Thursday, March 31, 2016

barnum was right

2/3 jigger Dry Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 jigger Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Lime or Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lime)
3 dash Angostura Bitters (2 light dashes)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion and spotted the Barnum Was Right. I remember that this drink was on the menu at Russell House Tavern when I first started working there as one with peach brandy and lemon juice, and I believed that the bar manager sourced the recipe from Ted Haigh's book. Perhaps peach was chosen over the apricot to highlight a new bottle on the shelf or to differentiate it from the Pendennis Cocktail that graced the menu from time to time. While the origins of the Barnum Was Right are unknown according to Haigh, many drinks do first appear in Crosby Gaige's tome (although others appear as new-to-the-literature drink names using old recipes too).
I decided to increase the citrus and decrease the bitters to maintain a similar sweetness level; I figured that extra bitters would inhibit the other ingredients from singing as much. I also opted for lime as I had run out of lemons and had no other choice at the time. Once prepared, the Barnum Was Right shared an apricot, juniper, and winter spice aroma. Next, dry lime and orchard fruit on the sip led into pine, apricot, allspice, and clove on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


2/5 Martini Sweet White Vermouth (1 oz Dolin Blanc)
1/5 Martini Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
2/5 Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz Royal Rose)
Juice of 1/8 Lemon (1/2 oz)

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

Two Thursdays ago, I spotted the Sergia in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book created by UK Bartender's Guild member Franz Lasarzik. The white vermouth Daisy with raspberry syrup reminded me of Bellocq's Dolin Blanc Cobbler as well as Cane & Table's Modern Lover and my Safety Dance (that was influenced by the previous two drinks) to some degree. Although I adjusted the proportions here to make them a bit drier than what was written, I believe that I kept to the spirit of the drink.
This low proof number began with a lemon and tart berry aroma. Next, the lemon and berry notes continued on into the sip where it was joined by the vermouth pair's white grape, and the swallow was a pleasing combination of raspberry, herbal, and floral elements.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

classic ripoff

1 1/2 oz Pikesville Rye (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry (lemon peel-cherry flag).

A few Mondays ago, I turned to the Experimental Cocktail Club Cocktail Book for the evening's libation. There, I was enchanted with one from E.C.C. Chinatown (NYC) by Alex Skarlen who was influenced by the Martinez Sour, a Martinez with lemon juice and egg white that reminds me of Maloney's Martinez Bell Ringer with egg white added in but without Maloney's signature apricot brandy rinse. Indeed, Alex added to the idea by ripping off classic cocktails like the Manhattan and the Sazerac and combining them into the same glass.
The Classic Ripoff gave forth a lemon and cherry aroma from the garnish over the drink's rye notes. Next, lemon with a hint of fruit from the sweet vermouth and Maraschino filled the sip, and the swallow began with rye and nutty cherry flavors and ended with the bitters duo's spice. Over all, it reminded me of a Tennessee with some modification from vermouth and bitters added to the mix.

Monday, March 28, 2016

de palma cocktail

1 oz Citadelle Gin (Nolet's Silver)
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with orange oil.

In looking for a nightcap a few Sundays ago, I turned to the large format section of Food & Wine: Cocktails 2015 that I had previously passed over. There, I was drawn in by the De Palma Cocktail crafted by Sean Woods of Dead Horse Hill in Worcester. By scaling the original down eight fold to the above recipe, I was able to make this Negroni-esque tribute to Brian De Palma, the director of the movie Scarface, as a single serving.
The De Palma presented an orange and grape aroma. Next, grape with a hint of cherry on the sip transitioned into gin and bitter orange on the swallow with a nutty and herbal finish.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

moon cocktail

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Honey Syrup
1 tsp Massenez Crème de Peche (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil.
A few Saturdays ago, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for the evening's post-work nightcap. There, I spied the Moon Cocktail created by Thomas Waugh in 2008; the combination of nutty sherry and peach was alluring for it has worked well in drinks ranging from the Trident to the Old England. Once built, the Moon Cocktail presented a lemon aroma with a hint of oxidized fruit. Next, honey and grape on the sip gave way to gin, nutty, and peach elements on the swallow.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

pooh bah

1/4 jigger Bacardi (1 oz Coruba)
1/4 jigger Gin (1 oz Beefeater)
1/4 jigger Caloric (3/4 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.
A few Fridays ago, I stopped upon the Pooh Bah in Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them that also appears in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. I was drawn to the recipe for Swedish punsch and apricot go so well together, and these two elements along with gin work great in the Havana Cocktail. Once prepared, the Pooh Bah offered an orange aroma from the twist that complemented the apricot nose. Next, caramel and light citrussy notes on the sip gave way to funky rum, juniper, and tea on the swallow with an apricot finish. Just like many of the straight spirits Kronan Swedish Punsch recipes, I felt that this one would prosper from some fresh citrus juice in the mix.

Friday, March 25, 2016

happy days

4/10 Seager's Dry Gin (1 oz Tanqueray)
3/10 Lillet (1 oz Cocchi Americano)
2/10 Van der Hum (1/2 oz) (*)
1/10 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Peach Bitters (Fee Brothers)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
(*) Sub Amaro Montenegro (with or without some part of the volume being triple sec/curaçao). See text for more explanation.

A few Thursdays ago, I opened up the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the Happy Days crafted by UK Bartender's Guild member E.L. Horton. When I saw the strange cascading recipe, I decided to approach the recipe using the Scofflaw as a scaffold instead of making each one-tenth part being a quarter ounce. Moreover, I was also drawn to the recipe for I own a bottle of Van der Hum, a South African tangerine and spice liqueur that falls somewhere between Amaro Montenegro and Cointreau (either or a blend would work as a substitute in a pinch).
The Happy Days at first greeted the nose with a lemon aroma that later became more ginny as the drink warmed up. On the palate, lemon and orange notes filled the sip, and the swallow began with juniper, other gin notes, and tangerine and ended with a peach flavor from the bitters.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

full sail swizzle

1 1/2 oz Appleton Rum
1/2 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Build in a Pilsner glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with 3 dash Angostura Bitters and a plastic swizzle stick, and add a straw.
A few Wednesdays ago, I ventured down with Andrea to Highball Lounge where Matt Schrage and Babisa Adumbire were bartending. For a drink, I asked for the semi-secret Tiki secondary menu and requested the Full Sail Swizzle from Matt. Matt described how this was bartender Stephen Bookman's recipe and he did not know what was in the prebatched mix other than what was in the menu description. Since Stephen had already departed for Portland, Oregon, I sent him a message on Facebook and received the above recipe. In the glass, the Swizzle shared a clove and allspice aroma from the bitters garnish. Lime and the rum's caramel dominated the sip, and the swallow gave forth rum and a medley of spice notes including ginger, clove, and cinnamon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

three dots and a dash

1 1/2 oz Amber Martinique Rum (Depaz)
1/2 oz Demerara Rum (El Dorado 5 Year)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Pimento Liqueur (St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Blend for 5 seconds and pour into a specialty goblet (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with 3 cherries speared to a pineapple stick (3 orange peel circles and an orange peel rectangle).
A few Tuesdays ago, I was in the Tiki mood and picked up Jeff Berry's Sippin' Safari. There, I had spotted the Three Dots and A Dash which I have had before but the drink had never made its way into the blog, so I decided to rectify that situation. The recipe was created by Donn Beachcomber and served at his Las Vegas Don the Beachcomber restaurant circa 1965, and he named it after the morse code for 'V' standing for victory. The victory here was to pay tribute to the servicemen and women who fought in World War II and exposed many of them to the exotic lands of the South Pacific. Here, the Three Dots and A Dash began with a citrus oil aroma from the garnish that led into an orange, lime, and honey sip. Next, the swallow then took an interesting turn with grassy rum, clove, and allspice flavors.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

september morn

1 1/2 jigger Gold Seal Bacardi (2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum)
1/2 pony Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1/2 pony Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz Royal Rose)
Juice 1 small Lime or 1/2 small Lemon (1/2 oz Lime Juice)
1/2 tsp Sugar (omit)
2 tsp Egg White (1 whole Egg White)

Shake once without ice, once with ice, and strain into a fluted cocktail glass.

Following up the Zamboanga from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s The Gentleman's Companion, I decided to make the September Morn. I was familiar with the drink for quite a while as it was on the Green Street A-to-Z menu; however, Green Street's version was simply a Bacardi Cocktail with egg white despite the bar having raspberry syrup. Baker first had the drink named after the cheeky painting of the day at the Ingleterre Bar in Havana back in January 1926. He also provided the recipe that I made -- for the one that he had at the Polo Club in Manila which added dry vermouth to the mix. The Polo Club version appeared more like a Clover Club (while the Green Street recipe in the link lacks dry vermouth, there are many in the literature that include it).
The September Morn gave forth raspberry and lime aromas with a hint of grassiness. Next, a creamy berry sip gave way to rum, tart raspberry, and lime on the swallow.

Monday, March 21, 2016

zamboanga "zeinie" cocktail

1 jigger Cognac (1 1/2 oz Camus VS)
3 dash Pineapple Syrup (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Maraschino (Luxardo)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail. Garnish with an olive (omit) and a lime twist.
Two Sundays ago, I continued on with my list of recipes to make from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s The Gentleman's Companion. This one was the Zamboanga "Zeinie" Cocktail that was described as "another palate twister from the land where the monkeys have no tails" and reminded me of an East India House with lime juice instead of curaçao. Once built, the Zamboanga offered a lime and clove bouquet. The lime continued on into the sip along with pineapple notes and hints of cherry, and finally, the swallow began with Cognac and ended with nutty, allspice, and clove elements.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

ankle breaker

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CVII) was picked by Dagreb of the Nihil Utopia blog. The theme he chose for his third time hosting was "Burden of Proof," and he elaborated on the choice with his description of, "My theme this time is overproof. Or rather how you utilize overproofs. Do you sub them into your standards? Save them for accents in particular recipes? Pour them into ceramic volcanoes and set them on fire? Reserve them only for making liqueurs? Whatever it be I'm looking for your recipes that use overproofs as a base or as modifier in a noticeable -WAIT- "What's an overproof," you ask? "Well, uh, yeah..." First let's decide what is proof. It's my party so I say 50% abv is proof. Above that is overproof. You disagree? Host your own party! (No really host a MxMo, it'll be fun.) So BIB [100 proof Barreled in Bond] liquors are exempt this month but lots of bottles are fair game! Whether it boldly proclaims its strength on the label or nonchalantly lets you discover its strength for yourself use that bottle that packs a punch in a drink this month."
I originally sought out to find something overproof in the Death & Co. Cocktail Book or a recipe that called for navy strength gin, but I struggled to find anything that I had not made yet (but could make). So I turned back to my crutch for overproof -- namely, Tiki. One of the bars in town has the Ankle Breaker on their menu, but I had always written it off as a rum High Hat. But isn't everything a bit more magical with 151 proof rum? And besides, the combination was intriguing in the Campari High Hat, the Tiger Blood. The Ankle Breaker as described in Beachbum Berry's Remixed was created at the Swamp Room of the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, circa the 1950s, and the recipe resurfaced a decade or so later at the Lake at California's Marina Del Ray Warehouse Restaurant as the Barrel of Rum.
Ankle Breaker
• 1 oz Amber 151 Proof Rum (Don Q)
• 1 oz Cherry Heering
• 1 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Shake with crushed ice and pour into a double old fashioned glass or a copper tankard (here, a Tiki mug with a reservoir inserted and filled with 1/4 oz more 151 proof rum that was ignited).
Once built, the drink had a cherry aroma that led into a lemon and cherry sip. Next the rum filled the sip before giving way to more cherry notes on the finish. Nothing all that exotic here but still a classic and satisfying combination of flavors. When I posted the recipe on my Instagram, a reader commented that he drops the simple to keep things from being too sweet; however, I felt that the lemon juice balanced the cherry liqueur, and the simple worked to balance the overproof rum (akin to the amount of simple to balance 2 oz of 80 proof spirits in an Old Fashioned). If the spirit were not overproof, I would definitely agree that the extra sugar was not necessary, but alcohol concentration was rather high before enough ice had melted. Besides as a potable ingredient, I utilized the overproof rum rather gratuitously to make a mini volcano flame in the surface of the drink. Originally, it was going to be in an inverted spent lemon shell half, but it tore at the nipple during the inversion process, so a 3/4x1/2 oz jigger worked rather well here. So overproof spirits factored in two ways: concentration of flavor and flammability for showmanship.

So thank you to Dagreb for hosting Mixology Monday once again and cheers to all of this month's participants and readers for keeping this event going for the 107th time!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

pink lady no. 1

1 jigger Old Tom Gin (1 oz Ransom)
1 jigger Sloe Gin (1 oz Atxa Pacharan)
1/2 jigger Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
Juice 1/2 small Lemon or 1 Lime (1/2 oz Lemon)
1 tsp Grenadine or to taste (1/4 oz)
3-4 dash Orange Bitters (4 dash Regan's)
2/3 tsp Absinthe (1 barspoon Herbsaint)
1 Tbsp Egg White (1 whole Egg White)

Shake one without ice and once with ice, and strain into a goblet.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a Pink Lady variation that I spotted in my read-through of Charles H. Baker Jr.'s The Gentleman's Companion. Baker tried in and recorded this recipe at the Miramar Club out by Old Panama City, Panama. Instead of the better known version's apple brandy, this recipe substituted sloe gin, orange bitters, and absinthe. Moreover, the inclusion of dry vermouth did not seem out of place here for it appeared in several vintage Clover Club recipes. Overall, the variation was so unique that I felt it was worth visiting this seeming mashup of the classic with a soda-less Sloe Gin Fizz.
This Pink Lady greeted the senses with an anise aroma with bright fruit notes and pine. Next, a creamy lemon and berry sip preceded an herbal dark fruit swallow with a pine and anise finish.

Friday, March 18, 2016


2 oz Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 splash rinse Cynar (1/4 oz as an ingredient)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

It had dawned on me that I had never tried the Manhattan variation called the Bensonhurst. So two Fridays ago, I was able to find the recipe in the 75th Anniversary Mr. Boston cocktail book which attributed it to Chad Solomon of Manhattan's Milk & Honey. Since I viewed the ingredients like an adaptation of a Brooklyn when Amer Picon was unavailable, I adapted the recipe to my preferred Brooklyn ratio. Moreover, this idea is supported by Bensonhurst being a part of Brooklyn, and the end result was reminiscent of Phil Ward's gin-based Yeomen Warder.
The Bensonhurst gave forth rye aromas with a touch of Maraschino on the nose. Next, malt and a hint of cherry on the sip slid into rye on the swallow that was complemented by the interplay of funky herbal and nutty Maraschino notes.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


4 oz Lemon Juice (1 1/3 oz)
3 oz Lopez Coconut Cream (1 oz)
3 oz Apricot Brandy (1 oz Marie Brizard)
3 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (1 oz Caliche)
3 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (1 oz Coruba)

Blend with ice (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug over crushed ice; I garnished with a lemon twist). Full recipe serves 2-4.
After my shift two Thursdays ago, I sought some solace in Beachbum Berry's Remixed. As a selection, the Tradewinds from the book's section on 1970s Caribbean recipes called out as the winner. Once prepared, the Tradewinds gave forth a lemon nose that led into a creamy lemon and coconut sip. Finally, the swallow began with funky dark rum flavors that melded into apricot towards the finish.

captain sheehan sour

1 1/2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a large cocktail coupe, and garnish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters swirled with a toothpick (or drawn on with a few spritzes of bitters via a stencil).
Two Thursdays ago, I decided to increase my arts and crafts bar tools by tracing a photo of my restaurant's chef, Marc Sheehan, and making a stencil from it using a quart container lid. That night after the kitchen was done cleaning, I made the two remaining chefs this drink for their efforts that evening. When Chef Marc found about it, instead of being angry, he was incredibly proud and wanted his face put onto every cocktail. Even without the stencil art, the pairing of apricot and Swedish Punsch has proven to be delicious and the rum, lime, and egg white rounded out the combination well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

the trembler

2 oz Aged Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 tsp Honey (1 tsp Honey Syrup)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
After the Undiscovered Country, I turned to the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine and selected the Trembler as my nightcap. The Trembler was created by Lindsay Nader at San Diego's Noble Experiment and reminded me in structure to the El Presidente. On the nose, the drink offered an orange and grassy aroma. Next, honey with a hint of orchard fruit on the sip led into grassy rum transitioning into apricot on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

undiscovered country

3/4 oz Kappa Pisco (Encanto)
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Lime Juice

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

A few Wednesday ago, I spotted an interesting recipe on the OnTheBar cocktail archives called the Undiscovered Country created by Scott Diaz of Seattle's Triple Door. Since I had enjoyed Scott's The Count's Swizzle and A Simple Quandry, I was definitely game to try another of his recipes. Moreover, the combination of Swedish Punsch, Cocchi Americano, and lime reminded me of my Chutes & Ladders.
In the glass, the Undiscovered Country revealed a lime, rum, and floral aroma. Next, lime and citrussy notes in the sip went downriver to brandy, funky rum, and tea flavors on the swallow.

little buddy

3/4 oz Privateer Navy Yard Rum
3/4 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Cynar
1 barspoon Falernum
1 barspoon Lime Juice

Build in a rocks glass, add a big ice cube, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with a lime twist (omitted here).

Two Tuesdays ago, we were able to close up the restaurant in time for me to catch a nightcap at Backbar on the way home. For a cocktail, I requested the previous day's Drink of the Day called the Little Buddy. The idea began with a Little Giuseppe with the Punt e Mes, Cynar, and spoon of citrus, but it went in a rum-heavy direction; unfortunately, I neglected to ask if the name was a Gilligan's Island reference.
The Little Buddy presented a dark aroma from the Cynar supplemented by barrel aged rum notes. On the palate, caramel, grape, and a hint of lime on the sip transitioned into rum and bitter flavors on the swallow with a clove and lime finish.

Monday, March 14, 2016

world's fair

1 1/2 oz Willet Rye
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Serve with a cherry-orange peel flag garnish.
The other drink from the upstairs Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. bar that bartender Raul Zelaya made for us at the downstairs Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden II was the World's Fair created by Vannaluck Hongthong. The drink turned out to be a rather Winter-feeling Manhattan riff that began with a grape aroma and a grape and malt sip. The flavor profile rounded out with a rye, nutty, bitter, and tangerine citrus swallow and a cinnamon finish.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

nose dive

1 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Gran Classico
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass (bottom wrapped with a dried plantain leaf), fill with crushed ice, top with 2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters, and garnish with mint, an orchid, and a paper airplane (elevated on a cocktail pick).

For a second drink, bartender Raul Zelaya offered to make Andrea and me some of the drinks that are served upstairs at the Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. He did so after hearing that my work schedule completely overlaps the nights that the second bar is open. The one that I had, the Nose Dive, is Ran Duan's variation on his Offshore Account with the addition of demerara syrup and the swapping out the cherry garnish for a flower and airplane combination.
This Sling began with mint, floral, clove, and allspice aromas that preceded a fruity sip where the most nameable flavor was cherry. Next, the swallow presented whiskey, cherry, pineapple, and bubble gum bitter flavors.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

rock beats scissors

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Bigallet China-China Amer
2 dash Housemade Clove Bitters (*)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
(*) Perhaps sub a dash or two of Angostura Bitters, or a clove muddled in a dash of Angostura Bitters.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured north to Woburn to have dinner at the Baldwin Bar in Sichuan Garden II. For a first drink, I asked Vannaluck Hongthong for the Rock Beats Scissors on the menu that he attributed to bar manager Ran Duan. Overall, the combination appeared like a vermouth-less cross of a Brooklyn with a Bensonhurst (a Cynar for Picon swap in a Brooklyn, with a recipe post here in around a week). Once built, it gave forth a malt aroma with dark orange and herbal accents. The malt continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Amer's caramel, and the swallow began with rye and dark herbal notes and ended with a funky clove finish.

Friday, March 11, 2016

angostura colada

1 1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Overproof Jamaican Rum (Wray & Nephew)
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Cream of Coconut (Coco Lopez)
1 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and pour into a snifter glass. Fill with crushed ice, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, pineapple leaves, and orange slices (grated nutmeg only).

After my Sunday night shift, I flipped through the March/April 2016 issue of Imbibe Magazine to the Angostura Bitters-based cocktail page. The one I selected of the three was Zac Overman's Angostura Colada that he crafted at Fort Defiance in Brooklyn. I have tried Piña Coladas that have utilized potable bitters like Fernet Branca in the No. 34, Cynar in the Cynar Colada, and Campari in the Ferrari Colada (along with Fernet) and the Amaro di Cocco (in Negroni form), but never nonpotable ones like Angostura. However, Angostura Bitters have factored into the base spirit in other tropical drinks like the Stormy Mai Tai and Haji Sling, so I was definitely game!
The Angostura Colada shared a woody nutmeg aroma over darker notes from the Angostura Bitters. Next, a dark creamy sip shared lime and coconut flavors, and the swallow was a combination of funky rum, pineapple, and dry spice elements.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

show boat

1/2 Booth's Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/4 Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1/4 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with; strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I reached for the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the Show Boat attributed to UK Bartender Guild member J.W. Mellish. The recipe reminded me of a Pink Lady with orange juice instead of apple brandy, and the combination of orange, lemon, and grenadine did trigger thoughts about the Ward Eight (and the lesser known gin Eureka in Boothby). Once prepared, the Show Boat presented a vague fruity aroma with the pomegranate notes being the most recognizable. Next, a creamy orange sip gave way to gin, lemon, and berry flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

dare i say cocktail

1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Aperol
2 dash Rhubarb Bitters or sub Peychaud's (Peychaud's)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Two Friday nights ago, I reached for the recent issue of Imbibe Magazine that had just arrived earlier that day. The Dare I Say Cocktail seemed like the perfect post-shift nightcap with its amari-tinged Manhattan structure similar to the Decolletage; it was created by Karah Carmack of Cured in San Antonio. Once prepared, the Fernet's menthol was the most evident aroma on the nose. Next, malt and caramel with hints of orange filled the sip, and the swallow began with rye and orange-rhubarb bitter elements and ended with a menthol finish.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

jerusalem's between the sheets

Equal parts:
Cognac (3/4 oz Camus VS)
Cointreau (3/4 oz)
Dry Gin (3/4 oz Barr Hill)
Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted in my cover-to-cover reading of The Gentleman's Companion called the Jerusalem's Between the Sheets. Charles H. Baker, Jr. cites the source as "from [the] bar book of Weber at the King David" sometime during Prohibition and compared it to the "American Side Car." Instead of the rum in the classic Between the Sheets, this variation substitutes gin. The combination of the two with lemon and a sweetener reminded me of a French 75 I once made for a guest when he could not figure out whether he wanted the brandy or the gin version, so I we decided to split the difference.
The Jerusalem's Between the Sheets began with a rather orange nose accented by lemon oil and hints of juniper. The sip was a combination of orange and lemon reminiscent of the "American Side Car," and the swallow shared Cognac, orange peel, and pine flavors.

Monday, March 7, 2016

brasserie special

1/2 Seagram's Bourbon Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Granddad Bonded)
1/2 Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Passion Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For an after work drink a few Saturdays ago, I turned to the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book. There, I uncovered the Brasserie Special that was a Tiki-feeling Bourbon drink that paired orange liqueur and passion fruit similar to that book's Bluebeard's Passion and Tiki classics like the Tonga. I tweaked the recipe a bit to make things less sweet and to bring up the passion fruit and citrus aspects. Perhaps giving the passion fruit and orange liqueur equal footing was not the intended flavor profile of W.E. Edwards of the UK Bartender's Guild, but it seemed to work. Modifying the above to be 1/4 oz passion fruit syrup and 1/2 oz lemon juice might keep the same level of sweetness and be a touch truer to the original concept. I could have done all the sweeteners and citrus at 1/2 oz akin to the Don's Special Daiquiri as well. Regardless, it was delightful.
The Brasserie Special gave forth a tropical aroma with orange and passion fruit notes along with hints of whiskey. Next, lemon, orange, and malt on the sip elegantly slid into Bourbon on the swallow with a dry passion fruit finish.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

joy division

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Cointreau
3 dash Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe (1/8 oz Butterfly)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

A few Fridays ago after my work shift, I was in great need of a nightcap. This quest led my hand to pull out the Death & Co. Cocktail Book where I found Phil Ward's 2008 Joy Division. Indeed, I was drawn in by the name for Joy Division is one of my favorite bands and by the fact that the recipe reminded me of Robert Hess' Black Feather. The Black Feather was created in 2000 and was the most popular drink at our home's 2008 International Migratory Bird Day event featuring 20 bird-themed cocktails. The two major differences between the drinks are that the Black Feather is brandy based and the herbal element is aromatic bitters instead of absinthe -- all with the same 4:2:1 ratio.
The Joy Division began with lemon, orange, and pine aromas. Next, the drink played a dry white wine sip with a hint of orange that was followed by a juniper, orange, and anise swallow.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

niagara crusta

2 jigger Rye (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/2 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a sugar-crusted glass. Put 2 dash Crème Yvette at the bottom of the glass (1/4 oz inserted at the bottom via plastic pipette). I added a wide lemon twist curled around the inside of the glass.

Every once in a while, there is a historical aberration from a classic style that makes you either shake your head or curious enough to give it a try (and sometimes like here, both at the same time). And many of these can be found in Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933. I associate the classic 1852 Crusta as being a spirit, citrus, a sweetener (usually a liqueur), and bitters in a sugar-rimmed glass that contains a wide citrus twist garnish. In the Pioneer's Niagara Crusta, some of the basics are there, but there is an egg white, no bitters, and no citrus twist? I have made others from that book that lacked the bitters like the Newkirk and Rye Crustas (and the rye one lacked the citrus twist and recommended garnishing with fruits, berries, and mint instead), but to me it is the early presence of citrus in a cocktail (and by cocktail I mean in the classic sense where they need to have bitters) that make the Crusta important (besides being a predecessor of the Sidecar). The egg white is also an oddity; however, the sink of liqueur makes this recipe a dandy! Most Crustas have some liqueur like curaçao or Maraschino as the sweetener, but here the sweetener is sugar and the liqueur element is present in Pousse-café style. I added a citrus twist to the book's instructions to round out the drink and help adjust the recipe slightly to my perceived norm.
The Niagara Crusta had made a list of recipes to try, but I had always skipped over it until two weeks ago after my work shift. I definitely needed to tweak the proportions since I was not downing 2 jiggers of whiskey to test out this drink; moreover, that amount was odd since most of the recipes in the book are for smaller sized libations. Once built, the Niagara Crusta provided a lemon aroma from the citrus swath I added. Next, the creamy sip offered malt notes and a tart lemon aspect that was assuaged by the sugar on the rim; and lastly, the rye began the swallow that ended with a return of the tart lemon on the finish. Once the Crème Yvette entered the picture (assisted by agitation of the glass once it was half drained), the flavor gained berry, floral, and vanilla notes as well as an increase in sweetness.

Friday, March 4, 2016

sailor's delight

3/4 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Orgeat
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Fill with crushed ice, "float" 1/4 oz Cherry Heering, garnish with a paper parasol and a cherry, and add a straw.

For my drink at Backbar, I asked bartender Kat Lamper for the Sailor's Delight that was a drink of the day earlier in the week. The recipe was created by Dan Braganca as his riff on Trader Vic's Fog Cutter. Instead of a light floatable ingredient like sherry in the classic or aquavit in the Viking Fog Cutter, Dan opted for the heavier Cherry Heering that created a Sunrise effect as it cascaded down the crushed ice like the liqueur in a Bramble. Moreover, instead of a Sunrise, perhaps a Sunset would be more appropriate, for Dan named this after the historical nautical saying, "Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning."
The Sailor's Delight had a vague fruity aroma from the orange and cherry elements. The Heering did add cherry notes when the straw was near, but otherwise, the sip was grape, orange, and lemon flavored, and the swallow was apple and nutty. Stirring in the Cherry Heering so it took up the bottom third or so of the drink made the flavor profile more balanced than the dense layer once the liqueur settled to the bottom.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

the skeptic and the believer

1 oz Olmeca Altos Tequila
1/2 oz El Bujo Mezcal
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

A few Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I dropped into Backbar after getting dinner in Union Square. Andrea's choice of a drink was one of Backbar's drinks of the day from a few weeks prior called the Skeptic and the Believer. Bartender Kat Lamper described how her creation was inspired by catching up on the previous season of X-Files shows before the new season came out with Mulder being the believer and Scully being the skeptic. The structure reminded me of Lasky Last Knight that inspired me to create the Knight Fizz with agave and lime instead of brandy and lemon.
The Skeptic and the Believer put forth an agave aroma with a hint of smoke. On the sip, lime and orange paired Margarita style, and the swallow showcased the great combination of agave's vegetal and Chartreuse's herbal flavors.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

sherry twist

1/2 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1 spoon Brandy (1/2 oz Foret)
1 spoon Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1 spoon Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Lemon (1/2 oz Juice)
1 small piece Cinnamon (1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup)

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

A few Tuesdays ago, I began to flip through Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them and was intrigued by the Sherry Twist. It reminded me of the Ceylon but with a flip of the respectively forwardness of the brandy and sherry elements. Strangely, I garnished both drinks in a similar fashion six years later...
The Sherry Twist provided a lemon aroma from the garnish and a nutty grape from the Amontillado that I chose as the sherry here. Next, the sip offered grape, lemon, and orange notes, and the swallow was a bit more complex with nutty, orange, and cinnamon flavors.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

under the gun

1 oz Olmeca Altos Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Falernum
1/2 oz Crème de Cassis
2 dash Chili Bitters (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
(*) A house-made habañero pepper in vodka infusion. A dash of hot sauce will work in a pinch.
A few Mondays ago, I popped into Brick & Mortar to get a nightcap on my way home from an event. There, I asked bartender Paul Yem for the Under the Gun which turned out to be his invention. I was drawn in for it reminded me of Trader Vic's Diablo with clove and chili instead of ginger as the spice element but kept short like a Count Diablo. Once built, the Under the Gun shared a tequila, cassis, and hint of pepper aroma. Next, lime and berry notes filled the sip, and agave, currant, and clove came through on the swallow along with a light heat aspect on the finish.