November 21, 2014
This bubbly beaut is ideal all through the fall holidays – a time which is, also, surprise, surprise, owl time. But the drink (as opposed to the feathered friend) is also bursting with some fall flavors: cranberries, bubbly, juniper, and, cherries. Okay, the latter may be pushing it, but as someone with a cherry tree, I tend to have them more in the fall after the harvest in the summer. Here, too, the cherry is represented by the Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s amazing Cherry Bounce, which is good anytime. The cranberries come in thanks to the Fee Brothers bright cranberry bitters, the juniper from our old friend gin (here, I went with Voyager gin), and the bubbly from Valle Calda Prosecco DOC (Prosecco being the wonderful Italian sparkling wine). The Valle Calda DOC is slightly fruity with a dandy effervescence, like an owl with a really serious hoo, hoo. It all adds up to a wonderful drink.
The Owl’s Wink
1 ounce Voyager gin
3/4 ounce Cherry Bounce
3 dashed Fee Brothers Cranberry bitters
3 ounces chilled Valle Calda Prosecco DOC
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Cherry Bounce, and bitters. Stir well.
2. Strain into a flute glass or any glass with an owl on it. Add the Prosecco. Stir, carefully, working to combine all ingredients.
A Note: If your Prosecco isn’t chilled enough, feel free to add an ice cube or frozen cranberries at the end.
November 18, 2014
Hello! You, yes you, are invited to a very special event celebrating my mom and her upcoming film, Speaking of Dying. The film is a documentary showcasing community-based end-of-life planning as pioneered by Trudy James, my mom that is, chaplain and facilitator. You’ll be able to watch the film trailer, meet filmmaker Jennifer Jones and editor Catherine Wadley, connect with people featured in the film, see old friends, and make new ones! Plus, have delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by me, including the Last Word, the Desert Healer, and the Sparkling Sunset, using products from local distilleries Seattle Distilling Company and Sidetrack Distillery. It’s Saturday, November 22 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Spring Street Center, 1101 15th Ave, here in Seattle, WA. Hope to see you there!
November 14, 2014
This seaworthy cocktail is an on-board twist on one of my all-time favs, the Bobby Burns. The Bobby Burns is one of those strong classics that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for umph, or get try to sub in tricksy-ness for good taste (not that many classic cocktails do). In this variant, I’ve subbed in the new 3 Howls Navy Strength rum, for the Scotch, which is a seriously strong rum, following up on their award-winning Navy Strength gin. The rum goes well with the sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica is the way to go here) and the Bénédictine, too, delivering a memorable mix, and one with a nice warm kick. I’ve upped the Bénédictine a little, because the herbalness was playing well.
The Midshipman Burns
2-1/2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
1/2 ounce Carpano Antica
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
Lemon twist, for garnish.
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rum, Carpano, and Bénédictine. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.
November 11, 2014
Hey, lucky people! It’s your turn to browse a few fine pieces I wrote recently for the fine Seattle magazine. If you happened to miss them the first time around, well, now’s your chance for a fun first read. If you read them once already, well, the second time is usually even better. And don’t let me get started about the third.
• 5 Horrifically Tasty Halloween Drinks
• 5 Cocktails to Drink While Playing Video Games
• Local Spirit Spotlight: Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur
• 4 Appleicious Drinks for Fall
*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me
November 7, 2014
Many say 3 is a magic number. Then there’s the rule of 3. 3 rings to bind them. Etc. Etc. 3 must have an awfully big head. Even in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual (1940 edition) there are 3 Royal Cocktails. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for 3s. But c’mon! Doesn’t anyone feel bad for 4? I did, and so I concocted the Royal Cocktail #4. And if that wasn’t enough, I used the lovely Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur to do it. Deliciously 4.
Royal Cocktail #4
1 ounce Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur
1 ounce Voyager gin
1 ounce Dolin dry vermouth
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink royally.
November 4, 2014
There are far too many detectabulous fictional detectives to begin to name even my favorites here (just scroll through the Cocktail Talk posts and you’ll see many of them). But one that I haven’t been too closely acquainted with is literary mystery-unraveler Gervase Fen, created by English writer Edmund Crispin. It’s not surprising in a way, because Crispin was a cat person, and I’m a dog person. But I overlooked that when reading The Case of the Gilded Fly lately – which was the first of I believe nine Gervase Fen books. And I think I’ll read more, even if the dogs look at me sidewise when I’m reading them. Mr. Fen is an Oxford don, and I tend to like Oxford, and pretty witty besides, and the murder was nicely raveled and then unraveled. Not to mention that the book contained the below quote, ideal for Cocktail Talking.
There followed the ceremony of mumblings, apologies, and recognitions which always occurs when a group of people only partially acquainted are brought together, and a great and complicated maneuvering of chairs. Nigel, about to go off once again to the bar, was forestalled by Nicolas, who as he ordered pink gins contemplated with unconcealed glee the extremely uncomfortable relationships which were likely to be established within the next few minutes.
–The Case of the Gilded Fly, Edmund Crispin
October 31, 2014
It’s Halloween, dontcha know. Which means it is time for the Warlock, and the Warlock video. The spookiest Halloween cocktail video ever. The scariest cocktail video period. Ever! Bwahahahahah.
Oh, also, it contains brandy, Strega, limoncello, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters. And will turn you into a zombie magician. So, there’s that, too.
October 24, 2014
Somehow I came up with this when reading J. Robert Lennon stories. And it’s a darn good drink. A wee sweet, but well-balanced by the richness of the egg and the kick of the brandy. Dang, that’s sorta like Lennon. Maybe? Maybe. You read him and find out and let me know. One thing that’s totally for sure (like, for sure), is that if you want to create a drink this amazing, you’d better delve into the J. Robert Lennon oeuvre. You’d better.
Underlined Passages, from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz
1-1/2 ounces brandy
1 ounce Navan vanilla liqueur
1/2 ounce Dumante Verdenoce pistachio liqueur
1 egg white, preferably organic
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the brandy, Navan, Dumante, and egg white. Shake exceptionally well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass.