Maururu

Maururu

Stir with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with a cherry.

I love tiki. Don’t always have fruit. So here is one of my go-to drinks for such occasions. Fortunately, the Leopold Bros. cherry liqueur can add a great tart splash. Coconut and cherry with the rum, plus a little bitterness from the Averna and Angostura, and I don’t miss not having the fruit at all. Thank you, Leopold Bros!

Oh, Maururu is Tahiti for “Thank you.” There you go.

Farewell Kiss

Farewell Kiss

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with cherry and lime.

Ok, here’s a confession. I love The Last Word, but I really dislike Maraschino liqueur. So often when I want that makeup for a drink I explore other ways to achieve it.

Here I really wanted that juniper aspect of the gin to shine through, so I lean heavily on the Copper & Kings offering as the base. For sweet, I opt for cassis, which can also add some tartness which allows me to pull back on the lime. Some additional sweet and bitterness comes from the Cocchi, and the piney bitters for me help to highlight that Juniper in the gin.

I made this drink at the end of 2020, so turning that last word into a farewell kiss seemed the perfect gesture. Although in retrospect I was too polite with my goodbye.

Shiodome

Shiodome

  • 2.0 oz. Japanese gin (Roku)
  • 0.5 oz. yuzu liqueur (Choya)
  • 0.25 oz. lychee liqueur (Massenez)
  • 0.25 oz. ginger liqueur (King’s)
  • dash of yuzu bitters (Miracle Mile)

Stir with ice and strain into Nick and Nora.

Not much to explain on this one. I started with a Japanese gin and wanted to highlight it with other Japanese ingredients. The yuzu liqueur offers enough acid that no citrus is needed, but more sweetness is necessary. Thus the ginger and lychee came to play. Finally, some yuzu bitters were added for balance. A nice, bright yet subtle drink.

I named this Shiodome as that was my first real introduction to Tokyo, off the plane and train. For a couple of years I went out fairly regularly for a job, around once a quarter, and the Shiodome district was where my clients — and my hotel — were located.

Kanpai!

Elephant in the Room

Elephant in the Room

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

This one started out with me playing with the rhubarb and ginger liqueur. I wanted to pair that with the strawberry, but didn’t want too much additional sweetness so split that gin base with the Elephant London Dry, which I felt offered enough botanical interest to stand up to the other flavors. The Yellow Chartreuse smoothed things out and broadened the herbaceousness even further, but the drink needed some acid so a little lemon was added. The bitters completed the picture.

Yes, the name came directly because of the gin. Change the gin and you have to modify the name. Rules are rules.

Boston to Paris

Boston to Paris

  • 2.0 oz. Bully Boy Merchant gin
  • 0.5 oz. apricot liqueur (Rothman and Winter)
  • 0.25 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes absinthe

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Bright and refreshing, with the anise highlighting the apricot sweetness against the gin’s botanicals. An elegant sipper for either side of the Atlantic.

Year of the Fire Monkey

Year of the Fire Monkey

  • 1.5 oz. reposado tequila
  • 0.75 oz. banana liqueur (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.5 oz. Ancho Reyes Poblano liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Averna
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

I’m not sure what led me down a path of bananas and chilies, but it works. I stuck with tequila to match the chile liqueur, and added lemon for some acid then some bitter amaro and Angostura.

The drink has a nice sweetness and bite. I thought the sign from the Chinese Zodiac was fitting for a name. Too bad it’s not for 2020. But the Water Rat doesn’t sound like a good drink. Though perhaps it is appropriate for the year thus far.

Tin Goose

Tin Goose

  • 1.5 oz. Dovetail Florida rum
  • 0.5 oz. Barcardi Reserva 8 yr.
  • 0.5 oz. creme de cacao (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Lillet Blanc

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

Here’s a rum twist on a Twentieth Century Cocktail, one of my favorite gin drinks. Obviously rum is subbed for the gin, and the ratios were then tweaked to my taste.

Since the original drink’s name comes from the train transport between Chicago and New York City, I thought in this case with the Florida and (originally) Cuban rum it was only appropriate to name the drink after the common transport on that route back during Prohibition, the Ford Trimotor, nicknamed the Tin Goose.

There have been other Tin Goose cocktails, I must admit, but it seemed too perfect for this drink to not use. And the drink will be gone before anyone notices.

Mint Dynasty

Mint Dynasty

  • 1.5 oz. silver tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Mandarine Napoleon
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Kina L’Aero d’Or
  • 0.25 oz. Branca Menta
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

Here’s a little hodgepodge of a cocktail that came from me wanting to use up my Mandarine Napoleon which I’ve had on the shelf for years, a Cognac-based orange liqueur. I mixed this with lemon and mint, then some Kina for bitterness and sweetness. The latter needed a little amping up, and so the simple syrup was added.

Wasn’t sure of a name, but working from the Mandarine I went with something Chinese over Mexican or French, but really this was an international endeavor. For me, the prevailing flavor was the mint, so I focused on that with the name. Not sure the pun works, but does that really matter when you enjoy what you’re sipping?

Guerre de Course

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Guerre de Course

  • 1.0 oz. aged rhum agricole (Clement 6 yr.)
  • 0.5 oz. Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
  • 0.5 oz. sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat)
  • 0.5 oz. Maurin Quina
  • 0.25 oz. Amer Picon
  • 0.25 oz. Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into coupe.

This one started out in a completely different place as sort of a rum Manhattan, and over iterations evolved until I noticed mostly French ingredients. So I decided to swap in rhum agricole from Martinique split with Cognac instead of the original rum, and then added a dash of Benedictine for good measure, and got this complex sipper.

The French angle had me thinking of French corsairs in place of English privateers, and doing a bit of reading found the term “guerre de course,” meaning “commerce raiding” which is such a fancy term for pirating. Fancy name for a fancy drink.

Second Breakfast

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Second Breakfast

Stir with ice and strain into teacup. Garnish with fresh cinnamon.

The quince gin was a recent tasty acquisition and I wanted to play around with it. Doing a little exploration on flavor pairings I saw that quince and coffee can work together so I grabbed the Leopold Bros. coffee offering and used the apple brandy as a base (the quince gin is fairly sweet). Still needed a little additional bitterness, and that’s where the Cynar came in. The final drink had a nice sweet and bitter balance, and the cinnamon on the nose played wonderfully with the apple and quince.

Second breakfast I guess is a “thing”, though I never heard it until Fellowship of the Ring. But an apple and coffee is a common offering so it seemed perfect for this drink. Not a bad way to start the day. Again.