Friday, May 30, 2014

urban anxiety

1 oz Cachaça (Seleta Gold)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Cynar
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Flame a grapefruit peel (omitted flaming) over the top and drop in for garnish.

Two Tuesdays ago, I found the Urban Anxiety as I flipped through the 75th anniversary edition of the Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide. The recipe was created by Aaron Defeo of Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, and it came across as a cachaça Negroni variation of sorts. With the Cynar in the mix, it reminded me a lot of Jacob Grier's Midnight Shift and Eastern Standard's pisco-based El Capitan (which I had misremembered as a cachaça drink when I was making my notes).
The Urban Anxiety presented a grapefruit oil nose over grassy grape aromas. A caramel and grape sip was followed by a grassy swallow that blended elegantly into the Cynar's herbal notes. Finally, the swallow finished with a cinnamon-like spice.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

steady as she goes

1 1/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Averna
2 dash Mole Bitters

Build in a rocks glass with ice. Top with soda, gently stir, garnish with an orange wedge, and add straws.
For a drink at Merrill & Co., Andrea asked bartender Bryn Tattan for the Steady As She Goes, one of their soda fountain drinks. Once built, the drink offered an orange aroma. A lightly carbonated sip gave way to more caramel notes than grape. Finally, the swallow offered elegant chocolate herbal flavors that made this drink quite delightful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

jim rose

2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon Fernet Branca

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Two Sundays ago, Andrea wanted to go to Myers & Chang in the South End. Afterwards, we decided to catch a night cap at Merrill & Co. For my drink, I asked bartender Bryn Tattan for the Jim Rose. I have to assume that the name is a riff on the classic Jack Rose cocktail and something from the Jim Beam product line. In addition, the most famous Jim Rose is a the ringleader for a circus sideshow that I saw at the Lollapalooza festival in 1992. Instead of the Peychaud's Bitters that appear in various Boston bars' Jack Rose cocktails (via the Jack Rose Society's conclusions back in 2005), the Jim Rose calls for a healthy dash of Fernet Branca.
The cherry garnish's aroma joined that of the lime and a hint of Fernet. A malt, lime, and pomegranate sip led into a Bourbon swallow with a fruit-tinged Fernet Branca's menthol finish.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

hurricane caesar

1 1/2 oz Bacardi 8 Rum
1 oz Rhum Clement VSOP (here: Barrel Select)
1 oz Passion Fruit-Honey Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat

Shake with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass. Fill with crushed ice, add straws, and layer 1/2 oz Campari on top. Grate nutmeg as garnish as well as a lime wheel and cherry on a cocktail pick.
(*) 2 part passion fruit concentrate, 1 part honey, 1 part water.

After Puritan & Company, I continued my way home but stopped into Backbar to congratulate Joe Cammarata for winning the Tales of the Cocktail Hurricane Competition. After Joe named all of the drinks of the day and week, I shook my head and replied that I was here to try his winning drink! Just like Sahil Mehta's Category 1 entry, Joe utilized the excellent flavor pairing of passion fruit and Campari. Google told me that there was a Hurricane Cesar in 1996 but no Hurricane Caesar though; Joe explained that he created this recipe on the Ides of March's drink of the day at Backbar.
Once prepared, the Hurricane Caesar offered a lime and nutmeg aroma with hints of rum. A citrus and passion fruit-filled sip gave way to the passion fruit-Campari combination on the swallow. As the drink drained, the Campari notes became stronger in the mix.

Monday, May 26, 2014

the dissenter

1 1/2 oz Zucca Amaro
1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 barspoon Crème de Cassis

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
Two Thursdays ago after getting dinner in Central Square, I decided to stop into Puritan & Company to try out a drink from their new cocktail menu. I was in the mood for something light, so I asked bartender Josh Cole for The Dissenter, and Josh described how it was one of the opening bartender's creation. Once mixed, it offered Zucca's herbal aromas on the nose. A grape-driven sip was bolstered by the cassis, and the swallow shared Zucca's bitter flavors and finished with a tart cassis note. I am always impressed at how Zucca can carry such simple cocktail recipes such as the Monopatín and the 11+2/12+1.

Friday, May 23, 2014

artist special (variation)

1 oz Soberano Spanish Brandy
1 oz Valdespino Palo Cortado Sherry
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The last drink that I had at Straight Law was a variation on the whisky-based Artist Special that first appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book. The book provided the history of, "This is the genuine ‘Ink of Inspiration’ imbibed at the Bal Bullier Paris. The recipe is from the Artists Club, Rue Pigalle, Paris." The three major changes from the classic were swapping the whisky base to Spanish brandy, changing from the hard to find (but not impossible to make) groseille syrup to grenadine, and stirring instead of shaking this citrus-laden libation. To compare and contrast, Sean also made me an Old Overholt Rye version to see what the Spanish brandy brings to the table.
The Artist Special shared a fruity aroma from the grenadine and sherry, and this element was greater in the brandy version than in the rye one. A grenadine, lemon, and grape sip shifted to a smooth and elegant sherry and brandy swallow. I have to assume that the stirring instead of shaking change played a role in making this a more contemplative sipper.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

cappelletti smash

2 oz Cappelletti Aperitivo
1/2 Lemon (cut into 6 pieces) (*)
2 heaping tsp Sugar

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and add straws.
(*) Sometimes made with lime as well.

Two Mondays ago, I traveled down to the Kenmore area after work to stop in at Straight Law opened by Drink alumni Sean Sullivan with help from Will Thompson. Sean is the sole bartender for the six nights a week the establishment is open, and the space flows smoothly between Taberno de Haro and the bar. Luckily, for food the restaurant's full menu is available, and the tapas and flavors meld with the drink styles and size rather well. Many of Straight Laws drinks feature sherry -- between the Spanish restaurant it cohabitates with and the cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail Book that it is named after. While I started with a 50-50 Martini as my post-shift drink, I next selected the Cappelletti Smash, a Smash inspired by by Dominic Venegas' Aperol one. Cappelletti is a bitter liqueur with herbal and orange notes that falls in the middle of Aperol, Campari, and sweet vermouth; I was first introduced to the spirit at Backbar via their Transatlantic Scaffa.
The Cappelletti Smash began with a mint and herbal aroma. A sweet lemon sip was countered by a lightly bitter, herbal grape swallow. Overall, the Smash was perfect for the rather hot day, and it was a joy to drink as the breeze blew through the restaurant from the back door out to the patio.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

white dahlia

1 1/2 oz La Puritita Mezcal
1/2 oz Combier Crème de Pamplemousse Rose
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe.
Two Sundays ago, I made my way over to Brick & Mortar where Matt Schrage and Lea Madda were at the stick. For a drink, Lea mentioned that she had an off-menu mezcal drink called the White Dahlia, and it seemed worthy of a try. Lea explained that the dahlia became the national flower of Mexico in 1963, and the white part stemmed from the drink's striking color. Once mixed, the White Dahlia shared a grapefruit and lime aroma. A sweet citrus sip displayed the grapefruit notes the strongest, and the mezcal and Angostura Bitters worked well to dry out the swallow. Overall, the recipe and balance reminded me of the classic Culross, and with the agave distillate, it came across more like a Sister Mary than a Margarita.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


1 pony glass Brandy (1 oz Foret)
1 pony glass Curaçao (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 pony glass Jamaica Rum (1/2 oz Smith & Cross)
1/2 pony glass Bourbon (1/2 oz Weller 107)
1 tablespoon Sugar dissolved in a little water (1/2 oz Simple)
1 slice lemon (1 oz Lemon Juice)

Shake with ice and strain into a tumbler filled with fresh ice. Garnish with berries or small pieces of orange, and serve with a straw. (Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass).

For the second time in the last year, a server at the restaurant has asked if I can do a Fedora Cocktail. I have a vague recollection of the components from reading through Harry Johnson's 1882 New and Improved Bartender's Manual, so I reply that I can and then look up the specifics on the web. Therefore, I decided to make one at home in less of a rush and think through the drink. On the left above is from Johnson, and the right above is a modernization with help from Stan Jones' Complete Barguide (which is what appears on CocktailDB that I have used at work). I have been serving the drink up at work instead of on crushed ice, so I went that route. The curaçao was tuned down by 1895 in George Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks to about what I used. In the end, it is akin to a 3-spirits Sidecar with some of the orange liqueur substituted for simple syrup. Moreover, instead of all brandy in a Sidecar, there is the funkiness of Jamaican rum and the maltiness of whiskey. The drink itself was named after the hat as well as the play written around the time of Johnson's book.
The Fedora offered a lemon and orange aroma that continued on into a sweet lemon and orange sip. The Jamaican rum and brandy came through the strongest on the swallow that ended with an orange peel note. Sadly, the Bourbon was a bit lost here, so perhaps a more robust whiskey would have done better; I do regret not reaching for the Fighting Cock 103...

Monday, May 19, 2014


1 3/4 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Lemonhart 151 (*)
1/2 oz Meletti Amaro (*)
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.
(*) Will be made with Plantation Overproof Dark Rum and Ramazzotti in the future.
A few Sundays ago, Andrea and I stopped into Audobon where Tyler Wang was tending the bar. For a first drink, Tyler suggested an inverse Palmetto that he came up with for a restaurant that he is consulting for in Provincetown. While Tyler lacked two of the specific ingredients, he substituted a similar rum and amaro to approximate the flavor profile. I neglected to ask why the drink was called the Maurizio, but I did note that the general structure was the same as the Salt and Stone that he created at Kirkland Tap & Trotter. The Maurizio began with an orange oil aroma that gave way to a caramel and grape sip. With the Meletti, the swallow was rum with an herbal finish, but with the intended Ramazzotti, there would most likely be dark orange peel notes here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

frog splash

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXXV) was picked by Elana of the Stir and Strain blog. The theme she chose was "Aw, Nuts!" which seemed perfect for the season as it spans the seasons for me of cold weather nocino-laden drinks and warm weather orgeat-containing ones. Elana elaborated on the concept by describing, "Nuts? Yes! A few months back I tried, and was wowed by, a peanut-y take on an Old Fashioned at a bar here in L.A. They had infused peanuts in bourbon and with a touch of honey had made magic. Nuts of all sorts make it into cocktails now. Some black walnut bitters here, the sweet almond flavor of orgeat there... Your challenge is to utilize nuts (and since we're NOT adhering to the strict rules of what are nuts, peanuts and walnuts both count) in any way you see fit to create a cocktail. Infusions, bitters, almond tinctures are all game. Amaretto, homemade nocino, Frangelico too. Go nuts!"

My first thought was to pay tribute to my favorite nut drink, Angus Winchester's Peanut Malt Flip. It was my go-to nightcap at Green Street Grill a few years back, and I remember only having to say the letters "PMF" to let bartender Derric Crother know that it was time. However, I have already written about that and done riffs on it. While I do enjoy my walnut liqueurs but I have never splurged on a bottle, so I opted for what was available on my shelves at home already and selected orgeat. For a recipe, I remember spotting a curious one on ShakeStir that utilized gentian liqueur as a base spirit. The recipe, the Frog Splash, was crafted by Morgan Schick, manager of Trick Dog in San Francisco and creative director for the Bon Vivants, and his inspiration for the recipe was the Mai Tai.
Frog Splash
• 1 1/2 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur (Salers)
• 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Rum
• 1 oz Small Hands Orgeat (BG Reynolds)
• 1 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
While the recipe was submitted to an Avèze competition, I opted for the Salers that I had available at home. I was also keen on the recipe for my herb garden's mint had just recently come back and I was dying to put it to use. Once mixed, that mint garnish paid dividends for it complemented the aroma of the gentian liqueur. A rich lime sip had a lot of body from the orgeat, and the swallow was nutty, rum, and gentian. Overall, the Frog Splash was rather harmonious; I originally feared that the bitter herbal notes from the Salers would dominate and that Smith & Cross would be rather surly here, but neither was the case. The orgeat-smoothed herbal feel did make me think of the Momisette albeit with a different herbal element.
So thank you to Elana of Stir and Strain for picking the theme and for once again running this month's show, and thanks to the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the shakers shaking and the spirit of the event alive!

Friday, May 16, 2014

eastern slopes

1 oz Old Overholt Rye
1 oz Macchu Pisco La Diablada
3/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
1/4 oz Orgeat
1 dash Reagan's Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with ice cubes. Garnish with an orange twist and add straws.
Two Fridays ago, I headed over with a fellow Russell House Tavern bartender to Alden & Harlow for some post-shift drinks. For a cocktail, I asked bartender Ryan Connelly for the Eastern Slopes which Ryan mentioned was bar manager Seth Freidus' drink. I was intrigued for I have had dual spirit drinks with pisco paired with gin, cachaça, Genever and aged brandy, but never with whiskey before. Once mixed, the Eastern Slopes offered a dark and menthol aroma that was brightened by the orange oil. The malty sip was complemented by the orgeat's richness and the amaro's caramel flavors. Next, the swallow began with the rye, fruit notes from the pisco, and a hint of nuttiness from the orgeat and ended with the amaro's menthol and herbal accents.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

black arrow

1 1/2 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
3/4 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two Thursdays ago, I made my way down Mass Ave after my shift at Russell House Tavern. That night, Nic Mansur and Matt Schrage were tending the bar. I requested from Nic the Black Arrow from the menu which described how "proceeds go to equipment for Drapers & Eagle Strikers Soccer Teams." Matt filled me in on the details of how Gary and Avery of Central Kitchen and Brick & Mortar were traveling in Jamaica and decided to give back to the people, and they asked Matt to created this drink in tribute. For a name, he dubbed it the Black Arrow after Gil Heron's nickname. Gil was born in Jamaica and he became the first black player for the Scottish Celtic team; he was also father to musician Gil Scott-Heron.
The Black Arrow presented a caramel rum aroma that mingled with a fruity one from the grenadine and sweet vermouth. The fruity aspect continued into the sip where the lime balanced the sweeter grenadine and grape notes. Finally, the swallow offered rum and an orange peel finish. While Matt described his creation as a Floridita with curaçao subbed for crème de cacao, the drink reminded me a lot of the Fig Leaf.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

salt & stone

1 3/4 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1 oz McKenna Bourbon
1/4 oz Braulio
1 pinch Salt

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.
For a second drink at Kirkland Tap & Trotter, I asked Kenny Belanger for the Salt & Stone from their menu. Kenny described how this was created by bartender Tyler Wang before he left to set up the new Audabon in Boston. Once prepared, the Salt & Stone presented Braulio's herbal aromas to the nose. A muted grape flavor was perhaps modified by the salt; the salt also assisted in donating a savory aspect to the drink. Next, the swallow began with the whiskey and ended with a gentle herbal finish. While I expected something akin to the Fanciulli from The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book (2 parts Bourbon, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Fernet-Branca) from the ingredients list, the salt helped to push the drink more into the Inverse Manhattan realm.

Monday, May 12, 2014


1 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Star White Rum
1/2 oz Dolin Genepy des Alpes
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Kübler Absinthe

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I met up with Andrea after my dinner bartending shift and headed over to Kirkland Tap & Trotter. We found seats in front of bartenders Kenny Belanger and Jared Sadoian and began to peruse the menu. The Tidbit was one that caught my eye last time, and I decided to order it from Kenny; Kenny approved for it was his menu item.
The Tidbit shared an anise and lime aroma that led into a lime-driven sip. Next, the white rum began the swallow that ended with Genepy's herbal notes and an anise finish from the absinthe. From the ingredients, I thought it was going to be more Tiki, but it ended up being more elegant like the Palliative Potion For Pomona.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

holy diver

2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Beer Syrup (*)
1/2 oz Coconut Cream
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Add a straw.
(*) Here prepared à la minute with 1 part sugar dissolved in 1 part Anderson Valley Summer Solstice beer (both by volume). Not sure if the way Drink does it for Tiki Sundays involves boiling it down; previously, they made their Guinness syrup by reducing 12 oz of beer to 8 oz and dissolving in 8 oz sugar.

Two Mondays ago, after attending the Improper Bostonian party for the bartender issue somewhere near the aquarium, Andrea and I decided to escape to quieter quarters at Drink. There, we found seats at Palmer Matthews section, and for a libation, he suggested a vestige of Tiki Sundays called the Holy Diver. Palmer based his original off of the Skin Diver that appears in Beachbum Berry's Remixed. The Skin Diver was created by J. "Popo" Galsini in the late 1960s at the Outrigger in Laguna, and he based it off of Donn the Beachcomber's Pearl Diver. Or possibly Palmer utilized Donn's 1930s recipe for I did not write down which Diver was his inspiration and he might have mentioned both. When I inquired about the beer syrup, Palmer explained that he found that the syrup's hops were a natural pairing to spice rum.
Once shaken, the drink was strained into a Tanuki Tiki mug; Tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog that in literature is a mischievious master of disguise and shapeshifting. When I made a comment about the mug's nipples, it was quickly pointed out that it was a male; apparently Japanese school children sing a song that alludes to the raccoon dog's size, "'Tan-tan-tan,' Tanuki's bollocks ring: The wind's stopped blowing, but they swing-swing-swing!" Moving on to the drink itself, the Holy Diver shared a light citrus aroma. A creamy lemon sip led into an orange and rum-filled swallow. Finally, the swallow finished off with the rum and bitters' spice and the beer's hops.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

ligurian sea

1 oz Gin (Martin Miller Westbourne)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz Cynar

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Separately, mix 3/4 oz ice cold water to 1/4 oz pastis or absinthe (Butterfly Absinthe); layer the louched pastis or absinthe on top of the drink.

Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I spotted in the May/June 2014 issue of Imbibe Magazine called the Ligurian Sea. The drink was created by Ryan Casey of McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina, and he named it after the eastern part of the Mediterranean between the Italian Riviera and the island of Corsica. Likewise, one of the star players in this cocktail is the Italian bitter liqueur Cynar in a "cloud-capped Negroni" variation. The sea also borders on France, and Ryan utilizes French ingredients; there, he probably opts for French pastis, but here I opted for French sweet vermouth.
The absinthe float's anise and herbal notes filled the nose. At first, the flavors were driven primarily by the absinthe since there was no straw to get below the top louche layer. Once past that stage, the sip became caramel and grape from the Cynar and vermouth, respectively, and the swallow contained a wealth of juniper, bitter, and herbal complexity.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


1 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 1/4 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

Two Fridays ago, we made our way over to Backbar and luckily found a pair of seats at the bar. On the menu, I spotted the Scarecrow that one of my guests had mentioned to me; therefore, I asked bartender Lukas to mix one up. Later, bar manager Sam Treadway described how a bartender named Jonathan from the Dorrance in Rhode Island wanted an Amaro Montenegro-forward libation, so Sam proposed a 50:50 Manhattan variation, and Jonathan countered with adding a splash of Fernet. When it came time to dub the cocktail, Sam remembered that Jonathan's nickname was Scarecrow, and it stuck.
The Scarecrow began with an orange oil aroma that complemented the citrus notes stemming from the Amaro Montenegro. Next, a malty, caramel, and mandarine sip gave way to Bourbon, herbal, and menthol flavors on the swallow. Overall, I could see why this inverse Manhattan variation was so noteworthy to my bar guest the week prior.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ibsen's door

1 1/2 oz Spring 44 Old Tom Gin
3/4 oz Amaro Braulio
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

One of the new Braulio drinks on the menu at Russell House Tavern was created by Hannah Moore. While seeming like a bitter take on a 20th Century, the name is a tribute to Henrik Ibsen's 19th century A Doll House. One of the characters exits her house at the end of the play with an act that has been called a "door slam heard 'round the world" and perhaps the Braulio element here would be just as jarring? Similar to how Fernet Branca pairs well with crème de cacao such as in the Royal Flush, I was eager to see if chocolate notes worked just as well with Braulio. The Spring 44 Old Tom Gin falls in intensity somewhere between the light Hayman's and the potent Ransom products and shares nutmeg, juniper pine, and cinnamon notes.
Ibsen's Door began with a chocolate aroma with bright herbal and menthol notes from the Braulio and citrus notes from the lemon juice. A rich sip offered some darker caramel notes and led into a chocolate, juniper, and menthol-laden swallow. The crème de cacao helped to round out the drink with a degree of elegant and earthy smoothness.

Monday, May 5, 2014

[the root and the flower]

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur
1/2 oz St. Germain
1 dash Absinthe (*)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
(*) Also made with 3 dash Barkeep's Fennel Bitters

After the Category 1 at Estragon, I began to flip through Sahil Mehta's cocktail notebook. There, I spotted an unnamed mezcal recipe calling for gentian and elderflower liqueurs. Sahil explained that he had made it for Misty Kalkofen of Del Maguey Mezcal; that time, he made it for her with absinthe and he switched over to fennel bitters the following week. I was more intrigued with an absinthe recipe for its accessibility and requested it that way. For a name, I dubbed it The Root and the Flower after a book written in the 1930s about 16th century India as well as a late 20th century book about Spanish history.
The drink began with a smoke, floral, and lemon oil aroma that later moved on to a more anise-driven one. A slightly fruity sip gave way to a smoky mezcal and earthy bitter swallow, and a floral and anise finish.

Friday, May 2, 2014

category 1

3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Campari
1 pinch Salt

Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass filled with ice and 2-3 oz of Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey IPA. Garnish with a lime wheel and a dash of Angostura Bitters, and add a straw.

Two Mondays ago, we paid a visit to Estragon for dinner. For a first libation, I asked bartender Sahil Mehta if I could try his submission recipe for the Tales of the Cocktail "Taming the Hurricane" competition. His reinvention used Batavia Arrack as the rum and added Campari and English-style IPA flavors to the mix. Moreover, I was interested in revisiting the Campari-passion fruit combination that worked so well in the Novara and Antoine's Demise.
The lime wheel and Angostura Bitters garnishes contributed fresh citrus aromas and spice to the nose. A carbonated lime, passion fruit, and malt sip gave way to the Batavia Arrack, more passion fruit, and bitter notes from the Campari and hops on the swallow. The beer worked rather well to dry out the drink, and the pinch of salt seemed to mellow out any rough edges.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

count camillo's paloma

3/4 oz Blanco Tequila (Espolon)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
3/4 oz Campari

Pour into a Highball glass filled with ice and 2 oz of grapefruit soda (Rième Pink Grapefruit). Stir gently and garnish with a sprig of rosemary (omitted).
After the Last Cold Night Before Spring, I opened up my 75th Anniversary Edition of Mr. Boston and searched for a hidden gem. There, I spotted an unattributed recipe, Count Camillo's Paloma, that seemed like a delicious merge of a Negroni and a Paloma. Perhaps the drink was crafted by the Godfather of the Paloma, Evan Harrison, in his seminal work Popular Cocktails of The Rio Grande, but if anyone knows for sure, please comment here. I do remember that tequila works rather well with the Rième grapefruit soda I also used in making a Shadyside Fizz. Once mixed, the Count Camillo's Paloma paired the Campari and grapefruit notes on the nose. A carbonated grapefruit and grape sip led into a tequila and Campari swallow. Overall, a refreshing Negroni variant perfect for a warm summer's eve.