Sunday, February 19, 2017

mrs. doyle

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CXVI) was picked by myself, Frederic of the Cocktail Virgin blog. The theme I chose was "Irish Wake," and it was a tough decision to pick this theme and make it the last. Mixology Monday has been around for 2 months shy of 11 years yielding 116 themed-events. Between lagging enthusiasm for bloggers to host events, low numbers of drink posts, and my waning desire to push the online cocktail party uphill, I had been considering this end for a year or so. Then at the tail end of MxMo 114 as I was trying to enter the roundup post link in December, I discovered that the Mixology Monday Word Press site had lost its log-in module and I was locked out. We did MxMo 115's announcements solely by Twitter and word of mouth, and it just did not feel right without a formal home base. It was a sign.

So for this final theme, the Irish Wake, I elaborated on my choice with the description of, "The Irish wake is a funeral tradition that is a send-off that begins at the time of death until the body is handed over to the church. It is viewed as a crucial part of the grieving process. My first Irish wake was a little over a year ago when Boston barman Ryan McGrale met his untimely demise. While the wake part with the family was sober, the mourning process with the Boston bartenders and the New York City ones who traveled up was most certainly not. Irish whiskey flowed... So what better way to celebrate the life and times of Mixology Monday and its 11 year run as the premiere 'monthly online cocktail party' than with Irish whiskey. For this theme, the approach is two fold. You can go traditional and generate or uncover a cocktail recipe calling for Irish whiskey. Alternatively, you can talk about a personal moment either where Irish whiskey played a role in life or where drinks in general helped the grieving process. Such stories were actually rather cool for MxMo 41 'Vodka is Your Friend,' so there is precedent for that, but it's not like we can break Mixology Monday for future events by straying from the rules."
There is a belief that mixing with Irish whiskey is a sin, and one of my old co-workers summed that idea up with his delicious Jameson cocktail the Sacrilege. I hold no spirit sacred, but I wanted to find a recipe that really highlighted the soft nature of the whiskey. In my search, I happened upon Eryn Reece's 2013 Mrs. Doyle in the Death & Co. Cocktail Book. According to a TimeOut article, Eryn named this after "the kooky old housekeeper from the Irish sitcom Father Ted." Essentially, Mrs. Doyle is an Irish Sour accented by a touch of Swedish Punsch. And for the photo above, I picked the best casket imagery that I could since the drink itself was not morbid in the least.
Mrs. Doyle
• 2 oz Redbreast 12 Year Irish Whiskey (Teeling Small Batch)
• 1/4 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
The Mrs. Doyle proffered lemon and sweet malt aromas with a honey-like note. Next, the lemon and sweet malt continued into the sip, and the swallow gave forth soft whiskey and a hint of tea and rum funk from the Swedish Punsch.

It is strange to type out my final line to my 87th Mixology Monday event that I have participated in, the 10th that I have hosted, and the 52nd under my cat herdsmanship. I would like to thank Paul Clarke for starting the event and for the participants of the 29 events before I started for making it such a welcoming environment, and for everyone who re-inforced the lost art of Roman numerals. And thank you to all the participants who have carried this phenomenon for over a decade. Sláinte!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


1 1/2 oz Bourbon Whiskey (Larceny)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Peach Bitters (Fee's)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass with 2 oz champagne (Willm Blanc de Blancs), and garnish with a lemon twist.

After a busy Saturday night bar shift two weeks ago, I felt the need for a nightcap before I opened the next morning for a brunch shift. Therefore, I reached for Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles for the answer. In the list of flagged drinks to make, the Howitzer as a whiskey French 75 variation stood out. The recipe was crafted by Neal Bodenheimer of New Orleans' The Cure; Neal described his creation on the Barnotes app as, "From our original cocktail list when we opened Cure. A simple variation of the classic French 75 using Bourbon and peach in place of gin or brandy."
The Howitzer presented a lemon, white wine, and Bourbon aroma. Next, the sip shared a carbonated lemon and wine combination, and the swallow paired the wheated whiskey with fruity peach notes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

flor de piña

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila (Avion)
3/4 oz Elderflower Liqueur (St. Elder)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Canela Cinnamon Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge (paper umbrella).
After my work shift two Fridays ago, I was in the mood for something tropical, so I returned to David Alan's Tipsy Texan for the Flor de Piña. The recipe reminded me of a Gilda Cocktail with the addition of elderflower liqueur. In the mug, the Flor de Piña shared a floral and pineapple bouquet with hints of agave on the nose. Next, lime and pineapple made for a refreshing sip, and the swallow paired tequila and elderflower flavors with a cinnamon finish.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


3/4 Rye Whiskey (2 oz Sazerac)
1/8 Sherry (1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado + 1/4 oz Lustau PX)
1/8 Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Alessio)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and began scanning the whiskey recipes. There, I was lured in by the Libby with the sherry element reminding me of the Plymouth Street Harvest. I originally tried all Amontillado in the mix, but it was a bit too dry so I added in some Pedro Ximenez.
Once chilled and strained, the dual sherry Libby provided nutty, raisin, and dark orange aromas over rye whiskey notes. Next, grape and malt on the sip gave way to rye and nutty flavors on the swallow with raisin and bitter orange on the finish. Indeed, the Pedro Ximenez while providing the necessary sweetness overrode the Amontillado's more nutty notes with its raisiny flavors though. Perhaps a better balanced cream sherry such as Lustau's East India Solera would have worked better than this duo. Or perhaps doubling the Picon for its sweetness or spiking in a dash of simple syrup with the Amontillado would have worked well too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the kirby

1 1/2 oz Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Combier Pamplemousse Liqueur
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Dry shake to mix, pour into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters and a paper parasol, and add a straw.
On Wednesday to weeks ago, Andrea and I sought out dinner at Firebrand Saints. For a drink, I asked bartender Dave Erickson for the Kirby which seemed like an interesting herbal and grapefruit-tinged Margarita of sorts. Dave mentioned as he set to work that this was bartender Juan Mederos' creation. Once in the glass, the Kirby shared a cherry and anise aroma from the bitters. Next, grapefruit and lime paired elegantly on the sip, and the swallow showcased the tequila and Chartruese flavors with a herbal and grapefruit finish.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

bitter french

1 oz Plymouth Gin (St. George Botanivore)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice, strain into a flute glass with 2 1/2 oz champagne (Willm Blanc de Blancs), and garnish with grapefruit oil from a twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into the pages of Gaz Regan's The Negroni for the evening's libation. There, I spotted Phil Ward's marriage of a French 75 with a Negroni that he created at Mayahuel called the Bitter French. Once prepared, it gave forth a grapefruit aroma that led into a carbonated lemon and white wine sip. Next, the gin mingled with bitter orange and more wine notes on the swallow; overall, the Campari donated some bitter complexity to the classic sparkler as well as a delightful pink hue. However, it was not as extreme as the curious Campari-based Posta Aerea. Indeed, Phil in the Death & Co. Book described his 2008 recipe as, "In my opinion, this French 75 variation is the best beginner Campari drink in history."

Monday, February 13, 2017

kongo jungle

1 oz Blackwell Jamaican Rum
1 oz JM Rhum Agricole Gold
1/2 oz Allspice Dram
1 oz Banana Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake ingredients to mix, pour into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, garnish with an edible orchid and a plastic monkey, and add a straw.
(*) Perhaps muddle 1/2 to 3/4 inch of banana in 3/4 oz simple or demerara syrup. Include a fine strain step. Shaking with ice might also help to break the banana up.

Two Mondays ago, I made my way over to the new A4cade that opened two nights before in Central Square, Cambridge. After a short wait, I was allowed to enter the jam-packed room full of video games and pinball machines, and I made my way to second bar in the back where my old Russell House Tavern alums Joe Slavinski and Trevor Christian were tending bar. For a drink, I asked Trevor for the Kongo Jungle off of the Tiki section of the menu. I was a bit surprised that the banana aspect was not Giffard's Banane du Bresil but a banana syrup that donated texture as well as flavor to the libation.
The Kongo Jungle offered up a floral aroma from the orchid garnish that preceded a caramel sip from the dark rum component. Next, the swallow shared the aged rum, banana, and allspice flavors.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

swanee shore

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Sazerac)
1/3 Grapefruit Juice (3/4 oz)
1 dash Grenadine (1/4 oz)
1 dash Picon (1/4 oz Amer Picon)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a grapefruit twist to the recipe.

For a nightcap Sunday night two weeks ago, I began flipping through Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for inspiration. There, I stopped upon the Swanee Shore which could have been named after the World War I-era Southern waltz song. What caught my attention was the combination of grenadine and Picon which Trader Vic frequently utilized in drinks like the Jayco and Philippine Punch; the Pioneers recipes made use of this pairing a few times well before Trader Vic ever latched on to it such as in the Bronco.
The Swanee Shore gave forth grapefruit oil and hints of dark orange notes to the nose. Next, malt and grapefruit on the sip stepped aside to rye and bitter orange flavors on the swallow with a tart citrus swallow.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

aurora cocktail

1 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac)
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
1 dash Simple Syrup (1/4 oz)
1 dash Boker's or Angostura Bitters (Jerry Thomas Decanter)

Stir with ice, strain into an absinthe-rinsed (Butterfly) cocktail coupe containing 2 oz champagne (Willm Blanc de Blancs), and garnish with either a lemon twist or cherry (lemon twist).
Two Saturdays ago, I ventured into the Canon Cocktail Book for a sparkling wine cocktail. There, I was lured in by their riff on Jerry Thomas' Morning Glory called the Aurora cocktail. The original was published in the 1887 edition of The Bar-Tender's Guide with the curaçao and soda water being swapped here for elderflower liqueur and sparkling wine. Somewhere between the two recipes was something that made me think of the Seelbach. Once mixed, the Aurora Cocktail showcased absinthe notes over lemon oil and elderflower aromas. Next, a carbonated malty and white grape sip gave way to a rye, brandy, and bitter floral swallow with a clean anise and white wine finish.