Thursday, September 21, 2017

rolls royce

1/2 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Beefeater)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Cocchi)
1/4 Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Benedictine (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.

After returning home from Ward 8, I was in the mood for a nightcap, so I turned to the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. There, I spied the Rolls Royce Cocktail that came across as a Perfect Martini with a dash of Benedictine. The Savoy has other car-related drinks like the Bentley with a similar feel, and I was surprised that I had never written about this classic despite discussing variations of it like the Aston Martin. I did make reference to it in my old drink journal when writing about the Lamb's Club (which has equal parts gin and the two vermouths with two dashes of Benedictine), but I could not confirm if I had ever had the Rolls Royce itself.
In the glass, the Rolls Royce gave forth lemon notes to the nose before giving way to a slightly sweet grape on the sip. Next, the swallow proffered gin and a rounded herbalness with a light minty finish. The sweet vermouth in the mix seemed to obscure the Benedictine that shone through more in the Poet's Dream that only contained the dry vermouth.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

healthy scratch

1 1/2 oz Bache Gabrielsen VS Cognac
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
1/4 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I went over to Ward 8 to visit my old coworker Michelle Harrington who was at the stick that night. For a first drink, I asked Michelle for the Healthy Scratch that was new on their menu. Once prepared, the drink offered a lemon and floral aroma which shared the richness of the Cognac. Next, a sweet white grape sip gave way to brandy on the swallow with an orange finish. Indeed, the pinch of salt significantly reduced the Campari's bitterness but retained its citrus-herbal complexity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses Yellow Label)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
1 dash Absinthe (1 bsp Kübler)

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

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to A Spot at the Bar for recipe inspiration. There, I spied in the Sidecar variation section the Commando that was described as "a delicious Bourbon Sidecar with a cheeky dash of absinthe." The combination reminded me of a drink I used to make a regular who hated gin; I modified Sam Ross' Sunflower Cocktail to be a Bourbon drink and soon it became one of his two calls at the bar. Moreover, Drink once made me a Bourbon Corpse Reviver No. 2 that has a similar balance as the Commando.
The Commando greeted the senses with a lemon and anise nose. Next, orange and lemon on the sip preceded whiskey and tart orange on the swallow with an absinthe-herbal finish. Definitely, the dash of absinthe gave this Whiskey Daisy combination some panache.

Monday, September 18, 2017


1 oz Gold Rum (3/4 oz Diplomatico Añejo + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Galliano
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice (*)
1/4 tsp Sugar (1 bsp Simple Syrup) (*)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass or pineapple shell, and fill with Champagne (strain into a Champagne flute containing 2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). Garnish with a cherry and a lime wheel (nasturium flower).
(*) Increasing to a 1/2 oz lime juice and/or dropping the sugar/simple syrup aspect would probably not be out of line here.
While editing the blog to free myself of Photobucket (who drastically changed their TOS), I spotted Scott Holliday's Whiskey-A-Go-Go that he created at Rendezvous shortly after the Galliano L'Autentico (re)release in 2009. I read my post-note that Scott was inspired by the Galliano-containing Barracuda, and I was inspired to make the original which I found in Stan Jones' 1977 Complete Barguide. Once prepared, the Barracuda offered vanilla aromas that joined my garnish choice's peppery floral notes. Next, a crisp lime with hints of pineapple led into funky rum and vanilla on the swallow with a pineapple, white wine, and anise finish.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

forbidden fruit

1 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados
1 1/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe glass, and garnish with a cherry with a little bit of syrup.

Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted on ShakeStir called the Forbidden Fruit. The recipe was created by Tom Richter of TomR's Tonic and formerly of Dear Irving in NYC for the book The Way We Ate as a way to correct the Apple-tini. Tom explained, "Instead of all the junk that goes in that drink, I use Calvados, and fresh ingredients, making this is a truly delicious, delicate, and elegant solution. The name is a double entendre of 1. the apple from Eden, and 2. the sensual aspect of the cocktail." Indeed, the recipe reminded me of how we used to make Jack Roses at a previous bar in response to a request for a Sour Apple Martini, but here the Jack Rose's grenadine and Peychaud's Bitters are swapped for orgeat and blanc vermouth.
The Forbidden Fruit greeted the nose with crisp apple with nutty unternones. Next, a creamy and crisp sip was followed by apple and nutty orgeat flavors with a crisp lime finish reminiscent of green apple.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

park genoves swizzle

2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 sprig Mint

Muddle the mint in the falernum and banana liqueur. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill while keeping the mint at the bottom. Add a straw, garnish with 2-3 dash Angostura Bitters and a mint bouquet.

Two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by some of the low proof sherry drinks that I had spotted while perusing this blog, and I decided to improvise. I was inspired by the sherry-based Platonic Julep and other drinks and took it in a Queen's Park Swizzle direction. Using sherry as a base for tropical and Tiki drinks has been an interest of mine such as in the Sherry Mai Tai and Jungle Bird, so taking it in a Swizzle direction seemed quite natural. For a name, I dubbed this one after an amazing park in Cadiz, the area of sherry production in Spain.
The Park Genovés Swizzle began with a spiced aroma filled with clove and mint notes. Next, lime meeting grape on the sip gave way to nutty and tropical banana flavors on the swallow with a return of clove and mint on the finish.

Friday, September 15, 2017

je suis le tigre

3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
3/4 oz Appleton Estate 12 Year (Appleton Reserve)
3/4 oz Bianco Vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1 bsp Benedictine
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Whip shake with 2 ice cubes, strain into a Hurricane glass, top with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with a mint bouquet and a brandied cherry (omit the latter).

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a Singapore Sling variation that I had spotted on Punch Drinks. The recipe crafted by Dan Sabo of Rick's Place in Los Angeles swapped the base spirit to rum from gin, removed the soda water, and added blanc vermouth and orgeat to the mix. The changes were familiar for I have had other Singapore Sling variations that have taken the rum route such as the Lani Kai Sling as well as the touch of orgeat way such as the City of Gold Sling and the Haji Sling. I also realize that I have never written up the classic recipe despite attending a seminar on its history at Tales of the Cocktail 2016.
The Je Suis Le Tigre's mint bouquet donated greatly to the nose. Next, a creamy lime and caramel sip led into a funky rum and herbal swallow with a nutty, cherry, and clove finish.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

three mile limit cocktail

2/3 Brandy (1 1/2 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac)
1/3 Bacardi Rum (3/4 oz Privateer Tres Aromatique Overproof White Rum)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)
1 dash Lemon Juice (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

While looking through my blog archives, I came across the Twelve Mile Limit and realized that I had never made the Three Mile Limit that preceded it. The three mile limit was part of international law that defined a country's territorial waters due to the distance that a cannon could fire upon a target. Cannons could eventually fire further than that, but due to the curvature of the earth, the targets would not be visible on the horizon. The three mile limit was what allowed liquor bootleggers during Prohibition to set anchor and trade close to shore. Harry & Wynn's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails captured that in liquid form as listed above. As Prohibition wore on, the limit got extended to 12 miles out to make smuggling rum and other spirits harder to do. Likewise, a Twelve Mile Limit recipe was added to the drink books that included rye whiskey as a third spirit to the mix and the drink became more rum- than brandy-forward instead. Since the Twelve Mile Limit only seems to shine when a rougher rum is utilized, I opted for a funky local overproof rum to fill the role in the Three Mile Limit, namely a double pot-stilled white overproof rum from Privateer.
Barflies & Cocktails attributed the drink to "Chips" Brighton of Harry's New York Bar in Paris with the description of, "one of the effects of the Volstead act, people get busy when outside of the three miles." Once prepared, the Three Mile Limit Cocktail gave forth a fruity aroma from the grenadine and lemon that was accented by aromatic rum notes. Next, lemon and berry flavors on the sip transitioned into Cognac and funky rum on the swallow. Overall, while not too complex, it did serve as an interesting split-base Daisy that reminded me of Brick & Mortar's Bokemon Daiquiri.

miami nice

2 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 1/4 oz Coconut Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a small shaker tin (perhaps a Tiki mug, Collins glass, or double old fashioned would work well here), fill with crushed ice, garnish with a paper umbrella and a plastic mermaid, and add straws.
(*) Coconut syrup was made with dried shredded coconut steeped in coconut milk overnight, blended, strained, and cut 50:50 with simple syrup. In a pinch, 3/4 oz each of coconut milk and simple syrup would work well here.
For a drink at Firebrand Saints, Andrea asked for bartender Dave Erickson for the Miami Nice which turned out to be his drink. Once prepared, the Miami Nice did not offer much up in the aroma department but yielded a creamy coconut and lime sip. Next, the pineapple rum shined through on the swallow. Overall, simple but satisfying and delicious as a pineapple-coconut Daiquiri riff that reminded me a little of the Independent's Copacabana.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

witch from the west

1 1/2 oz Pig's Nose Scotch
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
1/4 oz Vanilla Syrup

Build in a double old fashioned glass, add ice, and stir to mix and chill. Garnish with an orange twist and add straws.

Two Wednesdays ago, Andrea and I made our way over to Firebrand Saints for dinner and found seats at Dave Erickson and Juan Mederos' bar. For a first drink, I asked Dave for the Witch from the West that he described was Juan's drink. Juan later explained that the witch in question was a girl who liked Scotch and would ask for cocktails to be made for her. This recipe went through 5 or 6 iterations before she like it, and the drink got its final name when she left him to go back West. Since Scotch and walnut are a natural pairing such as in the Expatriot and the Sentimental Gentleman, I was definitely willing to give this a go.
The Witch from the West presented an orange aroma that later displayed more dark notes once the citrus oil dissipated. Next, a grape sip from the Carpano Antica led into Scotch and walnut flavors on the swallow with a gentle vanilla finish.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

avenue a

2 oz Four Roses Bourbon (Larceny)
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with lemon oil.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wanted a simple bitter and brown cocktail to wind out my day. The one that caught my attention was a recipe that I had spotted on the ShakeStir site called the Avenue A by Jesse Peterson at the Last Word in San Diego. Jesse described, "A cool spin of a Manhattan meeting a Boulevardier." The drink name reminded me of two things with the first one being the summer of 1992 when I was living in Manhattan. People advised me back then to not venture into "Alphabet City," and when my wanderings in the East Village led me to the cusp at Avenue A, I distinctly recalled turning around. The second is one of my personal post-shift late night drinks that got dubbed FLAN at Loyal Nine. Standing for "Fred's Lazy Ass Night Cap," the trend began when guests at tables began asking servers for amari to end their dinner. Often servers would have me approach the table and explain our rather undersized collection, and I would mention some of the 50:50 mixes such as Cynar:Averna that we did just to increase the options. As soon as I mentioned that I could make what I drank at home, a 50:50 of Cynar and Bourbon with a dash of Angostura, the one request at a table turned into two or three. As I mentioned in my Cocktails in the Colonies talk summary, people often want to drink like either the chef or the bartender, so that combined with the elegance of the pairing sold this drink well.
F.L.A.N. (Fred's Lazy Ass Nightcap)
• 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
• 1 1/2 oz Cynar
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Build in a rocks glass, add ice, and stir to mix and chill. At Loyal Nine, I added a lemon twist and straws; at home, I skipped all garnish and straws and utilized different Bourbons depending on mood.
The idea itself did not spawn from a Black Manhattan per se, but from a Camp Runamok 2015 ritual. I was in the Cynar cabin and we made it our tradition to do 50:50 mixes with other cabins (yes, even the Skyy Vodka cabin where it did alright with their peach-flavored spirit); our neighbors were in the Old Granddad Bourbon cabin, and that combination was fantastic! Here, in the Avenue A, the role of the Angostura Bitters for complexity was swapped for Tempus Fugit's glorious cacao liqueur. In the glass, the Avenue A gave forth bright lemon aromas over the darker notes swimming underneath. Next, rich caramel on the sip led into Bourbon along with Cynar melding with the chocolate to be less funky than usual. Over all, the Avenue A made for a delightful dessert-digestif hybrid cocktail.

Monday, September 11, 2017

polynesian remedy

1 3/4 oz Plantation Dark Rum
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1 oz Lemon Juice
4 dash Laphroaig Scotch (1/4 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned (Tiki mug), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with candied ginger, a lemon wheel, and a pineapple leaf (lemon twist, mint, nasturtium and ornamental pea flowers).
Two Mondays ago, I began flipping through the pages of the latest Imbibe Magazine issue and came across the Polynesian Remedy by Scotty Schuder of Paris' Dirty Dick. The description read, "This riff on the Penicillin swaps rum for whisky and adds orgeat to the mix"; moreover, I wrote about Scotty's bar in my review of the Pumping Out Paradise 2016 Tales talk. Once prepared, the Polynesian Remedy gave forth a minty and peppery-floral aroma from my choices of garnish. Next, a creamy honey and lemon sip transitioned into a rum, honey, and nutty swallow with a smoke and ginger finish. The orgeat definitely took the drink in a different direction whereas the rum added character but seemed to maintain the theme (especially considering most Penicillins are made with less descript blends as the base and utilize a smoky single malt as an accent as done here).

Sunday, September 10, 2017

harry's pick-me-up

1 glass Brandy (1 1/2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy)
Juice 1/2 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Grenadine (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice, strain into a wine glass, and fill with Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs); I added a lemon twist.
To close out Sunday night two weeks ago, I ventured into Harry & Wynn's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails to continue my sparkling wine cocktail run. The one I selected was Harry's Pick-Me-Up crafted by Harry McElhone in Paris in any one of the bars that he worked in or helped open during the 1920s. It was one of the recipes that I had spotted in A Spot at the Bar when I made the Fortune Cocktail on Friday night, and I opted to add the lemon twist to Harry's Pick-Me-Up that the newer book included in their recipe. Overall, the combination reminded me of an old Russell House Tavern recipe, and bar manager Sam Gabrielli crafted his as a riff on the Jack Rose and named it after his sister. I remember when one of the rather new bartenders came up to me during a shift confused about how to fulfill a request for a French 75; I explained that he already knew how to make the drink: just plug in gin (or Cognac) and simple syrup into the Emily Rose that was on the menu. That made his day!
Emily Rose by Sam Gabrielli, Russell House Tavern, 2014
• 2 oz Laird's Applejack
• 1/2 oz Grenadine
• 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a flute glass, top off with ~2 oz sparkling wine, and garnish with a lemon swath.
The Harry's Pick-Me-Up gave forth a lemon and brandy nose that preceded a crisp, carbonated lemon and berry sip. Next, the brandy came through on the swallow along with pomegranate and dry white wine notes.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


1 1/2 oz Mezcal Amaras Espadin
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Saturdays ago for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was inspired by the waning days of Amaro Week to do something bitter and stirred. For a direction, I started with mezcal as the base spirit and thought about how well it paired with Cynar such as in the Midnight Marauder, Bitters & Smoke, and other drinks. To better join the amaro with the agave, I added Punt e Mes which often helps to round out bitter notes and Benedictine which often functions as a binder of disparate elements. To give some extra depth here, a dash of molé bitters finished the drink along with some bright aromas from an orange twist. For a name, I went with the South of the Border theme and dubbed this one the Chachita after Evita Muñoz, a starlet of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Friday, September 8, 2017

fortune cocktail

1 oz Apple Brandy (Copper & Kings Floodwall)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 small handful Mint Leaves (6 leaves)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and top with Champagne (2 oz Willm Blanc de Blancs). Garnish with a mint leaf.
Two Friday nights ago, I was lured into opening A Spot at the Bar for my evening's nightcap. There, I spotted the apple brandy version of a South Side Royale called the Fortune Cocktail. The recipe was inspired by the Serendipity from the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Paris; that drink contains Calvados, apple juice, mint, sugar, and Champagne served in a Highball. Once prepared, the Fortune Cocktail gave forth a mint and white grape aroma. Next, a crisp, carbonated lemon sip shared a grape note from the sparkling wine, and the swallow offered a delightful pairing of apple and mint. No great surprises here but I made two rounds of this drink the following night at work; first for one guest seeking something light but crisp, and second for her drinking companion after she had a sip of her friend's.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

68 guns

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum
1/2 oz Blandy's 5 Year Malmsey Madeira
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
10 drop St. George Absinthe

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Thursdays ago for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was inspired by No. 9 Park's Declaration while looking for Madeira drinks. Instead of gin and demerara syrup, I opted for rum and cinnamon here, and I also included some absinthe since the format reminded me of a Test Pilot. The name Declaration made me think of a song by the Celtic rock group The Alarm who was my first rock show back in the mid-late 1980s; one of my favorite songs from them is "68 Guns," so I went with that for a drink name.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

golden gate swizzle

1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
6 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
4 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a bouquet of mint and an orange slice (omit the latter).
Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for the Tipsy Texan book and uncovered a recipe by Matt Tanner of Houston. Matt's drink, the Golden Gate Swizzle, was his homage to San Francisco which is the largest consumer of Fernet Branca in the United States. Once prepared, the Golden Gate Swizzle greeted the nose with a wonderful mint aroma. Next, a creamy lemon and caramel sip gave way to Fernet's herbal flavors softened by orgeat's nutty notes on the swallow with a clove-menthol finish. Indeed, the Fernet-orgeat combination worked just as well here as it did in other drinks such as the Mansfield Cocktail and the Tar Pit.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
1 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail coupe; I split the drink into two vintage cocktail glasses. Perhaps half-salting the rim would work well here (see below).
Two Tuesdays ago, I delved into my collection of Food & Wine: Cocktails books and found the Broxburn in the 2011 edition. The recipe was crafted by Phil Ward as a Margarita riff at Mayahuel, and he named this drink after the town in Scotland where Drambuie is made. Once prepared, the Broxburn gave forth an agave nose with hints of smoke. With the rim, the sip shared salt and lime notes and the swallow offered honey and agave flavors. Interestingly, when tasted once the salt rim was worn away, the sip was lime with malt notes and the swallow displayed agave and Scotch flavors. Indeed, the difference was stunning enough that perhaps I would recommend only covering half the rim with salt.

Monday, September 4, 2017

the french pearl

2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Pernod Absinthe
1 sprig Mint

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a mint leaf garnish.

Two Mondays ago, I reached for the Tales of the Cocktail 2009 Stir Your Soul Recipe Book to see if there were any old recipes that I had neglected to make. One that stood out was the French Pearl that was featured at that Tales of the Cocktail's Bartender's Breakfast event. The recipe was crafted by Audrey Saunders and Kenta Goto at the Pegu Club and the combination reminded me of a South Side with absinthe. Moreover, the name has always reminded me of the Pearl White that has Lillet instead of absinthe (and lemon instead of lime); one of my bar regulars commented that he was only able to find the Pearl White recipe on my blog (where it was served at Green Street). I later discovered that it is printed in the 2012 Mr. Boston: 75th Anniversary Edition cocktail book but without attribution, so it is a mystery of Audrey and Kenta had a hand in that recipe as well.
The French Pearl began with a mint aroma with hints of anise. Next, a lime sip showed off a few herbal notes, and the swallow offered gin and mint leading smoothly into an absinthe finish.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

rattlesnake cocktail

4 glass Rye Whiskey (2 oz Old Overholt)
Whites 2 Egg (1 Egg White)
1 glass Sweetened Lemon Juice (1/2 oz Lemon Juice + 1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
A few dashes Absinthe (1/4 oz Kübler)

Shake once with and once with ice; strain into a cocktail glass. I added a snake-like lemon twist.

Two Sundays ago, I decided to make the Rattlesnake Cocktail from The Savoy Cocktail Book. I had spotted the drink referenced in another book, I realized that I had never had one despite having a riff of it in the Rattlesnake Fizz. The Savoy provided the naming back history of "so called because it will either cure Rattlesnake bite, or kill Rattlesnakes, or make you see them." Are rattlesnakes the new pink elephants? I only had one of these scaled down from the original's build for 6, so no telling if that is the case.
The Rattlesnake Cocktail provided a lemon and rye bouquet to the nose that preceded a creamy malt and lemon sip. Finally, the swallow began with rye and ended with the absinthe's anise and other botanicals on the finish.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

the diamond queen

1 1/2 oz Ford's Gin
1/2 oz Encanto Pisco
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Liber & Co. Pineapple Gomme Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to remake my Tales of the Cocktail 2017 official cocktail competition: the Martini entry called the Diamond Queen that I had submitted earlier in the year. For inspiration, I started with the Madame Lou from Boothby's 1934 book which was an inverse Martini with a barspoon of pineapple syrup. I then decided to merge the Martini with aspects of another classic, and I described the drink in my entry as, "A Martini cross with a Pisco Punch with a nod to the Madame Lou." Since Madame Lou was Lou Graham who ran a famous brothel in Seattle, I stuck with the profession as a naming convention and dubbed this one the Diamond Queen after Lulu White who ran a brothel in New Orleans' Storyville.
The Diamond Queen began with pineapple aromas that mingled with those of the pisco's floral grape and the gin's pine. Next, a smooth grape sip had just enough sweetness to come across as gentle, and the swallow showcased the gin's juniper and other botanicals transitioning into the tropical pisco-pineapple combination.

Friday, September 1, 2017

piglet's lament

1 oz Berkshire Mountain's Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago, I was tinkering around with Negroni variations for a request from an upcoming wedding. I was inspired by Eeyore's Requiem to include other liqueurs in the mix, but I did not want it to be as extreme as Toby Maloney's neo-classic with Campari being the largest component. Therefore, I stuck with the equal parts gin, liqueur, and vermouth ratio. Since Campari and elderflower work so well together in the Cell #34 and Sweet Valley High, I selected St. Elder as one of the parts. Also, elderflower and Cynar work rather well in the Alto Cucina and other drinks, I took that direction as well especially since Cynar also appears in Eeyore's Requiem. For a name, I kept the Winnie the Pooh theme and decided on Piglet's Lament; one of Piglet's laments in Winnie the Pooh is "It is hard to be brave when you're only a Very Small Animal."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

st. botolph club

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with 3 oz sodas water, add a straw, and garnish with a lime wheel.
As my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Thursdays ago, I wanted a tall and refreshing drink, and thought about riffing on the Jasmine's Cooler. Since the Jasmine Cocktail tries to recreate the flavors of the Pegu Club, I opted for apricot liqueur to see if I could conjure the notes in the Pendennis Club. Lime did not work here, so I switched back to lemon, and the Campari was not the proper bitter to bring forth all the flavors of the classic, so I added in the Pendennis Club's Peychaud's Bitters. Indeed, Campari and apricot liqueur are a combination that has worked well in the Absent Stars and the Intercept, so it is no surprised that it did alright here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

hole in the cup

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
2 slice Cucumber

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe (single old fashioned glass).

Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails after researching the East Side to make another cucumber drink, namely the Hole in the Cup. The recipe was crafted by Lauren McLaughlin as her absinthe-tequila-pineapple riff on Sasha's gin-based Gordon's Cup. The name stemmed from how fast guests could drain the liquid in their glass even with the presence of absinthe in the mix.
The Hole in the Cup shared a cucumber and anise aroma with hints of lime to the nose. Next, a creamy lime and pineapple sip led into tequila and cucumber on the swallow with the absinthe's anise rearing up on the finish.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

east side

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 slice Cucumber
6 leaf Mint

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cucumber slice and a mint sprig. I added a nasturtium flower garnish as well.

Two Tuesdays ago, I was inspired by the South Side to investigate the cucumber-laden riff called the East Side. Sam Ross in Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails attributed the drink to Lynette Marrero in the mid-00s at the East Side Company which was one of Sasha's Milk & Honey offshoots. Originally, Lynette wanted to call this number the Ol'Biddy; however, Sasha did not care for it and insisted that it get renamed, and it soon became the London Maid. The A Seat at the Bar book defined the East Side as a South Side with a slice of cucumber in the mix served up, and the Old Maid being the same drink served on the rocks. And finally, Paul Clarke in The Cocktail Chronicles described how the recipe "circulated among New York's craft cocktail bars in the mid-2000s before finding a special welcome on the mixology circuit in Los Angeles."
The East Side gave forth a vegetal aroma from the cucumber and mint that was colored by the lime and the nasturtium's peppery note on the nose. Next, the sip offered lime and vegetal flavors that were followed by gin smoothed out by the cucumber on the swallow with a mint finish.

Monday, August 28, 2017


3/4 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Zucca Amaro
3/4 oz Lime

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime twist.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to the South End to have dinner at Estragon. For a first drink, I selected a mezcal equal parter from Sahil Mehta's drink note book. The combination reminded me of a mezcal Blood & Sand with hints of the Last Word as well. For a name, I dubbed this the Estocada after the final strike from the matador that kills the bull. Once served, the Estocada shared smoky aromas from the combination of mezcal and Zucca's Chinese rhubarb root. Next, lime and dark fruit on the sip was followed by smoke and bitter herbal flavors on the swallow. Overall, the combination of Cherry Heering and Zucca worked rather well as Zucca has done with fruit notes such as strawberry in King Vittorio's Cobbler and black currant in the Dissenter.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Montelobos)
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Carpano Bianco Vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
1 dash Celery Bitters (Housemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe).

Two Sundays ago, I reached for Emma Janzen's Mezcal book for drink inspiration. The recipe that called out to me was Eryn Reece's Intrepid that she crafted at Sons & Daughters in New York City. Eryn named her Manhattan riff after the WWII-era aircraft carrier that is berthed nearby on the Hudson River as the centerpiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
In the glass, the Intrepid offered a dark herbal aroma from the Cynar along with smoky agave notes. Next, sweet caramel and malt on the sip transitioned into rye and an agave-Cynar herbal combination on the swallow with a dry smoky and celery finish.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

perpetual cocktail

1/2 Sweet Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Cocchi)
1/2 Dry Vermouth (1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
2 dash Crème de Cacao (1/4 oz Tempus Fugit)
4 dash Crème Yvette (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to hunt down a recipe that I had spotted in Brian Rea's BASTARDS Vol.1 book called the Perpetual Cocktail. Rea pointed me to Hugo Ensslin's 1916/17 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, and the combination reminded me of a Crème Yvette-spiked hot chocolate that Scott Holliday served at the liqueur's launch event at the Boston Shaker years ago.
Once mixed, the Perpetual Cocktail gave forth chocolate and berries aromas that melded into violet floral notes on the nose. Next, berry and grape on the sip led into an elegant chocolate-raspberry pairing on the swallow.

Friday, August 25, 2017

oaxacan smash

1 1/2 oz Suerte Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Amaras Espadin Mezcal
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
3 wedge Lime (1/2 of a lime)
2 large leaf Sage

Muddle lime wedges and sage leaves in simple syrup, add the rest of the ingredients and ice, and shake. Double strain into a rocks glass, fill with crushed ice, add straws, and garnish with a sage tip.
Two Fridays ago, I was inspired by the sage plants in my garden to harvest some sprigs for a drink of the day at Loyal Nine. For a direction, I thought of Jacques Bezuidenhout's Sagerac as to how well sage pairs with agave spirits. Instead of deciding on tequila or mezcal, I opted for both in similar proportions as Phil Ward's Oaxacan Old Fashioned. For a format, I opted for a Smash akin to Eastern Standard's Whiskey Smash (the link is for a rum variation; the Whiskey recipe appears in my Drink & Tell book), and I kept the Oaxacan part of Phil's Old Fashioned to modify the Smash name. Overall, the drink was rather well received, and it came across akin to a Tommy's Margarita with sage notes adding complementary herbal accents to the agave distillates.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

kangaroo notebook

1 1/2 oz Lustau Brandy
1/2 oz Green Tea Syrup
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with 3 oz soda water, top with ice, add a straw, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago for drink of the day at Loyal Nine, I was tinkering with the green tea-Punt e Mes combination that I have found success with in drinks like Dakkar Grotto and decided to take it in a more classic punch-like feel using brandy and lightening things with soda water. For a name, I was lured in by the absurdist work of Japanese author Kobo Abe called the Kangaroo Notebook. Perhaps a daikon radish garnish would have been more appropriate to match the book, but I opted with a lemon twist instead.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

three scots & a dash

1 1/2 oz Blended Scotch (Pig's Nose)
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/4 oz Laphroaig Scotch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1 large bsp Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with 3 cherries pinned to a pineapple spear (3 ornamental pea blossoms and 1 nasturtium flower plus lemon slices and freshly grated nutmeg).

Two Wednesdays ago, I was in a Tiki mood and remembered that I had saved a recipe from PunchDrinks called Three Scots and a Dash. The recipe was crafted by Zac Overman of Fort Defiance in Brooklyn for their weekly Sunken Harbor Club night. While I have had the classic rum Three Dots and a Dash and crafted a gin version called a A Dash and Three Dots, I was keen I seeing what a Scotch version would be like.
The Three Scots in the equation were a blended whisky, a smoky single malt, and the honeyed Scotch liqueur Drambuie, and the recipe included the passion fruit, honey, and lemon elements found in the Starboard Light. Once prepared, the Three Scots and a Dash proffered nutmeg, floral, and lemon notes to the nose. Next, a honey and lemon sip with tropical flavors from the the passion fruit led into smoky Scotch, passion fruit, and allspice on the swallow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

south side

2 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
6 leaf Mint

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint leaf.

Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to investigate the South Side after giving it some thought after making the South Side Royale. I had never written up the South Side despite having had it several times and a few different ways (including as an egg white Sour) and having riffed on it in drinks such as with the Southend. Two questions in my mind were whether it was a lemon or lime drink with lemon being the more common but lime being the tastier to my palate and whether South Side was one word or two. Michael Madrusan's A Spot at the Bar has the drink described as a Gimlet (lime juice) with mint, whereas the P.D.T. Cocktail Book that I based my recipe off of has it as a lemon juice drink. The latter book provided the citation of Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Mixed Drinks. When I found my 1917 Mud Puddle reprint of Ensslin, I uncovered not the South Side but the South Side Fizz -- a Gin Fizz with mint that called for both lemon and lime. The 1916 date certainly squashes the stories of how this was a Prohibition era drink (unless it took 3 years to lose the soda water aspect). Those stories point to Prohibition era Chicago's South Side, the Southside Sportsmen's Club on Long Island, and the Prohibition-era speakeasy the 21 Club. I do not question that the drink was popular during Prohibition but the roots of it predate the 1919 legislation, and the exact location of origin is questionable since many big cities have a South Side.
Instead of opting for the split citrus, I went with P.D.T.'s lemon recommendation this time along with the proportions made popular by Boston's Drink. As such, the South Side proffered a mint, lemon, and pine bouquet to the nose. Next, lemon and bright green herbal notes on the sip gave way to gin and mint on the swallow with a lemony finish.

Monday, August 21, 2017

lust for life

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Fidencio Joven)
3/4 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry (3/8 oz each Lustau Oloroso and Amontillado)
3/4 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Two Mondays ago, I reached for Emma Janzen's Mezcal book, and my search ended with Joaquin Simo's Lust for Life that he created at Pouring Ribbons in 2012. Once prepared, the Lust for Life greeted the nose with smoke and chocolate aromas. Next, a creamy lemon and pineapple sip slid into a mezcal and nutty grape swallow.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

mai tai spritz

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 oz Denizen's Merchant Reserve Rum

Refrigerate the mix to cool and pour into a chilled Collins glass with 4 oz brut Champagne (Willm Blanc de Blancs). Fill with ice and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig (I added a nasturtium as well).
Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted while reading Talia Biaocchi and Leslie Pariseau's Spritz book. The drink that I chose was the Mai Tai Spritz crafted by Martin Cate at San Francisco's Smuggler's Cove. In order to avoid dilution dampening the flavors, the recipe called for the ingredients to be pre-chilled. Once built, the Spritz shared a lime, mint, and floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a crisp carbonated lime sip offered a creaminess from the orgeat, and the swallow began with rum, orange, and nutty flavors and ended with a white wine note. Overall, a rather light and refreshing Mai Tai riff.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

red skies at night

2 oz Berkshire's Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Hibiscus Tea Syrup
1 bsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
6-8 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in the syrup in a Collins glass. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill while keeping the mint at the bottom of the glass. Top with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with 3 dash Angostura Bitters.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a hibiscus tisane syrup again and was inspired by two things. The first was the old mariner rhyme "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning" given the coloration, and I thought about the opening menu's Pink Gin riff called "Sailor's Delight." Modulating that was the second thing that inspired me -- the Queen's Park Swizzle (and gin variations such as the Hyde Park Swizzle). To tease out some fruit notes from the hibiscus, I added a dash of Maraschino to the mix, but kept things structured to the modern interpretation of the Queen's Park Swizzle (the original as written included the bitters in the mix and not as a garnish, instead of the modern day three color layer version).

Friday, August 18, 2017

king's peach

2 1/4 oz Fidencio Mezcal
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz Crème de Peche (Briottet)
1 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
When I got home from my bar shift two Friday nights ago, I was in the mood for something nonfussy like an Old Fashioned. I soon remembered the King's Peach that I had spotted in the Brooklyn Bartender book. This mezcal Old Fashioned sweetened the mix with a combination of peach notes and falernum spice and utilized chocolate bitters as the herbal backbone akin to the Oaxacan Old Fashioned. The book provided that the drink was created at Mayfield in Brooklyn but nothing about the name; perhaps it was a parody of 2010 The King's Speech movie as evidenced by this YouTube clip. Once prepared, the King's Peach shared lemon oil over smoke and hints of chocolate aromas. Next, the sweet sip gave forth hints of peach and dark notes from the bitters, and the swallow began with smoky mezcal and light peach notes and ended with chocolate and clove on the finish.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

fiji mermaid

1 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
10 drop St. George Absinthe

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon peel mermaid's tail and freshly grated nutmeg, and add straws.
For a drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Thursdays ago, I decided to mashup two Tiki classics: the Bourbon-based Port Light with some aspects of the rum-based Test Pilot. Originally, my tinkering began with the passion fruit-Averna pairing, but that ended up too dark here, and I switched to the more traditional passion fruit-grenadine as seen in the Pahoehoe and other drinks. For a name, I decided upon the Fiji Mermaid which was a staple of sideshows with the head and torso of a monkey sewn onto the back end of a fish. The original was purchased from Japanese sailors in the South Pacific by an American sea captain in 1822, and it was later exhibited by P.T. Barnum in 1842. Although this specimen was most likely lost in a fire, due to its popularity, others were generated to continue the mythos.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

midnight marauder

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Montelobos)
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1 oz Cynar
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe).

Two Wednesdays ago, I scanned through my new purchase of Emma Janzen's Mezcal book and decided upon the Midnight Marauder. The recipe was created by Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons and described as "the dark & twisty sibling of the Negroni." Since the combination of Bonal, Cynar, and chocolate worked so well in the An Epic and a Limerick, I was definitely curious to see what mezcal would add to the combination.
In the glass, the Midnight Marauder proffered smoky agave with chocolate and grape notes to the nose. Next, a grape and caramel sip led into smoky mezcal pairing well with funky bitter flavors on the swallow and a quinine and chocolate finish.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

pimmsy whimsy

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Redemption Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with 2 oz ginger beer, top with ice, garnish with a cucumber wheel and mint sprigs, and add straws.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wandered down to Backbar and found a seat in front of bartender Amanda Greenfield. For a first drink, I asked Amanda for the Pimmsy Whimsy off of the menu which she described as being Kat Lamper's creation. In the glass, the garnishes provided fresh vegetal cucumber and mint aromas. Next, a carbonated lemon, honey, and fruity sip gave way to ginger, rye, and herbal notes on the swallow.

Monday, August 14, 2017

yellow flower

2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Citadelle)
1 dash Parfait Amour (1/4 oz Marie Brizard)
1 dash Orange Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. There in the gin section was a floral Martini riff called the Yellow Flower that seemed worthy of a go; often I am skeptical of parfait amour drinks due to the liqueur's candy vanilla-violet note, but here it was utilized in a light touch. Once prepared, the Yellow Flower presented a lemon, pine, orange, vanilla, and floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a sweet orange sip led into gin, vanilla, and violette on the swallow. Perhaps cutting the two liqueurs down to a barspoon each would have made this drink more dry and Martini like.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

miracles take longer

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Mezcal Amaras
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by the Mr. Howell to create a smoky Sour. Originally, I wanted to go with pisco as the main ingredient with mezcal as the smoky accent which worked well in the Firecracker Cocktail and the 1491; however, we were running low on pisco upstairs at the bar and perhaps a funky agricole might pair better with the mezcal. I kept the Mr. Howell's maple syrup and lime juice components but added in some Angostura Bitters spice to dry out the maple a touch. For a name, I decided on a song title from the Television Personalities from 1987 that was perhaps named after a 1984 British television drama series.

Friday, August 11, 2017

la tour eiffel

2 1/2 oz XO Cognac (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Suze (Salers)

Stir with ice and strain into a flute glass (Double Old Fashioned) rinsed with absinthe (Kübler). Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make another recipe from the Gary Regan article on Sazerac variations called La Tour Eiffel; I wanted to make this one before the Creole Sazerac, but I had run out of lemons for the garnish. Gary created this riff while on a tour of Cognac distilleries, and he was asked to create new drinks with a Cognac base as part of the event. He wondered what it would be like if the Sazerac had been created in Orleans, France, instead of New Orleans. Since Sazeracs began as a Cognac drink before Phyloxera shifted it to a rye whiskey drink, he took that direction as well as keeping the absinthe rinse. However, he figured that a French bartender might have swapped the simple syrup for Cointreau, and instead of Peychaud's Bitters, perhaps a gentian liqueur might work.
Once prepared, La Tour Eiffel gave forth lemon, anise, and gentian aromas to the nose. Next, an orange-tinged sip gave way to Cognac, more orange, and gentian flavors with a light anise-herbal finish.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

rougarou daiquiri

1 3/4 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 bsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
During Tales of the Cocktail, I met a New Orleans local who told me about his childhood fears of the Rougarou, a werewolf that roams the Bayou and snatches up little kids. The term is believed to have stemmed from the French word loup-garou, and the spelling and pronunciation change was probably through the Cajuns in that region. So for the drink of the day two Thursdays ago at Loyal Nine, I tried to capture the funk of the swamp and the swamp monster itself in a glass, and I came up with a Daiquiri variation inspired in part by the Navy Dock Daiquiri and the Frequent Flier. I was originally going to go with the Smith & Cross Rum in the Navy Dock Daiquiri, but instead I opted for the slightly funky Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum especially given the Haitian connection to mysticism.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

route 287

2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Highball glass, and top with ~4 oz IPA beer. Gently stir, garnish with a pineapple wedge-grapefruit slice flag, and add a straw.
After Yvonne's, I made my way over to Stoddard's where I found a seat in front of bartender Tony Iamunno. For a drink, I asked for the Route 287 which was Tony's tribute to perhaps the north-south highway that runs through Texas. Once prepared and served, the Route 287 gave forth pineapple and grapefruit notes to the nose from the garnish. Next, a malty and pineapple sip slid into tequila on the swallow with a cinnamon and grapefruit finish.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

rose thorn

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin
3/4 oz Combier Liqueur de Rose
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprigs, and add straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I ventured to Downtown Crossing and began my evening at Yvonne's. At their library bar, I found a seat in front of bartender Tom Hardy and requested the Rose Thorn from the menu. Tom described how this recipe was created by bartender Bruno Prado. In the glass, the Rose Thorn offered up a mint bouquet to the nose that led into a fruity sip from the lemon and pomegranate notes. Next, the swallow gave forth gin and rose flavors with the latter coming across in the similar way as violet can in drinks.

Monday, August 7, 2017

:: the daiquiri time out ::

In my book, Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told, I wanted to get at the heart of the Boston-born (or re-born) phenomenon of the Daiquiri Time Out (DTO). My curiosity stemmed from a bartender in town claiming to have been there when the DTO was first started, but the math did not add up into making sense. Therefore, I asked DTO founder Andrew Dietz if I could ask him a few questions to nail down the history. Here is an excerpt of the full interview that appears in Drunk & Told:

What year did the DTO start for you? What were the circumstances?
The DTO started in the summer of 2010. A group of like-minded friends and myself were out on Martha's Vineyard (specifically Chappaquiddick) discussing some historical situations and how they may have played out differently had the people involved stopped, taken a moment, and had a well-made Daiquiri to pontificate upon. We didn't make a decision for the following week without a Daiquiri in hand.

Are DTOs full sized drinks? Are they split?

A DTO is a celebration of the act of taking a moment through one of the most simple and versatile cocktails of all time. Everyone's DTO is different. It can be a shot or large format. It can be classic, blended, or an obscure rift just as long as time slows down.

Describe how the momentum behind the DTO built up to the room at Boston's The Thing 2013 and Tales of the Cocktail 2015?
The Daiquiri has a tremendous amount of history here in Massachusetts. Starting with the storied history of rum production, to the favoring of the cocktail by the Kennedys, to the modern resurgence of classic cocktails, this was bound to be a cocktail we aligned with here. I got back from Martha's Vineyard that summer and grabbed all of Boston's best bartending talent including Jackson Cannon, John Gertsen, Pat Sullivan, and many others, and lobbied that this is the way we should greet one another and celebrate our industry, and it took hold. The Thing was an event to celebrate Boston's best bartending talent, so it was only fitting that we stopped in the middle to take a collective time out. As for Tales, the DTO has spread across the country and even the globe, so given that Tales of the Cocktail is our national/global cocktail festival, Ann figured this was a good way for everyone to take a moment and celebrate what it is we all do.
Where does the Daiquiri fit into the cocktail craze?
The Daiquiri fits in beautifully for a couple of reasons. It is one of the simplest cocktails to make well while providing an incredible canvas for improvisation. I think the Daiquiri will be an important cocktail for many years to come.

What have you learned about bars from their Daiquiri theory and quality?
Watching the different variants of the DTO has taught me a lot because the DTO is as much about hospitality as it is about quality. I have seen bars create DTO-only cocktail lists, mail DTOs via FedEx, make frozen DTO popsicles, dehydrate DTO into powder, [use] DTO-filled squirt guns, and many more. It has taught me all of the different ways that we can celebrate and collaborate in this industry and have a great deal of enjoyment doing it. As for the Daiquiris themselves I have seen an endless amount of variations at this point so honestly it has only challenged my understanding of just how incredibly versatile a drink like this can be.

Who else would you credit for building up the DTO as we now know it?
The list goes on and on and there are too many shout outs to mention. I will say it truly calls home here in Boston, so I would have to give particular love to Patrick Sullivan, Ted Kilpatrick, John Gertsen, Jackson Cannon, Kevin Martin, and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. That is barely even scratching the surface just for Boston, but it's a start. Outside of Boston, the satellite offices of DTO seem to be in Denver as a result of Sean Kenyon, Seattle because of Jim Romdall, and Nantucket because of Clinton Terry. I've heard of DTOs being taken in Montréal, Vancouver, Taipei, Munich, London, and Paris, but I'm not totally sure whom to credit.

The full interview along with about 20 essays and bartender spotlights and 850+ drinks from 100+ bars and restaurants in and around Boston can be found in Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and often the Boston Shaker store.

piñata punch

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/4 oz Honey Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with two offset cucumber slices (nasturtium flower).
Two Tuesdays ago, I was sorting through the booklets that I picked up in the various Tales of the Cocktail tasting rooms, and I came upon the one for the Exotico Tequila 2017 Cocktail Competition's Finalist Recipes. In that collection, I was drawn to the Piñata Punch by Seattle's Brandon Weaver, and the combination of Green Chartreuse and apricot liqueur reminded me of the Final Voyage. Moreover, the general structure was reminiscent of the Mexican Fix and Vagos Motorcycle Club. Once in the glass, the Piñata Punch presented a peppery floral aroma to along with tequila notes; the nasturtium flower seemed to match the tequila perhaps as well as the cucumber slices would have. Next, honey, lemon, and pineapple on the sip transitioned into tequila, apricot, and herbal flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


2/3 Rye Whiskey (2 oz Old Overholt)
1/4 Sloe Gin (1/2 oz Atxa Patxaran)
1 dash Cointreau (1 tsp)
1 dash Maraschino (1 tsp Luxardo)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1 tsp Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After I got home from Tales of the Cocktail on Monday, I was in the mood for a nightcap. Therefore, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Journalist that reminded me of the Mother-In-Law and slightly of the sweet vermouth Brooklyn. Once in a glass, the Journalist shared a dark orange and bready rye aroma. Next, malt, dark berry, and orange notes filled the sip, and the swallow offered rye, bitter orange, and nutty cherry flavors.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

:: jews & booze ::

One of the talks that I really enjoyed but skipped over in the first pass was "Jews & Booze" by moderator Noah Rothbaum (DailyBeast, The Art of American Whiskey), Allen Katz (NY Distilling Co.), Jason Horn (, and Max Watman (Chasing the White Dog) to cover the forgotten history of Jews and Distilling. I was somewhat surprised that this topic would covered in New Orleans until the person next to me in the media line on that Friday afternoon was a reporter for a New Orleans Jewish newspaper; the eye-opening topic of Jews in the South was later discussed.

Noah began by describing how while researching his book on American whiskey, it was not the good ol' American boys doing the work, but a lot of immigrants. Jews have always made their own wine and spirits and oversaw the process to provide Kosher certification, so the skill set was there. Jason continued by mentioning how as Jews filtered around Europe, Russia, and North Africa, they were not allowed to have high standing occupations, but they could become merchants. Jobs like tavern keeping and distillation were jobs that Christians or Muslims did not want to do. For example, in 1492, the year the Jews were kicked out of Spain, the Jews took their anise-flavored spirit recipe with them. Whether it was called ouzo, arak, raki, or mahia, it was all the same thing with brandy distilled with anise and fennel under different names. Since Muslims did not distill, it was the Jews who made it (although the Muslims did purchase it).

Noah confronted the rumor that Jews did not drink. Max later added that one "can only appear drunk [in society] if they are secure in the world." Noah continued that governments relied on Jews to distill for taxation purposes, and Jews were also running bootlegging operations using Christian fronts to sell it. Max was surprised in America how much of the Jewish population moved South; however, given that Jews are linked to peddler tradition, the rural South was an obvious market for them. The Jews utilized their outsider status to sell to both blacks and whites, and they were well known for treating blacks with respect. As for the whites, the South is full of Baptists who do not want to be associated with making spirits, but many of them love drinking it. Eventually, the peddler tradition centralized into stores.

Allen discussed some of the more famous Jews in distilling in America after mentioning Chris Blackwell along with other Sephardic Jews moved to Jamaica to become one of the earliest owners of Appleton Rum. In America, I.W. Bernheim came to the country as a teenager with no money so he started as a peddler. By 1872, his family joined him and the Bernheim brothers started in the whiskey business as I.W. Harper; the company name shed the Jewish surname and instead opted for perhaps the name of his favorite horse trainer. Later, Heaven Hill would produce a straight wheat whiskey called Bernheim in honor of I.W. The book The Bourbon Empire suggested that a quarter of the whiskey business was Jewish despite Jews only making up 3% of the populations. At Prohibition, 25% of all distilleries were owned by Jews. And during Prohibition, Jews frequently became Rabbis to get access to sacramental wines. In fact, one town in Ohio has 27,000 rabbinical licenses.

The five brothers who opened up Heaven Hill in 1934 were the Shapira brothers from Lithuania. The parents progressed from peddling up to owning stores and their sons opened up a distillery. The money came from family members since banks were worried that Temperance would return plus they were unlikely to give money to Jews at that time. Jews were also the ones to help the Beams after they lost their brand Old Tub. Given the Beam family's amazing distilling knowledge but lack of money, they turned to outside investors.

There was a discussion of Jews in the modern spirits world including NY Distilling, Few Spirits, Koval, and Milagro. Moreover, there are companies who got Kosher certification to gain favor with Jewish communities such as Glenmorangie, 209, Absolut, and Johnny Walker (in Israel). And at the end of the talk, we all raised a glass of I.W. Harper Bourbon now produced by Diageo but as a continuation of the 1872 brand (that up until 2015 was unavailable in the States for a 20+ year span).

Friday, August 4, 2017

:: great hoaxes of cocktail history ::

For my final talk that I attended at Tales of the Cocktail 2017, I wrapped things up with a discussion of propagated falsehoods in the booze world that was led by authors David Wondrich and Robert Simonson. Wondrich started with a mention that forgery was as old as writing. "Apocryphal" is another word for forgery, and it dates all the way back to the Bible where splinter groups would forge their own Gospel. While Wondrich provided a few examples of how forgery was utilized for financial gain, he alluded that more of the alcohol-centric forgery was done for amusement. For example, The Squire's Recipes allegedly from 1784 was debunked though it used an 18th century style of language and had papers "aged" in an oven. This book written in 1912 got into the wild and caused a stir until it was pointed out that it called for ingredients like Old Tom Gin that was not around until 1810 as well as other ingredients such as grenadine, tartaric acid, and sweet vermouth that were not very common in the 1780s.

A forgery begins when there is a hole to fill -- a vacuum. Can the author create something that people can trust? Effective forgers have a date and often a location. The description needs to seem real and solid, and it will often cite unnamed sources such as "a book in my possession" or "personal communication."

Simonson covered falsehoods after Prohibition. He began by describing how after World War II, newspapers launched articles and concepts onto the leisure class. Often corporations farmed things out to publicity who fed it to newspapers. This included stunts like during the 1940s how Pimm's hired a PR person to raise the brand in the United States. A rehearsed stunt of an orchestra leader and a few actors and actresses walked into a bar as duos with one pair requesting a Pimm's Cup with cucumber and the other with mint. The argument over which one was right led into a catfight and arrests. This story found its way into all of the newspapers with a lot of useful information about Pimm's for the general public's consumption. There was a similar stunt with the Pink Squirrel where a squirrel was painted pink to promote the drink with similar earmarks as the Pimm's story: a club, a pretty actress, and outlandish behavior. "Shocking pink squirrel wreaks havoc in bars" read one newspaper headline. This stunt was probably hired by Bols that made both of the liqueur elements in the drink.

Wondrich returned to bring up the example of the Singapore Sling. Gin slings were popular throughout British Asia with the earliest definitive reference to a Singapore Sling being in 1903 as a "pink gin sling." It was most likely made pink with Bols Cherry, Cherry Heering, or sloe gin. The Benedictine and bitters components fell out of favor in the 1960s as the ingredients became more expensive. The Raffles Hotel in Singapore needed to up their business so they "found" the inventor's recipe in a safe. Except that this recipe had less expensive ingredients and a lot of fruit juices. There was a similar fabrication done with the Harvey Wallbanger where a businessman was trying to increase sales of Galliano, and he noted that a good amount of Galliano was sold at Manhattan Beach in California. He linked the idea to a surfer and that story lasted for decades. He also hired a caricaturist to put a face to the story, and then gave out swag if people hosted Harvey Wallbanger parties.

The Seelbach Cocktail was another recent hoax that came to light. In 1995, Adam Seger was hired to improved the Louisville hotel's bar program as his first job out of college. He figured that since F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed there and mentioned it in The Great Gatsby, that there had to be a house cocktail. He fabricated how the house cocktail was created before Prohibition when a bartender spilled a Manhattan into a glass of Champagne and the combination worked. Gary Regan while working on the New Classic Cocktails book that was published in 2002 badgered Seger for the recipe, and then it ended up in Ted Haigh's book as well. In October 2016, Seger admitted two decades later that his story was a fake and wanted to unburden himself. He wanted to keep his job and make his mark, so he made up the story and the drink. Perhaps he wanted to come clean due to guilt, or perhaps he felt angered that he had created a great cocktail but he could not tell anyone that the recipe was his. In the end, the drink world was spit between feeling betrayed and thinking that it was awesome that he got away with it for so long without anyone asking to see the original recipe.

Finally, it was time for Wondrich to come clean. While working on his 2002 Esquire Drinks that was published 3 years into his work with Esquire, he succumbed to forgery. Esquire was paying him for a drink of the week while he was a junior professor needing money, and forgeries happen when there is a need. Drinks like the Swinging Chad, the Zamboanga Monkey Tail, and others were "all rectally sourced." The Dulchin was another, but it was one that effected me. Houston's Anvil put it on their 100 drinks list and I went out to a bar to have it made for me since I lacked the eau de vie at the time. Turns out that there was a need for pisco drinks, and it was created for a friend of his, but it was made to sound like an Art Deco era drink. The Vera Rush was not created for a "silent film queen" but for his wife Karen (nicknamed Vera) for a drink that she liked to order in dive bars. The Swinging Chad was not found in the "Clarion Shopper" in the 1960s but was named after the 2000 election's paper counting scandal in Florida. The dash of bitters and Pernod was a trick that Wondrich acquired from Jeff Berry's Tiki work. With that one, Wondrich learned that it is possible to be too obvious and people questioned him about that one.

Wondrich rounded out the talk by stating that he knocked off his own hoaxer status while working on his book Imbibe and realized that he had to be taken seriously. He also dropped the fact that Benedictine was not 500 years old from 1510 but was created in the mid-19th century. And finally, "You can bring a drunk to water, but you can't make him think."