Beautiful Combinations: Tequila & Chartreuse

Posted in Editor's Notes, Recipes on July 29th, 2011 by Josh

I have a confession to make. I don’t love tequila.

I know. “For shame!” you shout. “Blasphemy!” But it’s true. All things being equal, I would always prefer a cocktail with gin, rum or whisky over the agave spirits (which includes mezcal as well…gasp!) It may be that my palette tends more towards the sweet or bitter vs. the savory flavor or smokiness of tequila. Or it may be that many years ago, at my 22nd birthday bash, a kind benefactor started buying my friends and I shots of tequila to celebrate (no doubt the best brand available at our college-town dive bar), and I ended the night sicker than I had ever been (or since).

So maybe my dislike isn’t fair. Of course I know that there are far superior brands than the one that ruined the day after my 22nd birthday. In my defense, I’ve been working to break myself of this dislike, and I’ve found a terrific way to easy myself back in. The beautiful combination that is tequila and green chartreuse.
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Tags: Adam Ramsey, celery bitters, dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, lime, Mayahuel, mint, sotol, tequila

The Negroni

Posted in Recipes on May 31st, 2011 by Josh

In my last post, I wrote about gin cocktails at Eleven Madison Park. Many of my cocktail friends know that I’m a latecomer to the Negroni, having not been a particular fan of Campari in the past, which is a key ingredient. For whatever reason, it just hasn’t been a good fit with my taste. But to me, the highlight of my afternoon at Eleven Madison Park was the Negroni cocktail, so I thought it would be worth a bit more discussion.

As I started to write about this cocktail, my mind went to that joke about The Aristocrats? Content of the joke aside, the idea is that every comedian has their own version of the joke, and having a version of your own is seen as something of a secret handshake among comedians. I think the Negroni is the Aristocrats of the cocktail world. It’s a perfect template, but everyone has their own version. Read More

Tags: Amor y Amargo, Beefeater, Campari, Carpano Antica, cocktail, eleven madison park, gin, sweet vermouth

The Penicillin

Posted in Recipes on April 23rd, 2011 by Josh

Photo: Heather Sperling | June 2008

Good scotch cocktails are hard to come by. We have a few classics, like the Blood and Sand, but for the most part, whisky cocktails lean much more heavily on bourbon or rye. Scotch just has such a unique and present flavor of it’s own that it tends to compete too harshly with other ingredients. And besides, it’s just so delicious when served neat.

But a good friend e-mailed me this morning asking that I send her the recipe for one of her favorite cocktails, The Penicillin, and in doing so she brought this great scotch cocktail back to my mind. The Penicillin was created by infamous Milk & Honey bartender Sam Ross, and it’s sure to cure what ails ya. Read More

Tags: blended scotch, cocktail, ginger, honey, Islay, lemon, Milk & Honey, recipe, Sam Ross, scotch, syrup

Tis the Season for Punch

Posted in Books, Recipes, Reviews on December 9th, 2010 by Josh

There are two categories of drinks that, through their intrinsic qualities, conjure the holiday spirit. The first are hot toddies – cocktails made with whisky, citrus, baking spices, and hot water or tea. They warm the soul, stir the spirit, and – I’m convinced – cure the common cold. (Also considered within this category might be ski chalet-esque cocktails like Hot Buttered Rum.)

The other category is punch. And this is why cocktail luminary and historian David Wondrich’s new book, “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl” could not have come at a better time.

I’m throwing a small (well, it’s become rather large) holiday soiree this coming weekend, and both for its holiday spirit-inducing qualities, and its ability to serve a crowd, punch will be the focus of the bar. So I’ve been buried nose-deep in Mr. Wondrich’s book looking for ideas, and the real difficulty now lies in narrowing down the choices! Read More

Tags: book, bourbon, champagne, cognac, david wondrich, lemon, nutmeg, punch, rum

The Rattlesnake – a San Francisco Favorite

Posted in Recipes on November 8th, 2010 by Josh

My time in San Francisco-proper was relatively limited this time around, as the primary purpose of my trip is a conference out in the Silicon Valley area. That being said, I packed in a solid weekend in the city, filled mostly with eating and drinking (naturally). I had an amazing meal at Incanto, which is a must if you’re a meat lover (pork in particular). I had outstanding mexican food, well, pretty much everywhere. I had terrific coffee from Blue Bottle at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market (which was a great experience in and of itself). And I discovered my favorite cocktail of the trip when I stopped for a snack at Beretta (where the food was also outstanding). Read More

Tags: Beretta, egg white, lemon, maple syrup, Peychaud bitters, rye, San Francisco

The Rolls Royce Cocktail

Posted in Recipes on November 5th, 2010 by Josh

I’ve been meaning to post about this cocktail for quite some time.

Recently, I was at one of my favorite NYC cocktail haunts – the kind where you can entrust your taste to the eminently talented bartender, who will surely not disappoint. I was looking for something in the vein of a Manhattan, but different. What I got, truly to my pleasure, was a Rolls Royce.

There are a few things I love about the Rolls Royce. First, it’s boozy. That just suits my taste. Second, it has Bénédictine in it, which has to be one of the most under-utilized spirits out there. Bénédictine is an herbal liqueur made from 27 plants and spices. Similar in style (though distinctly different), you might compare Bénédictine with Chartreuse, in that it’s herbal, aromatic, somewhat sweet, and a little bit goes a very long way. Read More

Tags: Beefeater, Benedictine, Carpano Antica, cocktail, Dolin, dry vermouth, gin, Punt e Mes, Ransom, sweet vermouth, Vya

Mixology Monday – Black Market Manhattan

Posted in Events, Recipes on August 30th, 2010 by Josh

It’s been a while again, I know. But inspiration strikes, so I follow.

Today’s Mixology Monday is brought to you by one of our favorite people, Lindsey Johnson of Lush Life Productions. For this week’s MxMo, Lindsey has chosen the topic of her own blog, Brown, Bitter & Stirred. The criteria for participating posts? Cocktails that are, well, brown, bitter & stirred (the only criteria Lindsey chooses when ordering cocktails pretty much anywhere she goes.)

For my entry, I’ve chosen to share the Black Market Manhattan. It’s a simple cocktail, but with a twist on the classic recipe that creates some welcome complexity of flavor that’s sure to please. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, bitter truth aromatic bitters, bourbon, cherry, cocktail, mixology monday, sweet vermouth, tea