Interlude: The Emotional Impact of a Manhattan

Posted in Editor's Notes on May 26th, 2011 by Josh

Black Market Manhattan

Editor’s Note: I meant for my next post to be a wrap-up of my time at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic with a recap of the British Invasion event at Eleven Madison Park. I promise – that’ll come next. First, I wanted to share this long-overdue story, as it was relayed to me by my good friend Michael this past holiday season. Michael and I worked together years ago, and have stayed in touch via Facebook, talking mostly about food, drink and guitars (mutual interests, all). I found Mike’s story to be a very touching tribute, and a commentary on the emotional energy that can be unleashed by taking a drink in your hand and raising it to one we love, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

As told to me via e-mail by Michael Feuda, December 24, 2010:

Growing up, I have vivid memories of my Dad and Uncle Al (twin brothers) mixing up Manhattans every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My sister and I were always curiously drawn to watching them, mainly because of the little jar of maraschino cherries. I remember my Uncle poking one with the little plastic buccaneer’s sword, and handing it to me, only to roll in laughter as my sister or I tried it; watching our faces as the bourbon-soaked cherry burned going down our throats. I also remember thinking to myself, “How could anyone ever drink that? It tastes horrible.” Read More

Tags: bourbon, family, manhattans

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

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

A Visit to Maker’s Mark

Posted in Editor's Notes on June 9th, 2010 by Josh

Recently, I had the privilege to visit the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY. In this post, I’d like to share my experience, what I saw, what I learned, and what I tasted. In the interest of full disclosure though, I’d like to tell you right up front that the folks at Maker’s Mark did pay for the travel expenses for my visit (my airfare and hotel for one night). I was not financially compensated in any other way.

With that out of the way, I hope you’ll indulge me. I’m about to geek out about whisky.

If you’ve never been to a whisky distillery, stop what you’re doing (well, finish reading this post, then stop what you’re doing) and book a trip. The greatest concentration of distilleries in the US is in Kentucky, along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The process of making whisky is fascinating, and while not everyone enjoys it the way I do, I find the smell of a distillery intoxicating (even before I’ve had anything to drink!) Read More

Tags: bourbon, distillery, Kentucky, Maker's 46, Maker's Mark

Gold Rush

Posted in Recipes on March 2nd, 2010 by Josh

I’m not a terribly spiritual person, but I try as best I can to believe in the power of positive thought. If nothing else, thinking about good stuff tends to distract you from all the crappy stuff. Well, we’ve had a pretty hefty winter here in New York (February 2010 was the snowiest month on record), and as much as I like the change in seasons, I’m ready for spring. So I’m invoking the power of positive thought by way of a good cocktail, because, well, what better way is there?

In thinking about what cocktail would help make a smooth transition, and get the power of positive thought moving, I turned to the Gold Rush. This cocktail is essentially a cold version of a hot toddy, just without the wintery spices (which, as I try to channel warmer weather, is fine by me.) Read More

Tags: bourbon, cocktail, honey, lemon, raines law room

The Hot Toddy

Posted in Recipes on December 9th, 2009 by Josh


Last weekend, we had our first snow here in New York City. It was a bitter, windy night on Saturday when I wandered into one of my favorite bars, chilled to the bone. This bar has an amazing cocktail menu, blending the best of classic cocktails and modern mixology, but as much as I wanted a drink, the idea of something shaken with ice at the moment was almost unbearable. What I wanted was a hot toddy. Read More

Tags: bourbon, cinnamon, clove, cocktail, ginger, honey, hot, lemon, nutmeg, recipe

The Old Fashioned

Posted in Recipes on August 5th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for an Old FashionedAnyone who reads this blog knows that I’m a big fan of whisky – bourbon in particular. And in my mind, there’s no better bourbon cocktail than the Old Fashioned. Truly a classic (dating back to Harry Johnson’s recipes in 1888), and beautiful in its simplicity, the Old Fashioned adds some complexity with the inclusion of a small amount of sugar and bitters along with a twist of lemon and orange, but it still allows the unique flavor of whichever bourbon you’re using to shine through. As a result, I enjoy test driving new bourbons using this cocktail (after sampling them neat, of course!) Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, bacon, bourbon, cocktail, lemon, orange, PDT, sugar