Thursday, September 23, 2021

the thin veil

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101°)
1 oz Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1/4 oz Cynar
1 bsp Nocino (Russo)
1 dash Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry.
Two Thursdays ago, I returned to Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails book and stumbled across the Thin Veil that I had never made before. This recipe was crafted by bartender Bryan Teoh for his friend's band Tin Veil. Once assembled, the Thin Veil proffered molasses, cherry, and nutty notes to the nose. Next, grape and caramel harmonized on the sip, and the swallow drifted into Bourbon, nutty, and cherry flavors.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

dutch charlie's cocktail

40% Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse)
40% Dubonnet (1 1/2 oz)
20% Regular Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Sweet)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Wednesdays ago, I selected the 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual and spotted the curiously named Dutch Charlie's Cocktail. The name reminded me of a Dutch Schultz drink, and it was not obvious which Dutch Charlie in history that it referred to. I became intrigued by the name for it reminded me of the nicknames of Andrea's dad's drinking buddies out in Indiana. My favorite historical one was the late 1870s gang member out in the West who ran with Big Nose George Parrott's crew; that Dutch Charlie got caught after a robbery, and, according to the True West site, "while he was being transported from Laramie to Rawlins, the train stopped to take on water [and] an angry mob stormed the railcar, took Charlie and strung him up from a telegraph pole. The lynch party figured Dutch Charlie didn't deserve to be buried in their cemetery so they carted his carcass some distance away and left him in an unmarked grave." Not very likely that author Jacob Grohusko knew about him and it was probably a drink served to a regular, but anything is possible.
There was little confusion about how this drink would turn out though for it read like a slightly inverse Manhattan with two parts Dubonnet to one part sweet vermouth. In the glass, the Dutch Charlie's Cocktail proffered rye, plum, and cherry aromas. Next, grape and plum on the sip slid into rye, dried red fruit, clove, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

frank hinton

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt 86°)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Raspberry Syrup
1/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with a blood orange twist (regular orange twist).
Two Tuesdays ago, I was scanning the Kindred Cocktails database when I came across Rafa Garcia Febles' Frank Hinton that he crafted in New York City in 2013. This Boulevardier/1794 riff added in fruity elements from passion fruit and raspberry syrup, and I was just as intrigued about how it would taste as I was to the identity of the namesake (I asked Rafa with no reply -- the best I can tell is that there is a musician and an author by that name). In the glass, the Frank Hinton donated orange and chocolate aromas to the nose. Next, grape, berry, and nectarine notes on the sip transformed into rye, bitter orange, and tropical berry flavors on the swallow.

Monday, September 20, 2021

marguerite

50% Plymouth Gin (1 1/2 oz Bombay Dry)
50% Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 dash Absinthe (12 drop Copper & Kings)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an olive (lemon twist).
Two Mondays ago, I began flipping through the pages of my 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual when I spotted the Martini precursor, the Marguerite. The book sourced this recipe from Henry Johnson's 1900 New and Improved Bartenders' Manual swapping the anisette and lemon twist for absinthe and olive here. Later versions of the Marguerite such as in the 1904 Stuart's Fancy Drinks dropped the anisette/absinthe component to become closer to the classic Martini. This Marguerite with absinthe and lemon twist presented a lemon, pine, and licorice aroma. Next, a crisp sip led into gin, white grape, orange, licorice, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

handcuffed lightning

3/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Sundays ago, I thought about the Swedish punsch-apricot liqueur combination that I first discovered in the Havana Cocktail as well as the apricot-Punt e Mes duo found in the Slope. The other combination in the trio of Punt e Mes-Swedish Punsch occured in Tony Iamunno's Butterfly Sting, and I decided to riff on that Muhammed Ali tribute. For a spirit base, I split things up with a funky Jamaican rum and a rich Cognac, and for a name, I opted for the Handcuffed Lightning from Ali's quote, "I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick."
The Handcuffed Lightning shot forth with an orange, apricot, and rum funk bouquet. Next, caramel and grape swirled on the sip, and the swallow thundered out with Cognac, funky rum, apricot, tea, and rounded bitterness on the swallow with a clove, smoke, and funk finish.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

mad max

1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1 oz Cynar
1 oz Aperol

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I spotted the Mad Max on Kindred Cocktails that was crafted at Kingfish in New Orleans circa 2016. Given that the Cynar-Aperol duo has been a win before in the Rucola Negroni, Juan Bautista, and The Scottish Play, I was game to give this rye drink a spin. Here, the Mad Max met the nose with an orange, caramel, fruity, and herbal bouquet. Next, caramel and orange notes on the sip fled into rye, funky herbal, and bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Friday, September 17, 2021

slow motion

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1/2 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
Two Fridays ago, I paid a visit to Yvonne's to provide a staff training on Angel's Envy. Afterwards, I found a seat at the library bar and asked bartender Sam Lee for something in the Manhattan realm using Angel's Envy Bourbon. He modified that Slow Motion on the menu that sounded delightful with Amaro Nardini and Lustau East India Solera Sherry. Once prepared, the Slow Motion proffered orange and caramel aromas to the nose. Next, caramel and grape on the sip crept into Bourbon, caramel, nutty, and herbal flavors with a hint of woodiness and mint on the swallow.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

the bowery

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Bonded)
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/4 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe pre-rinsed with absinthe (Copper & Kings), and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I recalled how I saw Rachel at Backbar making Eric Alperin's Skid Row as a bartender's whim, and I was inspired to riff on it. I swapped the Genever for rye, kept the Ramazzotti and apricot liqueur, and supplemented the notes with sherry and absinthe. For a name, I dubbed this one the Bowery after one of the historical skid rows in Manhattan. Here, the Bowery gave forth an orange, dried apricot, and anise nose. Next, malt, grape, and dried fruit on the sip led into rye, nutty, and bitter apricot flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

the smoking man

2 oz Irish Whiskey (Teeling Small Batch)
1 oz Bittered Sweet Vermouth (Punt e Mes)
1 bsp Cinnamon Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Islay Scotch (Caol Ila).
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Chad Austin's Everyone Has a F*cking Cocktail Book and spotted the Manhattah riff called the Smoking Man. The text declares that it is an The X-Files reference, and the show's Wikipedia described how, "The Cigarette Smoking Man is a fictional character and one of the primary antagonists of the American science fiction drama television series The X-Files. He serves as the arch-nemesis of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder." Despite my not having seen an episode with him in it that I can recall, I set to mixing. In the glass, the Smoking Man showcased a medicinal-peaty smoke and plum aroma. Next, a grape sip uncovered Irish whiskey, cinnamon, and bitter herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

explorer's negroni

3/4 oz Batavia Arrack (Von Oosten)
3/4 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
2 dash Absinthe (1 scant bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, someone made my Explorer's Dream and posted that riff on the Poet's Dream on Instagram. Therefore, I revisited the combination and wondered what else the Batavia Arrack-mezcal duo for gin would work in. The classic I went with was the Negroni, and I kept the absinthe from the Explorer's Dream for it worked great with Campari and sweet vermouth in the Quill.
The Explorer's Negroni discovered an orange, funk, and hint of smoke on the nose. Next, a dark berry on the sip reminded me of sloe gin, and the swallow landed with funky spirits melding into bitter orange flavors with anise accents.

Monday, September 13, 2021

attorney privilege

2 oz Bourbon (Larceny)
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I spotted a reference to Erick Castro's Attorney Privilege published in Imbibe Magazine in 2012. The recipe that he crafted at Polite Provisions in San Diego reminded me of a Bourbon Japanese Cocktail, so I decided to give it a try. The Attorney Privilege proffered a lemon, earthy, and almond aroma. Next, a creamy sip led into Bourbon, nutty, allspice, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

death & taxes

1 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1 oz Gin (Barr Hill)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Sundays ago, I was intrigued by a recipe that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine called Death & Taxes. It was crafted by Michael Madrusan of the Everleigh in Melbourne when he was at Milk & Honey in New York City. The combination reminded me of the classic Automobile Cocktail with Benedictine or the Butcher Cocktail with Benedictine and orange bitters, so it intrigued me. Here, the Death & Taxes offered up unavoidable lemon, malt, and grape aromas to the nose. Next, grape and plum notes led into juniper, Scotch, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

cure's boulevardier

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Campari

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I spied on Kindred Cocktails the house recipe for the 1930s Boulevardier at Cure in New Orleans that they came up with in 2009. With bonded rye and Punt e Mes for the Bourbon and sweet vermouth, it seemed novel enough to give it a whirl. This variation on the Boulevardier welcomed the nose with orange, grape, and plum aromas. Next, grape and nectarine notes on the sip ventured into rye and Punt e Mes' rounded bitter notes leading into Campari's bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Friday, September 10, 2021

doberman

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I spotted on Kindred Cocktails the Doberman that was sourced from The Bartender's Choice app. The recipe was ceated by David Molyneux at The Everleigh in Melbourne, Australia, in 2018, and the combination reminded me the Problem Solver, 4 Devils, and perhaps the Down & Brown. Once assembled, the Doberman charged at the nose with lemon oil and menthol notes. Next, a caramel and grape sip lunged into a Bourbon, minty, menthol, and herbal swallow.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

henry's dream

3/4 oz Rhum Agricole (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
3/4 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass.

Two Thursday ago, I decided to tinker and continue on with my rhum agricole-mezcal stirred drinks that started with Up Jumped the Devil and followed by Stranger than Kindness. This time I went with the Cynar-apricot duo that I learned to appreciate in the One One Thousand, and I utilized Punt e Mes to bolster the fruity and bitter notes. For a name, I kept with the Nick Cave song titles concept with Henry's Dream.
Henry's Dream conjured up apricot, smoke, and dark funk aromas to the nose. Next, caramel and orchard fruit on the sip aroused grassy, vegetal, and bitter-fruity flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

[the sgarallino]

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Meletti Amaro

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.

Two Wednesdays ago, I stopped into Backbar during my brand work with Angel's Envy. There, I found a seat in front of Rachel Kopelman, and I asked her for a bartender's whim using said spirit. She returned with a Gold Rush riff containing Meletti Amaro akin to the Without a Trace that utilized Amaro Nonino. For a name, I dubbed this one the Sgarallino after Andrea Sgarallino who was part of the Italian wave of immigrants who partook in the '49ers gold rush in California. Sgarallino was rather successful there, and he brought back his gold and money collected from the community to help fund the Italian Revolution that united the country in the early 1860s.
The drink began with a Bourbon, lemon, and floral bouquet. Next, lemon, honey, and caramel on the sip gave way to Bourbon, floral, and bitter herbal flavors on the swallow with Meletti's violet flower note working elegantly with the honey here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

kingston negroni

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 oz Campari

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

After having made the Pineapple Kingston Negroni the night before, I was reminded that I have never written up the original. An Aperol riff, the Kingston Contessa, created at Eastern Standard as a take on No. 9 Park's Contessa, was the closest thing that I could refer to. Therefore, I sought out the recipe crafted by Joaquin Simo in the Death & Co. Cocktail Book; in 2009, Haus Alpenz's Eric Seed handed Joaquin the newly launched Smith & Cross Rum bottle, and this came about five minutes later. It was a simple Mr. Potato Head technique of this high ester rum in place of the gin. He attributed the success of the combination in Punch Drinks as, "Smith & Cross is no shrinking violet, so it stands up to the bombastic chocolate and bitter orange notes in the vermouth while drying out the Campari's richness and tempering its bitterness. Further evidence that less can sometimes be quite a bit more."
The Kingston Negroni began with orange oil over rum funk aromas. Next, the sweet vermouth's grape filled the sip, and the swallow followed through with funky rum, bitter orange, and dark berry flavors.

Monday, September 6, 2021

pineapple kingston negroni

1 oz Appleton Signature Rum
1 oz Stiggin's Fancy Pineapple Rum
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
3/4 oz Campari

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I uncovered Paul McGee and Shelby Allison's riff on Joaquin Simo's Kingston Negroni. Their drink was the Pineapple Kingston Negroni that they crafted at Chicago's Lost Lake and got published in Imbibe Magazine in January of 2020. Instead of taking a funky route with Smith & Cross rum, the duo opted for a tamer Jamaican rum with Appleton Signature and supplemented with fruity notes from Stiggin's Fancy Pineapple Rum. Once prepared, the Pineapple Kingston Negroni proffered orange, pineapple, and berry aromas to the nose. Next, grape and cherry on the sip twisted into rum, caramel, and bitter pineapple-orange flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

jacques & doris

1 1/4 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
3/4 oz Laphroaig Scotch
3/8 oz Sirop JM (*)
4 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Lavender Bitters (Scrappy's)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass pre-rinsed with Suze, and garnish with grapefruit oil from a twist.
(*) 2:1 Demerara syrup will work in a pinch.
Two Sundays ago, I reached for Carey Jones' Brooklyn Bartender book and spotted the Jacques & Doris. This Sazerac riff was crafted by Tyler Caffall at Fort Defiance circa 2015; the presence of Suze reminded me of other Sazerac riffs such as the La Tour Eiffel and Goldenback but here it was in the rinse instead of acting as a sweetener. The Jacques & Doris began with a grapefruit oil, earthy-herbal gentian, and peat smoke aroma. Next, a malt-laden sip gave way to smoky Scotch, lavender, and anise flavors with hints of gentian from the rinse on the swallow.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

linden square

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

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

Two Saturdays ago, I searched for recipes on Kindred Cocktails created at Eastern Standard that I might never have tried. The one that caught my attention was the Linden Square by Bobby McCoy as a 2010 update to the Red Carpet that we published here in 2008. Bobby reduced the liqueur amounts and added in sweet vermouth and mole bitters. The duo of Amaro Nonino and Aperol are best known for being partners in the Paper Plane, but they also do well in citrus-free drinks like the Marchessa. In addition, there is no indication as to whether the name refers to the neighborhood in Wellesley, Massachusetts, similar to how his Wildwood was a tribute to his old street.
The Linden Square gave forth an orange, caramel, and rye aroma. Next, grape and orange on the sip developed into whiskey and dark orange flavors on the swallow. Overall, the Linden Square's swallow and finish reminded me a bit of the Liberal.

Friday, September 3, 2021

the boardroom

2 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1/4 oz Walnut Liqueur (Russo Nocino)
2 dash Abbott's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist and either a cherry or walnut (cherry).
Two Fridays ago, I was perusing the Kindred Cocktails database when I spotted the Boardroom by New York City bartender Rafa Garcia Febles circa 2014. I was lured in by this Cognac Black Manhattan of sorts by the combination of Amaro Nonino and walnut liqueur that I had tried before in the Royal Union and Rock and a Hard Place. Once stirred and strained, the Boardroom presented an orange oil, dark orange, and Cognac aroma to the nose. Next, caramel-orange notes on the sip circled back to Cognac, dark orange, walnut, clove, and spice flavors on the swallow. Overall, the balance of the drink reminded me of Nicole Lebedevitch's Ce Soir that she created at the Hawthorne.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

great silence

1 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Orgeat
2-3 dash Luxardo Maraschino (1/8 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a spiral cut lime twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I delved into the June 2021 article in Imbibe Magazine on Maraschino liqueur. The recipe that called out to me was a shaken mezcal number crafted by Isaac Shumway at California Gold in San Rafael, California called the Great Silence. Given how Campari-orgeat works great in the Pinwheel Swizzle, Maraschino-orgeat in the Gallivanting in Golden Gai, and Campari-Maraschino in the Carnivale, this recipe seemed to do no wrong.
The Great Silence conjured up lime, mezcal, and grapefruit aromas. Next, a creamy lime and orange sip lulled into mezcal and bitter grapefruit flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

the problem solver

2 oz Overproof Rye (Rittenhouse Bonded)
1/2 oz Cherry Herring
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesdays, I decided to make a recipe that Jabriel Donohue posted on his Facebook that he created over a decade ago at the Acadia in Portland and now serves at the Doctor's Office in Seattle called the Problem Solver. Since Fernet works well with both Benedictine and Cherry Heering, I was excited to give this one a go. Moreover, it reminded me a little of a Remember the Maine crossed with a Down & Brown. In the glass, the Problem Solver proffered an orange, rye, and cherry aroma to the nose. Next, a cherry-grape sip concluded with a rye, cherry, and bitter menthol swallow.

call me old fashioned

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 dash Fee's Black Walnut Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, my brand work with Angel's Envy brought me to JM Curley in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood of Boston. For one of my drinks, I asked bar manager Katie Soule for an Old Fashioned or a variation thereof. She whipped up one of her creations that had appeared on a previous menu named Call Me Old Fashioned. The combination of Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, and cinnamon syrup reminded me of the Battle Annie that I had in New York right before quarantine, so I was excited about the drink before it even hit my lips. Overall, this combination made for a great harbinger of Autumn in a glass.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

dot-roy

1 part Gin (1 oz Bombay Dry)
1 part Medium Sherry (1 oz Lustau East India Solera)
1 part Dubonnet (1 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured back into my 1962 edition of Ted Saucier's 1954 Bottoms Up book and spied the Dot-Roy as a curious equal parts drink. The recipe was created at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey; the hotel was named after the founder of the city from back in 1666, and the building opened for business in 1916 just in time for the arrival and stay of President Woodrow Wilson and his wife Edith to celebrate the city's 250th anniversary. There was no indication in the book of who or what the cocktail was named after, but perhaps it was Broadway performer Dorothy Roy albeit a slightly obscure one. A drier sherry form of the drink appeared as the Chase in Jere Sullivan's 1930 The Drinks of Yesteryear: A Mixology with the comment that it was often "plagiarized by New York hotels" (Newark being not too far from New York). Once prepared, the Dot-Roy sang out with a lemon, plum, and berry bouquet. Next, grape and cherry notes on the sip danced towards gin, nutty, and plum flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 30, 2021

prime directive

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, via a mention on Kindred Cocktails I found a 2016 article of Star Trek drinks on Liquor.com. The one that called out to me was the Prime Directive by Andrew Volk at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club. According to the Star Trek Wiki, his drink made reference to "a guiding principle of Starfleet, prohibiting its members from interfering with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations... and from using their superior technology to impose their own values or ideals on them." The combination of ingredients reminded me of a blanc vermouth and Angostura Bitters version of the dry vermouth and orange bitters Poet's Dream.
The Prime Directive guided lemon, pine, and floral aromas to the nose. Next, white grape and a hint of caramel on the sip led into gin, chocolate, herbal, minty, cinnamon, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

the revelator

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
3 Espresso Beans (Dark Roast Coffee Beans)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange peel. Note: do not muddle the coffee beans.

Two Sundays ago, I returned to the 2020 Community Cocktails book and was intrigued by Keith Waldbauer's The Revelator as a Tequila Manhattan flavored with coffee beans. The book listed him as working at the The Doctor's Office in Seattle; however, this drink dates back to his time at the Libery Bar. A 2016 article in Thrillist describes, "Tasked to create a cocktail with whole beans in an 'iron bartender' competition, Liberty Bar co-owner Keith Waldbauer opted against muddling (the resulting cocktail would be way too bitter) and chose instead to stir the beans directly into the drink, gently releasing their oils and producing more subtle coffee notes. The drink proved a hit and quickly made its way onto the permanent menu at the bar. Strong and just a little spicy, it's an incredible digestif." The older version utilized sweet vermouth and bitters instead of Punt e Mes here, and overall, the combination reminded me a little of the Razor Ramon, so I set of mixing.
The Revelator proffered orange, coffee, and vegetal aromas to the nose. Next, caramel and grape on the sip flipped to tequila and bitter herbal flavors on the swallow with a coffee and caramel finish.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

shadow dreaming

2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Zucca (Sfumato)
1/4 oz Hamilton's Demerara 151° Rum (Diamond Reserve 151°)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
(1 bsp Demerara Syrup added for balance)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with 5 drops Bittermens Mole Bitters.
Two Saturdays prior, I was scanning the Kindred Cocktails database when I was drawn in by Kyle Davidson's Shadow Dreaming that he crafted at Blackbird in Chicago circa 2016. This Bourbon Manhattan was gussied up with hints of smoky amaro, overproof Demerara rum, and chocolate bitters, so it seemed like an easy win for the evening. Here, the Shadow Dreaming greeted the nose with chocolate, Bourbon, and cherry aromas. Next, roasty chocolate and grape notes on the sip transformed into Bourbon, rum, smoky char, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Friday, August 27, 2021

north sea oil

1 1/2 oz Linie Aquavit (Aalborg)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/4 oz Combier Triple Sec (Cointreau)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I turned to the NoMad Cocktail Book and spied Leo Robitschek's North Sea Oil. I had previously skipped over this one for I lack Linie's aged aquavit; however, I figured that the Scotch in the mix would provide enough barrel notes to make this combination work with an unaged aquavit. I was also intrigued for I have only previously paired Scotch and aquavit once in Trey Jenkin's Grog of Thor. In the glass, the North Sea Oil rose to the senses with a grapefruit, orange, caraway, and smoke aroma. Next, orchard fruit and pear notes led into smoky, orange, and caraway flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

the improved

1 1/4 oz Cockspur 12 Rum (Appleton Signature)
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
3/4 oz Zucca (Sfumato)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
10 drop Bittermens Tiki Bitters (Bittercube Trinity)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
While looking through Kindred Cocktails two Thursdays ago, I wondered what Sother Teague gems were hiding there after having written up my recent Amor y Amargo adventures earlier in the day. There, I was drawn in by Sother's The Improved that he created at Amor y Amargo in 2014 and was published in the 2015 Cuban Cocktails book, and it reminded me a little of his Improved Kingston Negroni. Indeed, the book describes how, "this deliciously astringent cocktail... is a version of the Kingston Negroni by Joaquin Simo, owner of Pouring Ribbons." The Improved began with orange and dark herbal aromas that preceded a grape, caramel, and roast sip. Next, funky rum, smoky bitter, and plum flavors rounded out the swallow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

accidental hipter

3/4 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I was skimming through Kindred Cocktails when I spotted the Accidental Hipster that reminded me of a rye whiskey version of the Mr. Clark's Cane. The recipe was crafted by Julia and Chris Tunstall of A Bar Above after having been inspired by a night out at San Francisco's Trick Dog bar. I have noted Maraschino's softening effect on Fernet such as in the Schnitzelberg, and here the duo was paired up in an equal parts format with rye and lemon juice.
The Accidental Hipster administered a lemon, cherry, and menthol nose. Next, lemon, cherry, and caramel on the sip gave forth rye, nutty, minty, and menthol flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

drove all night

1 1/2 oz Cardamaro
1 oz Lustau Brandy (Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
2 dash Scrappy's Orange Bitters
1 dash Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters (The Bitter House Wife)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the 2020 Community Cocktails book where I spotted the Drove All Night. This recipe was crafted by Andrea Zeuge at Barnacle and Vito's in Seattle, and I gave it a go since I enjoyed her Long Way Home so much. Here, the Drove All Night shared grapefruit, grape, tropical fruit, and chocolate aromas to the nose. Next, grape and caramel on the sip conjured brandy, chocolate, herbal, orange, and cardamom flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 23, 2021

matrimony cocktail

1 1/2 oz Genever (Bols)
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
3/4 oz Nocino (Russo)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, after spotting a reference to Erik Ellestad's Ashtray Heart on Kindred Cocktails, I searched the database for other recipes that Erik had created. The one that called out to me was his Matrimony Cocktail that got published in Imbibe Magazine in 2011. I was curious as to how Genever would work with walnut, and one of the commenters on my Instagram post mentioned how great of a combination Genever and nuts are. Here, lemon, malty, and walnut aromas reached the nose. Next, malt with a hint of roasty nuttiness on the sip swayed towards Genever malt and botanicals melding into walnut flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

:: calmness in the storm ::

Any essay written in response to a thread on Reddit; also a follow up to the 2017 article I wrote for the USBG blog that I republished here entitled The Stress of Being Weeded.

On Reddit about a month ago, a bartender forum user asked “How do you deal with the drown?” They meant, how should one handle the rush where one can neither breathe nor provide good service as well as handle the existential dread and/or panic attack. If we have been making money, we’ve all been there before perhaps once or more per week. Although with some pooled house restaurant situations, a bartender can still make a solid living without seeing this level of post-capacity demand, but even then, it still can occur. Frequently, in a busy drinks-forward establishment, this is a regular fear that needs to be quelled.

I offered up two suggestions. My first was, “Look at your watch and get a reality check of ‘two more hours until it slows down and three more until last call’.” Knowing the time frame of how bad things will be put the mind at ease that it will not be an indeterminate period of torture. At my current place, our kitchen closes earlier than it used to pre-Covid, so that major rush often has me thinking that it will be 90 minutes until things slow down, and that is easy to process. Assessments can be made of what tasks can be skipped and saved until it slows down or the bar closes. Glassware, for example, can pile up a bit but not too much if supplies start running low. At more drinks-forward bars and at later night restaurants, often this window can be 2-3 hours, and knowing that and counting down provided a sense of hope.

The other aspect is mental once you have established the time frame. My second suggestion was, “Get yourself in a zen mode early with ‘I will move efficiently and serve as many people as possible, but when it gets busy, folks will have to wait.’ It’s a point of reality and not one to panic over.” Another user agreed. They replied, “Think about volunteers that feed starving children, of course they want to feed as many children as possible, but if they don’t feed themselves, they can’t help anyone. But in our line of work, it’s not life or death. If someone has to wait a few minutes for their drinks, so be it. Don’t stress it. Your guest aren’t waiting for you, they are waiting for the guests in front of them in the line.” It was very well stated, although the part about the guests might be inaccurate when viewed through their eyes.

What I did not cover in my comments in that thread is to anticipate the rush that night. Come in expecting it. Stay hydrated knowing that there will be a point in the night where one can no longer take a moment for oneself. That can be expanded to coming into the shift well fed and taking bathroom and snack breaks before this rush occurs. Remember to make sure one’s shoes are tied tight: my definition of being weeded is when one’s shoes are untied, it is noticed, but the time is not there to remedy that.

Sometimes one faces these shifts solo, but often it’s a team. If one has confidence in the team, live up to the others’ expectations and they will do so in return. If there is a weak link, this can be an issue. It has become all too common with this job market that managers will bring in inexperienced folks to work the shift. This can double one’s work as there is a need to make up for their inefficiency and slothfulness by taking additional orders as well as taking time to bail them out of problems like them not knowing how to make a basic drink. If there is a sign of improvement, continue to take the time to improve them and hope for the best. With a recent hire at my job where they claimed to have been a bartender for years, speak to the manager about how toxic it is to the team to have someone on a busy night claiming to be experienced but incapable of handling anything faster than a lunch shift. One day, we will return to moments where my coworkers declare that the Saturday night crew is the “dream team,” but that seems to be a rare phenomenon now according to bartenders here around town. Relatively, we all have a dream team given the best of our staffing resources. Not looking back to how things were in the past seems to be important; however, the guests are coming in expecting service the way they remembered before the pandemic.

There are other things that can be fixed if the problem persists. Things like streamlining the menu, simplifying the cocktails, batching drinks, rearranging the well, and the like can lead to more happy guests and staff. All too often, menus end up cocktails that one dreads making at those times like the egg white drink with the pretty stencil that is a great treat to offer folks on a Tuesday but not so much on a Saturday. Eliminating those menu items or reducing their availability to only certain nights of the week can help.

In the end, the best service is often provided by a bartender exuding a smile and a sense of calm no matter how busy things can get. Efficiency of movement will provide better results than frantic actions that can lead to mistakes, breaks, and mis-pours. Getting agitated and absorbing the adrenaline rush heads one towards that frantic zone. So, taking a deep breath, looking at the watch, and making sure the bar and oneself are set up for success before that moment arrives, and calmness even in the storm is possible.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

pennsylvania

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 3/4 oz Rittenhouse)
1/3 Italian Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat Sweet)
1 dash Sherry (1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I delved into Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Pennsylvania. This Manhattan-like number featured a hint of sherry, and I wanted to see if I could replicate the great effect observed in Wit's End's It's A Long, Long Way. In the glass, the Pennsylvania proffered nutty, rye, and fruit aromas. Next, grape and plum on the sip was followed by rye, cherry, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Friday, August 20, 2021

nude descending a staircase

1 1/4 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt) (*)
3/4 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)
1/2 oz Suze
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
(*) I wish that I had used Rittenhouse here for greater spice to work against the aquavit.

Two Fridays ago, I was inspired by last night's combination in the Cubist of aquavit and Suze to riff on it. To the aquavit, I recalled how well it paired with rye whiskey in the Long Way Home, the Carra-Ryed Away, and other recipes. I considered adding an aromatized wine to the mix, but I opted to keep this in the style of an Old Fashioned for simplicity's sake. As for a name, I recalled the painting Nude Descending a Staircase as being sort of Cubist. Indeed, Marcel Duchamp's 1912 work was first labeled as Cubist before being rejected by the art movement as being too Futuristic.
The Nude Descending a Staircase showcased orange, gentian herbal, and caraway aromas. Next, herbal and spice notes on the sip flowed into rye, gentian, licorice, chocolate, and caraway flavors on the swallow. Overall, I was pleased with the combination especially as an extension of last night's Cubist Cocktail, although I wish that I had used a more aggressively spiced rye like Rittenhouse instead of the softer Old Overholt to complement the aquavit better.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

cubist

1 oz Suze
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)
2 dash Bitter Truth Olive Bitters (Doc Elliot's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist (include peel).
After returning from Manhattan late on Thursday two weeks prior, there was time for food and a cocktail before bed. For that nightcap, I pulled out the sheet of recipes from Amor y Amargo's Reserve Bar menu and spotted the Cubist created by Sother Teague. For the Reserve Bar, this drink was paired with a lox (plant-based) with dill-scallion cream cheese on an everything spiced bagel sandwich. Here, the Cubist proffered a lemon, gentian, and caraway aroma. Next, lemony wine notes on the sip turned the corner to caraway, herbal, and earthy flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

trainspotter

1 1/4 oz Laird's Jersey Lightning Apple Brandy
1 oz Ramazzotti Aperitivo Rosato
3/4 oz Pasubio Vino Amaro
2 dash Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
For a second drink at Amor y Amargo, I asked bartender Bruce Schultz if he had any recipes that he had been working on. He replied that he had a Negroni variation that was inspired by a conversation with a New Zealander who came into the bar about a month prior. While the literal meaning of the term is someone who is into train schedules and other rail-related minutia, Bruce described that it can be anything rather odd that you are really into. Here, the Pasubio's blueberry notes were allowed to shine and were perhaps bolstered by the other fruity elements in the mix. Indeed, the nose started things off with an orange and blueberry aroma. Next, caramel and blueberry on the sip slid into apple and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

zipper skin

1 1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz High Wire Distilling Southern Amaro
3/4 oz Bigallet China-China
1 dash Cocktail Punk Smoked Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
During my New York City trip, I made a stop into Amor y Amaro on that Wednesday for a pair of drinks. For a starter, I asked bartender Bruce Shultz for the Zipper Skin from the menu that appeared like a Boulevardier riff akin to the Poison Arrow. When I inquired about the recipe, Bruce handed me a sheet from one of Amor y Amargo's Reserve Bar nights that they held in November and December of 2020 where five cocktails were each paired with small dishes for eight guests per session. The Zipper Skin for that event was matched with crispy orange-scented cauliflower with a raisin-caper emulsion. The Zipper Skin here without a small plate proffered an orange oil and caramel bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel and orange peel on the sip led into Bourbon, cinnamon, orange, tea, gentian, and quinine flavors on the swallow.

Post note 8/24/21: I found the Zipper Skin in Sother's I'm Just Here for the Drinks book. It describes how, "Zipper Skins are a variety of Dancy tangerine whose skins are easily peeled or zipped off. This drink is plentiful with orange flavors: China China is an orange and herb amaro... Southern Amaro... is made from gentian, mint, black tea, and Dancy tangerines... Though it's a sipper, it zips down fast."

Monday, August 16, 2021

humble pie

1 1/2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Applejack
1/2 oz Remy Martin 1738 Cognac
1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1 tsp Nutmeg Syrup
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with lemon and orange oil from twists. Note: the recipe in the book has two dashes of absinthe.
From Monday morning to Thursday afternoon two weeks prior, I was in Manhattan for the Angel's Envy regional meeting. One of our events was dinner at the Dead Rabbit on that Tuesday evening where they presented us a short menu of Bourbon drinks. The one I started with was the Humble Pie; after I acquired the recipe from the bartender and mentioned it to my teammate, he declared that it was in their second book, Mixology & Mayhem. Once home, I noted that the book attributed Jillian Vose for having crafted this number, and its recipe was the same save for the whiskey being a Tennessee rye as well as containing two dashes of Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe (either left off my hand-written recipe or not included for this event). While I did not take detailed tasting notes, I do recall it being in the ballpark of a Bourbon Old Fashioned with hints of something darker and fruitier in the works.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

negroni tropicale

1 1/2 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 bsp (1/8 oz) Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange slice.
Two Sundays ago, I had spied an intriguing Negroni variation created by home enthusiast James Hamilton via his Instagram called the Negroni Tropicale. He explained that he "really wanted a Negroni and a Tiki drink at the same time." I found the combination to appear as a mashup of Jamie Boudrea's Novara and the Floridita Daiquiri, so I made the recipe for the evening's libation. Moreover, tropical Negronis have been great before including Ryan Lotz's Amaro di Cocco and my Negroni on Saturn. Here, orange, bitter orange, passion fruit, and grapefruit aromas wafted to the nose. Next, lime and tropical fruit notes on the sip relaxed into gin and grapefruit flavors on the swallow with a chocolate and lime finish.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

bicyclette

3/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a flute glass, and top with sparkling wine (Gloria Ferrer).

Two Saturdays ago, it was my birthday; after I returned home from my shift at the bar, Andrea surprised me with Thai take out in the kitchen followed by cake and sparkling wine on our deck. For a cocktail to follow, I saved some of the sparkling wine and recalled a recipe that I had spotted in the Hawthorne bar bible the night before called the Bicyclette. This was a very different one from Jamie Boudreau's 2007 La Bicyclette, and it was closer to the Pink Penelope but with different citrus. With the great combination of Campari and elderflower liqueur, I was game to give this one a try.

The drink appeared in a blogger's post about the bar in late 2015, and the bar bible provided the menu subtitle containing the wise words of "Love is a bicycle, fall off & ride again." Indeed, that subtitle sounded like it could be found in the "Letter to a Young Bartender" that Jackson Cannon wrote during his tenure at the Hawthorne. Here, the Bicyclette began with grapefruit and bitter orange aromas. Next, sparkling wine and orange notes on the sip pedaled off into grapefruit and floral flavors on the swallow.

Friday, August 13, 2021

black princess

1 oz Privateer Navy Yard Rum
3/4 oz Michter's Rye
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Amaro di Angostura

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe glass, and garnish with a cherry (Woodford Reserve).
Two Fridays ago, I began perusing the Hawthorne bar bible when I spotted the Black Princess that reminded me of Drink's 1919 Cocktail. The recipe was crafted by bartender Nick Frank circa 2016 with the menu subtitle "Luke Ryan's Dread Consort." The bar book provided the back history of, "Dubliner Luke Ryan had sailed his ship out of home waters as a British privateer to fight the Americans. But he had decided that profit and duty would be best served by turning pirate for the French Crown, and going to war against the British Navy for the freedom of the United States." In the glass, the rum aromas joined the amaro's caramel and clove ones. Next, grape and caramel on the sip sailed off into rum, rye, allspice, and clove flavors on the swallow. Overall, the balance was a bit more spice driven and less herbal than the 1919.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

cabb

1 oz Apple Brandy (Morin Calvados)
1 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
1/4 oz Branca Menta

Build without ice, give a quick stir, and serve at room temperature.

Two Thursdays ago, I spotted an intriguing Sother Teague recipe on Kindred Cocktails called CABB. I was able to source the backstory via a GrubStreet article that described how this was created for Amor y Amargo's 8 seat Reserve Bar circa November or December 2020. That series was a ticketed session pairing 5 cocktails with 5 dishes for a fixed price. During my recent trip to Amor y Amargo last week, I was given an old menu that showed that it was served along side a dish of slow-cooked navy beans with garlic confit, blistered tomatoes, mint, and toast. That mint element would work great with the touch of Branca Menta in the mix.
The CABB welcomed the senses with a caramel, menthol, and minty aroma. Next, caramel and grape on the sip slid into apple, funky vegetal, and minty-menthol flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

age of discovery

3/4 oz Blackstrap Rum (Cruzan)
3/4 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1/2 oz Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Turbinado Sugar (Demerara)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with nanche berries or a cherry (Woodford Reserve cherry).
Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted the Age of Discovery in an Imbibe Magazine article on Maraschino liqueur recipes. The drink was crafted by Kehlen Selph at the Pastry War in Houston and originally published in Emma Janzen's Mezcal book; Kehlen was inspired by "a drink called the Cucaracha Rum, a blackstrap-heavy cocktail from a 1920s bar in Mexico City called La Cucaracha Cocktail Club," and to that concept, she added mezcal to the mix. In the glass, the Age of Discovery proffered mezcal, cherry, and caramel-molasses aromas to the nose. Next, a dark, rich sip ventured into mezcal, nutty cherry, dark rum, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

southern belle

2 oz Weller Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101°)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Peche (Mathilde)
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into the Hawthorne bar bible and spied the Southern Belle created by bartender Katie Emmerson (now Orkane). The recipe reminded me of the Democrat, so I gave it a go. In the glass, the Southern Belle met the nose with a Bourbon and peach bouquet. Next, lemon and orchard fruit notes on the sip curtsied towards Bourbon, peach, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 9, 2021

creole cocktail

1/2 Whiskey (1 1/4 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye)
1/2 Italian Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Cocchi Sweet)
2 dash Benedictine (1/4 oz)
2 dash Amer Picon (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Recently, I was writing about a drink that reminded me of the Creole Cocktail, but I had to keep linking to a recipe at Green Street that utilized Punt e Mes in place of the hard to find Amer Picon. Therefore, I went back to my reprint of Hugo Ensslin's 1917 Recipes for Mixing Drinks and remade the earliest known recipe (technically first published in Ensslin's 1916 first edition). I stuck with rye as the call for whiskey to replicate modern interpretations and translated two dashes as a quarter ounce. In the glass, the Creole Cocktail donated a lemon oil over dark orange aroma. Next, grape and orange notes on the sip danced towards rye, herbal, orange, and grape flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

the ernesto

2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Herbstura (1 light dash each Angostura Bitters and Herbsaint)

Shake with cracked ice, pour into a double old fashioned glass with 2 oz Ting grapefruit soda, and garnish with a lime wheel (omit) and an edible orchid (nasturtium).
Two Sundays ago, my nasturtium border on my vegetable garden was beginning to impress me with its blooms, so I searched for a Tiki drink to make. In The Smuggler's Cove book, I came across the Ernesto created by Martin Cate that was doable since we had Ting soda in the house to make Palomas. The text was very short on backstory, and all I was able to determine that it was created in or before 2010 when it was published in a magazine article on tequila recipes. Once assembled, the Ernesto shared a peppery, floral, and tequila aroma. Next, lime, grapefruit, and honey on the sip fell aside to tequila and apricot on the swallow with a grapefruit and anise finish.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

boo radley

2 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101°)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Cherry Heering

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with oils from both a lemon twist and an orange twist (optional to add the peels as well).

Two Saturdays ago, I was reminded via Facebook memories of hanging out with Chris Hannah during Tales of the Cocktail, and I searched Kindred Cocktails for a recipe of his that I have not yet made. There, I spied the Boo Radley sourced from Punch Drink that I probably skipped over due to its similarity to a Boston drink, Not the First Cyn. Chris created the Boo Radley at Arnaud's French 75 in New Orleans as a tribute to the character in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and he was inspired by that Southern literary classic to riff on a Southern cocktail classic, the Creole from Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Here, Chris swapped Cynar for the sweet vermouth and Cherry Heering for the Amer Picon (the article does not mention where the Benedictine went though).
The Boo Radley showcased an orange, lemon, and dark herbal aroma. Next, caramel and cherry on the sip led into Bourbon, bitter cherry, and chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Friday, August 6, 2021

out of focus

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur (Rothman & Winter Orchard Pear)
1 dash Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters (Bitter House Wife Cardamom)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I was scanning through the recipes in the 2020 Community Cocktails book and spied the Out of Focus that Steff Rider created at the Liberty in Seattle. The combination of Green Chartreuse and pear liqueur reminded me of the Statesman, so I was curious to see how it would behave with tequila, Cocchi Americano, and cardamom bitters. In the glass, the Out of Focus put forth a lemon and herbal aroma. Next, pear and apricot notes on the sip blurred into tequila transitioning into Green Chartreuse with a fruity element in between on the swallow with a cardamom finish.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

stranger than kindness

1 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Rhum Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Mezcal (Mezcal Union)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I was reminded of the Up Jumped the Devil and was inspired to riff on it. That drink featured the mezcal-rhum agricole combination that I was first introduced to in the Chantico and Wilhelm Scream at Craigie on Main, and I have used an additional few times in the Lili'uokalani's Downfall and Miracles Take Longer. Instead of the Cynar-Green Chartreuse duo, I opted for the apricot-Benedictine one that I first noted in the Silk Road Sour and utilized in the Bedford Nest, Peruvian Necktie, and Fall on Me. For a name, I stayed with the original's Nick Cave concept and dubbed this one Stranger than Kindness.
The Stranger than Kindness began with a funky vegetal and apricot aroma. Next, the rich sip yielded caramel notes from the Benedictine, and the swallow rounded things up with vegetal, herbal, and apricot flavors with a chocolate finish.