Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Volstead

I like that I found the best cocktail of 2009 during the last week.
This one is really stellar. Too easy to drink. I want to make these
by the pitcher. It's named after that rat bastard Andrew Volstead who
oversaw the passage of prohibition.

1 1/2 oz rye
1/2 oz grenadine
3/4 oz orange juice
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
dash of pastis
shake, double strain, serve, put in mouth.

Swedish Punsch

Swedish Punsch is a cocktail ingredient that pops up every once and a while but is rare as rocking horse shit. Luckily the main ingredient, Batavia Arrack, is semi available now.

I've made two versions of so far. The first recipe I used was from Joe at Barkeeper in Silverlake. It was good and quite a bit more spicy. This one from the blog Underhill Lounge is more balanced. It's nice on its own chilled or used as an ingredient in a Volstead cocktail, my new favorite.

2 cups Appleton V/X Rum (I used Lemon Hart Demerara)
1 cup Batavia Arrack
2 cup hot extra strong spiced tea (4 tsp Peet's Yunnan Fancy Tea, 6 crushed cardamom pods, brewed in 2 cup water)
2 cup raw or natural sugar
2 Sorrento lemons sliced thinly, seeds removed

Put sliced lemons in a resealable non-reactive container large enough to hold 4 cups of liquid. Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over citrus. Cover and steep for 6 hours.

Dissolve sugar in hot tea and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

After 6 hours, pour rum off of sliced citrus, without squeezing fruit.

Combine tea syrup and flavored rum. Filter and bottle in a clean sealable container. Rest 24 hours and enjoy where Swedish Punch is called for.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Liberal

I like this. I got the recipe from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh. I've read other recipes that have a more traditional Manhattan style ratio of whiskey to vermouth. I might try that next.
3/4 oz rye or bourbon
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica, I used Cinzano)
3 dashes Torani Amer
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir energetically and strain. Garnish with a cherry.

Monday, December 14, 2009


1 oz dry gin
3/4 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry
orange twist
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks-filled old fashioned glass.
Garnish with a generous orange twist.

I like most of the Negroni variations I try. My favorite so far has
been the Sbagliato (Campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling wine). It
was made for me by a patient and enthusiastic bartender in Genoa, Italy.
Most of the amari have been too sweet for me lately but the sweetness
in the Cynar is cut by the dry vermouth.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rain Killer

We've been stuck inside watching the rain beat against the windows. I took a short drive to take my son to the movies and the LA river is half full and the gutters are all the way full forcing traffic into the middle lanes. This weather makes me want a tiki drink!

I downloaded the Tiki+ app on my phone today for my inspiration. It was created by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (one of the cocktail bloggers I follow) and has about 150 tiki recipes.

½ oz fresh lime juice (I subbed lemon)
½ oz orange juice
½ oz pineapple juice
½ oz sugar syrup
1 ½ oz white Puerto Rican rum (can sub vodka, gin, bourbon, or brandy)
1 dash Angostura bitters (I subbed Peychaud's)
4 oz (½ cup) crushed ice

Put everything in a blender, saving crushed ice for last. Blend at high speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a specialty glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and paper parasol.
From Steve Crane’s Kon-Tiki restaurant chain, circa 1962.

I tried this twice. Having run out of Angostura bitters ( I blame the Angostura shortage of 2009 - ) I added 2 drops of allspice dram to the second attempt. The first one was great, the second one was totally greater.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corpse Reviver #3?

It's really hard to make a cocktail and take a picture of it with one
hand. I held my baby girl a lot today. She was a little cranky and
only relaxed when held.
I managed to squeeze the lemon and add all of the ingredients to the
shaker. I was not able to break the ice or take a decent picture of
the finished product.
The drink is actually called a Corpse Reviver #2. It was very good.
I've been wanting to make this for a while but never have Lillet. I
decided the Dolin Blanc would make a fine substitute. Hence #3
I think it was created as a breakfast cocktail, something for the
morning after.

1oz gin
1oz Cointreau
1oz Lillet Blanc (I used Dolin)
1oz lemon juice
3 drops pastis
Shake and double strain into coupe glass over a stemless cherry.
For the cherry I used a Luxardo Maraschino soaked in Maraschino liqueur.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Derby

Not to be confused with the delicious Brown Derby containing
grapefruit juice. This is pretty good however. I tried it with Dolin
Blanc instead of the sweet vermouth but should try the original as well.

1 oz bourbon
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 orange curaçao
.75 lime juice
Shake and strain and garnish with a mint leaf.

Park Avenue Cocktail

I flipped through the brilliant "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten
Cocktails" for inspiration and this caught my eye. I haven't had much
luck with pineapple in non-tiki drinks. The Algonquin was a bust.
(rye, dry vermouth, and pineapple) I just made the mistake of opening
a gallon of juice because I needed 2 oz for the Jungle Bird #2.

2 oz gin
.75 oz pineapple juice
.75 oz sweet vermouth
2 tsp orange curaçao

PS As I'm writing this my opinions are changing slightly, but I think
that's the gin talking.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Egg Nog

Yum! This is by far the best eggnog that I've ever had. Not that I'm an eggnog expert, but I'm planning on being one by the end of the holidays! Anyway, this one is from the Jeffrey Morgenthaler website.

2 large eggs
3 oz (by volume) granulated sugar
½ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2 oz brandy
2 oz spiced rum (I use Sailor Jerry’s)
6 oz whole milk
4 oz heavy cream

Beat eggs in blender for one minute on medium speed. Slowly add sugar and blend for one additional minute. With blender still running, add nutmeg, brandy, rum, milk and cream until combined. Chill thoroughly to allow flavors to combine and serve in chilled wine glasses or champagne coupes, grating additional nutmeg on top immediately before serving.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm drinking my way through the Anvil 100, and I'm still under halfway. This drink wasn't a winner for me, I wanted to like it because the Negroni is one of my favorites, but swapping the Campari for Chartreuse kinda takes away the magic. It also takes away the bitter that counteracts the sweetness of the vermouth, so the drink is really syrupy sweet.

I looked at some other blogs and some people changed the ratio to 1.5 gin, .5 Chartreuse, .5 Vermouth. That sounds more appealing to me, but I still don't think I'll be making the switch from the Negroni anytime soon.

3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Dash Orange Bitters

Stir and Strain, Garnish with a cherry and lemon peel

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Still working on the Anvil 100... I'm less than halfway through still

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cuba Kula

This one has no Campari.

2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz honey
1 oz orange juice
1 oz dark rum, the recipe calls for Myers but i used Coruba12
1 oz Lemon Hart demerara
1/2 oz Bacardi 151
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod

Dissolve the honey in the limejuice and then place it all in a shaker and shake with plenty of ice. Strain over highball with ice.

Jungle Bird #2

OK, it's not exactly tiki drink season but this one was pretty good. The Campari made it seem more appropriate for a cold November evening. I made it for Wendy but she is opposed to all things Campari.

0.75 oz campari
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz demerara rum
1 oz overproof demerara rum to float

Shake and pour into a highball filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime.

Scottish Breakfast

Lots of apple based cocktails lately. It's that time of year. I have some hard apple cider brewing in the basement. I sampled it last night and it's going to be great! In the meantime I'm using my calvados to tide me over.

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 1/2 ounces Speyside single-malt scotch (I don't know what speyside means, I used Glenlivet)
  • 1/2 ounce apple brandy
  • 1 ounce cream (I used milk because I don't put heavy cream into my temple)
  • 1/2 ounce Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 dash simple syrup
  • -- Fresh-grated cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions: Combine all ingredients, except cinnamon, in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Cocktail

1 oz apple cider
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz Calvados
Shake with ice.
Strain into cocktail glass.

This tastes surprisingly like the hard apple cider I made a couple of
years ago. Very light and refreshing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Soak it in Cider"

Every fall I crave apple cider. Not any old cider, but fresh pressed,
no preservatives, no pasteurization, no nothing but apples. I've only
found the real deal a few times in my life. The family and I went on
the hunt today and found it.
On the advice of some friends we drove to Oak Glen up in the hills
before you get to Palm Springs. We tried a few places on the way up
the hill but found a place that let you press your own. I thought it
was just a tourist gimmick but when you do it your self you know
exactly what goes into your cider.
I drank my fill today and have plans for the cider that made it home.
I'm going to let it sit out for a couple months and see if the yeasts
present will make it turn into hard cider.
I did make some apple cider syrup, by reducing it down, then played
around this evening and came up with this!

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1/2 oz apple cider
1/2 oz apple cider syrup
1 barspoon allspice dram
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with
a slice of apple.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tart Gin Cooler

I got off nice and early this evening and was craving a big glass of
something cold. This usually means a beer or soda but the cupboards
were bare. I located some tonic getting dusty in the back of a
cupboard then found this recipe. I like a gin and tonic ok, but this
is really good! The addition of bitters is nice. I put a pretty
healthy splash in. I think the Stirrings blood orange bitters would
work as well.

2 oz gin
2 oz pink grapefruit juice
2 oz tonic
Peychaud bitters (to taste)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

20th Century Cocktail

1.5 oz Gin
3/4 oz Creme De Cacao
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

The Creme de Cacao really works well with the lemon. This one's a keeper!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Last Word

3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Maraschino
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake and Strain
This was delicious, but a it seemed a little too sweet, maybe less maraschino?

Devil's Cocktail

1/2 Port
1/2 dry vermouth
2 dashes lemon juice
Shake with ice.
Strain into cocktail glass.
Very light, low in alcohol, and a great name!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Gin and Orange Bitters

Adapted from Kingsley Amis's "Everyday Drinking"

2 parts gin
1 part orange bitters ( Stirring's)
Stirred with ice and strained into chilled coupe.
I've finally found the perfect use for the Stirring's orange bitters.

Fourth Degree Cocktail

Working my way through the Anvil 100.

1/3 dry vermouth (Noily Prat)
1/3 gin
1/3 sweet vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
2 bar spoons absinthe
Stir with ice.
Strain into cocktail glass.

Manhattan (Perfect)

2 oz Bulleit bourbon
1/2 oz sweet vermouth (I used Dolin Blanc)
1/2 oz dry vermouth
8-10 dashes Matt's cherry vanilla bitters
Stirred with ice and strained into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish
with cherry.

This was really good. I like the addition of the dry vermouth. It
really lightens up the drink. However, I would like to try this with
the Carpano Antica or some other bold sweet vermouth.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Perfect Autumn Apertif! We just finished our jack o lantern and
roasted the seeds. They go perfectly with this...
1 oz. Aviation Gin
1 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
8-10 dashes of Matt Newell's cherry bitters
Stir over ice and strain into chilled coupe. Consume.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lambic Blinker

This is my new favorite! Jamie Boudreau recipe based on the Blinker

2 oz rye
½ oz Framboise Lambic Liqueur (recipe below)
1 oz grapefruit juice
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Framboise Lambic Liqueur
16 oz Framboise Lambic
16 oz sugar
20 oz vodka
Place lambic in a glass and stir, releasing CO2.
Place lambic in fridge overnight (releasing the rest of the CO2).
Place lambic in a pot on high heat.
Slowly add sugar, stirring all the while.
As the beer heats a head will form; remove from heat.
Skim off head and allow to cool.
When cooled, if any "chunks" of head left, skim off.
Place syrup in bottle and add vodka.
Shake well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Introducing... The unfortunately named "Dirty Ho"!

My sister is visiting and shared a recipe she learned at an event at
the World Forestry Center where she works.
**Hoegaarden beer with a splash of Framboise Lambic**
We did a little experimentation and decided that half and half was a
better ratio.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blood & Sand

1oz orange juice
1oz Scotch whisky
3/4 oz cherry-flavored brandy liqueur
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
Shake with ice.
Strain into cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cherry

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nirvana Cocktail

2 oz Rittenhouse 100 proof bonded rye
1 oz Amer Picon or Torani Amer
¼ oz maraschino liqueur
¼ oz Benedictine
Stir and strain.
Garnish with orange twist if desired.

I wanted to like this more than I did. I only had lemons, the orange
peel would have helped.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fifty-fifty Martini

1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
3-4 dashes orange bitters
lemon peel

Stir ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel. Since the vermouth is half the drink, you want to make sure to use a fairly decent one. I used Dolin dry.

Pimm's Cup

2 oz Pimm's #1
5 oz Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon soda
cucumber garnish

Fill a collin's glass with ice. Add Pimm's and top with soda. Stir and garnish with cucumber. You can also use ginger ale, club soda or lemon-lime soda instead of the bitter lemon.

Red Hook

2 oz rye
1/2 oz Punt e mes
1/4 oz maraschino

Stir with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Gold Rush

2 oz bourbon
1 oz honey syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with a big chunk of ice in it.

Pisco Sour

2 oz pisco
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1 small egg white
2-3 drops angostura bitters

Shake first four ingredients with out ice for at least thirty seconds to emulsify egg whites. Add ice and shake again to chill. Strain in to a chilled cocktail glass. Add three drops of bitters.

Remember the Maine

2 oz rye
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
brandied cherry for garnish

Stir first three ingredients with cracked ice and strain in to a chilled, absinthe rinsed cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherry.


1 sugar cube
3-4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
2 oz rye
Lemon peel for garnish

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and water and chill. In a second glass, soak sugar cube in bitters and muddle. Add ice and rye and stir. Remove ice from first glass and add a few drops of absinthe. Roll around glass and dump excess. (I used an atomizer.) Strain rye mixture into absinthe coated glass. Cut a nice, big peel of lemon over glass and throw peel in. (or not).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lillet cocktail

3 0z Lillet Blanc
3 dashes orange bitters
orange twist

Add ingredients to an ice filled wine glass and stir.


2 0z rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
2 dashes angostura bitters
lemon twist

Stir all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with lemon twist.

Jack Rose

2 oz applejack
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz homemade grenadine

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monte Carlo

1.5oz Rye
.5 oz Benedictine
2 Dashes Peychaud's

Stir and strain into glass. I think the layer of "stuff" on the top is from my silicone ice cube tray, time to look for new ice cube trays! Tastes like a Manhattan but sweeter. It would probably be good with a brandied cherry.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Church and State pic


I don't know what this is called. We were at Church and State having
dinner downtown and I asked for a cocktail with Cynar or Fernet in it.
It contains:
Muddled grapes
Lavender syrup
Soda water
Definitely worth trying to figure out the ratios some evening.

Church and State by the way was great. Fried pigs ears, roasted
marrow bones, and a couple of really good fish dishes. We'll be back.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Whisper Cocktail

1 part sweet vermouth
1 part dry vermouth
1 part whisky ( I used rye )
Shake and strain

Martinez Cocktail

1oz Aviation gin
2oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 dash of Bitter Truth orange bitters
2 dashes Luxardo maraschino liqueur
Stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass with a twist of lemon peel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fallen Leaves

1/4 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz calvados
2 dashes brandy
Stir and strain with twist of lemon!
This was my first calvados drink. I like it a lot more than the
applejack I've had in the past. It actually tastes like apple!

The national beverage of Argentina

Fernet and Coke

I don't know about this. I love Fernet on it's own. It was my first
and favorite amaro. The flavors seem like they should be
complimentary. It's just too much. Too sweet and too medicinal.
I've tried this with Mexican Coke as well. I reccomend you drink
these separately.

Dementia Pugilistica

OK. Get ready. I made a sample batch last night with lime instead of
the blood oranges and it was totally good. I might stick with it. I
think it kept the sweetness of the St. Germaine at bay.

⅔ bottle Remy Martin VS cognac ( or other good brandy)
¼ bottle maraschino liqueur
¼ bottle St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3 bottles Duval-Leroy Rose Champagne (or other good dry Champagne)
10 dashes Angostura bitters
15 dashes peach bitters (if available)
2 blood oranges, sliced
Take a large metal bowl and fill with water.
Place bowl in freezer until frozen.
Lay bowl in a sink of hot water until ice can slide out.
Place huge ice dome into a punch bowl.
Pour all other ingredients into punch bowl.
Stir and serve.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're blowing up the Blogosphere!

TDN Kahlua Coffee Cream
Scroll down a few photos.

Friday, September 18, 2009


2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Maraschino
1/4 oz Creme de Violette
Garnish with a brandied cherry (I used a luxardo cherry)

I only had one drink left in my bottle of Aviation Gin, so I thought I'd send it out with it's namesake drink.