Tuesday, April 16, 2024

imagine sisyphus happy

1 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum (R.L. Seale 10 Year)
1 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
3/8 oz Vanilla Syrup
3/8 oz Demerara Syrup
4 drop Absinthe (St. George)
1 dash Fee's Old Fashioned Bitters (Fee's Whiskey Barrel-Aged)
1 Whole Egg

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the set of online recipe flashcards for the Patterson House in Nashville, and there I selected the Imagine Sisyphus Happy from their Winter 2022 menu. This Flip with rum, Bonal, amaro, and egg reminded me of the Notorious F.L.I.P. that I had years ago with Smith & Cross and Nardini. The name was taken from the end of Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus where Camus wrote, "The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." In the glass, the Imagine Sisyphus Happy proffered a woody spice and root beer aroma. Next, a creamy caramel and grape sip rolled back into rum, vanilla, root beer, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow.

Monday, April 15, 2024

negroni negroni

1 oz Negroni (equal parts Hayman's London Dry Gin, Cocchi Sweet Vermouth, and Campari)
1 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Campari

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist. Making this with 1 1/3 oz Campari, 1 1/3 oz sweet vermouth, and 1/3 oz gin would work... but then it wouldn't be equal parts, I guess?
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I headed down to Puritan Oyster Bar where director of operations Jared Sadoian and beverage director Doug Brickel were offering up a "Dumb Delicious" menu subtitled "Buy one drink! Get that drink!" At first I thought it was an April Fools' Day pop-up, but it turns out to be the first of a series of a bartender takeover series. Amongst the quirky and pun-ful drinks on the menu, I selected the Negroni Negroni. I asked Jared if it was a Negroni made with one part Negroni instead of gin. Jared nodded, and explained that "You can keep the process going, and make a Negroni with this combination." To which I replied, "Like a homeopathic Negroni that approaches a Milano-Torino?" Only a few weeks ago, a guest at my bar requested a Milano-Torino. After I delivered the drink, she asked if I had ever had one, and I replied that I have had Americanos, Negroni Sbagliatos, and Negronis of all sorts but not that classic. And while this one approached that two parter, it still was disqualified by 1/9th part gin. The drink served to me with equal parts Campari, vermouth, and batched Negroni offered up an orange and cherry-grape aroma. Next, a plum-grape sip flowed into dark grape and bitter orange flavors with a hint of juniper on the swallow.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

return of the king

2 oz Single Grain Scotch or Bourbon (Famous Grouse Black)
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Pasubio Vino Amaro

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
In searching for another use of my bottle of Pasubio, I went to the website of Haus Alpenz that imports the product. There in the eight recipes for this amaro was the Return of the King by John Filby at Augustine in Manhattan sometime between the product's launch in 2017 and the bar closing in 2020. Its format reminded me of the Red Hook and Green Point, and I opted for the Scotch option over Bourbon for I felt that it would coax out more of the smoky alpine notes from the Pasubio. Once prepared, the Return of the King displayed a lemon, blueberry, and hint of smoke bouquet. Next, grape and berry notes on the sip were vanquished by Scotch and bitter blueberry flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

devil's bargain

1 1/2 oz Denizen Vatted Dark Rum (1 1/4 oz Hamilton's Demerara 86° + 1/4 oz Rhum JM 100°)
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Two Saturdays ago, I returned to the online set of recipe flashcards for Raines Law Room in Manhattan, and I came across the Rum Sour curiously named the Devil's Bargain from early 2021. The bar's Instagram mentioned that they would do this as a Hot Toddy as well as a cold drink. Since I had never tried the combination of Montenegro and grenadine before, I gave this one a whirl. In the glass, the Devil's Bargain anted up with a lemon, berry, caramel, and grassy aroma. Next, a lemon, caramel, and berry sip gave way to woody rum, grassy funk, pomegranate, and clementine flavors on the swallow.

Friday, April 12, 2024

house of cards

3/4 oz Old Grand-Dad Bourbon (Evan Williams Bonded)
3/4 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac (Monnet VSOP)
3/4 oz Cardamaro
3/4 oz Aperol

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with an ice sphere (large ice cube).
Two Fridays ago, I was perusing a set of online recipe flashcards for Parlor in Des Moines, Iowa, and I found the House of Cards from their 2022 menu. The combination of Bourbon, Cardamaro, and Aperol was one that I had tried in John Myers' Boulevardier riff Every Victory as well as mixed in with lime juice and pineapple shrub in Tiger Mama's Harris Shrub. Here, the House of Cards opened up with a Bourbon and caramel bouquet. Next, grape and orange notes shuffled on the sip, and the swallow dealt out Bourbon, Cognac richness, and bitter herbal orange flavors.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

o mai

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
4 dash Herbsaint (20 drops)

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I uncovered a set of online recipe flashcards for Luc Lac in Portland, Oregon. There, I latched onto the O Mai that is on their current menu, and Yelp has it as early as 2014 which puts it a short time after I first visited there in 2012. The apricot-ginger combination in the O Mai reminded me of the Ninety Nine Roses which also has a gin base, and I utilized it in my sherry-driven Queen Anne's Revenge that I developed for CocktailCourier. On the nose, the O Mai proffered apricot, orange, and ginger aromas. Next, lemon and orchard fruit notes on the sip slid into gin, ginger, and apricot flavors on the swallow with an anise finish.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

stirred paloma

1 1/2 oz Tequila (Olmeca Altos)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1/2 oz Pamplemousse (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1 pinch Salt (3 drop 20% Saline Solution)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass (coupe), and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard set from the Eddy in Providence, and I opted to make the Stirred Paloma created there in 2015. The concept reminded me of how a proper Gimlet with lime cordial is stirred according to the earliest printed recipe in Harry MacElhone's 1922 Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, so I was curious to see how this one worked. Here, the Stirred Paloma showcased a lime, vegetal, and smoke bouquet to the nose. Next, orange and grapefruit notes on the sip led to smoky agave and grapefruit flavors on the swallow. While the Aperol was a pleasant touch, it moved things a little away from a Paloma in my mind although it did work well in the Dove & Daisy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

rhapsody in blue

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Amaro Pasubio
1 dash Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a blueberry.
Two Tuesdays ago, I made an impulse purchase of the alpine blueberry Cappelletti Pasubio Vino Amaro at Ball Square Fine Wines since I had enjoyed it in a pair of drinks at Estragon and Amor y Amargo, and I had spotted it mentioned a few times on the web recently. As a starting place, I went to the KindredCocktails database and found the Rhapsody in Blue from Death & Co.'s Welcome Home book. In the book, the recipe was attributed to Matthew Belanger in 2019 as a blueberry riff on the Boulevardier. Since we had a package of blueberries in the refrigerator for use as garnish, it seemed like a great starting place. In the glass, the Rhapsody in Blue opened up with rye, blueberry, and grape aromas with a dark plum undertone. Next, a dark berry fruit sip gave way to rye, blueberry, and floral flavors on the swallow with a celery finish.

Monday, April 8, 2024

velveteen

1 oz Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
1 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/4 oz Licor 43
1/4 oz Averna
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, I made my way over to Equal Measure to attend Robert Simonson's book party in honor of his The Encyclopedia of Cocktails. For the event, there was a short menu of drinks from the book, and the only one that I had not had before (other than a clarified Cosmopolitan which was a merging of the entries for clarification and that vodka libation) was the Velveteen that bartender Eliza Whoar created for the occasion. I commented to my friend that it was very on brand and then explained how Eastern Standard and the Hawthorne loved Lustau's East India Solera Sherry including pairing it with Irish whiskey in the Goodnight Irene and with Licor 43 in the Black Douglas. Once prepared, the Velveteen opened up with an aroma of orange, vanilla, and darker nutty notes from the sherry. Next, grape and caramel mingled on the sip, and this was chased by soft whiskey, raisin, dark herbal, and vanilla flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

operation overlord

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac (Monnet VSOP)
1/2 oz Chauffe Couer Calvados (Morin Selection)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1/8 oz Demerara Syrup

Stir with ice, strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Kübler) coupe, and garnish with an orange peel sidewinder.
Two Sundays ago, I returned to the online flashcard set for the Patterson House in Nashville and found the Operation Overlord in a collection of older menu items. The French spirits in the mix, especially the Calvados, made sense as the drink was dubbed after the codename for the Battle of Normandy where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, to begin the march eastward towards Germany during World War II. In the glass, Operation Overlord commenced with an orange and anise bouquet along with rich notes from the Cognac. Next, orange and orchard fruit akin to peach and pear on the sip charged into Cognac, apple, orange, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

going out west

1 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1/2 oz Averna
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays, I reached for my copy of Kara Newman's Nightcap book and landed on the Going Out West. The recipe was crafted by Joe Briglio at Chicago's Billy Sunday, and he described the drink inspired by a Tom Waits song as, "My interpretation of the flavors of the early American West and possibly a cowboy's campfire." This split base Black Manhattan of sorts began with an orange, smoke, and clove bouquet. Next, caramel notes on the sip meandered into rye, vegetal, herbal, clove, and allspice flavors on the swallow with a cinnamon and smoke finish.

Friday, April 5, 2024

castaneda's companions

1 1/2 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe that was flamed with a spritz of absinthe (rinse with 8 drop St. George, unflamed).
Two Fridays ago, I decided to make Castaneda's Companions created at Wood Hill Table in Concord, Massachusetts, circa 2021 that I uncovered through a set of online recipe flashcards. The combination of agave spirit, Cynar, and Yellow Chartreuse was one that worked amazingly well in Under the Volcano, so I was curious to see how it worked as a straight spirits instead of citrus-laden drink. The restaurant's Instagram described, "Castaneda's Companion is named for Mexican philosopher Carlos Castaneda. It is said that Castaneda and three women took peyote together and lived in a tree house. Each ingredient represents each person: the mezcal represents Castaneda and the Cynar, Yellow Chartreuse, and dry vermouth represent each of the women. The barrel it is stored in represents the treehouse that they lived in." I was familiar with Castaneda's work through reading parts of his 1968 book The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge many years ago, so I gave this one a try despite not having stored or aged it in a barrel and skipping the flamed step. In the glass, I became aware of Castaneda's Companions with a vegetal, anise, herbal, and smoke bouquet. Next, a lightly caramel and honey-tinged sip opened up to an awareness of vegetal, piney, herbal, and smoke flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

new pal

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (8 drop St. George)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I spotted a reference for the New Pal created by Jeff Hollinger & Rob Schwartz and published in their 2006 The Art of the Bar Book. It was their riff on the classic Old Pal but swapping Canadian whisky and dry vermouth for rye whiskey and sweet vermouth and adding Peychaud's and absinthe to the mix. I then found a more modern version recipe in a 2019 article in Imbibe Magazine where Meaghan Dorman at Dear Irving dried out the balance by taking the equal parts drink to a 2:1:1 format which I utilized here. With the absinthe in the mix, it made me think of Attaboy's Pin Cushion that may have been inspired by the much older gin-based Quill. In the glass, the New Pal greeted the nose with an orange and bright herbal aroma. Next, a grape-driven sip ventured towards rye, bitter orange, and cherry-anise flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

burrows in disguise

1 oz Campari
1 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Scotch (Laphroaig 10 Year)
1/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Dry Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange horse's neck (orange twist).
Two Wednesdays ago, I uncovered an online collection of recipe flashcards from Blyth & Burrows in Portland, Maine. The Burrows in Disguise from around 2017 was one that called out to me that utilized all off the shelf ingredients, and the Scotch, Drambuie, and Campari trio is one that has worked recently in the Plausible Deniability, in the past in the Bitter Nail, and in drinks I have crafted with the Lost in the Supermarket. Moreover, the combination looked like an abstraction of the Smoking Hand, so I was game to give it a whirl. Here, the Burrows in Disguise launched off with an orange and peat smoke bouquet. Next, honey, malt, and grape notes on the sip slid into smoky Scotch, orange, and bitter flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

federal buffalo stamp

2 oz Bourbon (Evan Williams Bonded)
3/4 oz Maple Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
4 piece Ginger

Muddle ginger, add the rest, shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a piece of candied ginger on a pick (omit garnish).
Two Tuesdays ago, I made a drink from a set of online recipe flashcards from The Lion's Share in San Diego called the Federal Buffalo Stamp by Hassan Mahmood. The drink dates back to around late 2011 and is reminiscent of the Penicillin and a gingery Maple Leaf. The bar's Instagram described, "Many of you have put lips to this balanced combination of sweet and spice, it has earned its accolades as a The Lion's Share favorite/classic/happy hour staple! It's been with us since the first days of opening." The drink was originally made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon according to early articles about the bar which probably directed the name. Once prepared, the Federal Buffalo Stamp gave forth a Bourbon and maple bouquet. Next, lemon mingled with amber notes from the maple and aged whiskey on the sip, and the swallow stampeded forward with Bourbon, maple, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Monday, April 1, 2024

armchair philosopher

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholrt 86°)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Laphroaig- or Ardbeg-rinsed coupe (Ardbeg 10 Year).
Two Mondays ago, I ventured back to the online recipe flashcard sets for the Violet Hour in Chicago, and in the collection of dealer's choice drinks was the Armchair Philosopher that was somewhere between a Manhattan and an Old Pal. The Aperol-containing Perfect Pal at the Independent might be more apropos than the classic Old Pal as would the Neighborhood Nine at Temple Bar. Once assembled, the Armchair Philosopher pontificated with a peat smoke nose. Next, a semi-dry orange sip flowed into rye, orange, smoke, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

cumulonimbus

3/4 oz Teremana Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
3/4 oz Fino Sherry (Tio Pepe)
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Two Sundays ago, I returned to the online set of recipe flashcards from Raised by Wolves in San Diego and landed on the Cumulonimbus. TripAdvisor mentioned this drink in October 2022, and I was lured in for orgeat and the almond-like notes of Fino sherry have worked so well together in drinks like the Paradise Lost and Fino Island. In the glass, the Cumulonimbus floated to the nose with clouds of woody spice, nutty, and clementine aromas. Next, a creamy lemon and orange sip drifted into tequila, almond, and peach-orange flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

that'll take the edge off

2 oz Famous Grouse Scotch (Famous Grouse Black)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass rinsed with absinthe (Kübler), and garnish with grapefruit oils from a twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I spotted a reference to the That'll Take the Edge Off from Carey Jones and John McCarthy's 2018 Be Your Own Bartender on KindredCocktails, and the database entry led me to find an excerpt of the book on Epicurious. Overall, the recipe reminded me of the Two Birds but with absinthe and without the crème de cacao, so I was intrigued. Here, the That'll Take the Edge Off proffered grapefruit, anise, and hints of smoke and herbaceousness to the nose. Next, a grape-drive sip stepped aside for Scotch, grape, herbaceous, and anise flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 29, 2024

hastings

1 oz Scotch (Famous Grouse Black)
1 oz Calvados (Morin Selection)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 tsp Drambuie

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I spotted the Hastings on the KindredCocktails database that caught my attention. The recipe was created by Adam Manning of the Tartines to Tikis blog for the Mixology Monday apple-themed event that I led in 2014, so I had already read his blog post albeit nine years prior. Here, Adam made a Scotch variation of Erik Lorincz's Norman Conquest and perhaps of Sam Ross' Grandfather, and the result shared a similarity to Erick Castro's Full Windsor. Once prepared, the Hastings launched off with an orange, apple, and Scotch aroma. Next, grape and honey notes on the sip marched into Scotch, apple, honey, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a hint of smoke on the finish.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

raining on 110th st

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
1 1/2 oz Vermouth Blend (1 1/8 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth + 3/8 oz Punt e Mes)
5 dash Coffee Tincture (1/8 oz Mr. Black Liqueur)
1/8 oz Licor 43

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass (coupe), and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I returned to Punch's article on Manhattan variations where I sourced the Long Look Back and found the Raining on 110th St. The recipe was crafted by Carlton Dunlap of Portland, Oregon, and the combination with Licor 43 and sweet vermouth made me think of the Signals, Calls, & Marches despite that one being a gin drink instead of rye whiskey. Although the article did not specify, the cocktail could be named for the Los Lobos song "Wicked Rain / Across 110th Street". Once prepared, the Raining on 110th St began with an orange and vanilla nose. Next, a grape-driven sip trickled into rye, coffee, vanilla, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

louisiane and maine

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (10 drop St. George)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a cherry.
Two Wednesdays ago, I spotted a new entry on the KindredCocktails database called the Louisiane and Maine. The drink created by Massachusetts home enthusiast Todd Yard was named for its mashup of a Remember the Maine and a De La Louisiane, and the recipe was sourced from a recent post on his Concoctails blog. Moreover, the Cherry Heering-Benedictine pairing also reminded me of the Singapore Sling. Once prepared, this Manhattan variation gave forth an anise and cherry bouquet. Next, grape and cherry notes on the sip leapt to rye, herbal, clove, and anise flavors on the swallow with a cherry finish.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

amen corner

1 1/3 oz Bourbon (2 oz Evan Williams Bonded)
1/2 oz Amaro Sfumato (3/4 oz)
1/2 oz Crème de Peche (3/4 oz Mathilde)
1 tsp Cynar (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I was perusing an album of screen captures on my phone when I came across one that I bookmarked a year ago an Instagram post from the Cocktails by Roberts and June blog. The drink they showcased was the Amen Corner from Russell House Tavern in a Fall 2020 post. Some time after that point, their site disappeared, but luckily, it still remains on the Wayback Machine via Internet Archive -- Amen to that! After having a good moment with crème de peche with the Prodigal Son a few nights before, I was game to try this Black Manhattan of sorts. Through an an online set of server menu information cards, I learned that the drink was "named after famous bend in Masters tournament" which encompasses the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes of the Augusta National Course. Given the general manager listed on the server training cards, the drink is older than the post; that would place it sometime after I left Russell House in March of 2015 and before that general manager departed in December of 2016. In the glass, the Amen Corner proffered up orange, peach, roast, and root-herbal aromas to the nose. Next, orchard fruit notes on the sip soared into Bourbon, bitter peach, vegetal, and roasty-smoky flavors on the swallow.

Monday, March 25, 2024

monkey business

1 1/2 oz Great King Street Glasgow Blend Scotch (Royal Brackla 12 Year)
1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Bols)
1/2 oz Crème de Banane (Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Smeby Black & White Bitters that are chocolate/vanilla (1 dash Savoy Society Chocolate & Chicory + 1 dash Savoy Society Orange Vanilla)
2 pinch Salt (5 drop 1:4 Saline)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I ventured back to the online recipe flashcards for The Violet Hour in Chicago, and there I selected the Monkey Business from their Spring 2022 menu. The bar posted a photo and description of the drink on Instagram almost 2 years ago which coincides with the information I uncovered. The combination of cacao and banana liqueurs is one that has prospered in drinks like the Banana Clipper at the Hawthorne, Psycho Killer at Dead Rabbit, Antilles Jewel from Shannon Mustipher's Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails, and a few other recipes, so I was delighted to try it again here. In the glass, the Monkey Business displayed a lemon, Scotch, and tropical bouquet to the nose. Next, caramel on the sip flowed into whisky, funky rum, chocolate, and banana flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

tight five

1 1/2 oz Tequila (Olmeca Altos)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1/4 oz Cynar
1/8 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Sundays ago, I reached for my copy of the Raising the Bar book by Jacob Grier and Brett Adams, and I landed on the Tight Five that they crafted with tequila and apple brandy in an herbal-tinged Manhattan of sorts. In the glass, the Tight Five unfurled with orange, vegetal, and minty aromas. Next, a grape-driven sip led into agave, apple, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

plausible deniability

1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse Scotch (Famous Grouse Black)
3/4 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a lime wedge (omit garnish).
Two Saturdays ago, I discovered a drink called Plausible Deniability via a set of online recipe flashcards. I was able to trace it back to 2013 article in Punch which described how it was created by Alex Waldman, a California ex-pat living in Turkey and running Alex's Place in Instanbul. The name derived from how the owner thought that the first proto-type with Bourbon had a youthful feel to it, and Alex later dubbed it with a more abstract name than the owner's suggestion. Once mixed, the Plausible Deniability opened up with lime, orange, honey, and Scotch aromas. Next, honey and lime notes mingled on the sip, and the swallow rounded things up with whisky, bitter orange, and honey flavors.

Friday, March 22, 2024

tiki mama

3/4 oz Planteray Pineapple Rum
3/4 oz Privateer Silver Rum (Privateer Tres Aromatique)
3/4 oz Combier Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with 3 dash Angostura Bitters, a grapefruit twist, and an edible orchid (omit orchid).
Two Fridays ago, I wanted something refreshing after my tough bar shift that night. Therefore, I decided it was time to make the Tiki Mama created at Tiger Mama in Boston circa 2015 as found in an onine recipe flashcard set. Once assembled in the mug, the Tiki Mama brought forth grapefruit, cinnamon, and allspice aromas to the nose. Next, lemon and honey on the sip sailed into rum, pineapple, grapefruit, cinnamon, and honey flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

prodigal son

2 oz Evan Williams 1783 Bourbon (Evan Williams Bonded)
1/2 oz Amaro Ciociaro
1 tsp Crème de Peche (Mathilde)
1 dash Elixir Vegetal de la Grande-Chartreuse

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.

Two Thursdays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard set from Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon, and I selected the Prodigal Son from their Spring 2023 menu. I was able to ascertain that it is an older drink than that via a mention on Yelp dating back to Summer 2021. I was drawn in for it would give me a reason to crack open my bottle of Elixir Vegetal that I got at the launch party held at Atlantico last November; Elixir Vegetal is akin to bitters that taste like Green Chartreuse but are not a direct substitute for that hard-to-find liqueur. I first tried Elixir Vegetal dashed onto a sugar cube in a spoon circa 2010 at Eastern Standard back when the product was categorized as a medicine and not allowed to be legally imported into the country; recently, they changed its categorization to fill the gap in the market for things that taste like Chartreuse. In addition, since Chartreuse flavors worked well with crème de peche in the Foreward, I was keen on trying out the Prodigal Son.
The Prodigal Son arrived with a caramel, peach, and herbaceous bouquet. Next, caramel on the sip gave way to Bourbon, peach, dark orange, and herbaceous flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

devotion & desire

1 oz El Buho Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Cynar

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I uncovered a set of online recipe flashcards for the Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I locked into the oddball Mezcal Negroni of sorts called the Devotion & Desire from the Winter 2018 menu which reminded me of the Cynarita with tequila, Smoke & Mirrors with aquavit, and Bottechia with Fernet. Moreover, the combination of Campari and Cynar as the modifiers was one that I utilized in 2020 in the Pinball Racket. Through Instagram, I learned that the drink was created by Geo Thompson who managed the rock club-restaurant establishment around that time, and he described how they had a menu full of "classic riffs named after songs by bands that played there recently or upcoming. Devotion & Desire is a song by [the band] Bayside. The goal was to introduce the bartenders to some classics with goal of building knowledge out from there."
In the glass, Devotion & Desire began with an orange, caramel, vegetal, and smoke aroma. Next, Cynar's caramel filled the sip and was followed by smoky, vegetal, bitter orange, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

mario's amaretto sour

1 oz Dewar's Scotch (Famous Grouse Black)
1 oz Lazzaroni Amaretto (Disaronno)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Rich Simple (1/4 oz 1:1)
1/2 Egg White (1 whole Egg White)

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with 7 drop Angostura Bitters.
Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to delve into an online set of recipe flashcards for the current menu at Cure in New Orleans. Mario's Amaretto Sour crafted by Chris Paolini made me think of an Amaretto Sour crossed with a Godfather, so I was curious to give it a try. Moreover, the whiskey component reminded me of Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Amaretto Sour that inspired me to use overproof rum in my Am-Am Sour with Amaro Averna and Amaretto that I created at Drink. Once assembled, Mario's Amaretto Sour showcased a nutty almond and clove bouquet. Next, a creamy lemon and almond sip flowed into Scotch and almond flavors on the swallow. While there were no great surprises here, I did find the combination a level up from the classic.

Monday, March 18, 2024

ms. dalloway

1 1/2 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey (86°)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a lemon wheel (served up in a coupe).
Two Mondays ago, I returned to an online set of recipe flashcards for the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City, and I landed on the Ms. Dalloway that seemed like an intriguing orange-ginger Whiskey Sour. While the cards did not list a serving style, I was able to derive it from a photo in a 2010 The Wallstreet Journal article (although I decided to serve it up in a coupe since I was not going to be lingering on it). Once prepared, the Ms. Dalloway greeted the senses with orange and ginger aromas. Next, lemon and orange notes on the sip sashayed into rye, orange-herbal, and ginger flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

long look back

1 oz Woody Creek Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
3/4 oz Toki Whisky (Kavalan Classic)
3/4 oz Amaro Braulio
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup 1:1
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a double old fashioned glass, add a large ice cube, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Sundays ago, I pulled up a recipe from Punch magazine in their article on Manhattan variations called the Long Look Back by Kacie Lambert at Stay Gold in Manhattan. Although this felt more like a Toronto variation than a Manhattan, I was definitely in the mood for a Braulio cocktail, and the combination reminded me a little of the Peloni. Once assembled, the Long Look Back welcomed the nose with orange, caramel, pine, and clove aromas. Next, the caramel continued on into the sip where it was chased by rye spice, minty, caramel, pine, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

this is not berlin

1 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Pamplemousse Grapefruit Liqueur (St. Elder)
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Grapefruit Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a doube old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
When writing up the Testadura with rum, Cynar, and cinnamon syrup, I became inspired to riff on the idea. I brought in grapefruit liqueur to complement the cinnamon from the Hawaiian War Chant, and mezcal, grapefruit liqueur, and Cynar worked so well in the Tres Amigos. For a name, I dubbed it This is Not Berlin after a 2019 coming-of-age movie set in Mexico City and centered around a nightclub. Once prepared, the drink showcased a grapefruit, cinnamon, vegetal, and smoke bouquet. Next, a semi-sweet sip flowed into smoke, vegetal, grapefruit, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 15, 2024

bitter sweet

1/2 oz Diplomatico Rum (Diplomatico Riserva Exclusiva)
1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
4 drop Dutch Colonial Bitters (6 drop Tempus Fugit Abbott's)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard set for the Dorrance in Providence, Rhode Island. There, I spotted the Bitter Sweet from their 2012 menu that seemed to be a curious sherry take on the Right Hand cocktail. In the glass, the Bitter Sweet donated an orange oil, caramel, dark orange, and tropical funk aroma. Next, grape and caramel notes on the sip sailed into funky rum and bitter orange flavors on the swallow with a clove spice finish.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

pollinator

2 oz Banhez Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
3/4 oz Honey-Ginger Syrup (3/4 oz 1:1 Honey Syrup + 2 coins Ginger, muddled)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1/4 oz Aveze Gentian Liqueur (Suze)

Shake with ice, strain into a single old fashioned glass, and garnish with orange oil from a twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I opened up an online recipe flashcard set for Deep Ellum when they were back in Allston. There, I was drawn in by the Pollinator that was created circa January 2020 or before, and it reminded me of a gentian-embittered mezcal Penicillin; moreover, it seemed like a step further from the bar's tequila-based Little Branch but with smoke and gentian liqueur in the mix. Once prepared, the Pollinator landed on the nose with orange, floral, vegetal, and smoke aromas. Next, honey and lemon on the sip flew off to smoky, vegetal, bitter herbal, and ginger spice flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

the violet touch

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (El Maestro Sierra)
1/2 oz Amaro Sfumato
2 spray Tobacco Bitters (2 dash Smoking Ban Bitters) (*)

Stir with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Yes, drinking tobacco-infused spirits can be dangerous, but in a dash-wise and non-potable format, tobacco bitters are rather safe for the vast majority of people (although frowned upon by the TTB). See link for math and toxicity information.
Two Wednesdays ago, I went back to the online flashcard sets for Chicago's The Violet Hour, and there, I landed on The Violet Touch from their 2022 menu. The drink's Old Fashioned stylings with Pedro Ximenez sherry and Sfumato as modifiers was one that I last saw in the Besitos de Abuelita and was first experienced in the Cold was the Ground (which inspired me to create the Slowly Goes the Night). In the glass, The Violet Touch reached out with an orange, roast, and herbal aroma. Next, dried fruit and roast notes on the sip grasped towards rye, char, bitter herbal, and dried cherry flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

hay there

3/4 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
3/4 oz Dolin Genepy Liqueur
3/4 oz Giffard Pamplemousse Grapefruit Liqueur
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured down to Backbar in Somerville for Jesse Lane's First Fifty challenge that he needed to complete before becoming a full-fledged bartender there. Off the list, I selected the Hay There, and I was able to utilize the KindredCocktails database to learn that it was created by James Lamont at Backbar in Summer 2016. Once prepared, the Hay There led off with a lime, bright herbaceous, and grapefruit aroma. Next, lime and grapefruit notes on the sip greeted herbal, grapefruit, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow. The overall balance and feel here reminded me of the Aqueduct.

Monday, March 11, 2024

darkness at the edge of town

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac (Monnet VSOP)
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 tsp Benedictine
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube.

Two Mondays ago, I returned to an online recipe flashcard set for the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia, and I selected the Darkness on the Edge of Town. I was able to date the drink by way of an October 2010 article on Grubstreet about the menu launch. It appeared like a Smith & Cross Vieux Carré riff akin to the Smith & Cross-laden D-Day Sazerac, and the name was perhaps a Bruce Springsteen reference. Al Sotack confirmed that it was named after Bruce's 1978 album, and when I inquired if the recipe was his or Colin Shearn's, he replied, "It's just funny in context cause I don't even think [Colin] likes the Boss. It's mine." Colin retorted, "Bruce isn’t even my colleague much less the boss."
The Darkness on the Edge of Town proffered a pineapple-like rum funk and clove bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and caramel notes on the sip stepped aside for funky rum, rich Cognac, herbal, and allspice flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

josé's redemption

1 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Sundays ago, I selected the Session Cocktails book by Drew Lazor and the editors of Punch from my shelves. There, I was lured in by José's Redemption by Ezra Star at Drink in Boston for a regular who just had a big meal upstairs at Menton. The concept struck a chord with me since my usual bar station at Drink was closest to the back door where Menton captains would sneak down guests and often sit them at the bar seats in front of me. This two amaro Sour began with clementine and herbal aromas. Next, lemon, orange, and caramel notes on the sip flipped to tangerine, herbal, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

the dry season

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Peloton de la Muerte)
1 oz El Tesoro Platinum Tequila (Olmeca Altos)
1 oz Cocchi Americano
>1/2 oz Aperol (3/8 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Saturdays ago, I was scanning the KindredCocktails database when I came across The Dry Season by Kyle Davidson at Chicago's Violet Hour circa 2010. The combination reminded me of an agave version of Charlotte Voisey's Unusual Negroni (equal parts Hendrick's Gin, Lillet, Aperol) which I later tried in Johnny Appleseed with applejack, Vita Brevis with rye, and a few other examples. Here with agave, it began with vegetal, smoke, and orchard fruit aromas. Next, orange, pear, and a hint of grapefruit peel on the sip transferred to smoky agave and bitter orange flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 8, 2024

rodriguez

1 oz El Tesoro Blanco Tequila (Olmeca Altos)
1 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Grapefruit Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard set for Teardrop Lounge in Portland, and I spotted the Rodriguez from the "friends" section of the menu. The Rodriguez was crafted by bartender Ryan Fitzgerald at Beretta in San Francisco, and the combination of agave, Cocchi Americano (or Lillet), and Benedictine in that ratio reminded me of Trina's Starlite Lounge's Unicorn Blood and San Francisco's Jonny Raglin's Nouveau Carré that appeared in the PDT Cocktail Book. Here, the Rodriguez opened up with grapefruit and agave aromas along with a hint of smoke. Next, orchard fruit notes on the sip gave way to vegetal and herbal flavors on the swallow with a grapefruit and smoke finish.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

testadura

1 1/2 oz Planation 5 Year Rum (R.L. Seale 10 Year)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
Chocolate Bitters (2 dash Bittermens Mole)
Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I ventured back to an online recipe flashcard set which yielded the Testadura by Richard Boccato at Dutch Kills; I later found it on the Wm. Farmer & Son's menu attributed to the bar with a 2017 date. Perhaps the drink is named after the Italian phrase "testa dura" that translates to "hard head" and is an idiomatic expression meaning stubborn. The cinnamon syrup and Cynar modifying an aged rum base did not seem like an unusual combination; however, I have only tried it in the Broken Flower and Poison Dart and utilized it in an on-the-fly Manhattan riff Shadows & Tall Trees at Russell House Tavern back in 2013. In the glass, the Testadura welcomed the nose with an orange, cinnamon, and caramel bouquet. Next, the caramel notes continued on into the sip where they were chased by rum, herbal, cinnamon, and chocolate flavors.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

hell or high water

1 1/2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Egg White (1 whole Egg White)
1/4 oz Crème de Peche (Mathilde)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Honey Syrup

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with an orange twist (photo I later found on Yelp appears to be an express and discard twist).
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcards for the Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon, when I spotted the Hell or High Water from the Spring 2023 menu that would make good use of the bottle of Jameson that I was gifted for Christmas from my restaurant. While it was on a recent menu, it was a much older recipe that appeared in a Yelp photo from around 2016. Overall, it reminded me of a whiskey-based Clover Club with peach accents instead of raspberry, so I was curious to give it a go especially with the honey-Benedictine combination. Once prepared, the Hell or High Water welcomed the nose with orange, peach, and floral aromas. Next, a creamy lemon and orchard fruit sip rose to whiskey, peach, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

fedora 2.1

1 oz Equiano Original Rum
1/2 oz Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
3 dash Chocolate Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, and garnish with an orange twist and a cherry.
Two Tuesdays ago, I attended an Uncle Nearest Whiskey and Equiano Rum event at Shore Leave entitled "Cocktails & Stories." For the Equiano part, rum ambassador Ian Burrell was inspired by Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender as the first cocktail book written by a black bartender, and it was a perfect tie in to Black History Month. Ian began by sharing Tom's dedication and part of the introduction in the book that read, "This cocktail will be for those men and women who enjoy to drink in snug club rooms... And if for some reason we are not able to travel, then may they find this recipe and learn the art of preparing for themselves what is good." For a recipe, Ian found the Fedora which I learned as a three ingredient Sidecar (brandy, Bourbon, Jamaican rum). The original in Harry Johnson's 1882 New and Improved Bartender's Manual has a lemon slice included in the shake, and Stan Jones' 1977 Complete Barguide has it as a full ounce of lemon juice; however, Bullock left the lemon aspect out. To the 1917 recipe, Ian utilized Grand Marnier to take the place of both the Curaçao and brandy elements and rounded out the recipe with vanilla and chocolate accents. This Fedora 2.1 began with orange, caramel, and cherry aromas. Next, a caramel sip gave way to rum, whiskey, spice, orange, and vanilla flavors on the swallow.

Monday, March 4, 2024

pale rider

1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Cointreau
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice. The recipe lacked serving style or garnish, but the bar's website's menu has a rocks glass symbol next to it, and I added a large ice cube and a grapefruit twist.
Two Mondays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard set for Erick Castro's new project in San Diego, namely Gilly's House of Cocktails. There, the Pale Rider called out to me as an agave Joy Division without absinthe or perhaps an agave Lucien Gaudin minus the Campari, so I was intrigued with this stirred number. Once prepared, the Pale Rider galloped to the nose with a grapefruit and agave aroma. Next, a semi-sweet sip rode into smoky agave, orange peel, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

bear skin rug

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ragged Mountain Rum (Privateer New England Reserve)
1/2 oz Arkansas Black Apple Brandy (Morin Calvados Selection)
1/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/4 oz Maple Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Sundays ago, I uncovered an online flashcard set for Ward 8 in Boston and spied the split base rum-apple brandy Manhattan riff. I was able to date the drink to around 2017 from when the bartender who posted the recipe set worked there, and the combination of Averna, Amontillado, and maple seemed intriguing as modifiers. In the glass, the Bear Skin Rug showcased a caramel, maple, and nutty aroma. Next, grape notes on the sip led into rum, apple, raisin, maple, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

salted rye

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Zucca (Sfumato)
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
5 drop Saline (1:4)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago, I ventured back to the online recipe flashcards for the Fall 2012 menu at the Dorrance in Providence, Rhode Island, where I became tempted by the bitter Manhattan variation called the Salted Rye. While the flashcards had the rye as Redemption, the restaurant's current website has it as Rittenhouse and attributes it to bartender Jonathan Dille. Indeed, the combination of Rittenhouse, Montenegro, and Zucca reminded me of the Mint Julep variation I created at Loyal Nine in 2015 called the Heat of the Moment, so it was time to try this one out. Once prepared, the Salted Rye welcomed the nose with orange and roast aromas. Next, a caramel-driven sip transformed into rye, smoky, clementine, and bitter herbal flavors on the swallow.

Friday, March 1, 2024

mortal coil

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin (Beefeater 44%)
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Nocino (Russo)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Cinnamon Bitters (Fee's Whiskey Barrel-Aged)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a lemon pigtail twist.
Two Fridays ago, I ventured back to the online recipe flashcard sets for Pouring Ribbons, and I found the curious Martini riff called the Mortal Coil that appeared on their Fall 2014 menu. After making it, I was unsure if I had tried any gin and walnut liqueur drinks, and it turned out that I have had two before with an unnamed one by John Gertsen at Drink in late 2008 being the closest to Pouring Ribbons' (the other was the Bamboozled at Backbar which was more sherry driven). In the glass, the Mortal Coil lifted off with lemon, walnut, and cinnamon aromas. Next, grape and a dark note from the nocino on the sip sprung into gin, grape-herbal, dark nutty, allspice, cinnamon, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

divorcé in nyc

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
1 oz Daron Calvados (Morin Selection)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Giffard Crème de Cacao (Bols)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe, spritz with absinthe (rinse with Kübler), and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcards for the Violet Hour in Chicago, and I landed on the Divorcé in NYC by bartender Ryan Carrigan for the Winter 2023 menu. The combination of Benedictine, cacao, and absinthe was one that worked in the King of Birds and the Kaleidoscope, so I was curious about mixing this up. Once stirred and strained, the Divorcé in NYC opened up with lemon, apple, anise, and herbal aromas. Next, caramel with a hint of apple on the sip pranced into rye, apple, and chocolate-herbal flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

the bottom line

1 1/2 oz Highland Park 18 Year Scotch (1 oz Highland Park Cask Strength Batch #2 + 1/2 oz Water)
1 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Tio Pepe Fino)
3/4 oz Barenjager Honey Liqueur
1/4 oz Amaro Ciociaro
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass with ice.
Two Wednesdays ago, I was searching the KindredCocktails database for Amaro Ciociaro and sherry recipes when I came across The Bottom Line by San Francisco bartender Kevin Diedrich. The recipe was sourced from a 2022 Liquor.com article where it described, "But sometimes it can be a lot of fun, albeit pricey fun, to grab a premium scotch and make a drink with it... [and] That's what San Francisco bar pro Kevin Diedrich did with The Bottom Line." While I did not have the costly 18 year, I did have the slightly less expensive cask strength Highland Park Release #2, and the proof worked out perfectly with a 2 parts full strength to 1 part water to match the elder's 86° (Note: I received the partial bottle of cask strength at a Highland Park bitters making class as a gift from the brand ambassador in April 2022 ). Once prepared, The Bottom Line welcomed the senses with a honey-floral bouquet. Next, a semi-crisp sip with honey notes flowed into smoky Scotch, honey, and dark orange bitter flavors on the swallow.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

sippin' on syrup

3/4 oz Old Overholt Rye (86°)
3/4 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Amaro Nardini
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
2 drop Saline (1:4)
1 Whole Egg

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
Two Tuesdays ago, I returned to the online recipe flashcard sets for The Violet Hour in Chicago, and I landed on the Sippin' on Syrup from the Winter 2024 menu. The whole egg Sour that resides on their current menu began with a cinnamon, maple, and apple aroma. Next, a creamy caramel and lemon sip mumbled into maple, apple, rye, and herbal flavors on the swallow with lemony tartness on the finish.