Archive for November 2019

Where There’s Smoke


Where There’s Smoke

  • 2.0 oz. bonded apple brandy (Laird’s)
  • 1.0 oz. Benedictine
  • 0.25 oz. peated Scotch (Caol Ila 12)
  • 0.25 oz. Fire Cider
  • dash of Angostura
  • dash of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes bitters

Stir with ice and strain over large cube in a tumbler.

This is one I’ve been sitting on for a couple of years. I was given the apple cider vinegar Fire Cider and challenged to do something with it. I really like it, so it wasn’t much a challenge, though it does tend to take over whatever you put it into. So I reached for strong or powerful flavors that would stand up with it — the bonded brandy and the Scotch. My mainstay Benedictine, probably in a larger portion than I’ve used in any other drink, really makes the drink for me, and for my bitters I just had to use the smoky Smoke Gets in Your Eyes from Bitters, Old Men.

This is definitely a slow sipper. With bite. Cigar is optional.

Pretty Priest with a Cherry on Top

Pretty Priest with a Cherry on Top

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

Cherry and vanilla. That’s where I started with this one. Bourbon seemed a good fit, but these alone were just too sweet, even with the tartness of the cherry. The Benedictine added the necessary depth, with the bitters pulling it all together.

Thanks to this name goes to Andrew Child, master of puns.

Fall Forward

Fall Forward

Stir with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with toasted cinnamon stick.

I wanted to make something with Short Path’s Autumn Gin offering which features some seasonal additions like cinnamon and orange. It seemed appropriate to add spiced pear and some cinnamon syrup for sweetness, then tart cherry for a bright acidity. For bitters I reached for Dale Degroff’s pimento bitters and the Kina which helped to round things out.

The title comes from my semiannual confusion over the Daylight Savings mnemonic “Spring forward, fall back.” I didn’t grow up with Daylight Savings Time, having spent my youth in Arizona, so I only learned that once I moved east in my 20s, and I find it useless for me. Since it works just as easily as “Fall forward, spring back” I still have to look up twice a year which way the clocks go. Perhaps my misnamed drink will help me.

Bluegrass Grog


Bluegrass Grog

  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon (Basil Hayden’s)
  • 0.5 oz. Jamaican rum (Appleton’s Reserve)
  • 0.5 oz. Benedictine
  • 0.5 oz. Olorosa sherry (Lustau)
  • 0.25 oz. Gran Classico

Stir with ice. Strain into coupe. Garnish with orange twist.

Here’s the first in a series of drinks that are not show or theme related, just me experimentng with flavors. I’m sure this one came from playing with sherry, since it’s not an ingredient I have on hand often. You get its nuttiness coming through on this one against the underlying sweetness in the other ingredients and the bitterness in the amaro. Originally this was bourbon only, but I needed something to round it out and I found the rum gave just the right depth.

I also discovered with this cocktail I am absolutely horrible at naming these if the name comes last (I would say 90% of my drinks have thus far started with the name). So I reached out on social media for suggestions. I got a ton of responses, and I have to thank Terry Hamilton for the chosen entry, Bluegrass Grog. Thanks, Terry!