Thursday, December 9, 2021

rope burn

1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I searched for Bonal recipes on Kindred Cocktails and found the Rope Burn that was attributed to Allan Katz at Caña Rum Bar in Los Angeles via a now defunct 213Nightlife link. When I tagged Allan on Instagram, he replied that it was a Ron Dollete number; I know of Ron from being very active on Twitter where he self-describes as a "LA boozehound. Slightly sweet. Slightly bitter." The combination reminded me of Eastern Standard's Kingston Contessa with sweet vermouth instead of the quinquina here (the original gin Contessa was dry vermouth though). Here, the Rope Burn began with a grapefruit, orange, and rum funk aroma. Next, grape and melon-orange notes on the sip slid into funky rum and orange flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

yellow jacket #2

1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (1 3/4 oz Bombay Dry)
3/4 oz Mint Honey Syrup (3/4 oz Honey Syrup + 6 leaf Mint)
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh mint, and garnish with a mint sprig (cocktail coupe, mint leaf garnish).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was finishing up T. Cole Newton's Cocktail Dive Bar book when I came across the recipe for the Yellow Jacket #2 crafted by 12 Mile Limit's Dani Martire. It was created as Bee's Knees riff with lime and mint flavors, and the lime made me think of Milk & Honey's The Business which only varies here by the mint in the honey syrup. The book recommended shaking with mint leaves to simulate their syrup. After discovering that there were other Yellow Jacket recipes out there such as perhaps this one, they dubbed this one #2 in acknowledgement that it was not the most original of names. In the glass, the Yellow Jacket #2 greeted the senses with a lime, pine, and mint aroma. Next, honey and lime mingled on the sip, and the swallow swarmed with gin and mint flavors with a lime-herbal finish.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

unfinished business

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry (Woodford).
Two Tuesdays ago, I finally got around to replacing my empty bottle of Bonal, and I sought out a use for my purchase. On Kindred Cocktails, I uncovered a 2016 creation by New York City bartender Rafa Garcia Febles called Unfinished Business as a sort of Martini riff. In the glass, it provided a pine and plum aroma. Next, plum, peach, and grapefruit notes on the sip closed out to gin, red fruit, peach, and quinine flavors on the swallow.

Monday, December 6, 2021


1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Bombay Dry)
1/2 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a grapefruit twist as a garnish.

Another request that came up at Drink on Saturday night was the Dejuener that was created there years ago; the name means either lunch or to eat lunch. The structure reminded me of Paul Clarke's Dunniette but with grapefruit here instead of lemon. Moreover, Josh Child's Shaddock is in the same ball park with the lemon juice of the Dunniette but equal parts and Genever instead of gin. Since I had never had a Dejeuner myself other than straw tasting the build two nights prior, I gave this one a go.
The Dejeuner donated a grapefruit and peach aroma to the nose. Next, grapefruit and orange notes on the sip flowed into gin, floral, and grapefruit flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

derby julep

2 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin (Bombay Dry)
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
8 leaf Mint

Build in a Julep cup, rub the mint along the sides of the cup, fill with crushed ice, and mix. Top with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add a straw. The ingredient list is how I made it at work the day before, and the parenthetical ingredients are how I made it at home the next night.

A guest at Drink on Saturday night requested a Mint Julep but wanted it with gin and fruit notes. I immediately thought of Scott Holliday's French Julep and recalled how it was based off of the classic Derby Cocktail of gin, simple, peach bitters, and mint served up (he took it in a pear liqueur direction). The Drink recipe book alters this to apricot liqueur and Angostura Bitters, so I took that route. I kept the Citadelle gin call from Scott's drink at Rendezvous since it was already at my station that night, and I followed through using Drink's Julep building technique.
When I repeated the recipe at home, the Derby Julep welcomed the senses with a mint bouquet. Next, orchard fruit on the sip raced into gin, apricot, mint, clove, allspice, and cinnamon flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

dead ringer

1 1/2 oz Ron Zacapa Rum (Zaya)
1 oz Principe Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1/4 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1 tsp Cane Sugar Simple

Stir with ice and strain into a old fashioned glass pre-rinsed with Sombra Mezcal (Mezcal Union).
Two Saturdays ago, I was excited to crack open the new Death & Co.: Welcome Home book, and the first recipe that I spotted was the Dead Ringer that Eryn Reece crafted in 2014. The light touch of Swedish punsch here reminded me of her Mrs. Doyle, so I was curious to give this one a go. Once mixed, the mezcal rinse provided a vegetal smoke nose. Next, caramel, grape, and plum flavors on the sip flowed into rum, caramel, orange, and dry grape notes on the swallow with a rum funk finish.

Friday, December 3, 2021

dinosaurs before dark

1 1/2 oz Gin (Bombay Dry)
1 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet (Cocchi Americano)
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (12 drop Copper & Kings)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I had been thinking about Joaquin Simo's Sweet Valley High, and I decided to put my own spin on it by changing the liqueur and bitters and by adding a light touch of absinthe. To keep with Joaquin's name, I dubbed this one Dinosaurs Before Dark after another young adult book series. In the glass, the Dinosaurs Before Dark proffered an orange aroma that led into peach and orchard fruit notes on the sip. Finally, gin, melon, clove, and anise flavors came through on the swallow.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

charlie chaplin

1/3 Sloe Gin (1 oz Plymouth)
1/3 Apricot Liqueur (1 oz Rothman & Winter)
1/3 Lime Juice (1 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Note: splitting this into four equal 3/4 oz parts with the final element being gin was recommended by bartender-author Frank Caiafa (see text below).
Two Thursdays ago was our re-opening night at Drink. Our consultant who returned back to the bar to assist was Will Thompson who asked me to make a Scofflaw for a guest in another section and mentioned that they would probably want to follow that up with a Charlie Chaplin. The Charlie Chaplin was one where I sort of knew the ingredients but had never made tried before; therefore, when I got home, I selected The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book which has the earliest recipe for this libation. I then found Frank Caiafa's 2016 The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book to see if he had any commentary; his bar staff would sometimes add gin to the recipe as a variation to add backbone and to balance the sweeter notes. They used that version was utilized as an alternative to the Cosmopolitan (and via personal correspondence, it was his personal favorite version). Here, I stuck with the gin-less version to appreciate the original, and it began with a berry and apricot bouquet. Next, lime, cherry, and cranberry notes on the sip flowed into cherry, apricot, lime, and berry flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

sir walter cocktail

50% Brandy (1 oz Du Peyrat Selection)
50% Rum (1 oz Smith & Cross)
1 tsp Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Curaçao (1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Wednesdays ago, I found the Sir Walter Cocktail in the 1933 reprint of Jack's Manual. The recipe first appeared into Harry MacElhone's 1927 Barflies and Cocktails, and Difford's Guide surmised that it was created in honor of either Sir Walter Raleigh or Sir Walter Scott. Once mixed, it showcased an orange and rum funk aroma. Next, lemon, orange, berry, and caramel notes on the sip landed upon funky rum, Cognac, berry, and orange flavors on the swallow.