Friday, March 24, 2017

pub & prow's hot buttered rum

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)
4 oz Hot Water
1 pat Butter

Add the rum, liqueur, and butter to a pre-heated 6 oz mug (single Old Fashioned glass). Add the hot water and stir to mix.
To fight the chill two Fridays ago, I turned to the hot drinks section of Beachbum Berry's Remixed. Of the hot buttered rum recipes, I was tempted by the chocolatey one from the Pub & Prow in Chicago circa the 1950s. Once in the mug, it smelled a lot like milk chocolate, and the sip offered caramel with a smoothness from the butter. Finally, the swallow presented chocolate flavors that transitioned into funky rum notes. Overall, the combination reminded me more of a boozy hot chocolate than hot buttered rum, and perhaps a little bit of spice would not be out of place here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

one, one, one

1 oz Krogstad Aquavit
1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
After my work shift two Thursdays ago, I selected the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for something to treat myself at my home bar. Thomas Waugh's One, One, One from 2009 seemed like a Martini riff that might make the evening's worries slip away; the drink was a play on Audrey Saunders Fitty-Fitty Martini at Pegu Club with a third component of aquavit added in. Also, it is very close to my 2:1 Martini spec with the gin split with another botanical-driven spirit (except that I use dry vermouth instead of blanc). Once in the coupe, the One, One, One gave forth a caraway and star anise bouquet to the nose. Next, a semi-sweet white wine sip gave way to juniper, caraway, star anise, and floral on the swallow. With blanc vermouth, the end result was not as stark as a classic Martini.

tomb of the caribs

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Build in a double Old Fashioned glass, add ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wheel inserted along the inside of the glass.

For drink of the day two weeks ago, the theme was rhum agricole, and I decided to go with a variation of a 'Ti Punch on that Thursday. For one of the sweeteners, I recalled how rhum agricole worked well with Cynar given how both have a bit of funk and herbalness to them; examples of this pairing include Madame Mustache and Wooden Ships. For another sweetener to balance the spirit and lime juice, I opted for honey by recalling how well Cynar worked with it in the Michigander and other drinks.
For a name, I aimed to tie the drink back to the island of Martinique's history. I decided to go back further than the Josephine's Bath with its ties to Napoleon to when the island was settled by Europeans. The last remaining tribe there was the Caribs. One of the landmarks on the northern side of the island is a cliff called the Tomb of the Caribs. There, the last Caribs jumped instead of surrendering to the Europeans; it symbolically matched classic ‘Ti Punch service where ingredients are provided such that "each can prepare their own death."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

applejack fix

2 tsp Sugar dissolved in a little water (omit)
Juice of 1/4 Lemon (3/4 oz)
3 dash Curaçao (3/8 oz Van der Hum)
4 dash Any Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz Peach Syrup)
1 jigger Applejack Brandy (2 oz Boulard VSOP Calvados)

Stir with shaved ice in a bar glass (shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and fill with crushed ice). Dress with fruits (lemon peel) and serve with straws.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Tom Bullock's 1917 The Ideal Bartender for recipe ideas. There, I was lured in by the Applejack Fix which allow for some flexibility in the fruit syrup component. In looking through my inventory in the fridge, I spotted an old peach syrup that was still good and decided to go with it. Once prepared, the Applejack Fix shared an apple and lemon aroma with hints of orange and peach. Next, lemon joined other fruit notes on the sip, and the swallow gave forth apple, orange, and peach flavors.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

rugg road

1 1/2 oz Privateer Amber Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1/4 oz Saffron-infused Honey Syrup
2 dash Herbsaint

Build in a tulip glass, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill. Garnish with a mint sprig and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I made my way over to Tavern Road for their inaugural Tiki Tuesday which was sponsored by Privateer Rum. For a libation, I asked bartender Jace Sheehan for the Rugg Road. Jace described how he first created the predecessor of this recipe for the Boston Historical Society; he had called the drink New Needham in regards to how hilly parts of Needham were used as landfill to reclaim parts of the Charles River including where his old bar, A Wink & A Nod, resides. Now that he is at Tavern Road, he renamed the drink the Rugg Road after the location of his preferred motorcycle shop, Madhouse Motors in Allston.
The Rugg Road presented a mint nose that led into a honey and lime-filled sip. Next, the rum joined the falernum's clove and the herbsaint's anise on the swallow.

Monday, March 20, 2017

grandpa's drunk

1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
1 oz Crème de Cacao
1 oz Benedictine
1 dash Molé Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a single Old Fashioned glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I stopped by Trina's Starlite Lounge for dinner. For a drink, I asked bartender Isaac Sussman for the Grandpa's Drunk. Once mixed, the cocktail offered bright orange oil aromas over darker ones from perhaps the crème de cacao. Next, the sip offered a rich, sweet, and roasty combination, and the swallow merged the brandy with chocolate and Benedictine's minty-herbal flavors. Overall, the drink was a bit on the sweet side in the dessert style of things, so perhaps toning the recipe down to 2 oz of Cognac and 1/2 oz of each of the liqueurs might help.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

old man river

2/3 Rye Whiskey (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1 dash Port (3/8 oz Sandeman Tawny)
1 dash Jamaican Rum (3/8 oz Coruba)
1/3 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Alessio)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After getting home from my bartending shift Sunday two weeks ago, my need for a nightcap led me to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. In the American whiskey section, the curiously named Old Man River seemed like an interesting Manhattan variation that had Jamaican rum and port thrown in the mix. Once built, the Old Man River shared a grape aroma with a hint of the rum's funk. Next, the grape continued on into the sip where it mingled with the caramel notes from the dark rum, and the swallow paired the rye and Jamaican rum which blended into the bitters' spice on the finish.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


3/4 oz Applejack (Laird's)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

After my shift two Saturday nights ago, I reached for Sasha Petraske: Regarding Cocktails for a nightcap. There, I paused upon Joseph Schwartz's recipe for the Turnpike created at Milk & Honey. The name for this split spirits Sour refers to the highway that links New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the homes of Laird's and Monongehela-style rye whiskey, respectively. Overall, it was a formula and flavor combination that could do no wrong.
The Turnpike shared a lemon aroma from the garnish that worked well with the apple and malt bouquet. Next, apple and lemon on the sip led into rye whiskey and more apple flavors on the swallow. No surprised here, but it was definitely an enjoyable Sour.

mexican firing squad (carbonated)

2 oz Chinaco Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Bittermens Grenadine
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
3/4 oz Water (*)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (*)

Chill and carbonate to 45 psi; pour 4 oz into a cocktail coupe to serve. Garnish with a floated orange flower twist.
(*) For the shaken non-carbonated drink, leave the water and simple syrup out, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

For drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, we were running with a grenadine theme to showcase the new Bittermens syrup. Instead of doing a Tiki drink, I opted for the Mexican Firing Squad from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s 1939 The Gentleman's Companion which we had on the menu at Russell House Tavern a few years ago. Baker offered the Mexican "Firing Squad" Special's recipe with a description of how he and his group almost wrecked themselves on this libation at La Cucuracha Bar in Mexico City in 1937. His recipe was a bit more stiff with a double jigger helping of tequila balanced by the juice of two small limes and 2 tsp of grenadine and spiced with two dashes of Angostura Bitters; moreover, his drink called for a crushed ice presentation with orange, pineapple, and cherry garnishes. To one up the simple shaken/strained way we did it at Russell House, I made use of our house carbonation station and made the batch bubbly. To compensate for the ice melt that would have occurred during shaking, I added water, and to balance the carbonic acid generated during carbonation, I spiked in a touch of sugar syrup.