Monday, December 22, 2014

sass mouth

1 1/2 oz Vodka Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Heavy Simple Syrup (2:1) (*)
1 barspoon St. Elizbeth Allspice Dram

Shake with ice and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with 2-3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters, and add straws.
(*) Drier seeking palates might want to omit this.

For a second drink at Kirkland Tap & Trotter, I spotted the vodka-based Sass Mouth and asked bartender Kenny Belanger if I could substitute my favorite flavored vodka, namely gin. When Kenny mentioned that the drink was created by bartender Andrew Keefe, I jokingly inquired if Andrew thought the substitution would be acceptable. Andrew gave the thumbs up, and the mixing began.
The Sass Mouth shared an anise aroma from the bitters with a hint of fruitiness underneath. The fruitiness continued on into the sip where it mingled with the lemon juice; finally, the swallow shared the gin and apricot flavors with a bitter rhubarb and allspice finish. Later, as the Peychaud's Bitters from the garnish began to enter the equation, the balance shifted to a bit drier with anise flavors on the finish.

Friday, December 19, 2014

sky's the limit

1 oz Hochstadter's Rock & Rye
1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist and add straws.

Two Mondays ago, I stopped into Kirkland Tap & Trotter as I had spotted an open barstool while passing by on my way home. There, I found a seat in front of bartender Kenny Belanger. For a first libation, I asked Kenny for the Sky's the Limit for the sherry-cinnamon syrup combination has been so pleasing before in drinks like Island Creek's Spanish Union; moreover, both of them have that Scofflaw structure (minus a dash of bitters here which could be represented by the Rock & Rye botanicals though) that I find so pleasing. Kenny also mentioned that this recipe was Jared Sadoian's drink; Jared is still at Craigie on Main but does some bartender shifts over at Kirkland Tap & Trotter.
The Sky's the Limit offered a citrus aroma from the orange twist and lemon juice in the mix. A lemon and grape sip led into a whiskey and nutty sherry swallow with an herbal finish. Over successive swallows, the cinnamon notes began to appear on the finish to round off the drink.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

forbidden fruit

1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Yuzu Juice
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish the egg white froth with a spritz of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram.
Two Sundays ago, Bombay Gin and GQ magazine threw a cocktail party at the Hawthorne celebrating Ran Duan of the Baldwin Room at Sichuan Garden II being named Bombay Sapphire's "Most Imaginative Bartender." While Ran and his mixing cohorts did not make his winning recipe, there were three offerings that night. One of my favorites was the Forbidden Fruit that paired Campari and passion fruit syrup which always work rather well together. Indeed, the drink was perhaps an egg white-Sour variation of his Cisco Bay that also utilized that combination. Instead of grapefruit juice and an ice-filled Collins glass in the Cisco Bay, the Forbidden Fruit brought in yuzu juice and a cocktail coupe with egg white now in the mix. Also, allspice dram as a garnish here added a great spice aroma to this drink. The egg white worked to soften the flavors, but the great combination of Campari and passion fruit sang out with complementary yuzu notes bolstering the tropical and citrus elements.

:: mixology monday: apples wrap up::

I'm so pleased with the quality of submissions to this month's Mixology Monday, MxMo XCII: Apples! Apples were utilized from the most obvious to me spirits to the more obscure like culinary ones like apple jelly. Hopefully, I can bang out the first wave of these entries before I have to leave for my evening shift tonight at Russell House Tavern. Without further ado, here are the entries. How do you like them apples?
• Brenda of DeliciousCocktailTime was no last minuter, unless she mistook which week was which. Her Crabapple Jelly Cocktail utilizes jelly and Berentzen Apfelkorn apple liqueur!
• The Boozenerds were also early submitters and could not control themselves to one recipe. Their two drinks span three elements -- eau de vie, aged brandy, and sparkling apple cider.
• Jessica of OneMartini appeared in the Mixology Monday blog pingbacks with her entry for the Spiced Calvados Sour days before she later left a comment, so placed here instead of later. Maple and spice elements round out her drink with a great seasonal touch!
• That bum Frederic of the CocktailVirginSlut blog... wait that's me! Well, I turned to the Death & Co. book for their riff on a 19th century classic with the Widow's Laurel using Calvados and some allspice dram for complementary spice notes.
• Batting fifth, Dagreb of Nihil Utopia went all Hemingway on us with an apple brandy recipe from Philip Greene's book.
• Sometimes MxMo's can catch your liquor shelf off guard. That's what happened with Andrea of GinHound who went out and fixed that problem with some applejack to make a tribute recipe, The Banker. And yes, apple brandy and Fernet Branca do work magically together!
• Stuart of PutneyFarm headed to the PDT Cocktail Book for the Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy recipe the Persephone that fits in some sloe gin into the mix as well.
• Using both Calvados and cider in the shaker tin, Gary of Doc Elliot's Apothecary crafts the Cider Punch using cranberry and ginger to seal in the seasonal touch. Likewise, walnut notes work to the same effect in the Plymouth Old Fashioned.
• Morgan of FoodieTails takes the ginger approach with the Apple Cider-Basil Buck. I was teased with the tequila-apple pairing but not disappointed when it was revealed that this was a Bourbon number.
• With MxMo alum's Michael Dietsch's book either on everyone's bookshelf or holiday wish list, it wasn't a surprise that there were a few shrub entries! Stacy Markow riffed on the Vieux Carré using a spiced apple shrub she made herself!
• Not to be outdone by the contributors who do two recipes, TartinesToTikis starts with the Normal Conquest from the Savoy Hotel in London and transitions to recipes from New York and San Diego.
• At the end of the dozen was the Muse of Doom of FeuDeVie. Homemade cranberry falernum to complement apples with fruit and spice notes? Brilliant. Here in the Red Plaid Wool Scarf with Calvados.
• Laura of the SassAndGin blog Earl Grey tea-infused her applejack (which would have worked great for the MxMo: Tea that I hosted years ago) for the Belles & Whistles. Great smoke and spice notes here!
• A shrub contribution from Alex of BringMeAShrub should have been no surprise though. The surprise was that he took his apple shrub all Corn'n'Oil style with the Dr. Luther.
• A slight bit late, but cat herd pimpin' ain't easy, so here's JFL of RatedRCocktails with the Pama Nui. Calvados in a Tiki drink? Nice.

Perhaps there'll be a few late stragglers to be added later (so far 1 added), but here are the early birds (on time for the cocktail world is early) that got the worm. Aged brandy, eau de vie, liqueur, sparkling and still cider, jelly, and shrubs oh my! Thank you all of the Blog-o-sphere for contributing to this Mixology Monday to make it once again such a fun and one of the best and longest running cocktail parties on the internets! And yes, I finished in time to pay some bills and make it to my barshift's pre-meal on time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

babbo's toddy

1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (Fighting Cock 103)
1/2 oz Campari
3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynolds)

Build in a pre-heated Toddy mug. Top with hot water and garnish with an orange wheel.
After the Repossession, I decided to make a drink that I spotted on Erick Castro's Instagram called the Babbo's Toddy. Erick created this hot Boulevardier riff at the Boilermaker bar in Manhattan, and I was curious how Campari would play in a Toddy format. Once prepared, the Babbo's Toddy offered cinnamon and tea-like aromas that later shared more Campari notes. The heat brought forth a gorgeous orange flavor from the Campari and grape from the vermouth on the sip, and the swallow began with whiskey flavors and ended with cinnamon and herbal Campari elements. When I mentioned that it came across as very tea like, Andrea replied that it was just like the Good Earth brand's Sweet & Spice Herb Tea that she drinks.

Monday, December 15, 2014


1 oz Reposado Tequila (Espolon)
3/4 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Cane Syrup (JM Sirop) (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Float 1/4 oz mezcal (Sombra).
(*) Can sub 2:1 syrup in a pinch.

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to the book I am reading, Talia Baiocchi's Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World's Best-Kept Secret, for a recipe. There, I spotted the Repossession created by Leo Robitschek of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad. The combination of oxidized sherry and apricot liqueur is one that has worked rather well in many cocktails such as the Domino Sour and the Oaxacan Dead, so I was willing to give this one a try.
The Repossession began with a smoky and briny aroma with a hint of fruit from either the sherry or apricot liqueur. Next, lemon and grape on the sip shifted to agave, nutty, and apricot flavors on the swallow and a smoke finish.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

widow's laurel

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCII) was picked by me, Frederic of the CocktailVirgin blog. The theme I chose was "Apples," and I elaborated in my announcement post with, "Apples have been an American booze staple with Johnny Appleseed as its symbolic hero. John Chapman became that legend by planting apple tree nurseries across the northern Appalachia and the Midwest. He did not choose grafting techniques to reproduce sweet edible ones, but bred them to make sour apples perfect for cider and applejack. Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire proclaimed, "Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus." Apple products began to enter into the mixed drink literature in the 19th century with the Stone Fence appearing in Jerry Thomas' Bartender Guide and got quite refined by the end of the century such as the Widow's Kiss in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks. Indeed, apples have found their way into modern cocktails via Calvados, applejack, sparkling and still cider, apple butter, and muddled apple."
At first I was going to do one of the drinks on our menu at work, the Emily Rose -- a cross between a Jack Rose and a French 75, but instead I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book so that I could taste something new. In the brandy section, I spotted a riff on the Widow's Kiss, a classic from 1895 that I mentioned above in my announcement. Joaquín Simó's 2009 variation, the Widow's Laurel, was a spicier and slightly less boozy riff on this classic.
Widow's Laurel
• 2 oz Busnel VSOP Calvados (Boulard VSOP)
• 1/2 oz Drambuie
• 1/2 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
• 1 tsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with 3 brandied cherries on a pick (omitted).
Once stirred and strained, the Widow's Laurel shared an apple and allspice aroma. Next, the sip was rather fruity from the apple brandy and the vermouth's grape, and the swallow presented a medley of honey, apple, allspice, and clove elements. The combination overall was perfect for the autumn-winter transition with fall fruit flavors mixing with Christmas spices.

Here at the end of Mixology Monday posts, I usually thank the host for picking the theme and running this month's show, but that would be a bit odd thanking myself. Instead, I am thanking the hosts that have stepped up since the last time I hosted Mixology Monday, namely July 2013's MxMo LXXV "Flip Flop," as well as all the other past and future hosts. Moreover, thank you to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

Friday, December 12, 2014

blue steel

1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a 1/4 oz flaming Green Chartreuse (lit on fire for 10 seconds first) drizzled over the top of the drink.

Two Saturdays ago, I turned to the Sanctuaria, the Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars book and spotted the Blue Steel and was lured in by the Tiki-like flavor combination and the fire aspect, of course. The book described how this drink created back in 2010 became one of their signature drinks especially on people's birthdays. Moreover, they attributed learning the flaming ribbon of Chartreuse to Ted Kilgore, and mention that the Chartreuse pairs well with the juices and syrup here to give a "pineapple upside-down cake flavor."
The herbal notes of the Green Chartreuse garnish paid dividends on the aroma front. A pineapple and lemon sip set the stage for gin and Green Chartreuse botanical flavors on the swallow and growing amounts of cinnamon on the finish.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

park life swizzle

1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Dry shake the ingredients and pour into a Pilsner glass. Fill with crushed ice and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with mint sprigs and 6 dashes Angostura Bitters, and add a straw.
A few Tuesdays ago, I was flipping through the Death & Co. Cocktail Book and stumbled upon the Swizzle section. Knowing that our mint patch was on its last legs due to the weather, I decided for one last hurrah and picked the Park Life Swizzle to send that section of the garden off in style. The recipe was crafted by Thomas Waugh back in 2009 and gave no indication as to whether the Swizzle was named after a Blur song or other. Once prepped, the Park Life Swizzle shared an allspice, clove, and mint aroma from the garnishes. Grape and lime flavors on the sip exchanged for gin botanicals and sherry's nuttiness on the swallow and clove and ginger notes on the finish.