Wednesday, January 18, 2017

abandon ship!

2 1/4 oz Appleton 12 Year Rum (Appleton Reserve)
3/4 oz Aperol
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
1 oz BG Reynold's Don's Mix (*)
3/4 oz Orgeat
3 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a hollowed pineapple shell (Tiki mug), and fill with crushed ice. Float a boat made out of a lime shell, cinnamon stick mast, and 1/2 star anise sail (lemon peel sail); pour 1 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum (Rum Fire) into the boat, and light on fire.
(*)  Or use two parts grapefruit juice (2/3 oz) to one part cinnamon syrup (1/3 oz).

Two Wednesdays ago, I found a recipe posted by TikiWahine on the BarNotes app for an interesting Tiki drink called the Abandon Ship! The recipe was crafted by Felix Fernandez at Tiki Kon's 2014 Iron Tiki Tender event, and it seemed like an intriguing set of fruit flavors matched by spice. And the concept of a flaming ship garnish did not hurt. I had previously done a flaming pirate ship using a citrus shell, peels, and, toothpicks, but the idea of smouldering spices seemed intriguing. Unfortunately, I could not locate the star anise jar at home, so I opted for a lemon peel sail here.
The 126 proof rum was slightly difficult to get lit, but soon after it caught, it made a candlewick out of the cinnamon stick. The fire was so bright that it made photography a bit challenging here. After the fire was extinguished, the funky rum from the lime shell and the smouldering cinnamon filled the air. I ended up dumping in the Rum Fire as a float, although mixing it in after a few sips would have been a good idea since the first taste at the end that was mostly this elixir was a bit of a change up. Next, the sip was rather citrus driven with lime, orange, and grapefruit notes coming together quite well with the fruit notes in the Aperol, and the swallow gave forth rum, grapefruit, nutty, and cinnamon flavors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

frank's cocktail

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Camus VS)
1 1/2 oz White Port (Ramos Pinto)
1 tsp Grenadine or Maraschino (1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
3 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

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

In David Wondrich's 2016: A Year in Drinks article on the DailyBeast, he listed a simple but elegant Cognac cocktail he made at home in his list of memorable drinks that he had around the world. The recipe was the Frank's Cocktail crafted by Frank Newman who was tending bar in Paris where he published a cocktail book called the American Bar in French. The unusual ingredient here is the white port that comes across as soft, sweet, and soothing all without masking the main spirit's flavor, and it is best known for being the flavor complement in the Clubland. In Newman's 1900 edition, the drink appeared with a dash of grenadine, but the Maraschino option in his 1904 edition was the one that called out to me two Tuesdays ago.
The Frank's Cocktail greeted the senses with lemon oil, Cognac aromas, and a hint of nutty cherry on the nose. Next, a very smooth and clean white grape flavor filled the sip, and the swallow offered Cognac and nutty Maraschino notes smoothed out by the white port.

Monday, January 16, 2017

norwegian paralysis

1 1/2 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Demerara Syrup
1 1/2 oz Aquavit (Aalborg)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge speared with a paper umbrella (orange twists).

Two Mondays ago, my thirst led me to the Smuggler's Cove book where I was lured in by their riff on the Polynesian Paralysis from 1971 that they sourced from Beachbum Berry's Remixed. The major issue with the original is that it calls for the Hawaiian spirit okolehao which can be hard to source on the mainland; Berry recommends Bourbon as a substitute here. Instead, Smuggler's Cove swapped the spirit to aquavit as well as halved the volumes to something more reasonable for one person. Aquavit has had good success in Tiki drinks such as the Port of Göteborg and the Viking Fog Cutter, so I was definitely game to try this out.
The Norwegian Paralysis proffered a citrus and caraway bouquet that preceded a lemon, orange, and pineapple sip. The swallow led in with caraway and other aquavit botanicals as well a hint of nutty from the orgeat and ended with a pineapple finish.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

alto california

2 oz Siembra Azul Blanco Tequila (Avion)
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 scant oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Syrup (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
After my shift two Sundays ago, I reached for the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for liquid salvation. The recipe that called out to me was Alex Day's 2009 Alta California which reminded me of an agave Alaska-Puritan. I misread the 1/4 tsp and added a full 1/4 oz of cinnamon syrup here, but my latest batch of that syrup is not that potent, so the effect save for the syrup was perhaps similar. In the glass, the Alta California presented agave with herbal notes to the nose. Next, honey and white wine on the sip transitioned into a tequila and lightly herbal swallow with a cinnamon finish.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

pondo punch

3 oz Puerto Rican Rum (Caliche)
1/2 oz Curaçao (Van der Hum)
1/4 oz Grenadine
1 oz Orange Juice (Cara Cara)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a 14 oz glass with 3 oz soda water, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with sliced fruits in season (orange slice).
After my New Year's Eve shift at Loyal Nine, I wanted to relax with something tropical so I reached for Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink (1981 edition of the 1946 original). There, I spotted the Pondo Punch that Vic described as, "We used to drink these on the Borneo Coast. Pondo, our Filipino boy, concocted this drink. It's a nice drink before sundown, and after four of them, keep away from open flames." The recipe is denoted with a symbol listing it as a Trader Vic original, but he attributed the history to someone else in the recipe description. The text did not allude to what stupidity occurred after drinking 4 of these, but one was mighty potent besides the 14 ounces of booze that would be in the quartet. Once prepared, the punch shared an orange aroma that led into a carbonated orange and lemon sip and a rum-driven swallow. Overall, the drink was a pleasant Rum Collins, and perhaps a more flavorful rum as well as upping the curaçao, grenadine, and tart citrus might help to give the drink a bit more character.

Friday, January 13, 2017

black mesa

1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum (El Dorado 5 Year)
1/2 oz Overproof Jamaican Rum (Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Lustau)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large cube, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (not flamed).
Two Fridays ago, I received my new issue of Imbibe Magazine and I happened upon Damon Boelte's Black Mesa that he created at the Grand Army Bar in Brooklyn. The recipe appeared like Trader Vic's Arawak Cocktail with the Jamaican rum being split with one from Guyana. In the glass, the Black Mesa shared an orange and raisin aroma that was accented by the Jamaican rum's funk. Next, rich grape and the rums' caramel paired on the sip, and the swallow saw the return of the funky rum along with raisin and winter spice flavors.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


2/3 Scotch (1 1/4 oz Famous Grouse + 1/4 oz Laphroaig)
2 dash Dubonnet (1 oz Bonal)
2 dash Apricot Liqueur (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1 dash Orange Bitters (2 dash Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Two Thursdays ago after my bar shift, I reached for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 to uncover another gem. In the whiskey section, I spotted the Queens that I had skipped over before since there is a better known Queens that is a Perfect Martini with pineapple juice akin to the Bronx. Since very few people make the pineapple version anyways, I decided to give this recipe some attention. Once mixed, the Queens gave forth a peat smoke and apricot aroma. Next, grape and malt on the sip led into smoky whisky and bitter apricot on the swallow with an orange and quinine finish. Indeed, there was an elegance in the glass from the stone fruit complementing similar notes found in the Famous Grouse blend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

eeyore's requiem

1 1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
15 drop 50/50 Bitters (1 dash Regan's Orange)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with orange oil from 3 twists.

Two Wednesdays ago, I finally purchased a replacement bottle of blanc vermouth and wanted to make a drink with it. One of the ones that I had queued up was Toby Maloney's Eeyore's Requiem that he created at Chicago's Violet Hour and got published in Beta Cocktails in 2011 (it did not appear in the 2009 Rogue Cocktails or 2010 intermediary zine Beta Cocktails). I had actually made the rum riff of this quirky gin drink in the Winnie the Pooh from the Experimental Cocktails Club book. The trilogy of Campari, Cynar, and Fernet Branca is one that Toby has utilized elsewhere such as in the Autumn Negroni save that the Campari is pushed way forward here.
The Eeyore's Requiem began with a bright orange oil aroma over that of the Campari's bitter orange notes. Next, the sip shared orange and peach flavors, and the swallow presented Campari balanced by Fernet's and Cynar's herbal bite which all came across as a complex bitter wave supplemented by the gin's botanicals. Moreover, the sweetness of the blanc vermouth helped to mollify the amari's bitterness.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

get the wolfe

1 1/2 oz Grant's Blended Scotch
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Cynar
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a flamed orange twist.
For my cocktail at Craigie on Main, I asked Rob Ficks for the Get the Wolfe that had caught my attention the last visit or two. Rob explained that it was his creation and that originally it utilized all East India Solera Sherry, but he split it with amontillado to dry out the balance a touch. In the glass, the Get the Wolfe gave forth an orange and grape bouquet to the nose. The grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Scotch's malt, and swallow proffered smoky whisky and bitter herbal flavors. Although the amount of Cynar in the drink was slight, it did complement the Scotch here well perhaps in conjunction with the Punt e Mes.