Sunday, December 4, 2016

devery crusta

1 jigger Scotch (1 1/4 oz Pig's Nose, 1/4 oz Caol Ila 12 Year)
1/2 tsp Raspberry Syrup (1/2 oz Royal Rose)
Juice 1/2 Lemon (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a glass with its rim crusted with sugar. I added a lemon twist.

Two Sundays ago after work, I decided upon the Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 as my evening's liquid adventure tour guide. In those pages, I found a curious Crusta in the non-American whisk(e)y chapter called the Devery Crusta. While there was no indication of what the drink was named after, one of the most famous Devery's of that time period was William Devery who became New York City's first police chief. A few years after telling his men, "They tell me there's a lot of grafting going on in this precinct. They tell me that you fellows are the fiercest ever on graft. Now that's going to stop! If there's any grafting to be done, I'll do it. Leave it to me.", he was arrested for bribery and extortion. Despite being dismissed from the police force, he was reinstated and eventually promoted to Chief of Police. The other thing Devery was famous for was buying a Baltimore baseball team, renaming it the Highlanders, and bringing it to New York in 1903; in 1912, that team became the New York Yankees.
Like many of the Crustas in Pioneers, the Devery Crusta lacks calls for the wide citrus peel garnish as well as bitters; of the two, I added back in the former. In the glass, this Crusta gave forth a peaty aroma along with the lemon oil one from the garnish. Next, a lemon, berry, and malt sip led into a swallow offering smoky Scotch melding into a raspberry finish. Overall, the whisky's peat and the raspberry made for a unexpectedly delightful combination.

autumn pimm's cup

2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Chai Tea Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with 2 oz hard cider (Eric Bordelet Nouvelle Vague), top with ice, and garnish with an apple slice and freshly grated cinnamon.
Two weeks ago, the theme for drink of the day was apple cider, so that Sunday I decided to do a harvest version of the Pimm's Cup using the cider in place of the lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. For a vegetal element, I regretted not bringing in some of my borage from the garden, and instead, I opted for a chai tea syrup which has mint leaves in the mix along with apple-complementary spices. While cinnamon is not in our chai mix, I added it to the nose by way of the garnish.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

black betty

1 oz Dark Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a flamed orange twist (no flame).
Two Saturdays ago, my nightcap selection came by way of The Canon Cocktail Book. Bartender Chris Good created the Black Betty as part of Canon's "shrouded roulette" bartender's choice, and the combination reminded me on paper of a more intense Blood of My Enemies. Once built, the Black Betty gave forth an orange and menthol aroma. Next, caramel and grape on the sip gave way to dark funky rum, raisin, and orange notes on the swallow along with a menthol finish.

Friday, December 2, 2016

avenue & davenport

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac)
1/2 oz Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Fridays ago, I was in the mood for a nightcap after my work shift, so I turned to a Toronto riff that I had spotted in Imbibe Magazine. The Avenue & Davenport was a tribute by Christopher Flett of Vancouver's Pourhouse to an intersection in Toronto that softened the Fernet Branca's bite with Maraschino which has worked in drinks like Mr. Clark's Cane and All Jacked Up. Moreover, the amaro quotient was expanded with the addition of a healthy dose of Cynar.
In the glass, the Avenue & Davenport shared a whiskey and nutty cherry nose that surprisingly offered very little Fernet aroma. Next, malt paired with the amari's caramel and a hint of cherry on the sip, and the swallow offered whiskey flavors with a nutty Maraschino melting with funky herbal notes and ended with a menthol element from the Fernet.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

my favorite things

1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Gin (Death's Door)
1 barspoon Green Chartreuse (1/8 oz)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with mint.

Two Thursdays after my work shift, I was in search of a nightcap, and I decided to revisit The Cocktail Collective book from 2010 to see if I passed over any gems. The one that called out to me was Mindy Kucan's My Favorite Things from when she was in Houston, Texas, before she moved out to Portland, Oregon. Surprisingly, this perhaps tribute to The Sound of Music song contained a completely different set of ingredients from Paul Manzelli's A Few of My Favorite Things, and it reminded me more of the Bottecchia with the Fernet Branca and Campari-forward balance.
The My Favorite Things' mint garnish added fresh complementary herbal notes to the Fernet Branca's menthol nose. Next, the Fernet's caramel paired with the Campari's orange on the sip, and the swallow began very Fernet-driven at first and then leading into Campari's bitter orange elements. Despite the brash and extreme appearance of the recipe, this would make a great digestif right after a big meal.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

cobbler's dream

1 1/4 oz Rye Whiskey (Sazerac)
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz St. Germain (St. Elder)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Butterfly). Garnish with a lemon twist or cherry (lemon twist).
Two Wednesdays ago, I returned to The Canon Cocktail Book to try the Cobbler's Dream that reminded me of the L'Amour En Fuite that we had made at home back in 2007. Perhaps the similarity can be explained in that Jamie Boudreau utilized his "golden ratio" and Mr. Potato Head theories to move ingredients around. In the glass, the Cobbler's Dream's rinse offered up the absinthe's anise-driven notes to the nose. Then on the sip, the Punt e Mes' grape paired with fruit notes from the elderflower liqueur, and the swallow presented the familiar combination of rye and Punt e Mes' bitter flavors all with a floral and anise finish.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

jamaican scorpion bowl

1 1/2 oz Overproof White Rum (Rum Fire)
1 1/2 oz Aged Jamaican Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 oz VS Cognac (Camus)
4 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz Orgeat
1 tsp Demerara Cinnamon Syrup (1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup)

Blend for 5 seconds with crushed ice, pour into a Scorpion or Wahine Bowl, and top with ice cubes (shake with ice, strain into a Tiki bowl, and fill with crushed ice). Freshly grate cinnamon over the top, and garnish with a gardenia (mint and one of those yellow flowers that grow in front of my house and flower in the autumn).

For Tiki Tuesday two weeks ago, I reached for Lou Bustamante's The Complete Cocktail Manual to find another tropical libation. There, I decided upon the Jamaican Scorpion Bowl crafted by Daniel "Doc" Park," the beverage director for Pagan Idol in San Francisco. The recipe is not too different from the classic Scorpion Bowl save for calling for more robust rums than a light Puerto Rican one as well as adding a cinnamon spice element to the mix and making for a more balanced sweet-tart ratio.
The Jamaican Scorpion Bowl gave forth cinnamon and mint aromas to the nose. Next, the sip was rather creamy from the orgeat and filled with citrus flavors from the lemon and orange juices. And finally, the swallow presented both funky and aged rum alongside brandy notes with a cinnamon-tinged finish.

Monday, November 28, 2016

sooner or later

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Vieux Rhum Agricole (Depaz)
1 1/2 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth (Alessio)
1/4 oz Cafe Moka (Galliano Ristretto)
10 drop Bittermens Tiki Bitters (Bittercube Jamaican #2)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with orange oil.
Two Mondays ago, I was in the mood for something stirred and elegant, and I remembered a recipe from Nick Detrich that I had spotted on the Barnotes app website. Nick created the Sooner or Later recipe a few years ago for "a special menu at Bellocq featuring R(h)um," and the combination made me think of a coffee-tinged Rhum Martinez or perhaps Presidente riff. Once built, the Sooner or Later produced an orange oil and coffee aroma with hints of grape. The grape continued into the sip, and the swallow combined grassy rhum and dark roasted coffee flavors with a spice-driven finish. Overall, it reminded me of a cousin of the rum-based Coffee Negroni

Sunday, November 27, 2016

shrouded roulette

1 1/2 oz Pisco (Encanto)
1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1/2 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Sundays ago, I turned to the Canon Cocktail Book and spotted this curious pisco recipe called the Shrouded Roulette. The name refers to the Canon's bartender's choice that is described on the menu as "Tell us your base spirit, and we'll create the mystery. Every recipe secret and unique." The goal for the shrouded roulette is to never repeat the drink combination twice in a shift which can mean up to a 100 different generated on a busy night. While the other on-the-spot creations in the book have unique names, this one is dubbed after the process. While unique, luckily the staff did not keep it a secret!
The Shrouded Roulette gave forth a bright lemon and apricot aroma that preceded a dry apricot sip. Next, the swallow offered a lot of complexity with an earthy note from the pisco and gentian, a floral element from the pisco, and a clove-spice finish from the bitters. I was quite impressed at how well gentian worked with the apricot liqueur as it had in the only other drink I have experienced with that combination, namely Misty Kalkofen's Human Rocket.