Saturday, March 31, 2018

the armande

2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
2 bsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao (1/4 oz)
1 oz Appleton Estate 12 Year Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz Old Forester Bonded Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
Salt or Saline Solution to Taste (1 pinch Salt)

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, and stir.
Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails and landed on the Armande. The recipe was crafted by Naomi Lesley at Dear Irving as a tribute to the character from the film Chocolat. Once built, the Armande gave forth a Bourbon aroma with darker notes and a hint of chocolate on the nose. Next, caramel on the sip transitioned into whiskey, rum, and caramel-chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 30, 2018

up jumped the devil

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio Espadin Joven)
1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Friday nights ago, I learned that it was National Artichoke Day, and I started scheming a Cynar-laden nightcap for myself when I got home from work. My mind latched onto the combination of mezcal and rhum agricole that worked so memorably in the Miracles Take Longer, especially since both spirits work rather well individually with Cynar such as in the Midnight Maurader and Tomb of the Caribs, respectively. To round out the flavor profile, I added a touch of Green Chartreuse which worked elegantly with Cynar in drinks like the Toto as well as a few dashes of molé bitters to tie things together. For a name, the smoke and funk aspects made me think of the Nick Cave & the Bad Seed's song title Up Jumped the Devil.
Up Jumped the Devil began with an almost rubbery smoke and vegetal funk nose. Next, Cynar's caramel on the sip led into smoky agave, grassy, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a chocolate-tinged finish. While definitely an aggressive profile to match the name, I found the combination perfect for my mood that evening.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


2/3 Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash French Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry)
3 dash Grenadine (3/8 oz)
1 dash Ojen or Orange Bitters (1/8 oz Herbsaint + 1 dash Regan's Orange)

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

For an after-dinner drink two Thursdays ago, I began perusing Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for an intriguing gem. There, I spotted the Cuban that appeared like an Improved Atta Boy from the Savoy Cocktail Book (gin, dry vermouth, grenadine). While I could not figure out why this one was called the Cuban, the combination of grenadine and Maraschino reminded me of Cuban delights like the Mary Pickford that was first mentioned in the 1928 When It's Cocktail Time in Cuba and the Marco Antonio from the 1935 La Florida Cocktail Book.
In the glass, the Cuban shared an orange, fruity, and anise bouquet with hints of nuttiness. Next, a semi-dry berry and white wine sip gave way to gin, nutty cherry, and absinthe-like flavors. Overall, I was quite pleased with the fruit and herbal complexity of this combination.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

a thousand blue eyes

1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
5 drop Orange Blossom Water
5 drop Bittermens Boston Bittahs (10 drop Bittermens Burlesque Bitters)

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I uncovered a recipe for a low proof or aperitif-style Sour that was served at the Cure in New Orleans circa 2012 called A Thousand Blue Eyes. The recipe was crafted by co-owner Nick Detrich, and he posted that recipe on the BarNotes app shortly after it appeared on the menu. With vermouth being more abundant than the gin in this Sour, it reminded me of Robert Vermeire's X.Y.Z. from Cocktails: How to Mix Them with added touches of orange blossom water and bitters (besides not including sweet vermouth in the mix) here.
In the glass, A Thousand Blue Eyes presented a lemon oil aroma that preceded a tart lemon balanced by sweet white wine sip. Next, the gin's juniper and other botanicals joined the lemon flavors and vermouth's herbal elements on the swallow with a rather floral orange blossom water finish.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


1 jigger Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse)
2 dash Dubonnet (1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/2 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesday nights ago, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. There, I uncovered the Salamander that I thought would be intriguing Manhattan-sort of riff with Bonal in place of Dubonnet as the quinquina. In the glass, the Salamander proffered a grape meets dark, caramelly orange nose. Next, a semi-dry grape with caramel notes on the sip yielded a whiskey and bitter orange swallow that finished cleanly save for some lingering bitterness.

Monday, March 26, 2018

fireside flip

1 oz Honey-style Scotch (1 1/2 Famous Grouse)
1 1/4 oz Sloe Gin (1 oz Atxa Patxaran)
1 Tbsp Honey (1/2 oz Honey Syrup)
1 coin Ginger
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Muddle ginger in the honey (in the Scotch), add rest of the ingredients, and shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a sherry glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Mondays ago, I was the midst of reading Ryan Chetiyawardana's Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan & Friends when I spotted his Fireside Flip. The recipe reminded me of Scott Holliday's Penicillin Flip with sloe plum flavors added to the mix. Once prepared, the Fireside Flip gave forth a woody spice from the nutmeg along with cherry-like berry aromas to the nose. Next, a rich, creamy honey-tinged sip gave way to Scotch and dark fruit on the swallow along with ginger and hints of clove and allspice on the finish. Moreover, there was something lemony going on in both the sip and the swallow that perhaps could be attributed to the ginger component. Indeed, when the drink was freshly made and cold, it yielded these lemony notes, and as things warmed up over time, the distinctly ginger flavors came forward with reduced contributions from the sloe plum and lemony element.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

will robinson

1 1/4 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye (1 1/2 oz)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, top with soda water (1 oz), and garnish with lemon (lemon twist).

After work on Sunday two weeks ago, we had replenished our egg supply so I was able to make a recipe that I had spotted in the 2010 The Cocktail Collective book called the Will Robinson. What I first assumed was a Lost in Space reference was created by bartender Stephen Warner then of Arlington, Virginia, as a Whiskey Silver Fizz of sorts with Aperol and ice in the mix (Fizzes unlike Collins lack ice in the final build). The other possibility on the name was a nod to the Old Pal that Harry McElhone attributed to newspaper writer and barfly William Robertson; while the Old Pal contains whiskey and Campari, the Perfect Pal in the link has Aperol as the bittering agent.
Once prepared, the Will Robinson offered no danger but a lemon and bitter orange bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon, orange, and malt sip jettisoned into rye spice leading into a dry, lightly bitter orange finish.

a purple unicorn tangoing with a turtle

1 oz Bully Boy "Our Fathers" Gin
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Heavy Cream
1 Egg White
4-5 drops Orange Blossom Water

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a tall glass with 3-4 oz soda water, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, one of my old coworkers and his friends stopped by Our Fathers for drinks. For his last round, he requested something strange; I replied by asking "How strange? What do you think this is -- Drink or something? ...Like a 'purple unicorn tango-ing with a turtle' strange?" That gave him pause, and then he answered, "Yes, I want that drink!" I wandered off for a second to think, and what popped into my head was beginning with the Ramos Gin Fizz, taking out the gin, citrus, and sugar syrup, and replacing it with a Last Word. Given that he loved both drinks on their own, he was rather pleased and declared that this lived up to the name.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

call of the wild

1 1/4 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 1/4 oz Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
2 dash Orange Bitters

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

For my shift drink two Saturdays ago, I had planned out a mashup of two stirred drinks: the Alaska and the Frisco. The Frisco is the lesser known variation of the Frisco Sour that lacks citrus that I traced back to Boothby's 1934 book, and it seemed like the lemon-containing version that perhaps first appeared in Embury's 1948 book won out. What links the recipes together are two factors: first, the structure of spirit balanced by liqueur (the Alaska does have orange bitters while the Frisco does not (with Angostura, the Frisco becomes a Monte Carlo)), and second, both were sites of American gold rushes. For a name, I dubbed this one after a Jack London book, Call of the Wild, set in the more Northern rush.
The Call of the Wild sought out the nose with lemon, pine, and honey notes. Next, honey, lemon, and malt gently filled the sip, and the swallow was a bit rougher with rye, spice, and minty herbal flavors. Overall, the combination of Yellow Chartreuse and Benedictine paired rather well as they have since the duo was first published in 1895 in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks with the Widow's Kiss in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks and a few years later in Edward Spencer's 1903 The Flowing Bowl with the Colleen Bawn.

Friday, March 23, 2018

cowgirl in the sand

1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 oz Crème de Peche (Briottet)
1/2 oz Orgeat
3/4 oz Lime Juice (*)

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig (spend half lime shell).
(*) Lemon might have been intended according to the comment, but I went with what was published.

Two Fridays ago, I decided make a drink that I had spotted on the OnTheBar app called the Cowgirl in the Sand. The recipe was crafted by Jake Bliven whom I had met at Portland Cocktail Week 2012 when he was an Oregon bartender, and now he is sharing his knowledge abroad at Yiamas Greeka Taverna in Taipei, Taiwan. The Cowgirl in the Sand had the format of an American whiskey Mai Tai akin to the Bluegrass Ma Tai, but it had the elegant pairing of orgeat and peach liqueur that worked well in the Henry Trotter instead of the more standard orgeat and curaçao one. Therefore, I was game to give this "Tiki in the Continental South" a try as my post-work shift libation.
The Cowgirl in the Sand proffered a nutty peach aroma with hints of Bourbon to the nose. Next, a creamy lime sip led into whiskey and nutty flavors on the swallow with a lime and peach finish. While my initial reaction reading the recipe was that lemon might work better here with the Bourbon than lime, the presence of crème de peche and orgeat seemed to smooth things over, and the lime was able to offer up some bitterness that would have been lacking in the lemon version.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

king of birds

1 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1/4 oz Smoky Single Malt (Laphroaig 10 Year)
1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Absinthe (12 drops St. George)

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

Two Thursdays ago, a discussion about stirred tequila drinks reminded me of my mezcal-based Ask the Dust, and I thought about the interplay of Byrhh Quinquina and crème de cacao. I also wondered if it would work with another quinquina, namely Bonal, and whether the smoke was necessary. To keep the smoke element, I considered Scotch as a base spirit, especially since Scotch and Bonal have paired well in drinks like the Golden Dog and Sinister Street. Finally, Benedictine seemed like a good way to round out the drink, and for bitters, I returned to the Ask the Dust's absinthe.
For a name, I looked to my cocktail name list and felt that the REM song King of Birds matched the tone of the drink. In the glass, the King of Birds offered up bright lemon oil aromas that countered darker peat smoke ones. Next, malt and Bonal's grape danced on the sip, and the swallow paired Scotch and chocolate flavors that were followed by a bitter herbal finish.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

lander's punch

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz Tanqueray Malacca or No. 10 Gin (Malacca)
1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes or a large ice sphere (large cube), and garnish with freshly graded nutmeg and orange peel.

Two Wednesdays ago, I looked to the 2016 The Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book for the evening's libation. In searching for something citrussy, I ended upon the Lander's Punch that had a curious split spirits base of gin and rum. Gin and rum have paired well together in old drinks like the Sirius and new ones like the Astoria, Oregon, and Privateer Rum does make a rum-based gin (or a gin out of cane neutral spirits); however, the combination still struck me as a bit quirky. The recipe stemmed from bartender and book author Frank Caiafa looking at the Lander's recipe of the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book with equal parts Jamaican rum, Gordon's Gin, French vermouth, and lemon juice and wondering what he could do with it. Even with making the vermouth a blanc and the rum a slightly sweetened one like Tanqueray Malacca left the Lander's rather tart. Instead, he split the lemon component with syrup to make a better balanced libation that he renamed Lander's Punch.
The Lander's Punch began with an orange and woody spice aroma; the nose was extra orange-y for I interpreted the instructions as freshly grating an orange peel, but it could be parsed as adding an orange twist which would yield something a bit more subtle to the nose. Next, a somewhat sweet white wine and lemon sip gave way to caramel rum transitioning into drier gin and vermouth notes on the swallow that were perhaps made a bit tart on the finish by the citrus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

the black prince

2 oz Zacapa 23 Rum
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Averna
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to The Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap. There, in the Manhattan variation section was Phil Ward's 2008 Black Prince that reminded me of the dark rum-laden Palm Viper that I recently had. Once in the glass, the Black Prince shared a molasses and grape bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and caramel mingled on the sip, and rich rum melding into bitter herbal flavors characterized the swallow.

Monday, March 19, 2018

hollow point

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
3/8 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3/8 oz Campari

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

After the Adonis, I reached for Michael Madrusan's A Spot at the Bar and paused on the Hollow Point. The book provided the history of having a guest describe a drink that he had by listing off the ingredients, and the Everleigh bartenders concocted this in response to his request. I had previously passed over the recipe for it seemed too similar to my Boulevardier-Slope mashup that I called the Intercept, but given different proportions and my use of Punt e Mes and bitters instead of the Hollow Point's sweet vermouth, I figured it was worthy of test spin.
The Hollow Point gave forth a lemon and Bourbon nose that led into a malt and grape-laden sip. Next, the whiskey began the swallow that ended with a pleasantly bitter apricot-orange combination.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


1/2 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 Sweet Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Maurin)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

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

Two Mondays ago, I began with the classic aperitif the Adonis which I have had before, but I realized that I had never written up here. The discovery of the drink's absence from the blog came when I made the Tiki-inspired riff of the Adonis, the USS Wondrich, during January's "Tiki the Snow Away" theme on Instagram. Difford's Guide cited 1887 as the date when the drink name was first mentioned in print, and that it was named after the play that opened at Hooley's Opera House in Chicago in 1884 before moving to New York City's Bijou Theater the following year. Given the New York roots, I opted for the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book recipe over the earlier 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book one; the Savoy's recipe was very similar save for a 2:1 ratio of dry sherry to sweet vermouth and only a single dash of orange bitters. Moreover, the 1935 book also provided the history of "Named in honor of a theatrical offering which first made Henry E. Dixey and Fanny Ward famous."
The Adonis offered up an orange oil aroma that brightened up the grape notes. Next, the semi-dry grape sip gave way to nutty and dry spice-colored swallow with an orange finish. While the cocktail had no surprising moments, it was still a pleasure to drink.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

lonnie desoto

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1/2 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1 dash Aromatic Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)
1 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist (lemon twist).

On Sunday two weeks ago, I decided to seek out a Bonal drink and searched the BarNotes app. There, I stopped upon New York City bartender Rafa Garcia Febles' 2013 Lonnie DeSoto as his riff on the Nolita (standing for the Manhattan neighborhood North of Little Italy). The Nolita was crafted in 2012 by Christian Siglin in San Diego as a Negroni riff with the sweet vermouth portion split into sweet vermouth and coffee liqueur, and unlike the classic Negroni, this one had a dash of bitters an a lemon twist. Rafa took the drink in a Mexican direction by utilizing tequila as a spirit instead of gin and adding molé bitters; moreover, he swapped the Bonal for sweet vermouth which reminded me of Canon's Coraje that paired Bonal with coffee liqueur. To keep the Mexican theme, I opted for Kahlua as my coffee element here. As a name, he dubbed this one after Yolanda "Lonnie" DeSoto in the Gone Home video game whose family emigrated from Mexico.
The Lonnie DeSoto greeted the nose with a lemon and dark orange bouquet. Next, grape with hints of coffee roast on the sip led into tequila, orange, and coffee flavors on the swallow with a chocolate and spice finish.
• 1 oz Dry Gin
• 1 oz Campari
• 1/2 oz Cafe Lolita Coffee Liqueur
• 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1 dash Aromatic Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist. Via KindredCocktails.

Friday, March 16, 2018


1/2 Brandy (1 3/4 oz Copper & Kings Blue Sky Mining)
1/4 Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Punt e Mes)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I sought out a nightcap in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Chandler. I ended up interpreting the call for Italian vermouth as Punt e Mes to give some bitter depth to the drink, and I reshaped the proportions to be akin to a Brandy Brookyln of sorts. Once prepared, the Chandler offered up bright orange oils over brandy and nutty cherry aromas. Next, a grape-driven sip stepped aside to a brandy, nutty, and bitter orange swallow. Overall, the combination reminded me of a Brandy Red Hook or perhaps even a Hoskins Cocktail.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


1 1/2 oz Jefferson's Rye (Old Overholt)
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
While seeking a nightcap two Thursdays ago, I found myself on the BarNotes app searching for Cynar drinks. The one that called out to me was perhaps a 1794 riff called the Bookbinder by Trey Hughes then of Portland, Maine's Blue Spoon and now of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club. Here, the vermouth aspect was swapped for a split of Cynar and Benedictine, and the whiskey-Cynar-Campari combination reminded me of the Bitter Nail and the Barefoot in the Dark. Once mixed, the Bookbinder proffered a rye aroma along with Cynar's funky herbal notes. Next, malt, caramel, and orange came through on the sip, and the swallow shared rye and minty-bitter flavors. Overall, I was surprised at how subdued the Campari was in this drink for I expected it to be rather bitter orange driven akin to a Boulevardier.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

st. charles punch v2.0

2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Curaçao (Copper & Kings Distillaré)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice, and float 1/4 oz port (Sandeman Tawny). Note: my port float cascaded down with only a small amount remaining at the top.

Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for Sarah Baird's New Orleans Cocktails, and I came across a modern remake of the St. Charles Punch. The original appeared in Stanley Arthur Clisby's 1937 Famous New Orleans' Drinks & How to Mix'Em as a split spirits port and brandy Sidecar of sorts created at the St. Charles Hotel. This modern remake was crafted by Steven Yamada while at the Ace Hotel circa 2016. I first met Steven on opposite sides of the bar at Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 in 2015, and then he became my cabin counselor a few months later at Camp Runamok where he crafted the Cynar Colada as our house libation. His riff here decreased the port to a short float (although given the density of port, it beautifully cascaded down through the crushed ice) and added orgeat to add nuttiness and warmth and an almost tropical feel; moreover, it made the punch below the float feel like a Sidecar crossed with a Japanese Cocktail.
In the glass, the St. Charles Punch v2.0 gave forth a rather Cognac-driven aroma with hints of orange and port on the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and orange sip stepped aside to a Cognac, nutty, and grape swallow with an apple-like finish.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

educated lady

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 bsp Absinthe (Kübler)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters.

Two Tuesdays ago, I spied an interesting egg white drink on the BarNotes app called the Educated lady that was described as a "churched-up White Lady" by creator Jared Almeria of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Added to the classic was Cynar and a dash of absinthe, and the presence of the former ingredient reminded me of the egg-free Giuseppe's Lady. After having tinkered with the classic formula recently with the Silver Lady and usually down for a Cynar drink, I gave this one a go.
The Educated Lady welcomed the nose with orange, anise, and clove notes. Next, a creamy lemon and orange sip led into a gin and bitter-herbal orange swallow with an anise and lemon finish. Overall, the Cynar amaro helped to take things in a more earthy direction, and the absinthe added some welcomed spice to the mix.

Monday, March 12, 2018


2/3 Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
2 dash Bacardi (1/2 oz Don Q Añejo Rum)
1 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Maurin)
1 dash Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Mondays ago, my thirst led me to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 in search of a quirky century old libation. There, I landed on the Dixie, but instead of the Bourbon or moonshine-laden number that the name conjures, surprisingly it was located in the gin section. Like the vintage Sirius and B.V.D. cocktails and the modern Astoria, Oregon, the Dixie was a gin-rum Martini riff of sorts. Once prepared, the Dixie greeted the nose with pine mingling with Jamaican funk aromas. Next, a dry grape sip led into juniper, rum funk, and bitter orange on the swallow that overall had a rather tropical feel.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

gin gin carre!

1 oz Dry Gin (Nautical)
1 oz Genever (Bols)
1 oz Sloe Gin (Plymouth)
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.

For my shift drink two Sunday nights ago at Our Fathers in Allston, MA, I plotted out a three gin riff on the Vieux Carré with dry gin, sloe gin, and Genever akin to Martin Cate's The Modern Prometheus. Here, the sloe gin was subbing in for the 1930s classic's sweet vermouth. For a name, I was inspired by the old cheer "Hip hip hooray!" as well as the drink Sip Sip Hooray! to call this one the Gin Gin Carré!
The garnish's orange oil joined and complemented the drink's predominant aroma of Genever's malt. Next, the malt continued on into the dry sip where it mingled with the sloe gin's berry notes, and the swallow presented juniper and bitter-herbal orchard fruit flavors.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

thug passion

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Combier Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, top with Prosecco (1 1/2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs), and garnish with 3 dash Angostura (styled with a toothpick pulled through the bitters).

After work two Saturdays ago, I reached for the Brooklyn Bartender for my evening's nightcap. There, I selected the Thug Passion by Tom Dixon at Roberta's that was his tribute to the 1996 Tupac song of that name. The lyrics defined the original sparkling drink as, "Aight, new drink / One part Alizé, one part Cristal / Thug Passion, baby." Here, the Cristal Champagne was swapped for a more affordable bubbly wine, and the fruit-flavored Cognac-based liqueur (although some varieties are vodka based) was changed to Cognac, pineapple juice, and orange liqueur. Indeed, I was drawn in for the combination of pineapple and orange liqueur reminded me of the Hawaiian Room and mid-century other recipes.
The Thug Passion gave forth a pineapple, orange, and cinnamon bouquet to the nose that led into creamy, carbonated wine notes on the sip. Finally, Cognac was joined by orange and pineapple fruit flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 9, 2018

gustin gang

3/4 oz Dry Gin (Hardshore)
3/4 oz Sloe Gin (Glendalough)
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

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

For my shift drink at Our Fathers two Fridays ago, I decided to riff on the 1919 Cocktail utilizing dry and sloe gin as the two spirits. While I kept the Punt e Mes intact, I switched from molé to Peychaud's Bitters due to their working well with sloe's fruit notes. Moreover, I swapped the original's Benedictine for Cynar to pair with the sloe gin akin to Phil Ward's Lipspin especially considering my decent results in the Perverted by Language. For a name, I was looking for a year to attach to the drink and began thinking about 1662, the year that the original bridge on my route to work was built. However, that had little to do with the drink, so I thought about what else was happening around 1919 -- namely, gangs were gearing up for Prohibition. One famous Boston gang to work bootlegging into their operations was the Gustin Gang. The Gustin Gang was formed in the mid-1910s and by the 1920s began to dominate Boston's underworld. During Prohibition, they purchased rum-running boats that brought booze from international waters into South Boston where they supplied their South Boston speakeasy, the Sportlight, as well as other local establishments.
The Gustin Gang cocktail shared a lemon and berry nose. Next, the berry continued on into the sip where it mingled with hints of grape and caramel, and then the swallow proffered bitter, floral, and pine flavors.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

the zemurray

2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/4 oz Banana Liqueur (Giffard Banane du Bresil)
1/4 oz Palo Cortado Sherry (Lustau Oloroso)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a Luxardo cherry.
Two Thursdays ago, I reached for Sarah Baird's New Orleans Cocktails book for the evening's nightcap. There, I spotted the Zemurray by Vince Lund then of French 75 that he named after "Sam the Banana Man" Zemurray, the long time king of the New Orleans banana business. Sam entered into the trade back in 1895 where he bought already ripe bananas arriving in New Orleans that could not be delivered further to market before they rotted. Sam found homes for these fruits at local groceries, and with that entrepreneurship, he amassed a fortune that allowed him to expand his business nationwide. Cocktailwise, the Zemurray shared a Bourbon bouquet with a hint of dark fruit and anise spice on the nose. Next, malt and a touch of grape on the sip peeled off into Bourbon, nutty, and banana flavors on the swallow with a clove and anise finish.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

blackthorn martinez

50 mL Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
20 mL Sloe Gin (3/4 oz Atxa Patxaran)
25 mL Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Maurin)
5 mL Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted earlier in the week created by my Instagram friend Matthias Soberon who runs the blog ServedBySoberon. His drink was a sloe gin riff on the Martinez called the Blackthorn Martinez. Since sloe plums are also called blackthorns especially in England and Europe, this name made sense for the insertion of sloe liqueur in the mix; however, there are many cocktails out there called the Blackthorn that strangely lack this ingredient.
In the glass, the Blackthorn Martinez gave forth an orange oil over berry and grape aromas on the nose. Next, a rich grape and red fruit-laden sip gave way to gin, nutty, and tart plum flavors with a clove finish. Indeed, the sloe liqueur worked rather well with the sweet vermouth and Maraschino here to balance the gin.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

the departed

1 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Averna
1/2 oz Mezcal (Sombra)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, Imbibe Magazine's blog posted a supplementary recipe to their March/April 2018 issue, and that drink was The Departed by Toronto bartender Sandy de Almeida. Its amari with a hint of mezcal at the end reminded me of a few cocktails including the Devil's Soul (with a smoky Scotch drink of similar format and name being the Devil's Backbone), so I was definitely curious. Once prepared, The Departed provided an orange and caramel nose. Next, the caramel from the rum and Averna continued on into the sip, and the swallow shared rum and bitter orange flavors that transitioned into smoke notes. Over time, the mezcal became more apparent with hints of smoke on the nose and agave flavors on the swallow.

Monday, March 5, 2018


1 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
1 oz Jägermeister
1 oz Benedictine
1 bsp Absinthe

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.
Two Monday afternoons ago, I attended the first Jagermeister Monday Club which was held at Drink in Fort Point. On the menu were two drink options on one side, and a bunch of available ingredients on the other. For a start, I asked the bartender for the Scout which I later learned was crafted by Drink's Brit McMahan, and once delivered, it led off with a lemon, caramel, and hint of herbal bouquet. Next, the caramel continued on into the rich sip, and the swallow gave forth star anise and minty flavors with a dry Cognac finish.
For a second drink, they allowed the attendees to get behind the center bar at Drink to create their own Jagermeister drink. When I had spotted heavy cream and crème de cacao on the menu's backside, my mind wandered in an Alexander direction and considered how the Galliano Alexander, (a/k/a the Golden Cadillac) might be similar to a Jagermeister Alexander since there are overlapping spices in the two liqueurs such as star anise.
Jäger Alexander
• 1 oz Marie Brizard Dark Crème de Cacao
• 1 oz Jägermeister
• 1 oz Heavy Cream
Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
The Jager Alexander was most certainly decadent adult chocolate milk, and it began with a woody spice from the nutmeg over cacao aromas. Next, the chocolate's roast joined caramel notes in the milk-laden sip, and the swallow allowed the Jagermeister to spice up the chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


2 oz Bully Boy OFD Gin
3/4 oz Alessio Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist. Note: the OFD Gin is a special floral-citrus formulation that Bully Boys created for the bar.

Earlier two Sundays ago, I had planned out my shift drink for later that night at work. After having recently made a guest The Drink of Laughter and Forgetting, I thought about how well Green Chartreuse and Cynar pair in other drinks such as the Toto, Two from L.A., and Monk's Thistle. My mind then lept to how both liqueurs partner well with curaçao such as the Prospector and Bitter End. For a form, I considered a sweet vermouth-gin direction akin to the Bijou.
For a name, I dubbed it after Our Fathers home in the Continuum building here in Allston, MA, and the Continuum cocktail lent an orange aroma with herbal notes mostly from the Green Chartreuse. Next, grape and Cynar's caramel on the sip led into gin, minty, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a minty orange finish. Moreover, as the drink warmed up, the swallow became a bit more funky flowing into Chartreuse herbal on the swallow.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Pernod or Herbsaint (1/2 bsp Herbsaint)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz Puerto Rican Rum (2 oz Don Q Añejo)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon wheel as garnish.
After work two Saturdays ago, I was in the mood for something tropical, so I sought out a Trader Vic book. The one from my collection that I found first was Trader Vic's 1981 Book of Food & Drink, and there I stumbled upon the Peking. The name reminded me of the Mighty Peking Man, but it was a simple Rum Daisy with Herbsaint instead of a gin drink. I decided to give it ago after having read in Alice Lascelles' Ten Cocktails about how both Herbsaint and absinthe pair really well with red fruit notes including pomegranate similar to what I saw in the Pan American Clipper. In the glass, the Peking proffered a lemon and anise bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and berry on the sip slid into aged rum and red fruit on the swallow with an anise-driven Herbsaint finish.

Friday, March 2, 2018


1 1/2 oz Tequila Ocho Añejo (Lunazul Reposado)
3/4 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
1/2 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
1/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Sombra)
1 bsp Agave Nectar
2 dash Fee's Chocolate Bitters (Bittermens Mole)

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

Two Fridays ago, the same Difford's Guide article that contained the Youth & Treachery had a recipe from Gaz Regan's 101 Best New Cocktails 2015 called the Alcatraz. I then sought out the original from Regan and learned that it was crafted by Christin Wagner at La Petite Grocery in New Orleans. Overall, the combination of agave, sherry, and gentian liqueur has worked well in drinks like the L'Année du Mexique and Cesare, so I was definitely interested in trying this one out.
Once prepared, the Alcatraz shared an orange oil over tequila aroma. Next, rich grape notes filled the sip, and the swallow began with agave and a hint of smoke melding into nutty, chocolate, and gentian-herbal flavors on the tail end. Like the Youth & Treachery, agave spirits and gentian liqueur are indeed a great pairing.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

pappy chalk

1 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Old Bahamian or other Caribbean Rum (R.L. Seale 10 Year)
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit).

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a rum drink that I had spotted in Benny Roff's Speakeasy that seemed like one of his own creations instead of a early 20th century number. The recipe was the Pappy Chalk named after a retired WWI pilot, Arthur "Pappy" Chalk, who established the first commercial airline between Ft. Lauderdale and the Bahamas in 1917; during Prohibition, he expanded his business into Bahamian rum importing. Here, the combination of spirit, Swedish punsch, Cocchi Americano, and lime juice reminded me of the tequila-based Chutes & Ladders and the pisco-based Undiscovered Country, so I was game to give this one a try.
The Pappy Chalk proffered a caramel nose with citrus undertones that preceded the caramel and lime sip. Finally, the swallow began with rum followed citrus and hints of tea and Batavia Arrack funk.