Wednesday, November 30, 2016


As long as I'm doing Martini variations, let's get down with a Dilltini. At first this seems like a corny idea conceived in the 90s Martini craze. Actually it makes a lot of sense if you look at vodka's countries of origin.

Russia and Eastern Europe, where vodka comes from, are also pickle countries. Pickles are often served alongside flights of vodka shots and it is customary to dip the pickle in the shot glass or consume both in one mouthful. I've done this at Russia House and the effect is delightful.

Stolichnaya vodka is actually a wheat vodka, not potato. It is more clarified than Grey Goose, something to do with the filtration, I guess. But it has a slightly sweet taste. It doesn't back down to the brine of a single pickle. I was surprised that it was the pickle that picked up the Stolichnaya flavor and not the other way around. Don't add pickle brine to this Martini to make a Dirty Martini with the brine. That will completely ruin the balance and leave you feeling like you are just drinking the brine.

  • 2 1/2 oz. vodka (Stolichnaya used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • dill pickle
Combine vermouth and vodka in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with pickle. 

Dirty Martini

Judging by how many orders I fill for this drink a night, I assume that the Dirty Martini is the most popular white spirit cocktail right now. I often scoff at these orders, mainly because drinkers don't seem to want any vermouth in their Martinis, and the olive brine really makes vermouth seem unnecessary anyway. The other problem I have with Dirty Martini drinkers is that they prefer vodka, usually good vodka, which defeats the point of making the drink dirty. At least it does to me.

Unlike the commonplace Dirty Martinis you see these days, the original recipe is with gin and good helping of vermouth. Olive brine is the smallest portion of the three ingredients. Back in the prohibition days, vermouth was what saved a cocktail from terrible tasting liquor. At least the vermouth had flavor, and olive brine does a lot to kill stench. I'm glad to say that the original recipe for Dirty Martinis is still solid with quality gin.

Bombay Sapphire is one of the driest and most flavorful of gins out there. There's a lot going on in it. Adding Mancino vermouth with more than 20 botanicals just makes it that much better. The olive brine prevents the cocktail from becoming overly spiced. It does wonders for improving your appetite before dinner.
  • 3 oz. gin (Bombay Sapphire used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Mancino used)
  • 1/2 oz. olive brine
  • olives (Tipsy Olives used)
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with olives.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Artillery Punch

This is a trial run of the Artillery Punch, a big bowl of punch that I intend to make for a holiday party soon. It is a good idea, when trying a punch for the first time, to make a scaled down version of the punch to test it and see if it needs tweaking. This 1/32 scale punch was excellent and supports my judgement that a good punch needs a little bit of a spice kick to counter the sweetness and citrus of all the fruit juice.

I was attracted to Artillery Punch because it uses nearly a bottle of rye and half of a bottle of dark rum. It seems it is a counter to those old Navy Punches you come across in old cocktail manuals or seafaring tales. It is strong and quick to lay you low, but easily drinkable when it comes down to finishing the bowl amidst rowdy spectators. You can see a bunch of artillery men egging each other on to drink another from the bowl, perhaps stirring it with loggerheads.

A few modifications need to be addressed. I went with port instead of red wine for a richer body for winter. Spiced rum seemed appropriate and with it I used a spiced black tea as one of the four tea bags to brew the four cups of black tea, the other three bags were Irish breakfast for their strength and blackness. Peach schnapps is an ok and noticeable substitute for apricot brandy, which you might not detect underneath everything else, but you might want to back off the proportions slightly.

Below I've included the proportions for the drink, but be warned, it is no small matter to drink this one with fewer than six people.
  • 4 cups rye (Catoctin Creek Roundstone rye used)
  • 4 cups red wine (ruby port used)
  • 2 cups dark rum (St. Croix spiced used)
  • 1 cup apricot brandy (peach schnapps used)
  • 1 cup gin (Bombay Sapphire used)
  • 4 cups black tea (Irish breakfast used plus one bag of Republic Of Tea Comfort & Joy)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 4 oz. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • several slices of lime and lemon and star anise
Combine liquid ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve on ice with pieces of fruit and garnish glasses with star anise.

Vodka & Tonic

So simple it doesn't require a name, nor for that matter does the drinker have to give a rats ass. Gin is too fragrant for your delicate palate? Maybe you've stuck with this one since the Carter administration and are afraid to try something new lest it challenge you. For all the knocks I'm giving it, it is still a good standby drink--in the summer. A guest who orders this one in the winter--and one did--admits that she is telling everyone it is just club soda and lime. I'm not fooled, and neither are your friends. At least she had the sense to order rail vodka because it would be a shame to waste good stuff on a drink in disguise.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • tonic water (Fever Tree Tonic used)
  • 2 lime wedges
Build drink in a highball glass with vodka, ice and topping with tonic. Stir with straw and add lime wedges to the rim.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Cork Screw

I get the concept of this drink. So you want a Screwdriver with all the flavor of a juice drink but plenty of alcoholic punch, make it like this. Rum, dry vermouth (you won't notice it) and peach schnapps. The peach flavor overwhelms, which is a sure sign that someone will be ok with it and even get drunk off this drink. Perish the thought.

It's not a bad drink, but it could be so much better. Try again, cocktail gods.
  • 2 oz. light rum 
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. peach schnapps
  • lime slice
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime slice. 


So I've decided that the Hammerhead is part of the "shark" series of cocktails designed to sneak up and hit you like Jaws. This is really much more of a liqueur drink than a gold rum cocktail. I still used my small flask of Mad River First Run Rum, but the real flavor profile belongs to bitter oranges from triple sec, peach pits and sweetness of amaretto and Southern Comfort. The mouthfeel is very thick and sweet and orange flavors linger a long time. Forget that this is a rum drink altogether, you are drinking the heaviest stuff at the bar. I get the impression that a bartender grabbed the most rich spirits and threw them all into one drink.

Some notes on drinking this one: I cut the proportions (wherever it says 2 oz.) to 1.5 oz. Do this and you can actually fit it in a cocktail glass. Ignore this and you will have an overflowing glass and drunk patrons.
  • 2 oz. gold rum
  • 2 oz. triple sec
  • 2 oz. amaretto
  • several dashes Southern Comfort
Combine all ingredients is a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Byrrh Cassis

At long last, I have the ingredients for the Byrrh Cassis. It is the only Byrrh cocktail in the entire New York Bartender's Guide, and though Byrrh is pretty versatile, you won't find many recipes that use it. That's because it is a little used gentian infused fortified wine from France. Say what you will, this aperitif lacks the bitter punch of an Italian sweet vermouth or amaro. On the other hand, it has a nice violet and black currant flavor that just matches creme de cassis. So I can see where this drink is going.

I like how this cocktail phases in and out of bitterness and sweetness. It is low in alcohol and good for an afternoon of sipping, but the flavors remain mostly floral and not overly sweet and berry flavored. It is almost a wine spritzer and a good one at that, so grab a wine glass and fill it up with these ingredients when you are in the mood for a soft bubbly berry treat.
  • 2 oz. Byrrh
  • 1 oz. creme de cassis
  • sparkling water
Mix all ingredients in a wine glass and add ice. Stir.

Ostend Fizz

I liked the Ostend Fizz as a fresh lemon and black currant cocktail with fizz. I also liked that it never reverted to blackberry pie flavors. There was a constant shift between berry flavors and dry kirsh cherry brandy whiffs. It wasn't a one note cocktail, and for that, I think it belongs in the cocktail lexicon, and maybe needs to be on next summer's hottest cold drinks list. Here's how to make it.
  • 2 oz. kirschwasser 
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. creme de cassis
  • sparkling water
  • lemon slice
Combine kirsch, lemon juice and creme de cassis in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a lemon slice.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Free Silver

The Free Silver is part of a series of (usually gin) drinks that achieves an off-white color with either milk or eggs or both. This is a cream drink, but the amount of cream is slight enough that it doesn't add texture, only color. That is a good thing, because cream and lemon juice tend to curdle quickly. There is a method to making this drink that prevents some of that unpleasantness; when done correctly you have a fizzy and tart drink with an opaque off-white color.

For this I used Lyon dark rum and Bombay Sapphire gin, which was a good call. You can really taste the spiciness of dry Bombay Sapphire rising over the sweetness of dark rum. It is not at all disconcerting that the drink has white bubbles.
  • 2 oz. gin (Bombay Sapphire used)
  • 1 oz. dark rum (Lyon Bijou Batch used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • sparkling water
Combine gin, rum lemon juice and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of ice. Add sparkling water and milk at the same time and stir.

Shark's Tooth

This is another one of those 90's vintage "shark themed" cocktails that were considered so deadly, and for good reason. This one has a hefty dose of 151-proof rum to make sure that the Shark's Tooth is one you can really feel. Other infamous shark drinks include the Blue Shark and the Shark Attack.

The Shark's Tooth is a lot like a fizzy version of the Lexington Avenue Express. It is so tart and relies on the heat of the rum to balance it, that you feel like you are consuming battery acid. It's not a bad drink for all that, just intense. And when you add soda, the bubbles create even more sensation. Don't say I didn't warn you about this one.
  • 2 oz. 151-proof rum
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp simple syrup
  • several dashes grenadine
  • sparkling water
  • lime wedge
Combine all ingredients except lime wedge and soda in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and stir. Garnish with lime wedge.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Jamaica Shake

The Jamaica Shake has a name that's really fun to say. It sound's like you are asking if someone made a shake.... Ok, maybe it's not that funny. I prefer this cocktail over the Torridora Cocktail if only because of the hefty dose of bourbon with its vanilla notes. In a way, cream kind of ruins this drink, and I would rather have the bourbon and rum by themselves. Even with the cream the cocktail is hot and a little bothersome. Bourbon is the main flavor, which is nice, but better if it wasn't in a cocktail to begin with. Cream softens the whole thing, and I get that. But more needs to be done to make this a real cocktail worth it's cool name.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. dark rum 
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Torridora Cocktail

I see where this drink is going: it's like an iced coffee with cream. And that should be good enough, in theory, to make a good cocktail. Look, most creamy drinks aren't really all that. I mean, the cream doesn't counter the bitterness of the coffee liqueur or alcohol in general. So when I drank this I was challenged with the bitterness and just trying to enjoy my rum without cream getting in the way. This is not a drink that will satisfy creamy drink fans or rum lovers. I say let it go.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 tbsp. 151-proof rum 
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur (homemade coffee liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Demerara Rum Old Fashioned

This is the revised Rum Old Fashioned I've been talking about. When you have a rum as good and as whiskey-like as Mad River First Run Rum, just make this drink the oaky and sugar bomb that a classic Old Fashioned should be. I used brown sugar and Hella Aromatic Bitters to start this cocktail off. I'm not treating the rum any differently from whiskey. I like a dry Old Fashioned--no muddled orange or cherry. The rum does the rest of the work and the sugar dissolves with bitters to make a beautifully rich rocks sipper.
  • 2 oz. demerara rum (Mad River First Run used)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • several dashes angostura bitters (Hella Aromatic used)
  • lemon twist
Add brown sugar to a rocks glass and douse with bitters. Drop lemon peel into glass and muddle. Add rum and stir until sugar dissolves. Add ice and stir. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ankle Breaker

Ankle Breaker is a get-drunk-quick cocktail, hence the name. Drink this and in minutes you can't even walk. This drink takes the title of Most Dangerous Cocktail in my arsenal, supplanting the Cablegram, which is known to cause memory loss. The recipe calls for 151-proof vodka, lime juice, cherry brandy and an optional 1/2 oz. of sugar syrup. I opted out on the sugar. It doesn't matter that this drink is tart, you won't remember drinking it anyway.
  • 2 oz. 151-proof rum
  • 1 oz. cherry brandy (kirshwasser and whishniak used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. sugar syrup (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Big Apple

The Big Apple is really a big drink, and a good one. The recipe calls for it in a parfait glass because the quantity and the look it is going for seems appropriate to such a large dessert container. This is a frozen cocktail, a smoothie of a drink, but it tastes like apple cider slush.

I recommend using real cider over apple juice that might be cut with other fruit juices. That's the first bit of advice I think holds true. Second, make this with real apple brandy and not with applejack, which doesn't really have any flavor to speak of. I used Laird's Old Apple Brandy, which has a rich apple flavor and a good alcoholic kick.

Amaretto is the secret ingredient that holds everything together. I'm fond of the cookie sweet Amaretto Lazzaroni on my bar. It adds a little sweetness where the other ingredients tend to taste pretty hollow by themselves.

This is a big fall treat and perfect for a day of apple picking.
  • 2 oz. apple brandy
  • 1/2 oz. amaretto
  • 1 tbsp. apple sauce
  • 3 oz. apple cider
  • pinch of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a parfait glass or highball. Add pinch of cinnamon on top.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bee's Knees

Here's a mysterious cocktail with a bee in the title but no honey in the drink. That must be because in the 20s and 30s, if something was the bee's knees, it was really good or popular. Kind of like saying something was awesome in the 90s. Mad River demerara rum is a nice aged gold rum to use in this cocktail. There's plenty of vanilla spice and a hint of whiskey in the rum that shows through in the cocktail.
  • 2 oz. gold rum (Mad River First Run rum used)
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3-5 dashes curacao
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.

Hudson Bay

I liked this juicy drink, one that stands as a more complex version of a Bronx Cocktail that is just orange juice. Here there is lime and 151-proof rum, albeit in small proportions. Use a dry and spicy gin for this one if you have a choice. You want to taste all the botanicals when juice tends to soften things out. When I was making this, I threw in a pinch of sugar knowing that it would be needed to balance the tartness of the juices. It was a good move.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. cherry brandy (kirschwasser and whishniak used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. 151-proof rum
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Lexington Avenue Express

I think that this drink gets its name because it is a quick train ride to drunkenness. 151-proof rum is powerful stuff and sneaks up on you. I limit myself to only one 151 base cocktail. This is very much like tiki cocktails I've had before, but when served on the rocks, you really taste the aged rum. This is a tart drink but easy enough to drink, but be careful that you pace yourself with this one.
  • 2 oz. 151-proof rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into an Old Fashioned glass.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Rum Old Fashioned

This is such a good idea, I wholly support it. Just use a rich rum and make an Old Fashioned in the glass. Here's the rub, if you have a good demerara sugar rum, why just use it as a topper?

I have to keep in mind that the NY Bartender's guide I'm blogging on is from the early 90s and it was unlikely that anyone would have a good rum other than Bacardi Silver, so this is a compromise. There's also the function of making cocktails of spreading out the good stuff so you get drunk on good flavors without breaking the bank.

This is still a great drink. I used Mad River First Run rum, with is a rum produced from rich cane sugar, not molasses, and aged in new oak barrels (or formerly bourbon barrels, depending on who you ask at the distillery.) It is strong and flavorful. You can see it sitting on top of the white rum and sugar mixture. The lime twist is a nice touch.

For real Old Fashioned fans, I would recommend this adjustment:

Make the Old Fashioned with a lemon peel and brown sugar muddled in a splash of soda until it dissolves. Add bitters and ice and stir the demerara rum in. The recipe as it stands is as follows:
  • 2 oz. white rum 
  • 1 tbsp. 151-proof (or overproof) demerara rum
  • 1/2 tsp. simple syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters (Hella aromatic bitters used)
  • lime twist
Combine bitters and simple syrup in an Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Add white rum and stir again. Top with demerara rum and lime twist.

Rum Punch (Tiki version)

This is another blended rum punch drink that's pretty strong. Unusually, it is also a very sugary cocktail with so much brown sugar, white sugar and grenadine. With a sweet and caramel flavored dark rum, it is enough to rot your teeth. I recommend dropping one tablespoon in the brown sugar proportions just to keep it from getting syrupy. If you are using a dry dark rum like El Dorado, though, you might want the sugar.

Again, this is an ugly drink by itself. It needs dressing up. A chill tiki mug like this one, mint and orange slice make the drink look as special on the outside as it is on the inside.
  • 3 oz. dark rum (Lyon Biju Batch used)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a highball glass. Alternatively, go all out with a tiki mug and random garnishes. 

Myrtle Bank Punch (Tiki version)

As punches go, this is pretty typical for a rum punch. The thing that sets it apart is that it calls for an all 151-proof rum dose. No other rums, like in the Planter's Punch or Zombie, are used, so the only rum flavor comes from aged overproof rum.

What's 151-proof rum? It's really strong rum that's not proofed-down, or watered down for sale. It comes off the still at 75% alcohol and is aged a short while before being bottled.

Why can't I get Bacardi 151 anymore? It is so strong that Bacardi has opted to pull the product in the face of lawsuits from restaurant guests who get burned from flaming desserts and drinks. In steps Cruzan 151, which has no flame guard and a smaller warning label. I'm not sure this is a safe thing, and I am a little intimidated to drink it. It turns out that my caution was necessary. I had only one 151 cocktail and it was quite enough even for me.

But I think it is too soon to ignore the benefits of 151-proof rum. A cocktail like this can have so much more juice and other flavors and use so little a proportion of rum and still be very strong. 151-proof rum is also tasty when mixed, unlike blended down white rums. Try this drink and see for yourself.
  • 2 oz 151-proof rum
  • 1 oz. maraschino liqueur (I used Luxardo and a little cherry wishniak I made a while ago.)
  • 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled highball glass. Note: this drink looks really boring in a clear glass with no garnishes. Get out an angry tiki mug and top it with mint and a cherry. I used a vodka-soaked cherry so that the flavor fits the overall cherry flavor of the cocktail.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pernod Flip

Whoever came up with this drink was either a genius or insane. Yes, you can flip any spirit, but it's more fun to flip something weird like Pernod with its intense anise flavor. This cuts through the creaminess in the way that old world cookies with anise flavor can me sweet and delicate but also spice-assertive.

This recipe calls of orgeat syrup, which I made special for the drink. With proportions, I felt that there's a chance it can become too creamy, so I cut a half ounce off the half-and-half and upped the orgeat component by equally as much. You get a nuttiness and floral aroma that accompanies the nutmeg and anise.
  • 2 oz. Pernod
  • 1 1/2 oz. half-and-half (use 1 oz.)
  • whole egg
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat syrup (use 1 oz.)
  • ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a sour glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

Sherry Flip

Lately I've been Flipping things. Whiskey and rum and port are the most common Flips, drinks made with egg and nutmeg and sometimes a little cream. Flips are like eggnog, really like eggnog, but you can make them with any number of base spirits. They are serious throwbacks in the cocktail cookbook, back when raw egg and cream were a fun after dinner treat.

And you should treat these drinks as a dessert, our colonial forefathers did. They are delicious by high calorie drinks that help send you off to sleep, but don't really get you drunk.
  • 2 oz. fino sherry
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (1/4 oz. simple syrup used)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
  • grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake like hell. Add ice and shake again to chill. Strain into a goblet or sour glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Pernod Frappe

What an awesomely frothy dessert drink! I really like the licorice and anise flavors of Pernod and ouzo, both of which become a great eggnog like treat when mixed with egg whites. This is one to do the dry shake first--shake with only liquid ingredients before adding ice and shaking again--to make sure that the egg white gets nice and fomy.

The recipe calls for anisette, but ouzo is pretty much the same thing, just made in Greece, not France. Meltemi ouzo is really a nice treat here, and it intensifies the licorice flavor. 
  •  2 oz. Pernod
  • 1/2 oz. anisette (Meltemi ouzo used)
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • 1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain it into a chilled cocktail glass. 

International Cocktail

I swear that I've made this drink before, but then it was just another cocktail that spans Europe with its spirits. The idea is simple. French cognac and Pernod, Italian triple sec, Russian vodka keep the drink going. Vodka seems to have an important part in the cocktail despite its small proportions. I was surprised how balanced the drink was, and I think it was the vodka giving the ingredients space to shine.

Pernod is the obvious flavor here, but it is softened by the triple sec and cognac so that you get bitter orange flavors and oak. I think this is one of the better Pernod cocktails, especially for someone who doesn't like the anise flavor as much.
  • 2 oz. cognac
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. Pernod
  • 2 tsp. vodka
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


This is a massive wine cocktail! I get why it is called Inca after the Pre Columbian empire; sherry would have been the drink of the conquering Spaniards, and orgeat or almond syrup represents almond drinks that are made in South America.

The rest of the drink is sweet with rich wine and nuttiness. Again, I opted for Commonwealth gin to cut down on all the botanicals you find in London dry gins. Then I added more orgeat than is called for because if you have it you should flaunt it. It makes for a cloudier cocktail, but I would have already been cloudy with the original proportions.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry sherry
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • dash orange bitters
  • several dashes orgeat (more if you like)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Hasty Cocktail

I wonder why I didn't make this drink earlier. Maybe its because each time I think about making it, I just go ahead and make a Martini. It is really close to a Martini with some fruity and spicy flavors. Pernod doesn't really show up here, just a nice bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the grenadine that does more than color the drink.

I used a rye gin like Commonwealth gin for this one. Not as much juniper in that as other gins, and it allows the flavor of vermouth to come out. The Hasty Cocktail is a small drink in proportions. It doesn't fill a Martini glass very well. I liked how it fit in a pousse cafe glass or cordial glass.
  • 2 oz. gin (Commonwealth gin used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Mancino used)
  • 3-5 dashes of Pernod
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (cordial glass used).

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dream Cocktail

Roy Orbison should supply the soundtrack to this post. Here is a velvety smooth cocktail that is even silkier with the addition of Remy Martin 1738 cognac. Pernod's presence is so light it is almost imperceptible, but without it, the Dream would be an uncomfortably sweet treat. Pernod has a way of nudging cocktails toward a plot, an experience with a beginning and end. That licorice flavor gives traction to the grape of brandies and a freshness where you might otherwise wallow in richness. This is the cafe dream cocktail.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Remy Martin 1738 used)
  • 1 oz. triple sec (Luxardo Triplum used)
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


I like that this drink doesn't hold back, even in the name. It's bitter and herbaceous and so ridiculously strong that Earthquake is a fitting name. Someone a long time ago probably wondered what would happen to you when you mixed nearly equal parts bourbon, gin and Pernod. The results are in. If you finish this drink, the ground seems to move.

I made an interesting choice with my gin for this drink. Bluecoat Barrel Aged Gin had all the right qualities for blending with a spicy bourbon like Jim Beam. Pernod, of course overwhelms, but throughout drinking, there is this delicious impression of aged spirits. Oak and barrels and yumminess under a heavy curtain of French absinthe liqueur.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. gin (Bluecoat Barrel Reserve gin used)
  • 1 oz. Pernod
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Byrrh Manhattan

I said I'd be making cocktails with Byrrh when I got the chance. This is an experimental Manhattan with the rye-forward Basil Hayden's bourbon. I used Byrrh and a quinine-heavy Antica Formula vermouth and Hella Aromatic bitters. The combination was a huge sock in the mouth. Byrrh adds to the aged characteristics of the Manhattan, and even gives it an aroma of violets! I guess when you have a bottle of Byrrh, you have to get a little crazy to find uses for it.
  • 3 oz. Basil Hayden's bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Byrrh Quinquina
  • 1/2 oz. Antica Formula vermouth
  • maraschino cherry
Combine all ingredients except cherry in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.