Tuesday, May 3, 2016

black mammy

1/2 Santa Cruz Rum (1 oz Tommy Bahama Golden Sun + 1/2 oz Vale d'Paul Agricole-style Rum)
1/8 Brandy (1/2 oz Camus VS Cognac)
Juice 1/4 Grapefruit (1/2 oz)
Juice 1/4 Lemon (1/2 oz)
1 dash Clove (1/2 oz Velvet Falerum + 1 Clove)
1 dash Syrup (1/2 oz Florida Crystals Syrup)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve with a thin strip of orange and lemon peels.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was perusing 1934's 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar and spotted an interesting Caribbean-feeling drink that intrigued me despite its racist name. The Black Mammy paired up rum and brandy like in a good punch and paired up citrus like in Tiki drinks. I took the liberty of interpreting the clove element to be falernum to drive it a bit more Caribbean akin to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
The Black Mammy gave forth a grapefruit juice aroma that was brightened by citrus oils from the two twists. Next, the citrus continued into the sip with a smooth grapefruit and lemon flavor, and the swallow brought together the funky rum and brandy combination with a clove-driven finish.

Monday, May 2, 2016


2/3 St. Croix Rum (2 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados)
2 dash Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Crème de Vanilla (1/4 oz Navan)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

I prepared this recipe like an Old Fashioned. Build in a rocks glass, add a large cube, and stir to chill and mix.
For a nightcap two Wednesdays ago, I selected Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for inspiration. The Babbit stood out as an interesting Old Fashioned-liked drink and the idea of a rum Old Fashioned with vanilla syrup or liqueur like in the Dusty Trail sold me on it. In the glass, the vanilla mingled pleasantly with the rum's caramel on the nose. The aged rum richness continued on into the sip, and the rest of the rum notes along with nutty, vanilla, and clove-laden spice filled the swallow. As the ice melted, the Maraschino's cherry notes became more prominent in the balance.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

singapore express

1 oz Navy Strength Gin (Hayman's Royal Dock)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Cointreau
1 tsp Grenadine
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a tall glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a small pineapple top (omit).

One of the drinks from the Mixology Monday Swizzle wrap-up was a riff on the Singapore Sling. The drink was created and presented by the Kitchen Shamanism blog out of Sweden, and I understood the love-hate relationship with the classic. Here, the Singapore Express removed the soda water, scaled down certain of the dominant flavors like the Cherry Heering, and of course converted it into a Swizzle for the event.
Once prepared, the Singapore Express gave forth a pineapple and juniper aroma. Next, lime and a vague fruitiness on the sip led into gin and a pineapple note that blended into a medicinal cherry flavor on the swallow.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/3 Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)
1 dash Orgeat (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added an orange twist.
On opening Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 two Saturdays ago, I spotted a rye and orgeat recipe, the Republic, that reminded me of another from that book, the Martinique. Instead of going a juice and spiced Manhattan direction like the latter, the Republic took a more Brooklyn route with dry vermouth and Amer Picon. After stirring and straining, the Republic greeted the nose with a rye aroma that was accented by orange oils from the twist that I added to the recipe. Next, rich malt from the whiskey in the sip gave way to rye, nutty, and bitter orange elements in the swallow. While the orgeat added a similar nutty direction as Maraschino in the Brooklyn, it was a bit more subtle and gave more of a pleasant earthiness but not the same level of oomph to challenge the Picon.

Friday, April 29, 2016

royal daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (2 oz Caliche)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Parfait Amour (Marie Brizard)
1/4 tsp Sugar Syrup (omit)

Blend with 4 oz crushed ice for 5 seconds and strain through a wine sieve (shake with ice and strain) into a cocktail glass.

Two Fridays ago, I turned to the Royal Daiquiri in Beachbum Berry's Remixed as my evening's drink of choice. The recipe was crafted by Don the Beachcomber in the 1950s and utilized parfait amour as the sweetener in an otherwise standard Daiquiri format. Parfait amour is a type of crème de violet that adds to the floral notes and purple color with citrus notes as well as other flavors including vanilla, almond, and other spices that can come across as a bit candy-like to the modern palate. Despite my skepticism due to previous Parfait Amour failures, I was still willing to give this classic recipe a try perhaps due to a few bartenders I know fetishizing what others have likened to something reminiscent of purple jellybeans.
Once I undusted my decade old bottle of Marie Brizard parfait amour (it pre-dated Rothman & Winter's Crème de Violet appearing on the market and was one of the few violet options out there at the time of purchase), I set to work. In the glass, the Royal Daiquiri shared a floral aroma that led into a more standard lime sip. Next, the swallow had the classic's rum along with a somewhat agreeable vanilla, orange, and floral combination.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


1/2 Jamaican Rum (1 1/2 oz Coruba Dark)
2 dash Peach Brandy (1/2 oz Edmond Briottet Crème de Pêche de Vigne)
3 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Grenadine (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added a lemon twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I selected Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 as my evening's drink guide. In the rum section, the Westward with Jamaican rum made me think of the Windward (and Leeward) Islands in the Caribbean, and it seemed like a pleasantly funky and fruity recipe. Once prepared, the Westward offered a lemon oil and ester-y rum aroma that set up a lemon, pomegranate, and caramel flavored sip. Lastly, the swallow showcased the elegant pairing of Jamaican rum and tart peach notes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

montgomery smith

2 oz Hine VSOP Cognac (Camus VS)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

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

Two Wednesdays ago, I reached for the PDT Cocktail Book to see if there were any gems that I had overlooked. The one that spoke to me was Nate Dumas' 2007 recipe that came about as a challenge to create a drink called the Montgomery Smith. The combination of herbal liqueurs reminded me of the rye-based Oldfield except that it was heavier on the Fernet Branca than the Benedictine as written (I made them equal in my take on it).
The Montgomery Smith shared a lemon oil aroma over herbal, minty, and menthol notes. Next, a semi-sweet caramel sip led into Cognac, bitter herbal, and chocolate flavors on the swallow with a return of that menthol element on the finish.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Tuesdays ago when I got home from my bar shift, Andrea was returning home from visiting Estragon. There, bartender Sahil Mehta sent the recipe for the Kelimutu with my wife for me to make as my shift drink since I can rarely sit at his bar due to our incompatible schedules lately. For a name, it seemed like he chose a volcano in Indonesia to give a good Tiki feel to this Batavia Arrack-laden drink.
I selected the most Estragon-like glass I owned to serve myself this tropical delight. And on the nose, it offered cinamon-scented fruit notes, and this led into a mostly lime-flavored sip. The swallow was a bit more complex with Batavia Arrack's funk, passion fruit, cinnamon, and other spice notes.

Monday, April 25, 2016


1/2 jigger Swan Gin (1 oz Tanqueray)
1/2 jigger Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)
Juice of 1 Lime (1/2 oz)
(1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
2 dash Angostura Bitters
2 dash Absinthe (1/8 oz Butterfly)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
A few Thursdays ago, I decided to peruse The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book for any gems that I might have overlooked through the years. The Swan was one of those that I probably skipped over for it seemed rather unbalanced as written. With some simple syrup thrown in the mix, it was not too far off from the Tanglin Club in structure. Jacques Straub's 1914 version perhaps reflected what the drink was originally with only a few drops of lime juice for brightness (besides no absinthe) in a more silky stirred Martini riff:
Swan (1914)
• 1/2 jigger Dry Gin
• 1/2 jigger Dry Vermouth
• 3 drop Lime Juice
• 2 drop Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The Waldorf-Astoria's Swan gave forth an anise and licorice bouquet. Lime on the sip subsided into gin and Good'n'Plenty-like licorice on the swallow with clove and allspice on the finish.