Sunday, April 30, 2017

island of martinique cocktail

1 1/2 oz Gold Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Don's Honey (2:1) (1/3 oz Honey 1:1 Syrup)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Blend with 3 oz crushed ice for 5 seconds (shake with ice) and strain into a cocktail glass.

After rounding out my work week two Sundays ago, I selected Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean for my evening's escape. There, I was lured in by the Island of Martinique Cocktail that was Donn Beach's "tikified 'Ti Punch" from 1948 that he described as, "Lusty Martinique rums aged in casks for 120 moons. Subtly combined with falernum, wild honey, Angostura Bitters, and Maui mountain limes." Overall, the combination reminded me of Eastern Standard's Chappaquiddick with different rum and bitters choices. Lacking a rhum agricole aged for 10 years as per the poetic description, I used a younger one from Depaz. And my store was out of Hawaiian citrus, so I just utilized regular Persian limes.
The Island of Martinique Cocktail was similar to the Regal Amburana the night before minus the grapefruit notes but with the addition of spice. Here, the drink began with a grassy and honey-floral bouquet. Next, honey and lime mixed on the sip, and the swallow complemented funky rum notes with ginger, clove, and allspice flavors.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

regal amburana

2 oz Aged Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
7/8 oz Lime Juice (3/4 oz)
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (I used 1:1)
2 inch Grapefruit Swath

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit).
After work two Saturdays ago, my thirst led me to Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails. There, I was lured in for a Daiquiri-like number called the Regal Amburana. Bartender Gil Bouhana took Milk & Honey's love of Daiquiris and used a piece of grapefruit peel as a bittering agent which became known as the "Regal" treatment. For a spirit, he opted for Avua Amburana, and I matched it with a cachaça aged for 2 years in amburana casks from Seleta. Once shaken and strained, the Regal Amburana gave forth grassy, floral, and grapefruit aromas. Next, honey and lime mingled on the sip, and the swallow showcased the funky grassy rum and the honey-floral notes from the syrup with a grapefruit finish from the peel.

Friday, April 28, 2017


2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
2 dash Sloe Gin (1/2 oz Averell Damson)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz La Quintinye)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Fridays ago, I began flipping through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for my post-shift drink. In the American whiskey section, the Peabody with rye, sloe gin, and dry vermouth reminded me of No. 9 Park's Sloe Ryed but with Amer Picon instead of apricot and mint. Moreover, it also seemed like it could be a sloe gin for Maraschino version of the Brooklyn. Once prepared, the Peabody gave forth dark fruit and rye aromas. Next, a dry berry and malt sip led into rye, bitter orange, and an almost cherry-like flavor on the swallow.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

sweet hereafter

2 oz Encanto Pisco
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 tsp St. Germain
1 dash Grapefruit Bitters
1 Grapefruit Twist

Squeeze the twist into a mixing glass, add the rest of the ingredients, stir with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe.
After my bar shift two Thursday nights ago, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for something to serve myself. Wanting something silky and smooth, I stuck with the chapters on stirred drinks and eventually came upon Joaquin Simo's 2009 the Sweet Hereafter. The drink made me think of a Pisco Martini with fruity and floral flavors contributed by Cocchi Americano, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit bitters. In the glass, the Sweet Hereafter shared a floral note from the blanc vermouth and the St. Germain elements that led into a peach and white grape sip. Next, the swallow gave forth pisco, floral, and grapefruit flavors.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

brooklyn bridge

1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Ramazzotti Amaro
4 dash Chocolate Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry.

Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured into another new cocktail book, Pittsburgh Drinks, for my evening's libation. The inaugural recipe I selected was the Brooklyn Bridge from Christopher Kuhn of Bar Marco that seemed like the middle ground between the classic Brooklyn and Misty Kalkofen's Brooklyn Brawler. With Amer Picon being difficult to source, Christopher opted for Ramazzotti and chocolate bitters here.
The Brooklyn Bridge shared a rye and cherry nose that led into a caramel, malt, and grape sip. Next, the rye whiskey flavors on the swallow were joined by Maraschino's nutty, Ramazzotti's root beer, and the bitters' chocolate notes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

deep blue sea

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Violet Liqueur (Rothman & Winter Violette)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for my new copy of Michael Madrusan and Zara Young's A Spot at the Bar and decided upon the Deep Blue Sea. That recipe was Madrusan's first drink that he ever worked on with Sasha Petraske, and overall, it reminded me of an Atty (or Attention) Cocktail without the absinthe and with Cocchi Americano instead of the dry vermouth. Once in the glass, the drink was closer to a light shade of purple rather than blue from my Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette. Next, a lemon, pine, and floral aroma greeted the nose and led into a peach-orange sip. Finally, the swallow shared juniper, ginger, and peppery flavors with a floral finish.

the birth of liquid desires

1 oz Privateer Gin
1/2 oz King's Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Giffard Orgeat
1/2 oz Pineapple Shrub
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Pilsner (or Highball) glass, fill with ice, garnish with 2 dash Angostura Bitters and a mint sprig, and add a straw.
For Andrea's first drink at Estragon, she requested bartender Sahil Mehta's drink of the day that utilized Privateer's Tiki Gin. For a name, I proposed a few Salvador Dali painting titles, and The Birth of Liquid Desires from 1932 won out. Once prepared, the drink generated a clove, mint, and pineapple bouquet. Next, a creamy lime sip gave way to a gin, ginger, and nutty swallow with pineapple finish that later gained clove notes from the floated bitters.

Monday, April 24, 2017

death in the garden

1 oz Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Giffard Orgeat
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice
8 leaf Mint

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe containing 1 oz Kila Cava, and garnish with a floated mint leaf.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I made our way down to the South End to have dinner at Estragon. For a first drink, I spotted a recipe in Sahil Mehta's drink notebook that seemed like a sparkling tequila version of his Kamayura. Later, it got dubbed the Death in the Garden after the 1956 Luis Buñuel movie.
The Death in the Garden shared a mint and agave nose that later displayed orgeat aromas. Next, a carbonated lime sip gained a bit of creaminess from the orgeat as the cava's bubbles decreased over time. Finally, the swallow offered tequila, nutty, and mellow bitter orange flavors with a minty finish.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

papa hogo

2 oz Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum
3/4 oz Palo Cortado (or Oloroso) Sherry (Lustau Oloroso)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (1 bsp)
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and add a straw; I garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.
For a nightcap two Sundays ago, I selected a recipe that I had found from Rafa García Febles on the Barnotes app web page called the Papa Hogo. In the mug, the drink presented a nutmeg aroma from the garnish I added. Next, a lime, grape, and honey sip transitioned into a rum, nutty sherry, and tea swallow with a chocolate and allspice finish.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

:: drunk & told now available online! ::

The idea for a second book came to me on an air plane. I often think about my life directions while flying; in this case, it was on a flight to New Orleans in July 2016 for Tales of the Cocktail. I was making a list of how to advance my bar's cocktail program and my status as a bartender, and one of the list items was "Book by September 2017. 5 year anniversary [of my first book]." I knew that I should wait until the nice weather subsided, so I started on this project towards the end of November and dedicated 20-25 hours each week on top of my full time job to see this through. Here's what it's about:

Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told is the 5 year follow-up to the 2012 Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book. The first book was described as "a cocktail historian's tour of a city he knows and love," and this book continues on with that theme with over 850 novel recipes from over 100 bars and restaurants in the Greater Boston area. In addition, there are essays on hospitality, cocktail trends, and tributes to Boston bartender greats to round out this love letter to the Boston drink scene. From famous bars and bartenders to lesser known establishments and drink slingers, this book captures the tapestry of what makes Boston truly a cocktail town.

Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told is perfect for the home bartender, for the Boston barfly looking for a memento, and for the professional bartender seeking inspiration on improving their trade.

• 855 recipes from 102 bars and restaurants in Greater Boston
• 10 essays on hospitality
• Tributes to some of Boston bartending's allstars
• Features on the Daiquiri Time Out and other Boston phenomenons
• A by-location and by-ingredient index for this book AND for the 2012 Drink & Tell book!! Yes, for all 1360 drinks spanning 2006-2017! (via their webstore and on their shelves)

root down

1 1/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino (Alessio Sweet Vermouth)
3/4 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Art in the Age Root Liqueur
5 drop Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with 5 drops Laphroaig Scotch.
For my post-work shift treat two Saturday nights ago, I turned to Brad Parsons' Amaro for an answer. There, I was able to narrow it down to a recipe by Charlie Schott called Root Down that he created at Chicago's Parson's Chicken & Fish. Once mixed, Root Down greeted the senses with birch and peat smoke aromas. Next, a grape and caramel sip gave way to rum, root beer, and mint flavors.

Friday, April 21, 2017

douglas fairbanks

2/3 Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Apricot Brandy (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur + 1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
Juice 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass; I added drops of Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters as garnish.

After work two Fridays ago, I summoned Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up for the evening's nightcap refreshment. There, I spotted the Douglas Fairbanks recipe that was provided by Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana, and the combination reminded me of an egg white for Peychaud's Bitters riff on a Pendennis Club Cocktail. Since Andrea was still up, I decided to split this one in two.
The Douglas Fairbanks presented apricot aromas that were accented by cinnamon and clove spice from the bitters garnish I added. Next, a creamy lime sip led into gin and apricot on the swallow. Definitely a bit less complex than the Pendennis Club given the egg's smoothing and the lack of Peychaud's Bitters' complexity, but it was still rather enjoyable as a Egg White Sour.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

san francisco treat

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Averna
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Stir with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned glass, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (not flamed).
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I decided to make one of the drinks that I spotted while reading through Brad Parsons' Amaro book, namely the San Francisco Treat. The recipe was crafted by Sam Levy of Meadowood in St. Helena, California, with the name being in part a tribute to how much Fernet Branca the city of San Francisco drinks and in part a nod to the Rice-A-Roni jingle. In the glass, the San Francisco Treat shared an orange aroma with hints of Fernet Branca's menthol notes. Next, a caramel sip from the amari gave way to floral and minty-herbal flavors on the swallow all while I had flashbacks to watching the Price Is Right on television as a kid.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

:: swedish punsch cheat sheet ::

Here is a primer on how to use Swedish punsch in cocktails. First what is Swedish punsch (since this is the #1 question I get asked about our cocktail menu at work)?

As punch was still gaining steam into the 19th century, people found less time or had less skill for making bowls of it, so distilleries and compounders began offering punch concentrates. Besides this Swedish version, there were domestic ones like Hub Punch here in Boston and international ones like Panama Punch and Dutch Rum Punch. With a little bit of sparkling wine, lemonade, or sparkling water (or a combination thereof) -- voilà, punch is served!

Some historians have traced Swedish punsch back to the 1730s when the Swedish East India company started bringing in Batavia Arrack, a rum-like spirit, from Indonesia. The pre-bottled punch began to be produced about a century later in the 1840s. In Sweden, the punch is often served as a Hot Toddy, but the bottled version promoted its use in chilled formulations. Swedish punsch began to catch on with cocktail bartenders around the turn of the century in 1900 and this lasted until Prohibition. There was also a later blip during the early 1940s when perhaps some ingredients got scarce during World War II, so Swedish punsch was found to be a good substitute such as for Lillet in the Corpse Reviver #2. Swedish punsch mostly disappeared from the market until 2012 when Haus Alpenz began importing the Kronan brand. Perhaps starting in the late 00s, cocktail bloggers and bartenders such as Erik Ellestad as he made his way through the Savoy Cocktail Book needed Swedish punsch and began concocting their own using Haus Alpenz's Batavia Arrack van Oosten. Over time, the recipes began to approximate the product still being produced in Sweden; however, the Swedish brands were only available through suitcase import. The first Boston recipe that I recorded was in 2008 with The Bohannon and I had started to make my own at the end of 2009. Now, most bars purchase Kronan instead of making their own mix.

While I have tasted other brands (that one bartender utilized to nudge his formulation in line with what the traditional flavor balance should be), most of my deductions have been made initially with my home version and later supported by the Kronan product. Many of these flavor combinations presented below were figured out in the 1930s such as in the Savoy Cocktail Book and the Café Royal Cocktail Book, whereas others such as Campari were figured out more recently.

• Lillet & Cocchi Americano: Metexa, Chutes & Ladders
• Passion Fruit: Puates Delight, Port of Goteborg
• Apricot Liqueur: Havana Cocktail, Cedar, Coronian
• Créme de Peche: One Way
• Curaçao: Corpse Reviver #2b, Royal Wedding
• Yellow Chartreuse: Van Dieman
• Campari: Poppin' Tags, Deck Hand, Barefoot in the Dark, Sleeping with Strangers
• Crème de Cacao: Battle Over Dutch, Swedish Sweet Tart
• Ginger: Haunted House
• Cinnamon: Oaxacan Punch, Everybody Wants to Rule the World
• Pimm's #1: Pimmeron, Dogger Bank
• Tequila and Mezcal: Metexa, Tainted Love

An after thought post making the image:
• Apple brandy and Calvados: Cason Cocktail
• Also: sloe gin, grenadine, absinthe, sherry, and cherry liqueur


1/2 oz Apricot Brandy (1 1/2 oz Shalakh Armenian Apricot Eau de Vie)
2 dash Dry Gin (1/2 oz Beefeater)
2 dash Swedish Punsch (1/2 oz Kronan)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz La Quintinye)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Wednesdays ago, my bookshelf wandering guided me to the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 book. There, I spotted an apricot brandy recipe called the Azores that reminded me of the Havana Cocktail with dry vermouth and Angostura Bitters instead of the Havana's lemon juice. Since the Havana was also half apricot brandy, I figured that it meant the sweet liqueur "brandy", and I instead opted for an adapted recipe published in Greg Boehm's Big Bartender's Book that reduced the amount from half to one-sixth. While the Havana could have been a dessert-y drink, I always wondered what it would have been like with a dry apricot eau de vie as half the drink. With the Azores recipe, I decided to try the idea out.
The Azores presented an apricot bouquet to the senses that continued on as a dry orchard fruit sip with a darker note from the Swedish punsch. Next, the apricot came through on the swallow aside juniper and tea flavors and an allspice finish. The apricot eau de vie definitely worked but it does come with more than double the price tag of the Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


2 oz Single Malt Scotch (1 3/4 oz Pig's Nose Blended + 1/4 oz Laphroaig Single Malt)
1/2 oz Ruby Port (Sandeman Tawny)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (La Quintinye)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

After I got home from Saloon, I was in the mood for a nightcap, so I decided to make the Chancellor that I have made reference to with the Skyfall the week before as well as older drinks such as the Rue Morgue. The drink allegedly first appeared in the 1956 Esquire Drink Book as a Perfect Rob Roy of sorts with ruby port taking the place of the sweet vermouth; the recipe was absent in my 1949 Esquire Drink Book but was definitely in my 1999 edition edited by David Wondrich. The Esquire recipe is as follows:
Chancellor (1956)
• 2 oz Blended Scotch
• 1 oz Ruby Port
• 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
• 2 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The recipe that I ended up going with was adapted by Joseph Schwartz at Manhattan's Little Branch and published in the 2008 edition of Food & Wine: Cocktails book. Schwartz dropped the port in half and made up for the lost body by calling for a fuller Scotch; he also switched the bitters from orange to Peychaud's which along with the decreased amount of sweet fortified wine would help to send the recipe into a drier realm. In the glass, the Chancellor offered grape and peaty smoke to the nose, and this led into a malt and grape sip. Next, the swallow began with the smoky whisky being mellowed by the port and ended with hints of anise-driven spice.

holy mountain

1/2 oz Palo Viejo White Rum (*)
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Burnt Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice, pour into a snifter glass, garnish with 2 dash Angostura Bitters, and add straws.
(*) Although I questioned the bartender about this amount in his written recipe, the drink might make more sense with 1 1/2 oz rum.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured down to Saloon where Pete Polselli was bartending. For a first drink, I requested the Holy Mountain that I learned was the creation of Luke Graham. Once in the glass, the Holy Mountain greeted the nose with clove and allspice aromas from the bitters garnish. Next, lime and the sherry's grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow offered rum, pineapple, nutty sherry, and cinnamon spice flavors.

Monday, April 17, 2017

pagan breakfast #2

1 1/2 oz Ron Abuelo 7 Year Rum (Plantation Barbados 5 Year)
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1 oz Lime Juice
4 dash Absinthe (1 bsp St. George)
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Mondays ago, I was in a Daiquiri mood and decided to make a recipe that I had spotted on the ShakeStir collection. The drink was the Pagan Breakfast #2 by Tiff Jones of San Francisco's Pagan Idol, and it was a riff on their Pagan Breakfast #1 which is a Daiquiri with absinthe perhaps akin to the Rum Club Daiquiri. I am not sure what rum they use for the first version, and the second one might have been influenced by a competition theme on the site.
The Pagan Breakfast #2 shared anise and lime aromas. Next, the lime continued on into the sip where it mingled with the citrus notes from the Amaro Montenegro and perhaps the falernum. Finally, the swallow presented the rum accented by minty-anise and clove spices.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

william sohmer

3/4 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Sazerac)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz La Quintinye)
1 dash St. Croix Rum (1/2 oz Plantation Dark)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After my work shift two Sundays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. In the American whiskey chapter, I was became curious about the William Sohmer that was named after a New York State politician active at the turn of the century when the book was being compiled. Essentially, the recipe reminded me of a split spirits Brooklyn minus the Maraschino.
The William Sohmer proffered a dark orange and rum aroma to the nose. Next, a dry malt-driven sip led into rye and rum on the swallow with caramel-orange notes on the finish. Overall, the drink was very dry for my palate; perhaps a sweeter rum like Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva or El Dorado 12 would work well as would a sweeter vermouth like blanc (the recipe only called for a French vermouth which I always interpret as a dry one). Another option would be adding a quarter ounce of demerara syrup or doubling the Amer Picon to bring the recipe to a more palatable state.

mulberry bend

1 1/2 oz Rocktown Rye
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Sundays ago, I took the Rocktown Rye Whiskey theme and started scheming a Manhattan variation. I became focused on the Cynar-apricot liqueur combination that appears in drinks like the One One Thousand and thought about the Little Italy and Slope. Instead of Punt e Mes, I wanted to let the ingredients shine more via dry vermouth akin to the Brooklyn and the Bensonhurst. Originally, I had more dry vermouth in the equation, but the drink tasted a bit thin, so I converted this into a 3:1:1:1 format. For a name, I thought about how many of the those cocktail names paid tribute to Italian neighborhoods in New York City, and I started researching and found that Mulberry Bend was the section in Manhattan that many Italians settled to later form Little Italy. Indeed, no mulberries were harmed in the making of this drink.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

baie du galion

2 oz Martinique Rhum Agricole Blanc (Depaz)
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Drambuie

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

After tending bar two Saturdays ago, I was definitely in the mood for a nightcap. When I turned to Martin Cate's Smuggler's Cove book, I was lured in by the Baie du Galion that was named for the "beautiful waters on the leeward side of Martinique." The combination of rhum agricole and Drambuie made me think of the Madame Mustache, but instead of that drink's Cynar, Martin selected Green Chartreuse to round out the recipe. Martin commented that all of the ingredients in the mix have grassy or herbaceous notes.
The Baie du Galion had a complex bouquet from Chartreuse's herbal, rhum's grassy, and the twist's lemon oil aromas. Next, Drambuie's honey colored the sip, and the swallow paired the rhum's grassiness with the liqueurs' herbal flavors to great effect.

Friday, April 14, 2017


1 1/2 oz Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal)
1 tsp Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz La Quintinye)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)
Juice 1/4 Lemon (1/2 oz)

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

Two Fridays ago, I reached for my 1948 edition of the 1947 Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide and settled upon the Hibiscus that reminded me of a rum Scofflaw (minus the bitters). Since Trader Vic's later books are often more verbose, I turned to the 1981 Book of Food & Drink where Trader Vic commented, "You know, bartending is a lot of hokum. You leave out one ingredient, or put in another and give the thing a different name, and you've got a new drink. Or have you? Don't be fooled. This is just another version of the Cuban Presidente." The Cuban Presidente varies from El Presidente by having lemon juice in addition to the rum, curaçao, grenadine, and dry vermouth. This drink leaves out the curaçao from the equation though.
The Hibiscus greeted the senses with the lemon oil from the twist I added, and that flowed into lemon juice and the pomegranate's berry notes on the sip. Next, the swallow combined rum, dry herbal, and pomegranate flavors. Perhaps the Cuban Presidente would have added a bit more citrus complexity to the mix.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


2 oz Rhum Clement VSOP (Depaz Rhum Agricole)
3/4 oz Dow's Tawny Port (Sandeman)
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Alessio)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
After my bar shift two Thursdays ago, the Skyfall's Chancellor-like structure the night before reminded me that I never made the Professor from the P.D.T. Cocktail Book. The Professor was Michael Madrusan's 2007 rhum-for-Scotch riff on the Chancellor Cocktail that appeared in the Esquire Drink Book; since a chancellor is the executive or merely ceremonial head of a college, the name Professor made perfect sense. In the glass, the orange oil and rhum's grassy funk notes brightened the tawny port aroma. Next, port and vermouth's grape dominated the sip, and the swallow presented the grassy rhum melding into the grape flavors with a clove and allspice finish. Overall, the mix reminded me of a less fruity version of The Chadburn.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


2 oz Cutty Sark Scotch
1/2 oz Dow's Fine Ruby Port
1/2 oz St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice, strain into a single Old Fashioned glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured down to Russell House Tavern for dinner. For a first drink, I asked bartender Brett Howard for the Skyfall. Brett confirmed my guess that this was recipe was created by bar manager Ashish Mitra; I made that assumption for I know that Ashish favors Manhattans made with port when he goes out. In the glass, the Skyfall first provided a lemon and grape aroma that later shared menthol notes from the Fernet. Next, a grape and malt sip had hints of pear from the elderflower liqueur, and the swallow was a complex medley of Scotch, grape, floral, and menthol-herbal flavors. Overall in this Chancellor Cocktail-like drink, the port's grape had a stronger presence in both the sip and the swallow than vermouth, Madeira, or sherry do in comparable proportions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

rio grande sour

1 1/2 oz Aged Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
1/2 oz Jagermeister
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 slice Orange
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with fresh orange zest. I also muddled the orange slice before shaking.
Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to make an egg white Sour that I had spotted in a Punch Drink article on Jägermeister. The recipe was the Rio Grande Sour created by Ranjini Bose at the Seamstress in New York City. Once prepared, the Rio Grande Sour offered an orange, cinnamon, and grassy aroma that led into a creamy lemon and orange sip. Next, the swallow showcased the cachaça's grassy rum notes pairing with the Jägermeister's cinnamon, licorice, and ginger ones.

Monday, April 10, 2017


3 oz Brandy (2 1/4 oz Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 tsp Crème de Cacao (3/8 oz Tempus Fugit)
1/2 tsp Benedictine (3/8 oz)
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a 12 oz glass (single Old Fashioned), and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Mondays ago, I sought my evening's mixed drink in my 1948 edition of Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide. There, I spotted a curious Brandy Flip that reminded me of an egg version of Grandpa's Drunk. In the revised 1972 edition of the Bartender's Guide, Trader Vic commented on this and the drink on the same page, "Drinks called Itchiban, Ichibien. What the hell?" Well, I was game to find out what was up with one of them.
The Itchiban began with a nutmeg and chocolate aroma. Next, the sip was creamy with hints of a darker note from perhaps the cacao, and the swallow gave forth Cognac flavors colored by chocolate and minty herbal accents. Overall, the combination was reminiscent of chocolate milk.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

death to winter

1 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1 oz Clement Select Barrel Rhum Agricole
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz House Falernum

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple fruit leaf and a lime wheel, lightly dust the top with powdered cinnamon, and add a straw.

On my way home from work two Sunday nights ago, there was time to catch last call at Backbar. For a drink, I asked Kat Lamper for the Death to Winter from the menu, and it turned out to be her libation. The menu read "almond" instead of falernum, so I assumed that it meant orgeat and the combination reminded me of the Cuban Anole with pineapple juice. However, Kat explained that their house falernum has a decent almond aspect to it, and they listed it that way for allergy concerns. With it still being quite chilly outside, why not beg for the death of winter?
The Death to Winter gave forth a cinnamon and lime bouquet that led into lime, pineapple, and caramel on the sip. Next, the swallow continued on with the tropical notes with rum, nutty, cinnamon, and clove flavors.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


2/3 Jamaican Rum (1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1/3 Orange Juice (3/4 oz)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Alessio)
1 dash Green Chartreuse (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist to the recipe.
After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I reached for my copy of Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to find a curiosity within. There, I came across the Shanghai that reminded me of the Kingston Heights with sweet vermouth and Green Chartreuse in place of that drink's kümmel and allspice dram. Once mixed, the Shanghai greeted the nose with a bright orange oil aroma countering darker notes from the Jamaican rum's funk. Next, orange mingled with caramel and grape notes from the rum and vermouth on the sip, and the swallow showcased the funky rum melding into the Chartreuse herbal notes. Overall, the rum's intrigue carried the drink for it ending up having a lot less structure than a Daiquiri or even a Rum Bijou due to the orange juice.

Friday, April 7, 2017

golden throne

1 oz Batavia Arrack
1 oz Von Humboldt's Turmeric Cordial
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wheel.

A few weeks ago, I received a sample of a turmeric-flavored spirit from the Von Humboldt line of the Tamworth Distillery. Their website provided a description of, "Turmeric on its own is quite a powerful, bitter flavor, so our distillers combine it with the floral piquant of coriander seed and rose petal to smooth things out, then lemon zest to bring them together, underscoring the bitterness and opening up the spice on the nose. The final result is worthy of any discerning globetrotter’s amaro line-up: an earthy modifier that is able to stand up in a cocktail as a base, serve as an intriguing addition to a drink, or be sipped on its own as a digestif." In looking for a direction, I asked my chef what pairs well with turmeric, and one of his responses was honey, so I set out in that direction. The cordial is definitely far from being as sweet as a syrup or a liqueur like Yellow Chartreuse, so I felt comfortable utilizing it as a split spirit. In thinking about turmeric, I thought of India and soon Indonesia, and I opted for including Batavia Arrack in the mix in a Scofflaw sort of format. For a name, I thought about how the Indian god Ganesha is often linked with turmeric and yellowness as well as sitting on a golden throne.
The Golden Throne offered a lime and funky Batavia Arrack aroma that was accented by the turmeric's gingery notes on the nose. Next, the honey paired well with the lime on the sip, and the Batavia Arrack's funk paired well with the earthy-gingery spice on the swallow.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

brown palace hotel

2/3 London Dry Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz La Quintinye)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Herbsaint (1 bsp)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an olive (omit).
After my bar shift two Thursdays ago, I reached for my edition of Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up and stumbled upon the Brown Palace Hotel that was delivered to the author by that Denver hotel. Overall, it reminded me of an Improved Martini or perhaps a Silver Cocktail with Herbsaint. Once prepared, the Brown Palace Hotel donated an anise and pine bouquet that led into a lightly cherry flavored sip. Next, the swallow rounded things off with juniper and other gin botanicals and Maraschino's nutty cherry notes with an anise-tinged finish.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

the nameless city

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with an orange wheel-lime wheel-cherry flag, and add straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured down to Stoddard's in Downtown Crossing. For a first drink, I asked bar manager Jamie Walsh for the Nameless City. Bartender Travis who mixed the drink informed me that it was created by Tony Iamunno; I suspect that the drink's name refers to the 1921 H.P. Lovecraft story that is the beginning of the Cthulhu mythos. In the glass, the Nameless City presented a lime and orange aroma with hints of cherry to the nose. Next, orange, lime, honey, and malt mingled on the sip, and the swallow was the pairing of rye and herbal notes akin to the Colleen Bawn.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

marqueray cocktail

1 jigger Gin (2 oz Beefeater)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I selected the 1934 reprint of A Life Collection of 688 Recipes for Drinks that I had not looked at for quite some time. From that tome, the Marqueray egg white Sour caught my eye, and I later learned that it first appeared in Jacques Straub' 1914 Drinks. Moreover, it reminded me of this variation of the Pink Lady. Once prepared, the Marqueray Cocktail greeted the nose with hints of anise from the absinthe. Next a creamy lime and berry sip led into gin, berry, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Monday, April 3, 2017

harkness table

1 oz Christian Drouin Selection Calvados
1 oz Christian Drouin Pommeau di Normandie
1 oz Alessio Chinato Vermouth

Stir with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned glass, and add ice cubes.
Two Mondays ago, I ventured down to No. 9 Park for an afternoon of education with the producer of Christian Drouin Calvados. After the talk, we were treated to Ted Gallagher of Steel & Rye making drinks. One of his recipes was the Harkness Table named after a teaching method where students sit in a large oval and discuss topics in an open-minded atmosphere with little teacher intervention. In the glass, the Harkness Table was like a Marconi Wireless with more fresh apple notes and a touch of quinine instead of the normal orange bitters.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

hasty cocktail

2/3 Nicholson's Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz La Quintinye)
4 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 dash Absinthe (1/2 bsp Butterfly)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After rounding out my work week, I decided to find my Sunday nightcap drink recipe in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. With a goal of something straight spirits, I happened upon the Hasty Cocktail which was a Martini variation sweetened by a touch of grenadine and spiced with a dash of absinthe. Indeed, the absinthe began the drink with an anise-driven nose. Next, a dry berry sip gave way to juniper and other herbal notes from the gin and dry vermouth on the swallow with a lightly absinthe-tinged finish.

hell in the atlantic

1 1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Sercial Madeira (*)
1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira (*)
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Bittermens Grenadine
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake briefly with a few ice cubes, strain into a tulip glass, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with Tiki intent and add a straw.
(*) 2 oz of Bual or Verdelho would sub here for both Madeiras.
For drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Sundays ago, I wanted to do a low proof riff on a classic Tiki drink by substituting the rums for Madeiras as I have done for my Zombie riff The Island of Lost Souls and other drinks. Since Madeira often pairs rather well with Maraschino liqueur, I honed in my search that way and selected the Hell in the Pacific as my starting point. I also included some of the spice elements from Randy Wong's riff Helen the Pacific. Since the island of Madeira is off the western coast of Africa, it made sense to change the name to Hell in the Atlantic. Overall, the end result was a complex fruit combination with nutty and spice notes from the Maraschino and allspice dram, respectively.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

augie march

2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Alessio)
1/2 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry.

For my post-work drink two Saturday nights ago, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for answers. There in the agave section, I chose Phil Ward's 2008 Augie March. The drink was named after the 1953 Saul Bellow's book The Adventures of Augie March; Wikipedia described the character Augie as one who grew up during the Great Depression and "may be said to represent the modern Everyman -- an individual struggling to make sense of, and succeed in, an alienating world." Sounded about right for having wrapped up a weekend bar shift.
The Augie March gave forth funky vegetal agave and Cynar aromas to the nose. Next, the grape paired with the Cynar's caramel on the sip, and the tequila merged into the funky amaro on the swallow as they did in the Mexican Turnover.