Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chartreuse Swizzle

"The only liqueur so good they named a color after it!"
Quentin Tarantino as "Warren" in Death Proof

I've heard about this drink for quite a while but rarely have Chartreuse in the house. Recently at Barkeeper in Silverlake (http://www.barkeepersilverlake.com/) I saw a small bottle for a decent price and picked it up.
I think it's a bit odd to use something as distinctive and bold as Chartreuse as the base in a cocktail. I've used it mostly as a modifier in the past. Usually with gin.
This is my kind of Tiki drink!

2 oz green Chartreuse
1 ½ oz pineapple juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz falernum
Build in a Collins glass. (Or in this case an empty jam jar from a couple of blueberry seasons past)
Add crushed ice.
Swizzle until outside of glass frosts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


... 11pm After a bunch of food and wine

Armen: What do you have that's a traditional spanish after dinner drink?
Waiter: hmmmm, a lot of people like gin and coke
Armen: No, anything more traditional like sherry or some liqueur made in Spain?
Waiter: The Caprioska is pretty traditional here I think it's originally from Brazil
Armen: No, I don't want that, how about some grappa or anything from Spain
Waiter: Some draft beer?
Armen: hmmmm, no that sounds pretty filling after all of that food
Waiter: you should try the Caprioska I think you'll really like it it's very refreshing it's got vodka and lime...
Armen: I don't really want... Ok I'll take the Caprioska

Lime Juice and lime wedges for garnish
Soda water and crushed ice

Build in glass and enjoy after some delicious spanish food for a traditional end to your meal.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Attention Cocktail

This one is from Jamie Boudreau. It's not bad. A little wimpy though. I think it needed a little bite. Maybe a bar spoon of the modifiers instead of 1/4 oz.

2 oz gin
¼ oz absinthe
¼ oz dry vermouth
¼ oz creme de violette
2 dashes Regan's orange bitters
Stir with ice.
Strain into an iced cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan

It's the season premiere of Gossip Girl so I decided to recreate the battle of Blair Waldorf and the other socialites of Manhattan against the Humphrey's of Brooklyn.

OK, I'm a little embarrassed that I know that much about GG. (That's what I call it.) However I am excited about doing some comparative tasting between two classic cocktails.

I thought for sure I was going to prefer the Manhattan, and I "knew" Wendy would. Oddly enough we were torn.

Here are the recipes:

2 oz rye whiskey (Wild Turkey)
3/4 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1/3 oz Torani Amer
1/3 oz maraschino liqueur
Stir and strain and garnish with a cherry.

2 oz rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir and strain and garnish with a cherry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Montego Bay

  • 1½ oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz 1:1 honey syrup
  • ½ oz grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ¼ oz pimento dram
  • 4 dashes absinthe
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Shake well with ice and strain in to a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an grapefruit zest twist.
I'm stepping up my garnish game. I received a bottle of Smith and Cross as a gift and have been experimenting with tiki and other rum drinks. This one was great! This rum is crazy. Really strong. 114 proof! Not a sipper but it has some great flavor. It stands up to the pimento dram which can really overpower a drink.
The crushed ice is key. The glass is all frosty and slippery. Great on a hot SF Valley evening.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pan American Clipper

I picked up a glass with the old mexicana airlines logo on it so I went looking around for a good aviation drink (but not an aviation). I'm a pretty big fan of grenadine and lime together, and adding calvados sounded pretty delicious too. From Around the World with Jigger, Beaker, and Flask.

1.5 oz Calvados
1 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Grenadine
dash Absinthe


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Peach Old Fashioned

I have some peaches and have been trying to incorporate them into a drink for a few nights now. The Whisky Peach Smash by Dale Degroff was what I wanted to make but I had no mint. Instead I came up with this simple twist on my simple favorite.

Muddle a slice of peach coated in four or five dashes of grapefruit bitters with a teaspoon of simple syrup.
Add 2 ounces of bourbon and stir with an ice cube until it begins to dilute.
Add one more slice of peach and another ice cube.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ramos Gin Fizz

Another good breakfast drink from the pages of Jigger, Beaker, and Flask.

1 tsp. sugar
3-4 drops orange flower water
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1.5 oz dry gin
1 egg white (to be safe, use pasteurized eggs)
1.5 oz. milk, half and half or cream
Shake with crushed ice for at least a minute and pour over finely crushed ice and top with 1 -2 oz seltzer water.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Donuts and Coffee

This was for a TDN Kahlua night. I thought it was pretty good, but a little generic.

1.5 oz Espresso
1 oz Steamed Milk
.75 oz Kahlua
2 dashes Absinthe
Top with Donut Infused Whipped Cream (I used Original Krispy Kreme Donuts)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gold Cup

Everyone is talking about rum now, and being the slave to trends that
I am, here is a nice tiki drink from the Hukilau Room of the Captains
Inn in Long Beach circa 1962.
Here is a picture of their menu online.


I haven't quiet perfected my ice shell skills but here it is.

¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz sugar syrup
½ oz maraschino liqueur
1 ½ oz gold Jamaican rum
1 tsp Pernod
3 drops almond extract

Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a saucer champagne glass.
This was originally served with an "ice shell" forming a hood over
the glass.

It's a little sweet like most tiki drinks I've had, but the
combination of flavors keep it interesting. I'm going to continue to
make some tiki drinks so I can work on my garnishing and ice forming.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Soak it in Cider #2 Update

I guess all of our cocktail recipe tweaking finally paid off. We got published in Mutineer Magazine in the Thursday Drink night section with a good review of our drink. Well, mostly Sketch's drink, but my name's finally gotten a positive experience on tdn instead of our usual experience of ignoring all of their rules and posting random off topic/out of turn drinks!

Monday, April 5, 2010

La Paloma

This is going to be the drink of the summer. I used David Wondrich's
recipe from Esquire but had heard about the drink originally from
press about Las Perlas (the new tequila bar by the good people who brought you Cole's, Seven Grand, and Doheny)

In a glass pour:
2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (toss in spent shell)
pinch of salt
Add ice and top with grapefruit soda. Preferably Jarritos or other Mexican brand. Squirt in a pinch.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Beatnik


  • 1/2 oz tawny port
  • 1 1/2 oz Averna liqueur
  • 1 oz small batch bourbon whiskey
  • flamed orange peel for garnish


  1. Rinse a cocktail glass with port and pour into a mixing glass with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Stir 30 times over ice.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Finally found the right recipe! Thank you Gary Regan. Every recipe
omits creme de violette because it was esentially unavailable for
years. It is now imported by Haus Alpenz and a semi-proper Aviation
is now possible. I say semi because the original recipe called for
quite a bit less of the liqueurs. I prefer to be able to taste them
and think the older recipe is too tart.
1 1/2 gin
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 maraschino
1/2 creme de violette
Shake and double strain.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

California Sherry Wine Cobbler

I finally opened up the bottle of Tio Pepe I purchased at Howe's going
out of business sale. This drink seemed like the best use of it. We
also tried an Adonis. (essentially a sherry manhattan). Both were
excellent, the cobbler was not quite sweet enough though so I added
more pineapple syrup.
The sherry cocktail is nice when you want something slightly less
alcoholic. Maybe at the end of the evening after a strong one.

Serving vessel: a pint glass.
1/4 oz sugar
1 oz pineapple syrup
Fill with ice.
6 oz sherry
Stir with a spoon.
Ornament with an orange, pineapple and berry.
Top with Port, a little.
Serve with a straw.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ginger Peartini

Is it a "tini" if it has gin? I've been wanting to make things with
my pear brandy from Clear Creek. Here's experiment #1

1/2 oz Clear Creek Pear Eau de Vie
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur
1 1/2 oz gin
Stir with ice and strain.

I enjoyed it. Next time I will mix it in favor of more gin. It's a
little sweet.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Anvil 100 provided the inspiration. Looka! provided the recipe. Nicely balanced and not as sweet as some of the vermouth drinks I've been having lately.

1-1/2 ounces cognac.
3/4 ounce dry vermouth.
1/2 teaspoon simple syrup.
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters.
1 dash orange bitters

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Soak it in Cider #2

TDN (Thursday Drink Night) is a group of cocktail bloggers and enthusiasts who get together in the Mixoloseum chat room to share recipes based on a theme. This last week the theme was "Bubbles". Any cocktail with a bubbly ingredient was fair game. Tonic, champagne, ginger beer, and club soda was used. I brought some sparkling sake and hard apple cider. The sake didn't get opened this time but we used the cider in a variation of another cocktail that was posted here last fall. It turned out pretty good after some tweaking of the ratios.

2 oz gin

1/2 oz Dolin Blanc

1/4 oz maple syrup (use the grade B stuff)

2 dashes whiskey barrel bitters

barspoon pimento dram.

Stir and strain over ice. Add 2 oz hard apple cider.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Spicy Colada"

Inspired by Bacardi's new True Originals video, The Hummingbird"


I mixed a Pina Colada using a close approximation of the ingredients
in the video.

4 cubes of pineapple
2 heaping barspoons raw sugar
2 oz fresh coconut water
2 oz spiced rum (it should probably be Bacardi white but all I had was
spiced. It works well)
Squeeze of lime

Muddle pineapple and sugar then add coconut water and rum. Shake and
double strain into glass. Add crushed ice, pineapple spear, and a
squeeze of lime.

The True Originals videos are great. Cocktail Porn! "The Samurai"
was better than this one however. Mostly because I can't find a Pina
Colada recipe that uses coconut water instead of Coco Lopez or cream.
I don't know if this is better but it's really good and utilizes a bit
of drama in the preparation. I'll be firing it up this summer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ameretto Siciliano

This is from Thursday Drink Night. I didn't have Averna so I used a mix of Campari and simple syrup and it was delicious. I can't wait to give it a try with Averna!

1 1/2 Rye
3/4 Amaretto
1/2 Averna
1/2 Lemon
1/4 Maple syrup
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel bitters

Monday, January 25, 2010

Old Pal

1 1/4 oz whiskey (I used rye)
1 oz campari
1 oz sweet vermouth

This was pretty good. Kind of a mix between a Manhattan and a Negroni. I went with rye instead of bourbon because I thought it would be a little too sweet with the bourbon.

Moscow Mule

2 oz. vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
4 oz. ginger beer

Shake Vodka and lime juice. top off with ginger beer and lime wedge. Refreshing and delicious!


Not something I would want every day, but it's a nice change to have a cocktail not based on a "standard" spirit like gin or whiskey.

2 oz. Dry Vermouth

1 1/2 oz. Benedictine

1/4 tsp Pernod

Stir Vermouth and Benedictine with cracked Ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Add Pernod and garnish with a flamed orange twist.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carousel Punch

We've made this twice in the last week. The first occasion was for Nate and Dwen's baby shower. We made short work of it. The second was for a get together at the Oregon coast for my sister's birthday. That one lasted a little longer as there were too many other choices that started being consumed around 11 am.
It's very easy to make because you don't have to buy a lot of obscure ingredients.
It's a good wintery punch and might be good hot.

750 ml Calvados (or Lairds Bonded Apple Brandy)
750 ml Pimm's No. 1
15 oz. lemon juice
10 oz. fresh pomegranate juice
15 oz. unfiltered apple juice
18 oz. five spice honey syrup (recipe below)
1 oz. Fee Bros. whiskey barrel bitters (or Angostura)
1 oz. Peychaud's bitters (or orange bitters)
Garnish: 20 thin slices of apple

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl and stir. Garnish by slicing apples cross-wise, so the exposed seed chambers create a star shape in the center of each slice.

Five Spice Honey
18 oz. honey
6 oz water
4 whole star anise
20 whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
5 cracked whole nutmegs
12 allspice berries

Toast spices lightly in a skillet. When spices become aromatic, add water and honey, then simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat to extract spice oils. Strain into a clean glass container while still warm. (It will thicken too much to strain easily if allowed to cool.) Keeps refrigerated for three weeks.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Improved Cocktail

1876 - Jerry Thomas

Anvil is a bar in Houston and they have a list of 100 cocktails
everyone should try before they die. This is my 50th drink on this

Very good simple cocktail along the lines of an old fashioned.

2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp simple syrup
1/2 tsp maraschino
1/8 tsp absinthe
2 oz spirits (I used cognac)
Stir with ice and strain into chilled glass.
Lemon rind twisted to express the oil.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Green Glacier

2 oz brandy ( I used Remy VSOP)
¾ oz green Chartreuse
¼ oz crème de cacao (use white, not dark)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir and strain into chilled coupe.

This is a nice end of the evening cocktail. It's kind of manhattany
and a little sweet.

The recipe is from Jamie Boudreau's spiritsandcocktails.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Oriental Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Rye Whisky
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz triple sec
1/2 oz lime juice
Shake and double strain.