Friday, October 31, 2014

broken oath

1 1/2 oz Sombra Mezcal
3/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Galliano Ristretto
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters (Housemade)

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail glass).
Two Thursdays ago, I turned to the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for inspiration. There, I spotted the Broken Oath in the agave section created by Eryn Reece in 2013. With mezcal, coffee liqueur, and sherry, the recipe reminded me of some of Misty Kalkofen's delights such as the Pare de Sufrir. Once mixed, the Broken Oath offered a smoke and coffee aroma with some grape notes from the sherry and vermouth peaking through. Next, the dark grape sip gave way to smoky agave, nutty sherry, and coffee flavors on the swallow.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

jungle madness

1 1/2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur
1/4 oz Creme de Cacao
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint and freshly grated nutmeg, and add a straw.

After a visit to Park, I made my way over to the Citizen Public House. There, bartender Jay Cool was serving up one of his creations for Tiki Tuesday called Jungle Madness. Jay clarified that the madness is "what happens after Jungle Fever." The rum, pineapple, and coffee liqueur combination reminded me of the Mr. Bali Hai, while the rum, pineapple, Chartreuse, and cacao was reminiscent of the Pago Pago -- but here, all fused into one drink sans citrus.
Jungle Madness began the disease with a mint and nutmeg aroma. A creamy-thick mouthfeel on the sip gave way to a flavor explosion on the swallow of the spiced rum, coffee, chocolate, and herbal notes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

town meeting

1 1/2 oz Infiniti Rhum Blanc
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Maurin Quina
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Single Old Fashioned Glass. Garnish with lime oil.

Two Tuesdays ago, I headed over to Park Restaurant in Harvard Square where bartenders Nick Checchio and Luke Graham were at the stick. For a drink, I asked Nick for the Town Meeting, and he commented that it was most likely bartender Robert Grafton's creation. On paper, it came across like a hybrid of a Last Word and a Tiki drink, so I was intrigued. I was also curious about the agricole-style rum being produced by Infiniti in Portland, Maine, for I was only familiar with their beer that I had tried at Lord Hobo.
The Town Meeting began with a Green Chartreuse aroma that led into a lemon and cherry flavored sip. The swallow then offered the rhum's funk and the Chartreuse's herbal notes with a growing cinnamon finish.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

midnight matinee

1 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso
1 1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Vanilla-Passion Fruit Syrup (1/4 oz each of BG Reynolds' Vanilla Syrup and Passion Fruit Syrup) (*)
1 tsp Nardini Amaro
1 tsp Laphroaig Quarter Cask Scotch (Laphroaig 10 Year)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with large ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
(*) Perhaps vanilla syrup plus 2-3 drops of vanilla extract would have kept the volumes intact.
After the Hadley's Tears, I turned to the recipes I received from the 2014 Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition. The one that called out to me and could be made with ingredients already on my shelves was the Midnight Matinee by Amanda Elder of Manhattan's Pouring Ribbons. This recipe that scored runner-up honors came across as a play on the Amour and Bamboo cocktails. Once prepared, the Midnight Matinee shared an orange oil aroma over that of the sherry and vermouth's grape. The grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the passion fruit notes. Lastly, the swallow offered a lot of complexity with smoky notes from the Scotch, nutty ones from the sherry, and vanilla ones in the finish from the syrup.

Monday, October 27, 2014

hadley's tears

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum
1 oz Bols Genever
1 tsp Galliano Ristretto
1/2 tsp St. George Absinthe
1/4 oz Cane Syrup (Rhum J.M Sirop de Canne)
1 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (BT Jerry Thomas Bitters)

Stir with ice and strain into a Double Old Fashioned Glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago for the cocktail hour, I was excited about the new arrival to our cocktail book library -- the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. The drink that called out to us to be made first was Hadley Tears created by Death & Co. bartender Jillian Vose in 2013. She named this post-dinner drink after Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. Once mixed, it offered an orange and malty aroma. The malt from the Genever continued on into the sip where it mingled with the coffee liqueur's roast and the rum's caramel notes. Finally, the swallow began with an interesting combination of the rum and Genever and ended with a coffee and anise finish. Overall, there were more Genever flavors on the sip and more rum ones on the swallow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum (Kraken)
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
After the Blood of My Enemies, we were still in a rum mood, so I turned to Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide 75th anniversary edition. There, I spotted the Buccaneer which seemed like an elegant Tiki drink. Once in the glass, the drink shared a nutmeg and lime aroma. The rum's caramel notes were countered by the lime's crispness on the sip, and the swallow presented rum, pineapple, and clove flavors.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

blood of my enemies

1 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
1 oz Punt e Mes
1 oz Amaro Montenegro

Stir with ice and strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a drink I spotted in the OnTheBar app's drink database. It had just been entered by Erick Castro who has recently helped to open Boilermaker in Manhattan besides running Polite Provisions in San Diego. Overall, the recipe was reminiscent of a rum Negroni of sorts, and the name caught my attention for it was the same as another rum recipe created by Tony Iamunno at Stoddard's.
Castro's Blood of My Enemies offered a bright lemon oil notes to counter that of the rum's rich caramel aroma. The caramel continued on into the sip where it mingled with grape flavors and hints of tangerine. Finally, the rest of the rum came through on the swallow along with Amaro Montenegro's citrus notes and Punt e Mes' bitter complexity. In the end, the amaro and Punt e Mes combine to provide a different by comparable bitter signature to a rum Negroni's Campari.

Monday, October 20, 2014


2/3 jigger Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Oloroso)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Dolin)
1 dash Yellow Chartreuse (1/2 oz)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Tuesdays ago for the cocktail hour, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and spotted the Ardsley in the wine section. At first the recipe reminded me of a sherrified Puritan Cocktail, but the sweet vermouth aspect then made me think of a Green Point more. The Manhattan variation idea is perhaps supported by Ardsley being a village just north of New York City. Once mixed, the Ardsley offered a nutty sherry aroma with minty-herbal notes. Next, honey and grape on the sip gave way to a nutty and herbal swallow.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

double daisy

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XC) was picked by Joel of the SouthernAsh blog. The theme he chose was "Perfect Symmetry," and he elaborated on the theme with his description of, "A 'perfect' drink splits the liquor or liqueur evenly between two related ingredients. The most common 'perfect' drink is a Perfect Manhattan where the vermouth is split between sweet and dry to create an altogether different experience. A perfect Old Fashioned splits the bourbon and rye are both used to create a singularly distinct experience. When done well, splitting the liquor lets each of the unique flavors and components of the shine through. Because they share a background, they don't war with each other but instead you get both the mellow sweetness of the bourbon with the spicy backbone of the rye in that Old Fashioned... Why make a choice when you can have it all?!"

For an idea, I started thinking about the classics. I did consider doing one of my favorite Sazerac variations, the split Cognac-rye one that celebrates both pre- and post-Phylloxera times with the body of the brandy balancing the spice of the whiskey; however, I was not sure if that covered enough new ground to warrant a post. Similarly, I considered riffing on Remember the Maine to divide the cough syrup-like Cherry Heering with Maraschino; with absinthe in the mix, it would become "improved" in addition to "perfect." Instead, I thought about the Sidecar and considered doing a post on Audrey Saunders' Tantris Sidecar that I made in 2007 before writing for the blog. When I reacquainted myself with the recipe, I realized that it was not a "perfect" split of the ingredients, but unequal modifications and expansions on flavor. Could I make a Sidecar "perfect"? As my mind turned over possibilities that included splitting the orange liqueur between Cointreau and Amer Picon, what I honed in on is the similarities between a Sidecar and a Margarita. Both have spirits, orange liqueur, citrus, and some sort of crystalline rim on the glass. What if I were to meld the two drinks into one?
Since the orange liqueur was the same in both cases, I decided to keep it as the only unsplit aspect. For the changes, I opted for equal parts brandy and tequila for spirits and for equal parts lemon and lime to match, respectively. Although the classic recipes for both drinks lack sugar or salt rim garnishes, I decided to include them since that is often what people expect when they order the drinks at a bar. Should I make a salty-sweet mixed rim? No, I instead listened to the wise words of Don Lee at my BarSmarts Advanced practical. One of my three drinks that afternoon was the Sidecar, and I fully sugared the rim as per the BarSmarts' recipe. Don's list of what I did wrong during the practical was not what I did wrong in terms of BarSmarts, but what I could improve on in terms of being a better bartender. In this case, he suggested partially sugaring the rim to give imbibers a choice. Therefore, I decided to have three sections of rim here: sugar, salt, and no garnish.
Double Daisy
• 3/4 oz Brandy (Foret)
• 3/4 oz Tequila (Espolon Blanco)
• 3/4 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)
• 3/8 oz Lemon Juice
• 3/8 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass partially sugar rimmed, partially salt rimmed, and partially unrimmed.
Since both of these drinks are classic Daisies, I went with the term Double Daisy which made me think about flowers in our garden that have double the number of petals or those few that were Siamese in nature. Once mixed, the Double Daisy offered a tequila aroma. When sampled from the unrimmed portion, the sip was citrussy with the lime being the strongest; next, the swallow had a mix of brandy and tequila notes with an orange finish. On trying the libation with the sugared rim, the lemon and brandy flavors were more pronounced. Lastly, drinking from the salted region diminished the lime's bitter notes such that it came across more lemon-like; in addition, the mineral aspect accented the tequila in the Daisy. So instead of giving drinkers a simple binary option of how to enjoy the drink like Don Lee recommended, the trinary option gave a much broader and complex way to bring out different aspects and balances out of the drink.

So thank you to Joel for picking the theme and running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!