Saturday, May 27, 2017


1/2 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Famous Grouse + 1/4 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
3 dash Port (1/2 oz Sandeman Tawny)
3 dash Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz La Quintinye)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For a post-work nightcap two Saturdays ago, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for inspiration. There in the Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y section, I spotted the Glasgow that was different than the Glasgow that David Wondrich wrote about with a Crispin Glover allusion. Here, the recipe was closer to a Chancellor with Amer Picon in place of the nonpotable bitters. Scotch and Amer Picon frequently are paired together in the Pioneers book with great success such as in the Sunshine, so I was game to give this recipe a try.
The Glasgow presented peat over the port's grape aroma. Next, malt joined a semi-dry grape flavor on the sip, and the swallow gave forth smoky Scotch, apricot, and dark orange notes.

Friday, May 26, 2017

apricole swizzle

2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Vale d'Paul Aguardente Nova agricole-style rum)
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Build in a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Add a straw and (optional) garnish with Angostura Bitters (3-4 dash as well as adding mint sprigs).

Two Fridays ago, I started a new batch of orgeat in the morning to make a recipe that night that Matt Pietrek posted on his Instagram (and that he later posted on his CocktailWonk blog). After my bar shift, I returned home to finish processing the orgeat syrup and set to work to make this Swizzle that paired agricole with orgeat and apricot. Indeed, rhum agricole and apricot are a combination that work rather well together such as in Martin Cate's Abricot Vieux and my Mount Pelee. Moreover, apricot and orgeat are a classic pairing dating back to the 1930s such as in the Yellow Mist and later in Tiki drinks like the Beachbum, and finally the duo of rhum agricole to orgeat is one well understood.
Once mixed and garnished, the Apricole Swizzle offered a mint, clove, and allspice bouquet. Next, creamy lemon on the sip transitioned into grassy, funky, and nutty notes on the swallow with an earthy apricot finish.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

flopsy & mopsy

1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Chamomile Tea Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a few dried chamomile flowers.

Two Thursdays ago, I went with one of my coworkers after work to Backbar to catch Josh Cross' last shift in Boston before he returned to Baltimore. For the night, Josh assembled a list of his favorite drinks from his tenure at Backbar, and the one I selected was the Flopsy & Mopsy from the Spring 2016 menu. The cocktail's subtitle was from Beatrix Potter's 1902 The Tale of Peter Rabbit with "His mother put him to bed and made some chamomile tea," and the recipe structure reminded me a bit of a Pink Lady.
The Flopsy & Mopsy greeted the nose with pine and floral aromas that led into a creamy honey, malt, and lemon-filled sip. Next, the gin's pine returned on the swallow along with the Drambuie's honey flavor, and finally the finish shared muted allspice and clove notes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

monaco friar

2 oz Scotch (1 3/4 oz Pig's Nose + 1/4 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was in the mood for a nightcap so I ventured into Food & Wine: Cocktails 2012 and spotted the Monaco Friar in the riffs on the Old Fashioned section. The recipe was created by Anthony Schmidt at the Noble Experiment in San Diego, and I was drawn into the drink for I had similar utilized Benedictine as a sweetener in a round of 'Ti Punch for my guests that week. Moreover, it reminded me of the middle ground between a Rusty Nail and a Bobby Burns. The recipe also bears a resemblance to the Highlander (2 oz Johnnie Walker Red, 1/4-1/2 oz Benedictine, 2 dash Angostura Bitters served up with a lemon twist) created by Paul Harrington and published in his 1998 Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century book. Anthony explained his recipe as "I love how the honey and herbal qualities of the Benedictine pair with a fine Scotch... It's a perfect drink during the colder months."
The Monaco Friar greeted me with a lemon and peat bouquet. Next, a honey and malt sip gave way to smoky Scotch and chocolate-herbal flavors on the swallow with an allspice finish.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


2 oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
1 1/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Torani (or Amer) Picon

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint, and add a straw.

Recently, I was asked about how to create Tiki drinks, and I replied that one of the easiest ways to create a novel drink is by changing two elements in a classic with a well-defined structure. This is how I crafted the Final Countdown from the Jet Pilot and the Mytoi Gardens from the Pago Pago. In another thought train while writing up the Oriente, I was reminded how Trader Vic enjoyed mixing with Amer Picon (often when paired with grenadine -- a pairing that dates back to the Picon Punch) such as in the Philippine Punch and Kahala Cooler. Putting the two concepts together, I wondered how the Pago Pago would work with Amer Picon especially since Picon and pineapple juice are a natural match; for a second liqueur, I went with Maraschino in thinking about one of my favorite Manhattan variations, the Brooklyn.
In keeping with how the Pago Pago is named after a the capital of American Samoa, I opted for the Fagatogo which is a village on the islands. Once prepared, the Fagatogo proffered a minty aroma that led into caramel from the rum and Picon that complemented the pineapple and lime notes on the sip. Next, the swallow offered the medley of rum, dark orange, and nutty cherry.

Monday, May 22, 2017

fenton's phantom

1 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and add a straw.
One of the drinks that recently hit the Loyal Nine menu is the Fenton's Phantom for the low-proof section. In trying to come up with a Cobbler, I focused on Swedish punsch that was being freed up by another drink, Monopoly Money (the tequila version of Tainted Love), coming off of the list. In assembling my Swedish punsch cheat sheet, I was reminded of a few combinations that worked well. The two that I honed in on were its interaction with Pimm's with the Pimmeron strongly in mind and with Lillet via the Metexa. In fact, both of those drinks were low proof and aperitif-y as well. To round off the drink, I added in some lemon juice and orange bitters and put it all over crushed ice. To play on the Cobbler as a cobbled ice drink and a shoe maker duality, I paid tribute to one of the lost factories of Cambridge, the Fenton Shoe Factory, that used to employ hundreds of workers in town. The Phantom aspect not only gave an air of mystery and somewhat suggested a lighter drink, it also acknowledges the leftover safety concerns of an old factory site (one of my previous drinks, the Miller's River Milk Punch, also pays tribute to an important industrial aspect of our city that was mucked up by misuse).


2 oz Russell's Rye (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cordial glass, and garnish with 4 drops Peychaud's Bitters.
After the Bar Institute event, I was in the mood for a nightcap when I got home. In my recent acquisitions pile, I turned to Clair McLafferty's The Classic & Craft Cocktail Recipe Book. There, I honed in on the Velveteen by Gregory Fellows of Annisa in New York City. In the glass, the Velveteen's bitters garnish offered up an anise bouquet that was joined by hints of Chartreuse's herbal aromas poking through. Next, malt and lemon on the sip transitioned into rye, herbal, ginger, and clove flavors on the swallow. Overall, it felt like a rye Swizzle akin to the Telenovela in spirit sans the crushed ice of course.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

signals, calls, & marches

1 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Licor 43
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, I attended the Bar Institute's Boston event held at Brass Union. After 6 solid talks, there was a charity bar night featuring three Boston bartenders serving 6 drinks named after songs written by Massachusetts artists. The one I was drawn to was the Signals, Calls, & Marches named after a Mission of Burma song, and Craigie on Main bartender Rob Ficks who mixed the drink told me that the Lush Life crew created that. When I asked Lush Life founder Lindsey Johnson about the drink, I was pointed to Lindsey Scheer who described how she and Dave Kwon created this drink along with some of the others on the list. The recipe reminded me of a Martinez with the citrus and vanilla-driven Licor 43 added in the mix.
Signals, Calls, & Marches gave forth an orange oil aroma over grape and vanilla notes. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Maraschino's cherry, and the swallow shared gin, nutty, vanilla, and clove flavors.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

historic core cocktail

1 oz Bonded Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
3/4 oz Bonded Apple Brandy (Laird's)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
In searching for a nightcap two Saturday nights ago, I ventured into my Food & Wine: Cocktails section of the drink book library and selected the 2011 edition. There, I was drawn to John Coltharp's Historic Core Cocktail that also appeared in Left Coast Libations in 2010. The Food & Wine book provided the history that John created this recipe for a 2008 contest for drinks named after downtown Los Angeles sub-districts, and the Historic Core was the one that he lived in at the time. The Left Coast Libations recipe varies somewhat from the above for it is:
Historic Core Cocktail (Left Coast Libations)
• 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse or Thomas Handy Rye
• 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
• 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
• 1 generous dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Overall, the recipe reminded me a bit of PDT's Harvest Moon with Lillet and Abbott's Bitters in place of the sweet vermouth and Angostura, and perhaps the Swafford with Maraschino instead of vermouth. Once in the glass, the Historic Core proffered a lemon and apple bouquet. Malt and grape on the sip led into rye, apple, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a clove and apple finish.