Friday, March 31, 2017


1 oz Cuban White Rum (Privateer Silver)
1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For a nightcap two Friday nights ago, I reached for my 1948 edition of the 1947 Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide. There, I paused on the Gradeal that appeared like a Culross with the Lillet swapped for gin. The pairing of gin and rum as split base spirits seemed a little unusual, but they were compatible in the Sirius, Small Dinger, and other drinks.
The Gradeal began with an apricot aroma tinged with a hint of pine. Next, a dry apricot and lemon sip led into rum, juniper, and citrus flavors on the swallow. Perhaps a dash of simple syrup might have balanced this drink a bit better for my palate.

esquivel daiquiri

1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
1 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was inspired by No. 9 Park's Declaration that was in turn inspired by Brick & Mortar's Two Caravels. Keeping the Declaration's citrus and Madeira backbone, I added in some funky Jamaican white rum and cinnamon syrup to round out the combination. For a name, I dubbed this one the Esquivel Daiquiri after Juan de Esquivel who settled Jamaica in 1509 as well as the other Esquivel, the 20th century space-age lounge music artist. While I did not take detailed tasting notes, the drink's Madeira was rather forward and balanced by rum funk, cinnamon spice, and tart lime.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


2/3 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Cooper & Kings American Brandy)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz La Quintinye)
2 dash Madeira (1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
1 dash Picon or Boker's Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)
(1/4 oz Simple Syrup)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I sought a nightcap and my desires led me to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. There, I honed in on the Treasurer in the brandy section, for a straight spirits drink seemed to be just what I was needing. Since both the vermouth and my choice of Madeira were dry, I supplemented a dash of sugar syrup to get the balance to where I wanted it. Once spot on in that regard, my nose was filled with grape aromas probably most from the Madeira. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Picon's caramel, and the swallow shared brandy, smoky, chocolate, and dark orange flavors. Indeed, the Verdelho's candied citrus notes worked rather well here with the Amer Picon's orange ones.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

boston daisy

1 1/2 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
1/4 oz Patron Citronage Orange Liqueur
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Ginger Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup (*)

The whole mix was diluted by ice melt to chill (with additional water added to a total of 2-3 oz water) and then carbonated for draft dispense. It was dispensed into a Highball glass with ice cubes (some with flowers frozen inside) and a straw.
(*) Perhaps shaking the first 4 ingredients with ice and straining into a Collins glass with 3 oz of ginger beer would work similarly. Here, the ginger beer would be substituting for the ginger syrup, demerara syrup, some of the water, and the carbonation.
Two Wednesdays ago, I was invited to attend OFFSITE's Party Like it's Not Your Party; the event was celebrating the launch of their beverage catering services and they showcased shaken, stirred, bottled, and draft cocktails at their two bars. One of the drinks was the Boston Daisy created by Melinda Johnson-Maddox and served on draft. Before even getting to the tasting notes, having some of the ice cubes containing edible flowers was a great touch as a harbinger of Spring. After tasting with the eyes, the nose offered a lot of tequila notes and the sip shared a carbonated lemon and orange combination. Next, the swallow was all about the tequila and ginger flavors akin to a Tequila Buck.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


1 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
1 oz Blanco Tequila (Avion)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
A scant 1/2 tsp Angostura Bitters
2 inch Grapefruit Swath

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. I measured the Angostura Bitters with a measuring spoon, but it was 3 good dashes in total.

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails for recipe inspiration. There, I was lured in by the Oaxacanite which reminded me of a Juschu Cocktail with mezcal and grapefruit peel added in the mix. The recipe was crafted by Ben Long at the John Dory Oyster Bar in Manhattan; while Sasha generally thought that mezcal dominated drinks, he liked this one's balance.
The Oaxacanite gave forth a lime, agave, and grapefruit bouquet to the nose. Next, honey danced with lime on the sip, and the swallow presented smoky agave flavors accented by allspice, clove, and grapefruit notes.

repository of hopes and dreams

1 oz Dos Maderas 5+5 RX Rum
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Giffard Orgeat
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a second drink at Estragon, I asked Sahil Mehta for the other recipe that caught my eye that night, a Daiquiri of sorts sweetened by orgeat and embittered by Punt e Mes and Angostura. For a name, Sahil called this one the Repository of Hopes and Dreams after something he heard in shiatsu massage class. Once built, the drink gave forth almondy aromas that colored the lime and grape sip to follow. Finally, the swallow was a delightful combination of rum, nutty, and bitter flavors.

Monday, March 27, 2017

[tulip thief]

1 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
1/2 oz St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with 1 1/2 oz Q Tonic water, fill with ice, garnish with a lime wedge, and add straws.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to the South End to have dinner at Estragon. For a first libation, I selected a Genever drink that was lightened with tonic water from bartender Sahil Mehta's drink notebook; moreover, it had the combination of gentian and elderflower liqueurs that worked so well in his The Root and the Flower. With the Dutch spirit, earthy bulb-like flavors, and floral notes, I began to think of the Tulipomania that was sweeping the Netherlands in the 17th century and dubbed this one the Tulip Thief.
The Tulip Thief gave forth lime and floral aromas that joined those of the Genever's malt and botanicals on the nose. Next, a carbonated lime and malt sip was fruity from the elderflower liqueur, and the swallow presented the Genever merging into the earthy bitter gentian notes from the Avèze and the quinine from the tonic water.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

paddlin' madeline home

1 jigger Applejack (1 1/2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)
1 tsp Grenadine (3/8 oz)
1 tsp Triple Sec (3/8 oz Cointreau)
Juice 1/4 Lemon (3/4 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a thin slice of lemon (lemon twist).

Two Sundays ago, I selected Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up for my evening's refreshment. The recipe I chose from there was Paddlin' Madeline Home by William Glaxton, a vaudeville, film, and theater celebrity and president of the Lambs social club in New York City. Like his Of Thee I Sing, Baby, the drink name has a theatrical aspect with Paddlin' Madeline Home being a fox-trot from the 1925 musical comedy "Sunny." Overall, it reminded me on paper of a Jack Rose and an Apple Sidecar meeting a Pink Lady, so I was game to give it a try.
The Paddlin' Madeline Home proffered lemon oil and apple aromas to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and orange sip gave way to apple and pomegranate's berry on the swallow.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1 dash Sherry (1/4 oz Lustau Pedro Ximenez)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz La Quntinye)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After work on Saturday evening, I was definitely in the mood for a nightcap. My search led me to the American whiskey section Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, and there I selected the Reiff that reminded me of a Brooklyn with sherry in place of the Maraschino. In the glass, the Reiff gave forth a malt, dark raisiny, and orange aroma. Next, the malt danced with grape notes on the sip, and the swallow shared rye flavors and a strange interplay between the Amer Picon and Pedro Ximenez sherry; this combination came across in a raisin-chocolate-orange with almost minty notes sort of way. In the end, I wondered if a nutty oloroso or amontillado would have been better here and could have brought this combination a bit closer to a Brooklyn in feel.

Friday, March 24, 2017

pub & prow's hot buttered rum

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
4 oz Hot Water
1 pat Butter

Add the rum, liqueur, and butter to a pre-heated 6 oz mug (single Old Fashioned glass). Add the hot water and stir to mix.
To fight the chill two Fridays ago, I turned to the hot drinks section of Beachbum Berry's Remixed. Of the hot buttered rum recipes, I was tempted by the chocolatey one from the Pub & Prow in Chicago circa the 1950s. Once in the mug, it smelled a lot like milk chocolate, and the sip offered caramel with a smoothness from the butter. Finally, the swallow presented chocolate flavors that transitioned into funky rum notes. Overall, the combination reminded me more of a boozy hot chocolate than hot buttered rum, and perhaps a little bit of spice would not be out of place here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

one, one, one

1 oz Krogstad Aquavit
1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I selected the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for something to treat myself at my home bar. Thomas Waugh's One, One, One from 2009 seemed like a Martini riff that might make the evening's worries slip away; the drink was a play on Audrey Saunders Fitty-Fitty Martini at Pegu Club with a third component of aquavit added in. Also, it is very close to my 2:1 Martini spec with the gin split with another botanical-driven spirit (except that I use dry vermouth instead of blanc). Once in the coupe, the One, One, One gave forth a caraway and star anise bouquet to the nose. Next, a semi-sweet white wine sip gave way to juniper, caraway, star anise, and floral on the swallow. With blanc vermouth, the end result was not as stark as a classic Martini.

tomb of the caribs

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Build in a double Old Fashioned glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wheel inserted along the inside of the glass.

For drink of the day two weeks ago, the theme was rhum agricole, and I decided to go with a variation of a 'Ti Punch on that Thursday. For one of the sweeteners, I recalled how rhum agricole worked well with Cynar given how both have a bit of funk and herbalness to them; examples of this pairing include Madame Mustache and Wooden Ships. For another sweetener to balance the spirit and lime juice, I opted for honey by recalling how well Cynar worked with it in the Michigander and other drinks.
For a name, I aimed to tie the drink back to the island of Martinique's history. I decided to go back further than the Josephine's Bath with its ties to Napoleon to when the island was settled by Europeans. The last remaining tribe there was the Caribs. One of the landmarks on the northern side of the island is a cliff called the Tomb of the Caribs. There, the last Caribs jumped instead of surrendering to the Europeans; it symbolically matched classic ‘Ti Punch service where ingredients are provided such that "each can prepare their own death."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

applejack fix

2 tsp Sugar dissolved in a little water (omit)
Juice of 1/4 Lemon (3/4 oz)
3 dash Curaçao (3/8 oz Van der Hum)
4 dash Any Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz Peach Syrup)
1 jigger Applejack Brandy (2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)

Stir with shaved ice in a bar glass (shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and fill with crushed ice). Dress with fruits (lemon peel) and serve with straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender for recipe ideas. There, I was lured in by the Applejack Fix which allow for some flexibility in the fruit syrup component. In looking through my inventory in the fridge, I spotted an old peach syrup that was still good and decided to go with it. Once prepared, the Applejack Fix shared an apple and lemon aroma with hints of orange and peach. Next, lemon joined other fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow gave forth apple, orange, and peach flavors.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

rugg road

1 1/2 oz Privateer Amber Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1/4 oz Saffron-infused Honey Syrup
2 dash Herbsaint

Build in a tulip glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a mint sprig and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I made my way over to Tavern Road for their inaugural Tiki Tuesday which was sponsored by Privateer Rum. For a libation, I asked bartender Jace Sheehan for the Rugg Road. Jace described how he first created the predecessor of this recipe for the Boston Historical Society; he had called the drink New Needham in regards to how hilly parts of Needham were used as landfill to reclaim parts of the Charles River including where his old bar, A Wink & A Nod, resides. Now that he is at Tavern Road, he renamed the drink the Rugg Road after the location of his preferred motorcycle shop, Madhouse Motors in Allston.
The Rugg Road presented a mint nose that led into a honey and lime-filled sip. Next, the rum joined the falernum's clove and the herbsaint's anise on the swallow.

Monday, March 20, 2017

grandpa's drunk

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
1 oz Crème de Cacao
1 oz Benedictine
1 dash Molé Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a single Old Fashioned glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Trina's Starlite Lounge for dinner. For a drink, I asked bartender Isaac Sussman for the Grandpa's Drunk. Once mixed, the cocktail offered bright orange oil aromas over darker ones from perhaps the crème de cacao. Next, the sip offered a rich, sweet, and roasty combination, and the swallow merged the brandy with chocolate and Benedictine's minty-herbal flavors. Overall, the drink was a bit on the sweet side in the dessert style of things, so perhaps toning the recipe down to 2 oz of Cognac and 1/2 oz of each of the liqueurs might help.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

old man river

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1 dash Port (3/8 oz Sandeman Tawny)
1 dash Jamaican Rum (3/8 oz Coruba)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Alessio)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After getting home from my bartending shift Sunday two weeks ago, my need for a nightcap led me to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. In the American whiskey section, the curiously named Old Man River seemed like an interesting Manhattan variation that had Jamaican rum and port thrown in the mix. Once built, the Old Man River shared a grape aroma with a hint of the rum's funk. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the caramel notes from the dark rum, and the swallow paired the rye and Jamaican rum which blended into the bitters' spice on the finish.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


3/4 oz Applejack (Laird's)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

After my shift two Saturday nights ago, I reached for Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails for a nightcap. There, I paused upon Joseph Schwartz's recipe for the Turnpike created at Milk & Honey. The name for this split spirits Sour refers to the highway that links New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the homes of Laird's and Monongehela-style rye whiskey, respectively. Overall, it was a formula and flavor combination that could do no wrong.
The Turnpike shared a lemon aroma from the garnish that worked well with the apple and malt bouquet. Next, apple and lemon on the sip led into rye whiskey and more apple flavors on the swallow. No surprised here, but it was definitely an enjoyable Sour.

mexican firing squad (carbonated)

2 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Bittermens Grenadine
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
3/4 oz Water (*)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (*)

Chill and carbonate to 45 psi; pour 4 oz into a cocktail coupe to serve. Garnish with a floated orange flower twist.
(*) For the shaken non-carbonated drink, leave the water and simple syrup out, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

For drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, we were running with a grenadine theme to showcase the new Bittermens syrup. Instead of doing a Tiki drink, I opted for the Mexican Firing Squad from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s 1939 The Gentleman's Companion which we had on the menu at Russell House Tavern a few years ago. Baker offered the Mexican "Firing Squad" Special's recipe with a description of how he and his group almost wrecked themselves on this libation at La Cucuracha Bar in Mexico City in 1937. His recipe was a bit more stiff with a double jigger helping of tequila balanced by the juice of two small limes and 2 tsp of grenadine and spiced with two dashes of Angostura Bitters; moreover, his drink called for a crushed ice presentation with orange, pineapple, and cherry garnishes. To one up the simple shaken/strained way we did it at Russell House, I made use of our house carbonation station and made the batch bubbly. To compensate for the ice melt that would have occurred during shaking, I added water, and to balance the carbonic acid generated during carbonation, I spiked in a touch of sugar syrup.

Friday, March 17, 2017

john perona

1 jigger Bacardi White Rum (1 1/2 oz Angostura White Oak)
1 jigger Sweet Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Alessio)
1 dash Campari Bitters (1/4 oz Campari)
1 twist Orange Peel
1 twist Lemon Peel

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass (add rum, express peels into mixing glass and drop them in, let infuse for 2+ minutes while lightly muddling before adding the rest of the ingredients, stirring, and straining).
After work on Friday, my hand guided me to my 1962 edition of the 1951 Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier, and I was drawn to the white rum Negroni of sorts called the John Perona. The recipe was created by John himself at the El Morocco, a Manhattan speakeasy that opened in 1931 and ran as a legitimate nightclub on East 54th street until his death in 1961. In the glass, the John Perona exuded an orange, grapefruit, and grape bouquet. Next, the vermouth's grape continued on into the sip, and the swallow began with rum notes and herbal vermouth blending into bitter orange flavors and ended with a orange and lemon finish from the twists.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

trinidad medicine

1 oz Oak-aged Smoked Angostura Bitters (*)
1 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a spritz of Laphroaig Scotch.
(*) A mix of Angostura Bitters and St. George Terroir Gin that was juniper-smoked and aged on oak chips. Given the Scotch in the mix, perhaps regular Angostura would work very similarly here.
On my way home from work two Thursdays ago, I ventured into Backbar for a nightcap. For a drink, I asked bartender Kat Lamper for the Trinidad Medicine. Kat described how this was bar manager Sam Treadway's cross of a Trinidad Sour with a Penicillin. Once served, the Trinidad Medicine shared a smoky clove aroma. Next, the sip was dry and creamy from the bitters content and was brightened by the lemon notes; and finally, the swallow offered a bit of complexity from the peaty Scotch, honey, ginger, clove, and allspice flavors.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

i, said the sparrow

1/6 Dry Gin (1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/6 Kirsch (1/2 oz Trimbach)
2/3 Dry Vermouth (2 oz La Quintinye)
4 dash Syrup (1/4 oz Cane Sugar Syrup)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For a drink two Wednesdays ago, I reached for Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide & Ladies' Companion for inspiration. There, I spotted the curiously named I, Said the Sparrow that appeared as an aperitif-like inverse Martini with the gin split with cherry eau de vie. Moreover, the recipe reminded me of the Nineteen without the absinthe, and perhaps the Nineteen Twenty with the gin and dry vermouth volumes swapped, the syrup switched to groseille, and the balance shifted with orange bitters.
The I, Said the Sparrow began with a floral and dry cherry aroma. Next, the sip was rather clean with perhaps soft white grape notes, and the swallow offered honey-floral, pine, and cherry flavors.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

blended banana ramos

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray 10 Gin
1 1/2 oz Fattened Coconut Milk (*)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil

Blend with 6 oz ice, pour into a cup, and garnish with a straw.
(*) 2 parts Coco Lopez, 1 part Heavy Cream or 1 oz, 1/2 oz, respectively.

For Mardi Gras two Tuesdays ago, I made my way down to Kenmore Square to celebrate at the Hawthorne. On their special holiday menu, I requested the Blended Banana Ramos that was subtitled "They said it couldn't be done." Jackson Cannon explained that he had challenged bartender Jared Sadoian to come up with a blender Ramos recipe. Instead of using egg white, they utilized the house coconut milk which is a combination of Coco Lopez and heavy cream that Jackson and the opening crew at the Hawthorne brainstormed before the Hawthorne's inaugural night in 2011. The end result was a homage to New Orleans recipes in two different ways with the first being a Ramos (even if it eschewed the Fizz part) and the second being a frozen Daiquiri idea for convenience.
The Banana Ramos chilliness seemed to stifle the bouquet which is an effect that I saw in my experiments in preparing for the Blender Bender for last year's Boston Thirst event. The sip showcased a creamy lemon combination, and citrus notes combined with banana on the swallow with a lime finish. As the drink warmed up, the flavors, gin notes, sweetness, and aroma amplified.

Monday, March 13, 2017

yankee skipper

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Alessio)
1 dash St. Croix Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a nightcap on Monday night, I returned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and became intrigued by the Yankee Skipper. The recipe read like a Liberal, a rye Manhattan embittered by Picon, with a touch of rum in the mix; to make that rum stand out, I opted for Smith & Cross. In the glass, the Yankee Skipper shared a dark orange aroma with a hint of funk from the rum. Next, the grape and malt mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered rye and dark bitter orange notes that finished with the Jamaican rum funk.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

inman swizzle

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt Rhum
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz Lime Juice

Build in a double Old Fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters, a lime wedge, and a cinnamon stick, and add straws.
After work on Sunday two weeks ago, I went with two of my co-workers to visit the new East Coast Grill. For a first drink, I asked bartender Rachel Alden for the Inman Swizzle. Rachel attributed the recipe to bar manager Joe McGuirk who named it after the restaurant's Cambridge location in Inman Square. Once swizzled and decorated, the drink offered a cinnamon, lime, and allspice aroma from the garnishes. Next, the sip had a hint of lime, and this was followed by rum accented by clove on the swallow.

rum switchel (or haymaker's punch)

2 oz Privateer Amber Rum
1/2 oz Fermented Molasses (*)
1/2 oz Russet Apple Cider Vinegar (**)
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a 10 oz cider glass with 3 oz ginger beer. Top with ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and add a straw.
(*) 2 parts molasses to 1 part water; covered with cheesecloth to allow wild microbes to inoculate the mix.
(**) Perhaps softer than store-bought apple cider vinegar
For drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Sunday nights ago, I decided to go with our restaurant's historical theme and find inspiration in Steven Grasse's Colonial Spirits book. My chef had mentioned that he had some house fermented molasses that I ought to play with, and that led me to plot out a switchel. Switchels have some similarity to shrubs in that there is a vinegar component to make it refreshing, but it is a mix of the vinegar, ginger, sweetener, and water; often, that sweetener was molasses but honey, maple, and various sugars have been utilized. The drink's origins began in the Caribbean, but it traveled up to New England where it took hold in the late 17th century. It was also dubbed the Haymaker's Punch for it was very popular with New England farmers especially on hot days. The recipe in the book included a ginger-molasses syrup that was combined with an equal part of apple cider vinegar and diluted with four parts of water. When I asked my chef about vinegars, he offered me a bottle of Russet apple vinegar he crafted this past harvest season. Instead of assembling a ginger-molasses syrup, I combined the fermented molasses, demerara syrup, and our housemade fermented ginger beer to create the flavor combination. To keep it Colonial, I opted for rum, and the combination could be dubbed "the Colonial Dark & Stormy." Moreover, to hide the vinegar aroma, I utilized the oils from a lemon twist to good effect. Overall, the response was rather positive for the drink was crisp and flavorful with a hint of funky complexity from the molasses.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

chauncey olcott

3/4 Bush Mills Irish Whiskey (2 oz Teeling Small Batch)
2 dash Sherry (1/2 oz Lustau Oloroso)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Alessio)
1 dash Boker's or Angostura Bitters (2 dash Angostura)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I reached for my copy of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for some spirituous refreshment. In the European whiskey section, I spotted an Irish whiskey Manhattan that included sherry in with the sweet vermouth. That recipe was called the Chauncey Olcott, and I was lured in when I learned that Chauncey was an American stage actor and songwriter of Irish descent who lived from 1858-1932. While he was later inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, having a drink named after you is an awesome way to cap off a life and a career.
The Chauncey Olcott had Irish eyes smiling when it greeted the senses with soft malt aromas coupled with grape from the vermouth and sherry. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it was followed by whiskey, nutty, and bitter herbal notes on the swallow.

Friday, March 10, 2017

the roycroft cocktail

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a thin slice of ginger (omit).
Two Fridays ago, I opened the new issue of Imbibe Magazine and decided on the Roycroft Cocktail. The recipe was crafted by Gary Crunkleton at Chapel Hill's The Crunkleton, and I was curious to see how Cherry Heering played off with Benedictine and Green Chartreuse in the mix. Once prepared, the Roycroft Cocktail gave forth herbal aromas from the Green Chartreuse that were joined by a hint of cherry and mint. Next, lemon, malt, and dark fruit on the sip led into rye, herbal, and cherry flavors on the swallow. Overall, the combination diminished the medicinal edge that can often come from the Cherry Heering.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

chinese cocktail

1 half glass Jamaican Rum (2 1/4 oz Coruba)
3 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
3 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry)
3 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1-2 dash Angostura Bitters (2 dash)

Stir with ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with a cherry (omit) and lemon oil from a twist.
After my bar shift two Thursdays ago, I reached for the 1935 Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and began flipping through the pages until I landed in their Jamaican Jollifier Amendments section. There, I was lured in by the Chinese Cocktail which appeared like a satisfying Rum Old Fashioned. It seemed familiar but I could not find a reference for it on the blog, so I went ahead with it. Later, I realized that it was similar to Trader Vic's 1946 Canton with the addition of curaçao. Once prepared, the Chinese Cocktail gifted lemon, funky rum, and floral orange-pomegranate aromas. Next, caramel notes on the sip were joined by more fruity ones from the Maraschino's cherry, and finally, the swallow presented funky rum, nutty cherry, and orange flavors with a spice-driven finish.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


1 1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
1/2 oz Camus VS Cognac
1/2 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur (Salers)
1/8 oz Gomme Syrup (Small Hands)
1 Lemon Twist

Express twist into the mixing glass, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir with ice. Strain into a coupe pre-rinsed with Lucid Absinthe (St. George).
Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to make a recipe that Gaz Regan published from his last season of Cocktails in the Country. The recipe was crafted by Jason Swaringen of Washionton D.C.'s McClellan's Retreat, and the Goldenshellback was his Diamonback Cocktail that he wanted to take in a more herbal-bitter direction. Once in the glass, the Goldenback proffered an anise-accented earthy herbal bouquet to the nose. Next, a smooth mouthfeel from the gum syrup was joined by malt notes on the sip, and the swallow gave forth Bourbon, hints of Cognac, and earthy gentian flavors with a bright finish from the absinthe.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

liliko'i royale

4 oz Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
4 oz Champagne (1 1/2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs)
2 oz Campari (3/4 oz)
2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (3/4 oz)
2 oz Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Build in a carafe and fill with ice (shake all but the sparkling wine with ice, strain into a Highball glass with the sparkling wine, and top with ice). Garnish with edible flowers or lemon wheels (lemon twists).
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for the Canon Cocktail Book for the evening's refresher. There, I spotted the Liliko'i Royale which was their pitcher drink that reminded me of a sparkling wine version of author Jamie Boudreau's Novara. Not needing a pint's worth of drink, I scaled this one back almost three fold to something approximating a single serving. Once prepared, the Liliko'i Royale shared lemon oil aromas over a tropical note from perhaps the passion fruit interacting with the Campari. Next, the sip offered carbonated lemon, passion fruit, and white grape flavors, and the swallow paired the gin botanicals with the Campari-passion fruit duo.

Monday, March 6, 2017

peru negro

1 oz Pisco Italia (Encanto)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Alessio)
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist (optional to garnish with the twist as well).
For the cocktail hour two Monday nights ago, I found my copy of Perú: A World of Cocktails in one of my piles of books. The book was printed for a Tales of the Cocktail pisco tasting room in 2016, and the recipe that called out to me was the Perú Négro crafted by Boston's own Brother Cleve. The Perú Négro came across like a pisco Negroni riff that was softened by Amaro Montengro and spiced with chocolate bitters. In the glass, the drink shared orange oil over darker notes from either the sweet vermouth or the Campari. Next, grape with bright notes of citrus on the sip led into pisco and bitter-sweet orange on the swallow with an earthy chocolate finish.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


1 1/2 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8 Year
3/4 oz Blandy's 5 Year Sercial Madeira
3/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a (button-shaped) orange twist.
For the tail end of Rhum Barbancourt week for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I wanted to do a rum and Madeira cocktail, so I began thinking about the Madeira recipes that I have had recently. One that stood out was Thomas Waugh's Scotch-based Prospector that sweetened the mix with Benedictine. Besides swapping the base for Haitian rum, I also change the bitters first to Peychaud's Bitters; after test driving the recipe for the servers, Erica recommended that I try mole bitters and the results were perfect. I also offered up a few 'p' drink names to play off of the Prospector and the resounding winner was the Provocateur. To complement that, I added a floated button-shaped twist to the mix.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

red riding hood

2/3 jigger Sherry (2 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/3 Grenadine (3/4 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters (2 dash)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. Instead of the stiff drink that I probably needed to unwind, I was lured in by the Red Riding Hood in the wine section that appeared like a Sherry Old Fashioned with the sweetener being grenadine instead of sugar syrup. For a sherry, I opted for a dry Amontillado to counter the grenadine's sweetness. In the glass, the Red Riding Hood was indeed red or at least a tawny red and gave forth nutty sherry aromas softened by pomegranate's berry notes. Next, the grape and pomegranate danced together on the sip, and the swallow began with nutty sherry flavors and ended with Angostura's wintry spice brightened by fruit notes on the finish.


1 1/2 oz GrandTen Wireworks Special Reserve Gin
1/2 oz 383 Curaçao
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 short tbsp Apricot Jam

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
For my next drink at the GrandTen distillery's bar, I selected the Viaduct from the cocktail menu. Bartender Steve Schnelwar confirmed that it was their gin-for-vodka riff on the Aqueduct, but instead of trying to craft their own apricot liqueur, he subbed in apricot jam in its place. Once prepared, the Viaduct shared lime, orange, and hints of apricot on the aroma front. Next, orange and orchard fruit on the sip transitioned into gin and apricot on the swallow with a lime finish.

Friday, March 3, 2017

jack ward

1 1/2 oz GrandTen's North County Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Fridays ago, I found myself with the night off, so I ventured down to South Boston to pay a visit to the bar at the GrandTen distillery. One of the interesting aspects of the bar is that all of the alcoholic ingredients save for bitters must come from the distillery's production. Therefore, they utilize their product line of liquor and liqueurs as well as creating their own curaçao, vermouth-amaro hybrid (made from nonalcoholic wine fortified with house spirit), and the like to bolster their house syrups and shrubs for variety. For a first drink, I asked bartender Steve Schnelwar for the Jack Ward. While the name reminded me of the Jack's Word, here the Jack Rose was crossed with Boston's own Ward Eight. The choice to swap out the whiskey from the Ward Eight and replace it with apple brandy removed my major issue with the Boston classic -- that being the clash between whiskey and orange juice. Yvonne's did it with theirs by adding in a sherry ingredient to bridge the gap between the rye and the orange juice, but here, apple brandy is generally friendly with orange juice as shown in the Applejack Rabbit.
The Jack Ward presented a fruity bouquet with apple and berry elements to the nose. Next, orange and apple on the sip were given structure by the lemon's crispness, and the swallow elegantly paired apple and pomegranate flavors.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1/4 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Build in a whiskey glass, add a large ice cube, stir to mix and chill, and float 1/4 oz Islay whisky (Laphroaig 10 Year).

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to the Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails book for my evening's nightcap. There, I happened upon the Sí-Güey that appeared like a tequila Old Fashioned with a smoky twist to it. Michael Madrusan described his drink's name as a play on the word segue as in "to move without interruption from once scene to another" as a way to describing moving around in any of Petraske's narrow bars. In addition, "Sí, güey" was something that they would say to each other at work with güey being colloquial Mexican Spanish to refer to any person without using their name.
The Sí-Güey began with a medicinal smoke note from the Scotch element floated on the surface of the drink. Next, the sip was rather devoid of tasting notes, but the swallow offered agave, orange, and smoke flavors, and the whole drink reminded me of the Oaxacan Old Fashioned with a different smoky ingredient and application as well.

funky kingston

1 1/2 oz Sons of Liberty True Born Genever-style Gin
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3 dash Angostura Bitters
2 slice Ginger Root

Muddle the ginger slices, add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a double Old Fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, and add straws.

While at Russell House Tavern, bartender Jay Miranda wanted to show me his new creation called the Funky Kingston. The base spirit was a Genever-style gin from the Sons of Liberty distillery where they began with a Belgian-style white beer containing all the botanicals save for the juniper. For a name, Jay paid tribute to the distillery's home in Kingston, RI, and dubbed this one after a reggae song from Toots & the Maytals.
Once prepared, the Funky Kingston shared a nutmeg aroma that led into a lime, orange, and malt sip. Next, the swallow gave forth juniper, lemon from perhaps the lemongrass and coriander in the gin, ginger, and clove flavors. Overall, the spirit worked great in what otherwise seemed like a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club or Test Pilot structure.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

cesaire daiquiri

2 oz Clement Premiere Canne Rhum Agricole
1/2 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a single Old Fashioned glass, and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I headed over to Russell House Tavern for dinner. For a first drink, I asked bartender Brett Howard for the Césaire Daiquiri. The recipe was created by bar manager Ashish Mitra as a tribute to Aimé Césaire, a French poet from Martinique. Once prepared, the Daiquiri donated a lime, grassy, and hint of floral bouquet to the nose. Next, lime and honey on the sip led into a grassy and floral swallow with a honey finish.