The Fitzgerald

Posted in Recipes on May 27th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for the Fitzgerald cocktailI make no attempt to hide my true love for Angostura bitters. A wonderful, proprietary blend of roots and herbal extracts, bitters are the perfect modifier to so many cocktails. They were originally used to mask the taste of quinine in tonic water. Supposedly, they’re also thought to cure a number of ailments, including the hiccups or an upset stomach. Personally though, I just love the taste, the look, and even the smell (they’re a terrific aromatic when used in cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, for example.)

The Fitzgerald, designed by Dale DeGroff, is one of the most straightforward demonstrations of Angostura bitters. This cocktail is essentially just a gin sour with bitters added. While it may sound simple, and while a gin sour on its own is great, something wonderful happens with that last little touch. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, cocktail, dale degroff, gin, lemon, simple syrup

The Flamingo

Posted in Recipes on May 25th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for The Flamingo cocktailToday is Memorial Day in the US. Certainly above all else, a day to remember those who are no longer with us, and to pay special recognition to the men and women of our armed forces. Coincidentally though, it also happens to be the generally accepted opening day of the summer season. Shutters fly open on beach houses, shorts and sunglasses come out in full effect. Warm weather is here.

Of course, nothing celebrates summer quite like a “beach drink.” Beach drinks are the type you’d order at a beach bar, perhaps on some tropical island. They’re generally bright in color (pink works), sweet, and fruity. So in celebration of the opening days of summer, I bring you The Flamingo. Read More

Tags: cocktail, grenadine, lime, pineapple juice, rum, simple syrup, summer

The Sloe Gin Fizz

Posted in Recipes on May 19th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Sloe Gin FizzI’ve been wanting to experiment with Sloe Gin for some time now. It seems to be making a bit of a comeback – so much so, that when I stopped by my favorite liquor store, they were limiting its purchase to one bottle per customer.

For those unfamiliar with Sloe Gin, you can read more about it on Wikipedia. The basic gist though is that it’s gin infused with sloe berries, which are the fruit of the blackthorn (a relative of the plum). It’s pretty tasty stuff!

I figured I’d start with a very standard cocktail, and one of the most prolific for sloe gin – the Sloe Gin Fizz. After researching the cocktail a bit, I was surprised to find just how controversial the recipe seems to be. It’s not at all uncommon for variation in a cocktail recipe; as we’ve discussed before, a cocktail can and should be adjusted to taste. Generally though, a consensus recipe seems to emerge to provide a starting point. Not so here. Read More

Tags: club soda, cocktail, gin, lemon, simple syrup, sloe gin

The Ward Eight

Posted in Recipes on May 15th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for a Ward EightDuring our Brown Liquor Tweetup earlier in the week, our group eventually made its way to a wonderful cocktail bar called the Clover Club. You may remember, I’ve posted about the Clover Club cocktail in the past, and while they seemed to do a fine job mixing their namesake drink, another cocktail on the menu caught my eye: the Ward Eight.

The Ward Eight is essentially a whisky sour, but with the addition of grenadine. In The Essential Cocktail, Dale DeGroff teaches us about its historic political roots in Boston’s Eighth Ward. The story goes that it was created on Election Eve 1898 to celebrate the victory of Martin Lomasney. Historians can debate if that’s true. While they do, I’ll be pouring myself a drink. Read More

Tags: clover club, cocktail, grenadine, lemon, rye, simple syrup, sour

The Jack Rose Cocktail

Posted in Recipes on May 14th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Jack RoseThere’s something deeply satisfying about an apple. The combination of the sweet and the tart. The crunch of that first bite, and the soft flesh inside. Apples have always been one of my favorite fruits, and I relish the idea of bringing them to one of my other favorite things – cocktails!

The Jack Rose is an absolute classic. It has appeared in hotel bars for over a century, and has even shown up in the writing of Ernest Hemmingway. It’s made in the traditional sour style, using the 2:3/4:3/4 ratio, as you’ll see below. Read More

Tags: applejack, calvados, cocktail, grenadine, lemon, simple syrup, sour


Posted in Recipes on May 11th, 2009 by Josh

As anyone who went to college with me knows, tequila has not traditionally been kind to me (nor I to it). However, during a recent trip to Mayahuel, Phil Ward’s new tequila haven in the East Village, I was reminded that there’s a big difference between a crafted tequila cocktail and shots of Jose Cuervo in a dive bar.

Ingredients for a MargaritaMy bartender at Mayhuel, Kevin (and at times, Phil Ward), were kind enough to give me a modern survey of tequila and mezcal (tequila’s cousin), but it really all begins with the Margarita. A simple cocktail that allows the flavor of a good tequila to lead, the Margarita is the perfect way to reintroduce yourself to tequila if you, like I, might have had an “unpleasant” experience in the past.

The real key is quality tequila. This is not a time to take the value route. You want the good stuff – 100% pure blue agave tequila. Take it from a guy who knows – choosing tequila isn’t the time to pinch pennies. For this recipe, I’ve chose Siembra Azul Blanco tequila, which I’ve found to be an excellent balance of quality and affordability. And no, they haven’t paid me a dime to say that. Read More

Tags: cocktail, cointreau, lime, Mayahuel, simple syrup, summer, tequila, triple sec

Tom Collins

Posted in Recipes on May 9th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Tom Collins - Gin, Simple Syrup, Lemon and Club SodaThe Tom Collins is the classic gin-based sour. It follows the traditional formula of 2oz base spirit, 3/4oz sour and 3/4oz sweet, topped off with a bit of club soda for some fizz. The best thing about a Tom Collins is that it’s not only tasty and refreshing in its own right, but one might consider it the blank canvas of cocktails – it’s very easy to create variations to suit your tastes and impress your guests. Read More

Tags: berries, club soda, gin, lemon, simple syrup, sour