Thursday, August 31, 2017

Prince Of Wales

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to enjoy this cocktail until I had the trifecta of brandy, Madeira and champagne. But I had them all at once in this drink at work last night. Madeira is a fortified wine (sherry) made on the Portugese island of Madeira, It is strong and nutty with a dry wine flavor. It loves being mixed with brandy (cognac please) and champagne, as it is in Prince of Wales.

The primary flavor of this cocktail is orange, however, due to the presence of an orange slice garnish and curacao. The effect is a fizzy sangria that sneaks up on you with round oakiness from cognac and Madeira.
  • 1 oz. brandy (cognac)
  • 1 oz. Madeira
  • 1/2 oz. white curacao
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • champagne or sparkling wine
  • orange slice
Combine all ingredients except champagne and orange slice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled wine glass. Top with champagne and garnish with the orange slice.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Champagne Cup

This is an easy champagne drink to make if you have cognac and curacao around. It is light and refined, like a cafe cocktail enjoyed in Paris. I kept thinking about the drinks you find in Paris along the Champ Élysées now. You'll find fortified wine or champagne with mint and fruit in them. This is light drinking, Paris style.
  • 1/2 oz. cognac (Remy Martin 1738 cognac used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry curacao
  • orange slice
  • mint sprig 
  • champagne
 Build drink in a wine glass with cognac and curacao and a single ice cube. Stir until the cube dissolves. Top with champagne and garnish with the orange slice and mint sprig.

Champagne Cooler

D'USSÉ Cognac and triple sec are the main ingredients of this champagne cocktail. It is boozy and decadent to say the least. I found that the proportions of hard liquor were such that they needed to be chilled. Don't follow the NY Bartender's Guide on this or you will have a warm drink. Shake the spirits and strain into the wine glass. Top with champagne and work really hard to get that mint leaf to stay upright with no ice in the glass.
  • 1 1/2 oz. cognac (D'Ussé VSOP used)
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • champagne or sparkling wine (Gruet used)
  • mint leaf
Shake cognac and triple sec on ice to chill. Strain into a wine glass. Top with cold champagne and garnish with a mint leaf.

King's Peg

Champagne and cognac are perfect together, both being made with French grapes. The King's Peg is supposed to knock you over quickly with that combo of bubbles and brandy.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Cognac (Dusse used)
  • Champagne (Gruet used)
Build drink in a champagne flute with cognac and top with champagne. 

American Rose

Nothing says American like brandy and peaches. American brandy, that is. And Gruet is an American sparkling wine inspired by French champagne, so it is perfect for the fizz in this cocktial.

America is of course the inventor of the cocktail, and combining French liqueurs and wines into strong spirits like brandy. The trick with this drink is to peel your peach half and dice it before muddling it in the shaker. A wide straw helps to suck up the pulp.
  • 1 1/2  oz. brandy
  • 1 tsp. grenadine 
  • 1/2 fresh peach peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  • Champagne or sparkling wine (Gruet used)
  • peach wedge
Combine all ingredients except peach wedge and champagne in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a wine glass and top with champagne. Garnish with the peach wedge. 

Colony Club / Deep Sea

This is a double post for two very similar cocktails. The Colony Club is a very classic and stiff tasting cocktail with the anise flavor of Pernod coming through the gin and orange bitters. There's not much to it.

The Deep Sea is a wetter cocktail with a whole ounce of dry vermouth. The Pernod and bitters are not as noticeable while vermouth is prominent.

Colony Club
  • 2 oz. dry gin
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
Deep Sea
  • 2 oz. dry gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters

 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cafe de Paris

This is a very Parisian-like cocktail and it gives off an air of cafe drinking on Montmartre. Egg white and a touch of cream make it a high-caloric cocktail with the feel of a thick absinthe drink. You should do this in a fancy crystal glass to accentuate the absinthe cafe appeal.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (crystal goblet recommended.)

Apricot Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

This was one of the most complicated non-alcoholic drinks I've made, and I'm not sure it was worth all the effort. I can see a slushy shop with lots of syrups and juices on hand blending this up as part of their menu of frozen drinks. I just can't see someone, even me, doing this at home.

That is because I couldn't find apricot nectar, so I had to use apricot jelly and cook it into a syrup. I also made cherry syrup by cooking down cherries in tart cherry juice. All of this was fun and experimental, but a lot of work for a drink that pretty much tasted like pineapple and lime juice.
  • 3 oz. apricot nectar
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. cherry syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Daniel's Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic)

Whoever Daniel is, he doesn't drink much. This is a very basic mocktail, one I've done before in a Collins glass on ice. The cool thing about this drink is that it looks like a Cosmo or some other pink New York cocktail. That's why I'm guessing that this Daniel is a New Yorker, a rare one who doesn't drink. At least, not all the time.
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. grenadine
Shake all ingredients on ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


The cocktail is very pale because Pernod releases its flavors into the dissolved water from the ice through precipitation. The green liquid becomes a cloudy yellow. The name Blanche is intended to indicate this.

Overall this is a simple and very herbal cocktail. I like it because a hefty dose of triple sec gives the sharp anise flavor of Pernod a soft orange flavor. Please use a good triple sec like Cointreau or Luxardo for this.
  • 1 oz. Pernod
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. white curacao
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  

Hair Raiser Cocktail

Look at that gorgeous hair on the can of Slow & Low.

The Hair Raiser is a tart vodka cocktail that is only sweetened by Rock And Rye. This is a little bit too bad, because Rock and Rye has a great flavor that is largely covered up by the tart lemon juice. The result is a puckeringly sour Lemon Drop that has some flavor of rock candy, rye and a dash of orange zest.

Slow & Low rock and rye is flavored with citrus zest. It is a good cocktail in itself. I think the point of this cocktail is that you can sort of call it a whiskey cocktail, and it is so sour your hair might stand up.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. rock and rye
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Rock And Rye Cooler

So Rock and Rye is a cocktail itself. It comes bottled, but it would be easy to make at home. It is basically rock candy sugar and rye.

This Slow & Low Rock and Rye is all over the Virginia liquor store counters lately. It comes in these 100 ml. cans that make for a quick drink when you pop the top. You're good for about two drinks with a single can.

So the cooler is really potent because it is basically a Vodka Collins that uses Rock and Rye as the sweetener. It's good, if a little bland. But it does its job as advertised. If you use 100 proof vodka and 86 proof Rock and Rye, like I did, there's no need for a second drink.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. rock and rye
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • bitter lemon soda
  • lime slice
 Combine vodka, rock and rye and juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and garnish with the lime slice. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Depth Charge

The Depth Charge is intended to flavor your beer in some unnatural way. Europeans are very adept at this, choosing a flavored schnapps to give an uninteresting beer more flavor and alcohol. It's almost unnecessary in this age of craft brewing. Not to mention that flavored schnapps get a bad reputation.

I can see taking a PBR and adding peach schnapps, but I don't want to drink that. And in an earlier entry I used Kolsch and Absolut Ruby Red vodka to make a beer cocktail. But grapefruit vodka goes great in an IPA. Deschutes has an incredible hoppy IPA with more bitterness than citrus flavors. Throw in ruby red vodka and you have a cool beer drink.
  • 1 bottle of beer 
  • 2 oz. schnapps of your choice 
Add both ingredients to a frosted mug.

Apricot Sparkler (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a pleasant mocktail that reminds me of an Apricot Brandy Fizz or something like that. Very light and refreshing. Getting the apricot nectar can be a challenge, so buy fresh apricots, remove the pits, and cook them down in water until they are soft enough to mash. Then strain to remove the pulp and add sugar. Return to heat and reduce.  (I don't really follow a recipe with these drinks, I just go by texture that I am looking for. But as a rule, I use nearly equal parts fruit and water. The sugar is really a matter of taste.)
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling water
  • lemon peel
Pour apricot nectar and lemon juice in a Collins glass full of ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Beer Buster

I can't believe I've never done this one before. It seems so simple: and it is. Just a double shot of 100-proof vodka in beer and Tabasco sauce. Not to be taken lightly, though; this drink will knock you over with potency and spice. It's best to enjoy it with a heaping portion of enchiladas or some filling Tex-Mex food that pairs well with the chili sauce. You'll notice the alcoholic wallop sneaking up on you about halfway through the mug of beer.
  • 1 bottle of cold beer
  • 2 oz. frozen vodka (stored in the freezer)
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
 Add vodka and beer to a chilled beer mug and dash Tabasco sauce to taste. 

Sparkling Peach Melba (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a top-notch mocktail! It calls for pureed raspberries with the seeds strained out. But if you have a shaker with a built-in strainer, just add fresh raspberries to the shaker with, of course, peach nectar, and shake pretty hard to break up the berries. Strain through fine mesh, and you should have a nice pink raspberry and peach juice blend. Pour it directly into the glass over ice.
  • 4 oz. peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • sparkling water
Shake raspberries and peach nectar in a shaker with ice. Double strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and stir. Recommended garnish: one peach slice. 

Shandy Gaff

If a Shandy is lemonade and beer, then the Shandy Gaff is also a near-beer cocktail that uses ginger ale. A good spicy ginger ale like Q is a good idea for this one. You don't want to water down flavor when weakening your beer, which is what this drink is intended to do.

What you get is a nice foamy ginger ale with some alcoholic content. I recommend using a dark lager like a dunkel or Negro Modelo because the roasted malt sweetness goes well with spicy ginger.
  • ginger ale
  • beer
Pour equal parts ginger ale and beer into a pint glass at the same time.

Knicks Victory Cooler (Non-Alcoholic)

Don't know the story behind this mocktail, but it obviously has something to do with a certain New York team. It is a non-alcoholic version of a Bronx Cheer that uses apricot brandy. Apricot nectar is the substitute and the raspberry soda and raspberries are par for the course.
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • Raspberry soda
  • orange peel 
  • fresh raspberries
Pour apricot nectar in a chilled Collins glass filled with ice. Top with raspberry soda and stir. Garnish with orange twist and raspberries. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Ginger Beer

I'm glad I trusted my instincts with the selection of Negro Modelo for the dark beer needed for the Ginger Beer. This beer cocktail is really delicious, but you don't want to use a stout like Guiness or a porter. It's not really a dessert drink.

Rather, it is a way to make a beer taste like ginger beer and give it a strong ginger brandy kick. It's actually amazing!

Negro Modelo is a dry and slightly malty dark beer. Other dunkels will work. I suspect that a dark beer is called for so you don't see the brandy in the drink causing discoloration.

You can use Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, which is brandy based, for the ginger brandy. But it is pretty easy to make the ginger brandy yourself with fresh ginger. I used D'Usse cognac and several slices of fresh ginger in an infusion that rested for about two days. It was brilliantly spicy and silky at the same time. I really recommend doing this over buying a bottle of such a specific spirit.
  • 2 oz. ginger brandy
  • dark beer
Fill a beer mug 3/4 full with dark beer and drop the ginger brandy in the mug. 

Pink Creole

This was a difficult drink to pull off and photograph. That is because it is a lime drink with cream and no egg white. Put these two ingredients together and you get a curdled mess. Get around this problem by shaking the other ingredients first and then adding and shaking the cream.

I also had to make the rum soaked cherries. Something about Creole drinks suggests tricky cherries. I just soaked farmer's market red cherries in light rum and used the rum from the infusion to make the drink.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
  • black cherry soaked in rum
Combine rum, lime juice and grenadine in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and add half-and-half. Shake again to combine and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry. (Note: for an especially cherry flavored drink, use the rum the cherries are soaked in.)

Honey Bee

This is the rum answer to the Bee's Knees. Do it the same way as the more popular gin cocktail, with honey syrup, so that the honey dissolves when you shake it. Use equal parts hot water and honey to make this syrup and use a little more of it than the recipe calls for because its diluted. This drink is tart and sweet and very rewarding.
  • 2 oz. light rum 
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. honey (1 oz. honey syrup)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Corn And Oil (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

Corn And Oil is a recipe from Martin Cate's book on Smuggler's Cove rum drinks. According to Kate this is a traditional Barbados recipe and must be done with Barbados blended and aged rum. There's not much else to it: John D. Taylor falernum and Angostura bitters. The trick is to make a swizzle in an Old Fashioned glass. This must be done with lots of crushed ice to get that frosted glass you can see in the photo above. See the recipe below.
  • 2 oz. blended and aged Barbados rum
  • 1/2 oz. falernum (homemade falernum used)
  • 2-4 dashes Angostura bitters
Build drink in a double Old Fashioned glass and pack to the top with crushed ice. Stir until frost forms on the outside of the glass.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

London Cocktail

Broker's gin is a quintessential London dry gin. It is strong, dry and spicy, and it sports a bowler cap. The London cocktail tries to capitalize on zippy flavors of a spicy dry gin and a dry maraschino liqueur and orange bitters to be especially stiff tasting.

Keep calm and carry on.
  • 3 oz. London dry gin (Broker's used)
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 5 dashes orange bitters (Hella used)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist. 

Hawaiian Cocktail

Another cocktail that is almost a tiki--the only exception is that this one is made with gin and few fruit juices so it falls slightly short. Rather it is a fitting cocktail expression of Hawaii. Use either a dry or "wet" gin here, it won't matter since there's so much sweetness from pineapple and triple sec.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Harlem Cocktail

There's so much about this drink that makes sense. Real crushed pineapple (and juice from a fresh pineapple) maraschino liqueur, and gin. It's urban, its tropical, it served in a rocks glass for easy toasting. What's not to like? Plus, New York gets so many cocktails from the NY Sour to the Manhattan. Why not Harlem?
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 1 tbsp. fresh pineapple chunks
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. (Pineapple chunk garnish optional.)


I'm doing a lot of pink egg white drinks lately. Sevilla is a dessert-like drink with a whole egg, a rich rum if you have it, and port. If done right, the foam will be very tall, and no ice will be necessary to keep the drink cool. It's like fruity rum ice cream when really cold.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Buzzard Point rum used)
  • 2 oz. ruby port
  • whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker to chill. Remove ice by straining into another container. Return liquid ingredients into the shaker and shake vigorously to create foam. Pour into a chilled wine glass. 

Elk's Own

I'm betting this is the official drink of one of those funny fur hat-wearing men's clubs of bygone days. Its fruity and strong with a flashy pink foam and pineapple spear. Most unusual, it is made with rye.
  • 2 oz. rye 
  • 1 oz. ruby port
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • egg white
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • pineapple spear
Combine sugar, rye, egg white, lemon juice and port in a shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain with gated finish into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the pineapple spear.

Vodka Sling

As I've said before, a sling is an easy way to drink a particular liquor. The Vodka Sling is citrusy and sweet and a good rocks sipper if you really like your vodka. Aylesbury Duck wheat vodka was especially smooth when done this way.
  • 2 oz. vodka (Aylesbury Duck used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • orange twist
Dissolve sugar in water in a mixing glass. Add vodka, lemon juice and ice and stir. Pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange twist. 

Honolulu Cocktail

The Honolulu Cocktail is pretty much a tiki cocktail. It is complex, tropical and bittersweet. The point, though was to do this in a cocktail glass so that it was fashionable or easy to do in a non-tiki restaurant. I've done it both up and in a tiki mug for this recipe. The difference is really just a matter of ice and garnishes.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon  juice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • dash orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For the tiki version, strain into a tiki mug full of crushed ice. Top with garnishes and flowers.

September Morn

I can see waking up to this rosy drink on a cool morning, as the name suggests. There's egg white, rum, lime juice and grenadine. Not too original except for the time of day that you consume it.
  • 3 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • egg white
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker to produce foam. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain with a gated finish into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Saxon Cocktail / Santiago Cocktail

This is a two-for-one post because these two drinks are remarkably similar. The Saxon Cocktail, probably so named because...well there's no obvious correlation between a tropical rum drink and Saxons, but I like to think there is by way of pirate ships and islands. It is proportionally stronger than the latter.

Santiago Cocktail has more lime juice and no orange twist, which makes it a juicier drink. It requires a half tsp. of simple syrup to cut the acidity.

Saxon Cocktail 
  • 2 oz. light rum  
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grenadine 
  • orange twist
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist. 

Santiago Cocktail
  • 2 oz. light rum  
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup 
  • dash grenadine
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Gin & Ginger

This is the ginger brother to the Gin & Tonic. It's seldom done anymore, but with the arrival of quality of tonics and ginger ales like Q, I feel like it deserves a second look.
  • 2 oz. gin (Broker's used)
  • Ginger Ale (Q ginger ale used)
  • lemon twist
Build drink in a Collins or highball glass with ice. Top with ginger ale and twist lemon peel on tip and drop in.

Fine And Dandy

Such an old-school accolade for a name. Fine and Dandy is a Britishism that signifies that all is going well. And it is, with this cocktail with plenty of citrus bitterness. Strange Monkey gin is a fruity backbone to an ounce of triple sec, one of lemon and a dash of orange bitters shower.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • dash orange bitters (Hella bitters used)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


Frenet Branca is so bitter and rooty that you don't find it in many cocktails. People either love it or hate it, and there's not much a cocktail can do to change that. The Yodel, however is the best Frenet Branca cocktail I've tried. It has some of the "just brushed my teeth and drank orange juice feel," but with soda, it's not unpleasant. And it might even turn people on to this fernet.
  • 3 oz. Fernet Branca
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • sparkling water
Build drink in a highball glass full of ice. Top with sparkling water and stir.