Wednesday, January 17, 2018

monkey pilot

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 bsp Absinthe (Butterfly)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with Tiki intent (2 pineapple leaves and an orange twist).

Two Thursdays ago, for Instagram's Tiki the Snow Away, I started brainstorming on paper for some upcoming recipes. One of them which I have not made at the time had banana liqueur in the mix and got dubbed with the word "Monkey" in the title. That got me thinking about the Monkey Gland -- a classic drink that Ted Haigh regenerated interest in via his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book and that saw its heyday with the absinthe launches in 2008-09 before it faded away from mention. In my time as a professional bartender, I have neither been asked to make or offered to make a Monkey Gland proper, but the drink has spawned some tasty riffs such as the Glandula del Mono and Monkey Margarita. I wondered if it could be made in a Tiki-like form without the addition of banana liqueur (as was done in the Monkey Paw riff) but by adding other citrus and the appropriate sweeteners to the mix. With absinthe there, I thought about the Jet Pilot, but when I did not want to add a third citrus of grapefruit, I also included elements of the Test Pilot as well.
Given the mash-up of a Monkey Gland and Test/Jet Pilots, I named this one the Monkey Pilot which conjured up a mid-century feel when animals were used in aeronautic tests instead of humans. Once prepared, the Monkey Pilot gave forth orange and fruity aromas. Next, lime and orange joined the dark rum's caramel on the sip, and the swallow shared funky rum, cinnamon, and gin's pine leading into the absinthe's anise notes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

freaky tiki

2 oz Bumbo Rum (Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz "Bittersweet" (equal parts Campari & Grenadine)
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a glass (Tiki mug filled with crushed ice), and garnish with a rosemary sprig (lime wheel and paper umbrella).
In order to make another drink for Tiki the Snow Away, I had to make a fresh batch of orgeat (using the recipe I published in Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told) for the Freaky Tiki called for said ingredient. The recipe was crafted by the Liquid Lab in Manhattan and was published on Chilled Magazine's feed; it featured Bumbo Rum, and since I lacked that spiced spirit, I opted for the Don Q one that I had been gifted back in November. Overall, the Freaky Tiki seemed like a Jungle Bird with orgeat and grenadine in the mix, so I was willing to give this a go. While the grenadine-Campari combination is more novel to me, the similar grenadine-Amer Picon one is a Trader Vic trick that he utilized in the Jayco, Kahala Cooler, and Philippine Punch with great success. In the mug, the Freaky Tiki broadcast a lime and pineapple bouquet to the nose. Next, a creamy lime with hints of pineapple filled the sip, and the swallow offered up rum, a coconut-like combination from the pineapple and almond, and bitterness leading into a spiced finish.

Monday, January 15, 2018

king slayer

1 oz Atlantico Solera Rum (Don Q Añejo)
1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Allspice Dram (Hamilton's)
3/4 oz Campari

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, fill with crushed ice, and garnish with a pineapple frond and an edible orchid (pineapple fronds and a swizzle stick).
Like last year, I decided to participate in the annual Instagram phenomenon of "Tiki the Snow Away" where the month of January takes a tropical focus. Technically, I tagged the previous night's Negroni Grog since I had posted it after midnight and thus January 1st on my calendar. But to start the first full day of January, I turned to the King Slayer from Chad Austin of Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs, California, via the Barnotes app. The recipe was Chad's take on the Jungle Bird with the added allspice and vanilla of Donn's Spices #2 found in the Nui Nui. Once built, the King Slayer gave forth pineapple, allspice, and citrus (from the lime and Campari) notes to the nose. Next, a fruity pineapple and lime sip washed away into a funky rum, pineapple, Campari's orange, allspice, and vanilla swallow that came across more spiced than bitter.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

negroni grog

1 oz Hayman's London Dry Gin
1 oz Alessio Vermouth Di Torino Rosso
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass (with 1 oz soda water), fill with crushed ice, and garnish with an orange wheel, cherry, lime twist flag.
On New Year's Eve, Boston's Campari rep Mel stopped by Our Fathers for food and drink as she made her rounds through the city. For her second cocktail, she asked me to make her something, and I decided to go with a Negroni riff on my Gin Pennant Grog which resulted in a three-way cross between a Negroni and both Don the Beachcomber's and Trader Vic's Navy Grogs. Since Campari pairs well with allspice dram such as in the Chester Rapkin and with grapefruit juice such as in the Tasmanian Twister, I had little to fear with this improv creation. Moreover, inserting a Negroni where gin alone once was worked rather superbly in the Negroni on Saturn. I did forget the splash of soda water included in the Gin Pennant Grog here (after the fact, I put it the instructions above via parenthesis), but the result was tasty regardless.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

i.b.f. pick-me-up

1 glass Brandy (1 1/2 oz Copper & King Blue Sky Mining)
3 dash Fernet Branca (1/4 oz)
3 dash Curaçao (1/4 oz Copper & King Distillare Orange)

Shake with ice, strain into a medium wine glass, and fill with Champagne (2 oz 90+ Cellars Prosecco); I added a lemon twist.

After my bar shift two Saturdays ago, I returned home after midnight so it was technically New Year's Eve. My mind turned to Champagne cocktails and I went with one from Harry McElhone's 1927 Barflies & Cocktails that I was reminded of when looking in Greg Boehm's book two nights before. That recipe was the I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up crafted by Bob Card that varied from the book's other Pick-Me-Up, namely Harry's. The I.B.F. part stands for the International Barflies group founded in 1924 by O.O. McIntyre at Harry's New York Bar in Paris that Ted Haigh described in a Modern Drunkard article as a group that "really got a lot of these cocktail hankerers together in a real way. It's part bartending union, part cheering section, and part bartender." With brandy, Fernet, and orange liqueur, the combination seemed familiar but I could find no evidence that I had tried this drink under that name and I tried to convince myself that it was perhaps a blurful residual of Don't Give Up the Ship; however, I later found that I had tried it years ago from the 1940 The How and When as the Imperial Delight Cocktail.
In the glass, the I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up began with an lemon and orange aroma that later displayed Fernet's herbal notes to the nose. Next, a crisp carbonated wine with a hint of orange on the sip gave way to brandy, orange, and menthol flavors on the swallow.

Friday, January 12, 2018

gin blossom

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin (Tanqueray Malacca)
1 1/2 oz Martini Bianco Vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
3/4 oz Apricot Eau de Vie (Armenian Shalakh)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a Nick & Nora glass (cocktail coupe), and garnish with an orange twist.

Two Fridays ago, I ventured back in to the Brooklyn Bartender book where I spotted Julie Reiner's Gin Blossom that she crafted at the Clover Club. I was a little thrown by the name for the class of Blossoms as defined by Andrew Willett in Elemental Mixology are "drinks in which the strong element is modified by a succulent juice, and are distinguished from fruit punches by the lack of sour juice"; the most famous example is the gin & juice Orange Blossom that is more frequently drank these days in craft cocktail bars with some grenadine and absinthe as the Monkey Gland. Perhaps the juice was symbolic in the fruit eau de vie? However, the term "Gin Blossom" got famous from comedian and drinker W.C. Fields who referred to his nose bumps from rhinophyma and rosacea as such (although the condition is not directly linked to alcoholism). Then again, perhaps Julie is a fan of early 90s rock bands...
In my Instagram post for the drink, I commented that while the Brooklyn Bartender book had it as 1.5/1.5/.75, other sources such as Punch Drinks had it as 1.5/.75/.75; Julie responded that the way I made it was indeed the correct way. Once prepared, the Gin Blossom enveloped the nose with an orange and apricot aroma. Next, a sweet white grape with a hint of orchard fruit on the sip sashayed into juniper, apricot, and citrus on the swallow. Overall, this combination was rather elegant similar to other dry gin and eau de vie drinks such as the I, Said the Sparrow and Nineteen.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

haitian fight sour

1 1/2 oz Aged Rum (Barbancourt 8 Year)
1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wheel.

After I got home from my bar shift two Thursdays ago, I reached for Greg Boehm and Jeff Mason's 2009 The Big Bartender's Book for a nightcap. The recipe that caught my attention was the Haitian Fight Sour crafted by Jim Meehan that appeared in neither of his two books; in fact, my posting about it on Instagram surprised Jim with this "blast from the past." Jim's recipe reminded me of the Haitian drink the Petion that inspired Matt Schrage and I to create the Soekarno and Petition, respectively.
The Haitian Fight Sour greeted the nose with a lime, rum, and clove bouquet in a perfume-y sort of way. Next, lime juice with a certain depth of richness from the Benedictine and simple syrup on the sip transitioned into rum followed by bright herbal flavors on the swallow that closed out with darker spice accents.

barry's corner

1 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Mathilde Peche
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large format ice cube, and garnish with a Buddha's Hand finger (or an orange twist).
Two Thursdays ago at work, one of my guests requested something that I had been working on recently that was on the bitter side of things. I decided to go with an idea that I had been mentally toying around with after spotting recipes that paired peach and Campari with great success such as the Campeche and the Movin' to the Country. Here, I went with my trick of splitting the Campari in a Negroni or Boulevardier with a fruit liqueur or syrup like in the Tarzan Boy and Intercept, respectively, and I made this drink with equal parts Campari and Mathilde's Peche. Since Mathilde's product is a lot more flavorful than the crème de peche de Vigne that I am used to at home, I had to remake this concept with the 3:1 blend listed in the recipe above. To round out the bitter-sweet profile, I opted for Punt e Mes as well as the Peychaud's Bitters that worked well in the Campeche. For a name, I dubbed this one the Barry's Corner after the neighborhood that Our Fathers Restaurant is located in Allston as well as a nod to the Italian neighborhood that existed there for decades before various urban renewal programs began to take over.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

smoking pistol

3/4 oz Scotch (5/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1 bsp Laphroaig)
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Morin)
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/4 oz Armagnac (Larressingle VSOP)
1 bsp Benedictine
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with lemon oil from a twist.
Two Wednesdays ago, I turned to Imbibe Magazine for the evening's cocktail. There, they offered up the Smoking Pistol which was created by Aaron Pollack of The Dawson to combat Chicago winters. The recipe was Aaron's cross of a Rob Roy with a Vieux Carré that made me think of No. 9 Park's Islay Louisiane. Once prepared, the Smoking Pistol gave forth a lemon, grape, and peat smoke nose that led gracefully into a grape and malt sip. Next, the swallow proffered mostly Scotch flavors with some brandy and rye notes in the mix along with a herbal-spice finish.