Thursday, May 25, 2017

flopsy & mopsy

1 1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Chamomile Tea Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a few dried chamomile flowers.

Two Thursdays ago, I went with one of my coworkers after work to Backbar to catch Josh Cross' last shift in Boston before he returned to Baltimore. For the night, Josh assembled a list of his favorite drinks from his tenure at Backbar, and the one I selected was the Flopsy & Mopsy from the Spring 2016 menu. The cocktail's subtitle was from Beatrix Potter's 1902 The Tale of Peter Rabbit with "His mother put him to bed and made some chamomile tea," and the recipe structure reminded me a bit of a Pink Lady.
The Flopsy & Mopsy greeted the nose with pine and floral aromas that led into a creamy honey, malt, and lemon-filled sip. Next, the gin's pine returned on the swallow along with the Drambuie's honey flavor, and finally the finish shared muted allspice and clove notes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

monaco friar

2 oz Scotch (1 3/4 oz Pig's Nose + 1/4 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was in the mood for a nightcap so I ventured into Food & Wine: Cocktails 2012 and spotted the Monaco Friar in the riffs on the Old Fashioned section. The recipe was created by Anthony Schmidt at the Noble Experiment in San Diego, and I was drawn into the drink for I had similar utilized Benedictine as a sweetener in a round of 'Ti Punch for my guests that week. Moreover, it reminded me of the middle ground between a Rusty Nail and a Bobby Burns. The recipe also bears a resemblance to the Highlander (2 oz Johnnie Walker Red, 1/4-1/2 oz Benedictine, 2 dash Angostura Bitters served up with a lemon twist) created by Paul Harrington and published in his 1998 Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century book. Anthony explained his recipe as "I love how the honey and herbal qualities of the Benedictine pair with a fine Scotch... It's a perfect drink during the colder months."
The Monaco Friar greeted me with a lemon and peat bouquet. Next, a honey and malt sip gave way to smoky Scotch and chocolate-herbal flavors on the swallow with an allspice finish.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


2 oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
1 1/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Torani (or Amer) Picon

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, garnish with mint, and add a straw.

Recently, I was asked about how to create Tiki drinks, and I replied that one of the easiest ways to create a novel drink is by changing two elements in a classic with a well-defined structure. This is how I crafted the Final Countdown from the Jet Pilot and the Mytoi Gardens from the Pago Pago. In another thought train while writing up the Oriente, I was reminded how Trader Vic enjoyed mixing with Amer Picon (often when paired with grenadine -- a pairing that dates back to the Picon Punch) such as in the Philippine Punch and Kahala Cooler. Putting the two concepts together, I wondered how the Pago Pago would work with Amer Picon especially since Picon and pineapple juice are a natural match; for a second liqueur, I went with Maraschino in thinking about one of my favorite Manhattan variations, the Brooklyn.
In keeping with how the Pago Pago is named after a the capital of American Samoa, I opted for the Fagatogo which is a village on the islands. Once prepared, the Fagatogo proffered a minty aroma that led into caramel from the rum and Picon that complemented the pineapple and lime notes on the sip. Next, the swallow offered the medley of rum, dark orange, and nutty cherry.

Monday, May 22, 2017

fenton's phantom

1 oz Pimm's No. 1
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, fill with crushed ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and add a straw.
One of the drinks that recently hit the Loyal Nine menu is the Fenton's Phantom for the low-proof section. In trying to come up with a Cobbler, I focused on Swedish punsch that was being freed up by another drink, Monopoly Money (the tequila version of Tainted Love), coming off of the list. In assembling my Swedish punsch cheat sheet, I was reminded of a few combinations that worked well. The two that I honed in on were its interaction with Pimm's with the Pimmeron strongly in mind and with Lillet via the Metexa. In fact, both of those drinks were low proof and aperitif-y as well. To round off the drink, I added in some lemon juice and orange bitters and put it all over crushed ice. To play on the Cobbler as a cobbled ice drink and a shoe maker duality, I paid tribute to one of the lost factories of Cambridge, the Fenton Shoe Factory, that used to employ hundreds of workers in town. The Phantom aspect not only gave an air of mystery and somewhat suggested a lighter drink, it also acknowledges the leftover safety concerns of an old factory site (one of my previous drinks, the Miller's River Milk Punch, also pays tribute to an important industrial aspect of our city that was mucked up by misuse).


2 oz Russell's Rye (Old Overholt)
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cordial glass, and garnish with 4 drops Peychaud's Bitters.
After the Bar Institute event, I was in the mood for a nightcap when I got home. In my recent acquisitions pile, I turned to Clair McLafferty's The Classic & Craft Cocktail Recipe Book. There, I honed in on the Velveteen by Gregory Fellows of Annisa in New York City. In the glass, the Velveteen's bitters garnish offered up an anise bouquet that was joined by hints of Chartreuse's herbal aromas poking through. Next, malt and lemon on the sip transitioned into rye, herbal, ginger, and clove flavors on the swallow. Overall, it felt like a rye Swizzle akin to the Telenovela in spirit sans the crushed ice of course.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

signals, calls, & marches

1 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Licor 43
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Mondays ago, I attended the Bar Institute's Boston event held at Brass Union. After 6 solid talks, there was a charity bar night featuring three Boston bartenders serving 6 drinks named after songs written by Massachusetts artists. The one I was drawn to was the Signals, Calls, & Marches named after a Mission of Burma song, and Craigie on Main bartender Rob Ficks who mixed the drink told me that the Lush Life crew created that. When I asked Lush Life founder Lindsey Johnson about the drink, I was pointed to Lindsey Scheer who described how she and Dave Kwon created this drink along with some of the others on the list. The recipe reminded me of a Martinez with the citrus and vanilla-driven Licor 43 added in the mix.
Signals, Calls, & Marches gave forth an orange oil aroma over grape and vanilla notes. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Maraschino's cherry, and the swallow shared gin, nutty, vanilla, and clove flavors.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

historic core cocktail

1 oz Bonded Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
3/4 oz Bonded Apple Brandy (Laird's)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
In searching for a nightcap two Saturday nights ago, I ventured into my Food & Wine: Cocktails section of the drink book library and selected the 2011 edition. There, I was drawn to John Coltharp's Historic Core Cocktail that also appeared in Left Coast Libations in 2010. The Food & Wine book provided the history that John created this recipe for a 2008 contest for drinks named after downtown Los Angeles sub-districts, and the Historic Core was the one that he lived in at the time. The Left Coast Libations recipe varies somewhat from the above for it is:
Historic Core Cocktail (Left Coast Libations)
• 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse or Thomas Handy Rye
• 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
• 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
• 1 generous dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Overall, the recipe reminded me a bit of PDT's Harvest Moon with Lillet and Abbott's Bitters in place of the sweet vermouth and Angostura, and perhaps the Swafford with Maraschino instead of vermouth. Once in the glass, the Historic Core proffered a lemon and apple bouquet. Malt and grape on the sip led into rye, apple, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a clove and apple finish.

Friday, May 19, 2017


2 oz 12 Year Old Jamaican Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (La Quintinye)
1/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 bsp Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
After work two Fridays ago, I sought out my nightcap in A Spot at the Bar and happened upon the Kingston crafted by Everleigh bar manager Felix Allsop. This was not the Daisy-like Kingston that appeared in Stan Jones' Barguide but a straight spirits one featuring orange liqueur and an amaro. Once prepared, the Kingston imparted an orange oil over aged rum aroma. Next, sweet caramel balanced by dry white wine made up the sip, and the swallow gave forth rum, orange, and tangerine notes.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


1 1/2 oz White Rum (Angostura White Oak)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
1/2 tsp Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
2 dash Amer Picon (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Mix in a blender with shaved ice and serve in a champagne glass (shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe).
Two Thursdays ago, I desired something tropical after my bar shift, so I turned to Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide (1948 edition of the 1947 book) for inspiration. There, I was curious about the Oriente that was a pineapple juice-laden Daiquiri embittered by Amer Picon especially since Picon and pineapple pair so well together such as in the Kahala Cooler. In the glass, the Oriente offered pineapple and floral lime aromas to the nose. Next, lime and pineapple on the sip gave way to rum and pineapple flavors merging into dark orange notes on the finish.