Sunday, May 31, 2020


3/4 oz Bourbon (Angel's Envy)
3/4 oz Aged Rum (Privateer Navy Yard)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz Campari
3 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry.
Two Sundays ago, I remembered how much I enjoyed Milk & Honey's rum riff on the Negroni called the Right Hand, and I considered doing the Bourbon variation dubbed the Left Hand. Instead, I mashed the two up and entitled the combination the Ambidextrous. Once prepared, the drink wafted a dark, vinous, and bitter orange aroma to the nose. Next, caramel and grape on the sip gave way to Bourbon, rum cherry, chocolate, and orange flavors on the swallow. While any Bourbon will work here, the Angel's Envy added an elegant dark fruit note from its ruby port barrel finish to the mix.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

ground control to major donn

1 oz Aged Antigua Rum (R.L. Seale 10 Year Barbados)
3/4 oz Aged Jamaican Rum (Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz 151 Proof Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
1/2 oz Don's Spices #2 (1/4 oz Hamilton's Allspice Dram + 1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
5 dash Absinthe (2/3 bsp Butterfly)

Whip shake, pour into a Tiki mug, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with Angostura Bitters, pineapple fronds, flower, and clove-studded orange wheel (Angostura Bitters + mint sprigs).

Two Saturdays ago, I was intrigued by another one of Brian Maxwell's drinks of the day on his Shaker of Spirits blog; his 61st daily post during quarantine was the Ground Control to Major Donn which paid tribute to both Tiki legend Don the Beachcomber as well as musician David Bowie. Brian reminded me that Donn Beach was indeed a major in the Air Force during World War II, and this inspired Donn to name drinks like the Test Pilot and Q.B. Cooler. Without the Don's Spices #2 and the pineapple juice, the combination reminded me of the Manuia, so it definitely spoke to me on many angles.
The Ground Control to Major Donn began with a clove, allspice, and mint aroma. Next, lime and passion fruit notes on the sip launched into rum, pineapple, vanilla-earthy, allspice, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Friday, May 29, 2020

urban songbird

2 oz Aged Jamaican Rum (1 1/2 oz Appleton Signature + 1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large cube, and garnish with pineapple leaves and a charred slice of pineapple (omitted the pineapple).

Two Thursdays ago, my copy of Quarantinis to benefit Columbus, Ohio bartenders during this time of restaurant and bar closures. The collection was assembled by the Pegu Blog's Doug Winshop (now a professional bartender himself besides being a blogging brethren), and I was lured in by Alex Eiler's Jungle Bird riff since it seemed like a good transition from the Endor Porg the other night.
The Urban Songbird chirped in with a rum funk and fruity bouquet. Next, lemon and pineapple on the sip flew into a funky rum, pineapple, and orange swallow that came across in a guava-passion fruit sort of way. Doug did comment on my Instagram post that the charred pineapple really adds a lot to the drink, and I agreed after having done the technique recently for the Pieces of Eight (but alas, I only had the top of my last pineapple).

Thursday, May 28, 2020

red hook burning

2 oz Campari
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 bsp Luxardo Maraschino
1 bsp Laphroaig Scotch
9 drop Blood Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on Kindred Cocktails called the Red Hook Burning. The recipe was crafted by Maks Pazuniak for one of his Something Like This menus at the Counting Room in October of 2013, and given the whiskey, Punt e Mes, and Maraschino elements, the name was most likely a reference to his inspiration -- the Red Hook created at Milk & Honey. Here, his variation not only gained Campari, orange bitters, and a pinch of salt, but the recipe was inverted to become a Campari drink with the whisky being merely an accent. In addition, the large amount of Campari softened by a hint of salt was reminiscent of Maks' Campari "Martini" experiment from Beta Cocktails (that inspired my Camparipolitan).
The Red Hook Burning met the nose with peat smoke and a fruity aroma from the grape or orange elements. Next, grape with a hint of cherry on the sip turned the corner to smoky Scotch, bitter herbal, and orange flavors on the swallow with a nutty cherry finish.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

endor porg

1 1/2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Martini Bitter
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with Angostura Bitters (added after the photo was taken).
Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted an interesting Star Wars-themed Jungle Bird riff called the Endor Porg created by Backbar alumni Matt Conner. Matt is now Boston's Teeling Irish Whiskey brand ambassador, and I was excited to give this one a try given the previous successes with Irish whiskey Tiki such as the Birdman, Irish Magic, and Death in the North Atlantic. Once prepared, the Endor Porg flapped in with bitter orange, pineapple, and clove aromas. Next, a creamy lime and pineapple sip gave way to a whiskey, pineapple and bitter swallow with a peachy tangerine finish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

mill lane cocktail

100% Bacardi Rum (2 oz Flor de Caña Añejo Oro)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)
Squeeze and drop 1/2 lime in glass (1/2 oz + spent half lime shell)
4 dash absinthe (40 drop St. George)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual and spotted the Mill Lane Cocktail that appeared like a Bacardi Cocktail accented with absinthe and Peychaud's Bitters. What lured me in was the fact that the spent lime shell was included in the shake for extra aromatics and bitterness; I first saw this technique in the Fluffy Ruffles and later in Ensslin's Jack Rose. Moreover, the earliest reference that I could find for it was in Jerry Thomas' 1862 White Lion. In those three recipes, the lime peel in the shake added a sharper, brighter, drier, more bitter, and/or more tropical aspect to the flavor profile that I observed.
The Mill Lane Cocktail also caught my eye for it reminded me of the famous boxing referee Mills Lane despite being the wrong era and the wrong spelling. Once prepared, it proffered a lime oil and anise aroma. Next, lime and berry on the sip slipped into rum, pomegranate, and licorice flavors on the swallow. Indeed, the lime shell donated a brightness to the nose with some bitter complexity that added to the absinthe and Peychaud's notes.

Monday, May 25, 2020

mac special

3/4 jigger Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS Congac)
1/4 jigger Rum (1/2 oz Plantation Xaymaca)
2 dash Cointreau (1/2 oz)
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Add a touch of sugar (omit), shake with ice, and strain into a whiskey glass (cocktail coupe); I added a lemon twist.
On Monday night, I selected Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up where I spotted the Mac Special that seemed like a good follow up to the Soother Punch last night. Like the Soother Punch, it had a split spirits base, orange liqueur, sugar, and lemon, but here there were just two liquors (leaving out the Soother's apple brandy) and the addition of grenadine. The Mac Special was the creation of Bill McDermott of Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, and once mixed up, it donated a lemon, orange, and Cognac aroma to the nose. Next, lemon and caramel on the sip led into brandy, rum, berry, and orange flavors on the swallow; overall, the rum and grenadine gave this Sidecar a bit of depth.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

soother punch

25% Brandy (3/4 oz Camus VS Cognac)
25% Jamaican Rum (3/8 oz Smith & Cross + 3/8 oz Plantation Xaymaca)
25% Applejack (3/4 oz Laird's Bonded)
25% Curaçao (3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 tsp Sugar (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
Juice 1/2 Lemon (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice, strain int a goblet with fine ice, and dress with fruit (lemon wheel).
For a cocktail two Sunday nights ago, I returned to my 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual and spotted the Soother Punch. The three spirits, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and sugar structure reminded me of the better known Fedora from Harry Johnson's 1882 New and Improved Bartender's Manual. Later, I would be able to trace the Soother Punch back to Jacques Straub's 1914 book Drinks. Here, the split spirits Sidecar called for Jamaican rum and applejack besides the brandy, and this varied from the Fedora which had Bourbon instead of applejack in addition to slightly different ratios. Once prepared, the Soother Punch greeted the senses with an orange, lemon, brandy, and rum funk bouquet. Next, a lemon sip made its way into a Cognac, funky rum, and orange swallow.

Saturday, May 23, 2020


1/2 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Camus VS Cognac)
1/4 Gin (3/4 oz Tanqueray Malacca)
1/4 Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)
3 dash Cointreau (3/8 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a grapefruit twist.
For the cocktail hour on Saturday night, I reached for my 1962 edition of Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up. There, I latched on to the Harvey's created at the namesake restaurant in Washington DC; the structure reminded me of the Brown Derby in how grapefruit was the citrus here as well as making me think of the Sidecar. The other curiosity was the split spirits base of brandy and gin, and I selected Tanqueray's Malacca for it is a softer gin that is more citrus forward (including grapefruit) and less juniper driven than a London Dry. In the glass, the Harvey's welcomed the senses with a brandy and grapefruit bouquet. Next, the grapefruit continued on into the sip where it was followed by Cognac, pine, herbal, and orange flavors.

Friday, May 22, 2020

life's not a paragraph

1 oz GrandTen Wire Works Gin
1 oz Privateer Silver Rum
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe pre-rinsed with apricot liqueur (1/3 bsp Rothman & Winter), and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Fridays ago, GrandTen Distillery announced its "Collab Cocktail Contest" in conjunction with the Massachusetts Distillers Alliance. They were seeking a cocktail using two or more Massachusetts distilled products with one of them being from GrandTen. Since I played a role in guiding the flavor profile of GrandTen's Wire Works Gin, that made for an obvious choice. I ended up choosing Privateer's Silver Rum as the other Massachusetts spirit, and I took things in a split base Georgetown Club direction. For a little extra panache, I added in a bell-ringer -- James Maloney's apricot liqueur rinse that was his signature move in his 1900 The Twentieth-Century Cocktail Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks such as in his Martinez Bell-Ringer.
For a name, I wanted to pay tribute to a local writer, and e.e. cummings grew up around a mile from our house on 104 Irving Street in Cambridge. One of his poems that speaks to me during this time is "since feeling is first" which has the line "for life's not a paragraph/and death i think is no parenthesis"; therefore, I dubbed this one the Life's Not a Paragraph. This Martini riff began with an orange, apricot, and pine aroma. Next, white wine and a hint of orchard fruit on the sip transitioned into juniper, clove, lime, ginger, and apricot flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

bitter spring

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Flor de Caña Gold 4 Year Rum
3/4 oz Ginger Syrup
3/4 oz Orgeat
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and top with several heavy dashes of Peychaud's Bitters.

Two Wednesdays ago, I had just finished up a batch of orgeat and sought out an use for it. I eventually stumbled upon a Sother Teague recipe allegedly created at Amor y Amargo in Manhattan in a 2015 Out Magazine article. That drink was the Bitter Spring, and the combination of Fernet, rum, orgeat, and citrus reminded me of the Tar Pit, and Fernet and orgeat have worked well together in drinks as disparate as the Mansfield Cocktail and the Fort York. This recipe attributed to Amor y Amargo was curious for they do not serve drinks with citrus juice there.
The Bitter Spring seemed appropriate name-wise given the current situation, and the libation itself generated an anise and menthol nose. Next, a creamy, caramel, and lemon sip slipped into a rum, nutty, minty, ginger, earthy gentian, and menthol swallow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

pineapple margarita

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Lunazul)
1/2 oz Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass with ice.
While the Bone Crusher won out for Cinco de Mayo, I made the runner up, the Pineapple Margarita, the following day. That recipe spotted on the B.G. Reynold's Facebook group was crafted by Tiki Lindy and featured pineapple three ways: pineapple rum, syrup, and juice. Once prepared, the Pineapple Margarita welcomed the senses with pineapple and vegetal agave aromas. Next, lime mingled with fluffiness and fruitiness from the pineapple juice and syrup on the sip, and the swallow leaped in with tequila colored by darker pineapple flavors most likely attributed to the rum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

bone crusher

2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple or Turbinado Sugar Syrup (Cane Crystal Sugar Syrup)
2-3 dash Tabasco Sauce (a nickle-sided squeeze of Sriracha Hot Sauce)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and no garnish needed (I opted for a floated lime wheel).

Two Tuesdays ago, I attended a Cinco de Mayo Zoom session featuring Boston alumni John Gertsen and Cali Gold making mezcal drinks. For a recipe, they selected the Bone Crusher which was a cocktail created as a group effort at Drink circa late 2008; Gertsen's frequent claim of "group effort" could either be an emphasis on bar team over individual or the fact that the initial concept was lost to the haze of barroom vapors. Their Bone Crusher was a riff on David Wondrich's rye-based Bone that he created circa 2003 for the Chickenbone Café in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wondrich's goal was to make something rugged and affordable, and the New York Times related how, "Mr. Wondrich said that he got the idea for rye whiskey dosed with Tabasco sauce from a book of hard-luck stories, 'Tales of the Ex-Tanks,' which purports to be the 'minutes' of the Harlem Club of Former Alcoholic Degenerates, written by Clarence Louis Cullen, a New York Sun reporter, and published in 1900." The recipe for the Bone was two ounces of Wild Turkey Rye, a teaspoon each of lime juice and simple syrup, and 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce that was shaken and strained into a tall shot glass for $6.
I was making dinner and enjoying a cooking beer during the Zoom session, so I made my Bone Crusher an hour or so later. I had probably avoided ordering one at Drink since I generally do no care for spicy cocktails; however, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this one was given its delightful pepper flavor and balanced heat level. Things started off with a smoky and savory vegetal aroma. Next, lime mingled with more of those vegetal notes on the sip, and the swallow donated mezcal flavors along with pepper fruit and heat.

Monday, May 18, 2020

butcher cocktail

50% Scotch Whisky (1 1/2 oz Cuttysark Prohibition)
25% Dry Gin (3/4 oz St. George Dry Rye Gin)
25% Regular Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I garnished with a cherry.
The discussion of the Brooklyn Cocktail first appearing in the 1908 Jack's Manual amid my post on the An Apple Tree Grows in Brooklyn made me seek out my 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual. There, I spotted the Butcher Cocktail that reminded me of the Automobile Cocktail with different proportions and no bitters. As I contemplated the gin to work well with the whisky, I figured that a softer and more grain-forward one would work and selected St. George's Dry Rye Gin. Once prepared, the Butcher Cocktail met the nose with a peat and pine aroma. Next, a grape sip chopped into smoky Scotch, fruity, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

happy hemingway

2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Light Rum (Privateer Tres Aromatique)
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail (Fizz) glass with 1 1/2 oz Champagne (Chandon sparkling wine), and garnish with a lemon or grapefruit twist (grapefruit twist).

Over the past few weeks, I have been getting more involved on the national level with the United States Bartenders' Guild to make better use of my downtime. For one of the educational committees, I began chatting with Kim Haasarud, and it dawned on me that I owned a book or two by her from our early purchases. Two Sundays ago, I hunted out our copy of the 2008 101 Champagne Cocktails that I last wrote about in my beer riffs on sparkling wine libations back in 2009. I began flipping through the pages and selected her sparkling abstraction of the Hemingway Daiquiri that she dubbed the Happy Hemingway.
The Happy Hemingway welcomed the senses with a grapefruit and nutty cherry bouquet. Next, a carbonated and grapefruit sip meandered into a rum, nutty cherry, and white wine swallow with clove and allspice notes on the finish.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

cabaret cocktail

1 oz Hendrick's Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (1/2 bsp St. George)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I began perusing the Stir Your Soul book that compiled all the drinks of the 2009 Tales of the Cocktail convention. The one that caught my eye was a riff on the Cabaret Cocktail from the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book that was served at The Great Bourbon Street Burlesque Clubs seminar that year. The classic Cabaret is equal parts dry gin and Caperitif (a South African aromatized wine) with dashes of Angostura and Absinthe; here, Lillet and Benedictine substituted for that once defunct ingredient (a modern version was launched in 2015) along the lines of an embittered Embassy Jubilee.
This take on the Cabaret welcomed the nose with anise and a slightly fruity aroma. Next, a sip with a touch of body and hints of peach notes bowed to a gin, herbal, chocolate, and anise swallow with a minty and cinnamon finish.

Friday, May 15, 2020


1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, and strain into a Highball glass with ice and 2 oz Champagne (Chandon sparkling wine).
Two Fridays ago, I reached for The NoMad Cocktail Book and spotted the Cortez that could utilize our opened bottle of sparkling wine. The Cortez read like a sherry and cinnamon French 75, so I was intrigued. Once served, it conjured a cinnamon and nutty aroma. Next, a carbonated lemon and grape sip gave way to a nutty sherry and cinnamon swallow. Like the French 75, it was simple and elegant.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

glisan grog

2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
3/4 oz Cooled Coffee (Honduran Medium Roast)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/8 oz Herbsaint
2 dash Bitters (Bittercube Most Imaginative Bartender)

Whip shake with 6 oz crushed ice, pour into a double rock glass (Tiki mug), and garnish with a mint sprig (chocolate mint) and freshly grated nutmeg.
Andrea's coworkers had scheduled a happy hour two Thursdays ago, and she dressed up in a festive pineapple dress. To match her attire, I made her a 2011 recipe from Colonel Tiki (aka Craig Herman) that he created in honor of the opening of the Portland Trader Vic's and that he recently reposted on his Facebook feed. A quick search confirmed that Glisan is the street name of that Trader Vic's establishment around the corner from the Teardrop Lounge. Once built, the Glisan Grog unfurled with a mint and woody spice nose. Next, lime and caramel on the sip spun into funky rum, vanilla, and coffee flavors on the swallow with an anise and chocolate finish.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

sardi's special

2/3 Laird's Applejack (1 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded)
1/3 Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
4 drop Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 Egg White

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

One of the other drink recipes that caught my eye in the 1934 Laird's Applejack book was the Sardi's Special. The name reminded me of the Sardi's Delight from Boothby's 1934 World Drinks and How to Mix Them that we made back in 2009, and a few months ago in January, I was taken to the legendary Sardi's Restaurant in Manhattan for lunch where both of these drinks were created. This one was attributed to an Oreste Gambarana, and I was able to uncover records of a gentleman by that name who lived from 1898 to 1964 in New York City; given how the restaurant opened up in 1927, there is a probability that they were crafted and served during Prohibition considering the two 1934 publication dates (and that Vincent Sardi's original establishment from 1921 to 1926 was a speakeasy). The Sardi's Special came across on paper as a mashup of a Pink Lady and a White Lady heavier on the apple brandy and minus the gin.
The Sardi's Special showcased an apple, orange, and berry bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and fruity sip led into into apple transitioning to tart orange flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

la passione del conte

1 1/2 oz High ABV Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Giffard Passion Fruit Liqueur (Ezekiel)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesday nights ago, I selected a recent recipe that I had spotted on Matt Pietrek's CocktailWonk blog called the La Passione del Conte. Matt created this "Boulevardier in a Tiki shirt," and it called out to me for it reminded me of my Tarzan Boy rhum riff on a Negroni that also paired passion fruit and Campari. Here, La Passione del Conte greeted the senses with an aroma of orange and tropical notes in a mango-peachy way. Next, grape and mango-melon on the sip led into rye, bitter orange, and passion fruit flavors on the swallow.

Monday, May 11, 2020


4/10 Booth's Gin (1 1/4 oz Beefeater)
1/10 Amer Picon (1/4 oz Torani Amer)
1/10 Sweet Passion Fruit Juice (1/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup)
4/10 French Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Miro Dry)
1 tsp Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)

Shake (stir) with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a small onion (no garnish).
Two Mondays ago, I ventured into the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book and spotted the Boothonia that reminded me in structure of the When the British Came to Spain from three nights ago. Here, the sweeteners were Picon and passion fruit, and that was a combination used with great success by Trader Vic in his Philippine Punch. The Boothonia was created by UK Bartenders Guild member Harry Katner, and its passion fruit-bitter liqueur combination reminded me of the Novara that came up in conversation earlier that night. Once prepared, the Boothonia welcomed the nose with a lemon, floral, and tropical bouquet. Next, a crisp, caramel, and orange sip was chased by a gin, apricot-peachy, and bitter swallow. I was remiss in garnishing with a cocktail onion, and I was left curious to know how a touch of salt from its brine would have modulated this combination.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

an apple tree grows in brooklyn

2 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Miro)
1/4 oz Bigalet China-China (Amer Picon)
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

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

Two Sundays ago, I returned to Frank Caiafa's 2016 The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book and spotted an apple brandy variation described in the Brooklyn Cocktail entry. That drink was the An Apple Tree Grows in Brooklyn that was attributed to one time Peacock Alley bar manager Orion Bergen and most likely named after the Betty Smith novel. Since apple brandy and Picon worked so well together in the Bonsoir, I was curious to give this one a spin.
The An Apple Tree Grows in Brooklyn greeted the senses with lemon oil over apple aromas. Next, a caramel sip led into apple, bitter orange, and nutty cherry flavors. Overall, the dry vermouth did not work as well with apple brandy as it did with rye whiskey in the original, so perhaps the oldest Brooklyn version's sweet vermouth found in 1908 Jack's Manual might work better here. Moreover, there was a whisky-apple brandy Brooklyn-like drink (with sweet vermouth) called the Sunshine that was a winner from the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars book, so perhaps that it is not a bad route to take.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

runaway horses

1 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Cardamaro
1 oz Zucca or Sfumato Rabarbaro (Sfumato)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by the Lafayette from the Laird's book to play around with apple brandy. I recalled the apple brandy-Rabarbaro combination in the Two Words as well as the apple brandy-Cardamaro one in the Rusty Soul, and I combined all three elements into an Apple Negroni-style equal parts cocktail. For a name, I decided to dub this one after a Yukio Mishima novel called Runaway Horses. In the glass, the Runaway Horses galloped up to the nose with a grapefruit aroma over fruity-bitter herbal notes. Next, grape and caramel on the sip was chased by apple, bitter, and smoky flavors on the swallow.

Friday, May 8, 2020

when the british came to spain

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
1 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 tsp Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
3/4 tsp Grenadine
3/4 tsp Dry Vermouth (Miro)
3/4 tsp Lemon Juice

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. 3/4 tsp is 1/8 oz.

Two Fridays ago, I selected the final and almost not published 2016 edition of the Food & Wine: Cocktails series for the evening's libation. There, I was lured in by the When the British Came to Spain by Drink's Ezra Star; Ezra is a big fan of Dry Martinis, and I decided to give her riff a try that night since I was rather in a Martini mood. Here, the format was a gin-Fino sherry one with light accents from grenadine, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and dry vermouth that abstractly felt like the Old Hall.
In the glass, the When the British Came to Spain donated an orange, berry, and savory bouquet to the nose. Next, white wine with hints of fruitiness on the sip flowed into juniper, mango, tangerine, and savory flavors on the swallow that also shared a melon note as things warmed up.

Thursday, May 7, 2020


1/3 Laird's Applejack (1 oz Laird's Bonded)
1/3 Byrrh Quinquina (1 oz)
1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Miro Dry)
2 dash Maraschino (1/8 oz Luxardo)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I garnished with a cherry.

Two Thursdays ago, I was browsing the EUVS library when I spotted a 1934 Laird's book that Boston spirits legend Eric Witz had uploaded called Laird's Applejack: How to Serve and a Collection of Celebrated Recipes. There, I was drawn to the Lafayette created by Frank Claverie of the Hotel Lafayette for it reminded me of the gin-based Marliave's Cocktail from the 1906 Louis Mixed Drinks. Since I enjoyed the Marliave so much (and made it before for guests at Nahita where we had a great quinquina selection), I decided to give the Lafayette a spin.
The Lafayette conjured up a cherry, apple, and herbal bouquet for the nose. Next, grape and cherry notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow provided apple, plum, and cherry flavors. Overall, the combination lay somewhere between the Martinez and the Marconi Wireless, and it was rather similar to Max Toste's Marconi Wireless that I tried back in 2007 and later published in my first book Drink & Tell on page 111.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

mountain harvest

1 1/2 oz Encanto Pisco (Macchu Pisco)
1/2 oz Laird's Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted a curious drink called the Mountain Harvest on the ShakeStir site's recipe database. The cocktail was created by Chicago bartender Jacyara de Oliveira, and I was drawn to the combination for apple brandy and Cardamaro have worked great before in drinks like the Rusty Soul, Astra, and Wooden Shoe, and I was curious to see how that would do with a split base of pisco. Once prepared, the Mountain Harvest donated a lemon, herbal, and grape aroma to the senses. Next, a grape sip progressed into earthy notes leading into bitter herbal flavors on the swallow with a cinnamon and allspice finish.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


1 jigger White Rum (1 1/2 oz Privateer Tres Aromatique)
1/2 jigger Curaçao (1/2 oz Cointreau)
Juice 1/2 Lemon (3/4 oz)
1 tsp Honey (1/2 oz 1:1 Honey Syrup)

Dissolve the honey in lemon juice (honey was pre-dissolved with water into syrup). Add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon slice.

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to my 1962 edition of Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up and spotted the Fitz-G-Honeymooner from radio and television personalities Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald. The rum, orange liqueur, honey, and lemon combination and name reminded me of the apple brandy, orange liqueur, Benedictine, and lemon Honeymoon Cocktail that gained traction from appearing in Ted Haigh's book. Moreover, honey and orange liqueur was a combination that I have had in a few Tiki drinks and Sours before such as the Bahia Busy Bee, so I was game to give this one a try.
The Fitz-G-Honeymooner opened up with lemon, orange, and honey aromas. Next, lemon and honey notes continued on into the sip, and the swallow showcased the rum and orange flavors. While no great surprises here, it was definitely a pleasure to drink.

Monday, May 4, 2020

newman cocktail

1/2 jigger Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Damrak)
1/2 jigger French Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Miro Dry)
3 dash Amer Picon (1/3 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I was flipping through Frank Caiafa's 2016 The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, and I spotted the Newman Cocktail that can be traced back to Jack Straub's 1914 Drinks. Caiafa provided the history for this Dry Martini with Amer Picon that it was named after a frequenter of the old Waldorf Astoria bar who owned a resort near by. In the glass, the Newman Cocktail proffered the nose an orange and caramel bouquet. Next, the caramel continued on into the sip, and the swallow showcased juniper, orange, and quinine notes. Drinking the Newman made me want to retry the amazing gin-Picon Hoskins Cocktail that I discovered at Eastern Standard in 2007 via Chuck Taggart in 2003.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

american trilogy

1 oz Applejack (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
1/2 oz Maple 2:1 Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
After making the Trans-Am a few days ago, I decided to try its inspiration -- the American Trilogy. I found the recipe in Imbibe Magazine as made at Little Bird, and the article hints that it was inspired a drink at Little Branch. Through a little searching after the fact, I discovered that the original American Trilogy was created by Michael McIlroy in 2007 with a barspoon of rich demerara and not maple as the sweetener. Once prepared, the American Trilogy welcomed the senses with orange and rye aromas. Next, maple and malt on the sip gave way to rye and apple fading into maple and orange flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

comings and goings

1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/4 oz Strega
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Saturdays ago, I thought about my Mount Pelee that was inspired by John Gertsen's Rhum Agricot and Martin Cate's Abricot Vieux and wondered how I could riff on it. Originally, my mind went to Campari that worked well with apricot in the Intercept, but then I recalled the apricot-Strega duo that succeeded in the Fallen Angel a week prior. I kept the Fino sherry instead of dry vermouth idea from the Campari drink that I had sketched out, and I complemented the Strega with aromatic bitters.
For a name, I dubbed this one the Comings and Goings after an 1887 painting by Paul Gauguin that he did on the island of Martinique. In the glass, the Comings and Goings donated an orange, apricot, and grassy funk aroma to the nose. Next, orchard fruit on the sip slid into grassy, apricot, minty pine, vanilla, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Friday, May 1, 2020

el morocco

1 1/2 oz Brandy (Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 oz Ruby Port (Sandeman Tawny)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Gum Syrup (Pineapple Syrup)
1/4 oz Grenadine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lime wheel.
Two Fridays ago, I spotted the El Morocco in Imbibe Magazine that was originally published in Charles H. Baker Jr.'s Jigger, Beaker and Glass: Drinking Around the World from Baker's travels in Tangier, North Africa, circa 1938. Here, it was adapted by Gabriel Lowe for the Cognac Room in San Francisco, and he took the older recipe's pineapple juice and converted it to syrup, dropped the curaçao, and added bitters besides playing with the proportions. Once prepared, the modern take on the El Morocco met the nose with a lime and fruity bouquet. Next, lime and red fruit on the sip gave way to brandy, port, pineapple, and berry flavors.