December 19, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Morning Call

morning-callEarlier on the blog, we made a lovely drink with Seattle distillery 3 Howls’ Navy Strength rum, the Midshipman Burns. But one drink with this sturdy, but tasty, rum is not enough! And as the temperature is dropping – or dropped – and drinks that warm you cause of their heat and cause of their warming fortitude are desired, this second rum drink is a hot one. It’s great on a cold morning, when you need to warm up and get going all at once. But it’s not just hot – it’s scrumptious, as the rum here’s cozied up with the great Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, and one of the best coffee liqueurs in the world, which is also made up in the Northwest, by the sweet Seattle Distilling Company. It might seem an odd quartet when mixed with water, but it’s a wondrous combo. Trust me!

The Morning Call

1-1/2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
3/4 ounces Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur
4 ounces hot water
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the 3 Howls rum, Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, and the Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur to a mug that’s been warmed slightly with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the hot water and stir again. Garnish with the orange twist.

December 16, 2014

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Hey pals – miss any of my recent Seattle magazine blog posts? Well, it’s time for you to catch right up. Or, if you’ve read them once, but want to read them again, now’s your chance (there has to be at least one person who fits this, right?). There are drink recipes for a number of occasions – some perfect for the holidays – and an interview with Duff McKagan.

•         3 Drinks to Help You Not Feel So Full

•         3 Drinks to Have Before a Big Meal

•         The Holiday Cheat Sheet: Bottled Cocktail Recipes

•         3 Hot Boozy Drinks to Help You Warm Up

•         Discussing Chili, ‘Come Here Often?’ with Musician Duff McKagan

*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me

December 12, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Long and Short

Baby, it’s cold outside. Luckily, this drink makes it warm inside (both inside you, and inside a domicile, if you happened to be drinking it inside. Though, honestly, it would be tasty if had outside as well, and probably be a welcome sight to anyone who had been outside in the cold). It uses SIA, a lovely blended Scotch that’s recently been released, and which boasts a mélange of citrus, spice, vanilla, and smoke and nuttiness. It’s a great Scotch to woo people who don’t like Scotch as well (and yeah, there are those people out there). Mix it up with the swell French aperitif Pineau des Charentes White Pineu – which is a little citrusy, too – and the always-awesome Scrappy’s orange bitters, and you have this wonderful winter warmer.


The Long and Short

1-1/2 ounces SIA blended Scotch
3/4 ounce Pineau des Charentes White Pineu
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
4 ounces hot water
Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Add the SIA Scotch, Pineau des Charentes, and the Scrappy’s to a mug that’s been warmed slightly with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the hot water and stir again. Garnish with the lemon twist. Indulge yourself with every sip.

December 9, 2014

Cocktail Talk: Cranford

You might not think Cranford, a classic about 1850s small-town English life, especially the life of single older ladies, would have a bunch of cocktail moments. And, it doesn’t, necessarily (by the way – read it if you haven’t. It’s a swell selection of stories that all intertwine around these ladies). But if there’s one thing 1850s ladies in small towns in the U.K. like, it is a little sherry-like sipper on special occasions. Or, very rarely, cherry brandy. Here is one of those times.

Miss  Barker, in her former sphere, had, I dare say, been made acquainted with the beverage they call cherry-brandy. We none of us had ever seen such a thing, and rather shrunk back when she proffered it us – ‘just a little, leetle glass, ladies; after the oysters and lobsters, you know. Shellfish are sometimes thought not very wholesome.’

– Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

December 5, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Mean Season

Sometimes you have bad days. Sometimes you have busy days. Sometimes you have busy weeks. Here’s hoping you don’t have bad weeks that combine all the above. But if you do, well, this may well be the drink for you. But it’s also just a darn good drink, one that has layers and layers of flavors happening, and depth galore. It utilizes a lot of Seattle-area ingredients, so stock up next time you’re out this way (though many are them are available in other areas, too, and more all the time, thankfully). And one key Italian pal, too.


The Mean Season

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces Seattle Distilling Company whiskey
1 ounce Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Cynar
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
1 dash Scrappy’s cardamom bitters
Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything but the twist. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the twist.

December 2, 2014

Come Have Bubbly Drinks With Me at Zinc on 12/6/14

AMY_AJ_EVENT_profileHey pals, come by for a bubbly night of art and drinks at Zinc in Edmonds, WA, on 12/6, from 4 to 7 pm. You’ll be able to see and purchase amazing art from amazing artist Amy Hevron, while sipping on effervescent drinks from me! The sippers include two from Champagne Cocktails, the Spagliato and the Bubbly Poinsettia, plus the Jessaura, a holiday treat created special for the event. Amy’s art includes bison, monkeys, sprites, bears, and more loveliness! And they’ll be snacks, too. Start the holiday season right – heck, this may just be the highlight of your holidays! Remember:

ZINC Art + Interiors
December 6th, 4 to 7 PM
102 3rd Ave S, Edmonds, WA

November 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Pliny’s Hand Warmer

Way, way back when, (in the double digits AD), Pliny the Elder wrote the Naturalis Historia, and in that wrote about peppermint, and how it was not only used in sauces and drinks, but only in sweet-scented sprays and worn about the head. I like that! I wanna wear peppermint like a hat. Can I do that? Anyway, with all that connection between good ol’ Pliny and peppermint, I don’t believe anyone has every named a peppermint-y drink for Pliny. Please correct me if I’m wrong here, and you have, actually, come up with said drink. Hopefully this is different than yours if that’s the case. I used peppermint tea for my peppermint-y-ness, and to go along with all the Ps, I used Plantation’s Original Dark rum. No, no, I used this rum from Trinidad & Tobago because its hints of smoke, citrus, banana, and spice mingle smoothly with the tea. And then I used Averna amaro for no other reason than I thought it would taste good. Guess what? I was right! This is a swell drink for the winter months – keep warm out there.


Pliny’s Hand Warmer

1-1/2 ounce Plantation Original Dark rum
1 ounce Averna amaro
5 ounces hot peppermint tea
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the rum and the Averna to a mug that’s been warmed with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the tea, stir again, and warm up. Garnish with the orange twist.

A Note: If you feel this needs an extra garnish, and have fresh peppermint available, well, you know what to do.

November 25, 2014

Cocktail Talk: My Friend Maigret

my-friend-maigretEarlier this month, I admitted to having only a tenuous relationship (until recently) with Edmund Crispin and his fictional English detective Gervase Fen. Since I’m in the admitting mood (hah, no, I’m not admitting that, yet), I should also say that until recently I hadn’t read any books featuring an even more famous detective, Inspector Maigret of the Paris PD, as written by George Simenon in 74 novels and 28 short stories. Whoa! I don’t even have the cat vs. dog excuse in this case. But recently I picked up three Maigret novels to see what I was missing, and completely dug them – a bit dark, a bit French, a bit rainy for some reason, but full of murder, mysteriousness, and a lot of food and drink. They do take place in France, after all. And I can’t wait to read more, especially when they contain Cocktail Talk like the below:

He had drunk only one glass of Champagne. Then rest of time he had drunk mostly wine, then, God knows why, anisette.


Who had ordered anisette? Oh yes, it was the dentist. A retired dentist to be precise, whose name escaped him. Another phenomenon. There was nothing but phenomenon on the island.

My Friend Maigret, George Simenon

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Rathbun on Film

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Five, The GizmoNovember 04, 2013
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, V4, Three, Horse's NeckOctober 06, 2013
In this Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, you'll learn to make the refreshing Horse's Neck from special guest star Mark Butler, and hear host A.J. Rathbun and Mark ...
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V4, Two, Aperol SpritzSeptember 24, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by aj Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode, who teaches you how to make the Aperol Spritz, with Aperol and...
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