Archive for March 2020

Broken Wings


Broken Wings

  • 2.0 oz. Genever (Hofland)
  • 0.5 oz. Branca Menta
  • 0.5 oz. elderflower liqueur (St. Elder)
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with lemon “wing”.

There’s a genever drink I fell on love with years ago called Work in Progress that features genever and Fernet Branca with St. Germain. Here is my riff on that, substituting Branca Menta with its minty bite and pairing it with lemon. Floral and bright and bitter.

For the name, Hofland’s bottle features a flightless bird (looks like a pheasant to me), and maybe I had Mr. Mister in my head. Or The Beatles’ Blackbird. In either case, take this and learn to fly.

Aphrodite’s Tears


Aphrodite’s Tears

Shake with ice then strain into coupe. Garnish with three drops of rose water.

This started with the new Copper & King’s pomegranate liqueur I had picked up. I anchored it with mezcal then added the lemon for acidity. The liqueur itself is not very sweet (comparatively), so the agave nectar came next. The rosé? Honestly, I had it on hand and thought it would mellow things out. It did. And the bitters completed it (with the Peychaud’s also adding color).

The rose water drops are the tears. One version of the myth is that roses are red from the tears she wept for the death of Adonis. Rethinking now, I might add the rose water to the main and then drop in the Peychaud’s as garnish. But I won’t cry over this arrangement.

Southern Twang


Southern Twang

  • 2.0 oz. bourbon
  • 0.5 oz. creme de peche (Mathilde)
  • 0.25 oz. mint tea liqueur (Five Foxes)
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice

Shake with ice and dirty pour into glass or jar. Garnish with fresh mint.

I had the mint tea liqueur and wasn’t sure what I could do with it. Starting with a mint julep model with bourbon and peach liqueur for sweetness, I meandered into sour land with the lemon, and then needed some simple syrup to even things out without losing either the mint or peach.

The end result seemed a composite of sweet tea, a mint julep and some Georgia peaches, so the name Southern Twang felt appropriate. Hope ya’ll like it.

A Saint, a Monk and a Devil Walk Into a Bar


A Saint, a Monk and a Devil Walk Into a Bar

  • 1.0 oz. Principe De Los Apostoles Mate Gin
  • 0.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.25 oz. Maurin Quina
  • 0.25 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 0.25 oz. falernum (Bitter Truth)
  • 0.25 oz. lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Nick and Nora.

I really love the “Prince of the Apostles” mate gin out of Argentina, which has a very bright mint/eucalyptus nose and taste. Using that as a base (I did try with a London Dry and, although it still worked, wasn’t as interesting to me) I added some herbal and bitter elements in the form of Chartreuse, Maurin Quina and the Lillet. Then to balance it out I added lime juice for acid and falernum for additional sweetness, liking how the spices played into the other ingredients.

The name, if not obvious from the picture, comes from the Saint referred to by the gin name, the monks who make the Chartreuse, and the devil appearing on the Maurin Quina label. If anyone can come up with a punch line for the set up, there’s a free drink in it for you.




  • 1.5 oz. London Dry gin
  • 0.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 0.25 oz. Clear Creek Douglas Fir brandy
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 barspoon of absinthe

Shake with ice and double strain into coupe.

This drink started as a Last Word variant that took a hard left turn, then another left and right, and finally did some donuts over ice before reaching its final destination. I kept the gin and swapped in yellow for the green Chartreuse and lemon for the lime. I didn’t want too sweet, so instead of a liqueur I grabbed the Cocchi vermouth, which added all I needed with some additional bitterness. It was nice, but nothing outstanding or standout. I played with adding a bit of Kummel, which was an interesting move in the right direction, but still not it. At that point a friend suggested the douglas fir brandy or a bit of absinthe. I opted for both, and the result was exactly what I was looking for.

The name reflects that journey a little bit. Ultimatum is more a last choice than a last word, but it fit for me. But the evolving progression of this drink didn’t suggest “final” to me, but maybe close to. Thus the portmanteau of Penultimatum, a made up word for made up drink.