Friday, November 27, 2015


2/3 Scotch (1 1/2 oz Buchanan's 12 Year)
2 dash Sloe Gin (3/4 oz Atxa Patxaran)
2 dash Dry Vermouth (3/4 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

After the Cool Rummings, I turned to something a bit more nightcappish that I spotted in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 called the Hilliard. There was no hint of whom the drink was named after but the most famous Hilliard would be the circa 1600 painter Nicholas Hilliard who crafted miniature paintings of the British and Scottish royalty. Instead of sloe gin proper, I used the sloe berry-infused Patxaran for the added anise notes shifted the recipe in my mind towards that of the Savoy Cocktail Book's Modern #2 (sloe gin, Scotch, grenadine, absinthe, orange bitters).
The Hilliard gave forth a plum, coffee, and smoke aroma. The Scotch's malt came through on the sip along with dark rich fruit notes, and the swallow showcased the smokiness of the whisky and more sloe's plum flavors with an orange and hints of anise finish.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

cool rummings

1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
1 oz Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year Verdelho)
3/4 oz Lime Juice (1/2 oz due to using a drier Madeira)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 pinch Sea Salt
2 x 1 inch pieces Pineapple (3/4 oz Pineapple Juice)

Shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a pineapple leaf.

Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to a recipe that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine's online supplements; the drink was Jonathan Jones' Cool Rummings that he created at the Revel Room in Chicago. I had to adapt the recipe slightly since the generic call for "Madeira" is probably a Rainwater variety that does not use one of the four noble grapes, and my call for the semi-dry Verdelho would have made the drink a bit too tart with that much lime juice as compared to cinnamon syrup.
The Cool Rummings began with a cinnamon aroma that transitioned into a lime and pineapple sip. Next, the swallow shared rum, grape, cinnamon, and allspice notes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

what would bill murray do?

1 1/2 oz Boodles Gin
3/4 oz Carrot Juice
1/4 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Falernum
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Oil from a Lemon Twist

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a second lemon twist.
After we closed the Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden, Vannaluck, Raul, and Ran invited Andrea and me to accompany them to the Bancroft for a nightcap. For a drink, I was intrigued by the What Would Bill Murray Do and asked bartender Melissa Filgerleski for one. She had to explain the name to me for I had not seen the movie Rushmore and was unaware of the scene where Bill Murray went over to the teacher's house where she offered him some of her carrots (I later caught up on that scene via YouTube). Moreover, I mentioned that this was the second time that I had tried a carrot cocktail with the first being Trina's Starlite Lounge's Left Turn at Alburquerque. Once prepared it shared a lemon and vegetal aroma. The sip displayed lemon and orange notes along with a thick mouthfeel, and the swallow was a bit more complex with juniper and earthy bitter rootiness with a dry clove finish.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

bossa nova special

3/4 oz Privateer Silver Rum
3/4 oz Galliano
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a Collins glass, top with crushed ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and add a straw.
For a final drink at the Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden II, I asked bartender Vannaluck Hongthong for the Bossa Nova Special. This recipe appears in Stan Jones' Complete Barguide and the proportions were modified by bartender Ran Duan. Here, the drink shared a lemon aroma with hints of vanilla and spice. The egg white donated a creaminess to the sip that was joined by lemon and some pineapple notes. And finally, the swallow showcased rum, pineapple, and vanilla flavors with an apricot finish.

velveteen rabbit

1 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Averna
3/4 oz Water
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass without ice and stir to mix. Note: this is a room temperature cocktail.
For a first drink at Sichuan Garden II's Baldwin Bar, I asked Van for the curiously room temperature Velveteen Rabbit. Van mentioned that it was created by bartender Ran Duan and was a re-working of one of his previous drinks. I later realized that I had made this one at home as the Last Cold Night Before Spring after it had won one of the monthly ShakeStir competitions using a different Bourbon. Here, the Velveteen Rabbit showed off a dark nutty grape aroma. Next, caramel and grape on the sip transitioned into rich Bourbon accented with herbal spice and sherry nuttiness on the swallow. The swallow also displayed some chocolate notes on certain sips.

Monday, November 23, 2015

bahia sling

1 1/2 oz Avua Cachaça
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig, edible orchid, and grated coffee bean.
Last Monday, Andrea and I ventured over to Woburn to dine at Sichuan Garden II in the Baldwin Bar. There, bartenders Vannaluck Hongthong and Raul Zelaya were manning the stick, and for a first drink, Andrea asked Van for the Bahia Sling. Van described how this was bartender Ran Duan's tropical creation that he named after one of the states in Brazil. Once built, the Sling shared either a mint, coffee, or floral aroma depending on where the drinker's nose was focused. Next, lime on the sip led into funky, grassy, and passion fruit flavors on the swallow with growing chocolate notes on the finish.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

voodoo grog

2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal)
1 oz Gold Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz White Grapefruit Juice (Ruby)
3/4 oz Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/4 oz Honey
1 Egg White

Dissolve honey in juice, add rest of ingredients and 1 cup of ice, blend 20 seconds, and pour into a voodoo tumbler or large snifter (shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a snifter, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a mint sprig, pineapple spear (omit), and nutmeg.

Two Saturdays ago, I reached for Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean for my post-shift libation. The Voodoo Grog was one that I had noted before and it was time to give it a whirl. Berry took Trader Vic's recipe from the 1972 Bartender's Guide and interpreted the "2 oz Navy Grog Mix" as equal parts of lime, grapefruit, and allspice dram. The drink itself appeared in Trader Vic's restaurants somewhere during the 1950s and featured an ornate painted glass voodoo tumbler as its vessel.
The Voodoo Grog began with a woodsy spice and minty aroma from the garnishes. A creamy honey and citrus sip gave way to a grassy rum, passion fruit, and allspice swallow.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

kon-tiki mai tai

1 1/2 oz Appleton Extra Rum (Appleton V/X)
1 1/4 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 tsp Ginger Syrup (2 thin slices fresh ginger)
6 drop Absinthe (Herbsaint)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Blend with 4 oz crushed ice for 5 seconds (shake with ice and strain over crushed ice). Garnish with mint sprigs and a pineapple spear.

A few Fridays ago, Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari called out to me as the night cap-worthy cocktail book. The drink that won out was the Mai Tai created at the Kon-Tiki Restaurant in Cleaveland, Ohio, around 1961. Unlike the classic Mai Tai created by Trader Vic, this one is more of a riff on Don the Beachcomber's Mai Tai that later morphed into the Zombie; Ted Kilpatrick at No. 9 Park played around with that recipe to concoct the Mai Tai Swizzle which also follows this other-Mai Tai formula.
The Kon-Tiki Mai Tai began with a mint aroma that preceded a lime and orange sip. The swallow offered darker rum notes along with complementary spice flavors including ginger, allspice, clove, and anise.

Friday, November 20, 2015

green flash

1 1/2 oz Rhum JM 100 Proof Agricole Blanc (Depaz)
1/4 oz Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe (Butterfly)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz 2:1 Honey Syrup (3/4 oz 1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a flute glass. Top with champagne (Gruet Blanc de Blanc) and garnish with a brandied cherry (Luxardo cherry).
Two Wednesdays ago after making my drink for this week's Mixology Monday event, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for inspiration. There, the Green Flash by bartender Brian Miller caught my attention for it reminded me of the classic Air Mail with a grassier rum, different citrus, and a bit of spice from the addition of absinthe. Once prepared, the Green Flash proffered a grassy and anise aroma. Next, carbonated honey and lemon on the sip led into grassy, herbal, floral, and anise flavors on the swallow. The absinthe was at the proper level for me in this drink and seemed like a better starting point for absinthe/pastis sparklers than the Death in the Afternoon early in my drink journey was.