Friday, November 24, 2017

haitian divorce

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Sombra)
1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Oxford 1970)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add a large ice cube, and stir. Garnish with both orange and lime twists.
Two Fridays ago, I restocked Pedro Ximenez sherry at the home bar to make the Haitian Divorce from Amanda Schuster's New York Cocktails. The recipe was crafted by Tom Richter when he was at the Beagle, and the form reminded me of the McKittrick Old Fashioned which also utilized the rich sherry as a sweetener. Here, the Haitian Divorce gave forth smoke and raisiny aromas along orange and lime oil notes. Next, the sherry's robust grape filled the sip, and the swallow offered rum, smoky mezcal, and raisiny sherry flavors with a clove spice-driven finish.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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Drink & Tell and Drunk & Told via Amazon

Between the two volumes, there are 1350+ cocktail recipes created in Boston during the Golden and Silver Eras circa 2006-2017, plus essays and articles on Boston bars, bartenders, and drinking styles on top of that all.

tuxedo cocktail no. 2

1 dash Maraschino (1 bsp Luxardo)
1 dash Absinthe (12 drop St. George)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Damrak)
1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry (omit) and lemon oil from a twist.

After reading an article by Robert Simonson in the New York Times about the two Tuxedo Cocktail variations, I realized that I had never written up either here. Therefore, I reached for my copy of the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book and decided upon the second variation that came across like the Martini version of an Improved Gin Cocktail. Moreover, perhaps it was akin to a Moonshine Cocktail with orange bitters or a Silver with absinthe.
In the glass, the Tuxedo Cocktail No. 2 offered a lemon oil aroma. Next, a clean white wine sip with hints of cherry led into a gin, nutty cherry, and orange swallow with a light absinthe finish. With a touch of sugar from the Maraschino liqueur, the drink was a bit more rounded and not as stark as the classic fifty-fifty Dry Martini, and thus, easier to linger over without fear of it warming up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


2/3 jigger Applejack (1 1/2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)
1/3 jigger Bacardi (3/4 oz Privateer Tres Aromatique Overproof White Rum
1 dash Sweet & Sour (1/2 oz Lime Juice + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist (lime and orange twists).
Since my copy of Boothby's 1934 World Drinks & How to Mix Them was still out from the night before's research on the Quinquina Cocktail, I decided to utilize it for that evening's drink. There, I spotted the Liberty that reminded me of the Three Mile Limit in structure until I realized that the Sky Pilot was perhaps closer. Once prepared, the Liberty offered an apple and funky rum nose accented with citrus oils. Next, lime on the sip led into apple and grassy rum funk on the swallow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

quinquina cocktail

1 oz Brandy (Courvoisier VS Cognac)
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Absinthe (1 scant bsp Kübler)

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I began flipping through the pages of Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles book when I came across the Quinquina Cocktail riff crafted by Chantal Tseng then of the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. I was already taken by the recipe, but I sought out more information on Paul's 2010 blog post about the drink. Chantal originally found the recipe in Trader Vic's 1947 Bartender's Guide but later traced it back to Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix Them. In my copy of Boothby's 1934 edition, the Quinquina recipe consisted of equal parts Cognac, quinquina, and peach brandy accented with two dashes of absinthe. Since dry peach brandy was not prevalent in 2010, it appears as though she swapped the orchard fruit to apricot liqueur and made the drink more spirit forward to dry out the balance.
The Quinquina Cocktail offered up a lemon and apricot aroma with a hint of anise. Next, the Bonal donated a red grape note to the sip, and the swallow began with Cognac followed by Bonal's bitter flavors melding into the apricot and ended with an absinthe finish.

fascination street

2 oz Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Jasmine Tea Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Liquidy Guava Jelly (**)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a punch cup, partially fill with ice, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
(*) A strong 5 minute steep of Twining's Jasmine Tea in boiling water. Strain (or remove the tea bag), add an equal volume of sugar, and stir to dissolve.
(**) Equal parts guava jelly (the pectinized brick type) and water. Cut the jelly into small blocks, heat with water such as through microwaving, and stir until liquidy. It will stay thick but pourable even if refrigerated, and will be good if kept refrigerated for 2+ weeks.
For my third drink for the Earl's Cocktail Lab two weeks ago, I decided on basing a drink on guava jelly. My mind quickly went to a pair of classic punches: the Barbadoes Punch from Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bartender's Guide and the West Indies Punch from 1869 Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. Similar to the Jakartoni, I kept the tea element found in the West Indies and other classic punches, and here I utilized a floral black tea in the form of a syrup. To balance the sweetness, I added lemon juice and a hint of a drying spice from Peychaud's Bitters. To round out the trilogy of drinks named after songs from The Cure's Disintegration album, I was lured in by Fascination Street.

Monday, November 20, 2017

the same deep water as you

1 1/2 oz Plantation Dark Rum
1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Tamarind-Cinnamon Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with a mint sprig (later, it was a mint sprig + a paper umbrella).
(*) In a pinch, substitute 3/4 oz cinnamon syrup and 1 tsp tamarind concentrate such as Tamicon from an Indian spice store, otherwise follow the directions below.
(*) To make this syrup, break up 4 cinnamon sticks and add to 10 oz water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer covered 10 minutes. Add 10 oz sugar and 4 oz tamarind concentrate, stir while bringing back to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let steep for 2 hours or more before straining.
In thinking about other ingredients to bring to the Cocktail Lab at Earl's Prudential two Mondays ago, I thought about tamarind syrup and recalled how well it paired with rum, cinnamon, and lime in the Final Countdown. Veering from that drink's Jet Pilot format, I dropped the grapefruit juice to make it more of a Test Pilot in structure and brought in a smoky mezcal akin to the Mr. Howell Daiquiri utilizing Scotch. I took the drink in a Tiki direction by serving it over pellet ice with a mint sprig (and later a paper umbrella) as garnish, and I kept with The Cure's Disintegration theme by dubbing this one The Same Deep Water as You.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

prayers for rain

2 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Cantaloupe Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico
1 dash Regan's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass (or cocktail coupe), and garnish with an oregano sprig (here, clipped onto the glass with a slitted lemon twist).
(*) Cubed cantaloupe melon blended and fine strained. This juice was mixed with an equal part of sugar and stirred until dissolved. I avoided heat to retain more aroma and to not give the melon a cooked flavor.
Two Mondays ago for my second shift at the Cocktail Lab located in Earl's Prudential, I decided to do an uniting theme of drinks named after song titles from The Cure's Disintegration album. For the first of the trio that I dubbed Prayers for Rain, I was inspired by the cantaloupes that I had been buying at my local market, and it reminded me of a Day of the Dead cantaloupe drink that I had tried years ago called the Marigold Ofrenda. I thought of this drink as a re-envisioned Margarita and returned some orange notes to the mix via Regan's bitters. However, the combination needed some pizazz so I added a touch of Galliano to donate complementary vanilla and star anise notes to the mix. For a garnish, my oregano patch in my garden had been doing rather well and it seemed like a perfect Mexican-appropriate touch to the drink.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

leap frog

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Damrak)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)
6 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in simple syrup, add rest of the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail coupe glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I grabbed the PDT Cocktail Book off of the shelf and stumbled upon the Leap Frog. Jim Meehan created this drink as a riff on the Leaping Frog from Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender; his starting point was a recipe that was a shaken concoction of Hungarian apricot eau de vie and lime juice. The same drink idea appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book as the Hop Toad with lemon instead of lime. Here, it appears that Meehan was inspired by perhaps a combination of the Pendennis and Southside to make the original recipe more palatable.
The Leap Frog offered up an apricot and mint aroma that led into a lemon sip with a hint of orchard fruit. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and apricot flavors with a mint finish.