Monday, August 31, 2020

port light

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Yes Cocktail Co. Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Yes Cocktail Co. Grenadine

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, and top with crushed ice. I garnished with a mint bouquet and freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Mondays ago, I filmed a video at the Boston Shaker Store in support of my work with Angel's Envy and in promoting the shop's offerings of syrups, tools, and drink vessels (they have been very good to me in regards to book sales!). For a recipe idea, I selected the Port Light created by Sandro Canti at the Kahiki in Columbus, Ohio, circa 1961 that was published in Beachbum Berry's Remixed. I varied from the original by upping the Bourbon by half an ounce and the grenadine by a quarter of an ounce to make a slightly stronger and better balanced drink for my palate; in addition, I previously presented the original recipe in my post on the egg white and honey Port Light crafted a few years later by Trader Vic. Here, I added a garnish to the barren recipe with a mint bouquet to complement the tropical notes and freshly grated nutmeg to work with the whiskey's inherent woody spice. Overall, the result had a delightful Bourbon backbone that came across like a Hurricane using fassionola instead of pure passion fruit syrup as the sweetener. Furthermore, the Angel Envy's port finish played nicely with these tropical notes.

I later discovered that I had already written about this Port Light two years ago. For that one, I kept the whiskey at 1 1/2 oz but I changed the sweeteners to 2/3 oz passion fruit and 1/3 oz grenadine to keep the original's flavor ratio but to upped to match the tart lemon though.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

a six for a nine

2 oz Barbados Rum (RL Seale 10 Year)
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Sundays ago for National Rum Day, I thought about how falernum can almost sub for a vermouth in some drinks like the 5th Amendment, and I decided to cross the Corn'n'Oil with the Creole Cocktail. For a name, I dubbed this one after the Bajan Creole phrase of "Don't take a six for a nine" meaning not to misjudge a person's true intentions.
The A Six for a Nine began with a bright orange oil aroma with darker undertones. Next, a caramel-driven sip flipped into a rum, dark orange, minty chocolate, and clove swallow.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

bum barrel

2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
2 oz Gold Virgin Island Rum (Flor de Caña 4 Year Oro)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz White Grapefruit Juice (Pink)
1 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, add 1 oz soda water, and pour into a double old fashioned glass or ceramic barrel mug (Tiki bowl). I garnished with orange twists, chocolate mint sprigs, and a nasturtium flower.

Two Saturdays ago, I ventured into Jeff Berry's Remixed and spotted his Bum Barrel that was his 2007 take on the Rum Barrel invented by Donn Beach and perfected at the Mai-Kai and Kon-Tiki. In varying from the classic, Jeff swapped the pineapple juice and simple syrup for grapefruit juice and passion fruit syrup. The combination here of passion fruit and honey syrups reminded me of the Don's Special Daiquiri, so it kept with the Donn Beach theme.
The Bum Barrel donated a passion fruit, chocolate mint, and caramel aroma to the nose. Next, orange, passion fruit, grapefruit, and honey notes on the sip waylaid into dark rum, passion fruit, and lime flavors on the swallow with a honey, cinnamon, and clove finish.

Friday, August 28, 2020

paradise lost

1 oz Vodka (Deep Eddy)
1 oz Coconut Water)
1 oz Fino Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat

Whip shake, pour into a Pilsner glass (Tiki mug), and garnish with 2 dash aromatic bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter) and a mint bouquet.
Two Fridays ago, I was in a tropical mood, and I reached for Chloe Frechette's Easy Tiki to find a use for the orgeat batch that I had just bottled. There, I selected Kirk Estopinal's Paradise Lost that he created at Cane & Table in New Orleans. Kirk's recipe was inspired by the Green Isaac's Special that Ernest Hemingway invented in Key West sometime in the 1930s, and it was mentioned in his Islands in the Stream book. Here, the gin was swapped for a mix of vodka, Fino sherry, and orgeat to resemble something more Tiki-inspired rather than a Collins. Once prepared, the Paradise Lost met the nose with a clove, allspice, cinnamon, and mint aroma. Next, a creamy lime sip slipped into a nutty and saline-savory swallow.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

bombay government punch

25 oz Batavia Arrack (2 oz Von Oosten)
25 oz Cognac (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
12 oz 2:1 Demerara or Turbinado Sugar (1 oz 2:1 Demerara)
Juice 12 Limes (1 oz Juice)
2 quart Water or Cooled Black/Green Tea (5 1/4 oz Green Tea)

Build in a bowl, chill with ice, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Thursdays ago, I was in the mood for a punch, so I reached for David Wondrich's book on the subject. The one that caught my eye was the Bombay Government Punch based off of the classic Bombay Presidency Punch. The original was described in 1676 to involve the imbibers "besotting themselves with drunkenness... to the shame, scandall, and ruine of our nation and religion." Wondrich adapted this formula in 2003 to a variety of rum and brandy combinations as Batavia Arrack was rather hard to source at the time. He specified 10 Cane Rum (which is now no longer produced) and a VSOP Cognac with the option of swapping the water component for cooled tea; by the time he was writing Punch, Arrack was being imported into the country once again, and he suggested it as an option instead of rum.
The Bombay Government Punch proffered a wood spice, floral Cognac, and funky Arrack bouquet to the nose. Next, a rich lime and caramel sip led into grassy Arrack, Cognac, and green tea flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

la perla rosa

1 1/2 part Blanco Tequila (1 1/2 oz Lunazul)
3/4 part Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
1 part Fresh Peach (34 grams Peach + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
Mint Sprigs (8 leaf)
2 dash Angostura Bitters per drink (2 dash)

Blend with crushed ice (6 oz) until smooth, pour into a chilled Highball glass, and garnish with mint sprigs and a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I was perusing Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails and spotted another blender drink. That one was the La Perla Rosa by TJ Lynch at Mother's Ruin, and it called for fresh peach and mint that reminded me of the Missionary's Downfall. The recipe seemed a bit dry with all of the sweetness being derived from the peach, so I blended it without ice and did a straw taste. I added a half ounce of simple syrup to better balance the drink (but given the frozen drink format, I could have safely doubled that especially after it came out drier post-blending with ice). After adding the crushed ice and serving, La Perla Rosa greeted the senses with lemon, peach, and mint aromas. Next, a tart lemon sip led into tequila, peach, and mint flavors on the swallow with a clove and allspice finish.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

cradle to the grave

1 1/2 oz Aged Appleton Rum (Signature)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
2 drop Saline Solution (small pinch Sea Salt)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Tuesdays ago, I spotted a great stirred rum cocktail in Punch Drinks by Mary Palac at the Paper Plane in San Jose, California. Mary named her recipe the Cradle to the Grave after the way Appleton's master distiller Joy Spence described how Jamaicans drink rum throughout their life. Once prepared, the Cradle to the Grave welcomed the senses with a caramel, allspice, and nutmeg bouquet. Next, grape and caramel swirled on the sip, and the swallow rounded out the action with rum, nutty sherry, and allspice notes.

Monday, August 24, 2020

doomsayer's grog

1 1/2 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
1 1/2 oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
1 1/2 oz Don's Mix (1 oz Grapefruit Juice + 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup)
1 bsp Zombie Mix (equal parts Grenadine, Falernum (Velvet), Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand) and absinthe (Butterfly))
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's) 
2 dash Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a snifter glass (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with mint sprigs.
Two Mondays ago, we were still feeling a tropical vibe, so I opened up the Minimalist Tiki book and spotted the Doomsayer's Grog by Jason Alexander. The combination seemed like a 1934 Zombie crossed with Navy Grogs -- both Don the Beachcomber's with honey and Trader Vic's with allspice dram as I had previously combined in some of my grog riffs. Once prepared, the Doomsayer's Grog proffered a mint aroma with hints of anise. Next, grapefruit, lime, caramel, and honey on the sip led into funky rum, cinnamon, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

nuclear banana daquiri

25 mL Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum (3/4 oz)
25 mL Yellow Chartreuse (3/4 oz)
25 mL Lime Juice (3/4 oz)
15 mL Velvet Falernum (1/2 oz)
10 mL 2:1 Simple Syrup (1/2 oz 1:1)
1/2 Banana, peeled

Blend with a scoop of crushed ice (6-7 oz) until smooth, pour into a Hurricane glass (12 oz Collins), and garnish with a banana slice, star anise (omit), and mint sprig (chocolate mint).

With an excess of bananas in the house (both Andrea and I bought a bunch on our respective shopping trips), two weekends ago, I searched for some blender ideas to follow up the Frozen Negroni. I soon uncovered the Nuclear Banana Daiquiri as a riff on Gregor de Gruyther's Nuclear Daiquiri with the addition of a banana, the swapping of Yellow for the classic's Green Chartreuse, and the modification to a blender drink. This recipes was crafted the Hawksmoor bar, and I found the recipes on IcelyDone and Difford's Guide (and ignored the outlier recipe elsewhere with Green Chartreuse). With the Yellow Chartreuse and falernum in the mix, it (minus the banana aspect) reminded me of the first iteration of the Eulogy.
The Nuclear Banana Daiquiri exploded upon the nose with a banana and chocolate mint bouquet. Next, lime and tropical notes on the sip launched into funky rum, banana, and spice flavors on the swallow. With Yellow instead of Green Chartreuse, the flavor profile was less brash especially given the extra amount of dilution from the ice slurry in each sip; the funky from the Jamaican rum was still present though.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

frozen negroni

1 oz Gin (Damrak)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 oz Campari
Juice 1 Orange (2 1/2 oz)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Blend until smooth with 8 oz crushed ice, pour into a frozen glass (Collins), and garnish with an orange wedge.

Another frozen drink that appears on Jeffrey Morgenthaler's blog is one for a Frozen Negroni. Actually, it came up after thinking about the Frozen Sherry Cobbler, and I wondered if I could do the same with another straight spirits classic. When the idea of a blender Negroni popped into my head, I did a web search first and uncovered Morgenthaler's gem. He created this years ago and served it for Negroni Week in Germany one season, and he finally got around to posting his recipe after a few requests two years ago. He explained, "Purists will tell you this isn't a Negroni and they're correct... but they're still wrong. The Blended Negroni epitomizes everything that a Negroni stands for: it's refreshing, it's bitter, and it's perfect before or after dinner. This blended version is all that... but with a little more."
The aberrations were to add orange juice to give the concoction a bit more heft to it as it was blended with ice, and the simple syrup was needed to bring out the mid-palate flavors in this format. Once prepared, the Frozen Negroni greeted the nose with orange from both the garnish and the Campari. Next, fruit notes of orange and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow showcased the gin and Campari's bitter orange flavors that came across a lot like blood orange.

Friday, August 21, 2020


1/2 jigger Gin (2 oz Maine Craft Distilling's Alchemy)
1/4 jigger Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
1 spoon Grenadine (1/2 oz)
2 spoon Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Friday nights ago, I was perusing William Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them when I spotted the Skipper that shared the duo of grenadine and Maraschino that worked well in drinks like the Cuban and Mary Pickford. However, as written, the Maraschino quotient was just too high, so I adjusted this Gin Daisy to my palate. Once mixed, the Skipper welcomed the senses with lemon, berry, and nutty cherry aromas. Next, the lemon and berry notes continued on into the sip where they were followed by juniper, pomegranate, and nutty cherry flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


1/4 Bourbon (1 oz Wild Turkey 101)
1/4 Aperol (1 oz)
1/4 Oloroso Sherry (1 oz Lustau)
1/4 Lemon Juice (1 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I tuned in for Portland Cocktail Week's class on equal parts cocktails with Lynette Marrero and Kara Newman. Lynette mentioned that one of the drinks on the menu at the Llama Inn was a riff on the Paper Plane called the Barracuda that swapped in Oloroso sherry for the Amaro Nonino. Once prepared, the Barracuda donated a lemon, Bourbon, and nutty sherry aroma with hints of orange to the nose. Next, malt, grape, and orange notes on the sip swam into whiskey, nutty, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

southpaw swizzle

1 oz Unaged Martinique Rum (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau Fino)
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Coconut Water

Build in a Swizzle or Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Float with 3/4 oz aged Jamaican rum (3/8 oz Smith & Cross + 3/8 oz Plantation Xaymaca) and garnish with a lime wheel and toasted coconut chips (omit the coconut).

Two Wednesdays ago, I was in a tropical mood, so I opened up Chloe Frechette's Easy Tiki. There, I was lured in by the Southpaw Swizzle attributed to Abigail Gullo at Ben Paris in Seattle that would make excellent use of the coconut water that I had just purchased. With a little research, I learned that Abigail created an earlier form of this drink at Compere Lapin in New Orleans. That version combined Oloroso sherry, aged cachaça, honey, and lime, and here the sherry and spirit were switched to Manzanilla and unaged rhum agricole and lengthened with coconut water.
This newer Southpaw Swizzle welcomed the nose with Jamaican rum funk, lime, honey, and grassy aromas. Next, lime and a briny coconut note on the sip entered into grassy and funky rum and honey flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

false start

1 1/4 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1 oz Cardamaro
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Cynar
2 slice Cucumber

Muddle the cucumber, add the rest, and stir with ice. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Two Tuesdays ago, I was in the mood for a stirred sort of drink, and the False Start from Punch Drinks called out to me. The recipe was crafted by Anne Robinson of Westlight in Brooklyn, and its aged spirit, vermouth, amaro, and muddled cucumber structure reminded me of the Cobble Hill. In the glass, the False Start shared a cucumber and agave nose with herbal grape undertones. Next, the grape from the vermouth and Cardamaro continued on into the sip, and the swallow came through with tequila, herbal, and cucumber flavors.

Monday, August 17, 2020

harlem no. 2

3/4 jigger Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 spoon Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
1/2 lump Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
4 leaf Mint

Crush mint with sugar (omit the muddling -- use the shake with ice to bruise the mint leaves). Add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with 1 dash absinthe (8 drop St. George and mint leaves).
Two Mondays ago, I was perusing William Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them when I spotted the Harlem No. 2. The recipe came across like a South Side gussied up with the addition of orange juice in the mix and a dash of absinthe as the garnish. Once constructed, the Harlem No. 2 shared an anise, mint, and pine bouquet to the nose. Next, orange and lemon combined on the sip, and the swallow showcased the medley of gin and mint that was later joined by anise and other light absinthe notes from the garnish.

Sunday, August 16, 2020


1/4 wineglass Bacardi (2 oz Santa Teresa Claro)
1 dash Lime Juice (3/4 oz)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)
2 dash Green Crème de Menthe (1/4 oz Tempus Fugit White)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I garnished with a mint leaf.
Two Sundays ago, I ventured into the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 book and spotted the Lewiston that came across as a Bacardi Cocktail with the addition of crème de menthe. Once prepared, the Lewiston conjured a berry and mint nose. Next, lime and berry notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered rum and pomegranate flavors with a mint finish.

Saturday, August 15, 2020


2 oz London Dry Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I felt like ending the night with a Martini, and then I remembered the pickled onions in the refrigerator and opted for a Gibson. In Imbibe, David Wondrich quoted the Oakland Tribune as declaring that, "The Gibson is a blend peculiar to San Francisco," and San Francisco bartender William Boothby described how it was named after Charles Dana Gibson. There were also other possible histories such as San Francisco financier Walter D.K. Gibson who drank alongside Charles at the Bohemian club and claimed to be the impetus of its creation circa 1898. Boothby's 1908 recipe was equal parts Plymouth Gin and French vermouth without bitters or garnish. Surprisingly, early recipes were unadorned with the onion that defines the modern day Gibson. Robert Simonson in The Martini Cocktail placed the garnish's timeline as, "By the 1930s, the onion had begun to sneak into the drink. By the 1940s, it had a permanent home." Alas, my favorite lore of how Gibson's bartender utilized the onion to demarcate the chilled water alcohol-free "Martini" so that he could be sober during business deals as his cohorts got a bit tipsy is mostly like just a barroom fable.
Normally, the mid-century Gibson Cocktail is garnished with a pickled pearl onion, but I figured that my lactic ferment onions (see below for more information) would work well here. This sort of naturally fermented style was what we used in our Martinis at Loyal Nine, and one of the regulars' favorites were the yearly batch of pickled ramps fermented in this style. The Gibson recipe that I utilized was the one from A Spot at the Bar which was a bit more dry vermouth forward than the one in Simonson's book. Once prepared, the cocktail wafted to the nose pine melding into onion aroma along with orange accents. Next, a clean, crisp sip marched into juniper, citrus, licorice, and cucumber-vegetal flavors on the swallow with an onion finish. Definitely some of the notes from the cut onion ring had pleasantly entered into the drink.
Since we had bought into a farm share (besides our own vegetable garden plot) as we are cooking more at home, we receive a bounty of vegetables. One of the early boxes contained a green cabbage and the next one a Napa cabbage. The green cabbage went into sauerkraut and the Napa into kimchi, and the ferments utilized the lactobacillus microbes naturally on the cabbage's leaves. The magic here is the addition of salt (generally in the 2-6% by weight) which inhibits other bacteria from acting on the vegetables; moreover, a weight of some sort to keep the vegetables under the brine and away from the air seals the deal. Within 7-10 days, the bubbling stops and the lactic pickles are ready to be refrigerated. To make the onions, I cut up two medium onions along with their green stem, added 2 ounces of sauerkraut brine as a lactobacillus starter, and filled it with 3.5% salt brine. The end result is a tangy and crisp vegetable without the harshness of vinegar's acetic acid used in the quick method; moreover, that vinegar generally requires a substantial sugar content to balance the zing, while my lactic pickles end up rather bone dry.

Friday, August 14, 2020

frozen sherry cobbler

3 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1 oz Oleo Saccharum (Lemon & Orange Peel) (*)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 cup Crushed Ice (8 oz)

Blend until smooth, pour into a 12 oz glass, and garnish with an orange slice and cherry (orange slice and mint sprig).
(*) Sugar steeped with lemon and orange peels for a 1-2+ hours and dissolved in hot water (equal volume to the amount of sugar added). Here, it was 3/4 oz sugar, peel 1/4 lemon, and peel 1/6 orange; after a 3 hour incubation with a few shakes in between, the sugar was dissolved in 3/4 oz boiling water. The 1 oz for the recipe was fine strained from this syrup and peel mix.
To beat the heat two weeks ago, I decided to make the Frozen Sherry Cobbler by Rob Kruger of Brooklyn's Extra Fancy that was published in Punch. While it recommended a commercial oleo saccharum, I decided to start a few hours early and made my own from lemon and orange peels and sugar (see instructions above). Once prepared, the Cobbler proffered orange and mint aromas from the garnishes over a nutty sherry note from the Amontillado. Next, grape and lemon on the sip slid into nutty sherry and a citrus brightness from the oleo saccharum on the swallow.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

martinez no. 7

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
15 drop Bittercube Orange Bitters (1 dash Angostura Orange)
1 slice Cucumber
1 pinch Salt

Muddle the cucumber slice with the salt. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir with ice, double strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Two Thursday ago, I spotted the 2012 North Star Cocktails book on my shelves that I last touched in early April and began flipping through the pages. The one that caught my eye was the Martinez No. 7 by Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz which varied from the classic recipe by splitting the vermouth with dry as well as adding a cucumber element and a pinch of salt. Once prepared, the Martinez No. 7 welcomed the nose with a cucumber, orange, and nutty Maraschino aroma. Next, grape and cucumber mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered gin, herbal, and nutty cherry flavors.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

prizefighter no. 3

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
6-8 leaf Mint
3-4 wedge Lemon
1 pinch Salt

Muddle the lemon, mint, and salt. Add the rest, shake with ice, double strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish lavishly with mint.
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to Nick Jarrett's Prizefighter series. The one I decided upon was the third one that varied from the first Prizefighter by calling for Pedro Ximenez instead of Carpano Antica vermouth, and I was curious to see how it turn out as it headed in the Sherry Cobbler direction. Once prepared, the Prizefighter No. 3 donated a raisin, menthol, and mint bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon, grape, and caramel notes on the sip swung at raisin, mint, and menthol flavors on the swallow. Indeed, the great depth of flavor from the Pedro Ximenez sherry made for a more complex drink than the sweet vermouth original albeit with a less herbal focus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

brave companion

2 oz Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Two Tuesdays, I pulled Paul Clarke's 2015 The Cocktail Chronicles off the bookshelf to see if there were any glossed over gems. The one that I latched on to was Erick Castro's Brave Companion that he crafted for the 2013 opening menu at Polite Provisions in San Diego. Once prepared, the Brave Companion met the nose with a lemon and whiskey bouquet. Next, lemon with a caramel-roast note on the sip marched into Bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla flavors on the swallow. When I thought about the combination of Bourbon and cacao, I realized that this was one that I had enjoyed in the past in both classic recipes like the Commodore No. 2 from the 1935 Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and modern ones like the Transatlantic Giant.

Monday, August 10, 2020

arkham kula

1 1/2 oz Plantation Xaymaca Rum
1/2 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Don's Mix (1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice + 1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Zombie glass (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Two Mondays ago, I was feeling a tropical vibe so I opened up Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith's Minimalist Tiki and selected the Arkham Kula from Jason Alexander. The recipe seemed like a riff on Don the Beachcomber's Sumatra Kula with two heavier rums instead of one light one and with the addition of cinnamon and passion fruit syrups to the mix. The passion fruit when combined with the honey reminded me of the Don's Special Daiquiri, and the cinnamon syrup took the Sumatra Kula closer to Zombie riffs such as the Zombie at Park South. As for the name, Jason explained on Instagram that it was a reference to the fictional city in Massachusetts created by author H.P. Lovecraft that has been surmised to be Salem with elements of Danvers such as their state asylum blended in.
The Arkham Kula proffered a mint, passion fruit, and caramel aroma to the nose. Next, the caramel continued on into the sip to be joined by orange, honey, and lime notes, and the swallow reached out with funky rum, tropical flavors, and cinnamon spice. Indeed, the addition of rum complexity, tropical fruit elements, and spice made for a pleasing expansion of the Donn Beach original.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

st. regis mint julep

1 jigger Rye (1 1/2 oz Sazerac)
1/2 pony Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross + 1/4 oz Appleton Signature)
12 leaf Mint
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 tsp Sugar (1/4 oz Simple Syrup)
1 tsp Water (omit)

Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup or double old fashioned glass. Dissolve the sugar in water (use simple syrup instead) and add the rest of the ingredients (I also removed the muddled mint leaves). Fill with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs.

Two Sundays ago, I saw a mention of the St. Regis Mint Julep from Stanley Clisby Arthur's 1937 book Famous New Orleans Drinks & How to Mix'Em and was in the mood for a Julep. I, therefore, hunted out my reprint which provided the history that it was created by John Swago at the St. Regis Restaurant bar, and the split base reminded me of the American House and Prescription Juleps except here it was rye and rum instead of rye and brandy. The rye aspect instead of the more traditional Bourbon always makes me think of the quote from Richard Harwell's The Mint Julep book where Kentucky humorist Irvin S. Cobb declared, "Any guy who'd put rye in a mint julep and crush the leaves would put scorpions in a baby's bed."
The St. Regis Mint Julep began with an elegant mint bouquet presented to the nose followed by malt, caramel, and berry on the sip. Next, rye, rum funk, and mint on the swallow ended with a pomegranate and mint finish. Indeed, the inclusion of grenadine as part of the sweetener was delightful with its fruit notes akin to the peach element in the Georgia Julep.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

planter's punch (improved)

2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Plantation Xaymaca)
1 1/2 oz Black Tea chilled (English Breakfast)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar

Dissolve sugar in the lime juice and tea. Add the rum and crushed ice, swizzle to mix and chill, and garnish as you see fit (mint sprig and freshly grated nutmeg).
Two Saturdays ago, I read a reference for an improved Planter's Punch recipe that included tea in the mix. I soon found the recipe in Jeff Berry's Potions of the Caribbean with the history that it was Colonel A.R. Woolley of Lemon Hart's 1957 revision of Fred Myer's 1920 recipe that swapped in tea for the water in the "parts of weak" aspect. Once prepared, this Planter's Punch welcomed the nose with mint and woody spice aromas. Next, a semi-dry lime and caramel sip glided into rich rum dried out by elegant black tea notes.

Friday, August 7, 2020

px sherry mudslide

1 1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
1 1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1 oz Half & Half
1 pinch Sea Salt
1/2 cup Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup Crushed Ice

Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled milkshake or Collins glass. I added a freshly grated coffee bean garnish.

After utilizing my purchase of vanilla ice cream a few days before in the Glorious Fourth, I considered making Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Grasshopper variation. However, in that search, I was more smitten by the Mudslide recipe that he posted back in May given the sherry component. When Morgenthaler opened Pepe Le Moko in 2014, he wanted to have a rotating seasonal milkshake drink and had developed a few to begin the series. The problem was that when he opened with the Grasshopper milkshake with a hint of Fernet Branca, it was such a hit that he decided that the slot was filled and thus would not be revamped every few months. Left behind was this gem; the classic Mudslide of coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and vodka got transformed here into coffee liqueur, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and vanilla ice cream that he described as "a wonderful, creamy milkshake built around flavors of coffee, rum raisin, vanilla, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. It's... kind of out of this world."
The PX Sherry Mudslide greeted the nose with a coffee and raisin aroma that led into a creamy and roast-filled sip. Next, the swallow continued on with coffee and raisin flavors with an elegant vanilla note from the ice cream.

Thursday, August 6, 2020


2 oz Vodka (Barr Hill)
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/2 oz Cucumber Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
5 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Kübler)

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a Tiki mug, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple frond, pineapple half moon, and cucumber rosette (mint sprigs and a cucumber slice).
(*) Equal parts cucumber juice and sugar. While the original used a juicer, I muddled cucumber chunks followed by a fine straining step. At one bar I worked at, we used a blender followed by fine straining.
With a beautiful cucumber from our farm share (my garden's cucumbers will be ready by the time this post airs) in my possession, I returned to a recipe from Brian Maxwell's quarantine drinks on his Shaker of Spirits blog. The recipe was the Yoi-Yoi-Comber which was he posted on the eleventh day of lockdown, and I did not have a cucumber at the time but marked the page for future reference. The concept was a tribute to Joe Scialom's Cou-Cou-Comber as well as to Myron Cope, the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers who used the word "Yoi!" a lot during his announcing. The Yoi-Yoi-Comber greeted the senses with an anise, mint, and cucumber aroma. Next, lime, vegetal, and pineapple notes on the sip announced the arrival of pineapple, cucumber, ginger, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

exit club cocktail

1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Jeppson's Malört
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I wondered what a Martini riff would be like with malört as a modifier? Would it be elegant as well as tasty? Therefore, I started with the Poet's Dream and besides swapping the liqueurs, I exchanged the dry vermouth for a split of Cocchi Americano and blanc vermouth since I figured that a little extra sweetness would round out the edges here and I recalled how well malört paired with Lillet in the Destreza. For a name, I paid tribute to a punk club in Chicago (given the Chicago-loved herbal liqueur) called Exit where I had been taken years ago.
The Exit Club Cocktail presented orange and piny juniper aromas leading into wormwood notes on the nose. Next, a light apricot and peach sip slid into juniper and coriander leading into surly wormwood on the swallow with an orange finish. Overall, it was elegant with the malört working akin to the Fernet in the Hanky Panky.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

tchoupitoulas punch

750 mL Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (3 oz)
1/2 cup Benedictine (1/2 oz)
1 2/3 cup Sweet Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 1/2 cup Orange Juice (1 1/2 oz)
1 1/2 cup Lemon Juice (1 1/2 oz)
2 cup Earl Grey Tea, strong and cooled (2 oz)
1/2 cup Rich Simple Syrup (3/4 oz 1:1)
1 tsp Peychaud's Bitters (2 dash)
3 Peach or 1/2 Pineapple, sliced as garnish (1/2 Peach)

Combine in a bowl with a large ice block. Garnish with the peach or pineapple slices.
Two Tuesdays ago, I was in the mood for something refreshing, so I turned to Dan Searing's The Punch Bowl book. There, I was lured in by the Tchoupitoulas Punch that Scott Baird and Josh Harris of the Bon Vivants created for their yearly charity event at Tales of the Cocktail called Pig and Punch. The charity is two pronged with an early part bringing bartenders to do manual labor to fix up a school in New Orleans and the second part being a fundraiser bash held out in a park in the Marigny district where this punch was served. In the cup, this punch proffered Bourbon, orange, and cherry aromas to the nose. Next, grape, orange, and lemon notes on the sip led into Bourbon, black tea, and peach flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 3, 2020

golden glove

2 oz Jamaican Gold Rum (Plantation Xaymaca)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Cointreau
1 tsp Sugar

Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice, add the rest of the ingredients, and blend with 12 oz crushed ice (5 oz). Pour into a chilled cocktail glass (rocks glass) and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago to beat the heatwave, I searched for a blender drink to enjoy on our deck. The one that I selected was the Golden Glove from the 1935 Bar La Florida booklet via Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean book. This Cuban drink was Constatino Ribalaigua Vert's boxing tribute riff of the La Florida Daiquiri No. 2, and I opted for Plantation's Jamaican rum as the base as a middle point between Appleton and my higher ester offerings. Once blended with a reduced amount of ice, the Golden Glove squared off with an orange and caramel aroma. Next, tangerine and lime notes on the sip jabbed into a slightly funky rum melding into orange peel flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

something tequila

3 oz Añejo Tequila (Cimarron Reposado)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

Whip shake with crushed ice, pour into a barrel-shaped Tiki mug, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with mint, citrus wedges or wheels, flowers, and swizzle sticks (mint sprigs and honeysuckles).
Two Sundays ago, I spied the Something Tequila in Chloe Frechette's Easy Tiki book. The recipe was crafted by John Bernard at Cleveland's Porco Lounge & Tiki Room in response to requests for "A Margarita? Or something tequila?" by merging aspects of the Margarita with the 1960s era Rum Barrel. In the glass, the Something Tequila welcomed mint over orange and passion fruit aromas to the nose. Next, tropical fruit notes from the lime, pineapple, orange, and passion fruit filled the sip, and the swallow began with vegetal tequila flavors followed by passion fruit and mango-like elements.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

the glorious fourth

1 drink Brandy (2 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac)
1 dash Jamaican Rum (1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
Juice of 1 Lime (3/4 oz)
4 dash Gomme Syrup (1/2 oz Simple)
1 large tablespoon Ice Cream (1+ oz Vanilla)

Shake and strain into a fancy glass.
The Glorious Fourth was one of the fancy drinks created by William Schmidt in his 1891 The Flowing Bowl, and the recipe came under discussion on Kindred Cocktails due to an early July post on Punch Drinks. Therefore, two Saturdays ago, I picked up some vanilla ice cream on my shopping expedition to test out this Brandy Sour taken in a dessert direction. Once prepared using the ice cream as the only cooling agent, the Glorious Fourth conjured up a Cognac and vanilla aroma with a hint of rum funk. Next a creamy lime sip with a touch of caramel notes proceeded into brandy, funky rum, and vanilla flavors on the swallow.