Monday, August 29, 2016

don's own grog

3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Blackberry Brandy (Marie Brizard)
3/8 oz Simple Syrup
1/8 oz Grenadine
1 oz Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum
1/2 oz Diplomatico Añejo Rum
1/2 oz Coruba Dark Rum
1 dash Grated Nutmeg
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Two Mondays ago, I decided to continue with the blackberry brandy companion piece to the Rum Runner, namely Don's Own Grog created by Don the Beachcomber in 1937. For a recipe, I formulated a hybrid of the Smuggler's Cove and Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari recipes with the rum choices from the former and the inclusion of nutmeg in the shake from the latter (for that effect worked rather well in the Haitian Zombie). Finally, I adjusted the liqueurs and syrups to my preferred balance.
Don's Own Grog offered up a woody spice bouquet that accented the fresh mint that I added to the equation. Next, lime and berry on the sip stepped aside for dark funky rum blending into blackberry on the swallow and clove and nutmeg spice on the finish.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

spice market

2 oz Masumi Arabashiri Sake (Oyaji Gokuraku)
1 oz Beefeater 24 Gin
1 bsp Velvet Falernum (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a spritz of clove essence (omit).
Two Sunday nights ago, I made the other drink that I had spotted in the PDT Cocktail Book besides the Applejack Rabbit, namely Nate Dumas' 2009 Spice Market. This "ode to the East" combined the tea notes in Beefeater 24 with sake for a Inverse Martini of sorts. Once prepared, the Spice Market greeted the nose with rice wine since I omitted the clove tincture garnish. Next, a clean and grassy sip transitioned into gin, tea, citrus, sake, and clove flavors on the swallow.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

applejack rabbit

2 oz Laird's Bonded Applejack
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Maple Syrup (Merton's Farm, VT)

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

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make I drink I have had but never wrote about, namely the Applejack Rabbit. The recipe I used was from the PDT Cocktail Book which described how "this could really be called the Rabbit Punch because it has the same effect." PDT cited Judge Jr.'s 1927 Here's How, but that edition had no applejack recipes at all. Thanks to all of the uploads on EUVS, I determined that it first appeared in Here's How Again, the 1928 third printing. The recipe later appeared in the more widely read 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book and then David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. I most likely had the drink at Green Street which according to their drink bible is 1 1/2 oz applejack and a 1/2 oz each of the other ingredients served up in a cocktail glass with an orange wedge garnish (Embury's proportions were a more spirits-forward 6:1:1:1). Moreover, I did write about a Fernet Branca and gin variation called Follow that Black Rabbit from Gary Regan's Bartender's Gin Compendium, although as Embury pointed out that the gin and bitters version is known as the Old Vermont.
The Applejack Rabbit presented an apple and orange aroma with hints of maple to the nose. Next, a rich lemon and orange sip led into a delightful apple-maple combination on the swallow.

Friday, August 26, 2016

hyde park swizzle

3-4 sprig Mint
2 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Muddle mint in a shaker tin, add rest of ingredients, dry shake, and dump into a Pilsner glass. Fill with crushed ice, swizzle to chill, top with 2 dash Angostura Bitters and 2 dash Peychaud's Bitters, and swizzle the bitters into the top layer of the drink.

Two Fridays ago, I ventured into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book once again, and I found myself in the Swizzle section staring at one of Phil Ward's 2008 creations. The Hyde Park Swizzle seemed like a gin version of the rum-based Queen's Park Swizzle with the addition of Peychaud's Bitters to accompany the Angostura Bitters swizzled into the top layer. Actually, the original Queen's Park Swizzle had the bitters as a base ingredient and not one used as a garnish or mixed in as a top layer as currently done with this classic; instead a spent half lime shell accompanied the mint sprig as garnish.
The Hyde Park Swizzle began with clove aromas from the bitters over that of juniper and mint from the rest of the ingredients. Next, the lime sip gave way to mint and gin on the swallow with clove and allspice later joining the ranks as the top layer entered into the sip. Overall, the Swizzle drank much like a Southside with bitters adding to the show in the last third or so of the drink.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

rum runner

1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
7/8 oz Blackberry Brandy (3/4 oz Marie Brizard)
7/8 oz Crème de Banana (3/4 oz Giffard)
5/8 oz Grenadine (1/2 oz)
3/4 oz 151 Proof Caribbean Rum (1 oz Don Q 151)

Blend with ice until smooth, and pour into a pint glass or Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice).

Two Thursdays ago, I turned to Beachbum Berry's Remixed and decided it was time to make a Rum Runner. I was first introduced to the drink name back in 2009 when I was visiting the Mixoloseum bloggers' house at Tales of the Cocktail, and Robert "RumScout" Burr entered the room demanded one. Despite the well-stocked bar, it could not be done and Robert replied, "What sort of bar can't make a Rum Runner?" I bumped into Robert 7 years later this year at Tales of the Cocktail and reminded him of that story, and he laughed and replied that it was his youthful enthusiasm that took over. So all these years later, I decided to finally figure out what this drink created circa 1972 by "Tiki John" Ebert at the Holiday Isle Resort in the Florida Keys tasted like. If I blended with enough ice to be smooth, the result would be a lot mellower in the flavor profile (as I learned from the Blender Bender this past May).
The mint garnish I added contributed aromas over the drink's banana-fruity nose. Next, lime and a vague fruitiness that was perhaps dark berries filled the sip, and the swallow offered rum and blackberry flavors with a banana finish. For a recipe that was allegedly cobbled together with bar leftovers, it did not turn out too badly. And a few days later, I revisited blackberry brandy in the 1937 Don's Own Grog so that ingredient does indeed have some history to it in the Tiki world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

oaxacan old fashioned

2 oz Los Altos Reposado Tequila
1/2 El Buho Mezcal
1/2 oz Agave Syrup (1:1)
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Flame an orange twist over the top and discard.

For my second drink at Backbar as part of Sam Cronin's "First 50" exercise, I asked him for a Oaxacan Old Fashioned -- a drink that I have had but strangely have never entered into the blog. The drink was created by Phil Ward circa 2007 while at Death & Co., and the recipe eventually landed in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 (among other places). In that book, Phil explained, "This was one of the first cocktails I made using mezcal; I realized that combining mezcal with tequila was like putting tequila on steroids. Most tequila in the U.S. is only 80 proof, and I wanted more oomph! I discovered the oomph in mezcal." The recipe in that book utilized Angostura Bitters for the Bittermens' production of bitters had not been producing in any scale in 2007 (but was definitely around in 2011) as well as a half ounce less of tequila.
The Oaxacan Old Fashioned here presented orange and vegetal agave aromas. Next, the rich sip from the agave nectar led into smoky chocolate and agave flavors on the swallow. Overall, rather simple yet satisfying even as the large ice cube melted down.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

union mule

1 1/2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Laird's Applejack
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with 1 oz ginger beer. Add ice cubes and float a barspoon of Batavia Arrack.

Two Tuesdays ago, I headed down to Backbar where bartender Sam Cronin was doing his "50 Firsts". The point of the exercise is Backbar's way of training and testing all of their bartenders to make 50 house favorites that include classics and house originals by having friends, regulars, and other bar patrons order and cross off drinks on a list. I arrived shortly after open to get the pick of the litter and I started with one that I had never had before, their Union Mule. The Backbar webpage blog in September 2012 declared, "Or come have our most popular cocktail at Backbar, the Union Mule. So far, two thousand, four hundred and seventy three made and counting. This blend of Beefeater Gin, apple brandy, St-Germain, fresh lemon juice, and house made ginger beer is unbeatable!" Regardless of how their riff on the Moscow Mule sold that many in the 8 or 9 months that they were open (which would only be 10 per day), I had somehow skipped over the drink in favor of the Model T on their opening menu. When I saw the recipe written down, it did remind me of the Pink Lady in structure.
I put Sam to the task, and the Mule he presented me with offered a ginger spice and Batavia Arrack funk bouquet. Next, a lemon and pear flavored sip led into gin, apple, floral, and ginger aromas.

Monday, August 22, 2016

summertime sling

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1/2 oz St. Germain
1 1/2 oz Watermelon Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
10 drop Orange Blossom Water

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with 1 1/2 oz soda water. Top with ice cubes and garnish with mint.

For a second drink at the Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden II, Andrea asked for what turned out to be one of the most refreshing drinks of the summer, namely the Summertime Sling. Bartender Vannaluck Hongthong described how it was his creation in collaboration with fellow bartender Mick Kellogg. Watermelon juice has been quite successful in several drinks that I have had including Kolb's Gem, Corpse Reviver #33, and Sip Sip Hooray due to its interaction with herbal liqueurs.
The Summertime Sling presented a rather summery mint and watermelon aroma. Next, carbonated watermelon and lemon notes filled the sip, and the swallow was a combination of floral, watermelon, and gin flavors with an orange blossom finish. Indeed, I was rather impressed at how well the watermelon paired with the elderflower liqueur with perhaps an assist from the orange blossom aspect, and Andrea commented about how the whole drink reminded her of jasmine.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


1 1/2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange peel-cherry flag.

For my second drink at the Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden II, I asked bartender Vannaluck Hongthong for the Halekulani. Van explained that it was his take on the Tiki classic that he pulled off of the Beachbum Berry app, and he mentioned that he upped the grenadine here and dropped the demerara from the original. The drink itself was first crafted at the House without a Key Lounge in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki circa the 1930s. One reason that I had skipped this in the Beachbum Berry books is that it called for okolehao, the Hawaiian moonshine of sorts (there are a few legally distilled bottlings though) made from the root of the ti plant, and it listed Bourbon as a possible substitution. Overall, the Halekulani with whiskey reminded me of a Tikified Ward Eight with the addition of pineapple juice and bitters; interestingly, Yvonne's Ward Eight utilized pineapple as a garnish in an intermediary step between the two ideas.
The Halekulani proffered an orange and cherry aroma that led into a lemon and pineapple sip. Finally, the swallow began with Bourbon, orange, and pineapple notes and ended with clove and allspice from the bitters.