August 16, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Hot Night in Hidalgo

Even if you don’t live in Hidalgo, as it’s August, it’s fairly possible that you are, indeed, hot (unless you live on the other side of the equator, in which case you might as well save this one until next time it is summer in your neighborhood. Or, you could just have it in a sauna, or in a room with a heater, or under the blankets with that special someone. Up to you, of course). And while this isn’t one of those super cool-down kinds of affairs, it matches up so well with higher temperatures and shorter outfits (if you know what I mean) that summertime is the time to have it pals and gals. So, I guess, the heat is on.*


Hot Night in Hidalgo (from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz)

Ice cubes

2 ounces dark rum

1-1/2 ounces Damiana

3/4 ounce fresh pineapple juice

Pineapple chunk, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Damiana, and pineapple juice. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the pineapple chunk, in a smooth manner. *I know, that was cheesy. But I had to say it. Had to. Contractually obliged.

July 10, 2012

Two Delicious Drink Photos

So, I don’t just write about cocktails, drinks, distilleries, beer, booze, drinkers, drunks, and all that. Not that I don’t like to write about all of the above (and more!), but I like a little balance, too. Which means I have a day job (where I fight zombies, among other things). Which you might think isn’t fun, but let me clear your befuddled mind. See, I work with folks in the daytime who may not make drinks for a living, but who make damn fine drinks–and then sometimes take damn fine pictures of said drinks. Exhibits A and B are below. The first was made and taken by pal and co-worker Emi, and is a Raspberry Gin Fizz:

The next is a Mai Tai with lovely float of dark rum, with the drink made and photographed by pal and co-worker Lorie:

Now, those are some talented home-bartenders I get to work with from the 9 to 5. And yeah, you should be jealous.

January 7, 2011

What I Wish I was Drinking: Tieton Cider Cocktails

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to be able to play around with making drinks that feature Washington State cider-maker Tieton’s ciders. Operating out of the Yakima, WA area, Tieton ciders utilize all-natural ingredients, are made with care, and are starting to be more and more widely available. The ingredients and care are evident when drinking them, too, as they boast clear, crisp taste (which is what you want in your ciders—stay away from those overly sugary messes). At first, I was a little unsure about what I’d mix up with them, but after taking a few sips my unsure-ness re-routed straight into excitement. The following are my two favorite Tieton mixes. So, head down to your store and pick up some Tieton cider (or head down to complain that they don’t yet have them) and then cocktail up.


Harmony in C


Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces dark rum

3/4 ounces Grand Marnier

1 dash Peychauds bitters

2 ounces chilled Tieton Wild Washington apple cider

Apple slice, for garnish


1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Grand Marnier, and bitters. Shake well.


2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with the Tieton Blend apple cider. Stir briefly and carefully. Garnish with the apple slice.


Tieton Highball


Ice cubes

1 ounce applejack or apple brandy

3/4 ounce Benedictine

2 dashes Fee Brother peach bitters

Chilled Tieton Blend apple cider

Mint sprig, for garnish (optional)

Apple slice, for garnish (optional)


1. Fill an Old Fashioned glass three quarters full with ice cubes. Add the applejack, Benedictine, and bitters. Stir briefly.


2. Fill the glass almost to the rim with Tieton Blend apple cider. Stir again, briefly. Garnish with a mint sprig and an apple slice, if desired.


August 27, 2010

What I Wish I Was Drinking: Après Coup

A little serious (with the seriousness of gin), but with enough fruity overtones to ensure no one gets ponderous in conversation or step, the Après Coup is easy enough to make on a whim but layered enough in flavor to support a whole party. As long as the partiers weren’t opposed to staying up late. Cause you know a drink with Maraschino is going to have you up past midnight, right? I mean, the Maraschino (and I go Luxardo, because that’s the way I roll) is all about living after midnight. So much so that Rob Halford used to carry a whole crate of bottles of tour with him. Think I’m fibbing?



Cracked ice

1-1/2 ounces gin

1 ounce Chambord

1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur

1 dash Peychaud bitters


1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass three-quarters full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Chambord, Maraschino, and bitters. Stir well.


2. Strain into a cocktail glass (or, if there aren’t any clean ones left, any old glass that isn’t tattooed with lipstick or halfway full with an old drink works).

July 6, 2010

What I Wish I Was Drinking: The Foppa

Summer has finally it seems found its way to Seattle, and as hemlines go up with the increase in temperature, the amount of tall bubbly refreshing drink consumption also needs to go up. Sadly, I’m just looking out the window dreaming of the above right now (and while I meant dreaming of refreshing drinks, you can dream about them with rising hemlines if you want. I’m sure not gonna tell you not to), but when I move from dream to reality, I’m starting with a Foppa (the below recipe is from Dark Spirits, proving that the darker base spirits can be as useful in summer as in winter).


I found the Foppa in an Italian book called Cocktails: Classici & Esotici (Demetra, 2002) and love how it mingles ingredients from all over the globe: Scotch whisky, amaretto, dry vermouth (sometimes known as French vermouth), and ginger ale combine to become a lovely world tour of refreshment in a glass. Use it to break the heat and, after a couple, as a spur to taking those hemlines even higher. I mean, it is hot outside.


Ice cubes

1 1/2 ounces Scotch

1/2 ounce amaretto

1/2 ounce dry vermouth

Chilled ginger ale


1. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add the Scotch, amaretto, and vermouth. Stir with a long spoon.


2. Top the glass off with ginger ale. Stir again.


A Note: The original recipe here suggests single-malt Scotch, but I like using a nice blended version, which I think works well with the other ingredients (something like Dewar’s is a dandy choice). They also suggest using Di Saronno Amaretto, which traces its secret recipe back to 1525. A good suggestion, I think.

March 23, 2010

What I Wish I Was Drinking: The Athenian with Scrappy’s Bitters

Okay, I’m just thirsty. So thirsty I don’t have the energy to write the full-on over-the-top legendary journey of cocktails blog post I want to write about the weekend before last, a weekend of amazing cocktails that would leave every other blog post in the dusty dust, that would make you want to stroll in my shoes (or at least borrow my throat and tastebuds for awhile), a blog post that would involve at least 74.5% of the top cocktail creators in Seattle, and me tasting their drinks, a blog that would make you drool like George the Animal Steel before a cage match, a blog that might just have you (if you don’t live in Seattle already) running screaming to your suitcase, packing said suitcase, and getting a ticket here poste haste, a blog that if you already lived in Seattle would make you instantly descend to the floor crying tears of joy in front of your liquor cabinet, shelf, or box, happy that you could follow my footsteps in cocktails, a blog that might just cause the whole internet to go silent as a lonely ice cube due to everyone shaking off the electronic shackles to go on a drinks quest, the blog I want to write but just am too thirsty to write (but write it, someday, I will), so instead I’m just writing this post about how much I’d like to be drinking an Athenian at Cicchetti, a drink made with Metaxa, Martini and Rossi Bianco vermouth, and Scrappy’s grapefruit bitters, the very drink pictured below. Look at it, friends, and dream along with me (and if you’re not on the Scrappy’s bitters wagon, then get on it.)


September 4, 2009

Because Some Days Deserve the Champagne of Beers

It could be said that this is the last day of summer (the Friday before Labor Day and all), the last day when, at least out here in Seattle W-A, the sun is still shining brightly and the backyard is still calling out to be sat within and relaxed within and shirtsleeves are still just dandy as attire (with pants, or without, your call), and while there might be a small bit of chill in the air, it’s possible in that summertime way to ignore it (cause really, isn’t summer about ignoring responsibility? Being more grasshopper than ant?). That’s today folks, and on a day like today, though I might sing the praises of high-falooting cocktails, and might even have one later, what I really feel like on a day like today is a cold bottle of Miller High Life. Probably I feel that way cause my old pal and serious bartending angel Joel Meister and I used to drink them like water throughout the summertime months when we were a bit younger–heck, we never had a fridge from late May through August that didn’t contain at least two bottles in it no matter the hour of the day for emergencies–and those were good, memorable months that embodied that whole recklessly lovely tipsy-ness that is summer. What’s all this shake up to? Me giving out a toast to everyone celebrating that last day of summer, a toast in the form of the one and only Champagne of Beers, a toast to you. Drink up pals, and hold on to that summer sun as long as possible.


June 19, 2009

What I’ll be Drinking Soon: Something Bourbon-Based with a Big Ice Cube at Vessel

I’m not 100% sure what the below picture is, cause I stole it off the Vessel web site (I’m also not a very good thief, as I just admitted it, and hopefully Basil Childers who took the lovely photo doesn’t get too angry). Vessel, if you don’t know (and if you’re not living in Seattle, you’re forgiven, but if you are living in Seattle and don’t know, then I can only ask loudly: What The Heck Is Wrong With You? Notice the cap’d letters for emphasis, but not all caps, because I do still have lots of affection for you, so don’t want to be too screamy), is one of Seattle’s top cocktail spots (really, one of the nation’s), where the bartenders tend to be charming and in vests and always know how to pour a very well-prepared drink. Anyway, as a little Friday treat I’m heading over there (it’s at 1312 Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle, just blocks away from the monolith where I spend my workdays) right after work at 4 pm, to have myself a drink before heading home. And I think I want the drink to be the below, whatever it might be, with its large ice ball (hah, that’s fun to say) and obviously brown booze base. If you can’t make it there at 4 pm with me, then I suggest you at least have yourself a nice Friday cocktail somewhere. Because you know what? You deserve it.


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