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Splice the Mainbrace

Splice the Mainbrace

  • 1.0 oz. aged Jamaican rum (Appleton Reserve)
  • 1.0 oz. aged rhum agricole (Barbancourt 8)
  • 0.5 oz. coconut liqueur (Kalani)
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. passion fruit syrup (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.25 oz. amaro (Brovo Amaro #14)
  • 0.25 oz. Green Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain over cracked ice into a mule mug. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Every so often I have no rhyme or reason and start playing with a bunch of flavors, often with a tiki direction. I had the passion fruit syrup on hand and used split rums as a base, then just went at it. It doesn’t always work not having a plan. But here it worked wonderfully.

I was surprised I couldn’t find this name attached to a cocktail. There were several Mainbrace cocktails I could find, but not the full phrase, which was slang for giving sailors their daily ration of rum. If it’s a good night maybe double that ration.

Nothing Rhymes With Orgeat


Nothing Rhymes With Orgeat

  • 1.0 oz. Mt. Gay Eclipse
  • 1.0 oz. Bacardi 8
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. orgeat (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.25 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz. allspice dram (Bitter Truth)
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain over cracked ice in hurricane glass. Garnish with orange peel.

I was continuing to play with the orgeat from Yes Cocktail Co and thought adding orange would be a nice flavor combination. I split a rum base to have both a lighter and more aged. You can certainly play with these a bit. The lime of course is there for the acid, and the allspice and Angostura add some spicy depth.

There’s a common saying in lyric writing that nothing rhymes with orange (at least no perfect rhyme of a single word, though you can get there other ways). Since here I had an orangey drink, and also since everyone seems to pronounce orgeat differently (hard T? orgeAt? orgeAHt?) I thought this name appropriate.

But since there will certainly be those who contradict the meaning of the name:

I was never really taught
How to utter “orgeAHt.”
But then maybe “orgeAt”
Is the proper form of that?
If you’re French or think like me
Try “orzjah” without a T.

Kona Nightcap

Kona Nightcap

  • 1.5 oz. Dove Tale Florida rum
  • 0.5 oz. Cruzan Black Strap
  • 0.5 oz. coffee liqueur (Kahlúa)
  • 0.5 oz. orgeat (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Benedictine
  • 0.25 oz. vanilla liqueur (Giffard’s Vanille de Madagascar)
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into tiki mug over crushed ice. Garnish with lime moon.

I wanted to do a tiki cocktail with a strong coffee presence. I have made a Last Word variation in the past that combined coffee with lime and tequila, so knew that the coffee and citrus could work together, but found this much harder than I expected. In the end it came down to which coffee liqueur. I had others that tasted more of coffee and imparted more bitterness, but those didn’t blend as well into the final drink. The sweet and richness of Kahlúa worked best, and the vanilla and orgeat complimented it nicely.

I’ve only had the chance to get to Hawaii once, and it was to the Kona coast on the Big Island. The coffee was fantastic and the best way to start the day. I wouldn’t mind having this drink to end it.

Beeline to Ptown


Beeline to Ptown

  • 2.0 oz. Short Path Gin (SPD)
  • 0.5 oz. cranberry liqueur (Flag Hill)
  • 0.25 oz. Short Path Triple Sec
  • 0.25 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • dash of Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Still playing a bit with Flag Hill’s cranberry liqueur, I thought I might toy with a Cosmo/Cape Cod type cocktail. Not something I generally drink, but I like the sour template of the spirit, cranberry and triple sec. Here I opted for gin over vodka. Short Path has a New Western style (not their London Dry or seasonal offerings, all of which I enjoy but I opted against here) as well as a triple sec. Then the cranberry liqueur and some vermouth to lengthen with some bitterness. I chose the cranberry bitters to add to the color and cranberry flavor without sweetening. Because of the tartness of the cranberry liqueur I didn’t think any additional acid was needed.

Since Short Path was used for two ingredients (they also have a vermouth if you want to go all in) I wanted a nod to them in the name. “Short Path to Cape Cod” was too much on the nose, but I liked the B and P interplay of “Beeline to Ptown”. So hop on the ferry and raise a glass.

Strawberry Fennel Forever


Strawberry Fennel Forever

  • 1.0 oz. akvavit (Aalborg)
  • 1.0 oz. genever (Hofland)
  • 0.5 oz. strawberry fennel simple syrup (Royal Rose)
  • 0.25 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • 0.25 kümmel (Combier)
  • 0.25 oz. thyme liqueur (Thym)
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • dash of lemon bitters (Bitter Truth)

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with strawberry.

I started here with the Royal Rose strawberry fennel syrup. For the base I split akvavit/aquavit for some caraway and genever for a little funk. I decided to go all in with the herbal ingredients and grabbed Chartreuse, Thym and kümmel for its fennel flavor. To this I added lemon for acid and some bitters to round everything out.

I was stuck for a name for a bit, but when I focused on “strawberry fennel” as the catalyst for the drink this one came pretty quickly. Let me take you down.




Stir with ice. Strain into old fashioned over ice. Garnish with cherry “rose.”

I wanted something on the boozy, Old Fashioned side, and I thought I might play with Tamworth’s chicory liqueur. For the base I went with apple brandy (Tamworth also makes an excellent offering here, if you can get it) and added my mainstay Benedictine to play with the bitterness of the chicory. Riffing on the Old Fashioned’s (sometimes) cherry and orange, I added cherry and orange liqueurs to sweeten things up. The coffee bitters completed it with a nod to NOLA’s coffee and chicory.

The name just came from rhyming Old Fashioned — nothing particularly insightful there. The rose seemed appropriate for the name. No thorns provided, except perhaps from the bite of the alcohol.

A Night in the Forest


A Night in the Forest

Stir with ice and strain into snifter. Garnish with rosemary.

I wanted something piney. Generally in this case I reach for my Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie, but I had just picked up the Rogue Spruce Gin and thought I’d explore that. To enhance the herbaceous notes I added in the Leopold Bros alpine liqueur, and at this point had all the pine I wanted. It needed something sweet and, I thought, floral, so then came the elderflower. To brighten it up and add some bitterness I finished with Lillet Blanc and a touch of lemon bitters.

The name comes from Annie’s Song by John Denver, this line of which was the first thing I thought of when I sipped this. It certainly filled up my senses, in all the right ways.

The Departed


The Departed

  • 1.5 oz. Irish Whiskey (Jameson)
  • 0.5 oz. rye (Rittenhouse)
  • 0.5 oz. crème de noyaux (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.5 oz. cranberry liqueur (Flag Hill)
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Stir gently with ice and strain into old fashioned over ice.

I have been playing a bit with Flag Hill’s cranberry liqueur and thought I might do a play on the Godfather (Scotch and amaretto) that I find too sweet and in need of some brightness. Enter the cranberry. With that in hand, I thought I might go full Massachusetts (though Flag Hill is in New Hampshire, the cranberries come from the Cape) and swap in Irish whiskey for the Scotch. I wanted a bit more bite, so subbed in a little rye for the base and ended it with Angostura. The crème de noyaux has a similar taste to amaretto and is less cloying to my palate, so that was swapped in as well.

Since I was transplanting the Godfather to Boston I thought Scorsese’s film The Departed was a suitable name. I only saw it once so don’t have any clever quotes to throw out to you. Other than whatever you do don’t attempt a Boston accent after drinking this. On second thought, don’t attempt a Boston accent when sober either.

There Are No Monkeys in Hawaii


There Are No Monkeys in Hawaii

Shake with ice and strain into glass over crushed ice.

Ok, so I wanted to make another tiki drink with banana, and after a couple of iterations I developed the above. As I was writing this up I thought I might compare it with other banana drinks I might have made (there have only been a few). Turns out, I inadvertently replicated almost exactly a drink from a year ago, Daylight Come, except for the addition of honey syrup and blackstrap.

So enjoy a second round on me!

Old Dog / New Tricks


Old Dog / New Tricks

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

Here’s a Last Word variant using the Wild Moon birch liqueur out of Connecticut. The ratio is very different being much more gin forward and swapping lemon for lime, plus the addition of some bitters.

Just when I think I’ve milked the Last Word for all it can offer I get another drink out of it, hence the name.