December 13, 2013
Recently, an old pal-of-mine name of Eric Norris, poet-writer-reader-library-man-deadeye-shooter-guy (he sounds like a detective in a way – I hope that on his rare down hours he is solving crime where he lives in lovely Hays, KS), dropped me a note asking about a coffee drink idea. He’s a swell fella, and I’m guessing an early riser, so I understood his need for a cocktail that tastes good and operates as a pick-you-up. Cause I believe in choices, I actually came up with two coffee drink ideas, the below, and one that I’ll roll out in a week. This one has a good espresso boom but also some nice herbally action via the sweet vermouth and Bénédictine. Oh, and some gin, cause gin is nice in any morning.
Hays at 6 AM
1-3/4 ounces gin
1/2 ounce chilled espresso
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
3 coffee beans, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything but the beans. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.
December 6, 2013
People, like you (yes, you!) who have read this blog for a while, or at all, know that I’m what people call an equal-opportunity-drinker. Meaning – I tend to like almost all families of imbibables, and am open to trying pretty much everything. This doesn’t translate into me sipping on anything that tastes like gutterfied gasoline. But it does mean that I, for example, really like sherry, but also really like rye, and lemon, and etc. Also, it means that I’m not afraid to try non-traditional items in cocktails. For another example, I’ve tasted more cocktails with vinegar lately, and loving them, and have wanted to make a few myself. Luckily, I recently came into possession (thanks to Corinne from the LEG, or the Lisa Ekus Group, the finest folks in the land) of a bottle Boyajian balsamic fig vinegar, an all-natural combo that seems ideal for a dressing or a drizzle, but for me also screamed – cocktail! And thus the Atta Boy was born, which combines the beautiful Boyajian vinegar with rye, sherry, and a lemon twist. The result is fantastic, savory but with a nice rye base, a tiny bit tangy and a smidge sweet, all topped by the zing of citrus. Give it a whirl and your tastebuds will thank you.
2 ounces rye (I used Woodinville rye)
1/2 ounce Boyajian balsamic fig vinegar
1/2 ounce dry sherry
Wide lemon twist
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rye, vinegar, and sherry. Stir really well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the wide lemon twist, draped over the side.
November 22, 2013
It’s the holiday season y’all! Which means one fantastic thing: it’s time for another episode of The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, with very special hunky holiday guest Jeremy Holt! Mr. Jeremy stops by to teach us how to make perhaps the finest Thanksgiving cocktail known, the Gizmo, which features Voyager gin, cranberry sauce, and simple syrup. If you want your Thanksgiving to be awesome, watch this now. Right now!
November 15, 2013
Hello students of the cocktail, and welcome to another episode of the finest series on cocktails, drinking, and good times ever: The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour. In this episode, our favorite foreigner, Alastair Edwards, is back with another drinking problem, one I solve with the help of the Trilby Cocktail, a bit of an undiscovered treasure featuring Broker’s gin, Dolin dry vermouth, and crème Yvette.
PS: Special thanks to Natalie Fuller, Jeremy Holt, Beatrice Holt, Markie Butler – perhaps the finest actors this side of Stratford, and the wizardry of director Dr. Gonzo.
November 12, 2013
Hey pals and gals and galpals, I recently did a fun series of posts for the swanky Seattle magazine, all designed to help out the home bartender. First, was a post detailing essential bar tools, then one where I detailed some mixers you should make, not buy, and finally one with a few choice recipes using said mixers. It was pretty tasty fun, and I figured you (yes, you) might dig it.
• Five Essential Home Bar Tools
• Cocktail Mixers You Should Make, Not Buy (and How to Make Them)
• 3 Drinks Perfect for Homemade Mixers
– See all A.J. Seattle magazine articles
November 8, 2013
Sometimes, a drink name says it all. In this case: Perfect. Does that mean I think this is the perfect cocktail, always and for every situation and second? Nah. But I do think it carries a kind of perfection, and for those days when you feel neither 100% sweet or dry, it certainly matches the mood. For those reasons, and during those seasons, sure, this one’s vermouth balance does indeed equal the name: Perfect.
Perfect Cocktail (recipe from Good Spirits)
Ice cubes 1-1/2 ounces gin (Voyager gin is pretty swell here)
3/4 ounce dry vermouth (might as well double up and go Dolin for both vermouths)
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
Orange or lemon slice for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes. Add the gin first, and then the vermouths. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with either an orange or lemon slice (I’ve seen it both ways, and go depending on my mood).
November 1, 2013
Here’s something you may not know: John Hanson, the first president of the newly independent United States under the Articles of Confederation, on October 11, 1782 declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be Thanksgiving Day. As I’m someone who likes Thanksgiving, well, this was news to me. And it led to me, when trying to come up with a new drink to have before Thanksgiving, utilizing Mr. Hanson’s name in the title. I also utilized a couple of awesome new Seattle-area products in the drink, cause going local is good, especially around Thanksgiving. The first was a shrub. I’m guessing you know I don’t mean the plant, but the colonial era vinegar-based cocktail-and-drink ingredient that’s making a comeback. You probably don’t know I used a Ludlow Market Shrub, made around these parts, specifically the Blackberry Sarsaparilla Vanilla variety, which is rich and tangy and fruity all at once. I also used the new Seattle Distilling Company Idle Hours whiskey (made on Vashon Island), which is an Irish-style whiskey with a hint of honey. All together, the Hanson Sparkler (there soda water which makes it sparkle) is an ideal pre-Thanksgiving drink, one that’ll whet your appetite without filling you up.
The Hanson Sparkler
1-1/2 ounces Seattle Distilling Company Idle Hours whiskey
1 ounce Ludlow Market Blackberry Sarsaparilla Vanilla shrub
5 to 6 ounces soda water
1. Fill a highball or double-ish Old Fashioned glass with a four or five ice cubes.
2. Add the Idle Hours whiskey, then the shrub, then the soda water. Stir well.
October 25, 2013
Pals, it’s getting chilly. No way to escape it, in the general sense. But in the specific sense, the best way to escape it is to cuddle up with someone cuddly and have this very drink, which is a warmer meant to be had while cuddling. And yeah, it uses both Drambuie and schnapps, which may bother your snootier sensibilities. But if so, no one wants to cuddly with you anyway and you can ignore this whole thing.
The Late Date, Recipe from Good Spirits
2 ounces Drambuie
1/2 ounce cinnamon schnapps
3-1/2 ounces hot water
1. Add the orange wheel and lemon wheel to a sturdy mug. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, gently muddle the rounds.
2. Add the Drambuie and cinnamon schnapps to the mug. Stir briefly. Add the hot water, and stir again.