Wednesday, August 17, 2022

lower mills

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt 86°)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Benedictine (1/2 oz) (*)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist (lemon twist).
(*) The drink is better balanced with 1/2 oz Benedictine to my taste instead of sticking to the David Embury ratio.
Two weeks ago, my co-worker Kevin Morrison wanted me to try his riff on the house cocktail, the Fort Point, that he created and dubbed the Lower Mills after the neighborhood he grew up in (but different from the Lower Mills created by Ted Gallagher). Here, he subbed out the Punt e Mes for Cynar while still keeping the David Embury-inspired 8:2:1 ratio. I gave it a whirl and found that it needed a bit more Benedictine to make up for the sweetness balance between Cynar and Punt e Mes. That equal parts recipe got the Cynar-Benedictine ratio similar to the Filthy Rich, Interrobang‽, and 100 Year Old Cigar. Here, the Lower Mills proffered lemon and herbal aromas to the nose. Next, caramel and malt on the sip flowed into rye and herbal flavors on the swallow with a hint of vegetal funky notes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

rubber soul

2 oz Añejo Rum (RL Seale 10 Year)
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1 bsp Campari (1/8 oz)
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters (2 dash Angostura Cocoa)

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large cube (build in an old fashioned glass, add a large cube, and stir). Garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to the Kindred Cocktails database and landed upon NYC bartender Rafa Garcia Febles' Rubber Soul. He described his 2013 creation named after a Beatles album as an "Aged rum version of the Revolver with chocolate bitters and a bit of Campari." In the glass, the Rubber Soul proffered orange, coffee, and chocolate aromas to the nose. Next, caramel and roast notes on the sip bounced into rum, coffee, bitter orange, and roast flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 15, 2022

merit badge

1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1 dash Chocolate Bitters (Angostura Cocoa)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a mint sprig.
Two Mondays ago, I turned to The Bartender's Manifesto and spied the Merit Badge by Aneka Saxon. This 2018 creation at the Violet Hour in Chicago reminded me of the Thin Mint Julep that Ryan Lotz made for us at Lineage in 2011. Here, things kicked off with a mint and menthol aroma. Next, caramel and grape on the sip helped to garner minty, menthol, vegetal, and chocolate flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

havana lady

1 1/2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/8+ oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Saturdays ago, I pondered the egg white Lady series of drinks that includes the more famous White and Pink Ladies and wondered if I could take it in the direction of the Havana. The original Havana Cocktail was apricot eau de vie, Swedish punsch, gin, and lemon juice, and it was updated in the 2009 Big Bartender's Book to utilize the more common apricot liqueur instead of eau de vie along with a change in proportions. When adapted to the Lady structure, the Havana Lady sashayed in with pine, floral, and apricot aromas. Next, a creamy caramel and lemon sip flowed into gin, spice, tea, and apricot flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

old number one

1 oz Aged Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1 oz Blended Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Saturdays ago, I was working on my cocktail article on apple drinks for the Fall 2022 issue of Edible Boston and Edible Worcester, and I need to test out a recipe. I wanted to riff on the Marconi Wireless – a cocktail "I love so much that I named one of my cats Marconi." I later wrote, "One of the earliest recipes that I fell in love with was the Marconi Wireless as an apple Manhattan of sorts. Here, I riffed on that classic by adding a Scotch element to the mix [and swapping the bitters from orange to Angostura] to generate the Old Number One named after the world's first telephone at Charles William Jr.'s house on Arlington Street in Somerville, MA." That location is under a mile from my home, so it has been part of our city's tapestry of pride along with Marshmallow Fluff.
The Old Number One began with smoke, apple, and grape aromas. Next, grape notes on the sip transmitted smoky Scotch, apple, herbal, and clove flavors on the swallow with a smoke and allspice finish.

Friday, August 12, 2022

cub room

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Honey Syrup 1:1

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice (coupe without ice), and garnish with a rosemary sprig (omit).
Two Fridays ago, a recipe on Punch Drinks called the Cub Room caught my attention. This recipe by bartender Anthony Rouhana at the Cub Room in Rochester, New York, reminded me of the Earthbound given the combination of honey and Aperol. Here, the Cub Room shared an orange, pine, and grapefruit aroma. Next, lemon and orange notes on the sip clawed into pine, grapefruit, orange, and honey flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


1 oz Santa Teresa 1796 Rum
1 oz La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
For a second libation at Backbar, Andrea requested a Barracuda from bartender Anthony Brocatto. The name reminded me of the Barracuda that is a Daiquiri with Galliano, pineapple, and a champagne top that influenced Scott Holliday in the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, but the combination was more similar to Cane & Table's Death & Sundries. Once served up, this Barracuda presented a floral grape aroma that became more sherry driven as the drink warmed. Next, lime and caramel on the sip swam into rum and lime flavors on the swallow with a savory sherry finish.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

voodoo carre

3/4 oz Hamilton's Zombie Blend Rum (*)
1 1/4 oz Hine VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Hamilton's Allspice Dram
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with ice, and garnish with lime oil from a twist.
(*) Perhaps Plantation OFTD Rum would substitute in a pinch albeit at a hotter 138° instead of 118°.
For my second cocktail at Backbar on the "Heatwave Menu," I asked bartender Anthony Brocatto for the Voodoo Carré which came across like a Tiki-influenced Vieux Carré. Anthony explained that former bar manager Carlo Caroscio introduced the recipe to the bar, but he was not sure if it was an adaptation of an existent recipe; Carlo recently left Backbar after a six year run to help open the Danforth in Portland, Maine. Here, the Voodoo Carré conjured up a lime, allspice, and rum bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and caramel notes on the sip envoked rum, Cognac, herbal, and caramel flavors along with some boozy heat on the swallow. Overall, in feel rather than flavor, this combination reminded me of the Vieux Ananas that I wrote about around a month ago.

concrete jungle bird

1/2 oz Los Vecinos Mezcal
1/2 oz Avua Prata Cachaça
1/2 oz Plantation Smoked Pineapple Rum
1/2 oz Italicus
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Fiero Aperitivo
1 oz Pink Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Crude Tropi-500 Toasted Coconut-Pineapple-Allspice Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a bird glass, garnish with a mint sprig, and add a straw.
For Andrea's first pick off of Backbar's "Heatwave Menu," she selected the Concrete Jungle Bird that might have been a glimpse into the upcoming bird-themed menu or might have just gotten the bird glasses some inaugural usage before they are filled with a different recipe. Bartender Anthony Brocatto described this as a group effort where everyone added an ingredient or two to the mix. Here, the mint garnish dominated the aroma near the straw. Next, lime, fruity, and caramel notes on the sip cawed into bitter, vegetal, smoky, and bergamot flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

negroni flowers

1 1/2 oz Ford's Gin
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lustau Fino Sherry
1/2 oz St. Germain

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, Andrea and I ventured over to Backbar at open. There, we found a seat in front of Anthony Brocatto and were handed the rather appropriate "Heatwave Menu" that was preceding their bird-themed one. My first pick was the Negroni Flowers that we surmised was "Sherry Sam" Treadway's creation. As expected from the name, the libation began with a floral nose that was accented by the lemon oil from the garnish. Next, grapefruit and melon notes on the sip bloomed into gin, bitter nectarine, and melon flavors on the finish. Overall, the combination put an unusual twist on Campari's standard bitter orange dominance in a flavor balance.

Monday, August 8, 2022

cirque swizzle

1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 tsp Crème Yvette
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Build in a Pilsner glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Top with a thin layer of Crème Yvette (2 tsp) and add a straw.
Two Mondays ago, I returned to the first Death & Co. Cocktail Book and uncovered the Cirque Swizzle. This recipe crafted by Jessica Gonzalez in 2011 was named after the drink's "pretty pink color... a cotton candy-like appearance." Here, the Crème Yvette floated on top donated a violet and hint of berry aroma. Next, lemon and berry notes on the sip sailed into gin, herbal, and floral-violet flavors on the swallow with a vanilla finish.

plain sailing

3/4 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Tio Pepe Fino)
1/2 oz Sloe Gin (Plymouth)
1/4 oz Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)
2 drop (*) Saline Solution (1 pinch Salt)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Butterfly), garnish with a lemon twist.
(*) Punch says 2 dashes but two drops is more standard.
A little over two weeks ago, I decided to make a recipe that I found in a search for sloe gin drinks on Kindred Cocktails. That one was called the Plain Sailing by Chicago bartender Paige Walwyn via Punch Drinks. Once prepared, it proffered a lemon and red fruit aroma. Next, the red fruit note continued on into the sip where it was chased by gin, raisin, and berry flavors on the swallow. Moreover, I attribute that raisin aspect on the advanced age of my sloe gin bottle.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

the african queen

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Averna
1 tsp Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur (Passion Fruit Syrup)
1 tsp Vanilla Syrup

Build in a double old fashioned glass, add a large ice cube, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I made a recipe called the African Queen created by Jon Mateer of TPC Sawgrass in St. Augusteen that I had spotted earlier in the week on his Instagram (@vodkapaysmybills). The combination seemed like the rye whiskey version of the Pickwick Club that I came up with on the fly at Drink a month before. In the glass, the African Queen conjured up orange, rye, and caramel aromas. Next, honey and caramel notes on the sip danced into rye, passion fruit, vanilla, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

tax the daisy

1 3/4 oz Bombay Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Ramazzotti Amaro
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
7 drop Angostura Bitters
7 drop Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 Orange Twist
1 Lemon Twist

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with 3 drop Angostura Bitters.
Two Thursdays ago, I was perusing the Kindred Cocktails database, and I began searching for Violet Hour recipes that never made it into their new book. There, I landed upon the 2009 Tax the Daisy as a curious shaken straight spirits gin drink. In the glass, the Tax the Daisy opened up with orange, clove, and allspice aromas. Next, caramel and orange notes on the sip led into root beer and pine flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

william wallace

50 mL Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch (1 1/2 oz + 1 tsp Famous Grouse)
10 mL Sweet Vermouth (2 tsp Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
10 mL Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry (2 tsp Oxford PX)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Wednesday ago, I returned to the Claridge's Cocktail Book and stumbled upon the William Wallace by Joe Schofield at Schofield's Bar in Manchester. He named this Rob Roy of sorts akin to the Ballentine after the late 13th century Scottish knight who fought for his country's independence from England. In the glass, it donated an orange and raisin aroma to the nose. Next, a rich grape sip flowed into Scotch, herbal, and raisin flavors on the swallow with an orange finish.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

burrough's reviver

40 mL Beefeater 24 Gin (1 1/2 oz regular Beefeater)
20 mL Aquavit (3/4 oz Linie)
15 mL Orgeat (1/2 oz)
15 mL Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
2.5 mL Simple Syrup (omit)
2 dash Absinthe (20 drop Copper & Kings)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I delved into the Claridge's Cocktail Book and spotted the Burrough's Reviver created by Nathan McCarley-O'Neill at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Nathan later wrote me how "It was a drink I created for the Beefeater 24 Global Final based around James Burrough, the creator of Beefeater," and that this Corpse Reviver #2 riff won said competition. To me, it read like a Corpse Reviver met the Army & Navy Cocktail with a touch of aquavit, so I was sold. Once prepared, it proffered a floral, caraway, and juniper aroma. Next, lemon and almond notes on the sip faded into gin, caraway, nutty, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Monday, August 1, 2022

fortunate son

2 oz Wild Turkey 101 Rye
1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao
1 tsp Amargo Vallet

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Mondays ago was the USBG Boston-Sipsmith Gin trip to the New England Aquarium that I helped to organize with Steph from Sipsmith. Afterwards, a few of us ventured over to Daiquiris & Daisies as a convenient midway point for our South Shore and Providence members who needed to make it to South Station later for a commuter line train home. Strangely, the drink that I ordered from bartender Joe Cammarata was neither a Daiquiri nor a Daisy (I did have a rhum agricole Daiquiri later though) but a delightful Manhattan variation created by Daren Swisher called the Fortunate Son. The Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute began with rye, chocolate, and herbal aromas. Next, grape, roast, and caramel notes on the sip flowed into rye and chocolate-herbal flavors on the swallow with a bitter finish. Overall, the combination reminded me a little of the Coney Island.