March 27, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Montmartre-y

The Montmartre cocktail was possibly named for the neighborhood, which gets its name from the death and decapitation of a bishop, archdeacon, and priest in 1272. That’s heavy! But the drink itself is fairly light on its toes and on the tongue, while carrying a great balance of flavors. However, recently I made it but changed things up slightly, and it was even better than it has ever been throughout history. Ever. EVER! How? Well, first, I subbed in Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao for the traditional triple sec, and the slightly dry and more flavorful nature of the former was fantastic. I also changed the maraschino cherry in for a Rainer cherry right off the tree in my yard. But what may have helped most (this didn’t change the recipe, but certainly helped the flavor) was using Martin Miller gin, whose 10 botanical blend brings a great amount of friendly complexity to the layers of taste here. All together, this makes one of the best drinks I’ve had this week (or longer). I did, since I made changes, think I needed to change the name, at least a little. Hence, the Montmartre-y.


The Montmartre-y

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Martin Miller gin
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
Rainer cherry, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes. Add the gin, vermouth, and orange curaçao. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

February 6, 2015

What I’m Drinking: I Will Give You A Thrashing

People who know me best know that as the song says, I’m a lover not a fighter. So, don’t take the sorta aggressive nature of this title to mean I’m all up in your face. I’m not! I just had a friend suggest this as a title, and it’s a dandy name for a cocktail in my mind (and that’s the only mind I got). Also, at the time I was looking for a name for this very drink, a drink I created using the swell Old Ballard Liquor Co. Riktig Aquavit (I wrote a lot about the Old Ballard Liquor Co. here), which has a strong and memorable flavor. Not so strong as to give you a thrashing, but strong enough that you’ll remember it – and hopefully this drink, too.


I Will Give You a Thrashing

Cracked ice
2 ounces Riktig Aquavit
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino)
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

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

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink while facing Ballard.

April 25, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Blue Riband

Don’t yell at me. Usually I stay away from blue curaçao, because it’s only blue due to some chemical additions, and not the addition of some secret herb only found hidden in the jungle. But here, it’s balanced out by true orange curaçao. And this drink tastes awesome, so screw it, blue curaçao. Also, I’ve heard this drink was created for an award given to the liner making the fastest Atlantic crossing; variously held by British, French, German, and U.S. ships. So, get out your white admiral’s yachting cap and white trousers for this one, friends.


The Blue Riband (from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz)

Ice cubes
2 ounces gin (something sorta British is best, like Plymouth)
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce blue curaçao
Lemon slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, orange curaçao, and
blue curaçao. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon slice if that will make your voyage more enjoyable. And it will.

February 7, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Cara Sposa Mattina

Sometimes, you even have to change drinks you like. Heck, even drinks you wrote about. Though maybe “change” isn’t the right word, as it sounds a wee bit pejorative, and I don’t mean to say the original drink in this case, the Cara Sposa, wasn’t and isn’t super tasty. Cause it was and is. However, I just got a bottle of the new coffee liqueur from the Seattle Distilling Company, Luana Beach coffee liqueur (made with Orca Blend coffee from the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie), and wanted to try it in a cocktail, and, well, the Cara Sposa seemed a perfect match, even though the main ingredient in it, Tia Maria, isn’t necessarily a coffee liqueur. But it does have a coffee-esque quality, so I wasn’t that far afield when making the sub. And, you know what? The end result was amazing. Delicious. A worthy successor to the original. I, naturally, changed the name a stitch, since it is a different drink. You would have done the same, I hope.


Cara Sposa Mattina

Crushed ice
1-1/2 ounces Luana Beach coffee liqueur
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce heavy cream

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with crushed ice. Add the Tia Maria, orange curaçao, and cream. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

A Note: I’ve seen this blended and then strained, but I think that makes it too watery. Using crushed ice and shaking like a machine gets things slushy but not overly watery.

July 19, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Pants in the Pants

One of my favorite old-timey books of cocktails and drinks is called Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. It’s by Crosby Gaige (hah!), who was a bon vivant about town in the early-to-mid part of last century. The book is a gas, as well as having bunches of good recipes. Recently, I tapped into it when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to imbibe, and found a fine recipe called Ants in the Pants, in The Old Gin Mill section – which makes sense, cause I wanted some gin. There was one wrinkle, however. The recipe called for Grand Marnier, which I was somehow out of (quick, Grand Marnier people, send me a bottle. Oops, too slow). Which led to me subbing in Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, which yeah, I know is different, but it’s so so so good. And you know what? The drink ended up delicious, and I think Mr. Gaige himself would have approved. Oh, the change did make me alter the title, as you can see if you can read, and why would you be here if you couldn’t? Because where I come from, drinks have individual names, like people. And individual gins, which here should be Alpinist Gin, from the Seattle Distilling Company, if you can find it. It’s got the juniper hopping, but also has some other herbally and botanical goodness that adds a lot to the drink.


Pants in the Pants

Ice cubes

2 ounces Alpinist Gin

1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino, and suggest it)

1 dash fresh lemon juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add it all why dontcha.

2. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.


May 31, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Summerjulashation

This is sort-of like a Julep in some ways, and like a Smash, and probably identically close to another classic recipes that use a booze, sweetening, crushed ice, and mint that I’m forgetting at this moment. None of that bothers me (does it bother you? Perhaps you’re at the wrong blog?), as the end result no matter what is a super refreshing, slightly spirituous, a wee bit sweet, flavorful icy drink that will make your summer parties sing. It can take some arm power to bust up ice into crushed ice, but you know what? I think you’re tough enough. And as mentioned, the end result is, well, smashing.



15 mint leaves, plus a couple mint sprigs

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces gin (I used Bluewater Halcyon organic gin, and it was perfect)

1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

Cracked/crushed ice

1. Add the mint leaves and the simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle well.

2. Fill the shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin and the curaçao to the shaker. Shake well.

3. Fill a goblet or other snazzy glass with the cracked or crushed ice (this is a summer frothy delight, so pack that ice in there).

4. Strain the goods over the ice. Garnish with some mint sprigs. Put your feet up. Drink up.

PS: If you don’t think “Summerjulashation” is the best name for a summer drink ever, well, you suck.

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