Tuesday, March 28, 2017


1 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
1 oz Blanco Tequila (Avion)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
A scant 1/2 tsp Angostura Bitters
2 inch Grapefruit Swath

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. I measured the Angostura Bitters with a measuring spoon, but it was 3 good dashes in total.

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails for recipe inspiration. There, I was lured in by the Oaxacanite which reminded me of a Juschu Cocktail with mezcal and grapefruit peel added in the mix. The recipe was crafted by Ben Long at the John Dory Oyster Bar in Manhattan; while Sasha generally thought that mezcal dominated drinks, he liked this one's balance.
The Oaxacanite gave forth a lime, agave, and grapefruit bouquet to the nose. Next, honey danced with lime on the sip, and the swallow presented smoky agave flavors accented by allspice, clove, and grapefruit notes.

repository of hopes and dreams

1 oz Dos Maderas 5+5 RX Rum
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Giffard Orgeat
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
For a second drink at Estragon, I asked Sahil Mehta for the other recipe that caught my eye that night, a Daiquiri of sorts sweetened by orgeat and embittered by Punt e Mes and Angostura. For a name, Sahil called this one the Repository of Hopes and Dreams after something he heard in shiatsu massage class. Once built, the drink gave forth almondy aromas that colored the lime and grape sip to follow. Finally, the swallow was a delightful combination of rum, nutty, and bitter flavors.

Monday, March 27, 2017

[tulip thief]

1 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
1/2 oz St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with 1 1/2 oz Q Tonic water, fill with ice, garnish with a lime wedge, and add straws.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I ventured down to the South End to have dinner at Estragon. For a first libation, I selected a Genever drink that was lightened with tonic water from bartender Sahil Mehta's drink notebook; moreover, it had the combination of gentian and elderflower liqueurs that worked so well in his The Root and the Flower. With the Dutch spirit, earthy bulb-like flavors, and floral notes, I began to think of the Tulipomania that was sweeping the Netherlands in the 17th century and dubbed this one the Tulip Thief.
The Tulip Thief gave forth lime and floral aromas that joined those of the Genever's malt and botanicals on the nose. Next, a carbonated lime and malt sip was fruity from the elderflower liqueur, and the swallow presented the Genever merging into the earthy bitter gentian notes from the Avèze and the quinine from the tonic water.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

paddlin' madeline home

1 jigger Applejack (1 1/2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)
1 tsp Grenadine (3/8 oz)
1 tsp Triple Sec (3/8 oz Cointreau)
Juice 1/4 Lemon (3/4 oz)
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a thin slice of lemon (lemon twist).

Two Sundays ago, I selected Ted Saucier's Bottoms Up for my evening's refreshment. The recipe I chose from there was Paddlin' Madeline Home by William Glaxton, a vaudeville, film, and theater celebrity and president of the Lambs social club in New York City. Like his Of Thee I Sing, Baby, the drink name has a theatrical aspect with Paddlin' Madeline Home being a fox-trot from the 1925 musical comedy "Sunny." Overall, it reminded me on paper of a Jack Rose and an Apple Sidecar meeting a Pink Lady, so I was game to give it a try.
The Paddlin' Madeline Home proffered lemon oil and apple aromas to the nose. Next, a creamy lemon and orange sip gave way to apple and pomegranate's berry on the swallow.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1 dash Sherry (1/4 oz Lustau Pedro Ximenez)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Amer Picon)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz La Quntinye)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After work on Saturday evening, I was definitely in the mood for a nightcap. My search led me to the American whiskey section Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933, and there I selected the Reiff that reminded me of a Brooklyn with sherry in place of the Maraschino. In the glass, the Reiff gave forth a malt, dark raisiny, and orange aroma. Next, the malt danced with grape notes on the sip, and the swallow shared rye flavors and a strange interplay between the Amer Picon and Pedro Ximenez sherry; this combination came across in a raisin-chocolate-orange with almost minty notes sort of way. In the end, I wondered if a nutty oloroso or amontillado would have been better here and could have brought this combination a bit closer to a Brooklyn in feel.

Friday, March 24, 2017

pub & prow's hot buttered rum

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
4 oz Hot Water
1 pat Butter

Add the rum, liqueur, and butter to a pre-heated 6 oz mug (single Old Fashioned glass). Add the hot water and stir to mix.
To fight the chill two Fridays ago, I turned to the hot drinks section of Beachbum Berry's Remixed. Of the hot buttered rum recipes, I was tempted by the chocolatey one from the Pub & Prow in Chicago circa the 1950s. Once in the mug, it smelled a lot like milk chocolate, and the sip offered caramel with a smoothness from the butter. Finally, the swallow presented chocolate flavors that transitioned into funky rum notes. Overall, the combination reminded me more of a boozy hot chocolate than hot buttered rum, and perhaps a little bit of spice would not be out of place here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

one, one, one

1 oz Krogstad Aquavit
1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I selected the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for something to treat myself at my home bar. Thomas Waugh's One, One, One from 2009 seemed like a Martini riff that might make the evening's worries slip away; the drink was a play on Audrey Saunders Fitty-Fitty Martini at Pegu Club with a third component of aquavit added in. Also, it is very close to my 2:1 Martini spec with the gin split with another botanical-driven spirit (except that I use dry vermouth instead of blanc). Once in the coupe, the One, One, One gave forth a caraway and star anise bouquet to the nose. Next, a semi-sweet white wine sip gave way to juniper, caraway, star anise, and floral on the swallow. With blanc vermouth, the end result was not as stark as a classic Martini.

tomb of the caribs

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Build in a double Old Fashioned glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wheel inserted along the inside of the glass.

For drink of the day two weeks ago, the theme was rhum agricole, and I decided to go with a variation of a 'Ti Punch on that Thursday. For one of the sweeteners, I recalled how rhum agricole worked well with Cynar given how both have a bit of funk and herbalness to them; examples of this pairing include Madame Mustache and Wooden Ships. For another sweetener to balance the spirit and lime juice, I opted for honey by recalling how well Cynar worked with it in the Michigander and other drinks.
For a name, I aimed to tie the drink back to the island of Martinique's history. I decided to go back further than the Josephine's Bath with its ties to Napoleon to when the island was settled by Europeans. The last remaining tribe there was the Caribs. One of the landmarks on the northern side of the island is a cliff called the Tomb of the Caribs. There, the last Caribs jumped instead of surrendering to the Europeans; it symbolically matched classic ‘Ti Punch service where ingredients are provided such that "each can prepare their own death."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

applejack fix

2 tsp Sugar dissolved in a little water (omit)
Juice of 1/4 Lemon (3/4 oz)
3 dash Curaçao (3/8 oz Van der Hum)
4 dash Any Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz Peach Syrup)
1 jigger Applejack Brandy (2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)

Stir with shaved ice in a bar glass (shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and fill with crushed ice). Dress with fruits (lemon peel) and serve with straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender for recipe ideas. There, I was lured in by the Applejack Fix which allow for some flexibility in the fruit syrup component. In looking through my inventory in the fridge, I spotted an old peach syrup that was still good and decided to go with it. Once prepared, the Applejack Fix shared an apple and lemon aroma with hints of orange and peach. Next, lemon joined other fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow gave forth apple, orange, and peach flavors.