Friday, March 23, 2018

cowgirl in the sand

1 1/2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 oz Crème de Peche (Briottet)
1/2 oz Orgeat
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a mint sprig (spend half lime shell).

Two Fridays ago, I decided make a drink that I had spotted on the OnTheBar app called the Cowgirl in the Sand. The recipe was crafted by Jake Bliven whom I had met at Portland Cocktail Week 2012 when he was an Oregon bartender, and now he is sharing his knowledge abroad at Yiamas Greeka Taverna in Taipei, Taiwan. The Cowgirl in the Sand had the format of an American whiskey Mai Tai akin to the Bluegrass Ma Tai, but it had the elegant pairing of orgeat and peach liqueur that worked well in the Henry Trotter instead of the more standard orgeat and curaçao one. Therefore, I was game to give this "Tiki in the Continental South" a try as my post-work shift libation.
The Cowgirl in the Sand proffered a nutty peach aroma with hints of Bourbon to the nose. Next, a creamy lime sip led into whiskey and nutty flavors on the swallow with a lime and peach finish. While my initial reaction reading the recipe was that lemon might work better here with the Bourbon than lime, the presence of crème de peche and orgeat seemed to smooth things over, and the lime was able to offer up some bitterness that would have been lacking in the lemon version.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

king of birds

1 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1/4 oz Smoky Single Malt (Laphroaig 10 Year)
1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
1 dash Absinthe (12 drops St. George)

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

Two Thursdays ago, a discussion about stirred tequila drinks reminded me of my mezcal-based Ask the Dust, and I thought about the interplay of Byrhh Quinquina and crème de cacao. I also wondered if it would work with another quinquina, namely Bonal, and whether the smoke was necessary. To keep the smoke element, I considered Scotch as a base spirit, especially since Scotch and Bonal have paired well in drinks like the Golden Dog and Sinister Street. Finally, Benedictine seemed like a good way to round out the drink, and for bitters, I returned to the Ask the Dust's absinthe.
For a name, I looked to my cocktail name list and felt that the REM song King of Birds matched the tone of the drink. In the glass, the King of Birds offered up bright lemon oil aromas that countered darker peat smoke ones. Next, malt and Bonal's grape danced on the sip, and the swallow paired Scotch and chocolate flavors that were followed by a bitter herbal finish.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

lander's punch

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz Tanqueray Malacca or No. 10 Gin (Malacca)
1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes or a large ice sphere (large cube), and garnish with freshly graded nutmeg and orange peel.

Two Wednesdays ago, I looked to the 2016 The Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book for the evening's libation. In searching for something citrussy, I ended upon the Lander's Punch that had a curious split spirits base of gin and rum. Gin and rum have paired well together in old drinks like the Sirius and new ones like the Astoria, Oregon, and Privateer Rum does make a rum-based gin (or a gin out of cane neutral spirits); however, the combination still struck me as a bit quirky. The recipe stemmed from bartender and book author Frank Caiafa looking at the Lander's recipe of the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book with equal parts Jamaican rum, Gordon's Gin, French vermouth, and lemon juice and wondering what he could do with it. Even with making the vermouth a blanc and the rum a slightly sweetened one like Tanqueray Malacca left the Lander's rather tart. Instead, he split the lemon component with syrup to make a better balanced libation that he renamed Lander's Punch.
The Lander's Punch began with an orange and woody spice aroma; the nose was extra orange-y for I interpreted the instructions as freshly grating an orange peel, but it could be parsed as adding an orange twist which would yield something a bit more subtle to the nose. Next, a somewhat sweet white wine and lemon sip gave way to caramel rum transitioning into drier gin and vermouth notes on the swallow that were perhaps made a bit tart on the finish by the citrus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

the black prince

2 oz Zacapa 23 Rum
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Averna
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
Two Tuesdays ago, I turned to The Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap. There, in the Manhattan variation section was Phil Ward's 2008 Black Prince that reminded me of the dark rum-laden Palm Viper that I recently had. Once in the glass, the Black Prince shared a molasses and grape bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and caramel mingled on the sip, and rich rum melding into bitter herbal flavors characterized the swallow.

Monday, March 19, 2018

hollow point

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Grand-Dad Bonded)
1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth (Maurin)
3/8 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
3/8 oz Campari

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

After the Adonis, I reached for Michael Madrusan's A Spot at the Bar and paused on the Hollow Point. The book provided the history of having a guest describe a drink that he had by listing off the ingredients, and the Everleigh bartenders concocted this in response to his request. I had previously passed over the recipe for it seemed too similar to my Boulevardier-Slope mashup that I called the Intercept, but given different proportions and my use of Punt e Mes and bitters instead of the Hollow Point's sweet vermouth, I figured it was worthy of test spin.
The Hollow Point gave forth a lemon and Bourbon nose that led into a malt and grape-laden sip. Next, the whiskey began the swallow that ended with a pleasantly bitter apricot-orange combination.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


1/2 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 Sweet Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Maurin)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.

Two Mondays ago, I began with the classic aperitif the Adonis which I have had before, but I realized that I had never written up here. The discovery of the drink's absence from the blog came when I made the Tiki-inspired riff of the Adonis, the USS Wondrich, during January's "Tiki the Snow Away" theme on Instagram. Difford's Guide cited 1887 as the date when the drink name was first mentioned in print, and that it was named after the play that opened at Hooley's Opera House in Chicago in 1884 before moving to New York City's Bijou Theater the following year. Given the New York roots, I opted for the 1935 The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book recipe over the earlier 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book one; the Savoy's recipe was very similar save for a 2:1 ratio of dry sherry to sweet vermouth and only a single dash of orange bitters. Moreover, the 1935 book also provided the history of "Named in honor of a theatrical offering which first made Henry E. Dixey and Fanny Ward famous."
The Adonis offered up an orange oil aroma that brightened up the grape notes. Next, the semi-dry grape sip gave way to nutty and dry spice-colored swallow with an orange finish. While the cocktail had no surprising moments, it was still a pleasure to drink.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

lonnie desoto

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Cimarron)
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1/2 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1 dash Aromatic Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)
1 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist (lemon twist).

On Sunday two weeks ago, I decided to seek out a Bonal drink and searched the BarNotes app. There, I stopped upon New York City bartender Rafa Garcia Febles' 2013 Lonnie DeSoto as his riff on the Nolita (standing for the Manhattan neighborhood North of Little Italy). The Nolita was crafted in 2012 by Christian Siglin in San Diego as a Negroni riff with the sweet vermouth portion split into sweet vermouth and coffee liqueur, and unlike the classic Negroni, this one had a dash of bitters an a lemon twist. Rafa took the drink in a Mexican direction by utilizing tequila as a spirit instead of gin and adding molé bitters; moreover, he swapped the Bonal for sweet vermouth which reminded me of Canon's Coraje that paired Bonal with coffee liqueur. To keep the Mexican theme, I opted for Kahlua as my coffee element here. As a name, he dubbed this one after Yolanda "Lonnie" DeSoto in the Gone Home video game whose family emigrated from Mexico.
The Lonnie DeSoto greeted the nose with a lemon and dark orange bouquet. Next, grape with hints of coffee roast on the sip led into tequila, orange, and coffee flavors on the swallow with a chocolate and spice finish.
• 1 oz Dry Gin
• 1 oz Campari
• 1/2 oz Cafe Lolita Coffee Liqueur
• 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1 dash Aromatic Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist. Via KindredCocktails.

Friday, March 16, 2018


1/2 Brandy (1 3/4 oz Copper & Kings Blue Sky Mining)
1/4 Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo)
2 dash Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Punt e Mes)
1 dash Cointreau (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist.
Two Fridays ago, I sought out a nightcap in Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Chandler. I ended up interpreting the call for Italian vermouth as Punt e Mes to give some bitter depth to the drink, and I reshaped the proportions to be akin to a Brandy Brookyln of sorts. Once prepared, the Chandler offered up bright orange oils over brandy and nutty cherry aromas. Next, a grape-driven sip stepped aside to a brandy, nutty, and bitter orange swallow. Overall, the combination reminded me of a Brandy Red Hook or perhaps even a Hoskins Cocktail.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


1 1/2 oz Jefferson's Rye (Old Overholt)
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
While seeking a nightcap two Thursdays ago, I found myself on the BarNotes app searching for Cynar drinks. The one that called out to me was perhaps a 1794 riff called the Bookbinder by Trey Hughes then of Portland, Maine's Blue Spoon and now of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club. Here, the vermouth aspect was swapped for a split of Cynar and Benedictine, and the whiskey-Cynar-Campari combination reminded me of the Bitter Nail and the Barefoot in the Dark. Once mixed, the Bookbinder proffered a rye aroma along with Cynar's funky herbal notes. Next, malt, caramel, and orange came through on the sip, and the swallow shared rye and minty-bitter flavors. Overall, I was surprised at how subdued the Campari was in this drink for I expected it to be rather bitter orange driven akin to a Boulevardier.