Friday, December 2, 2016

avenue & davenport

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac)
1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Fridays ago, I was in the mood for a nightcap after my work shift, so I turned to a Toronto riff that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine. The Avenue & Davenport was a tribute by Christopher Flett of Vancouver's Pourhouse to an intersection in Toronto that softened the Fernet Branca's bite with Maraschino which has worked in drinks like Mr. Clark's Cane and All Jacked Up. Moreover, the amaro quotient was expanded with the addition of a healthy dose of Cynar.
In the glass, the Avenue & Davenport shared a whiskey and nutty cherry nose that surprisingly offered very little Fernet aroma. Next, malt paired with the amari's caramel and a hint of cherry on the sip, and the swallow offered whiskey flavors with a nutty Maraschino melting with funky herbal notes and ended with a menthol element from the Fernet.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

my favorite things

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Gin (Death's Door)
1 barspoon Green Chartreuse (1/8 oz)

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

Two Thursdays after my work shift, I was in search of a nightcap, and I decided to revisit The Cocktail Collective book from 2010 to see if I passed over any gems. The one that called out to me was Mindy Kucan's My Favorite Things from when she was in Houston, Texas, before she moved out to Portland, Oregon. Surprisingly, this perhaps tribute to The Sound of Music song contained a completely different set of ingredients from Paul Manzelli's A Few of My Favorite Things, and it reminded me more of the Bottecchia with the Fernet Branca and Campari-forward balance.
The My Favorite Things' mint garnish added fresh complementary herbal notes to the Fernet Branca's menthol nose. Next, the Fernet's caramel paired with the Campari's orange on the sip, and the swallow began very Fernet-driven at first and then leading into Campari's bitter orange elements. Despite the brash and extreme appearance of the recipe, this would make a great digestif right after a big meal.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

cobbler's dream

1 1/4 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac)
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Butterfly). Garnish with a lemon twist or cherry (lemon twist).
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to The Canon Cocktail Book to try the Cobbler's Dream that reminded me of the L'Amour En Fuite that we had made at home back in 2007. Perhaps the similarity can be explained in that Jamie Boudreau utilized his "golden ratio" and Mr. Potato Head theories to move ingredients around. In the glass, the Cobbler's Dream's rinse offered up the absinthe's anise-driven notes to the nose. Then on the sip, the Punt e Mes' grape paired with fruit notes from the elderflower liqueur, and the swallow presented the familiar combination of rye and Punt e Mes' bitter flavors all with a floral and anise finish.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

jamaican scorpion bowl

1 1/2 oz Overproof White Rum (Rum Fire)
1 1/2 oz Aged Jamaican Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz VS Cognac (Camus)
4 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz Orgeat
1 tsp Demerara Cinnamon Syrup (1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup)

Blend for 5 seconds with crushed ice, pour into a Scorpion or Wahine Bowl, and top with ice cubes (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki bowl, and fill with crushed ice). Freshly grate cinnamon over the top, and garnish with a gardenia (mint and one of those yellow flowers that grow in front of my house and flower in the autumn).

For Tiki Tuesday two weeks ago, I reached for Lou Bustamante's The Complete Cocktail Manual to find another tropical libation. There, I decided upon the Jamaican Scorpion Bowl crafted by Daniel "Doc" Park," the beverage director for Pagan Idol in San Francisco. The recipe is not too different from the classic Scorpion Bowl save for calling for more robust rums than a light Puerto Rican one as well as adding a cinnamon spice element to the mix and making for a more balanced sweet-tart ratio.
The Jamaican Scorpion Bowl gave forth cinnamon and mint aromas to the nose. Next, the sip was rather creamy from the orgeat and filled with citrus flavors from the lemon and orange juices. And finally, the swallow presented both funky and aged rum alongside brandy notes with a cinnamon-tinged finish.

Monday, November 28, 2016

sooner or later

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Vieux Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
1 1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth (Alessio)
1/4 oz Cafe Moka (Galliano Ristretto)
10 drop Bittermens Tiki Bitters (Bittercube Jamaican #2)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with orange oil.
Two Mondays ago, I was in the mood for something stirred and elegant, and I remembered a recipe from Nick Detrich that I had spotted on the Barnotes app website. Nick created the Sooner or Later recipe a few years ago for "a special menu at Bellocq featuring R(h)um," and the combination made me think of a coffee-tinged Rhum Martinez or perhaps Presidente riff. Once built, the Sooner or Later produced an orange oil and coffee aroma with hints of grape. The grape continued into the sip, and the swallow combined grassy rhum and dark roasted coffee flavors with a spice-driven finish. Overall, it reminded me of a cousin of the rum-based Coffee Negroni

Sunday, November 27, 2016

shrouded roulette

1 1/2 oz Pisco (Encanto)
1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

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

Two Sundays ago, I turned to the Canon Cocktail Book and spotted this curious pisco recipe called the Shrouded Roulette. The name refers to the Canon's bartender's choice that is described on the menu as "Tell us your base spirit, and we'll create the mystery. Every recipe secret and unique." The goal for the shrouded roulette is to never repeat the drink combination twice in a shift which can mean up to a 100 different generated on a busy night. While the other on-the-spot creations in the book have unique names, this one is dubbed after the process. While unique, luckily the staff did not keep it a secret!
The Shrouded Roulette gave forth a bright lemon and apricot aroma that preceded a dry apricot sip. Next, the swallow offered a lot of complexity with an earthy note from the pisco and gentian, a floral element from the pisco, and a clove-spice finish from the bitters. I was quite impressed at how well gentian worked with the apricot liqueur as it had in the only other drink I have experienced with that combination, namely Misty Kalkofen's Human Rocket.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

port of goteborg

1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1 oz Swedish Punsch (Kronan)
1/2 oz Aquavit (Krogstad)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
2 oz Aged Medium Bodied Blended Rum (Barbancourt 8 Year)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 oz Soda Water

Flash blend with 12 oz crushed ice and pour into a Tiki mug (shake all but the soda water with ice, strain into a Tiki mug with 2 oz soda water, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with mint sprigs.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a drink that I had spotted on Facebook called the Port of Göteborg. The recipe was created by Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove for the Swedish exotica band Ixtahuele. The drink is named after the largest port among the Nordic countries and the only Swedish port large enough to handle large ships. Aquavit has found its way into Tiki drinks throughout the years such as in the Viking Fog Cutter and Balsa Raft, and I was game to experience again how its unique spice blend can work wonders in Tiki drinks.
The Port of Göteborg's mint garnishes contributed most of the drink's aroma. Next, the carbonated lemon, honey, and passion fruit sip was rather tropical akin to what was observed in the Port Light, Max's Mistake, and the Surfa Rosa. And finally, the swallow proffered rum and the punsch's tea flavors before finishing with lingering caraway notes from the aquavit.

Friday, November 25, 2016

midnight bouquet

1 1/2 oz Añejo Tequila (Lunazul Reposado)
1/4 oz Mezcal (Montelobos)
3/4 oz Averna
1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur (St. Elder)
1 dash Grapefruit Bitters (Scrappy's Lime)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Two Fridays ago after my shift, I was in the mood for a nightcap and I remembered a drink that I had spotted on PunchDrinks. That recipe was the Midnight Bouquet created by Meaghan Dorman of Manhattan's Raines Law, and the combination spirit, Averna, and elderflower reminded me of a Cynar-less Valkyrie. Once prepared, the Midnight Bouquet gave forth a grapefruit and agave nose with hints of smoke and floral notes. Next, the Averna's caramel provided a smooth sip, and the swallow shared smoky agave, herbal, floral, and pear-like flavors with a lime finish from my bitters substitution.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

tarzan cocktail

1 oz Gin (GrandTen Wireworks)
1 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, and top with soda (strain into a Collins glass with 2 oz soda, and top with ice). Garnish with an orange slice (orange swath).

Two Thursdays ago, I returned to Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails to make another drink. In the text for the Bicycle Thief created by Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin and Abraham Hawkin at Dutch Kills, there was a note that substituting that drink's grapefruit juice for pineapple yielded the Tarzan Cocktail. The Tarzan in the name and the Campari in the mix reminded me of the tropical Negroni variation Tarzan Boy, so I was game to try this. True, grapefruit juice surely would have been delightful here such as in the Tasmanian Twister, but I was all out of said fruit.
The Tarzan Cocktail shared an orange aroma that was a combination of the twist's oil and the Campari, and this led into a carbonated citrus and pineapple sip. Next, the swallow elegantly paired gin flavors with Campari's bitter orange notes.