April 11, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Captain’s Blood

Argh, shiver me timbers, and yo-ho-ho. If the Captain’s Blood is flowing across the mizzenmast, it may be time to give up the ship. Or invite the marauders over, where you can splice the mainbrace in proper fashion–eye-patches, peg-legs, cutlasses, and black hats required. And if you think I know what that means, you are a very tipsy pirate. Which, I suppose, is the only way to be.

Oh, also, this makes a good drink if you’re watching any pirate movie, taking a bath with some sort-of floating ships in the bath with you, or watching BATTLESHIP, BATTLESHIP, BATTLESHIP. Heck, it’s just a good drink.


Captain’s Blood, from Good Spirits

Ice cubes
2-1/2 ounces Sun Liquor barrel-aged rum
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Lime slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, bitters, and lime juice. Shake matey, shake.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice.

March 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Snake Banisher Cocktail

It’s sad that people only remember St. Patrick on March the 17th – and that people only tend to really get enthusiastic about Irish contributions to cocktail culture then (sadly, I myself may fall into that a bit. Forgive me). But we, friends, can get together and drive these oversights out, much like St. Patrick himself drove the snakes out of Ireland. But to do it, we’ll need a serious drink – this drink, right here!

It’s highlighted by two great Irish products, Clontarf 1014 Irish whiskey (which I talked about in the Dublin 8 recipe post), and Celtic Honey liqueur. The latter is inspired by an ancient recipe (as many good things are) and is supposed to bring you luck when drinking. I can’t say for sure on that, but can say that the liqueur’s combination of local Irish honey, spring water, Irish whiskey, and secret herbs is tasty.


The Snake Banisher

Cracked ice
2 ounces Clontarf 1014 Irish whiskey
3/4 ounce Celtic Honey liqueur
1/4 ounce Punt e’ Mes
2 dashes Scrappy’s Saville Orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Start banishing snakes.

A Note: You could use another orange bitters instead of Scrappy’s Saville Orange bitters (which is otherworldly good). But you might want to have some snake anti-venom on hand.

March 21, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Leviathan 477 with Westland First Peated American Single Malt Whiskey

I found this beast (in the best way) of a drink in David Embury’s classic The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. However, he doesn’t say where the name is from, and I’ve never managed to track it down in Bible, Talmud, Blake, Milton, Hobbes, or other spot (those all seemed like they could have a Leviathan 477). Where the name comes from is a secret that Mr. Embury may have taken to the big bar in the sky.

One thing on our side, though, that Mr. Embury sadly missed, is Westland Distillery’s new First Peated American single malt whiskey. And probably so will most others (hah) as it’s a limited release. But, the distiller’s regular peated whiskey is soon to follow, and I’ll bet it will also be amazing in this drink. The First Peated has a deep smoky peatedness, but also an underlying chocolate, leather, shortbread mix with little hints of citrus and cherry. It’s a fine whiskey, and one that is delicious solo. You might not even think of it as a spirit to have in cocktails, but let me tell you, mixed into the below it shines and helps deliver a drink worthy of the monstrous name (in the best way, of course).


The Leviathan 477, from Good Spirits

Ice cubes
2 ounces Westland First Peated American single malt whiskey
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the remaining ingredients. Shake smoothly.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Sip. Sip. Sip.

March 14, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Dublin 8 with Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey

If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a fashion that truly honors the St. and the Irish (and you should), then I have the ideal drink for you: The Dublin 8. This Irish special (by way of the Midwestern U.S.) owes its birth to Jeremy Sidener, bartender extraordinaire and manager of the 8th Street Taproom in Lawrence, KS. It’s a fantastically refreshing drink, one that won’t weigh you down, but it also boasts a ton of flavor. Especially when made with Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey.

If you don’t yet know it, Clontarf 1014 Irish whiskey is a triple distilled, bourbon-barrel aged blended beauty. It’s amazingly smooth and sippable, but still carries a solid honey and nutty flavor with hints of oak and citrus, all of which mingles perfectly with the citrus and ginger in this recipe. It’s also named after a famous battle, and carries the slogan “Live Like a Warrior” – which is pretty cool I think. You should definitely try it solo as well as in this drink. (Oh, one last thing – it’s freakishly reasonable on price. Which is a bonus).

Clontarf 1014 is also one of the brands behind the Irish to the Core contest, where you can win a trip to Ireland or $10,000 – both of which sound great to me. So, enter up.


The Dublin 8, from Good Spirits

Ice cubes
2 ounces Clontarf 1014 Irish whiskey
3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ounces chilled ginger ale or ginger beer
Lime quarter for garnish
Lime slice for garnish

1. Fill a highball glass, or similarly-sized glass, three quarters up with ice cubes. Add the whiskey.

2. Add the orange juice and ginger ale, at the same time, so that we don’t have any arguments over who’s more important to the effort.

3. Squeeze a lime wedge over the glass, and then drop it in. Stir gently. Garnish with the slice of lime.

March 11, 2014

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

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.

•    Four Drinks to Make for Your 2014 Oscars Party

•    Talking Vodka, Bacon Bloody Marys and Beyond with Reyka Vodka’s Daniel Brancusi

•    Four Delicious Drinks Perfect for Valentine’s Day

•    Five Fantastic First Date Bars

•    Super Seahawks Super Bowl Drinks

•    New Locally Made Spirits, Liqueurs and More

•    Super Small Seattle Bars

•    New Year’s Cocktail and Spirit Resolutions

March 7, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Ace with Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Whiskey

ace-in-oneI 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.

The Ace

Ice cubes
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.

February 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Friday Kahloe

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.


Friday Kahloe

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.

February 21, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Bourbon and Coke

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

Ice cubes
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.

Rathbun on Film

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Five, The GizmoNovember 04, 2013
A special Cocktail to Cocktail Hour holiday episode hosted by A.J. Rathbun where very special guest Jeremy Holt stops by to teach us how to make the Gizmo, a...
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Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Four, The TrilbyNovember 03, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by A.J. Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode; Alastair Edwards stops by with a drinking problem, solved by t...
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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 A.J. 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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