Wednesday, January 31, 2018

sea beast

3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Puree (3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Cane Syrup or 2:1 Simple (1/2 oz JM Sirop)
1 1/2 oz Clement VSOP Rhum Agricole (Rhum Depaz)

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass (Tiki mug) with cubed ice (crushed ice); I added a lime wheel and freshly grated nutmeg as garnish.

For Tiki time two Wednesdays ago, I reached for Sarah Baird's New Orleans Cocktails to make the other Latitude 29 recipe. That one was also crafted by bartender Brad Smith and was called the Sea Beast. The Sea Beast's rhum agricole, passion fruit, lime, and Fernet Branca reminded me of the Black Sea Swizzle, and the combination of Fernet Branca and passion fruit has worked well in other drinks such as the Poet & the Peony and the Cornerman.
The Sea Beast presented a lime and woody spice aroma from the garnish on top of the tropical fruit and menthol notes seeping up through the crushed ice. Next, lime, caramel, and a hint of tropical on the sip transitioned into grassy rum and passion fruit melding into bitter herbal complexity on the swallow with a clean finish. Moreover, there was a perfume-y note in the mix that reminded me of the Rude Boy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

the undead gentleman

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1 oz Black Blended Overproof Rum (Plantation OFTD)
1 1/2 oz Blended Aged Rum (R.L. Seale's 10 Year)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe rinsed with absinthe blanche (Butterfly), and garnish with intertwined lime and grapefruit twists.
Two Tuesdays ago, my search for another Tiki the Snow Away recipe led me to the Smuggler's Cove book. There, I stopped on Martin Cate's The Undead Gentleman that was essentially a served up version of the 1934 Zombie minus the grenadine. Once prepared, The Undead Gentleman greeted the nose with cinnamon, anise, and lime aromas. Next, lime and grapefruit mingled on the sip, and that led into robust rums, cinnamon, clove, and anise flavors on the swallow with an almost cherry note on the finish as the drink warmed up. Moreover, Andrea commented that the absinthe really worked well with the funkier notes in Plantation's OFTD overproof rum.

Monday, January 29, 2018

lost at sea

1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Guava Purée (Guava Jelly melted 1:1 with water)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. I garnished with a mint sprig and freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Mondays ago, I began perusing the web for tropical ideas for another entry in the Tiki the Snow Away event on Instagram. On the BarNotes app, I came across the 2015-vintage Lost at Sea by Chris Resnick while at Cardinal Spirits in Indiana, and the combination reminded me of the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a with guava in place of Peychaud's Bitters. Once prepared, the Lost at Sea proffered a woody spice and mint aroma from the garnishes that I added. Next, lemon, pineapple, and guava on the sip transitioned into gin, pineapple, and nutty flavors on the swallow with a lingering guava finish.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

norwegian negroni

1 1/2 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
3/4 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange (grapefruit) twist.
After returning home from my shift, there was time for a nightcap to share with Andrea. Therefore, I reached into the shelves where I pulled out the 2010 The Cocktail Collective Book where I spotted the Norwegian Negroni from Kevin Ludwig of Portland, Oregon, that reminded me of Robert Hess' 2002 Trident. Perhaps it was this similarity that gave me pause to make it over the years; however, it seemed like the perfect way to round out the week. Once prepared, the grapefruit oil from my twist substitution joined floral and caraway notes on the nose. Next, sweet grape and hints of caramel on the sip led into caraway spice melding into funky bitter-herbal on the swallow. While not a Negroni for it lacked any strong citrus element, it was not out of the realm of how a Negroni can come across.

fernet chocolate egg cream

2 oz Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup
2 oz Fernet Branca
5-6 oz Whole Milk

Build in a pint-sized milk bottle (from the freezer; measured a little over 17 oz to the top) and semi-aggressively stir to mix in the chocolate syrup (a light schmear of chocolate along the bottom is acceptable and perhaps desirable). Top with 6-7 oz cold Q Club Soda, gently stir to make a frothy head, leave in the spoon, and add a straw. The straw should float suspended on the head. The coldness of the ingredients helps to make the best Egg Creams (our Fernet is stored in the fridge along with the milk and club soda).

At Our Fathers, we offer Egg Creams of two varieties: Chocolate and Pistachio. But why can't these non-alcoholic wonders be made more adult? And what is an Egg Cream anyways? The genesis of the Egg Cream can be traced back to somewhere between the 1880s and the first decade of the 1900s either in Brookyln or Manhattan's Lower East Side. The name is a paradox since it contains neither egg nor cream, but milk, seltzer water, and flavored syrup, and this combination cuts the richness of the milk with the lightness of the soda water to make a not that sweet and almost ethereal libation. There are many theories behind the name such as the more credible Yiddish explanation of the "echt cream" (good cream) to a French actor asking for "chocolat et crème," and the mixture most likely stemmed from the classic ice cream-free milkshake which did indeed contain egg along with cream, syrup, and soda water. I remember when growing up that my mom used to buy Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup and declared that it was the only proper chocolate syrup for an Egg Cream; however, she never made us a single one (we used it in chocolate milk or on ice cream sundaes for years before Hershey's Brand bumped this product from most supermarkets back in Connecticut). The syrup itself was created in the early 1900s, so most likely the Egg Cream was created without it and instead a house syrup as the original flavorant, but many like my mom grew up to believe that it was crucial. It did not hurt that her maiden name was Fox either.
Since I could not get guests at my bar who ordered Egg Creams after a round or two of cocktails to try a spirits-laden one, I decided to make myself one for my shift drink the following evening two Sundays ago. As Fernet Branca and chocolate are great bedfellows especially with dairy such as in my 2009 Fernet Alexander, I took this path as my first step. The addition of one eighth of the total volume being spirit required a little adjustment, but I think the end result turned out decently well since it passed the straw test such that the foam supported the plastic drinking straw. Here was the great combination of minty chocolate that colored the dynamic result of carbonation dancing between fat and protein molecules. Moreover, it did feel a touch naughty drinking a seemingly non-alcoholic libation with the adult beverage ingredient in the mix.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat
1 oz Campari
1 oz Aged Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1/2 oz Funky Jamaican Rum (Rum Fire)
1 pinch Salt

Dissolve the salt in the juices, add the rest, shake with ice, strain into a Tiki bowl, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish in Tiki style such as mint or edible flowers if in season, and a bit of fire would not be out of place here.

After a long Saturday night shift two weeks ago, I began to revisit my earlier in the day thoughts on how to tinker with the Scorpion Bowl. When I focused on the orgeat, I considered how well it worked in the past with Campari such as in the Bitter Maita'i, Pinwheel Swizzle, and other drinks. Since I did not want this bowl to be overly bitter and stray too far from the concept of punch being a well-balanced drink, I added a pinch of salt to the mix to mellow the Campari like was done in the Camparipolitan, Fearless, and others. And finally, I decided not to go all Campari but to keep some the classic Scorpion Bowl's rum element to provide a backbone and a hint of funk to the mix.
For a name, I dubbed this one after the Deathstalker Scorpion, although with a bowl named the Deathstalker, I was wondering if I should have swapped the rum for Fernet Branca and went Ferrari in style. Once prepared, the Deathstalker gave forth an orange, nutty, and tropical nose in an almost mango-like way. Next, rich orange with lemon accents on the sip transitioned into rum, nutty, and orange flavors on the swallow with a tangy finish containing a hint of bitterness.

Friday, January 26, 2018

the hardest walk

2 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Plantation Overproof Rum (Plantation OFTD)
1/2 tsp Gran Classico (1 bsp Campari)
14 drop Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

After walking home in the monsoon two Fridays ago, I took off some of my wet clothing and definitely needed a drink quickly. Since New Orleans Cocktails was still on the counter from the night before, I began flipping through and spotted the aptly named "The Hardest Walk." The recipe was crafted by Turk Dietrich of The Cure whom I have had the pleasure of sitting in front of a few times in my visits to the Crescent City. Although not the time that Andrea did the Hardest Walk in 2009 to get to The Cure from the French Quarter in a straight line through what was the dangerous Magnolia Projects before Katrina. We were scolded by our bartender Rhiannon Enlil that night never to do that again (and instead take the street car) and that we needed a drink -- now!
The Hardest Walk gave forth orange oil aromas over grape plus dark notes from the rum. Next, a mellow grape sip was the change-up pitch to the intense rum and rounded bitter swallow with a bitter orange finish. Overall, Turk's inverse Rum Manhattan was a win, although it was less inverted in the glass given the rather strong overproof rum.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

molokai mishap

1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Rothman & Winter Peach Liqueur (Briottet Crème de Peche de Vigne)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
8 drop Bittermens Tiki Bitters (1 dash Bittermens Burlesque)

Build in a double old fashioned glass (small Tiki mug) over two large ice cubes (cracked ice), and stir.

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to my new copy of Sarah Baird's New Orleans Cocktails to see if there were any tropical drinks to match the Tiki the Snow Away theme this month on Instagram. When I came upon the section of drink recipes from Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29, I was drawn in by Brad Smith's Molokai Mishap for it reminded me of two older equal parts cocktails: the 1937 One Way with the peach element and the 1903-1933 Checkers with rum, pineapple, and aromatized wine.
The Molokai Mishap greeted the nose with grassy and peach aromas. Next, pineapple on the sip was followed by more grassy rum and peach elements on the swallow for what made for a great tropical low proof number to round out my evening.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

mutiny on the mili atoll

1 oz Batavia Arrack
1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Green Tea, strong steep, cooled
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass, and fill with crushed ice; alternatively, swizzling in crushed ice would not be out of place here. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was thinking about lesser known Tiki drinks that have stood the test of time in my mind, and the Pago Pago from the 1940 The How And When came to mind. I thought about how it could be riffed into a Batavia Arrack drink perhaps called the Goa Goa, but it needed more changes to differentiate it from the original. One of the Batavia Arrack recipes that popped into my head was the more recent Seven Seas Swizzle that paired the spirit with green tea syrup, lime, and orange bitters. In researching the South Pacific, I came across a New England link in the Marshall Island chain. In 1823, the Nantucket-based whaler The Globe suffered a mutiny that led their ship to the Mili Atoll; the mutineers killed the captain and three officers, and they left the rest on the atoll where the natives did in all but two.
The Mutiny on the Mili Atoll began with a woody nutmeg spice over funky spirit aromas. Next, pineapple and lime on the sip surrendered to funky, grassy, and herbal flavors on the swallow with the cacao's chocolate notes melding well into the Batavia Arrack's funk.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

yamashiro's zombie

1 oz Dark Jamaican 151° Rum (Smith & Cross 114°)
1 oz Myer's Dark Rum (Gosling's Black Seal)
1 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Juice (1/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
1 tsp Sugar (omit, combined into passion fruit syrup)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1 dash Grenadine (1 bsp)
1 dash Pernod (1/2 bsp Kübler Absinthe)
1 dash Bitters (Angostura)

Shake with ice and serve in a stemmed tumbler (Tiki mug) with cracked ice. Garnish elaborately with mint.

Two Mondays ago, I kept on the Tiki train with another "Tiki the Snow Away"-worthy drink that I had spotted in the Zombie Horde book. That Zombie recipe was from Yamashiro's restaurant in Hollywood that was first published in 1971. Author David Montgomery suggested that the restaurant may have acquired some Don the Beachcomber alumni since the recipes for the Donn Beach 1934 Zombie and this one are so similar; indeed, the Yamashiro's recipe added passion fruit and orgeat to the mix but left out the original's cinnamon component.
The Yamashiro's Zombie proffered dark notes from the aged rums to the nose. Next, lime, grapefruit, and a creaminess from the orgeat on the sip led into funky rum, nutty orgeat, tropical fruit, and a hint of spice on the swallow.

Monday, January 22, 2018

cooper's zombie

3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Myer's Dark Rum (Gosling's Black Seal)
3/4 oz Bacardi Superior Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Grapefruit-Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynold's Don's Mix)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 bsp Guava Reduction (1/4 oz melted Guava Jelly (heated 1:1 in water))

Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass (Tiki mug), float 4 dash Angostura Bitters, spritz with Pernod Absinthe, and garnish with an orange slice, mint sprig, pineapple leaf, and cherry (2 pineapple leaves, spent half lime shell, cherry).

After my bar shift two Mondays ago, I wanted to continue on with the Tiki the Snow Away month theme, and I chose to make a drink called the Cooper's Zombie that I spotted on OnTheBar. The recipe was posted by Tampa bartender Gabriel Camacho who credited Chuck Cooper. With guava in the mix, I wondered if it was the same Cooper associated with Trader Vic's 1946 Cooper's Ranch Punch. Instead, Chuck Cooper was one of Gabriel fellow bartenders in town. Cooper's Zombie varied from the classic 1934 Zombie by ditching the falernum and grenadine for pineapple and guava.
The Cooper's Zombie presented a spiced aroma of anise and cinnamon notes to the nose. Next, lime, guava, and pineapple mingled with a full mouthfeel from the guava jelly's pectin on the sip, and the swallow led off with funky rum and darker tropical flavors and ended with a cinnamon finish. Once the bitters float reached the straw, the balance shifted to drier and more clove-driven.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

silver lady

2 oz Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil (if using a lemon peel coin, feel free to float the twist).

While reading Gin Glorious Gin, I was reminded of the Silver Bullet from the Savoy Cocktail Book which is two parts gin, one part kümmel, and one part lemon juice. The drink came up in a discussion of British royalty shaping the perspective on gin and its uses, and how Prince Philip was rather fond of the Silver Bullet besides the royal family favorite of Gin & Tonic. Since kümmel can be rather forward, I wondered how to better balance the drink, and I decided to merge it with another Savoy Cocktail Book classic, the White Lady. Actually, the 1930 recipe lacks egg white, but the 1940s recipes starting with Crosby Gaige soon included it. Using the 4:1:1 structure in the White Lady recipe I linked to (plus a touch of simple to also smooth things out), I crafted my mashup: the Silver Lady.
The Silver Lady greeted me with a lemon oil bouquet. Next, a creamy lemon sip transitioned into a juniper, caraway, and cumin swallow with lemon tartness on the finish.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

ginui nui

2 oz Privateer Gin
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Becherovka (*)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with an orange peel-cherry flag.
(*) Perhaps sub cinnamon syrup in a pinch.
Two Saturdays ago, one of my guests at work desired a citrus-forward gin drink, and I inquired if a gin Tiki idea would work. When I got the affirmative, I set to work on an idea that I had after spotting a fresh batch of vanilla syrup in the bar fridge. That idea was to riff on Don the Beachcomber's 1937 Pupule that he later renamed the Nui Nui, and to lock in the tropical feel, I selected Privateer's Tiki Gin. Lacking cinnamon syrup at the new bar, I opted for Becherovka that along with the gin led to a much more complex spice palate than the original and worked great with the Donn's Spices #2.

Friday, January 19, 2018

lion's fang

1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum (El Dorado 5 Year)
1 oz 100 Proof Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
1 tsp Demerara Syrup (1/4 oz Simple)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
6 drop Absinthe (Kübler)

Blend 3 seconds with a scoop of ice, pour into a double old fashioned glass, and garnish with mint (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice).
Two Fridays ago, I decided to make the Lion's Fang from Chad Austin of Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs, CA. The recipe was part of a collection of Lion's Tail riffs on Punch Drinks, and here, it appeared that Chad mashed the 1937 classic with the Cobra's Fang by including the Tiki drink's Demerara rum, falernum, and absinthe to the mix. Once prepared, the Lion's Fang proffered a barrel-aged caramel and allspice aroma to the nose. Next, lime and caramel on the sip led into rum, Bourbon, allspice, and anise on the swallow. While the Lion's Tail works for me, the extra lime-friendly ingredients function well to smooth over the awkwardness that the lime-American whiskey combination often can have.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

the legend continues

1 oz Dark Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with freshly grated espresso bean.
For a nightcap somewhere between the storm finishing and bed, I turned to Imbibe Magazine for a Flip. There, I spotted a rum and coffee number from Trey Jenkins of Péché in Austin called The Legend Continues. Once prepared, the Flip donated a coffee bouquet from the garnish and liqueur. Next, a creamy sip from the egg and orgeat shared hints of orange and dark roast, and this was chased by dark rum, coffee, and almond flavors on the swallow.

u.s.s. wondrich

1 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
3/4 oz Sabra Liqueur or 1/2 oz Allspice Dram (1/2 oz Hamilton's Allspice Dram)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe (Tiki mug filled with crushed ice), and garnish with a pineapple wedge (pineapple leaf).

With the snow coming down two Thursdays ago, we were in the mood for a mid-afternoon refresher (as well as a moment to truly embrace the #TikiTheSnowAway phenomenon on Instagram). Therefore, I opted to make the U.S.S. Wondrich that I had spotted on Punch Drinks a few weeks before. The recipe was crafted by Jeff Beachbum Berry at Latitude 29 as an intermission drink served between rounds of regular strength cocktails. The name makes reference to David Wondrich who not only espouses the intermission drink concept but was the first person to request a sherry libation at Latitude 29. Saveur Magazine mentioned that "this tiki-inspired drink is based on the Adonis, a pre-Prohibition recipe that is equal parts sherry and vermouth, with a balancing dash of bitters."
The U.S.S. Wondrich greeted the nose with grape and allspice aromas along with the occasional poke from the pineapple leaf's pointy end. The grape continued on into the sip along with a hint of pineapple, and the swallow paired the sherry's nuttiness with the liqueur's allspice which were both followed by a spiced pineapple finish. Andrea commented that the combination reminded her of desserts -- specifically Raisin Squares; to me, it had shades of the Kuula Hina given the Amontillado sherry, pineapple, allspice dram, and Angostura Bitters components.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

monkey pilot

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 bsp Absinthe (Butterfly)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with Tiki intent (2 pineapple leaves and an orange twist).

Two Thursdays ago, for Instagram's Tiki the Snow Away, I started brainstorming on paper for some upcoming recipes. One of them which I have not made at the time had banana liqueur in the mix and got dubbed with the word "Monkey" in the title. That got me thinking about the Monkey Gland -- a classic drink that Ted Haigh regenerated interest in via his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book and that saw its heyday with the absinthe launches in 2008-09 before it faded away from mention. In my time as a professional bartender, I have neither been asked to make or offered to make a Monkey Gland proper, but the drink has spawned some tasty riffs such as the Glandula del Mono and Monkey Margarita. I wondered if it could be made in a Tiki-like form without the addition of banana liqueur (as was done in the Monkey Paw riff) but by adding other citrus and the appropriate sweeteners to the mix. With absinthe there, I thought about the Jet Pilot, but when I did not want to add a third citrus of grapefruit, I also included elements of the Test Pilot as well.
Given the mash-up of a Monkey Gland and Test/Jet Pilots, I named this one the Monkey Pilot which conjured up a mid-century feel when animals were used in aeronautic tests instead of humans. Once prepared, the Monkey Pilot gave forth orange and fruity aromas. Next, lime and orange joined the dark rum's caramel on the sip, and the swallow shared funky rum, cinnamon, and gin's pine leading into the absinthe's anise notes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

freaky tiki

2 oz Bumbo Rum (Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz "Bittersweet" (equal parts Campari & Grenadine)
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a glass (Tiki mug filled with crushed ice), and garnish with a rosemary sprig (lime wheel and paper umbrella).
In order to make another drink for Tiki the Snow Away, I had to make a fresh batch of orgeat (using the recipe I published in Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told) for the Freaky Tiki called for said ingredient. The recipe was crafted by the Liquid Lab in Manhattan and was published on Chilled Magazine's feed; it featured Bumbo Rum, and since I lacked that spiced spirit, I opted for the Don Q one that I had been gifted back in November. Overall, the Freaky Tiki seemed like a Jungle Bird with orgeat and grenadine in the mix, so I was willing to give this a go. While the grenadine-Campari combination is more novel to me, the similar grenadine-Amer Picon one is a Trader Vic trick that he utilized in the Jayco, Kahala Cooler, and Philippine Punch with great success. In the mug, the Freaky Tiki broadcast a lime and pineapple bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lime with hints of pineapple filled the sip, and the swallow offered up rum, a coconut-like combination from the pineapple and almond, and bitterness leading into a spiced finish.

Monday, January 15, 2018

king slayer

1 oz Atlantico Solera Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
3/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a pineapple frond and an edible orchid (pineapple fronds and a swizzle stick).
Like last year, I decided to participate in the annual Instagram phenomenon of "Tiki the Snow Away" where the month of January takes a tropical focus. Technically, I tagged the previous night's Negroni Grog since I had posted it after midnight and thus January 1st on my calendar. But to start the first full day of January, I turned to the King Slayer from Chad Austin of Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs, California, via the Barnotes app. The recipe was Chad's take on the Jungle Bird with the added allspice and vanilla of Donn's Spices #2 found in the Nui Nui. Once built, the King Slayer gave forth pineapple, allspice, and citrus (from the lime and Campari) notes to the nose. Next, a fruity pineapple and lime sip washed away into a funky rum, pineapple, Campari's orange, allspice, and vanilla swallow that came across more spiced than bitter.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

negroni grog

1 oz Hayman's London Dry Gin
1 oz Alessio Vermouth Di Torino Rosso
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass (with 1 oz soda water), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with an orange wheel, cherry, lime twist flag.
On New Year's Eve, Boston's Campari rep Mel stopped by Our Fathers for food and drink as she made her rounds through the city. For her second cocktail, she asked me to make her something, and I decided to go with a Negroni riff on my Gin Pennant Grog which resulted in a three-way cross between a Negroni and both Don the Beachcomber's and Trader Vic's Navy Grogs. Since Campari pairs well with allspice dram such as in the Chester Rapkin and with grapefruit juice such as in the Tasmanian Twister, I had little to fear with this improv creation. Moreover, inserting a Negroni where gin alone once was worked rather superbly in the Negroni on Saturn. I did forget the splash of soda water included in the Gin Pennant Grog here (after the fact, I put it the instructions above via parenthesis), but the result was tasty regardless.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

i.b.f. pick-me-up

1 glass Brandy (1 1/2 oz Copper & King Blue Sky Mining)
3 dash Fernet Branca (1/4 oz)
3 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Copper & King Distillare Orange)

Shake with ice, strain into a medium wine glass, and fill with Champagne (2 oz 90+ Cellars Prosecco); I added a lemon twist.

After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I returned home after midnight so it was technically New Year's Eve. My mind turned to Champagne cocktails and I went with one from Harry McElhone's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails that I was reminded of when looking in Greg Boehm's book two nights before. That recipe was the I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up crafted by Bob Card that varied from the book's other Pick-Me-Up, namely Harry's. The I.B.F. part stands for the International Barflies group founded in 1924 by O.O. McIntyre at Harry's New York Bar in Paris that Ted Haigh described in a Modern Drunkard article as a group that "really got a lot of these cocktail hankerers together in a real way. It's part bartending union, part cheering section, and part bartender." With brandy, Fernet, and orange liqueur, the combination seemed familiar but I could find no evidence that I had tried this drink under that name and I tried to convince myself that it was perhaps a blurful residual of Don't Give Up the Ship; however, I later found that I had tried it years ago from the 1940 The How and When as the Imperial Delight Cocktail.
In the glass, the I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up began with an lemon and orange aroma that later displayed Fernet's herbal notes to the nose. Next, a crisp carbonated wine with a hint of orange on the sip gave way to brandy, orange, and menthol flavors on the swallow.

Friday, January 12, 2018

gin blossom

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Tanqueray Malacca)
1 1/2 oz Martini Bianco Vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
3/4 oz Apricot Eau de Vie (Armenian Shalakh)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Fridays ago, I ventured back in to the Brooklyn Bartender book where I spotted Julie Reiner's Gin Blossom that she crafted at the Clover Club. I was a little thrown by the name for the class of Blossoms as defined by Andrew Willett in Elemental Mixology are "drinks in which the strong element is modified by a succulent juice, and are distinguished from fruit punches by the lack of sour juice"; the most famous example is the gin & juice Orange Blossom that is more frequently drank these days in craft cocktail bars with some grenadine and absinthe as the Monkey Gland. Perhaps the juice was symbolic in the fruit eau de vie? However, the term "Gin Blossom" got famous from comedian and drinker W.C. Fields who referred to his nose bumps from rhinophyma and rosacea as such (although the condition is not directly linked to alcoholism). Then again, perhaps Julie is a fan of early 90s rock bands...
In my Instagram post for the drink, I commented that while the Brooklyn Bartender book had it as 1.5/1.5/.75, other sources such as Punch Drinks had it as 1.5/.75/.75; Julie responded that the way I made it was indeed the correct way. Once prepared, the Gin Blossom enveloped the nose with an orange and apricot aroma. Next, a sweet white grape with a hint of orchard fruit on the sip sashayed into juniper, apricot, and citrus on the swallow. Overall, this combination was rather elegant similar to other dry gin and eau de vie drinks such as the I, Said the Sparrow and Nineteen.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

haitian fight sour

1 1/2 oz Aged Rum (Barbancourt 8 Year)
1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

After I got home from my bar shift two Thursdays ago, I reached for Greg Boehm and Jeff Mason's 2009 The Big Bartender's Book for a nightcap. The recipe that caught my attention was the Haitian Fight Sour crafted by Jim Meehan that appeared in neither of his two books; in fact, my posting about it on Instagram surprised Jim with this "blast from the past." Jim's recipe reminded me of the Haitian drink the Petion that inspired Matt Schrage and I to create the Soekarno and Petition, respectively.
The Haitian Fight Sour greeted the nose with a lime, rum, and clove bouquet in a perfume-y sort of way. Next, lime juice with a certain depth of richness from the Benedictine and simple syrup on the sip transitioned into rum followed by bright herbal flavors on the swallow that closed out with darker spice accents.

barry's corner

1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Mathilde Peche
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large format ice cube, and garnish with a Buddha's Hand finger (or an orange twist).
Two Thursdays ago at work, one of my guests requested something that I had been working on recently that was on the bitter side of things. I decided to go with an idea that I had been mentally toying around with after spotting recipes that paired peach and Campari with great success such as the Campeche and the Movin' to the Country. Here, I went with my trick of splitting the Campari in a Negroni or Boulevardier with a fruit liqueur or syrup like in the Tarzan Boy and Intercept, respectively, and I made this drink with equal parts Campari and Mathilde's Peche. Since Mathilde's product is a lot more flavorful than the crème de peche de Vigne that I am used to at home, I had to remake this concept with the 3:1 blend listed in the recipe above. To round out the bitter-sweet profile, I opted for Punt e Mes as well as the Peychaud's Bitters that worked well in the Campeche. For a name, I dubbed this one the Barry's Corner after the neighborhood that Our Fathers Restaurant is located in Allston as well as a nod to the Italian neighborhood that existed there for decades before various urban renewal programs began to take over.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

smoking pistol

3/4 oz Scotch (5/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1 bsp Laphroaig)
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/4 oz Armagnac (Larressingle VSOP)
1 bsp Benedictine
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Imbibe Magazine for the evening's cocktail. There, they offered up the Smoking Pistol which was created by Aaron Pollack of The Dawson to combat Chicago winters. The recipe was Aaron's cross of a Rob Roy with a Vieux Carré that made me think of No. 9 Park's Islay Louisiane. Once prepared, the Smoking Pistol gave forth a lemon, grape, and peat smoke nose that led gracefully into a grape and malt sip. Next, the swallow proffered mostly Scotch flavors with some brandy and rye notes in the mix along with a herbal-spice finish.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


1/2 Brandy (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/4 Sloe Gin (1/2 oz Averell Damson Gin)
2 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
(+ 1 heavy barspoon Simple Syrup)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I picked up Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and perused it for any skipped over gems. There, I spotted the Tribune that came across like a Sour version of the straight spirits Manhattan Exposition with brandy, sloe gin, and bitters as the common elements and with lemon juice in the former and dry vermouth in the latter. Once prepared, the Tribune presented a berry bouquet to the nose along with some darker notes from the Cognac. Next, lemon and red fruit on the sip led into brandy and tart fruit flavors on the swallow with a clove-laden bitterness on the finish.

Monday, January 8, 2018

old friend

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)

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

Two Mondays ago, I was in the midst of reading Meehan's Bartender Manual when I spotted the Old Friend. Jim Meehan created this for a 2012 Chef's Club event in Aspen as a "distant cousin" of the whiskey-based Old Pal in Gin Sour format. Indeed, the recipe reminded me of Gin Sours like the Copp's Hill that pair Campari with elderflower liqueur, and the combination also made me think of a Jasmine (in the same way that Sam Ross' Sunflower is a Corpse Reviver #2 with elderflower in place of the Cointreau).
The Old Friend greeted the nose with a lemon and pine aroma with hints of citrus from either the Campari or the grapefruit juice. Next, the grapefruit filled the sip along with a fruity note from the elderflower, and the swallow proffered gin, bitter orange, and floral flavors.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

the clan mcgregor egg nog

1/2 pony Cognac (1/2 oz Courvoisier VS)
2 pony Dry Sherry (2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/4 pony Carta de Oro Bacardi (1/4 oz Privateer Navy Yard Rum)
1 tsp Sugar (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
1 Egg Yolk
8 oz Milk

Shake with ice, strain into a 12 oz glass (2 single old fashioned glasses), and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

On Christmas Eve, I was in the mood for egg nog, so I looked to my cocktail book library for an answer. When I peered into Charles H. Baker Jr.'s The Gentleman's Companion, there was a single nog recipe, the Clan McGregor Egg Nogg, that he described as a mild egg nog recipe from Scotland that had never previously been recorded in print. The combination of brandy, rum, and sherry reminded me of a rye-less George Washington's Egg Nog except flipped to be more sherry- and less spirits-forward.
The Clan McGregor Egg Nogg greeted the senses with a cinnamon and nutmeg aroma. Next, a creamy sip shared a grape undertone, and the swallow offered a nutty sherry flavor with a dry finish. Here, the rum and Cognac provided a backbone without dominating the flavor profile.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

favela beach

2 oz Aged Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
1/2 oz Licor 43
1/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1 bsp Cynar
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I reached into my Food & Wine: Cocktails section of my library and extracted the 2013 book by chance. There, I was lured in by the Favela Beach crafted by Gabriel Orta of Miami's Broken Shaker that paired the grassiness of cachaça with the bright citrus and vanilla notes of Licor 43. Once prepared, the drink gave forth a grassy funk and orange aroma. Next, a lightly citrus but full-bodied sip stepped aside to a grassy, vanilla, cinnamon, and funk-filled swallow.

Friday, January 5, 2018

king cole

2/3 Rye Whiskey (2 oz Old Overholt)
1/8 Dubonnet (1/2 oz Bonal)
1/8 Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Maurin)
1 dash Picon (1/4 oz Torani Amer)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After my bar shift on Friday two weeks back, I was in the mood for a nightcap so I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. There in the American whiskey section, I spotted the King Cole that appeared like a Liberal with the vermouth split with a quinquina along with the addition of absinthe. The better known King Cole appeared in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks (and later the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book) which is akin to a Toronto. Once prepared, this King Cole gave forth absinthe's anise notes over hints of grape on the nose. Next, grape with a touch of orange on the sip transitioned into a rye, bitter orange, and quinine swallow with a lingering anise finish.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

rhythm & soul

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
1/2 oz Averna
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass rinsed with Herbsaint, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I restocked my fridge with a new bottle of sweet vermouth to make a recipe that I had spotted on Punch Drinks called the Rhythm & Soul. The recipe was crafted by Greg Best of Atlanta as a mashup of two classics with "the rhythm of a Manhattan and the soul of a Sazerac." I had generated a similar mashup that I had dubbed the Merchants Exchange Manhattan for a Mixology Monday event in 2015. Here, the spirit in the Manhattan was swapped from the more classical rye to Bourbon, and the vermouth was split with Averna that made me think of a Black Manhattan. The Sazerac aspect was not in the bitters which were kept as the Manhattan's Angostura, but as the Herbsaint rinse and the lemon oil garnish.
The Rhythm & Soul, like a Sazerac, presented a lemon and anise aroma. Next, grape and caramel on the sip transitioned into whiskey and herbal elements on the swallow with a chocolate-like, clove, and anise finish.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


2 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
3 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed).

Two Wednesday ago, I spotted a curious gin drink on the BarNotes app that I traced back to a 2009 post on Chuck Taggart's Looka! blog. That drink was the Anodyne created by Chuck's husband Wesly Moore, and it got named for "something that relieves or eliminates pain" while Wesly was suffering from a sore neck and back. With gin, Lillet, and Punt e Mes, it reminded me of the Edgewood, but instead of containing grapefruit juice, this was a straight spirits drink with orange bitters.
The Anodyne presented an orange, juniper, and grape bouquet to the nose. Next, red grape with citrussy undertones on the sip led into gin's botanicals merging into Punt e Mes' bitter on the swallow.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

:: fred's picks for the top cocktails of 2017 (in) ::

I will round out my eighth annual trilogy of year end wrap up posts by selecting my favorite recipes we tried at our home bar this year. Given my schedule of working nights, I find myself having the home bar as the only drinking option available, so I definitely have put a bit more focus on my closest and dearest bar with my posts. This list is dedicated to the best recipes created by bartenders living, deceased, and unknown from around the world all brought to me at my home bar (where luckily there is no last call).

January: January's Winter doldrums were assuaged by a number of Tiki drinks including the vanilla and molasses riff on the Piña Colada, Wicked Wahine's Blackstrap Betty. For runners up were a duo of elegant potations, Jupiter Disco's quirky sparkler Negative Space and Death & Co.'s spiced tequila Alaska called Alto California.

February: Elegance this time stole the month with the Canon Cocktail Book's Daisy Royale with sparkling wine, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple syrup, and a duo of base spirits. Tiki was definitely strong with the 12 word drink name, The Facts Concerning the Late Van Hagen & The Thirsty Man's Safari, that appeared like a riff on the Mr. Bali Hai, and my other runner up was more Caribbean-themed with Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars' Cubanola that reminded me of a Hawaii Cocktail with a hint of Painkiller.
March: The Canon Cocktail Book came through with another Champagne cocktail winner with the Liliko'i Royale that utilized the passion fruit-Campari pairing that Boudreau taught me with his Novara back in 2011. Also worthy of the nod were the Oaxacanite from Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails and the Yankee Skipper, a rye-rum Liberal from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars.

April: The pisco Martini variation gracefulness of the Sweet Hereafter from Death & Co. was quite amazing. A duo of Tiki numbers warmed my heart and soul with Rafa Garcia Febles' Papa Hogo and Pagan Idol's Pagan Breakfast #2.

May: Another Jupiter Disco recipe got my approval with the 100 Year Old Cigar, one of Maks Pazuniak's recipes that got into the Brooklyn Bartender Book. Like April, tropical fraternal twins gave me some joy with the Apricole Swizzle from Matt Pietrek of CocktailWonk and By Way of the Dodo as a Tiki Last Word riff by Matt Rose at his Watson and the Shark nights.
June: I'm having a hard time picking my favorite from two Brooklyn Bartender recipes, so let's call it a tie between the smoky Scotch-maple Daiquiri called Mr. Howell and the Singapore Sling riff pictured above dubbed the Brooklyn Sling. For tropical delights, I rather enjoyed the Tiki Bowl that came across like an orange for grapefruit Navy Grog with shades of a Volcano Bowl.

July: My pick for July had me running out to my mint patch for Chad Arnholt's 3's Away first crafted at Trickdog. The runners up were a duo of orgeat-laden tropical libations, namely Humuhumunukunukuapua'a from Smuggler's Cove and the smoky Scorpion Reef.

August: The drink we returned to for its magical tequila, cucumber, and absinthe combination was the Hole in Cup from Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails. Noteworthy were Eryn Reece's smoky and vegetal rye drink the Intrepid and Zac Overman's crafty Three Scots and a Dash.
September: Dirty Dick's Polynesian Remedy as Paris' answer to a tropical of a Penicillin was rather delicious. The secondary nod goes to a duo of flavor extreme drinks of the Fernet-laden Golden Gate Swizzle and Nick Jarrett's lesser known Prizefighter No. 7 (lesser known since most people only have heard of the first of this series).

October: Martin Cate's 3 gin (gin, Genever, sloe) Zombie, The Modern Prometheus, was a mighty note of October. Ian Kearney's Mambo #5 with tequila, Swedish punsch, Campari, and orgeat, and the pear-Genever delight of Billy Helmkamp's Church Key at the Whistler in Chicago were worthy libations for the month.
November: The agave Grand Street of sorts from Jason Eisner called the Mero Mero was perfect nightcap material. As runners up, the well-balanced Genever punch of Ricky Gomez at Teardrop Lounge, the Weirding Way, and the pisco-based Hemingway Daiquiri meets a French 75 from Death & Co., the Muccho Picchu, helped to make November a champ!

December: I was impressed by the elegant sparkler, Cleopatra's Champagne Cocktail via the 2016 Waldorf Astoria Bar Book for its red apple notes. Worthy to mention were the smoky riff on the Red Hook called the Meat Hook from Vancouver's L'Abattoir and the tropical Haole's Downfall by Nick Feather at San Francisco's Restaurant Skool.

For trends, I have enjoyed the resurgence of sparkling wine-containing cocktails at my home bar quite a bit; they have crept in both as crafty riffs and as unique creations and sourced throughout the decades. Tiki and tropical drinks are still going strong at my home bar in both modern and historical forms, and these gems brings some great dignity to the genre. It is good to see Genever getting more action here after the cocktail world's interest in it plummeted not too long after the Bols Genever release. Moreover, smoke appearing through Scotch or mezcal in intriguing split spirit pairings was also a solid trend at home and in my drink creations at work.

gin pennant grog

2 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (*)
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's) (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice, add 1 oz soda water to the shaker tin, strain into a Mai Tai or double old fashioned glass with a Navy Grog ice cone (with straw hole), and add a straw and a lime-toothpick gin pennant flag to the ice cone.
(*) Postnote: This was originally posted as equal parts honey syrup to allspice dram but I found the 3:1 ratio to be more amenable to people's palates.

Two Tuesdays ago, I was wondering if the naval traditions gin and grog drinking could be combined by swapping out the rum in the classic Navy Grog for gin. In considering a base recipe, I thought about how Don the Beachcomber utilized honey along with grapefruit and lime in his Navy Grog, and how Trader Vic revamped Don's recipe by swapping the honey for allspice dram and simple syrup such as in his Voodoo Grog. Instead of one or the other, why not both? I kept Don's ice cone, and in looking at the photo in the first link, I decided that I would add back the gin pennant garnish. The gin pennant is a flag flown aboard ship that indicates an open invitation to other ships' officers to come aboard for drinks, and this seemed like a fine name for the drink.
The Gin Pennant Grog proffered a lime, allspice, and juniper nose. Next, honey, grapefruit, and lime on the sip gave way to gin and allspice on the swallow that was smoothed over by the honey's richness.
This is how it appears when I have been making them at Our Fathers' bar with Perry's Tot Navy Strength Gin. Since I do no prepare Navy Grog ice cones in advance, I utilize a lime twist flag on a pick inserted through a cherry and citrus slice.

Monday, January 1, 2018

:: fred's picks for the top cocktails of 2017 (out) ::

At the end of 2010, I was challenged to declare my favorite drink of the year, and I was overwhelmed for there were so many good options to chose from. As I sat down to figure out my year, I divided my list by whether I had them out at a bar or in at home, and I subdivided each of those by month. My choices were influenced by two factors -- tastiness and uniqueness; it had to be both memorable and worth repeating. Each month was selected for when the drink post appeared and not when they were had. Without further ado, here is the eighth annual installment for drinks I had out on the town for 2017 with a runner up or two listed. I included my favorite drinks while traveling as a separate section.

January: For my top pick of January, I quite enjoyed Backbar's Peat's Kiss as an elegant smoky sipper influenced by Phil Ward's Shruff's End. For runners up, Little Donkey's riff on the 1919 called the Plymouth Street Harvest and the Automatic's sherry-mezcal Cobbler of sorts, the Silent X.

February: My adventure to A4cade yielded the video game-inspired TIki number, the Kongo Jungle, as my month's top honor. Also delightful that month was Estragon's Wagnerian-inspired tropical Lohengrin.
March: I tied for my top pick with two seasonally appropriate drinks: The Hawthorne for Mardi Gras did a Blended Banana Ramos and Backbar merged the Trinidad Sour with the Penicillin for the Trinidad Medicine. Noteworthy for March was GrandTen's Bar's Jack Ward which removed the rye whiskey from its awkward interaction with orange juice in the Ward Eight and replaced it with the apple brandy of the Jack Rose.

April: My choice for the month was the bitter and slightly tropical tequila sparkler at Estragon called Death in the Garden. Worthy of mention were Russell House Tavern's Chancellor-like Skyfall and Saloon's Holy Mountain.

May: The month of May was a tough one to call but Eastern Standard's Thistle & Vine revolving around the ingredient Cardamaro was rather tasty. Secondary nods go to Backbar with their flowery and herbal egg white drink, the Flopsy & Mopsy, and their rum Cocktail a La Louisiane riff Born on the Bayou.
June: I have to divide the top honor between two drinks: the Cachaça egg white Sour, Esmeralda's Elixir at the short-lived speakeasy The Shelter, and the pineapple rum-manzanilla sherry Mojito, the Four Tons of Glitter, at Brick & Mortar.

July: With my Tales of the Cocktail choice moved to the travel section, I rather enjoyed Backbar's mashup of a Paper Plane and a Naked & Famous with their Jet Setter. For a runner up was Estragon's quirky Cynar-tropical egg drink, Strangers with Candy.

August: A tequila-beer cocktail, the Route 287 at Stoddard's was the month's pick, with the Pimmsy Whimsy ginger beer delight at Backbar getting a nod.
September: My pick for the month was split between the last drink that I had at Firebrand Saints before it closed, the nutty Rob Roy called the Witch from the West and the Cognac Negroni riff at Ward 8 called A Healthy Scratch.

October: The combination of mezcal, cucumber, and Yellow Chartreuse in the Disco Nap at Brick & Mortar won the month for me. The tropical yet complex Wai Wai at Estragon was also rather enjoyable.
November: My top pick for the month was the eponymous drink of Les Sablons (when made with gin instead of vodka) for it reminded me of a Barbara West with Benedictine. The Sally Can't Surf from Kirkland Tap & Trotter gets the silver medal nod for reminding me of a split spirits Japanese Cocktail.

December: For the gold in December, Russell House Tavern's Deadbolt with its smoky herbal funk and spice notes was a delight. And notable were Deep Ellum's Bitter Pineapple Daiquiri akin to a more straight spirits Jungle Bird and Estragon's Double Bubble Trouble as a riff on a Paper Plane.

While Traveling: My top choice for my trip to Louisville was Rye's Schnitzelberg as a delightful whiskey bitter, brown, and stirred, and for my adventure to New Orleans, it would have to be Cane & Table's minty Royal Hawaiian dubbed Tiki Enough.

So there are my 29 best drinks in Boston for 2017 with a pick from New Orleans and Louisville thrown in. From the local talent, those drinks stem from 18 different establishments across town.  For trends, I saw the return of egg and egg white drinks (none made last year's list), a steady tinkering with Tiki and tropical flavors, and frequently tributes to simple stirred drink ideals. Smoke by way of mezcal and whisky seemed to come up a lot, and herbal liqueurs and amari were certainly not neglected this year. Sherry still reigned supreme as the fortified wine of choice with some port appearing here and there (I know that I used a lot of Madeira at Loyal Nine this past year, but others are not doing to much with it other than one other place in town doing flights). Still a decent amount of vermouth with great successes coming from Punt e Mes to span the vermouth-amaro interface. So cheers, and I look forward to what 2018's list will bring!

mexican snow globe

1 oz Mezcal
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Coffee Heering
1/2 oz Pineapple Shrub
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a second drink at Estragon, Andrea requested the Mexican Snow Globe from bartender Sahil Mehta. Once prepared, the drink's nose was rather dark from the coffee and smoke aromas that opposed the bright flavors from the lemon and pineapple shrub on the sip. Next, the smoky mezcal paired elegantly with the coffee liqueur on the swallow which finished with additional pineapple notes.