June 6, 2011

What I’m Drinking: The Zazarac (Plus Bonus Charles Williams Quote!)

The poor, misunderstood, little-referred-to cousin of the popular, always-invited-to-the-dance, Sazerac, the Zazarac rarely rears its head on party menus these days (alas, poor drink). But it’s worthy of taking out for a drive (and now I’ve managed a whole host of messy metaphors—in just two sentences!), even if it has a bit of kitchen-sink-ness to it thanks to its full ingredient list. It has somewhat of a kick, mind you, so watch your wobbliness when consuming it. It isn’t, honestly, good to take for a drive, for instance. Unless you have one of those beds shaped like a car.



Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces rye

3/4 ounce white rum

3/4 ounce anisette

3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

1/2 ounce absinthe

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 dash orange bitters

Lemon twist, for garnish


1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rye, rum, anisette, syrup, absinthe, and both bitters. Shake well (it’s okay to be aggressive about it, the cocktail likes it).


2. Strain into a large cocktail glass. Garnish with that orange twist.


A Note: This was originally made with gum, or gomme, syrup. Intrigued? See the recipe for the King Cole in Dark Spirits (where the above Zazarac recipe is also from) and learn more about this gum syrup. Or just buy David Wondrich’s Imbibe for gosh sakes.


Promised Bonus Quote (which goes so well with the Zazarac I think):

One minute she’s a blackmailer, cagey as Kruschev, and the next she wants to gambol half-naked on a pile of sawdust like a babe on an absinthe jag.

–Charles Williams, The Hot Spot.

May 5, 2011

What I’m Drinking: Welcome Back, Weary Traveler

Well, we’re back (from Italy, that is. If you didn’t know it, wife Nat and I and our two dogs have been enjoying our Italian pre-tirement for the last seven or so months. Interested? Read more about it). Re-entry into life into Seattle hasn’t been rough, but neither has it been a box of chocolates filled with booze. To ease the edges, and to help remind me of things from here I missed, when there, without forgetting what I loved there, I whipped up the following cocktail last night, and think I’ll be whipping up a few more over the next couple of days. See, bourbon is hard to track down in the I-tal, and so I wanted the drink to be serious on the bourbon side. But, I miss (already) having loads of Italian liqueurs in every café and bar, so I wanted hints of Italy surrounding the bourbon. Which led to the Welcome Back, Weary Traveler:


2-1/2 ounces bourbon (I used Blanton’s, but others may suffice)

1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino

1/4 ounce Fernet Branca

Orange twist, for garnish (I like’d a wider orange twist here)


1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ie.


2. Add the bourbon, maraschino, and Fernet Branca. Stir well.


3. Strain into a cocktail glass or a stewardesses hat. Twist the twist and drink as happily as you can manage.

April 7, 2011

Cinghiale’s Bikini

Picked up some dark rum not too long back (at Domini, the best winery in central Italy, funny enough–Diego, the owner and swell fella, is nice enough to stock some other, non-wine, bottles as well) and it lead to me craving a cocktail that had more of an island, and a little less of an Italian feel, but as this was made while living in Italy, and features an Italian tamarind syrup (though really, it’s thicker than a regular syrup—almost molasses-y) by Carlo Erba (a Milan company), I still consider it an Italian drink. Hence the name, which hits both sides of the drink:


Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces dark rum

3/4 ounce pineapple juice

1/2 ounce freshly squeeze lime juice

1/2 Carlo Erba Tamarindo

Lime slice for garnish

Pineapple slice for garnish


1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, juices, and tamarind. Shake exceptionally well (that tamarind needs a bit of serious shaking to play nice).


2. Strain into a cocktail glass, or whatever good glass is nearby. Garnish with the lime slice and pineapple slice (both to add flavor and in case you need a snack).

March 2, 2011

A Round Up of the Recent Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Season

In case you missed (somehow, since they’ve been on rerun in a seemingly endless loop) an episode of the last season of the Good Spirits’ Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, well I, for one, feel sorry for you. Cause it was the rootin’est, tootin’est, drinkin’est, laughin’est, stylin’est, lovin’est, season yet! And you shouldn’t be expected to go another evening, no, not another hour without catching up on every last second (even the second where my tie is slightly off kilter. That one second). And you know what? I’m going to make sure you don’t miss a second, with a quick list of links to all the season’s episodes right here, in easy-to-read bulleted fashion. Thanks again for your Cocktail to Cocktail support, and thanks (of course) to director and co-writer Dr. G and the fine production, advertising, marketing, design, and support staff at AK TV. Now, on with the show:


*All Cocktail to Cocktail Episodes

Rathbun on Film