Sunday, August 20, 2017

mai tai spritz

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 oz Denizen's Merchant Reserve Rum

Refrigerate the mix to cool and pour into a chilled Collins glass with 4 oz brut Champagne (Willm Blanc de Blancs). Fill with ice and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig (I added a nasturtium as well).
Two Sundays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted while reading Talia Biaocchi and Leslie Pariseau's Spritz book. The drink that I chose was the Mai Tai Spritz crafted by Martin Cate at San Francisco's Smuggler's Cove. In order to avoid dilution dampening the flavors, the recipe called for the ingredients to be pre-chilled. Once built, the Spritz shared a lime, mint, and floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a crisp carbonated lime sip offered a creaminess from the orgeat, and the swallow began with rum, orange, and nutty flavors and ended with a white wine note. Overall, a rather light and refreshing Mai Tai riff.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

red skies at night

2 oz Berkshire's Greylock Gin
1/2 oz Hibiscus Tea Syrup
1 bsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
6-8 leaf Mint

Muddle mint in the syrup in a Collins glass. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with crushed ice, and swizzle to mix and chill while keeping the mint at the bottom of the glass. Top with crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with 3 dash Angostura Bitters.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, I decided to make a hibiscus tisane syrup again and was inspired by two things. The first was the old mariner rhyme "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning" given the coloration, and I thought about the opening menu's Pink Gin riff called "Sailor's Delight." Modulating that was the second thing that inspired me -- the Queen's Park Swizzle (and gin variations such as the Hyde Park Swizzle). To tease out some fruit notes from the hibiscus, I added a dash of Maraschino to the mix, but kept things structured to the modern interpretation of the Queen's Park Swizzle (the original as written included the bitters in the mix and not as a garnish, instead of the modern day three color layer version).

Friday, August 18, 2017

king's peach

2 1/4 oz Fidencio Mezcal
1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz Crème de Peche (Briottet)
1 dash Mole Bitters (Bittermens)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
When I got home from my bar shift two Friday nights ago, I was in the mood for something nonfussy like an Old Fashioned. I soon remembered the King's Peach that I had spotted in the Brooklyn Bartender book. This mezcal Old Fashioned sweetened the mix with a combination of peach notes and falernum spice and utilized chocolate bitters as the herbal backbone akin to the Oaxacan Old Fashioned. The book provided that the drink was created at Mayfield in Brooklyn but nothing about the name; perhaps it was a parody of 2010 The King's Speech movie as evidenced by this YouTube clip. Once prepared, the King's Peach shared lemon oil over smoke and hints of chocolate aromas. Next, the sweet sip gave forth hints of peach and dark notes from the bitters, and the swallow began with smoky mezcal and light peach notes and ended with chocolate and clove on the finish.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

fiji mermaid

1 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1 oz Barbancourt 8 Year Rhum
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
10 drop St. George Absinthe

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon peel mermaid's tail and freshly grated nutmeg, and add straws.
For a drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Thursdays ago, I decided to mashup two Tiki classics: the Bourbon-based Port Light with some aspects of the rum-based Test Pilot. Originally, my tinkering began with the passion fruit-Averna pairing, but that ended up too dark here, and I switched to the more traditional passion fruit-grenadine as seen in the Pahoehoe and other drinks. For a name, I decided upon the Fiji Mermaid which was a staple of sideshows with the head and torso of a monkey sewn onto the back end of a fish. The original was purchased from Japanese sailors in the South Pacific by an American sea captain in 1822, and it was later exhibited by P.T. Barnum in 1842. Although this specimen was most likely lost in a fire, due to its popularity, others were generated to continue the mythos.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

midnight marauder

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida (Montelobos)
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1 oz Cynar
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe).

Two Wednesdays ago, I scanned through my new purchase of Emma Janzen's Mezcal book and decided upon the Midnight Marauder. The recipe was created by Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons and described as "the dark & twisty sibling of the Negroni." Since the combination of Bonal, Cynar, and chocolate worked so well in the An Epic and a Limerick, I was definitely curious to see what mezcal would add to the combination.
In the glass, the Midnight Marauder proffered smoky agave with chocolate and grape notes to the nose. Next, a grape and caramel sip led into smoky mezcal pairing well with funky bitter flavors on the swallow and a quinine and chocolate finish.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

pimmsy whimsy

1 1/2 oz Pimm's No. 1
1/2 oz Redemption Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with 2 oz ginger beer, top with ice, garnish with a cucumber wheel and mint sprigs, and add straws.
Two Tuesdays ago, I wandered down to Backbar and found a seat in front of bartender Amanda Greenfield. For a first drink, I asked Amanda for the Pimmsy Whimsy off of the menu which she described as being Kat Lamper's creation. In the glass, the garnishes provided fresh vegetal cucumber and mint aromas. Next, a carbonated lemon, honey, and fruity sip gave way to ginger, rye, and herbal notes on the swallow.

Monday, August 14, 2017

yellow flower

2/3 Dry Gin (1 1/2 oz Citadelle)
1 dash Parfait Amour (1/4 oz Marie Brizard)
1 dash Orange Curaçao (1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand)
1 dash Dry Vermouth (1 oz Noilly Prat)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist.
Two Mondays ago, I turned to Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 for a nightcap. There in the gin section was a floral Martini riff called the Yellow Flower that seemed worthy of a go; often I am skeptical of parfait amour drinks due to the liqueur's candy vanilla-violet note, but here it was utilized in a light touch. Once prepared, the Yellow Flower presented a lemon, pine, orange, vanilla, and floral bouquet to the nose. Next, a sweet orange sip led into gin, vanilla, and violette on the swallow. Perhaps cutting the two liqueurs down to a barspoon each would have made this drink more dry and Martini like.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

miracles take longer

1 1/2 oz JM Rhum Agricole Blanc
1/2 oz Mezcal Amaras
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.
For my drink of the day at Loyal Nine two Saturdays ago, I was inspired by the Mr. Howell to create a smoky Sour. Originally, I wanted to go with pisco as the main ingredient with mezcal as the smoky accent which worked well in the Firecracker Cocktail and the 1491; however, we were running low on pisco upstairs at the bar and perhaps a funky agricole might pair better with the mezcal. I kept the Mr. Howell's maple syrup and lime juice components but added in some Angostura Bitters spice to dry out the maple a touch. For a name, I decided on a song title from the Television Personalities from 1987 that was perhaps named after a 1984 British television drama series.

Friday, August 11, 2017

la tour eiffel

2 1/2 oz XO Cognac (2 oz Courvoisier VS)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Suze (Salers)

Stir with ice and strain into a flute glass (Double Old Fashioned) rinsed with absinthe (Kübler). Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make another recipe from the Gary Regan article on Sazerac variations called La Tour Eiffel; I wanted to make this one before the Creole Sazerac, but I had run out of lemons for the garnish. Gary created this riff while on a tour of Cognac distilleries, and he was asked to create new drinks with a Cognac base as part of the event. He wondered what it would be like if the Sazerac had been created in Orleans, France, instead of New Orleans. Since Sazeracs began as a Cognac drink before Phyloxera shifted it to a rye whiskey drink, he took that direction as well as keeping the absinthe rinse. However, he figured that a French bartender might have swapped the simple syrup for Cointreau, and instead of Peychaud's Bitters, perhaps a gentian liqueur might work.
Once prepared, La Tour Eiffel gave forth lemon, anise, and gentian aromas to the nose. Next, an orange-tinged sip gave way to Cognac, more orange, and gentian flavors with a light anise-herbal finish.