It’s that time here on the Spiked Punch blog, where I unroll my latest blog posts for the Seattle magazine, in case you missed any and wanted to catch up (which would certainly make me happy and maybe you too). While some of these are attached to a particular time, the drinks within are good year round. Promise.
I can’t lie to you, dear readers, so I’m going to admit that I’m not much of a golfer – outside of mini golf, which I do like if it’s one of those courses that has castles and stuff. But, my lack of skills on the links doesn’t keep me from enjoying a classic cocktail named after golfing – oh no, not at all. For example, I recently made the delicious (but sadly not well known) Hole in One Cocktail. However, I used Peychaud’s bitters, for kicks, instead of the traditional orange bitters, and so altered the title. The end result was super tasty, thanks in large part to using Cutty Sark’s new Prohibition Edition blended Scotch. This Scotch has got loads of lovely toffee-and-pepper flavor, with a super smooth and warm (it’s 100 proof) finish, and it mixed dandily with the sweet vermouth and such below.
2 ounces Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition scotch
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes. Add the scotch, vermouth, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake well, while thinking about the proper place to use a 3 iron.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass.
PS: This photo was taken at Jeremy Holt’s house. He’s a good one to golf and drink with.
Though it’s hard to believe for all but my mother (who of course always believes), the amazing Seattle magazine is still letting me write a column highlighting a different bar each month. Yeah, I’m lucky! But so are you, because you can read said columns and figure out where you and your pals are going go this weekend to kick up your heels with a dandy drink. Without further palavering then, here are three fine bars to read about:
• Teachers Lounge, Greenwood
• E. Smith Mercantile, Pioneer Square
• Witness, Capitol Hill
–See all of my Seattle magazine articles
This is (and I’m being both tongue-in-cheek and deadly, deadly, serious here) a nutty drink. Really, I’m not 100% sure how I came up with it, as the ingredient list is wide-ranging and may appear to be one that would only turn up in the ramblings of a drink-making madman. A madman, I tell you! Wait . . .
Anyway, the recipe’s printed in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, and, strange-ish ingredient list aside, it’s darn good. A great drink for a Friday, really, especially if you’re getting ready to go on a world tour, or want to pretend to take a world tour from your living room or home bar. If you can’t find the Kahana Royale macadamia nut liqueur, well, I feel for you. But you could sub in another nutty liqueur – then email me and tell me how it is. If you can’t find Amaro CioCiaro, dang, I’d move. But if that isn’t feasible, try another of the amaros, one that leans towards the bitter side. If you can’t find Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, then just go read another blog. Sorry.
1-1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Kahana Royale macadamia nut liqueur
1/2 ounce Amaro CioCiaro
Dash of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, macadamia nut liqueur, CioCiaro, and bitters. Shake well—it’s Friday, so show you appreciate it.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass.
This one’s in honor of my grandmother, Gertrude Middendorf, who sadly passed away not too long ago. She was a pretty swell lady, who played a mean hand of cards, made delicious macaroni and cheese, read a lot, traveled a lot, got feisty and had fun a lot, and drank her fair share (and maybe a bit more) of bourbon and cokes. I’m not usually a bourbon and coke drinker myself, but I made one to toast her with, and it tasted darn good. I used Woodinville Whiskey Co. bourbon, cause she always liked Seattle (even though mostly living in KS), and Mexican coke, cause regular coke just isn’t a good. So, grandma, this one’s for you.
Bourbon and Coke
2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey Co. bourbon
4 ounces coke
1. Fill an Old Fashioned or related glass with a bit of ice. Add the bourbon, then the coke, then stir slowly, remembering all the good drinkers who’ve moved on to the big bar in the sky.
There are a number of things we miss in the modern age: Myrna Loy, zoot suits, un-ironic swing bands, speakeasies that aren’t just trying to be trendy, and more. We also miss the chance to have “bootlegger” on our resumes. Ah well, at least the unmissable Compleat Imbiber # 2, itself a bit old (from 1958) lets us relive the bootlegging days in an essay it contains. An essay from which I present to you the below quote.
The first violinist, an expert chemist, skillfully diluted the contents of gin, rum, Scotch whisky, Bénédictine, and Cognac bottles which he bought at the crew’s fifty per cent reduction from the second-class barman. (In those days of Honesty, it was ‘second’ and not ‘cabin’ class.)
—Joseph Wechsberg, Confessions of a Bootlegger
It’s Valentine’s Day – let me give you a little quoted advice*:
Showing up with a dozen limp red roses picked up last-minute on Valentine’s Day garners only a thumbs-down from a romantic dearest (if not a door slammed in the face, or a slap, or an invitation to spend the night on the couch). However, you can show that love how much you care and start the evening right by swapping the limp flowers for a liquid Rose and having it ready when he or she walks in the door (or when you show up at his or her door).
This Valentine’s Day maker-better is from Ginger Bliss and Violet Fizz, too!
2 ounces dry vermouth
1 ounce kirsch
1 ounce Chambord
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the vermouth, kirsch, and Chambord. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass and add the cherry.
*Funny enough, I’m quoting myself. But hey, I’m funny.
I’ve had a few fair cocktail talk posts from Mr. Raymond Chandler, one of the few true masters of American detective and hard-boiled stories. And I’m guessing you know him already, because he’s pretty knowable, and, well, I think a lot of you. So, I won’t stand here gabbing, and instead just go into this amazing gin quote from The Lady in the Lake (which the New York Times no less called “one of his best”). I’ve felt a bit the way Mr. Marlowe feels below (and yes, I’m calling a fictional character “Mr. Marlowe.” But I think he deserves that, real or not).
I smelled of gin. No just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nose-dived off the boat deck. The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.
–Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake