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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Negroni Sbagliato

As summer is winding to a close (okay, we live in California; please don’t hate us. Okay, go ahead.) we thought we would have one more fling with the those classics of summer frivolity, the spritz.  This item we are going with probably one of our favorites, the Negroni Sbagliato. We got the recipe out of Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau.  They retell (via the current owner and son of the alleged inventor) a pretty great story about Mirko Stocchetto, owner of the Bar Brasso in Milan, inventing the drink the[…]

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Dasiy de Santiago

With this post, we bid a fond farewell to Summer.  It’s started raining and the limes are getting big enough to use, so we thought one final salute to that greatest of all seasons was in order. Having limes ready for picking, we went in search for a suitable cocktail in which to use them.  We found, I think, a great outlet for them in today’s tipple, which we found in Jigger, Beaker and Glass—Drinking Around the World by Charles H. Baker, Jr., a reissue of half of his 1946 two volume series, The Gentleman’s Companion. He gives credit “…[…]

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Blackthorn (Irish Variation)

Astute readers will recall the we previously covered another version of the Blackthorn Cocktail, but which was gin based.  In fact probably the original namesake was called the Blackthorn  after the plum-bearing shrub  that produces the sloe berry (from which we get sloe gin). Philip Greene‘s book The Manhattan … provides this version which he claims (according to the March 18, 1905 edition of the New York Times) to be loosely based on a “Shamrock cocktail”, whose infamy they saw fit to immortalize due to the barman at the Hotel Netherland providing them to the sixty-ninth regiment instead of the[…]

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Paloma

So funny story… My parents and aunt and uncle were traipsing about with wilds of Michigan’s upper peninsula.  Apparently want to cap off the evening and being fond of margaritas, they stopped by one of the local establishments and tried ordering one.  Owing to the fact that neither tequila, nor limes, nor triple sec are particularly indigenous ingredients in those northern climes, some improvising was required on the part of their bartender (and hallelujah for ingenious bartenders… except for Manhattans… then don’t get clever).  Anyway, what they wound up with, which they affectionately referred to as a “Yupper Margarita” was[…]

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Rosita

There are few things that say summer more to me than tequila. And good tequila (not the bottle of liquid stupid that we all drank way too much of in college) needs no help. Just a warm summer evening and a glass.  It doesn’t need salt or a lime or the scantily clad body of a coed, though a lime isn’t an all together unpleasant accessory.  So, with that in mind, if I am going to make a cocktail with tequila, it has to be a good one. Something that comes together into that gestalt to magically show off the[…]

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