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 Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Posted in Events on May 22nd, 2010 by Josh

MCC Gala EntranceI know, I know. Once again, I’ve fallen way behind on my writing. But there have been some exciting events over the past few weeks, and I want to give you a quick update. I promise to try to get some new drinks up very soon, too.

Let’s start, though, with a quick recap of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Described as “part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party,” the Manhattan Cocktail Classic included five days of seminars, parties, tastings, and other assorted revelry with some of my favorite people in all of New York City. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, honey, lemon, lime, mcc, pineapple juice, rum, scotch

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

French 75

Posted in Recipes on February 23rd, 2010 by Josh

French 75 CocktailLast week I told you about my trip to Rye House to celebrate Mardi Gras, New Orleans-style. I mentioned some of the cocktails we sampled, including the Sazarac and the Vieux Carre. I’d like to share one more staple of the Mardi Gras celebration – or any celebration for that matter – The French 75.

This cocktail is actually named after the French 75-mm field gun; a commonplace piece of artillery during World War I. Apparently this particular gun was known for its recoil system, which allowed for much smoother operation than had previously been possible. Once you try the cocktail, you’ll understand how appropriate that is. (History once again courtesy of Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails; a must-have for any bartender’s bookshelf.) Read More

Tags: champagne, cocktail, gin, lemon, simple syrup

Flaming Holiday Punch

Posted in Editor's Notes, Recipes on December 28th, 2009 by Josh

Another cocktail courtesy of Rachel Maddow. Isn’t she the best? This excellent holiday punch actually comes by way of Josey Packard of the bar Drink in Boston. You can watch Josey make the punch via this video from Rachel Maddow’s show. Read More

Tags: allspice, apple cider, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, nutmeg, orange, punch, rum