Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mary Pickford

  • 1 1/2 oz. rum
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • grenadine
Combine all ingredients into a shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass garnish with a drizzle of grenadine and a cherry.
Ok. I am going to comment on this drink because in most respects it meets the requirement of a good drink. (A cocktail solves a problem; this problem was a woman who didn’t like the taste of alcohol.) I’ve also made it before without the cherry liquor and enjoyed it. Something about adding an additional sweet liquor made it taste like fruit punch college kids make in garbage cans. That may have been because I was just enjoying a semi-dry drink beforehand and this one is so sweet. But I can’t help but think that Luxardo made this one too rich and my modification would be to use only a dash of it and grenadine.

More advice, if you know the drinker doesn’t want too sweet of a drink, shake all ingredients including grenadine in the hope of distributing the sweetness throughout so there is no syrupy bottom. Just go easy on the sweet stuff and use more rum.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bombay Sapphire East G+T

  • 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire East
  • Tonic water
  • juice of 1 lime wedge
  • Lemon wedge and lemongrass stalk
Fill a highball glass with ice and gin. Top with lime juice and tonic. Garnish with lemongrass and lemon wedge.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


This is a sweet classic of a cocktail. I've seen it done with and without creme de violette, but since many of those cremes died out after Prohibition, the most common recipe is with just gin, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur--Luxardo especially.

The New York Bartender's Guide actually calls for a half teaspoon of apricot brandy. I've never seen it that way, but hey! Whatever floats your boat.

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • 1/2 tsp. apricot brandy
Shake all ingredients on ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day (AKA Everybody’s Irish)

So I decided to make this drink out of season because I have the ingredients and I assumed that it would be a tragedy like most St. Patrick’s Day themed drinks. I wasn’t wrong. Of course the color of the original recipe would be a deeper green because of the real creme de menthe, but it would have also made the drink an even more awful. I used my own homemade creme de menthe with real mint, and that might have saved this cocktail from wasting my good liquor.

So this drink falls into the “Things I don’t want to waste my Irish whiskey on” category. The best drinks are made as solutions to a problem—like “how can I find a way to make this base liquor taste better by adding stuff to it?” kind of problem. The worst drinks are made with no consideration to what each component tastes like and proportions are judged in order to create a desired appearance. These can be dreadful, thought they might look attractive. This drink belongs to the latter category, because who doesn’t like a little Chartreuse or Irish whiskey, just not in the same drink.

It began almost too herbaceous with the Chartreuse standing out too much as I thought it would. The creme de menthe gave a similarly herbaceous cool in the finish. The problem was that I couldn’t taste the whiskey at all and that made adding bitters a bit of a mistake. It was already pretty bitter.
Then about midway through, I started to enjoy it because I was getting drunk. The mix of liquors was strong and a drinker can rightly say that they are Irish after drinking this cocktail—but then they might admit to a lot of things as well. Here’s the recipe if you want to experience it yourself:
  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz. creme de menthe
  • several dashes of bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add several dashes of bitters.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peppermint Patty

I don’t usually do shots, but I also don’t like to drink large quantities of liqueurs at one go either. This was a test of my uncolored homemade creme de menthe. I am pleased to find that when mixed with creme de cacao it tastes just like the original Peppermint Patty cocktail minus the color.
  • 1 1/2 oz. creme de menthe
  • 1 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
Combine all ingredients in a lowball glass with ice. Stir well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Corpse Reviver #2

It was a nice morning visiting Dupont Circle to try the Corpse Reviver #2. I could feel myself more energized just drinking it. Interesting how 3/4 is the rule of thumb here so it is easy to remember when you are hung over. Here’s how they make it:

  • 3/4 oz. Lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. Hendricks gin
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • dash of absinthe 
Combine all ingredients except for absinthe in a shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Green Chartreuse Martini

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. green Chartreuse
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth 

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Last Word

  • 3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How To Make A Mojito

This video shows a Mojito made in real time.

Make Your Own Fresh Mint Liqueur

Making your own mint liqueur is a great way to preserve mint to use in cocktails well past the herb's shelf life.

You'll need:
  • 6-10 Mint stems
  • 1 cup or more of 100-proof vodka
  • 3 tsp. of sugar
1. Pick leaves from the stems and place them on a wood or plastic cutting board (not glass).

2. Cover mint with a paper towel or plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer. This releases oils without cutting up the mint.

 3. Place mint in a small saucepan and add vodka. Heat covered on high until boiled.

 4. Use a slotted spoon to remove mint leaves from the vodka while it is still hot.

 5. Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.

6. Strain the liquor into a bottle with a cap for storage.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gin and Tonic

The Ubiquitous Gin and Tonic:
According to Douglas Adams,
"It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme" 

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • Tonic water
Fill a highball or Collins glass with ice and add gin. Top with tonic water and stir. Garnish with lime.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


So it turns out that I really like a Michelada beer cocktail when I want something to casually sip on and be refreshed. Here’s how to make one.

  • 1 bottle of lager or pilsner style beer
  • 2 oz. tomato juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • several dashes of hot sauce

Rim the top of a pilsner or pint glass with salt by first coating it in lime juice. Fill the glass with ice and pour a light beer into the glass until it is more than halfway full. Squeeze half a lime into the glass and top it off with tomato juice and several dashes of hot sauce.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Southern Ginger

  • 2 oz. 100 proof burbon
  • 1/2 oz. ginger brandy (I used my ginger vodka)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
ginger beer
lemon twist
Pour bourbon into a highball glass full of ice. Add lemon juice and ginger brandy and stir. Tip with ginger beer and garnish with a lemon twist.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

White Witch

This is a classic Trader Vic recipe that brings the mystique of a haunted Jamaica sugarcane plantation. The mistress of the house, Annie Palmer, was supposedly taught witchcraft by her nanny. The legend says she murdered her husband and several others who worked on the plantation. A creepy drink for October, but a potion to chase away seasonal affective disorder.
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. curacao
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • club soda
mint sprig coated in powdered sugar.
Shake liquors on ice in a shaker and pour into a Collins glass. Squeeze the juice of a lime half on top and stir. Top the drink with soda and a sprig of mint coated in powdered sugar.