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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Satan’s Whiskers

With the start of the new year, it’s time to resume blogging.  Last year was not an epic year for the blog, though we had some good moments.  To kick the new year off, I decided (B actually told me) to change the theme.  We’ll see if this one has legs. I also realized that probably the very first cocktail I found to make for B hadn’t been blogged about, a Satan’s Whiskers.  I first ran across this one on Robert Hess’ DrinkBoy.com site.  He subsequently made a video as part of his Cocktail Spirit series for SmallScreenNetwork.  At some[…]

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report.

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A bitter edge

This weeks post is a bit of a departure from the usual cocktail recipe and discussion.  Instead I want to discuss something essential to so many great cocktails, which would not be terribly hyperbolic to call it the essence of a cocktail.  What, at least in my opinion, distinguishes a cocktail from other tipples is that it contains ingredient (almost entirely alcohol) that edgily harmonize in a way that makes them more than the constituents, which frequently aren’t particularly palatable on their own (think gin).  Frequently the edgy component is a concoction called “bitters”.  Recently bitter liqueurs like Campari and[…]

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The Widow’s Kiss

I have to confess that I found this one looking for something with Calvados in it.  In looking at it, it had pretty much everything I love. It’s old. It’s chock-full of screwball booze.  Also, it turns out to be really good as well. David Wondrich gives credit to a German bartender named George J. Kappeler at the Holland House hotel on Fifth Ave. and Thirtieth St. in New York for it’s invention.  Apparently it as all the rage before the turn of the last century. Almost all of the recipes I found for this cocktail call for Yellow Chartreuse,[…]

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Agricole Daiquiri

This twist on the classic involves one of my favorite things… quirky booze.  This time it’s rhum agricole.   All rum is originally fermented from sugar (it’s what makes it rum instead of  say brandy, which uses fruit, or whiskey that uses grain).  Most rums use molasses.  What makes rhum agricole unique is that is uses fresh cane juice rather than the molasses.  The result of this is that it has a greener herbal taste reminiscent of some tequilas.  Our friends Bob and Nancy had given me a bottle of this for my birthday several years ago (this isn’t the[…]

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Bijou

One of the problems with the history of cocktails, is that the people most qualified to write it would rather be drinking.  Those that are writing, tend to be prone to indulging in a bit of self aggrandizement.   Case in point, one Harry Johnson.  According to cocktail historian David Wondrich in his book Imbibe, Johnson’s many unsubstantiated claims include publishing the first cocktail book in 1860 (none of which exist today in spite of his claim of selling 10,000 copies) and being the first to bring cocktails to New York.  Interestingly, however, the 1900 edition of his book does included[…]

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Kir Royale

Tonight is one of those great summer evenings. There’s a cool breeze blowing in off the Sacramento River delta. The blackberries in the sorbet are at their sweetest. The perfect cocktail to round out this evening, a Kir Royale.  The first time I ran across this drink was a tweet from Imbibe.  A little help from Google and I found a video of Robert Hess (of Drinkboy.com and Cocktail Spirit fame) making the drink. Apparently it is a popular apartif to have before dinner in Paris. It’s a simple cocktail to make.  Just pour champagne in a champagne flute.  Add[…]

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On the way to ten…

B & I are actually mid cocktail right now (a Blackthorn to be specific).  We’ve begun discussing our ten greatest cocktails of all times.  There are a lot of tipplings, that when confronted with, you wouldn’t object to drinking.  What we are  talking about are those drinks so epic and so distinctive as to distinguish themselves.  The only problem we are having is that we are no where near ten. After a few minutes of semi-cogent discussion, we have (in no particular order, yet): The Oriental (probably our joint number 1) The Sidecar The Daiquiri (the real one… no blender,[…]

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The Emerson

I was looking back through the cocktails that I wanted to write about and found this one from back in May, 2007.  Okay, curious. Why hadn’t I written about this one yet?  I looked back at the cocktail hazed notes that we jotted down at the time and they seemed favorable.  Well, today’s the day.   Step one, head to bookshelf and find the recipe. Hmmm. this is becoming clearer.  I think that I made it just after I got a bottle of Maraschino and found this recipe that used it, because the only version of this recipe that I can[…]

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