it being not from the region. While on the menu for a few weeks with the subtitle "our second favorite ocean," two weeks ago was the first time a party ordered it; I do have the photo of it on my Instagram, but the one I made last Sunday made for a better photo given the lighting.

eye of the tiger

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz Tamarind Syrup (*)
1/4 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a Collins glass, add crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Float 1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira, add a straw, and garnish with a cherry, mint sprig, and lemon twists.
(*) A 1 pound container of tamarind concentrate mixed with a short quart of sugar and a short quart of boiling water to make a final almost 2 quart volume. Probably a barspoon of concentrate mixed with 3/4 oz simple syrup (1:1) would work well (but integrate into the drink mix before adding ice).
In thinking about drinks for Loyal Nine's Yacht Rock Sunday, I wanted to do a riff on the Don's Special Daiquiri. Instead of passion fruit syrup, I opted for a tamarind syrup that I made from concentrate paste that I sourced at a local Indian market. To stick with the exotic Far East feel, I switched the rum to Batavia Arrack, and ended up naming it the Eye of the Tiger which appears on the night's playlist. While the Special Daiquiri was served up, Dan of course pushed me towards a Swizzle direction with this one as I tinkered with the recipe as his shift drink earlier that week. The Swizzle format led me to the float of Madeira as well as the garnish grand eloquence (which did hurt a bit during one drink ticket burst). One technique I was experimenting with for a garnish was suspending the aromatic elements with toothpicks towards the top so that the bouquet stayed closer to the nose while sipping on the straw as opposed to sinking down with the ice level. Overall, the curious and intriguing acid twang of tamarind that makes Indian and Thai food sing worked rather well in this Special Daiquiri form.

Friday, August 21, 2015

royale cup #4

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 oz Campari
1/4 oz Black Strap Rum (Cruzan)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
2 Strawberries, sliced

Muddle strawberry slices, add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and double strain into a Collins glass with soda water (2 oz). Fill with crushed ice and garnish with 3 strawberry slices and mint.
After the Tonga Punch, Andrea was still in the mood for another drink. Since she had bought a pint of strawberries at the market, I decided to pull up a recipe that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine for the Royale Cup #4. This recipe created at the Pub Royale in Chicago won me over with the description of a Pimm's Cup crossed with a Jungle Bird. Once in the glass, it shared a mint and strawberry aroma from the garnishes. Next, a carbonated lime and berry sip shared hints of pineapple, and the swallow presented the rum's dark molasses and Campari's bitter orange flavors.


2 bottles Light Rum (1 1/2 oz Caliche, 1/2 oz Wray & Nephew)
12 oz Brandy (1/2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
12 oz Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
12 oz Passionola (1/2 oz Ezekiel's Passion Fruit Liqueur)
1 quart Lemon Juice (1 1/2 oz)
1 1/2 pint Orange Juice (1 oz)
6 oz Grenadine (1/4 oz)

Blend with cracked ice and pour over one large piece of ice in a punch bowl (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice).

Two Saturdays ago after my bar shift, I was in the mood to make myself a Tiki drink. When I opened up Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink, I spotted the Tonga in the punch section. Although it seemed intriguing as written, I needed to scale this recipe down 24 fold to make it more approachable to my small party.
Once prepared, the Tonga Punch offered a minty, orange, and floral aroma. On the sip, orange and tropical flavors were followed by funky rums and passion fruit on the swallow. In looking for history about this drink, I later found a recipe online from Stephen Siegelman's 2005 Trader Vic's Tiki Party! which appears to mirror the ingredients on modern Trader Vic menus for it lacks brandy and passion fruit liqueur, adds lime juice, and alters the proportions a bit. Probably more accessible since passion fruit liqueur is not as common (and some of the ones you can find are artificial crap like Cointreau's Passoa), but certainly not as complex of a flavor profile especially without the brandy:
Tonga Punch (Modern)
• 2 oz White Rum
• 1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/4 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Curaçao
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
Blend with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a glass.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

sun city

1 1/4 oz Bar Hill Gin
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Blandy's Alvada Madeira (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 crack Black Pepper

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an additional crack of black pepper.
(*) A 50:50 mix of Bual and Malmsey grapes.
The drink that I requested at The Frogmore was the Sun City. Bar manager Alex Homans later explained his creation as a tribute to Charleston, SC, playing a major role in the Madeira trade back in the Colonial days. Once prepared, the Sun City gave forth a vegetal herbal aroma that was almost celery like. Next, lime, pineapple, and aged wine on the sip were followed by gin, celery, and pineapple on the swallow. Overtime, black pepper began to enter the drink perhaps from the ingestion of the garnish.

river queen

1 1/2 oz Cucumber-infused Pimm's No. 1 (*)
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and add a straw.
(*) Infuse 1 cucumber (sliced) into 1 bottle of Pimm's for 12 hours. Strain.

Two Thursdays ago, after celebrating a belated birthday dinner at VeeVee in Jamaica Plain, we traveled down Centre Street to The Frogmore for a second dessert and a round of cocktails. For a drink, Andrea asked for the River Queen which was their Pimm's Cup variation. Bar manager Alex Homans later came by to talk about their program and how they are using creativity to make the most of their cordials license, as well as to explain how they make their cucumber-infused Pimm's for this drink he created.
The River Queen offered a fruity herbal aroma that transitioned into a watermelon and berry sip. The swallow offered the cucumber and Campari flavors with a hint of ginger on the finish. Two pairings here stood out: the first was the more obvious one of how cucumber and Pimm's play well together, and the second was how ginger worked with the Campari to bring about an elegant bittersweet spiciness on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

gin fizz tropical

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo C) was picked by me, Frederic, of the CocktailVirgin blog. There was a lot of chatter about what to do for the 100th event starting once the 90th Mixology Monday rolled around last autumn. Moreover, when I was trying to fill out the event schedule, I had a few bloggers who felt the pressure to do the right thing for the ten-of-tens was too great and thus refused. The beginnings of an idea of what to do came to me while at Tales of the Cocktail as I was preparing to interview Paul Clarke about his book The Cocktail Chronicles, but it did not fully gel until after I had transcribed and edited the interview and began tweeting about it. The concept of simplicity, elegance, and timelessness rang out as a good way to describe which drinks had lasting ability. Unfortunately, most bartenders these days when creating new recipes feel that the simple drinks have all been done so they add bonus ingredients or believe that recipes are not as interesting without a few extra bitters and liqueurs. So for MxMo C, I figured C was for Cookie, Cocktail, and um... Chronicles -- yes, the Cocktail Chronicles: the blog that started Paul going as a cocktail writer and later as the founder of this monthly event. And also the title of his book.

I explained the concept in the announcement post, "But what does Mixology Monday Cocktail Chronicles' mean? I figured that we should look to Paul's magnum opus and digest the theme of it all -- what is timeless (or potentially timeless) and elegant in its simplicity. Paul commented in his interview, '[it]'s wonderful to see that level of creativity but simplicity is going to be the glue that continues to hold interest in the cocktail together. The moment that we make cocktails too difficult or too inaccessible to the average guest, the average consumer, then we start losing people.' Paul does support a minor tweak of a major classic as well as dusting off a lesser known vintage recipe like the Creole Contentment; in addition, proto-classics like the Chartreuse Swizzle and the Penicillin intrigue him for their potential to be remembered twenty years from now. Moreover, he is a big fan of the story when there is one whether about a somewhat novel ingredient like a quinquina, the bartender making it, or the history behind a cocktail or the bar from which it originated. Indeed, I quoted Paul as saying, 'If I write about these and manage to make them boring, then I have done an incredible disservice. So I feel an incredible obligation not only to the drinks themselves, but to the bartenders who created them, and also to the heritage of cocktail writing to try to elevate it.'"
So last night I delved into Paul's book again and found the list I had made for myself of drinks to make. One that called out to me was the Gin Fizz Tropical that was first written about by Charles H. Baker The Gentleman's Companion:Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask. Baker was introduced to this recipe in Manila by the head of the Philipine Island's Tourist Association during their dugout canoe trip down the Pagsanjan River rapids, and he described it as "an affair based on the New Orleans Fizz background but using pineapple syrup... instead of sugar, and juice from... green limes instead of lemon." Instead of Baker's abstract recipe, Paul cited one from Erik Adkins, a bartender in San Francisco that helped to make workable recipes out of Baker's text. Adkins opted away from the cream in a New Orleans Fizz and chose to bolster the tropical notes with orgeat. He did keep Baker's garnish of "fresh green mint... a few tender leaves, recently broken off and stuck in a round and fragrant rosette right under the drinker's nose. Don't use a straw; the closer the mint comes the nicer"; however, he upped the ante by putting the mint in a thin lime wheel floated on top. The recipe is as follows:
Gin Fizz Tropical
• 2 oz Plymouth Gin (Seagram's)
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
• 1/2 oz Pineapple Gomme Syrup (Housemade pineapple syrup)
• 1/2 oz Egg White (1 whole Egg White)
Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a Fizz glass (here, 7 1/2 oz size) containing 1 oz soda water. Garnish with a thin lime wheel with a mint tip inserted.
Once prepared, the garnish offered lime and mint aromas right under our noses. A creamy carbonated lime-flavored sip gave way to a gin-driven swallow with tropical notes from the pineapple and orgeat. While perhaps not as timeless as a Ramos Gin Fizz, this variation was just as enjoyable and with a more exotic story than one of a line of overworked shaker-boys cursing yet another hot, un-air conditioned brunch shift at the base of the Mississippi. Since I plucked this recipe straight from Paul's book, I cannot see why he would object to me choosing it to represent this Clarkean theme.
Alas, I will not give thanks to the host for running the theme -- perhaps because it would be a little weird to thank myself and perhaps unthanks is more appropriate for it is not my first time this season. But I will give thanks to "Poppa" Clarke for starting this event back in April of 2006, to all of the previous 99 hosts (I guess I am thanking myself here after all), and to all of the participants of this event and the previous ones. Without all of you, this event would have ended (or never started) long ago. Cheers!

aku-aku gold cup

3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 oz Falernum (BG Reynolds)
1/2 oz Myers' Rum (Gosling's)
1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)

Dissolve sugar in lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass with a "Spanish Comb" ice shell.

A few Wednesday nights ago, I got home from my shift at work and picked up Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari. There, I spotted the Aku-Aku Gold Cup and decided to take on the late night arts and crafts challenge of making an ice shell. After crushing up ice in a Lewis Bag with a mallet, I tried a few approaches. Beachbum Berry recommends building the comb in a coupe glass and nudging the shell over to continue building it; I was able to make the initial shell but separating it from the glass seemed futile with out running hot water along the outside. What did work was a tip that Andrea had pointed out to me perhaps on SeriousEats by making it in a hand juicer. One of my two squeeze juicers seemed to make a decent shape after freezing and freeing it from the press. From there, I placed the curved ice disk along the side of a coupe glass and built out the base of the shell with another round of crushed ice before placing it in the freezer for a final harden.
This Gold Cup variation was created at the Aku-Aku restaurant in Las Vegas' Stardust Hotel circa the 1960s. Once fully built, the Aku-Aku Gold Cup shared lemon and dark rum aromas underneath the mint and floral notes from the garnishes I added. Soon, honeyed citrus and caramel flavors filled the sip, and the swallow offered dark rum notes spiced by ginger and clove.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

kiliki cooler

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Coffee Syrup (see inset below)
2 oz Appleton V/X Rum

Shake with ice and pour into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime, orange, and pineapple slices (orange wheel and mint sprigs here).
Two Tuesdays ago, I finally had everything in order to make the Kiliki Cooler. The recipe in Beachbum Berry's Remixed always attracted me, but I did not have coffee syrup in house. Finally, I got tired of having this drink mock me, and I followed the syrup-making directions in Remixed (although I could have purchased some as well) as such:
Coffee Syrup
• 2 oz Medium Roast Coffee Beans, cracked
• 4 oz Brandy (used rum instead)
• 3 oz Brown Sugar
• 3 oz Water
Steep the coffee beans in the spirit for 3-4 days and then strain. Make a syrup with the brown sugar and water. Combine. Note: this is a four-fold scale down from the book's recipe.
The Cooler itself was created in 2006 for the Florida Hukilau convention, and it was named after convention host Christie "Tiki Kiliki" White. When all the pieces came together, the Kiliki Cooler proffered an orange, mint, and coffee aroma. On the palate, the sip presented roasted notes accented by the lime's crispness, and the swallow gave forth rum, pineapple, and coffee flavors with passion fruit notes and lime tartness on the finish. In retrospect, utilizing a decent coffee liqueur would have worked just as well here, but I am glad that I followed the recipe as close as I could the first time through.

don's special daiquiri

1 oz Gold Jamaican Rum (7/8oz Appleton V/X, 1/8oz Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Three Mondays ago, I turned to Beachbum Berry's Remixed for my nightcap. There, I spotted the Don's Special Daiquiri which was the 1970s version of Don the Beachcomber's 1934 Mona Daiquiri. With a rum blend and both honey and passion fruit syrups as the sweeteners, it definitely intrigued me. Once in a glass, the Daiquiri offered rum, passion fruit, and floral aromas. Next, lime and passion fruit on the sip led into funky rums, tropical flavors, and floral notes on the swallow.

Monday, August 17, 2015

flip cup

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with 2-3 oz Newburyport Belgian-style Wit Beer. Garnish with a cucumber slice and add a straw.

At Eastern Standard, Andrea asked bartender Tom Mahne for the Flip Cup which was their Pimm's Cup variation. Instead of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda, this version called for beer as the carbonation akin to the Somerville Cup. Their beer choice was a Belgian white; while the menu said Blanche de Bruxelles, we were definitely not disappointed when local Newburyport's Plum Island wit beer was used in its place.
Once mixed, it offered a cucumber and malty aroma. Next, the sip offered lemon, berry, and malt, and the swallow shared tart and sour lemon grain notes from the beer. Overall, the sourness of the beer worked well with the citrus component in the drink like it did in the Prison Nickname.

hop riot

1 oz Oxley Gin
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with 2-3 spritz of hop tincture. Perhaps Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters could sub here in a pinch.

After the Loyal Nine The Walrus and The Carpenter event, I had the latter part of the night off so I ventured over to Eastern Standard with Andrea. For a first drink, I asked bartender Tom Mahne for the Hop Riot. The ingredients save for the hops seemed like a gin and lemon for mezcal and lime variation on the Naked and Famous, and Tom described how bartender Felicia Grossi created this drink using Citra and Sorachi Ace hops as an accent.
The Hop Riot began with an herbal almost celery aroma that I attribute to the Sorachi Ace hops. Next, honey, rhubarb, and lemon on the sip gave way to juniper and bitter orange on the swallow.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

of shoes and ships

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Creole Shrubb
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (optional)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a tall glass, add crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Top with crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig and freshly grated nutmeg, and add a straw.
For Loyal Nine's The Walrus and The Carpenter event, I wanted to riff on the swizzled Pegu Club as that I had made before. To the grapefruit notes that are generated in the classic by orange liqueur, lime, and Angostura Bitters, I added to the bitter fruit complexity with some Aperol. In retrospect, this appears to be approaching the flavor profile of Paul Harrington's Jasmine, but I was not considering that drink at the time. With the British naval history of the Pegu Club in Burma, the poem line "Of Shoes and Ships" seemed appropriate. With all of the ice melt, I ended up adding a touch of simple syrup to modify it from how I would balance the shaken version of the drink.

no birds to fly

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with 2 oz soda water. Top with ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and add a straw.
For Loyal Nine's The Walrus and The Carpenter event's cocktail menu, I wanted to do a riff on a Pimm's Cup and figured that I could substitute an herbal liqueur for the cucumber or borage element that makes the drink sing. While I have never had Pimm's No. 1 and Zucca together, I knew that Zucca paired with strawberry notes (which also appear in Pimm's) as well as lemon juice in the King Vittorio's Cobbler. For a drink name, I selected from the narrative poem No Birds to Fly which seemed just surreal enough out of context to work; it does not hurt that there is a Lewis Carroll-inspired song by the Virgin Prunes with that name either.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

shining on the sea

2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
1/2 oz Green Tea Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon Guava Paste

Shake without ice to integrate the guava paste (**), add ice and shake again. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a sun-shaped lemon or orange twist. Garnish cut out with a bento box vegetable cutter, but knife-work will do just fine.
(*) Strong steep mixed with an equal part of sugar.
(**) With heavily pectinized "block" guava jelly, heat with an equal part of boiling water to dissolve.
Another drink that I created for Loyal Nine's The Walrus and The Carpenter party was one inspired by the West Indies Punch from Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink. Stripping one of the two rums in that punch as well as the brandy and Madeira, I was left with something closer to a Daiquiri variation. For a name, I opted for the poem's line "Shining on the Sea," and to support that I garnished with a floated lemon sun-shaped twist, and I later switched to an orange one for better contrast. I had been thinking of the West Indies Punch as I wanted to put a classic on the regular menu for it contains three Colonial boozes -- brandy, rum, and Madeira -- all in one! Here is how I pared down that drink:
West Indies Punch
• 3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
• 3/4 oz Lustau Brandy
• 3/4 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira
• 3/4 oz Green Tea Syrup
• 3/4 oz Lime Juice
• 1 heaping barspoon Guava Paste
Dry shake to get the guava resuspended, shake with ice, and strain rocks glass. Top with cubed ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. For service, all but the juice are batched, such that a 3 oz dispense of the shaken batch and 3/4 oz lime juice speeds up the process.

hopping through the frothy waves

1 1/2 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake for 5 seconds with two ice cubes (a/k/a the Tiki shake) and strain into a tall glass. Fill with crushed ice and add a straw. Garnish with a mint sprig and either a paper parasol or 2-3 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters (or both).
Two Sundays ago, Loyal Nine held a Lewis Carroll "The Walrus & The Carpenter"-themed event and I created a six drink cocktail list named after lines from the narrative poem. One of my ideas was a tequila-based Hurricane riff that got named after the line "Hopping through the frothy waves" and subtitled on the menu as "A Hurricane coming off the Gulf of Mexico." I first tried it with lime juice to complement the tequila better but it ended up distracting from the passion fruit, so the original's lemon was the correct answer. To lighten, sweeten, and add light herbal notes to the profile, I opted for a bit of Dolin Blanc Vermouth. We had plenty of paper parasols for the party, but once this drink was bumped to the regular cocktail menu, we swapped it for a Peychaud's Bitters garnish to add some color and intrigue to the top of the drink.

Friday, August 14, 2015

bamboo punch

1 oz Trader Vic Light Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1 1/4 oz Trader Vic Mai Tai Rum (1 oz Appleton V/X, 1/4 oz Wray & Nephew)
Juice of 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Nectar (1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
1 dash Rock Candy Syrup (none, as included in PF Syrup above)

Blend with 1/2 scoop of ice (shake with ice and strain). Serve in a Bamboo Cup filled with ice to fill. Decorate with mint and a fruit stick.
Two Saturdays ago, I turned to Trader Vic's Rum Cookery and Drinkery from 1974 and spotted the Bamboo Punch. The combination of lime, passion fruit, and bitters reminded me of the gin-based Tanglin Club, so I was willing to give this one a try. Well, after I adapted the passion fruit nectar and rock candy syrup to passion fruit syrup and interpreted the Trader Vic packaged rums to ingredients found on my shelves. Once built, the garnishes I added to the Bamboo Punch donated a peppery and mint spice aroma. On the palate, lime and passion fruit on the sip gave way to funky rums on the swallow with a dry anise finish.

:: boston cocktail allstars - john mayer ::

For the sixth installment in the series of bartenders, past and present, who have helped to shape the Boston cocktail scene, I chose a bartender who we followed to three establishments, namely John Mayer. We met John at Craigie on Main in the summer of 2010, and followed him to Loyal 149 and Citizen Public House before he recently retired from the stick (save for guest appearances) to work for a liquor company. John's combination of hospitality, cocktail creativity, and curious drink names always led to a great bar experience. As for the cocktail names, he did live up to his OnTheBar profile quote of "If the drink is named after Texas, firearms, or sex toys, there's a good chance I created it." He also surprised and impressed me with his movie, literature, and music references. Without further ado, here is a five drink retrospective (with a few bonus allusions thrown in) to reflect on his Boston bartending contributions.

1. Libretto
One of the things that John did at Craigie on Main is strengthen my interest in tequila and mezcal drinks, and it was hard to pick one of them to represent with the Wilhelm Scream and the Degüello both worthy of this spot. In terms of drink names, John apparently was not great at translating into Italian though for he picked the wrong word to name this libation for a librarian guest, yet he proudly kept his mistake. But flavorwise, it was no mistake; this combination of aged tequila, sweet vermouth, and chocolate bitters also had the interplays of the highs of elderflower liqueur balancing the lows of Cynar.
2. Throw the Gun #2
Besides agave spirits, John also showed off his mastery of gin while at Craigie. Getting the nod over the spiced and spicy (for being named after a sex toy issue) Magic Wand Malfunction (his wife is a sex-ed teacher) was a cinematic Flip called Throw the Gun #2 after the moment the bad guy runs out of bullets and discards his weapon and runs. Perhaps not a Flip since it contains a touch of citrus, and this citrus, creaminess, and gin did remind me of a Ramos until the nutty sherry and herbal amaro notes entered the swallow.

3. 2011 (Acquired Taste)
After Craigie on Main, John took a position closer to his home in South Boston, namely as the bar manager for Local 149. One of my favorites that he created was a commentary on popular trends in mixology that he called an Acquired Taste before he changed it in 2013 to a tribute to the year 2011. Hints of mezcal smoke accented the pinch of salt-dampened combination of Campari and Bonal that were supported by nutty sherry. Overall, disparate ingredients lacking a base spirits came together to play off of each other in a sort of a Negroni format.
4. Face for Radio
Sometimes delicious drinks look rather ugly, and John Mayer's submission to the Bacardi Competition in 2013 was definitely in that category. Therefore, he ran with it and gave this one an amusing name, a Face for Radio. Orgeat will often do that, and this is why opaque and colorful mugs are often used to serve Tiki drinks (see the notes from the Brains and Booze talk for an explanation). With Becherovka, lime, and cinnamon honey syrup rounding out this drink, it came across like a cinnamon and clove spiced Mai Tai variation.

5. 11 + 2 / 12 + 1
With a good few years of tenure at Local 149, John moved on to the Citizen Public House. The curiously named 11 + 2 / 12 + 1 was the last drink that he made for me back in early 2014; I later asked John to explain the riddle, and he noted that both sides have the same 13 letters in them in different orders. The drink got even more curious as it was equal parts Green Chartreuse and Zucca that were accented by grapefruit bitters and twist oils. Overall, there was a lot of elegance and complexity in this seeming simplicity.

One of the drinks that I wanted to feature was part of a duo that John served to me called the Love in an Elevator. This combination of dark rum, oloroso sherry, Benedictine, and Punt e Mes was rather delightful; however, it was created by his coworker at the time Matt Whitney. While I was sipping this cold libation towards the end of June, John took out a pair of Blue Blazer mugs and started to work on the drink across the bar. I commented to my wife that someone was silly enough to order a Blue Blazer on a hot, almost summer evening. After putting on the show pouring the flaming drink back and forth including igniting a pair of lemon oil puffs from twists, he then set the drink in front of me. At that moment, I realized that I was the silly fool getting a hot drink on a warm evening. John's companion piece the Death in a Doublewide was inspired by the Diamondback, but he could not get it to work chilled, so it was suggested that he go warm. I think that this moment captures the cinematic absurdity that made sitting at John's bar such a treat. John was recently guest bartending at the Hawthorne for their Swizzle Sundays albeit on a night I was also working, so chances are that I have not had the last drink from this Boston Cocktail Allstar.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

yellow submarine

1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Crème de Banane (Giffard)
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz Gold Virgin Island Rum (DonQ Gold)

Shake with ice and pour into a tall glass. Fill with ice and garnish with a pineapple chunk speared to a green cherry.
Two Fridays ago to continue on with the summer of Tiki, I reached for Beachbum Berry's Remixed after I got home from my shift. There, I spotted the Yellow Submarine from around 2002 which intrigued Andrea with its banana and chocolate undertones. Once in the Tiki mug, the Yellow Submarine offered floral and mint aromas. Next, lemon and pineapple on the sip slid into rum, banana, more pineapple, and chocolate on the swallow. With the light touches of banana and chocolate and reasonably dry balance, the drink was more elegant than tawdry.

unique bird

2 oz Rhum Agricole (Vale d' Paul Aguardente Nova de Santo Antão)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Gomme Syrup (Pineapple Syrup)
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles for a drink. One of the ones that I had on my short list was the Unique Bird by Connor O'Brien that he created at Rumba in Seattle. I was curious for it reminded me of Chris Danforth's rum and Yellow Chartreuse Jungle Bird riff, A Bird Called Rufus, and I wanted to see how this combination of ingredients worked out.
The Unique Bird offered grassy and pineapple aromas to the nose. While the sip was filled with lime and fruity notes from the pineapple, the swallow began with funky rum and ended with herbal accents and a light pineapple finish. Overall, it was more subtle and grassy and less bitter than the classic Jungle Bird and closer to a satisfying Daiquiri or Daisy de Santiago.