Summer tease

As happens every year , we’re getting a week of gorgeous, perfect spring weather before the rain reclaims the region. It’s sunny and 75 degrees out, and I can think of nothing better than a daiquiri. I bought this rum a few months ago after hearing it made a great daiquiri, and boy does it hit the mark. Such a simple drink and yet so satisfying and summery. I had to force myself to sip it slowly and really savor it, much like we try to savor this glimpse of spring.   


Taking my medicine

No pictures today because I’m mixing medicine for a sore throat. Lucky for me, it tastes just like a sweet Manhattan and acts as a great anesthetic. 

  • 2 oz Masterson’s 10 Year Rye (just got this and love the flavor: it’s a more bourbon-y rye, leading with sweet and finishing with spicy)
  • 1 oz Graham’s Six Grapes Tawny Port
  • 2 dashes Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Bonus points for a gorgeous deep ruby color. This can’t help but cure what ails me. 

Manhattan Monday

I absolutely love how easy it is to find new Manhattan variations to try. It’s a good thing, too, because I’m acquiring new bourbons and ryes at a disturbing rate (sort of a not-problem kind of problem in my house). Today, a simple Google search led me to The Civil War.  It’s a tad too bitter for my personal taste (I would probably go to 1/4 ounce on the Cynar and 3/4 ounce on th Cocchi di Torino), but I like the balance of dark and light between the amaro and the vermouth.  In other news, Few is one of my favorite new bourbons: definitely worth the high praise I’ve been hearing about it. From Mike Robertson at Portland’s The Driftwood Room, by way of Saveur.

The Civil War, Mike Robertson, The Driftwood Room, via Saveur


Manhattan Monday

Today I’m looking back to a Manhattan variation that got me through a tough project, and I could definitely use its assistance again today. My palate is still learning to tolerate a true bitter flavor profile, but I like this as an interim step.  

Georgia Transfer, custom Manhattan variation

Make my day

It’s been a wonderfully lazy Saturday, and I appreciate the irony of drinking a cocktail named after one of American cinema’s ultimate badasses. Lamentably, this one didn’t live up to its name. The Demerara syrup overpowered the chartreuse and bitters, which is a shame because the drink needed the complexity. Still a Rittenhouse base makes this drinkable, if not the swaggering strongman I hoped for.  Cocktail created by Mike Ryan at The Violet Hour, published in Robert Simonson’s The Old Fashioned, via cocktail virgin slut.

Clint Eastwood, Mike Ryan, The Violet Hour


Daiquiri dreams

It’s cold and wet where I am, and my mind helplesslessly pines for the Caribbean blue waters and island breezes of the cruise I left just over a week ago. Visiting tropical climes in the winter is really an exercise in masochism: no matter how much you enjoy the moment, home always seems a little less desirable while your personal climate readjusts. Of course, this mentality also betrays my personal cynicism right now, borne of all the joyous anxiety from returning to work after a two week plus vacation (and my innate anxious, neurotic Self).

In any case, today’s cocktail is a lovely, albeit temporary, medication for my condition. Captain’s Blood is a classic cocktail from Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion (1945), and it’s a perfect example of what a great base the daiquiri is for even minor riffs. Today I used Appleton V/X, but any good aged run will do well here.  

Captain’s Blood, Crosby Gaige, Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion

Manhattan Monday

Home again, home again!

I’ve been out traveling and then sick, so it’s good to be back home and in front of my own bar again. For today’s Manhattan Monday, I chose a pretty basic variation from Kindred Cocktails that turned out to be quite lovely.  As long as you give it plenty of stir time (dilution), the Bénédictine doesn’t overpower the drink. The extra dash of orange bitters lends a lovely citrus flavor that really elevates the cocktail. Highly recommended.

Manhattan (Bénédictine) variation, Kindred Cocktails