Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mix Moe Ninety Two: Pommes

This may take a while so first make yourself one these:

1 oz Calvados
1 oz French vermouth
1 oz Italian vermouth 
1 dash apricot brandy
Agitate cooly and sieve

Recipe adapted from Esquire Drink Book, 1956 edition. 

Damn! I did that backwards. Likely that drink was precisely what you came here for. Vermouth and more vermouth! I should have saved that drink for the end, oh well... 

If you're still interested in reading something please read my story. 

It's MxMo time time again hosted by our benevolent curator/convenor Fred "Fear The" Yarm. Do you read Cocktail Sleuth? You should. Anyway the theme this time is apples. I thought about cider and then I thought about Jack Barnes and Lady Ashley. So to my bookshelf I went and looked in Philip Greene's book. 

You see, drinking fine a l'eau had been (all too) easy to do while reading The Sun Also Rises. Drinking Spanish wine also (theoretically) easy to do. A Jack Rose though? Hard to come by around here. There is no applejack. Most of the year there is only one brand of calvados but as the holidays approach more brands appear. 

"Why not pick up a bottle?" I asked myself. 

I chose the least expensive calvados available in my city. This may or may not have been wise. On it's own I dislike it; in a cocktail I love it. The mysterious alchemy of cocktails…

Anyway! Although a certain avuncular blogger eschews using calvados in a Jack Rose we needn't worry about that. The Jack Rose is one of those drinks that the cognoscenti ought to be drinking… for some reason. Each time I'd come across it in a blog or what have you I'd be a little sad that I couldn't have one. So, observing the signs, I decided to finally have one. 

The combination of having just (literally) finished reading The Sun Also Rises and noticing the announcement post sealed the deal. I finally added apple Brady to the bar! Yes, I'll turn in my cocktailian card. Can I continue on probation? 

Funny, I expected an answer. Perhaps from a sock puppet. Oh well. On with the show. 

I'm not making the "usual" Jack Rose. No, no. Not even. I'm making the Harry MacElhone one which Philip Greene surmises would have been what Jack Barnes would have been drinking. Besides, it's Paris, in the 1920s. It'd be calvados not applejack! 

Jack Rose
1.5 oz Calvados
0.75 oz dry gin
0.75 oz orange juice
0.75 oz lemon or lime juice
2 tsp French vermouth
2 tsp Italian vermouth
2 tsp grenadine

Shake; strain; twist

Recipe adapted from To Have And Have Another.

If you want mystery and deliciousness use lime. If you want apple, vermouth, and crowd pleasing use lemon. Garnish with an appropriate twist. Hell, garnish with an inappropriate twist! Either way Brett's not going to sleep with Jake. 

Be well! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

MxMo: Ecksy Eye: Shim Sham

Our challenge this month is to present a shim. No, not a sham. A shim. Not even a shim sham (Ethiopian or otherwise). A shim. A low alcohol libation. Peruse the announcement post won't you? The only proper shim I've ever made is theRhum Dandy Shim but since being blogged by Fred is like being covered by Killdozer I opted to choose another. 

As much as I wanted to present Art Linkletter's Papaya Cocktail I'll save it for another time. Instead, on the heels of the Bitter Sweet I bring you (no, not the Addington) the:

1/2 dry vermouth
1/2 sweet vermouth 
1 dash grenadine 
1 dash orange bitters 

Stir well with ice. Strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry. Squeeze lemon peel on top. Enjoy in a preprandial manner before, perhaps, chateaubriand… or kale & smelt, or whatever is the fashion in your diocese

There you have it. Well, I think you know how my MxMo entries are going to go for the foreseeable future. 



Monday, October 20, 2014

Mixology Monday Ecksy

What is perfect? To me it will always mean a drink with an even split of sweet and dry vermouth. Joel has broadened things and allowed for splitting of spirits and modifiers in this month's MxMo. I for one am sticking with vermouth. I thought it a shame that I'd already used the Perfect Cocktail once before until I stumbled upon Bitter Sweet, that is. You may find differing recipes or ratios (such as at but I wet with the recipe in Schumann's American Bar. 

Bitter Sweet
1 oz vermouth rosso 
1 oz dry vermouth
dashes of orange bitters 
orange peel 

Stir; strain; up; twist

I used Carpano Classico and Dolin Dry. I also used New York style "50-50" bitters. Use the clearest ice you can acquire. Stir "gently and extensively" in a mixing glass filled with cubed and cracked ice. Perhaps use the method found in The Bar Book. Perhaps useThe Speakista Martini Method. Be sure to chill your coupe while assembling and mixing. Strain as if your name were Fluval. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass, if you enjoy such things, before adding to the drink. Enjoy! Then have something to eat. 

Be well!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Heel Slaying & Fridge Cleaning

So far this:

With A Resounding Crash Andy Garcia Slays The Mythical Beast
4 oz grapefruit juice
1.5 oz passionfruit syrup
1.5 oz Cognac
1 oz Kraken
0.5 oz cinnamon syrup
0.5 oz Angostura syrup*
0.5 oz Chartreuse 

Swizzle; nutmeg & cherry. 

Please comment your thoery of how this drink was named. Who knows, there might be… uh, …No Prize for the correct answer! 

Be well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mixology Monday 84: Temperance

Time for the MxMo! This month our host is Scott of Shake, Strain & Sip. Our theme is Temperance. 

Alright, here's the important line from the announcement post: "non-potable bitters are fair game here since they are legally classified as nonalcoholic in the states." Which I read as "Andrew, use Angostura. Lots of it!". No need to make iced tea or an egg cream this time!

I present to you two drinks. I'll list the recipes as found in For Home Use and then tell you what I actually made. First up is the sweet one.

Into a tumbler put the rind only of 1 lemon, bruising slightly with a mixing spoon, and add:
1 teaspoonful Syrup.
1 teaspoonful Angostura Bitters.
3 or 4 pieces of Ice.
   Stir and fill up, half with Cider and half with Dry Ginger Ale. Serve.

What I actually made was more like this:

Bull's Eye
1 tsp simple syrup
1 tsp Angostura bitters
3 oz cider
3 oz ginger ale
lemon peel

Place long piece of lemon peel (such as for a crusta or Horse's Neck) in a collins glass. Top with syrup and bitters. Half fill with ice. Top with cider and ginger ale. Stir. Add straw and serve. Drink all too quickly while contemplating either using no syrup for the next round or acquiring a tarter/less sweet cider, perhaps from a farmer.

Next is the unhip one.

Into a tumbler put:
1 teaspoonful of Syrup.
1 tablespoonful Lime Juice
2 or 3 lumps of Ice.
1 teaspoonful Angostura Bitters.
   Introduce in this order then add, pouring quickly, a small bottle of Dry Ginger Ale and serve. If the Lime Juice is sweetened omit, the Syrup.

Sweetened lime juice, eh? I've got some of that! No, really. The genuine article, imported from England even! So I made this:

Noon Shade
1 tbsp Rose's Lime Cordial
1 tsp Angostura bitters
3 ice cubes
4-5 oz ginger ale
Build in a highball. Top with ginger ale.

There you have it! No coffee, no mauby, no sorrel drink called She Went Willingly...

Thank you Scott. Thank you Fred. Thank you Paul.

Be well!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

MxMo Eighty-Three: Preserves

It's time again for Mixology Monday.  Our host this time is Craig at A World Of Drinks. The theme is preserves. Here's a little blurb:

 The aim of the challenge is to go back to the days of the preserve, pick an ingredient, seasonal or not and treat it as if you won’t be seeing it again for quite some time. Syrups, sorbets, jam, shrubs and the like are all fair game, anything that will preserve the integral character of your favourite ingredient.

20140323-222951.jpgThere you have it. I must've glossed over the inclusion of syrups on my first reading as I was going to opt out. I didn't think this was really up my alley, in my wheelhouse; Within my purview etc. After some cajoling from Muse & Joel I decided to throw my hat in the ring after all. There was a brief dalliance with red pepper jelly (and a dalliance with onions) and then I spied something in the Spring 2014 issue of Food & Drink. (The seasonal magazine offered by the LCBO.) What I spied was the Blue Lavender Collins. It's construction making it more a fizz than a Collins but that was moot as blueberry-lavender jam was not in the pantry. In the pantry was Niagara peach-lavender jam! 

Niagara Fix
scant 1.0 oz peach-lavender jam
0.5 oz lemon juice

Stir with crushed ice in a small glass. Garnish with mint and with lavender blossoms. Serve with a straw.

And now a word of warning: You can't make this drink! Even if you do somehow have Dillon's Gin 22 you certainly don't have Kate's jam! But I'll bet there is a small distillery somewhere near you and that they make gin. I'll also bet someone even more near you makes jam. Hell, make your own jam!! So your drink won't be exactly like my drink. So what? Your Monday won't be exactly like my Monday but it'll still be Monday. Mixology Monday, even! 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I Shoulda Know Bettah

It's been a good news/bad news week and it's only Tuesday! Don't worry though the news is all booze related, nothing too serious. 

First the good news:
Dillon's Distillers ( has opened their online store! This means I can order small batch spirits and bitters and have them delivered to my door direct from the distillery!! This may be old hat in some jurisdictions but this is a big deal in Ontario! 

Now some bad news:
The other night I broke my Swing-A-Way (style) ice crusher. Not the entire thing but part of the inside which happens to be made of plastic. It still works but is more of a corner-rounder-offer than a crusher. Boo. 

Today I learned that eBay considers Angostura Bitters to be "a bottle of alcohol" and as such I've had my money refunded from an auction I won and I am not the proud owner of a still sealed pre-1992 16oz bottle. Boo-urns. I suppose it is a bottle of alcohol though… sort of like how vanilla extract is a bottle of alcohol or like how a Hungry-Man dinner is a box of salt. Ah well, lesson learned. 

Be well. 

Sunday, March 02, 2014


The gardener sat anxiously beside the driver. Neither was sure if the shop they were heading to was still open. As the storefront came in to view the gardener asked if the shop was open. 

"I can't really tell from here," the driver replied. "Maybe once we're through the intersection we'll be able to see."
"I see a red sign."
"That's a good sign!"
"No, it's an open sign."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mixology Monday 82: Sours

Welcome readers! Once again it's Mixology Monday!

Thank you to Paul Clarke for creating it. Thank you to Fred Yarm for (resurrecting and) sustaining it. Thank you to Andrea Of Ginhound for hosting it.

The theme is sours. No, not Sourz! Sours. The class of drink! When I was a younger man I knew of the Whisky Sour and didn't realise that other drinks I enjoyed were also sours. (I also may have thought sour mix was needed to make a sour. Maybe.) What is a sour? For a lesson about sours check out 12 bottle bar. For some avuncular wordsmithing of what a sour is check out Doug's submission for this month.

Alright, got it? Good! Andrea went as for as to allow Fizzes and Daisies in as Sours but we needn't go that far afield. Usually when it's MxMo time I flip through my books and search blogs looking for ideas. Sometimes I even put together my own drink(s)! Not this time though. I knew what drink I'd make from the get go! (No, it isn't the signature drink of that happening club right across the street from right across the street.) The drink in question is the one that started me down this cocktail blogging rabbit hole. Sure I drank cocktails before and sometimes blogged about it but I didn't really "get it" back then. I had yet to discover proper grenadine too so my first makings of this drink were quite pink. Nowadays, since I use homemade-ish grenadine, it looks more like a daiquiri made with amber rum. Yeah, that's the ticket. I also used vermouth well past it's prime in those fledgling days. Believe you me these days I do things proper! 

I did get a couple of things right from the start. I used fresh lime juice and Cuban rum. Havana Club Anejo Blanco just happened to be the "house rum" if you will, but it couldn't have been more fitting...

So, what is this drink? Where did I encounter it? By happenstance I came across it in one of my books and it piqued my interest. It's mere name enticed me. The ingredients as well sounded up my alley but it was the name that drew me in. At that time although I had several drink books I only considered one to be a serious book. Charles Schumann's American Bar was that book and therein was this drink (along with many others which haven't borne nearly as much repetition of imbibetude.) This is the drink that really opened up my repertoire and broadened my horizons beyond Sidecar-at-home/Manhattan-when-out. From before my time and before your time, the booze-cruising tourist trap libation, from "Where the wet begins", (it's Kismet!) I give you:

The Sloppy Joe
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 tsp triple sec
0.5 tsp grenadine
0.75 oz dry vermouth
0.75 oz white rum

Shake; Strain; Up. Let your world expand.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

MxMo LXXXI: Hi-Ball

It's January. It's time to simplify. Our host Joel at Southern Ash has given us the theme of highballs for this months Mixology Monday. I could give you a tasty recipe using that bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced you got for Christmas from some well-meaning soul. I could do that but instead I'll climb a mountain of crushed ice and party with a penguin. Behold! 

    JWray & Ting
    2oz JWray 
    6oz Ting soda
    Build over ice

Simple yet effective. 

Cheers and be well!