Sunday, March 7, 2021

folly ruins

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Russo Nocino)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Sundays ago, I contemplated the Quarter Deck riff called the Full Deck a few weeks ago and how the drink family had rum and sherry as the only two common ingredients. A nutty sherry made me think of walnut liqueur such as in the Bittersweet Serenade, and that liqueur made me consider the pairing with Cynar that I had most recently in the Bitter Branch. For a rum, I selected the highly aromatic Jamaican rum Smith & Cross to round out the combination. To name this one, I dubbed this one the Folly Ruins after a mansion built in Port Antonio, Jamaica, that used sea water in the cement, and this construction blunder caused the structures to crumble over time.
The Folly Ruins met the nose with bright lemon oil, rum funk, and darker undertones of nutty-caramel elements. Next, grape and caramel mingled on the sip, and the swallow showcased funky rum, walnut, and bitter-funky vegetal flavors with a clove finish.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

jungle bird negroni

1 1/2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1/4 oz Hamilton Jamaica Black Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Pineapple Syrup

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Saturdays ago, my fresh batch of pineapple syrup was ready, so I was excited to use it in a recipe that I had spotted in the Hawthorne bar bible. That drink was the Jungle Bird Negroni created by Jared Sadoian circa 2018, and like my Zombie riff The Count Rides Again, it mashed up a classic Tiki drink with the Negroni. After an easy build, the Jungle Bird Negroni donated a lime and bright pineapple bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel from the rums and grape from the vermouth filled the sip, and the swallow proffered rum, pineapple, and bitter orange flavors to round out the drink.

Friday, March 5, 2021

flip out

1 1/2 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
3/4 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
~1/4 oz Marie Brizard Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
8 drop Salt Tincture (1 pinch Salt)
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
Two Fridays ago, I decided to continue on with a second drink from Kirk Estopinal's trilogy in Beta Cocktails, the Halfway to a Three Ways to Lose Your Lover. Here, the Flip Out was the whole egg version with flipped around rum-vermouth proportions of the All's Fair. Once assembled, the Flip Out showcased the rum's caramel aroma along with orange notes from the twist oils and liqueur. The caramel and orange continued on into the sip, and they were followed by rum, chocolate, and cola flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

jeckyll & hyde

1 1/2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon (Old Forester 100°)
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 tsp Demerara Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dah Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a lemon twist and an orange one.
Two Thursdays ago, I continued on with the Old Fashioned theme with one from the Death & Co. Cocktail Book called the Jeckyll & Hyde. After preparing this recipe created by Thomas Waugh in 2009, it proffered orange, lemon, Bourbon, and cinnamon aromas. Next, apple notes on the sip transformed into Bourbon, apple, cinnamon, allspice, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

freehand old fashioned

2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 bsp Galliano Ristretto Coffee Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesdays, I was in an Old Fashioned sort of mood, and I recalled spotting an interesting recipe in the Hawthorne's bar bible. That drink was the Freehand Old Fashioned that bartender Jason Kilgore crafted circa 2017 in honor of the Freehand Hotel in Miami which is the home of the award-winning Broken Shaker bar. Moreover, the recipe was featured in a 2018 Liquor.com article about the rise of the Rum Old Fashioned. Once prepared, the Freehand Old Fashioned met the nose with an orange and pineapple bouquet. Next, a roast-filled sip summoned a pineapple, coffee, allspice, and clove swallow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

bending blades

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana)
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Salers Gentian Liqueur (Suze)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.

Two Tuesdays ago, I was browsing the ShakeStir database and spotted the Bending Blades by Los Angeles bartender Chris Day. Chris' recipe had the brief description of, "An aperitif that finds 3 lovers rolling through fresh cut grass. Without the stains." which must have been apropos of the competition that he submitted it for in 2015. Those three "lovers" were sherry, grapefruit, and tequila, and he continued on with, "So good together, I decided to make an aromatic drink out of them. The Salers is just the bitter, herbaceous twine that binds them all together."
The Bending Blades awakened the senses with a limoncello-like aroma. Next, a citrussy sip tumbled into tequila, vegetal, and grapefruit flavors on the swallow.

Monday, March 1, 2021

spanish ruby

1 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Star Rum (Privateer Tres Aromatique)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wheel.
Two Monday ago, I began sifting through my volumes of Food & Wine: Cocktails and found the Spanish Ruby in the final 2016 edition. The recipe was created by Natasha David at Nitecap in Manhattan, and the Spanish Ruby it refers to could be the World War I-era semiautomatic handgun that the French had made for them first by the Spanish firm of Gabilondo y Urresti-Eibar (over 50 companies manufactured these into the 1950s). Here, in liquid form, it proffered a rum, cinnamon, and grapefruit aroma. Next, lime and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow shot forth with rum, nutty, cinnamon, and grapefruit flavors.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

roman holiday

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Cynar
1 oz Blood Orange Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist and cherry. The text mentioned that regular orange juice can be used when blood oranges are out of season.
When Andrea returned home from the store two Sundays ago with a bag of blood oranges, I recalled a recipe that I had been eying in Frank Caiafa's The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book called the Roman Holiday. This 2010 number matched the blood orange with gin and two bitter liqueurs: Aperol and Cynar which have worked well together in drinks like the Rucola Negroni and Juan Bautista. The name made me think of my initial taste of blood oranges which was on my first vacation that I took on my own where I bought the fruit from vendors in Rome. Once prepared, the Roman Holiday greeted the nose with orange and pine notes. Next, orange and berry on the sip gave way to gin and bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

hawaiian war chant

2 oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
1/4 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (1/2 bsp Kübler)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I began flipping through Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails and spied the Hawaiian War Chant. The recipe was crafted by Mikey Diehl at Ward III as a Rum Old Fashioned variation that utilized a few elements from the 1934 Zombie including the Don's Mix (here with grapefruit liqueur instead of grapefruit juice), Angostura Bitters, and absinthe. The drink might have been named after the popular American tune that was modeled after an 1860s piece by Prince Leleiohuku. The original song was "Kāua I Ka Huahuaʻi" or "We Two in the Spray," and it was not a chant or battle tale but a story of two lovers sneaking off to meet. Diehl is a fan of Tiki but he worked in a bar that favored stirred whiskey drinks, so this was the menu item compromise to fit the clientele.
The Hawaiian War Chant met the nose with orange, cinnamon, and dark rum aromas. Next, caramel from the rum filled the sip, and the swallow bellowed forth rum, cinnamon, and grapefruit flavors with an anise and allspice finish.

Friday, February 26, 2021

bitter branch

3 oz Rittenhouse Rye (2 oz)
1 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Russo Nocino)
1 dash Salt Tincture (1 pinch Salt) (*)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with a candied walnut (omit).
(*) Another recipe said 3 drops which is more in line than a dash.
Friday two weeks prior, I found my copy of Northstar Cocktails and found Pip Hanson's Bitter Branch. I was intrigued by its walnut-Cynar combination that I had first experienced at Russell House Tavern with the My Triumphs, My Mistakes and that I utilized in my Shadows & Tall Trees that I created there six month later (I joined the team a month or so after having the former drink). Once mixed, the Bitter Branch approached with a walnut and vegetal aroma. Next, a caramel sip bent towards a rye, minty, and walnut swallow.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

bright hatchet

1 1/4 oz Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Combier Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
3 drop Bittercube Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)
2 drop Rose Water

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I found a bookmark that I had left in Carey Jones' Brooklyn Bartender for the Bright Hatchet created by Jay Zimmerman at Ba'sik. This stirred tequila drink met the nose with a grapefruit, tequila, and floral aroma. Next, a sweet grapefruit and grape sip sliced into a tequila, grapefruit, and mineral swallow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

all's fair

1 1/2 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
3/4 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
8 drop Salt Tincture (1 slightly large pinch Salt)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured into my copy of the 2011 Beta Cocktails to make the All's Fair that I had recently spotted on Reddit. The recipe crafted by Kirk Estonipal at the Cure in New Orleans was the first part of the Halfway to a Three Ways to Lose Your Lover; the partner to it was The Flip Out that was vermouth- instead of rum-forward and, of course, included an egg, and a room temperature one as the third. In the glass, the All's Fair donated an orange aroma from the twist and Curaçao that was joined by caramel and molasses notes from the dark rum. Next, the caramel continued on into the sip where it was chased by dark rum, cola, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

letter to a younger self

3/4 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
3/4 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet (Cocchi Americano)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

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

After spotting the recipe a couple weeks back for the Heather in Queue that Jackson Cannon created at Eastern Standard in 2008, the cocktail was still on my mind. The combination was a near classic one akin to the 1940s Don't Give Up the Ship, and I wanted to make my own take on it keeping the orange liqueur-Fernet Branca duo intact. Therefore, I switched the spirit from gin to a split of Scotch and apple brandy and swapped the blanc vermouth for Cocchi Americano. For a name, I dubbed this one Letter to a Younger Self as a nod to Jackson's infamous "Letter to a Young Bartender" that he penned for Tales of the Cocktail 2014.
The Letter to a Younger Self greeted the senses with an orange, peat, and menthol bouquet. Next, apple and melon notes on the sip progressed into Scotch and apple-orange flavors on the swallow with a minty-menthol finish.

Monday, February 22, 2021

zephyr

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1 dash Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.
Two Mondays ago, I spied a Little Branch cocktail in the Hawthorne bar bible called the Zephyr that seemed like a delicious Martini riff. The recipe which reminded me of an Albert Mathieu was created by Benjamin Schwartz in 2010, and I found that the Bartender's Choice app had it as a half ounce each of Cocchi Americano and Green Chartreuse with no bitters; I decided that the Hawthorne's slight variation was more in tune with my palate though. Once prepared, the Zephyr breezed in with a lemon and pine aroma with hints of Chartreuse's herbal elements. Next, a minty pear sip drifted into a gin and herbal swallow.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

boulevard of broken dreams

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Averna
1/2 oz Fidencio Mezcal
1 bsp Demerara Syrup (omit)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed).

Two Sundays ago, I spotted the Boulevard of Broken Dreams on Kindred Cocktails and was lured in by the name. It is a reference to the Gottfried Helnwein painting that was a remake of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks painting with Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Humphrey Bogart in place of the original characters. The drink itself was crafted by Kyle Martin in 2018 at the Grotto in Levenworth, Washington, and the combination of Campari, Averna, and mezcal reminded me of the rum-based Departed.
In the glass, the Boulevard of Broken Dreams met the nose with orange oil over dark herbal aromas and smoke. Next, a caramel sip slid into rye, smoky mezcal, and dark bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

sade's taboo

2 oz Hine H Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Dolin Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters (2 dash Bittercube Jamaica #2)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe.
Saturday two weeks prior, I was flipping through the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and spotted the Sade's Taboo created by Jessica Gonzalez in 2009. Overall, the recipe seemed like a brandy version of the Hoots Mon so I was intrigued. Once prepared, the Sade's Taboo began with a Cognac, orchard fruit, and grape bouquet. Next, the vermouth's grape continued on into the sip where it was followed by Cognac and pear-like flavors on the swallow.

Friday, February 19, 2021

east india swizzle

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Triple Sec(Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with 2 dash Angostura Bitters, a cinnamon stick, and an orchid (omit).
Two Fridays ago, I was intrigued by the East India Swizzle that was published in Imbibe Magazine. This tropical riff on Harry Johnson's 1882 East India Cocktail was created by Giuseppe Gonzalez at PKNY in 2011, and it replaced the pineapple syrup with a decent proportion of pineapple juice. Once prepared, the East India Swizzle donated a cinnamon and clove aroma to the nose. Next, orange and pineapple on the sip led into Cognac and orange flavors on the swallow. Later, winter spice notes entered the equation as the Angostura Bitters garnish integrated into the drink.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

full deck

1 1/2 oz Privateer Navy Yard Rum
1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz La Garrocha Oloroso Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Amaro Meletti
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with burnt orange oils.

Two Thursdays ago, I returned to the Hawthorne's bar bible where I was lured in by the Full Deck from Rob Ficks. This rum drink was described as a very loose variation of the Quarter Deck Cocktail (which generally had rum and sherry as the only consistent components). As a menu item, it was captioned, "watch out for that ace up the sleeve" which shifted the focus from the raised part of a sailing ship's deck to more of a gambling theme.
The Full Deck dealt the nose an orange, caramel, and floral-herbal hand. Next, caramel and grape notes shuffled on the sip, and the swallow anted up rum, nutty, and herbal flavors with a cinnamon, clove, and allspice finish.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

kitty hawk

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I spied an intriguing cocktail called the Kitty Hawk on the Kindred Cocktails database. The recipe was crafted by New York City bartender Rafa Garcia Febles in 2020, and the combination reminded me a little of the Corpse Reviver from Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide & Lady's Companion. Once built, the Kitty Hawk flew to the nose with a Bourbon, lemon, and caramel aroma. Next, lemon, caramel, and pear notes on the sip soared to Bourbon, tea, rum, clove, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

the curly-tailed lion

1 1/2 oz Genever (Bols)
1 oz Cardamaro
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
2 dash Absinthe (2/3 bsp Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wondered how Genever would pair with grapefruit liqueur since the spirit had worked well with grapefruit juice in drinks like the One-Armed French Hooker and the Genever Horse's Neck. To balance the drink, I felt that Cardamaro along with absinthe highlights would round out the profile. For a name, I returned back to the Wooden Shoe and dubbed this the Curly-Tailed Lion after another Dutch fairy tale. In the glass, the drink proffered a malt and grapefruit bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and grapefruit on the sip pawed at a Genever and fruity swallow with a grapefruit peel and anise finish. Overall, the combination made for a surprisingly bright drink especially with the absinthe.

Monday, February 15, 2021

belfast bastard

2 oz Tanqueray Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Combier Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with grapefruit oil from a twist.
Two Mondays ago, I ventured back into Gary Regan's The Negroni and became curious about the Belfast Bastard. This recipe crafted by Jack McGarry at the Dead Rabbit in Manhattan was his summery riff on the Lucien Gaudin with grapefruit liqueur in place of the orange one. In the glass, the grapefruit aromas from the twist's oils and the liqueur met the nose along with hints of orange from the Campari. Next, citrus peel notes on the sip led into gin, grapefruit, and bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

el sistema

1 oz Santa Teresa 1796 Rum (Diplomatico Riserva Exclusiva)
1/2 oz Famous Grouse Scotch
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Vanilla Gomme (1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup)
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with freshly grated chocolate.

Two Sundays ago, I returned to the Hawthorne's bar bible and spotted the El Sistema created by Caitlin Hoey circa 2017. The drink's menu subtitle of "to the salutatory power of the classics" referred to the program in Venezuela that began in 1975 where impoverished children were taken off the streets and taught classical-based music.This program was so successful in saving the lives of countless youths that it was spread worldwide. To top off that tribute, the rest was a delightful sounding dessert Flip.
El Sistema greeted the senses with chocolate and dark rum aromas. Next, a creamy chocolate and caramel sip launched into rum, Scotch, chocolate, and vanilla flavors on the swallow with a herbal finish.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

powerful baritone

1 1/2 oz Cutty Sark Prohibition Scotch
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/4 oz Strega
1/4 oz Becherovka
2 dash 18.21 Bitters Leon Ginger Tincture (Berg & Hauck Lemon Bitters)

Build in a double old fashioned glass, add a large ice cube, and stir to mix and chill. Garnish with a spritz of Laphroaig and a lemon twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I was curious about a recipe that I spotted in a Punch Drinks article on Penicillin riffs. The one that called out to me was the Powerful Baritone by Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo, and he crafted this variation without citrus juice which I had only tasted once before in the Penicillin Flip. The Powerful Baritone once assembled crooned out a lemon oil and peat smoke bouquet. Next, malt with an almost honey-like note on the sip transferred into peaty Scotch, orange, and star anise flavors on the swallow with a lemon and spice finish.

Friday, February 12, 2021

wayfarer

1 1/2 oz Ford's Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Fridays ago, I turned to the Hawthorne's bar bible and spotted the Wayfarer by Mackenzie Cavanagh circa 2016 which was captioned, "it is better to travel well than to arrive." The combination of maple syrup and Cynar was one that worked well in a variety of drinks including the Mortal Sunset and Sherry Duval, so I was curious to see how it would work with gin and lime here.
The Wayfarer proffered pine and lime notes over richer maple aromas. Next, lime with maple's flavors and mouthfeel on the sip led into gin, maple, and bitter earthy aspects from the Cynar on the swallow.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

erika marie

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe pre-rimmed with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Two Thursdays, I chose the Brooklyn Bartender book by Carey Jones and spotted the Erika Marie. This recipe was crafted by Nathan Ricke at the Exley, and the use of a women's name reminded me of The Erin by Toby Cecchini; unlike Toby's drink, there was no backstory provided here. Once prepared, the Erika Marie donated a smoke, bright citrus, and cracked black pepper aroma to the nose. Next, lime and tangerine notes on the sip slipped into mezcal and grapefruit flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

without a trace

1 1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon (Angel's Envy)
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Stir with ice, strain into an absinthe-rinsed old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I picked Nico Martini's Texas Cocktails book out of the library and spotted the Without a Trace. This recipe was crafted at Bar 1919 in San Antonio, and the combination reminded me of a Black Manhattan and a Gold Rush mash-up akin to the Rose Gold. Once prepared, the Without a Trace donated an orange, honey, and anise bouquet to the nose. Next, the honey and lemon mingled on the sip, and the swallow displayed the Bourbon and orange-herbal flavors.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

spaghetti western

1 oz Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1/2 oz Los Nahuales Mezcal (Fidencio)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1 dash Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large cube, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I delved into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and spotted the Spaghetti Western. This recipe was crafted by Jessica Gonzalez in 2011, and it reminded me of an agave Black Manhattan. Once prepared, the Spaghetti Western brought forth a grapefruit oil, savory, smoky, vegetal, and orange aroma. Next, caramel and a hint of citrus on the sip roped in a smoky agave and soft herbal swallow.

Monday, February 8, 2021

working in a coal mine

1 1/2 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Rosso Nocino)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, I was still thinking about Misty Kalkofen's Human Rocket that I featured in a video for work. Therefore, I kept the apricot-walnut aspect intact as I riffed on this concept. Instead of Bourbon, I opted for Scotch which worked well with walnut in cocktails like the Storm King and My Triumphs, My Mistakes, and I swapped out the gentian liqueur for Punt e Mes and dashes of bitters. For a name, I kept with the Human Rocket's DEVO theme and named it after another of their songs -- Working in the Coal Mine.
The Working in a Coal Mine dug up an orange, smoke, walnut, and grape aroma. Next, Punt e Mes' grape joined the Scotch's malt on the sip, and the swallow proffered smoky whisky and bitter apricot flavors with a walnut finish.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

pleasure and pain

1 3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Nux Alpina (Russo Nocino)
1/2 oz Branca Menta
1/4 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Sundays ago, I was intrigued with a recipe that I had spotted on the Kindred Cocktails database -- namely, the Pleasure and Pain that Misty Kalkofen created at Brick & Mortar in 2012. Misty's use of walnut liqueur in the Human Rocket, In Vida Veritas, Sentimental Gentleman, and other drinks made me curious as to what she saw in its pairing with Batavia Arrack. Moreover, the duo of Branca Menta and Benedictine in the mix intrigued me. Once prepared, the Pleasure and Pain conjured a minty and menthol aroma. Next, a caramel-driven sip cracked into funky Batavia Arrack, earthy walnut, and Fernet's gentian and mint flavors on the swallow. Overall, I was impressed at how well the Branca Menta kept the Batavia Arrack in check.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

the west end

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (2 oz Four Roses)
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
3 dash Apple Bitters (Dashfire)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass (coupe), and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed).
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to a recipe that I had spotted in the 2013 whiskey booklet in The Cocktail Hour series when I made the Rusty Roy. That drink was the West End which was Sue Erickson's Manhattan riff named after the neighborhood in Portland where Grüner -- the restaurant she worked at -- resides. In the glass, the West End welcomed the nose with an orange and Bourbon aroma. Next, malt, white grape, and apple notes on the sip transferred to Bourbon and orange flavors on the swallow.

Friday, February 5, 2021

the mankiller

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Fidencio)
1 oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry (La Gitana)
1/2 oz Bigallet China-China (Torani Amer)
1/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Luxardo Aperitivo (Martini Aperitivo)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist and a chamomile flower (skip the latter garnish).
For Friday night's libation two weeks ago, I selected the Drinking Like Ladies book and spotted the Mankiller. The recipe was crafted by Anne Marie Sagol at Denver's Occidental and Williams & Graham, and she spun the drink around the life story of Wilma Mankiller who was an activist and politician that fought for Native Americans' rights. Once prepared, the Mankiller greeted the senses with bright orange oil over smoky mezcal aromas with darker notes from the bitter liqueurs. Next, an orange and caramel sip dove into smoke, vegetal, bitter, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

st. louis-style whiskey punch

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Angel's Envy)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish is specified but a lemon or orange twist or perhaps a pineapple wedge would be great here.
For Black History Month, I delved into Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender. Bullock wrote this book after having tended bar for 25 years; it is the first cocktail book written by an African American author, and it was one of the last books to be published in America before Prohibition and provides great insight into what folks were drinking before the Bullock and fellow bartenders' careers were cut short. After having gotten his start in Louisville where Bullock worked at esteemed spots such as the Kenton and Pendennis Club, he moved on to St. Louis, Missouri, to work at the St. Louis Country Club. One of his famous patrons there penned the introduction to the book and touted Bullock’s talents behind the stick, "I doubt if he has erred in even one of his concoctions." The St. Louis Style Whiskey Punch caught my eye. To hear more about Tom Bullock and his book and to see me make the drink, please watch this video that I made for my brand work account. In the glass, the punch mixed Bourbon flavors with fruitier ones from the vermouth, pineapple syrup, and lemon, and these aspects put bright accents on the whiskey itself.

crop top

3/4 oz Beefeater 24 Gin (regular Beefeater)
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Giffard Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I ventured into the Cocktail Codex book and spied the Crop Top. This equal parts number was created by Devon Tarby in 2013 using the Last Word as the structure. For flavors, Devon was influenced by the 1934 Zombie's Don's Mix of grapefruit and cinnamon; here, the grapefruit was from the liqueur and the cinnamon from the Amaro Montenegro. I was so taken in by the drink development story that I did not realize that it was the gin for Bourbon version of the Triple Crown that I had a week and a half prior.
In the glass, the Crop Top showcased a grapefruit and pineapple aroma. Next, lemon and orange on the sip slipped into gin, grapefruit, cinnamon, and nectarine flavors.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

rusty roy

2 oz Famous Grouse Scotch
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Lillet (Cocchi Americano)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to my The Cocktail Hour collection and selected the Rusty Roy from the 2013 whiskey booklet. This cross between a Rusty Nail and a Rob Roy was crafted by Shawn Vegara at San Francisco's Blackbird, and the combination reminded me of the Bournemouth Limited from the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book.
The Rusty Roy welcomed the senses with a lemon, anise, and honey aroma. Next, the honey continued into the sip along with a pear-like note, and the swallow came through with Scotch, herbal, clove, and anise flavors.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

maximo di negroni

1 oz Beefeater 24 Gin (regular Beefeater)
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Amaro Nonino

Build in an old fashioned glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I reached for Gary Regan's The Negroni Book and perused for a drink that I had not made yet. There, I spotted the Maximo di Negroni which I had passed by previously for I lacked Amaro Nonino at the home bar until very recently. The recipe was crafted by Shawn Soole then of Little Jumbo Restaurant & Bar in Victoria, British Columbia; Shawn also stewards an amazing online series called the Post Shift Podcast that is worth checking out. The Maximo di Negroni met the nose with an orange, dark grape, and pine aroma. Next, Punt e Mes' grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with caramel and orange notes from the amaro, and the swallow rounded things off with gin and bitter herbal flavors driven mostly by the Punt e Mes.

Monday, February 1, 2021

shadow boxer

1 1/2 oz Yaguara Cachaça (Salina Umbarana)
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Blume Apricot Eau De Vie (Shelakh)
1/4 oz Giffard Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I returned back to Carey Jones' Brooklyn Bartender and spotted Ivy Mix's Shadow Boxer that she created at Leyenda. Other recipes that I later found had this served in a rocks glass over ice, and they suggested that it was crafted in 2016. This cachaça Negroni of sorts met the nose with an orange oil, funky, grassy, grapefruit, and apricot aroma. Next, a peach-like sip led into funky, grassy, grapefruit, and bitter orange flavors on the swallow with an apricot finish. It was rather curious as to how the grapefruit, apricot, and orange elements individually faded in and out over various sips.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

just the paperwork

1 1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
1 oz Cocchi Americano
2 dash Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)
1/2 oz Water

Build in a rocks glass, give a quick stir, and garnish with an orange twist. Note: This is a room temperature cocktail.
Two Sundays ago, I returned to Sother Teague's I'm Just Here for the Drinks book where I spotted the Just the Paperwork. This curious room temperature cocktail was something that Sother frequently mixed up for himself to do the finances at Amor y Amargo after closing the bar at night. Although he referred to it as a Scaffa, the presence of water in the mix put it at a room temperature cocktail; Scaffas are not cocktails due to their missing water component in the 1806 definition of a cocktail of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. One curious thing about this combination was that all three main ingredients are made from grapes for Amaro Nonino is grappa based. Once prepared, the Just the Paperwork wrote out an orange oil and brandy aroma. Next, caramel, orange, and peach notes on the sip waylaid into Cognac, orange, and grapefruit flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

rodeo ghost

1 oz Fidencio Mezcal
1 oz Zucca Amaro (Sfumato)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I saw a mention of a mezcal drink called the Rodeo Ghost, and I hunted down the recipe in a 2012 article in Serious Eats. The drink created by Brent Butler at San Francisco's West of Pecos was a simple equal parter with Zucca and sweet vermouth accented with mole bitters; this was the recipe that I stuck with despite finding a perfect split of sweet and dry vermouth in Drink Me magazine and Punt e Mes as the vermouth on the Kindred Cocktails database. Since mezcal and rabarbaros like Zucca and Sfumato worked so well in the Chain Smoker, Gully Brood, and Postcard Home, I was excited to try this one out.
The Rodeo Ghost welcomed the senses with orange oil over smoky, dark herbal aromas. Next, a roast and grape sip rode into smoky agave melding into smoky bitter flavors on the swallow with a chocolate finish. Overall, this combination brought out a mineral note from the mezcal.

Friday, January 29, 2021

mr. burgess

2 oz Hardy VS Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Rosso Nocino)
1/2 oz Aperol
2 dash Cardamom Bitters (Bitter Housewife)
2 dash Grapefruit Bitters (Bittercube Jamaica #2)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I reached for my collection of The Cocktail Hour booklets and found an interesting one that I had not made before in the 2013 brandy volume. That recipe was Mr. Burgess by Vincenzo Marianella at Santa Monica's Copa d' Oro, and he named it after a famous motorcycle engineer. In the glass, the Mr. Burgess delivered a grapefruit oil aroma over Cognac notes to the nose. Next, a caramel and vaguely fruity sip drove into a Cognac, orange, and walnut swallow with a cardamom finish.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

uptown manhattan

2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1 tsp Cherry Heering
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry and orange oil from a twist (orange peel-cherry flag).

Two Thursdays ago, I wondered if there were any recipes that I could make with my new liqueur purchases in Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book. There, I spotted the Uptown Manhattan that reminded me a little of the Remember the Maine (minus its absinthe part). This Manhattan riff was crafted by San Francisco's Marcovaldo Dionysos of Chartreuse Swizzle fame. According to an article that Gary Regan wrote in 2003, Marco created this at the Denton's Starlight Room for a Maker's Mark competition with syrup from a jar of brandied cherries instead of the Cherry Heering called for here.
The Uptown Manhattan greeted the nose with an orange oil over Bourbon and cherry aroma. Next, a caramel and vaguely fruit sip flowed into Bourbon, caramel, cherry, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

rosa amargo

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 oz Campari

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

Wednesday two weeks prior, I began thumbing through my Food & Wine: Cocktails book collection, and I spotted the Rosa Amargo in the 2015 edition. This recipe by Jeremy Oertel at Donna in Brooklyn reminded me of a mezcal Rosita with grapefruit liqueur in place of one of the vermouths or perhaps a mezcal Lucien Gaudin with grapefruit instead of orange liqueur.
The Rosa Amargo welcomed the senses with a grapefruit, smoke, and orange bouquet. Next, an Aperol-like orange note on the sip slid into smoky mezcal transitioning into a bitter grapefruit and orange on the swallow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

rock and a hard place

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1 tsp Nux Alpina (Russo Nocino)
2 dash Fee's Walnut Bitters (Strongwater)

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora (coupe) glass.
Two Tuesdays ago, I selected The NoMad Cockatil Book as the source of the evening's libation. There, I was lured in by the Rock and a Hard Place by Alisa Bobcat Rabovsky as an intriguing Manhattan variation with Amaro Nonino and walnut liqueur as the modifiers. In the glass, the cocktail shared a walnut aroma accented by caramel and rye notes. Next, a soft sip of malt, grape, and caramel gave way to rye, herbal, and orange flavors on the swallow with a walnut finish.

Monday, January 25, 2021

triple crown

1 oz Bourbon (Old Tub Bonded)
3/4 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I returned to Carey Jones' Brooklyn Bartender and spied the nearly equal parts Triple Crown. This recipe by Jay Zimmerman of Ba'sik reminded me of drinks like the Hurly Burly and Hoop La, and it would make good use of my new grapefruit liqueur purchase. In the glass, the Triple Crown presented a lemon oil aroma over Bourbon and grapefruit notes. Next, a lemon and tangerine sip conjured up thoughts about peaches, and the swallow came through with Bourbon, grapefruit, and tangerine flavors.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

i want to believe

2 oz Aged Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Gran Añeo)
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
4 dash Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)
1 pinch Salt

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

Two Sundays ago, I delved into my new purchase of Chad Austin's Everyone Has a F*cking Cocktail Book and spied the I Want to Believe that was most likely an X-Files reference. The combination of rum, Cynar, and fortified wine reminded me a little of the Palm Viper, so I was intrigued to try it out.
The I Want to Believe began with an orange, raisin, and rum aroma. Next, the raisin from the sherry continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Cynar's caramel, and the raisin aspect joined the rum and sweet vegetal flavors on the swallow with a caramel and orange finish.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

los amargos

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
3/4 oz Cardamaro
1 tsp Maraska Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Saturdays ago, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and spotted the Los Amargos by Thomas Waugh in 2009 as a recipe that I could now make given my purchase of Amaro Nonino. In the glass, it donated a bouquet of tequila's vegetal notes to the nose. Next, lemon, caramel, and grape mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered tequila, nutty cherry, orange, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Friday, January 22, 2021

new ceremony

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Byrrh Quinquina
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Aperol
3 dash Orange Bitters (Scrappy's)

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 sought out a recipe for my third and final new purchase -- grapefruit liqueur. The book that taunted me with enough recipes in that regard enough to finally buy a bottle was the Brooklyn Bartender book, so I started there. The drink that called out to me was the New Ceremony by Tonia Guffey at Dram circa 2013 that she named after the 2012 song by the folk rock band Dry the River. Once assembled, the New Ceremony shared a grapefruit and orange aroma to the nose. Next, a bright citrus and grape sip slid into rye and bitter citrus flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

storm king

2 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1/2 oz Nocino (Russo)
1/4 oz Benedictine
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.
One of my other purchases was a bottle of walnut liqueur, and for a starting point, I looked to the Kindred Cocktails database. There, I spotted the Storm King created by Damon Boelte at Brooklyn's Grand Army Bar and published in the November/December 2019 issue of Imbibe Magazine; the combination of Scotch and walnut fondly reminded me of drinks like My Triumphs, My Mistakes and the Expatriot. Once prepared, the Storm King summoned a malt, cinnamon, and clove bouquet to the nose. Next, malt paired with a dark richness from the liqueurs on the sip, and the swallow came through with Scotch, walnut, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a clove and nutmeg finish. Overall, it was a touch more spiced than the 2012 Sentimental Gentleman but otherwise rather similar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

solstice

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1/4 oz Grenadine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Wednesdays, I wanted to crack open my new addition to my shelves of Amaro Nonino, and I started with the Solstice from the PDT Cocktail Book. The recipe was crafted by John Deragon in the summer of 2007 for the other solstice -- the winter one which is the shortest and darkest day of the year. The Solstice donated an apple and red fruit aroma to the nose. Next, berry, cherry, and grape notes on the sip faded into rye, apple, and orange flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

black squirrel old fashioned

2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Maple Syrup

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, top with 3 dash Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan Bitters, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into Brian Bartels' The United States of Cocktails book and spotted one of his originals that he crafted at Fedora in Manhattan. Brian was inspired by an Old Fashioned-like number by Damon Doelte of Prime Meats, and he named his drink after a supper club in Wisconsin. In the glass, the Black Squirrel Old Fashioned welcomed the nose with an orange and pecan aroma. Next, maple with a hint of dark fruit on the sip gave way to Bourbon and cherry-maple flavors on the swallow with a nutty finish. Overall, I was impressed at how the maple tamed the medicinal note often found in Cherry Heering cocktails.

Monday, January 18, 2021

lost voyage

1 1/2 oz Aged Martinique Rhum (JM Gold)
1 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry (La Garrocha)
1 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice

Whip shake, pour into a Collins glass (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, float 1 tsp Angostura Bitters (6-8 dash), and garnish with an orange slices and mint sprig (omit mint).
Two Mondays ago, I continued on with another drink for January's Tiki the Snow Away event on Instagram with the Lost Voyage. I had spotted this creation of Michael Kotke of Milwaukee's Foundation Tiki Bar in Chloe Frechette's Easy Tiki book. Once assembled, the Lost Voyage presented an allspice and clove aroma from the floated bitters over cinnamon, grassy, and nutty notes from the drink underneath. Next, a fruity sip of lemon, orange, and grape sailed into grassy, nutty, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow.