Thursday, December 31, 2015

Morning Glory Fizz

So there's a handful of morning drinks involving scotch. I'm guessing that this has to do with reducing the pain of hangovers if scotch was the drink of choice the night before. So these scotch drinks are the equivalent of a Corpse Reviver or Bloody Mary, except with grapefruit juice in the case of the Highland Morning, or egg in the case of the Morning Glory and Morning Glory Fizz. The latter cocktail including club soda to make a tall fizzy drink with egg white.

  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/4 oz Pernod (Absente Refined used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 egg white
  • dash Peychaud' bitters
  • club soda
  • lemon slice
Combine scotch, lemon juice, Pernod, sugar and egg white in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a Collins glass. Add more ice and top with club soda. Stir gently and decorate with lemon slice. 

Spirit Of Scotland

This cocktail features Drambuie, the proprietary "spirit of Scotland." It is Scotland's answer to Irish Mist, Southern Comfort, and Chambord (or maybe Chartreuse). So the Spirit Of Scotland is lemon juice, scotch and a liqueur that is made of old (reportedly 15-year-old) scotch and heather honey and spices. You can use a pretty uninspired blended scotch for the base liquor--it is really only intended to turn a small amount of Drambuie into a cocktail-sized portion. Johnnie Walker red label will be more than adequate because it has a lot of character. After trying a cocktail with Johnnie Walker black label, I noticed the smoke and reek of red standing out better than the black label did.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Drambuie
  • 1/4 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


This cocktail had the promise of being a delightful treat that makes the best of a blended scotch's natural flavor. That is why I chose to use Johnnie Walker black label to accentuate soft peated and oak notes of the whisky with orange bitters and dry vermouth.

It was enjoyable, but I was surprised at how much dry vermouth covers the scotch's richness. Like all cocktails, there is a softening of the flavors of the base spirit, but in this case I would prefer to stiffen it. Maybe this could be done with more bitters and only a rinse of vermouth in the glass.
  • 2 oz. scotch 
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • several dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Inverness Cocktail

The Inverness Cocktail is named after a small town and blending locale in northern Scotland. It calls for orgeat (pronounced or-zat), which is a syrup made from the oils extracted from almonds. I've been having a hard time finding orgeat in stores, but I had some luck finding one of the ingredients, orange blossom water, at World Market. At that point I decided to make my own orgeat. More on that recipe after the Inverness Cocktail.

This drink was soothing with butterscotch and nuttiness and a strong lemon zip. In fact it was so strong that I encourage you to use more orgeat to balance out the flavors and sweeten it a little.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1 tsp. orgeat
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. triple sec
Combine scotch, juice and orgeat in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a teaspoon of triple sec on top.

Orgeat is easy to make but timeconsuming. It takes a lot of patience to wait for the almonds to soak, so it is not a good idea to try to make it in a hurry before a bar shift. You can make orgeat faster if you use hot water (about 150 degrees) and it will keep for several weeks, so there's no harm in preparing early. Here's how it is done.

Add 2 cups of sliced blanched almonds and 3 cups of water and let them soak for 30 minutes. Remove soaked almonds and chop them coarsely in a blender or on a cutting board.

Return almonds to the water to soak for 3 hours. Then strain the water and pulp through a colander and a cheesecloth, pressing to extract the oils. Repeat this step up to three times for a richer almond flavor.

Strain and discard the pulp and add 1/2 cup of sugar. (Optional: heat syrup and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Let cool 15 minutes.) Add 2 tbsp. orange blossom water and 1 oz. of vodka. Place in an air-tight container and shake vigorously to combine ingredients. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Minch

Happy New Year!

The Minch is a cute name for this drink. It's like the Minch (mint Grinch) who stole Christmas. I don't like peppermint drinks too much. They taste like mouthwash. And there is a limit on how many I will make for this blog. Christmas Martinis--that's actually a thing--are so minty and green that the gin really does taste like a Christmas Tree. A cool concept, but not enjoyable.

So the Minch is light on mint, and I got these stir sticks that are good for coffee and hot chocolate. These have the cool effect of turning the drink more red over time. At first it was nearly clear. All in all, not a bad drink if you have poor scotch, and an even better one if you have a lightly peated scotch blend that plays well with peppermint schnapps.

  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1 tsp. peppermint schnapps
  • club soda
  • peppermint stick
Build drink in an Old Fashioned glass full of ice. Add scotch and schnapps, then top with soda and decorate with the peppermint stick.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Winter White Snakebite / American Snakebite

I haven't made a beer cocktail in a while, and I figured it was about time now. I made this traditional half-and-half of cider and beer with Bell's Winter White ale and Crispin Artisanal cider. The effect is a sweet, green apple and honey mixed with citrus hopped white ale. The flavors go together really well. Plus, you can make the drink stronger by adding a shot of vodka--that's the American Snakebite. I guess Americans like their cider-beer cocktails a little stronger than the Brits.

  • 1/2 pint cider
  • 1/2 pint lager (Bell's Winter White ale used)
  • 1 oz. vodka (for American Snakebite)
Combine all ingredients in a pint glass and stir gently.

Stone Fence

This is the original Stone Fence. Last year I made a Virginia Stone Fence using Catoctin Creek rye, but the original recipe calls for scotch. As you can see, I made a humorous serving with dbTech Chilling Rocks stacked on one side of the glass to look like a fence or a wall. These stones are for whiskey alone, and you only need about three stones for a short pour, but the Crispin Artisanal Reserve was chilled and I could fill the glass to the top and keep it cold. 

One nice thing about whiskey stones is that, unlike ice, they sink. They don't float and block the liquid while your drink.

Here's the stone fence recipe.
  • 2 oz. scotch (Monkey Shoulder used)
  • sparkling cider
  • dash Angostura bitters
Build the drink on ice in a highball glass. Add scotch and cider and stir gently.

Monkey Shoulder is a special blend of three Speyside malts. I am unsure if they use pure grain scotch as well, but the blend is very malty with sherry notes, cereal grains and honey. It is nothing like the sweeter Johnnie Walker blends that have more island scotches to make for smokey and peaty combinations. Monkey Shoulder is a well rounded highland blend.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Rusty Nail

It's probably the most unappealing name for a cocktail--at least one that is pretty classic and tastes tremendous. (There's plenty of Kamikaze and nipple shots that sound pretty bad, but that's more the fault of the drinker for ordering them.) The other bonus is that the Rusty Nail is easy to make and hard to ruin.

I believe that Drambuie comes to the rescue of inferior scotches. There are some pretty bad blends out there, or just bland ones, but a little Drambuie makes them fade away while aged scotch, heather honey and spices take over. It's the proprietary spirit of Scotland, like Irish Mist and Chartreuse are for the Irish and French.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1 oz. Drambuie
Build drink in an Old Fashioned glass with plenty of ice and stir. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bonnie Prince Charley

Another Bonnie Prince cocktail dedicated to Prince Charley, the ill fated prince of Scotland. It was a quick fix and full of flavors I love: peaty scotch, licorice, lemon zest. Do this if you have Pernod or absinthe and don't worry about what happens to the prince.
  •  1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Dubonnet blanc used)
  • dash of Pernod
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except lemon twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

Coopers Town

Merry Christmas! I realize that this is an unusual cocktail to offer on Christmas as it isn't stuffed with peppermint or scotch or something. I actually chose it for the color scheme: red Carpano and green Dubonnet. It's pretty much a richer version of a Perfect Martini, and that makes it pretty good for any occasion. The mint sprig, key to differentiating it as Coopers Town (some guy in in that place probably had a little mint and threw it on a Martini and declared it the town drink) is just a nice touch, and actually lends to the fragrance. This cocktail is more interesting with tastier vermouths, or, like I did, Dubonnet blanc.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Dubonnet blanc used)
  • mint sprig
Combine all ingredients except mint in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the mint sprig.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Balmoral Stirrup Cup

A stirrup cup is a bowl you give someone who's stayed too long and gotten too drunk at the inn and is now leaving to ride his horse home. It's given to the drinker once he is in the saddle and his feet are in the stirrups. This recipe is strong and rich. It's sure to keep you warm all the way home.
  • 1 1/2 oz scotch
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • several dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass with ice and stir.

Scotch Julep

Something about the mint in this drink completely changes the Drambuie and scotch so that it tastes just like a bourbon Julep. It seemed appropriate to use Barrelhound, which is a scotch that self identifies as bourbon.
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 1 oz. Drambuie
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • mint sprig
Muddle mint leaves in an Old Fashioned glass. Add crushed ice (I used my muddler to crush the ice in a shaker tin), scotch and Drambuie. Stir and add more scotch if necessary. Garnish with the mint sprig.

Aberdeen Sour

There's lots of sours from different cities of Scotland and around the world. I've done the Stirling Sour, the Scotch Holiday Sour, the Scotch Sour, and any number New York and San Francisco sours. This one is more sour than the others. It relies on orange juice to add sweetness, so you pretty much have to used fresh squeezed unless you like to pucker.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a double Old Fashioned glass. 

Remsen Cooler

I've heard people say that a scotch and soda drink is great after a tennis match at the club. That aside, the Remsen Cooler was great after a jog in the neighborhood. The only difference between Remsen and a Scotch and Soda is that there's more scotch--its like having the amount of scotch in a Rob Roy but spaced out in a tall soda cocktail.

Chivas and Soda has long been my favorite easy mixer at bars. You can really taste the oak and sherry notes when it is diluted. The lemon twist also gives you the best scent while sipping, keeping it from seeming too rich. Barrelhound is basically the lightest unpeated Chivas blend, so it was easily the best drink I had that night.
  • 3 oz. scotch
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • club soda
  • lemon twist
Build drink with ice, scotch and sugar in a highball glass. Pour soda to top and garnish with the lemon twist.


Whoever this Woodward guy was, he liked a dry and tropical juice drink. He also probably didn't like scotch much. That would have been ok because few scotches were strong single malts in America. Most were blended with a lot of grain whisky and not as flavorful as the stuff they would drink in Scotland.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Miami Beach Cocktail

I think this is the more tropical Miami answer to the Long Beach cocktail, which is the same recipe except gin in place of scotch. At one time grapefruit juice would have seemed very exotic. Strangely, blended scotch would have been something much closer to home for most Americans.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a double highball glass with ice.

Highland Morning

For some reason there's a lot of grapefruit juice and scotch drinks. I'm betting this is because grapefruit juice became popular with canning in the early twentieth century. But you'll want to squeeze it fresh because it is less bitter than canned juice. I'm also betting that people who drank scotch the night before needed to re-intoxicate in the morning with a dose of juice in their scotch.
  • 1 oz. scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 3 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients with ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blackwatch / Mint Sunrise

The Blackwatch is the black-clad ancient military order that serves as a sort of border guard for the country. They've been involved in almost every conflict that Scotland has faced for centuries. This drink is a good dedication to their efforts with a single highland malt from the Black Isle (a peninsula in the Morry Firth of northern Scotland. Dalmore is rich in orange/ marmalade flavors from sherry cask maturation. Catoctin Creek 1757 brandy is also a rich American brandy that is aged in French wine barrels. Together they make an unstoppable rocks sipper that is only garnished with mint and lemon as scent accents.

The Mint Sunrise is the exact same recipe, and I imagine it comes from the image of a round lemon slice rising above the glass. Still, it is much more of a Scottish drink than something consumed by Aerosmith at some roadhouse (i.e. Tequila Sunrise).
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch (Dalmore 12 used)
  • 1/2 oz. brandy (Catoctin Creek 1757 used)
  • 1/2 oz. curacao
  • lemon slice
  • mint sprig
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and mint sprig.

Prince Edward

The Drambuie company says that their recipe comes from the family of Prince Edward, known as the Bonnie Prince. That is why his name shows up on so many Drambuie recipes. I think I like this one better than the Bonnie Prince (made with gin) because the flavor of orange and scotch are so much more consistent.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet blanc (Dubonnet blanc used)
  • 1/4 oz. Drambuie
  • preserved orange slice (sugar coated slice used)
Mix all ingredients except orange slice in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass (single large cube used). Garnish with orange slice. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bonnie Prince

This has been one of my favorites for about a decade. The Bonnie Prince is a gin drink with Lillet blanc and Drambuie. Actually I've seen several recipes that just list white wine as the grape spirit. So I used to make it with whatever I had on hand. I wanted to get Lillet blanc for an official post, but chose Dubonnet blanc instead.  Bonnie Prince is rich and full of citrus flavor, Lillet blanc adds bitter orange aromas. Dubonnet blanc tastes more like a dry herbal wine with a little of orange aroma, so it is a close bet. For now, I will use Dubonnet blanc for medium white aromatized wine in recipes that call for Lillet.

  • 1 1/2 oz. dry gin
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet blanc (Dubonnet blanc used)
  • 1/4 oz. Drambuie
  • orange twist
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Prestwick is a region of Scotland on the Atlantic facing Ayreshire. The drink is surprisingly metropolitan and classy. It is rich for a before dinner drink though. Drambuie makes it full of heather honey and Scottish spices.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • several dashes of Drambuie
  • several dashes of Cointreau
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Loch Ness

This is not a drink for the fainthearted. Absinthe tends to overwhelm everything at even the smallest proportions, so I found it was wise to use a bitter sweet vermouth and a powerful scotch like an Islay single malt. After I got past the anise and licorice front end of this drink, I noticed bitterness and the cloying sweet malt flavor of the respective vermouth and scotch. That made what would have been a "two-note" drink into something more complex and interesting.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1 oz. absinthe or Pernod
  • 1/4 oz. sweet vermouth
Shake all ingredients on ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Campbeltown Joy

This cocktail is a Scottish joy, Campbeltown or Glasgow notwithstanding. Drambuie makes it rich and festive for the holidays with heather honey and spices. My only criticism of the drink is that I would increase the proportions of everything so that I can have more of it.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. drambuie
  • 1 tsp. dry vermouth
  • several  dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Urquart Castle

Scotch drinks are sometimes best if there's not much in them except for the scotch. Urquart Castle will appeal to scotch drinkers, especially if you use a full-flavor scotch like Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition. It's made with peaty scotches and blended to produce a peppery nose with a caramel finish. A few dashes of bitters and vermouth and it's a balanced cocktail.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • several dashes orange bitters
  • several dashes dry vermouth
  • several dashes cointreau
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice.

Stirling Sour

A Margarita with a highland name, if not in proportions. It turns out that most scotch and tequila are interchangeable in drinks involving lime juice. Choose a heavier flavored scotch and you will notice smoke and peat sticking out. Make it with an unpeated scotch and you will have a mild sour that will appease bourbon and tequila fans alike.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. simple syrup
  • several dashes of triple sec
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


This is a light and sociable cocktail for a holiday party. I would recommend sticking with lighter less peaty blends and Speysides for your scotches. Or just use Barrelhound, which has no peat at all. It occurs to me that this recipe would be equally good with a smoky tequila or mescal.
  • 1 1/2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec.
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. 

Indian Summer

This drink combines the best of mulled cider and apple brandy. A good one like Catoctin Creek apple brandy just makes the drink taste more richly of apples.
  • 2 oz. apple brandy
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • cinnamon stick
Heat cider to 150 degrees in a small saucepan. Add ground cinnamon and stir. In a mug combine apple brandy and heated cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Japanese Fizz

I think this drink dates back to the early 20th century. Apparently there is a story about it if you ask David Wondrich, which I didn't know to do when I met him. Anyway, a very tropical whiskey drink that you can do with any whiskey except maybe bourbon. Otherwise it would be too much vanilla flavor. There's no pineapple juice in it, so the spear in the glass is really there for aroma, which works well too.
  • 2 oz blended whiskey
  • 1 tbsp. port
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • sparkling water
  • pineapple spear
Combine all ingredients except soda and pineapple in a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously until foamy. Add ice and shake to cool. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with a pineapple spear.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

(Russia House) Perfect Martini

At Russia House, ask for a Martini and what you will get is the Perfect Martini. It's really an older style Martini for those who like both kinds of vermouth that they can't choose which to use, so there's both in it. The same formula and proportions work for the Perfect Manhattan with whiskey substituted for white spirits.
  • 3 oz. gin (At Russia House, ZYR Vodka)
  • 1/2 tsp. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet vermouth
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ink Street

Sometimes it is hard to imagine what a cocktail will taste like until you make it and see what the inventor had in mind. That was the case with the Ink Street. There's so much citrus and no sweetness added with the addition of rye. It sounds gross, but really it is bitter and tart like a kid's sour gummy candy and the rye pops out in the finish as bitter and rough. So it is totally different from more balanced and whiskey forward cocktails that are popular. Don't try making this with a blended whiskey, you will taste nothing but juice if you do.
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 2 oz. rye
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Star Daisy

One is tempted to see this as a cross between a Daisy and a Star Cocktail. It does have apple brandy like the Star Cocktail, but there's not much to link it with the Daisy. Another thing not to be fooled by is the potency of this drink. It's not weak, despite the flowery name. It has at least three and a half ounces of liquor in it. It's also bright and citrusy with apple and orange flavors.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. apple brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker or blender with ice. Shake or blend until chilled. Pour into a wine goblet.

New York Sour

There's something kind of "holiday" about the New York Sour. It's the only sour with red wine, and it is rich and warming on cold nights. It is not a bourbon drink, so blended whiskey is required. I have my go-to Black Velvet Special Reserve for these occasions. Too bad it is hard to find on the East Coast.
  • 2 oz. blended whiskey (Black Velvet Special Reserve used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1 tbsp. dry red wine
Combine all ingredients except wine in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a sour glass (lowball used) and top with red wine.

Genoa Vodka

This was way better than I expected. Grapefruit and orange flavors predominate with sweet and bitterness interplay. Plus it is refreshing as ever. So one trick I did for this one was fresh squeezed orange juice, which made it sweeter and more bright looking than that harsh store bought juice.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 3 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a highball glass. (Orange twist optional)

Three Miller Cocktail

I'm not sure what is up with the name of this drink. Three Miler sounds more appropriate for a drink because it is strong and sweet, maybe a pick-me-up after a walk. But three millers as a name for a drink that doesn't include grain alcohol seems misplaced. Still I've never seen such a brilliant red drink since I had that bottle of Dubonnet Rouge and the grenadine actually provided a terrific pomegranate flavor.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  

Third Rail

There's a few drinks that are designed to have a powerful effect on the body, and this one is one of them. "Don't step on/ pee on a third rail," we're always told. That's where the power is channeled. This is a powerful drink with lots of aged oak brandy flavors to keep you interested. I loved that as strong as it was (all 40 proof alcohol, not juices) it was complex and balanced. I also like the moderate amount of absinthe that keeps it from being a brandy bomb.
  • 2 oz. apple brandy (Catoctin Creek used)
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

San Juan

A tiki-like hit at a party, the San Juan is a Puerto Rican daiquiri. This would be best prepared in a blender with not too much ice, as that tends to make the drink watery. And besides citrus, there's subtle brandy flavors.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 tbsp. brandy (Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia brandy used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. grapefruit 
  • 1 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
Combine all ingredients except brandy in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a wine goblet. Float brandy on top.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rolls Royce

This is a "Luxury Car" cocktail series drink I have been planning to make since I got Antica Formula vermouth. It isn't luxury without good vermouth, after all. You can see the Golden Cadillac and I will soon make a Bentley. Like the Monte Carlo, it also uses Benedictine, but I wanted to feature Bada Bing cherries in this entry.

The Rolls Royce doesn't call for a cherry garnish, but Bada Bings aren't maraschino cherries. They are rich and plump bing cherries, a flavor that goes well with this herbal Martini variation. Bada Bing are organic with no artificial coloring, so if you have issues with maraschino cherries, these won't bother you.

The Rolls Royce recipe according to the NY bartender's guide is as follows:
  • 3 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Benedictine
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Fin de Siecle

The name implies that it is the End of The World! But it's just another bitter orange cocktail with Amer Picon. I used Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, which made this drink rival the best Manhattans while using a sub-standard gin. In that sense it might just be the end of the world, or just a beginning.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica used)
  • 1/4 oz. Amer Picon (Picon Biere used)
  • 1 dash orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


Not as deadly as it sounds, the Guillotine is a sweet and herbaceous drink from the Benedictine marketing team. Most of their drinks are either creamy desserts or sours of a sort, and this is the latter. I've taken a few weeks off from my French liqueurs and it is nice to be using them again. Sometimes I get a taste for Benedictine that I can't ignore and I find myself going back to it often.
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Benedictine
  • 1/2 tsp sugar syrup
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


The name refers to the northern region of France, and an easy combination of London dry gin and French orange liqueur. The Brittany is fruity and bitter with a lot of orange zest flavor. It's a great before dinner drink. Here Picon Biere is used instead of Amer Picon which is impossible to find now. It is sweeter and less bitter. It's also less alcoholic, but it makes for a fine additive all the same.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Amer Picon (Picon Biere used)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
  • orange twist
Combine all ingredients except orange twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tequila Old Fashioned

Sauza has redesigned their bottles to emphasize the rooster in their coat of arms. I think it is an inspired label with a giant cock to look at while you drink tequila. Camilla, our chicken ornament, has made an appearance to add colorful fluff for the occasion. In case you are wondering, this is nothing like the Old Fashioned with whiskey. It is solidly a gold tequila drink with bitters and cherry, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it goes with the mariachi music you can hear playing on the streets in Mexico, so ask for this next time you are south of the border.
  • 2 oz. gold tequila
  • several dashes Angostura bitters
  • cherry
  • table sugar
  • club soda
Combine a tablespoon of club soda, bitters, and sugar at the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and tequila and stir. Garnish with the cherry.

Blue Shark

This drink is squarely in the 90s era of tequila shots and shark-themed drinks consumed by cougars  with Ricky Martin's "La Veda Loca" playing in the background. It is also disturbingly similar to those blue gummy sharks that were popular with kids at the time. I was always grossed out by the flavor of those sharks, because the flavor was tequila. That is essentially what you get with this drink. It is all liquor and ice and it all tastes like tequila. Things get better once the ice begins to melt, and the vodka is actually a pleasing ingredient that prevents you from having a double of tequila with a few drops of blue curacao for color.
  • 2 oz. white tequila
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • several dashes blue curacao
 Build drink in a highball glass with ice. Stir until chilled.

Viva Villa

So what if you don't have triple sec at home. You might have one bottle of tequila on hand, preferably a white tequila, and a lime and some salt. You have the basic ingredients to make a Viva Villa!
  • 2 oz. white tequila
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. simple syrup
  • lime wedge
  • coarse salt
Using the lime wedge to dampen the edge of a highball glass, rim the glass with coarse salt. Combine tequila, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the highball glass. 


The Bamboo, a recipe that Proof revived from 1890'€™s menu of the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan. Sherry is one of the first wines brought to the U.S. and one of the earliest cocktail and punch ingredients. This drink is dry like a Martini, but lower in alcohol so you can have more than one. The photo is of a Bamboo from Poste! cocktail menu.
  • 2 oz. dry sherry
  • 1 1/2  oz. dry vermouth
  • dash of orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Orange peel garnish shown.)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tequila Manhattan

So I've said that I wouldn't entertain remaking a Manhattan just to feature a different base liquor. But I've done it with Applejack to good effect and at times I've entertained using Jim Beam Red Stag or Black Velvet Toasted Caramel. These turn out to be very different drinks--not at all like a traditional Manhattan. So I got on board with gold tequila and Carpano Antica vermouth. One difference with this cocktail was the addition of an orange slice, which was in keeping with the style of the base liquor.
  • 3 oz. gold tequila
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • orange slice
  • maraschino cherry
Combine all ingredients except fruit in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry and orange slice.

Tequila Cocktail

Much like the Rose and Jack Rose, not to mention the New York Cocktail a grenadine and lime juice cocktail looks good and tastes very tart. This disguises the tequila flavor, but I still could tell that it was gold and not silver tequila. I guess it is as good as any, if you have to have a standard drink representative of an entire liquor category. Then again, tequila has the Margarita and nothing is likely to altar that drinks popularity. Anyway, in case you get tired of your Margarita, here's the recipe:
  • 3 oz. gold tequila
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grenadine
  • several dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kentucky Orange Blossom

Not really like an Orange Blossom made with bourbon, this drink has more bourbon flavors than sweetness or orange juice. It's just enough to make it more refreshing for sipping on a warm day.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. orange juice (fresh squeezed)
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the twist.