A fair wynd blows

Tonight I’m trying another drink from Gaz Regan’s app, a riff on the old standard The Last Word.  I’ve been keeping more fresh fruit in the house, so I get to play with some brighter flavors: leaning towards the sweet/sour side of the equation rather than the hot/spirit-forward side.  I made a small tweak and used cane syrup instead of honey just because honey can be a little difficult to incorporate into cold liquids.  This cocktail was another tasty option (you really can’t go wrong with rum and lime), but again, it’s not a drink that I would necessarily go back to frequently just because it was tasty but not stellar.  If you’re looking for new ways to drink rum, however, I would definitely give this a try; the ingredients are all good standards that you’ll use again and again in multiple types of drinks.

The Last Wynd, Sian Ferguson, 99 Bar and Kitchen, Aberdeen, Scotland (2014)


Coming up daisies

I’m a huge fan of the whole class of Daisy drinks, but this one seems just about perfect for summer: not too sour, not too sweet, not too boozy. Be sure to shake this thoroughly so it sips ice cold. And if you haven’t tried the Caña Brava rum yet, I definely recommend it. Via Bartender’s Choice app. 

Daisy de Santiago, Charles H. Baker, Jr., Gentlemen’s Companion

The booziest place on earth

Every year for our anniversary, my husband and I spend a few days enjoying the rides, the food, and the people-watching at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA. Oh, and the booze.  While Disneyland is understandably dry, Disney California Adventure and two of the resort hotels have great options for drinks if you need a break from the Disney experience.  This is the first trip I’ve made a point to visit all four of my favorite cocktail bars, and it was worth the effort.

Napa Rose: high-end restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel.  You can try for a reservation months in advance, or just stroll into the lounge and take a seat at the bar.  They have both classic cocktails and new ideas, and the bartenders are great at their jobs (both mixing drinks and providing hospitality).  Say hello to my friend Joe if you stop by.

Cove Bar: water-side outdoor bar in Disney California Adventure.  Although this used to be a nice hidden spot for 21+ guests, it has unfortunately become well known and you might have to endure a 30-40 minute wait for a seat (and endure a lot of toddlers and strollers).  However, I usually find it worth the wait to enjoy a Manhattan at the bar top while savoring a plate of the delicious lobster nachos.  Like all park atttractions, they’ve done a nice job with the 1920s boardwalk theming.

Carthay Lounge: located downstairs in the Carthay Circle Theater building, the lounge is a wonderful throwback to old Hollywood. You may have to wade through a lot of fun-in-the-sun park-goers, but again, the bar top is a great place to wile away and hour or so.  If you have extra dollars to spend and find yourself looking for a fancy dinner, the Carthay Circle restaurant upstairs is also a nice option (reservations definitely recommended).

Trader Sam’s: reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room with the same tiki and tongue-in-cheek vibe, Traer Sam’s is another well-known bar that is worth the wait.  Located at the Disneyland Hotel, you’ll likely find yourself with plenty of company while you stalk an elusive seat in the small, dark bar, but once you’re there you get to watch all the best efforts of the Disney “imagineering” attitude come to fruition.  This place turned the tiki dial up to 11 with a awesome decor, the expected long list of rum drinks, and bartenders who enjoy having fun while they work.  

So whether you’re visiting Disney sans children or just need a break from the sun, I definitely recommend checking out some of the cocktail options on the park property.

Drinking at Disney

Summer lovin’

There’s at least half a foot of snow outside and the news is forecasting a nice storm overnight, so it must be time to resurrect a memory of summer with a daiquiri!  I pulled this one from The Canon Cocktail Book because it satisfied my need for summer and because it gave me a reason to try out my Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum.  I’ve heard great things about this rum (specifically that it managed to maintain all the best elements of both aged rum and pineapple), and I’m pleased to report that this spirit lives up to the hype.  All in all, I would be happy to float away to a mental summer with this cocktail.

Stiggins’ Daiquiri #2, The Canon Cocktail Book

No limits

 Today’s recipe (from Brooklyn Bartender again) almost looks like two different cocktails to me, one heading in a Tiki direction with the rum, lemon and grenadine, while the other tends more in the classic cocktail direction with the rye and cognac.  I admit, this dichotomy appeals to me — who doesn’t feel a little split sometimes (don’t even get me started on the election…)?  While I have a fondness for the Tiki culture, generally speaking they are just too sweet for me.  But I like some kind of sweetness to balance the strong of a good spirit.  This drink had a good level of sweetness, but too much sour for my taste. I did like the different spirit flavors, though; you could really taste the different flavors of the rum, cognac, and rye.  I might try this again with a bit less lemon.  

PS: My prep area is clearly getting a little crowded; it’s time to step up production!

Twelve Mile Limit, Brian Smith from Colonie

Viva la daiquiri

Happy Daiquiri Day, everyone!  As you may know, a simple daiquiri is one of my favorite cocktails, especially in the summer.  When you find your perfect proportion (for me it’s 2 oz white rum, 3/4 oz lime, 3/4 oz simple), there is nothing more refreshing than sipping a daiquiri while lounging in/near the sun.  Lately I’ve started to play with my standard daiquiri recipe, and today I thought I would do a bit of a variation on Papa Hemingway’s favorite version of the daiquiri.  It’s a hair on the sweet side, so next time I might tweak the simple down and the grapefruit up. Since we’re having a typical Northwest cloudy summer afternoon, I’ll just need to imagine the sunshine and let the daiquiri work its magic.

Hemingway Daiquiri variant

Mr. President

My brother was the first person to mention this classic cocktail to me, and sadly, every time I hear the name I still think “tequila.”  Not being a huge tequila fan, I have avoided it — to my detriment. This rum cocktail is delicious, with a perfect balance of rum-sweet and vermouth/Curaçao-dry. I feel like this drinks needs a better marketing campaign. Via the blog Cocktail Enthusiast.

El Presidente

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.   


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

Bitter days

Upon initial inspection, this drinks sounded like a perfect rum representation of the holidays, but unfortunately, I just can’t get past the taste of the Punt e Mes.  I really want to like it, but it’s just too bitter for my palate (and for my husband’s, for that matter).  I reverted to my Cardamaro Manhattan to see the night through.

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