February 3, 2023

What I’m Drinking: The Crimson Slippers

I love this drink – love it! And, as it’s the lover’s month, so to speak, felt I should kick things off with a drink I love. And this is it! Funny enough, was thinking about it recently over the past holiday season, when making it for some holiday pals. See, I always couched it in a sorta murder mystery persona (if cocktails have personas, which I believe they do), the drop of crimson blood on the slippers giving Miss Marple the needed clue (or whomever detective you desire, I’m feeling Marple-y) to solve the mystery. But, during this holiday season and discussion, a thought popped into my addled mind – wouldn’t Santa have slippers the color of crimson? Maybe? Maybe! So, that meant this could be a holiday drink, too. Either way, I love it. You will do. No matter what holiday you’re sipping it on.

crimson-slippers

The Crimson Slippers, from Dark Spirits

 

Ice cubes

2 ounces dark rum

1 ounce Campari

1/2 ounce triple sec

Dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Lime slice for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Campari, triple sec, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

3. Squeeze the lime slice over the glass and drop it in.

December 23, 2022

What I’m Drinking: Fish House Punch

There are holiday traditions, there are wonderful holiday traditions, and then there’s having the legendary Fish House Punch at the end of each year (or the beginning) – that’s a tradition nearly above all others, at least in the U.S., where this venerable punch has been punched up and sipped for hundreds of years, starting way back in the year 1732 (according to yore – I wasn’t actually there, though I am rather old) at Philadelphia’s Schuylkill fishing club, where I am sure (because sometimes the world is actually okay – meaning, I am not really sure, as I wasn’t there, but feel sure anyway, and want it to be true) folks sipped it by the bucketfuls around this time of year, much like I am now in the habit of doing, thanks to pals Eve and Curtis, who are annual Fish-House-Punch makers and distributors, and so I raise a glass in cheers to them, and to those who consumed this mix in the past, and to you, naturally, and to this sentence, which much like this year is now finally ending.

fish-house-punch

Fish House Punch, Serve 10

 

Block of ice (or cracked ice)

1 750-milliliter bottle dark rum

15 ounces cognac

7-1/2 ounces peach brandy

7-1/2 ounces freshly-squeezed lemon juice

7-1/2 ounces Simple Syrup

 

1. Add the ice to a punch bowl (fill about three quarters full if using cracked ice.) Add the rum, cognac, brandy, juice, and syrup. Stir 10 times, while humming holiday tunes.

 2. Stir 10 more times. Serve in punch cups or wine glasses or what have you.

December 2, 2022

What I’m Drinking: Champagne Punch

holidaysSometimes it’s good to go back to the basics. This here (or, below here) is my recipe for Champagne Punch, the one I picked up from family holiday gatherings when I was a wee one, the one I was making for parties long before even this blog started (so, dinosaurs were walking the earth), and long before I put the recipe in Good Spirits (and probably others books and articles), and long before I started typing this sentence (which is itself rather long now, though not as long as some by, say, Henry James). It’s a basic ol’ bubbly fruity rummy punchy number, not all la-de-da, but very solid, very tasty, and very much a sparkling treat that’s wonderful around the holiday season – which, low and behold, we are now in, or nearly in if you don’t want to jump the gun. A stance I understand, but good to be prepared pals! So, have the basic recipe below in your back pocket – it’s sure to be a hit at your holiday gatherings, which I’m sure will be anything but basic.

 

Champagne Punch

 

Serves 10

 

Ice (in block form if possible; if not, large chunks)

6 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice

4 ounces simple syrup

2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 ounces white rum

6 ounces dark rum

Once 750-milliliter bottle chilled Champagne

Orange, lime, and lemon slices, for garnish

 

1. Add the ice to a large punch bowl. If using chunks (as opposed to a large block of ice), fill the bowl just under halfway.

2. Add the orange juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and lemon juice. With a large spoon or ladle, stir 10 times.

3. Add the white and dark rums. Stir 10 more times.

4. Add Champagne, but not too quickly. Enjoy the moment. Add a goodly amount of orange, lime, and lemon slices. Stir, but only once.

5. Ladle into punch glasses or festive goblets. Try to ensure that every guest gets a slice of fruit and a smile.

November 18, 2022

What I’m Drinking: The Orchard Sea

I sometimes feel a tiny bit of a Washington Tourist Board shill, as much as I talk about our awesomely awesome local distillers (and bartenders, and bars, and such). Which would be weird, if, well, they all weren’t so awesome! But they are, and so I’m happy to tout their lovely boozy products, and try to woo drinkers into trying them, sipping them, loving them like I do – and coming here to check the distillers out in person when possible. Really, we are spoiled with all the tipsy options being made this-a-way. This single drink is an example, and a good way to try multiple ones at once, as it features Skip Rock Distillery’s Belle Rose Light rum, a swell cocktail rum, aged in white wine barrels, soft, vanilla-y, oak-y, Brovo Spirits Jammy sweet vermouth, which is a merlot-based vermouth that’s rich with cherry and chocolate notes (very jammy indeed), and Sidetrack Distillery’s legendary Blackberry liqueur, which is lush and boasting deep berry flavors (which comes from growing the best blackberries in the world and then turning them into a liqueur on the same farm they grew on). Altogether, this cocktail shows off the delights from up here in a layered, lush, mixtures that’ll have you singing the WA distiller’s praises as much as me. And then we can both get a kickback from the tourist board!

 orchard-sea

The Orchard Sea

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Skip Rock Distillery Belle Rose Light rum

1 ounce Sidetrack Blackberry liqueur

1/2 ounce broVo Spirits Jammy Sweet vermouth

1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, blackberry liqueur, vermouth, and lime juice. Shake well.

 

3. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass.

July 15, 2022

What I’m Drinking: Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun

Here in Seattle, WA, our summer so far has been a fairly mild one, with just a few hot days, and no scorchers. But I know in some parts it’s beyond sweltering, and dangerously hot here and there, so I know summer is here and with it the need for fruity, rich, flavorful, bubbly mixes, which leads me to bringing back this fav from a few years ago. Now, don’t take its title too literally, as drinking one of these does not mean you should brave a hot hot hot day without the appropriate sun protection, from lotions to big hats to water to ac. But at least, this combo of deliciously Diplomático rum, summerific Sidetrack Strawberry liqueur, fresh oj (you don’t want scurvy anytime, but especially not when it’s hot), Fee Brothers peachy-keen Peach bitters for another fruit layer, simple syrup to add sweetness to the heat, and club soda to bubbly it up, at least this combo will help the hot days taste better, and balance the blasting heat a tasty bit.

fear--no-more

Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Diplomático Mantuano rum

1/2 ounce Sidetrack Distillery Strawberry liqueur

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Dash Fee Brothers Peach bitters

1/2 ounce simple syrup

4 ounces chilled club soda

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything but the soda. Shake well.

2. Fill a highball or comparable glass with ice cubes. Strain the mix from Step 1 through a fine strainer into the glass.

3. Top with the club soda. Stir, but not mightily, but in a manner that brings everything together.

April 26, 2022

Cocktail Talk: All Shot Up, Part II

all-shot-upJust a few weeks back I had a Chester Himes Cocktail Talk (called The Crazy Kill, Part III) where I bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t had any Cocktail Talking from the amazing Chester Himes in many a year, and talked more about my love of his work, especially his Harlem-based novels featuring police detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones (some of the finest characters created in detective fiction I think, with razor dialogue, sharp personalizations, and many memorable moments). I was thinking about it enough that I had to re-read some more from Mr. Himes, and so went with All Shot Up (check out the All Shot Up Cocktail Talk Part I, and all the Chester Himes Cocktail Talks), which boasts a robbery, chilly temps, a hit-and-run (with all sorts of twists), violence, politicians and politics, dark humor, plot shenanigans, and much more rollicking over the page at a blistering pace. Including the below quote, which reminded me of the first time I read the book. When I saw the drink referenced below on that first read years and years back, I reached out to the great Gary Regan (one of the bar world’s fine gentlemen, and sadly now slinging and drinking drinks at the big bar in the beyond), knowing he both knew endless amounts about drinks but also that he had a taste for mystery and detective fiction, too, just to see if he’d heard of the drink. He hadn’t, but did some research (always kind, Mr. Regan), and even though he didn’t track down another mention of it, we had a fine time talking it through and talking over the book. Here’s to him, and to Chester Himes, and for that matter to you, too.

He was drinking a tall frappe highball of dark rum with a streak of grenadine running down the center, called a “Josephine Baker.” If La Baker herself had been running stark nude in the bottom of his glass he could not have given her any more attention.

–Chester Himes, All Shot Up

January 18, 2022

Cocktail Talk: Dombey and Son, Part V

dombeyandsonYou know (cause you know things) I love Dickens, and have many Charles Dickens Cocktail Talks on this very blog thingy, and cause of that (the love), I tend to re-read his books on the regular, and one of my favs is one not quite as well know, Dombey and Son. To get all the particulars of why it’s a fav, to read loads of cocktail and spirits (and dog!) quotes from the book, well, let me point you to the Dombey and Son Cocktail Talks Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV, instead of prattling on again here. Instead, I’ll just prattle that I’ve recently re-read the book once again (and I will again, I’m sure!), and had to have at least one more Cocktail Talk. So, here it is, featuring Cap’n Cuttle himself, along with his bestie Sol and said Sol’s niece Walter.

 

‘Ah!’ he said, with a sigh, ‘it’s a fine thing to understand ’em. And yet it’s a fine thing not to understand ’em. I hardly know which is best. It’s so comfortable to sit here and feel that you might be weighed, measured, magnified, electrified, polarized, played the very devil with: and never know how.’

    Nothing short of the wonderful Madeira, combined with the occasion (which rendered it desirable to improve and expand Walter’s mind), could have ever loosened his tongue to the extent of giving utterance to this prodigious oration. He seemed quite amazed himself at the manner in which it opened up to view the sources of the taciturn delight he had had in eating Sunday dinners in that parlour for ten years. Becoming a sadder and a wiser man, he mused and held his peace.

    ‘Come!’ cried the subject of this admiration, returning. ‘Before you have your glass of grog, Ned, we must finish the bottle.’

    ‘Stand by!’ said Ned, filling his glass. ‘Give the boy some more.’

    ‘No more, thank’e, Uncle!’

    ‘Yes, yes,’ said Sol, ‘a little more. We’ll finish the bottle, to the House, Ned – Walter’s House. Why it may be his House one of these days, in part. Who knows? Sir Richard Whittington married his master’s daughter.’

 

–Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

January 7, 2022

What I’m Drinking: Three Wishes

three-wishesLook, look, lookieeee! A new year has started. Which is good, cause, between us, last year, well (excuse my expressioning expression), sucked. Really! Not that there weren’t good and tasty and cuddly moments, I hope, for all, but it wasn’t the finest year IMHO (as they say). So, here’s hoping this here year will be better, and to help it on its way, I’m going to drink this lovely drink, called Three Wishes, after its three tasty ingredients: dark rum (I’m going with Diplomatico Reserva, which is so delicious), Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb (a beauteous blend of rums, bitter orange, and sweet), and amaretto (for me, wishing usually has an Italian component – I’m using Lazaroni). How will me drinking this help? Well, lesser-know fact: when you drink this, you can actually make wishes, and all mine will be for a lovely 2022 for us all. Yeah, I’m that way, but the good part is, you can have one of these and also wish for the same!

 

Three Wishes, from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz

 

Cracked ice

2 ounces Diplomatico Reserva dark rum

1 ounce Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb

1 ounce Lazaroni amaretto

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rum, Creole Shrubb, and amaretto. Stir well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Make good wishes.

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