Thursday, March 30, 2023

smoke show

2 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
Two Thursdays ago, I spotted an intriguing recipe on called the Smoke Show. The recipe was crafted by Liz Martinez at the Purple Pig in Chicago; its Green Chartreuse, Cynar, and egg white components reminded me of Two from L.A. except that this was more of a Mezcal Sour than a liqueur-driven number. Once prepared, the Smoke Show summoned a cinnamon, smoke, and vegetal aroma. Next, a creamy lemon sip wafted into smoky mezcal and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

mordor coffee

1 1/2 oz Teeling Small Batch Whiskey
1/2 oz Caffé Borghetti
1/2 oz Cynar 70
1/4 oz Gran Classico
1/4 oz Punt e Mes
1 Whole Egg

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a spritz of Angustura (stenciled design).
Two Wednedays ago, I stopped into Backbar during their Lord of the Rings Week(s) (it ended up being two weeks), and requested the Mordor Coffee from bartender Latavia Hall. It was described as "It's a bitter evil version of an Irish Coffee Flip" that sort of made me think about how one would expect a Coffee Cocktail to taste if they did not know the ingredients. The end result greeted the senses with a clove and allspice aroma from the bitters Eye of Sauron stencil. Next, a creamy, roast, and caramel sip was ruled by coffee, bitter herbal, and char flavors on the swallow with a bubblegum finish from the Gran Classico.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023


2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Bols White)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a light dusting of cayenne chili powder.
Two Tuesdays ago, I spotted a recipe that reminded me of the Red Grasshopper on the Bartender's Choice app called the Switchblade. The Switchblade was created by Riley Perrin at Nashville's Attaboy in 2018, and it fell in line with that bar lineage's fascination with the lesser known classic, the Holland Razor Blade. Since the Red Grasshopper was delicious, I was curious to see how the crème de cacao in place of the honey would fair in this build. Here, the nose was full of vegetal, lime, and chocolate aromas. Next, a lime-driven sip opened up into tequila and chocolate flavors on the swallow that got spicier over time.

Monday, March 27, 2023


2 oz Overproof Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
1/2 oz Branca Menta
1/2 oz Benedictine

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. I surmise that it is shaken as a nod to the Stinger.
Two Mondays ago, I delved into my Food & Wine: Cocktails book collection and came across the Flashbang in the 2016 edition. The recipe was created by Donny Clutterbuck at Cure in Rochester, and I assumed that it was a riff on the Stinger since it was brandy-based, contained an ingredient that was minty, and was shaken even though it lacked citrus or dairy. Therefore, I decided to mix up this one and make a note to whip up a proper Stinger for the blog in the near future. Once prepared, it exploded on the nose with Cognac, herbal, and mint aromas. Next, a caramel sip crashed into Cognac, menthol, and gentian flavors on the swallow with a mint finish.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

sin cyn

1 oz Scotch (Cutty Sark Prohibition)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice (coupe), and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Sundays ago, I had recently seen an online reference to the Sin Cyn, and I thought that I had made it. Turns out that back in 2007, I made the gin variation of it called the Cin-Cyn (where the Cin part stands for the Cinzano sweet vermouth in the original version). I found the Sin Cyn recipe in Kara Newman's Shake Stir Sip book, and she credited Paul Dellevigne at the Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia. Once prepared, the Sin Cyn greeted the senses with smoke, caramel, and orange aromas. Next, caramel and grape notes on the sip gave way to Scotch and herbal flavors on the swallow with a smoke-tinged finish.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

painted lady

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Aged Apple Brandy (Laird's Bonded)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Cynar
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Kübler) rocks glass.
Two Saturdays ago, I became inspired by Maks Pazuniak's 100 Year Old Cigar and took the rum-Scotch combination in a gin-applejack direction by way of the Pink Lady. It seemed that Peychaud's Bitters would round out the combination better than Angostura, and I dubbed this one the Painted Lady as perhaps a nod to the Women of the Wild West night I did back with Katie Emmerson at the Blue Room a decade ago last month. The Painted Lady led off with an anise aroma from the absinthe rinse. Next, apple and caramel notes on the sip danced into pine, apple, herbal, and caramel flavors on the swallow with an anise finish. A few folks made it after I posted it on Instagram, and one declared "A fantastic beverage. Made it this evening. The makings of a modern classic."

Friday, March 24, 2023

diamonds & toads

1 1/2 oz Louis Royer Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
3/4 oz Blanc Vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Suze
5 dash Absinthe (1/2 tsp Kübler)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago, I logged into ShakeStir to peruse their recipe database. There, I was lured in by Diamonds & Toads created by Nick Bennett circa 2013 while he was at Booker & Dax in Manhattan. He named his Cognac riff on a White Negroni after a French fairytale, and the combination of Cognac, Suze, and absinthe reminded me of Gary Regan's La Tour Eiffel. After mixing up this drink, it donated a lemon and herbal aroma to the nose. Next, white wine notes on the sip hopped into Cognac, gentian, and anise spice flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

pocket square

1 1/2 oz Amaro Ciociaro
1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin (Beefeater)
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was scanning the Kindred Cocktails database and came upon a good follow-up to the amaro-heavy Copper Dagger from the night before called the Pocket Square. The recipe was created by Toby Maloney at the Violet Hour in Chicago and published in a 2011 Complex article. Its structure reminded me of an Amaro Ciociaro for Campari version of Toby's Eeyore's Requiem in Sour format. In the glass, the Pocket Square presented a grapefruit aroma from the twist. Next, caramel, orange, and lemon notes on the sip tucked into a bitter orange swallow with hints of grapefruit and pine. Overall, the combination reminded me of a reverse Jasmine of sorts.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

copper dagger

1 3/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 drop Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake one round without ice and one round with ice, strain into a coupe, and garnish with 7 drop Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters.
Two Wednesdays ago, I opened up the Bartender's Manifesto by Toby Maloney and Emma Janzen and came across the amaro-laden Copper Dagger as a curious egg white Sour. The recipe was crafted by Ira Koplowitz in 2008, and the combination reminded him of all the great flavors in Coca Cola like lavender and citrus. The healthy slug of Averna here reminded me of the Averna Diamond Fizz that I did at Loyal Nine, so I was definitely curious about giving it a try. Once prepared, the Copper Dagger donated a cinnamon and molasses bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and caramel sip flowed into caramel, cola, and herbal flavors on the swallow.