Americano

The last throws of summer have been unrelentingly hot here, leading us to want something more on the light and refreshing side for our afternoon imbibing. We have don’t a number of spritzes already, including the the Venetian Spritz, the  Bitter Intentions and  the  Negroni Sbagliato, so we decided to go with a classic this time. The Americano, like the Negroni, was born from the Milano-Torino cocktail invented in 1860’s by Campari creator, Gaspare Campari, at his Caffè Campari bar in Milano. The original is just equal parts Campari and Punt e Mes sweet vermouth. Add gin and it’s a[…]

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The Journalist Cocktail

As most people know, B & I are unapologetic in our assertion that the modern martini is undrinkable.  First off, it’s usually not a martini; it’s strained gin with an olive.  Secondly, I just can’t get my head around gin and dry vermouth (at say 4 or 5:1).  The martini’s predecessor, the Martinez, is interesting, although a little overly sweet as it has the sweet Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur.  Even though both of us are diehard Manhattan drinkers, we both think there has to be a great Martini-based cocktail.  We definitely plan to give both the[…]

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Voyager

We are now officially mired in the swelter of summer, leaving us languishing for the ocean breezes of the South Pacific.  Obviously, something Tiki was in order, which is ironic, since if you want islands with a long tradition of rum drinks, you’re in the wrong ocean.  Be that as it may, B found a new entry in the Tiki lexicon.  This one is by @Drinkboy, Robert Hess, who created it in 2006.  In his own words, “…Polynesian inspired restaurants were intended as a mini-vacation, hence the Voyager name. That, and the fact that I’m also a Star Trek fan.” […]

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The Tulip Cocktail

I was looking for a preprandial cocktail when I came across the Tulip in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book.  It looked like a interesting combination of a few oddball things I had. Being straight out of a vintage cocktail book (ca. 1930), I figured it might need a bit of tweaking for a modern palate.  I wasn’t wrong, though my experimental results were a bit surprising.  The original recipe is 2 parts each calvados (apple brandy) and sweet vermouth and 1 part each lemon juice and apricot “brandy”.  It was pretty sweet and kind of lackluster. I tied to[…]

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French Pearl

I was flipping through Twitter yesterday when I noticed an interesting tweet about a cocktail called a French Pearl from the self-described “dowager bartender and industry Den mother”, Audrey Saunders.  She also happens to be a pillar of the cocktail world and proprietor of the New York’s legendary Pegu Club.  In her tweet she describes the French Pearl with “think of it as a Plymouth Gin mojito, then add a dribble of Pernod”.  Sold.  I curiously don’t have Pernod…  I definitely should.  What I do have is a couple of actual absinthes so I decided to call it good. In[…]

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The Running of the Gins

Recently B connected two saliently fortuitous details. 1) Our cocktail bookshelf has at least two volumes dedicated to gin, and 2) we have a copious examples of gins in our cabinet. Seemed  like a prime opportunity for a couple of academics to make a scholarly study of the subject. And realizing the importance of peer review in all scholarly endeavors, we decided to bring in long-time friend, scholar and fellow boozehound, Briana, as well. A careful review of Aaron Knoll‘s Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival provided a detailed framework for exactly how to taste gin, including[…]

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Hanky Panky Cocktail

As a tribute to the recently celebrated International Women’s Day, we thought we would give today’s cocktail, the Hanky Panky cocktail, a whirl.  It’s creation was credited to one Ada Coleman, the head bartender at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel from 1903 to 1925 and one of only two women to hold that position.  She was a bartender so iconic that she, and her famous cocktail, both have Wikipedia entries.  Both her story and the story of her creation of this cocktail are great reads. The Hanky Panky Cocktail 1 ½ oz. gin 1 ½ oz. sweet vermouth[…]

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Crux

B and I were thumbing through several of our cocktail volumes looking for a suitable tipple to kick off 2017, when we came across the Crux in Robert Hess‘s The Essential Bartender’s Guide.  It looked promising.  Nice classic cocktail structure; at least one odd-ball booze.   What’s not to love. I got to looking into the cocktail, and it doesn’t appear to be particularly vintage.  A quick perusal of the Dubonnet website gives credit to it to Death & Co., NYC.  It is not currently on their menu, but their “About” page says that they opened in 2006, so it’s less than ten[…]

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The Derby Cocktail

B was thumbing through Ted Haigh‘s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, when she ran across what she thought might be a tasty tipple in The Derby.  A quick perusal of the ingredients reveals that it’s awfully similar to one of our all time favorite cocktails, the Oriental Cocktail.  Basically put half as much bourbon as you would rye in an Oriental and up the lime juice and you with the Derby. This version is, according to the good Dr. Cocktail, isone of three versions in the 1947 edition of Trader Vic’s bartending guide and his favorite. The International Bartenders Association’s version[…]

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A Civilized Respite…

Mom and Teresa flew in for Thanksgiving. Mom, fresh from Australia, and T, fresh-ish from Cuba.   After a decidedly gluttonous gorging of turkey, we set to decorating 22 feet of Christmas trees.   Obviously, with a campaign of magnitude, fortification is required.  Fortunately, T, brought me back a great souvenir from Havana’s legendary La Floridita bar, former haunt of Papa Doble, Earnest Hemingway.  It seem only fitting to christen it with Hemingway Daiquiris, a.k.a, the Papa Dobles. We have blogged them before, and they were as great as we remembered it.  Braced by our daiquiris, we are able to soldier on.[…]

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