Tuesday, May 18, 2021


1 3/4 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the Community Cocktails book and spied the Zeppelin by Benjamin Perri at 7 Seas Brewing in Tacoma, Washington. The structure of an American whiskey, two amari, and Maraschino reminded me a bit of the Down & Brown. Once prepared, the Zeppelin greeted the senses with lemon, orange, and caramel aromas. Next, malt and a melon-peach note on the sip floated towards a Bourbon, minty, bitter orange, and nutty swallow.

Monday, May 17, 2021

dutch angle

1 1/4 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz Meletti Amaro
3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
2 dash Cocktail Kingdom Wormwood Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, it was announced that the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia had closed its doors, and I decided to find a recipe of theirs to make in tribute. My search landed upon a Colin Shearn recipe on Chowhound called the Dutch Angle that he created at that bar circa 2011. The name is a reference to a camera shot at an angle such that the horizon is not parallel with the edges, and the name made a great match to the Genever spirit that I knew Colin knew how to utilize from his Archipelago Swizzle. When I posted the drink on Instagram, Colin replied, "One of the best drinks I ever created. Pretty sure I made it with Nardini tho? But maybe not. It's been a long time." Unfortunately, I was unable to find a menu that listed this drink to verify either amaro.
The Dutch Angle welcomed the senses with an orange, raisin, malty, caramel, and violet bouquet. Next, a caramel and grape sip rotated into a malty and bitter floral swallow with a caramel, coffee, and raisin finish.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

night tripper

1 3/4 oz Bourbon (Old Forester 100°)
3/4 oz Averna
1/2 oz Strega (*)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Although the drink was published this way, the creator prefers 1/4 oz. See text.

Two Sundays ago, I came across a Chris Hannah recipe that he created during his days at Arnaud's French 75 and still serves at Jewel of the South called the Night Tripper. With a Bourbon, amaro, Strega, and bitters combination, it reminded me of his Rebennack, and of course his love of Strega made me think of his 'Round Midnight and Accoutrement (and it inspired me to craft the North of Sunset in his style). The drink was his tribute to the late musical legend Dr. John and dubbed after one of the musician's nicknames. Chris assembled this as one of his Mardi Gras flask cocktails, and it was named shortly after Dr. John's float passed by. Strangely, I found three recipes for this all varying by the amount of Strega in them: the James Beard site had 1/4 oz, Imbibe had 1/2 oz, and Punch Drinks had 3/4 oz. I figured that the sweeter one would make a better flask cocktail, and I ended up going with the middle one especially since it added up to a perfect 3 oz build. When I posted it on Instagram, Chris replied, "This looks lovely, it is 1/4 oz and with Strega being scarce nowadays it should stay that way."
The Night Tripper started up with orange, caramel, and spice aromas. The sip approached with Averna's caramel notes, and the swallow passed by with Bourbon, herbal, minty-pine, and anise flavors.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

zombie president

1 1/2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi 4 Year) (*)
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/4 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/8 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/8 oz Grenadine
1 dash Angostura Bitters
6 drop Absinthe (Copper & Kings)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a mint leaf.
(*) To dry out the drink, splitting the volume with Puerto Rican 151 Proof Rum such as Don Q would work well here. See the final sentence below.

Two weeks ago, I was reading my advanced copy of Brian Hoefling's The Cocktail Seminars. I was impressed at how over the course of 5 sections and 30+ drinks per section, Brian was able to tie together interconnections and similarities between the earliest of cocktails to the most modern day ones. In the fourth section, he tackled tropical and Tiki drinks and explained why they work by linking them to more traditional mixed drinks. This inspired me to take the 1934 Zombie in a Rum Martini direction. I based my template off of the dry vermouth El Presidente instead of the blanc or sweet vermouth ones to help to balance the sugar content of the syrups and liqueurs. While I was able to replaced the grapefruit juice with a grapefruit liqueur, I skipped the lime aspect entirely. I also kept the rums to one (see the note about splitting it with a higher proof rum) to mimic the Presidente, and the Jamaican and Demerara rums of the Zombie were put on hold.
I dubbed this one the Zombie President, and it began with a rum, fruity, and mint bouquet. Next, the sip showcased a rich mouth feel and a vague fruitiness, and the swallow set off with rum, cinnamon, grapefruit, berry, clove, and anise flavors. Overall, with the 80 proof rum, the balance was a touch on the sweet side, so if I were to make this again, I would replace 1/2 to 3/4 oz with a 151 proof rum like Don Q (to make a 103.7 to 115.5 proof rum blend).

Friday, May 14, 2021


1 oz Gin (Tamworth Garden)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Absinthe (Kübler)

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

I had spotted a reference to the Negroni variation called the Quill a few days prior, and two Fridays ago I decided to give this one a go after having read about it over the years. I tracked the recipe down to Serious Eats and Difford's Guide. The Quill appeared in the 1996 edition of Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails which contained 40 additional drinks not present in the books Harry MacElhone himself published. The recipe was credited to Frank C. Payne of New York who was a theatrical press agent in the 1920s and 30s. His union published a magazine by that name; this pedigree shares a bit of similarity to the Boulevardier that MacElhone included in Barflies and Cocktails attributed to Erskine Gwynne who printed a magazine in Paris called the Boulevardier during Prohibition.
The Quill varies from a Negroni by containing absinthe and being served up, and this addition donated anise aromas over the orange oils from the twist. Next, a grape sip from the vermouth led into gin, bright herbal, and bitter orange flavors on the swallow with an anise and licorice finish.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

pink moon

3/4 oz White Barbados Rum (Privateer Silver)
1/2 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
1/4 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Smith & Cross)
1 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Guava Syrup (1/4 oz Guava Jelly melted into 1/2 oz 1:1 Simple Syrup)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1 tsp Herbsaint
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wheel.

Two Thursdays ago, I uncovered a recipe by Jeff "Beachbum" Berry that he created at Latitude 29 in the notes of an Imbibe podcast from 2020. The drink was a complex and tropical Daiquiri of sorts that had elements of classic Caribbean punches like the brandy and guava of the Barbadoes Punch from Jerry Thomas and of mid-century tropical drinks like the West Indies Punch that appeared in the 1946 Trader Vic (might be older but I have not uncovered a source).
I was also drawn to the name for we had just experienced the Pink Moon which is the full moon in April that fell on the 26th this year. The Almanac described how the moon was not pink, but it was associated with the timing of creeping phlox's pink blooms. Once prepared, the Pink Moon drink presented guava, lime, and bright anise aromas. Next, lime and guava danced on the sip, and the swallow rose with rum, brandy, nutty, and guava flavors and an anise finish.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

sweater weather

2 oz Four Roses Bourbon (Four Roses Small Batch)
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Zucca Rabarbaro (Sfumato)
1 bsp Herbsaint

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I was perusing the Community Cocktails book from 2020 and spotted the Sweater Weather by Emily Pavela at the Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington. The recipe appeared like a mashup of a Black Manhattan and the Law of Octaves that I used to make at La Brasa (2 oz rye, 1 oz Zucca, 1 dash aromatic bitters, flamed orange twist) with an accent of Herbsaint perhaps for brightness. Moreover, I had good luck combining Averna and Zucca/Sfumato in the Caustic Negroni for the former soothed out the rougher charred bitterness of the latter.
The Sweater Weather proffered an orange oil aroma over bitter and smoky notes. Next, a caramel and roast sip progressed into Bourbon, bitter herbal, caramel, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

the royal union

1 oz Calvados (Morin Selection)
1 oz Averna
1/2 oz Nux Alpina (Russo Nocino)
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I spied a reference to the Royal Union on Kindred Cocktails, so I followed the trail to Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles. Paul was introduced to Carrie Cole through DrinkBoston's Lauren Clark for an article that Paul was writing for Imbibe Magazine on cocktail bitters. Paul did not use Carrie's recipe that she created at Craigie on Main for the magazine, but he later posted the recipe on his blog in 2010. Craigie on Main was where I first met Carrie, and she ascended to bar manager before leaving for Eastern Standard in late 2011. The combination of Averna, walnut liqueur, and chocolate bitters was one that I recently tried in the Oakshade, so I was intrigued by this decade old recipe from Boston's past.
The Royal Union teased the nose with caramel, orange, apple, and walnut aromas. Next, a caramel-driven sip from the two amari closed in on an apple and bitter walnut swallow with a caramel-mint finish.

Monday, May 10, 2021

van zandt cocktail

50% Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
50% Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Apricot Brandy (1/4 oz Rothman & Winter)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I selected the 1933 edition of Jack's Manual for a recipe. There, I spotted the Van Zandt Cocktail; the drink of course was not a prescient tribute to the musician in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, but it was named after a bar patrol of author Jacob Grohusko who drank enough of them to have the honorarium appear in the 1908 edition of the book. Overall, the combination seemed like a much more subtle Franken Jack, so I was intrigued. In the glass, the Van Zandt welcomed the senses with orange, apricot, pineapple, and floral aromas. Next, white wine and stone fruit notes on the sip slid into gin softened by apricot flavors on the swallow with an orange finish.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

fall into italy

3/4 oz Averna
3/4 oz Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
3/4 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton Signature)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Shake briefly with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with an orange wedge (orange twist).
Two Sundays ago, I was lured in by the Fall into Italy that I had previously bookmarked in Imbibe Magazine. This 2016 recipe was crafted by New York City bartender Sofia Present, and I was able to fill in the identity of the Jamaican rum via Liquor.com. Once assembled, the Fall into Italy proffered an orange, Cognac, and chocolate-caramel aroma. Next, caramel and lemon on the sip ended with caramel, rum, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

el capitan

1 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados Rum (Plantation Fiji)
1/2 oz Rhum Clement Select Barrel (Clement Premiere Canne)
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 dash Nutmeg-Infused Angostura Orange Bitters (regular Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I spotted an intriguing El Presidente riff on Kindred Cocktails called El Capitan. The recipe was crafted by Carlo Caroscio in 2016 during his first year at Backbar in Somerville where is currently the bar manager. In the glass, El Capitan saluted the nose with lemon, banana, grassy, and orange aromas. Next, a light caramel sip with a bit of body flowed into rum, tropical, banana, and grassy flavors with a peachy-orange finish.

Friday, May 7, 2021

swell season

2 oz Blended Irish Whiskey (Teeling Small Batch)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Becherovka
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon peel.
Two Fridays ago, I was in a Manhattan mood and recalled a recipe that I had spotted in Chuck Taggart's Gumbo Pages. The drink was his Swell Season Cocktail that he named after the folk rock duo of an Irish musician and a Czech singer-pianist represented by Irish whiskey and Becherovka, respectively. Once prepared, the Swell Season sang to the nose with a lemon, clove, and ginger bouquet. Next, grape and malt on the sip carried on into whiskey, clove, cinnamon, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, May 6, 2021


2/3 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Kavalan Whisky)
2 dash French Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry -- next time 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc)
1/2 Blood Orange Juice (3/4 oz)
1 dash Maraschino Liqueur (1/4 oz Maraska)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Thursdays ago, I ventured back into Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Solace in the whisky section. The recipe seemed like a Blood & Sand that had been modified with related ingredients akin to what was done in the Sand & Blood. Once prepared, the Solace offered up a berry, cherry, and whisky aroma. Next, the berry-orange of the specialty citrus filled the sip, and the swallow showcased smoky whisky and cherry flavors with a dry peaty finish. Over all, the balance was a touch dry with my interpretation of French vermouth as dry, so I would recommend making this drink with blanc instead (or bolstering the sweetness with perhaps a 1/4 oz simple).

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

wall street insider

1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon (Four Roses Small Batch)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
2 dash Chocolate Bitters (Bittermens Mole)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed).
Two Wednesdays ago, I spied an interesting looking recipe called the Wall Street Insider on Kindred Cocktails created at the Hearsay Market Square in Houston. The entry had an user's estimation of the recipe that they enjoyed so much, so I set off to find the true recipe if I could especially since it reminded me of the Last Man Standing and other drinks. I lucked out when I discovered it on one of their bartenders' Quizlets online. In the glass, the Wall Street Insider bid an orange, Bourbon, caramel, and menthol aroma to the senses. Next, caramel on the sip traded into Bourbon, orange, minty, and bitter menthol flavors on the swallow. Overall, the sweetness from the falernum soothed the Fernet Branca and Campari's rough edges in the mix.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

moko jumbie

3/4 oz Overproof Jamaican White Rum (Rum Fire)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Absinthe (20 drop St. George)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

In continuing on with the experimentation with the tropical notes that I discovered in Cardamaro, I decided to do a Corpse Reviver #2 riff. The pineapple notes that I was able to pull out of Cardamaro when I combined it with lemon juice and gin led me to use pineapple syrup as the other sweetener. Given the low to no proof nature of the rest of the ingredients, I figured that an overproof spirit like a funky white Jamaican rum would be necessary. Lastly, lime juice and a dash of absinthe rounded out this combination. For a name, I went with Moko Jumbie which means "healer" + "spirit/ghost" that often appear during Carnival as a masked being on stilts.
The Moko Jumbie proffered a rum funk and pineapple bouquet to the nose. Next, lime, papaya, and grape notes on the sip danced toward rum and pineapple flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Monday, May 3, 2021


2/3 Rye Whiskey (2 oz Old Overholt)
1/3 French Vermouth (1 oz Dolin Blanc)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a dash absinthe (8 drop St. George).
Two Mondays ago, I selected Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for the evening's libation. Though I have scoured that book for over a decade, I spotted the Canal that I had never made before. This Manhattan with orange bitters and absinthe listed French vermouth as the aromatized wine; since Dry Manhattans have zero appeal for my palate, I opted for the sweeter blanc style. Once prepared, the Canal opened up with an anise, licorice, and minty herbal aroma. Next, a semi-sweet white wine and malt sip flowed into rye, herbal, and orange flavors on the swallow that accentuated the rye's inherent spice rather well.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

vantage point

1 oz Laird's Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Arkansas Black Applejack (Morin Calvados)
3/8 oz Amaro Nonino
3/8 oz Cinnamon Syrup
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Kübler) old fashioned glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist. The original recipe was 3/4 oz Nonino-cinnamon mix, and I assumed that it was equal parts.

Two Sundays ago, I returned to the Hawthorne bar book where I spotted the Vantage Point created by Mackenzie Cavanagh. The recipe read like an apple brandy Sazerac with two types of apple spirit and a mix of Amaro Nonino and cinnamon as the sweeteners (they batched this duo); I had a hard time remembering if I ever had an apple brandy Sazerac from a recipe (I am sure that I must have thrown some in previously), but I did recall the Marilou Sazerac that had it as one of the three base spirits. I do not have the hard-to-find and pricy applejack made with Arkansas Black apples, so I bolstered the complexity by adding Calvados to the Laird's spirit.
The Vantage Point shined an orange, cinnamon, apple, and anise aroma towards the nose. Next, caramel and a vague fruitiness on the sip led to an apple, cinnamon, herbal, and anise swallow.

Saturday, May 1, 2021


2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Walnut Liqueur (Rosso Nocino)
1/2 oz Averna
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
2 dash Miracle Mile Chocolate Bitters (Bittermens)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.
When the cocktail hour rolled around on Saturday two weeks prior, I sought out a recipe that I had spotted on Kindred Cocktails called the Oakshade that reminded me of the previous night's San Gennaro. The recipe was invented at Old Field's Liquor Room in Culvert City, California, and published in a 2011 LA Weekly article. Here, the Oakshade launched off with a chocolate, walnut, and rye spice aroma. Next, a caramel and grape sip grew into a rye, bitter herbal, nutty, chocolate, and allspice swallow.