Monday, February 29, 2016

cameron's kick

1 oz Scotch (Buchanan's 12 Year)
1 oz Irish Whiskey (Teeling's Small Batch)
1/2 oz Lemon
1/2 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

After working Valentine's Day, I needed to treat myself to a drink. In perusing Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book, I spotted the Cameron's Kick that I have neglected to make over the last decade or so. The original recipe stems from Harry MacElhone's 1922 Harry's ABCs of Mixing Cocktails and strangely informed the reader that orgeat is a syrup made from almonds despite it having been used for decades in cocktails since perhaps first published in 1862 with the Japanese Cocktail.
The Cameron's Kick began with an orange, nutty, and smoke aroma. Lemon and malt on the sip pleasantly matched smoke and almond on the swallow. While Paul compared this drink to "one million monkeys and gave each of them a typewriter... well edit 'typewriter' to read 'cocktail shaker'," there were plenty of other drinks like the Rye Crusta that were a Whiskey Daisy with orgeat as the sweetener. However, the Cameron's Kick is rather unique for very few drinks split the spirits and paired Irish and Scottish whiskeys. And with rather good success here, I might add.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

laka laka

2 oz White Rum Blend (*)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Don's Spices #2 (**)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash St. George Absinthe

Shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, and garnish with Tiki intent.
(*) 6 part Privateer Silver, 1 part Rhum JM Agricole Blanc, 1 part Wray & Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum.
(**) Equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice dram.
The Saturday before Valentine's Day, I tried out my idea for the two person blender drink as a shaken single serving. While I liked it, it was a bit too spice driven and I ended up tweaking it a bit before it morphed into the Loyal Nine menu item the Queen of the Lava Beds. Actually, a dash of Angostura was also in this version, but I dropped it in the recipe above to mellow things out a bit. The two names that I had bandied about where the Queen of the Lava Beds and the Laka Laka (or the Laka Laka Love). For the runner up, I opted for the tribute to Laka, the Hawaiian goddess of love and creator of the Hula dance.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

maggie smith

1 oz Encanto Pisco
1 oz Banks 5 Island Rum (Denizen Aged White)
1/2 oz Santa Teresa Orange Liqueur (Van der Hum)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1 tsp Acacia Honey Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
A few Friday's ago, I ventured into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap. When I spotted the Maggie Smith, it seemed to answer my call for a late night Daiquiri Time Out. Joaquin Simo's 2009 creation was a bit more complex than that though for it was a riff on the classic Between the Sheets. Besides switching Cognac to pisco and lemon to lime, the variation also added orgeat and honey to the flavor profile. In the glass, it gave forth a lime and almond aroma. The lime continued on into the sip where it mingled with the liqueur's orange notes, and the swallow offered earthy pisco, rum, nutty, citrus, and floral flavors. Indeed, Andrea declared the Maggie Smith "very crushable."

Friday, February 26, 2016


1/2 Usher Green Stripe Scotch (1 1/2 oz Buchanan's 12 Year)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Crème Yvette (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After my shift a few Thursdays ago, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the curiously named Lucifer. For a cocktail with floral and fruit notes from the Crème Yvette, it seemed like an odd name but perhaps fitting if the Scotch had enough smoke notes to conjure images of Hell's brimstone. Indeed, the recipe fit quite well with the book's collection of Crème Yvette Manhattan-like riffs such as the Caboose.
The Lucifer's nose had the intriguing juxtaposition of floral and smoke notes as expected. Next, malt and a hint of berry on the sip gave way to smoky Scotch and floral elements on the swallow.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

shipwreck daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Aged Rum (1 3/4 oz Plantation Special Dark)
3/4 oz Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 tsp Banana Liqueur (1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil)
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a flamed orange twist.

After the Tulip, I decided to leave my apricot liqueur out and move on to the Shipwreck Daiquiri that I had spotted in Tiki Drinks: Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar. Overall, the recipe reminded me of a Periodista with banana instead of orange liqueur. Since the banana element was so light relative to the apricot that the balance reminded me of a Maharaja's Revenge, I decided to adjust the proportions a bit here.
The Shipwreck Daiquiri's orange twist dominated the aroma, and as it dissipated, dark rum, apricot, and a hint of banana began to creep into the nose. On the palate, caramel and lime in the sip transitioned into rum and apricot on the swallow with a banana finish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

tulip cocktail

1/3 Calvados or Apple Brandy (1 oz Laird's Bonded)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Dolin)
1/6 Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Wednesday two weeks ago, I turned to the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book to begin the cocktail hour. The Tulip had a classic structure and flavor combination observed in other drinks like the rum-based Superior, and it seemed like a good start to the evening. Once mixed, it presented a lemon aroma with a vague fruit note from either the vermouth's grape or the liqueur's apricot. On the the palate, the lemon and grape flavors mingled on the sip and led into further fruit notes of apple and apricot on the swallow along with a tart finish.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

clint eastwood

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1 bsp (1/8 oz) Angostura Bitters
1 bsp (1/8 oz) Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup

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

Tuesday two weeks ago, I reached for Robert Simonson's The Old Fashioned to find a nightcap. The one that called out to me was the Clint Eastwood crafted by Mike Ryan at Chicago's The Violet Hour in 2009. The text described how this splits the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan and how "one can picture Clint's Man with No Name squinting and baring his front teeth after drawing on one of these." Interestingly, Deep Ellum had an Old Fashioned-like drink called the Man with No Name that included Green Chartreuse as a rinse.
The Clint Eastwood offered an orange oil and rye nose. Next, malt with a bit of body and sweetness filled the sip, and the swallow broadcasted the rye and herbal flavors with a dry allspice and clove finish.

Monday, February 22, 2016


1 1/2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Coconut Syrup (*)
1 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Fill with ice and garnish with a mint sprig.
(*) Equal parts Coco Lopez Coconut Cream and simple syrup.

My final libation at Estragon was Sahil Mehta's drink of the day from a month prior that took a rather funky and tropical direction. With rum, lime, and herbal liqueur, it reminded me a bit of a pineapple-free Jungle Bird with perhaps a touch of Colada in the mix. For a name idea, I latched onto the Jungle Bird as well as the Brazilian origin of the sugar cane spirit and dubbed this one the Chachalaca after one of Brazil's rain forest fowl.
The Tiki-like drink offered a mint bouquet from the garnish that worked well with the grassy funk and herbal aromas from the ingredients. Next, creamy coconut and lime on the sip gave way to grassy and herbal flavors on the swallow with a passion fruit finish.

[sacre coeur]

1 1/2 oz Cerbois VSOP Armagnac
1 oz Cinzano Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 barspoon Green Chartreuse

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon twist oils.
One of the cocktails that Andrea had at Estragon was one of Sahil Mehta's drinks of the day from 6 weeks prior. The recipe seemed to fall somewhere between a Brandy Manhattan and a citrus-free Champs-Élysées. Even though the dry vermouth was Italian here, it could have been made with all French ingredients; for that fact, I dubbed this unnamed recipe the Sacré Coeur. Once built, it offered a lemon aroma that preceded a white wine-driven sip. Next, brandy was paired with herbal notes on the swallow with Benedictine's richness working well with Chartreuse's more herbal accents.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


1 oz Milagro Tequila
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I made the pilgrimage to Estragon in the South End to visit bartender Sahil Mehta. For a first drink, I looked through Sahil's drink notebook and found a drink of the day from two weeks prior. I was drawn in for the recipe reminded me of the Broken Flower and perhaps a tequila-based Maximilian Affair. Lacking a name, I dubbed this one the Chipileño after the dialect of 19th century Venetians who emigrated and settled in Mexico to symbolize the Italian and Mexican major ingredients.
The drink began with a fruity and agave-vegetal aroma that later gained cinnamon notes. Next, grape and lime on the sip led into tequila, passion fruit, and bitter flavors on the swallow with a cinnamon finish.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


2 oz Hine H Cognac
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Vieux Ponterlier Absinthe (12 drop Butterfly)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
After the Hong Kong, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and spotted the Sidewinder, one of Phil Ward's riffs on the Diamondback. Overall, the written recipe reminded me of a brandy, absinthe, and Peychaud's cocktail surrounding a Widow's Kiss or Full House #2. Regardless, it would prove to be a rather stiff drink even if it was not as potent as the Diamondback itself. In the coupe, the Sidewinder gave forth an anise and apple nose. Barrel notes from the brandy were notable on the sip, and the swallow provided Cognac, minty, herbal, and anise flavors with an apple finish. Overall, the Sidewinder felt like the original brandy Sazerac.

Friday, February 19, 2016

hong kong

1/3 jigger Gin (1 oz Hayman's Navy Dock)
1/3 jigger Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
1 spoon Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
1 spoon Sugar Syrup (1/2 oz Florida Crystal Syrup)
2 drop Bitters (1 dash Fee's Boston Cocktail Summit Bitters)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my shift two Sundays ago, I began the end of my work week with the Hong Kong from Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them. It was unrelated to a more modern Hong Kong that I wrote about 5 years ago and closer to a Tanglin Club with sugar instead of passion fruit syrup. Once mixed, the Hong Kong gave forth a juniper, lime, gentian, and cinnamon bouquet. Next, lime on the sip preceded gin with dark earthy bitter and spice notes on the swallow.


1/2 Cognac (1 1/2 oz Camus VS)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Apricot (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Peychaud's or Absinthe (1 dash Peychaud's + 1/2 bsp Butterfly Absinthe)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist (but orange might have worked better here to bring out the apricot notes).

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make the curiously named Tuxedo from the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. I say curiously for there are a pair of better known Tuxedo cocktails in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book (and one of those appeared earlier in the 1927 Barflies and Cocktails) that are gin based. This one is brandy based though and is otherwise similar to the Tuxedo #2 with apricot brandy instead of Maraschino liqueur and orange bitters. Given the book's several decade long timeline, I cannot be sure whether the brandy or gin was the earlier, but given Pioneer's track record, I would vote that gin is either the original or at least the most standard way of that time period.
This Tuxedo offered up a lemon, Cognac, and apricot aroma. Next, hints of wine and orchard fruit on the sip gave way to brandy, apricot, and herbal-anise flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

ocean shore

1/2 jigger Sloe Gin (1 oz Atxa Patxaran)
1/2 jigger Gin (1 oz Hayman's Navy Dock)
1 spoon Orgeat (1/2 oz)
5 drop Lemon (1/2 oz Juice)
1/2 Egg White (1 Egg White)

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago for my post-shift cocktail hour, I reached for Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them. There, I spotted the Ocean Shore which reminded me of a soda-less Sloe Gin Fizz as well as the Berry Fizz to some extent. In the glass, it offered a lemon and nutty aroma from the twist and the housemade orgeat, respectively. Next, the creamy sip shared berry and lemon flavors, and the swallow offered gin, nutty, berry, and coffee notes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


1 oz Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
3/4 oz Overproof French Style Agricole Rhum (*) (1/4 oz each Lemonhart 151, Wray & Nephew, DonQ 151)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Curaçao (Van der Hum)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain into a mug, and fill with crushed ice), and garnish with pineapple leaves, orange peel, and an orchid (orange peel, lime wheel, cherry).
(*)Original recipe in the video was just "overproof rum"; see text below for explanation.

After the Smoke & Mirrors, I turned to another Paul McGee creation from Lost Lake that appeared in a video on Chicago Magazine. Besides always being game to try one of Paul's recipes, I am a sucker for drinks with Swedish punsch and passion fruit -- a combination that worked rather well in the 1937 Puate's Delight. The video only mentioned "overproof rum," but I was informed on my Instagram post that the rum was overproof rhum agricole. With that came the explanation that the GFY did not stand for "Go F*** Yourself" or the corporate office-appropriate version "Good For You!", but for "Go French Yourself." Indeed, a pair of French spirits, Calvados from France and rum from Martinique, provide the backbone for the GFY.
The GFY's aroma was rather citrus driven with fresh oil aromas stemming from the orange and lime garnish. These two citrus elements were repeated in the sip where the orange and lime mingled with passion fruit and caramel. And finally, the swallow shared apple, rum, passion fruit, and pineapple flavors.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

queen of the lava beds

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CVI) was picked by Joel DiPippa of the Southern Ash blog. The theme he chose was "Spring Break," and he elaborated on the concept with his description of, "As we look past the frost in the air for the arrival of Spring, I wanted to challenge you with the theme of Spring Break!.. The best part of Spring Break is that it means so many things to so many different people, so I have some high expectations this month. Yes, Tiki-heads, I am looking at you. I want all of you to dig deep, steeled by last month's MxMo, and find your spring break drink! What sort of drinks do you enjoy when you start to break out of your winter shell? Do you crave a return to gin and tonics? Is there a drink that calls to you as the weather warms and the sun creeps through the sky longer and longer? Perhaps there is a drink that you fondly recall from your days of being a callow youth on Spring Break that led you down this primrose cocktail path?.. This is the month to share those warm weather finds!"
While wondering what to do for this Mixology Monday, the drink came to me by a need for a Valentine's Day drink for the Loyal Nine holiday menu. I wanted to do a Tiki drink for two that would help people not only romantically share a beverage but help to escape Winter itself. Actually, there were two special Tiki item menus as the cold weather the night before on the 13th depleted a whole week's worth of Hot Buttered Rum batter, and I decided to supplement the two servings left with the 1941 Hot Zombie for the chilly weather expected for the 14th. For the drink for two idea, I discovered that the biggest glass set we had was a 16 ounce "coupe/goblet" glass. The idea of trying my hand at a blender drink to fill this glass seemed promising, and luckily, the kitchen was kind enough to lend me one for the evening. My trial run the night before provided an interesting drink that I will publish in a few days, and I tweaked the recipe here to split the three rum blend to a mix of white rum and pisco and to swap out the Don's Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice dram) for falernum. I debated between two names, and I decided that the earlier version would get the more Polynesian-inspired one, and this one would be dubbed "Queen of the Lava Beds." While that certainly sounds Hawaiian in its own right, the name is in reference to Lou Graham, a late 19th century madam that ran a successful bordello in the skid row (a/k/a lava beds) region of Seattle that I discovered through Boothby's Madame Lou cocktail.
Queen of the Lava Beds
• 2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
• 2 oz Barsol Pisco
• 1 oz Velvet Falernum
• 1 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 1 oz Pineapple Juice
• 2 light dashes Angostura Bitters
• 2 dash (~20-25 drops total) St. George Absinthe
Blend with 3/4 cup (6 oz) crushed ice for 5-10 seconds, pour into a 16 oz glass (or Tiki mug), and top with crushed ice (around 1/4 cup). Add a pair of straws, and garnish with a floated spent half lime shell partially filled with Hamilton's 151 Proof Demerara Rum that was ignited. This drink serves 2 and can easily be scaled down for solo drinking as well as up for three-or-more-somes.
It was pretty amazing the looks that were garnered as the drink was paraded across the dining room as well as the excitement on the faces of the recipient pairs. Indeed, one drink sold the next just from that flaming display (especially if it was at the two-top next to them). Part of the drink idea could be traced back to the Chappaquiddick where honey syrup and falernum were prominently matched together in a Daiquiri format. That duo has appeared in other drinks including the more recent Heaven is the Place as well as older ones like the Puka Punch. The pineapple juice also triggered the idea of pisco, and the San Francisco treat of Pisco Punch was solidified by Madame Lou's connection to San Francisco which is where she frequently visited and later died and where her tribute cocktail was first published.

So thank you to Joel for getting us all to escape the winter doldrums by thinking about warmer days and instilling an escapist mentality. And thanks to all of the other Monday Mixologists who bought their plane tickets, packed their precious tools, glassware, and ingredients, and set off to participate in this event!

smoke & mirrors

25 mL Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal (3/4 oz Montelobos + 1/2 tsp agave nectar)
25 mL Cherry Heering (3/4 oz)
25 mL Punt e Mes (3/4 oz)
25 mL Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I happened upon an intriguing Blood & Sand riff in the Experimental Cocktail Club book called the Smoke & Mirrors. Besides the mezcal for Scotch swap that I have seen in the Becca's Blood & Sand and the Riccardo, the orange juice and sweet vermouth were swapped for grapefruit juice and Punt e Mes, respectively. First, Punt e Mes and grapefruit are a great combination together as shown in the Americano Squeeze, the Edgewood, and other drinks. And second, instead of the soft and smoothing orange juice, grapefruit juice brings a "half sour" element (as in not as full strength as lemon or lime juice) to tie the elements together better. I witnessed a similar change in the Satan's Whiskers when the regular orange juice was swapped for a sour varietal in Stephen's Whiskers.
The Smoke & Mirrors started with an orange oil, smoke, and dark fruit (from the Cherry Heering and/or Punt e Mes) aroma. Next, grape and grapefruit on the sip led into agave, cherry, and Punt e Mes' bitter on the swallow with a smoke-tinged finish. Indeed, I am curious how the classic would do with grapefruit as the juice given how well it works with scotch in the Express and Polly's Special.

Monday, February 15, 2016


2/3 Cognac (1 1/2 oz Camus VS)
1 dash Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Crème de Noyaux (1/4 oz Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Maraquin (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I was browsing Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933 when I spotted the Parisian, a brandy drink that reminded me of a Brooklyn in structure. Instead of Amer Picon, the Parisian utilized the nutty crème de noyaux. That ingredient is something that is very French to me for it is featured heavily in the French cocktail book Bariana -- a drink book that sent me on a journey to find artisanal noyaux after buying the book and attending a talk at Tales of the Cocktail in 2010 on the past and present Paris cocktail scene. Five years later, I was finally able to purchase Tempus Fugit's rather authentic version.
The Parisian began with a brandy aroma with nutty undertones. Next, the sip was rather light with some barrel age, white wine, and cherry notes in the mix, and the swallow offered the Cognac with a nutty-fruity combination of noyaux and Maraschino.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

santa rosa

1 1/2 oz The 86 Co. Tequila Cabeza
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Combier Crème de Peche
1/4 oz Contratto Bitter (* see text)
1/4 oz Agave Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Mondays ago, we stopped into Audubon for their Tequila Interchange Project charity night. While the link will tell you more, TIP is a non-profit organization advocating sustainable agave harvesting, ensuring quality, and preserving tradition. For the night, Audubon's Tyler Wang and Eastern Standard's Kevin Morrison were making cocktails and pouring straight spirits in order to raise money to safeguard agave's future.
The drink that I requested was the Santa Rosa that had the basic idea of a tequila Jasmine. I say this because it is not a far stretch to swap peach liqueur for orange, and Tyler Wang described the Contratto Bitter as somewhere between Campari and Aperol (it tasted more like Campari to me, but perhaps a blend would substitute in a pinch). Once mixed, it proffered a bitter peach aroma. Next, lemon on the sip led into tequila on the swallow that was joined by an earthy bitter that paired well with the peach.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

hotel nacional special

1 jigger Carta de Oro Bacardi (1 1/2 oz Seleta Gold Cachaça)
1 jigger Pineapple Juice (1 1/2 oz)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Sundays prior, I decided to finally write about a drink that I had previously assumed that I had. Namely, Wil P. Taylor's Hotel Nacional Special from Charles H. Baker, Jr.'s Jigger, Beaker, and Flask that Baker recorded in Havana circa 1933. I made two adjustments to the recipe; the first was to switch the Cuban-style rum to cachaça to add some spiritous intrigue. And the second was to ignore Baker's call for a dry apricot brandy; despite having apricot eau de vie in house, I felt that the drink needed a bit of sweetness to balance the lime. Overall, the combination was reminiscent of a mint- and absinthe-free Missionary Impossible.
The Hotel Nacional Special offered up a pineapple and grassy bouquet with hints of sweet fruit. Lime and some of the pineapple flavors filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the grassy cachaça and the apricot with a funky pineapple finish.


2/3 Plymouth Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
1 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Punt e Mes)
2 dash Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Ojen Bitter (1/8 oz Butterfly Absinthe)

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

After the Millionaire No. 1, I kept things old school and began to thumb through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 where I found the Asbury. This one had little to do with the Asbury I had at Tales of the Cocktail but reminded me more of a Maurice (a Bronx with a dash of absinthe) and perhaps a Monkey Gland. I utilized the same proportions as in the brandy-based Prestoman except that I took a bitter direction with Punt e Mes as the vermouth. Moreover, I kept the stir directions even though my dash volume interpretation was a bit large on the juice component (1/4 oz per dash).
The Asbury had a bright aroma from the orange twist oils and the absinthe's anise. A smooth orange and grape sip led into gin notes, Punt e Mes' bitter complexity, and the absinthe's herbal flavors on the swallow.

Friday, February 12, 2016

millionaire cocktail no. 1

1/3 Jamaican Rum (3/4 oz Wray & Nephew)
1/3 Apricot Brandy (3/4 oz Rothman & Winter)
1/3 Sloe Gin (3/4 oz Atxa Patxaran)
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
Juice 1 Lime (1 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lime wheel garnish.

Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Hugo Ensslin's 1917 Recipes for Mixed Drinks and spotted the Millionaire No. 1. While I have had variations of this century old classic by way of the cachaça and Damson gin Brazilion Million and the hybrid Millionaire of Havana, I have not had the classic itself. Although to put a curve ball in the formulation, I opted for patxaran, a sloe berry infused liqueur, instead of sloe gin proper.
The Millionaire began with lime oil, berry, and Jamaican rum hogo aroma. The lime continued on into the sip where it mingled with the apricot and perhaps fruit notes from the grenadine, and the swallow shared funky rum, dark tart berry, and coffee flavors.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


2/3 Dry Gin (1 3/4 oz Bluecoat)
2 dash Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)
2 dash Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz Royal Rose's)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I was in need of some end of the night punctuation, so I took a gander at Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Orlando. Overall, the combination reminded me of a gin Blinker Cocktail which sounded rather refreshing. Once prepared, it offered a grapefruit aroma that led into a grapefruit and berry sip. Finally, the swallow was a delightful old school pairing of gin and raspberry flavors.

the dose

3/4 oz Mezcal Amarás Espadín Joven
3/4 oz Clement Creole Shrubb
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash St. George Absinthe (1 cm in a dropper tube)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
One of the popular drinks on the Loyal Nine menu is our Corpse Reviver called the Dose. I mentioned our Corpse Reviver #2 variation when I wrote about the Swedish punsch for Lillet substitution from Crosby Gaige with the 1930-era gin version when we temporarily ran out of Lillet. Dan Myers created this riff at Spoke and he switched the gin and lemon in the classic to mezcal and lime before bringing it with him to Loyal Nine. The mezcal's vegetalness and smokiness work rather well here in the place of gin's botanical complexity, and the lime certainly complements the agave distillate better than lemon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

jack sparrow flip

2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum (Plantation Original Dark)
3/4 oz Sandeman Rainwater Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
2 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a Fizz glass (nut bowl), and garnish with grated cinnamon.

Two Thursdays ago, I grabbed the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and found Brian Miller's Jack Sparrow Flip that seemed like a great nightcap to end the workday evening. The combination of rum, Madeira, demerara syrup, and bitters reminded me of the last drink that Ryan McGrale made for me, a Rum & Madeira Old Fashioned, and this 2008 creation added a whole egg to the combinaton.
The freshly grated cinnamon added a bright spice aroma to the Flip. Next, a creamy caramel and grape sip transitioned into dark rum and chocolate notes on the swallow with a cinnamon finish.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

yvonne's ward eight

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a goblet. Add a pineapple disk garnish inside the glass, fill with crushed ice, top with 3/4 oz soda water, and add straws.

After a round at the Highball Lounge, I made my way over to Yvonne's and found a seat at the main dining room's bar. For a drink, I asked bartender Sean Sullivan for their version of the Ward Eight. I had previously written about the way Drink in Fort Point modified David Wondrich's recipe in Imbibe! to make their version. One problem with the Ward Eight for me is that the orange juice in the recipe clashes with the whiskey. Some whiskey drinks like the Blood and Sand have other ingredients that work well with orange juice to bridge the gap. Here, the magic ingredient is sherry which helped to tie the orange juice in place. Sean described how this version was created in collaboration with Wondrich where he pulled the sherry aspect from a 1934 New York Sun article.
Yvonne's Ward Eight began with pineapple and other fruit aromas. Grape, pomegranate, and lemon on the sip transitioned into a rye and nutty sherry swallow. Indeed, the sherry not only smoothed over the orange juice flaw in the popular recipes for the Ward Eight, but it also donated a bit of complexity to the Daisy.

gorillas on deck

1 oz Clement Premiere Canne Rhum Agricole
1 oz Plantation Overproof Dark Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Coconut Cream
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with a few ice cubes and pour into a tall glass. Fill with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with mint sprigs and 5 dash Angostura Bitters.

After No. 9 Park, I headed down the street to the Highball Lounge. There, I asked bartender Babs Adumbire for the Gorillas on Deck, their spiced Piña Colada riff. Babs warned me that while the drink does not taste all that boozy, the overproof rum will sneak up on you over time.
The Gorillas on Deck offered up a spiced aroma with mint, allspice, and clove notes. The creamy sip contrasted the tart lime with the sweeter caramel flavors, and the swallow began with grassy and funky rum notes and ended with pineapple and ginger. As the bitters garnish began to enter the flavor profile, the finish picked up a clove-driven dryness.

Monday, February 8, 2016

vielle daiquiri

2 oz Clement Canne Bleue Rhum Agricole
3/8 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
3/8 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Note that three non-juice ingredients were batched and briefly aged in a small barrel (24 hours).
Two Wednesdays ago, I headed to Park Street Station for a bar crawl with one drink procured from three esteemed Downtown Crossing establishments. I started slightly up the hill at No. 9 Park where I asked bartender Ryan Lotz for the Vielle Daiquiri from the menu. I regret not asking why the drink was called that; a vielle is a medieval stringed instrument, but perhaps it is reference to the Cognac descriptor "vieille" meaning old especially since some of the ingredients spent time in a small barrel.  Regardless, with all of the darker spice notes, it seemed perfect for the colder months akin to the Winter Daiquiri. In the glass, the Vielle Daiquiri shared nutmeg, lime, and grassy aromas. Next, orange and lime on the sip led into grassy and allspice flavors on the swallow.

madame lou

2/3 jigger Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/3 jigger Gin (1 oz Tanqueray)
1 spoon Pineapple Syrup (1/2 oz)

Shake (stir) with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon (freshly grated).

Two Tuesdays ago, I began perusing Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them and discovered the Madame Lou. My curiosity was piqued from the name and the concept of a lightly fruit-tinged Martini. My sleuthing suggested that Madame Lou could be Lou Graham who ran a famous brothel in Seattle and was dubbed the "undisputed Queen of the Lava Beds." How does this wealthy madame tie in with William Boothby? Despite where her business was located, she did spend a lot of time in San Francisco where Boothby was tending bar at the time, and in fact, died in in the Golden City in 1903. It is not too far of a stretch to believe that he had at least heard of her or perhaps even served her a drink or three.
How much more San Francisco could having a Martini with pineapple syrup be? Pineapple syrup was one of the star ingredients in Duncan Nicol's famous Pisco Punch back in the late 19th century. Instead of a mere spoon of it, I tinkered with the ratios of the three ingredients in the Madame Lou to still retain its light aperitif nature yet have all of the flavors being on more equal footing. Once prepared, the Madame Lou proffered a pineapple and cinnamon bouquet. Dry white wine with a vague apple-y fruitiness filled the sip, and the swallow showcased juniper and other gin botanicals all softened by the pineapple.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

john street

3/4 Scotch (2 oz Buchanan's 12 Year)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (2/3 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Crème de Noyaux (1/3 oz Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For Bobby Burns Night on January 25th, I began to scan Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for Scotch options. There, I spotted the John Street which was one of three recipes in that section containing whisky, vermouth, and crème de noyaux. Since Bobby Burns recipes range from Benedictine, Drambuie, and absinthe in the Rob Roy format, having another liqueur in the formula did not seem that big of an aberration.
The John Street began with an almondy aroma with a whisp of smoke. Malt and white wine on the sip transitioned into smoky whisky, nutty, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

four in hand

3/4 oz Old Grand Dad 114 Proof Bourbon (OGD Bonded)
3/4 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass (I added fresh ice to the glass). Garnish with an orange twist.

Two Sunday nights ago, I decided upon the Four in Hand in the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. Scott Teague's 2013 drink was named after a tie knot akin to the Full Windsor. Moreover, four spirits in the mix aided the name, and it made for a rather stiff nightcap with all of the alcoholic ingredients weighing in between 100 and 114 proof.
The Four in Hand greeted the nose with an orange, apple, and Jamaican rum funk bouquet. On the palate, sweet apple on the sip gave way to Bourbon and funky rum on the swallow with a vanilla, herbal, and cinnamon finish. Overall, the Four in Hand was big, bold, and hot and was only bitters-shy of being an Old Fashioned in feel and structure. Surprisingly, the Green Chartreuse did not dominate the flavors here and was pushed back to the finish.

Friday, February 5, 2016


1/2 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Buchanan's 12 Year)
1/3 Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Ojen Bitters (1 barspoon Pernod Absinthe)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I found my way to the whiskey section of Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933, and noted the Express. The Scotch and grapefruit pairing in this one reminded me of the Polly's Special where it worked rather well and much better than rye and grapefruit have in the past. Once built, the Express donated bright grapefruit oil aroma over lower smoke notes. Next, the sip offered dry malt, grapefruit, and wine, and swallow began with Scotch and ended with grapefruit and anise-herbal flavors.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

lady of singapore

1 1/2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (El Dorado 5 Year)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lopez Coconut Cream
1/2 o Cream or Half and Half
1 tsp Grenadine

Blend with 4 oz crushed ice and pour into a specialty glass (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug with crushed ice).
Two Fridays ago, I turned to Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari for my evening's postshift nightcap. There, I found a Piña Colada-like recipe from the Kon-Tiki Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, circa 1960 called the Lady of Singapore. Once prepared, it offered a pineapple aroma complemented by bright citrus oil notes from the lime shell garnish. Next, the sip was creamy lime, and the swallow shared rum, pineapple, and coconut flavors. No big surprises here, and the classic combination of rum, coconut, and pineapple did not disappoint.

town crier

1 oz Morin Selection Calvados
1 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Another of the new drinks at Loyal Nine got named after one of our East Cambridge Locals. There was a need for an apple brandy straight spirits drink, and I came up with this one that had a New Orleans feel akin to a Vieux Carré with aspects taken from Boston's own 1919 Cocktail. Instead of splitting the apple brandy with whiskey or agave which I have done in the past, I opted for an aged rum. I had been considering a Green Point combination of Punt e Mes and Yellow Chartreuse since those flavors both work well with Calvados, but I opted for Benedictine as the liqueur for it worked better here and did not get as lost as Yellow Chartreuse did. Finally, the name refers to a local who sometimes came in before we open asking for a job (everything from taking out our trash to cooking for us) or for free food, but had recently taken to coming in during service and yelling gibberish. Telling the town crier that he had to use his quiet voice scared him away, but we have this tribute here to remind us of this important job during Colonial history.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

life on mars

1 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Greylock Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
1/2 oz Campari

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon peel lightning bolt floated (an orange peel star floated would not be out of place either).
Two Fridays ago, our new cocktail list was going live but one of my creations still needed a name. In dismantling the Tarzan Boy from the soon-to-be old list, the passion fruit syrup was transferred to the Italian Stallion and the Campari needed a home. Finding that fruit liqueurs seem to modulate Campari in interesting and less bitter ways, I tinkered with St. George's Spiced Pear Liqueur and uncovered that it made for an excellent combination. Soon, gin and Lillet came into formation to make a variation on a classic Negroni. With the menu needing to be printed, two of the owners assisted me on the name. One proposed a David Bowie tribute. While I honed in on Moonage Daydream, another suggested Life on Mars which quite fit the color scheme here. The first few to be made the first two nights lacked a garnish for the fruit ingredients provided quite a pleasant nose, but bartender Tyler Murphy thought that a lemon lightning bolt would be perfect. Part of the sales of the Life on Mars goes to the Jimmy Fund cancer charity in honor of Bowie.


2/3 Gin (2 oz Bluecoat)
2 dash Orgeat (1/2 oz)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Obsello)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, my desires for a post-shift nightcap led me to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. In the book's gin section, I spotted the Remembrance which reminded me of a gin Japanese Cocktail of sorts, and I decided to give it a go. Once mixed, it offered an orange, nutty, and herbal aroma. Next, the sip was rich and balanced with clean wine notes, and the swallow was a complex combination of gin botanical, nutty orgeat, herbal vermouth and absinthe, and orange bitters. Interestingly, the photo I took on my phone (most blog photos are from a camera except from the ones I take at work) and put on Instagram was one of the most popular ones that I have posted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

chester rapkin

1 oz Sloe Gin (Atxa Patxaran)
1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

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

Two weeks ago after a fill-in Wednesday shift, I flipped to the nightcap section of Food & Wine: Cocktails 2015. There I found Jeremy Oertel's take on a Negroni for the Sotto Grand Hotel's menu called the Chester Rapkin. Rapkin was the urban planner who coined the abbreviation SoHo, and this tribute paired sloe gin and Campari like the Red Sea did.
The Chester Rapkin donated a bright orange oil aroma that countered the darker notes stemming from the sloe liqueur. Next, the sloe's dark berry continued on into the sip, and the swallow was rather complex with gin botanicals, Campari bitter and orange peels, and Patxaran's berry and coffee. Finally, the swallow ended with an allspice finish.

Monday, February 1, 2016

white horse

1/2 White Horse Whisky (1 1/4 oz Buchanan's 12 Year)
1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
Good dash Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and found a dry Bobby Burns-like recipe created by E. Goodall called the White Horse. While the name White Horse was a tribute the Scotch brand utilized, the combination was very similar to the Brainstorm in the 1934 Boothby book with a lot more dry vermouth and the addition of bitters. Once built, the White Horse shared Islay-like peat smoke combining with herbal aromas to make an almost medicinal note. A malty sip with some body from the Benedictine transitioned into a smoky Scotch swallow with minty, chocolate, and spice elements.

missionary impossible

1 1/2 oz El Dorado 3 Year Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Marie Brizard)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3 sprig Mint
1 dash Fee's Peach Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (Butterfly)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Monday two weeks ago, I began flipping through the Fee Brothers 2015 Fall Cocktails book that Luc gave me for it had featured my Final Countdown using their molasses bitters. One of the drinks that caught my eye was crafted by Backbar's Kobie Ali as a riff on Don the Beachcomber's Missionary's Downfall called the Missionary Impossible. Like Duggan McDonnell's Missionary's Downfall variation, the Missionary Impossible utilized peach bitters instead of peach liqueur. However, while the variation utilized simple syrup, this riff went in the complementary apricot liqueur route.
The Missionary Impossible presented a mint, anise, and floral aroma. The combination of lime and honey filled the sip, and the swallow offered rum, apricot, and pineapple like Charles H. Baker's Hotel Nacional Special. Finally the drink finished with minty, anise, and peach notes.