Bees'll Buzz

Bees'll Buzz

1.5 oz Barr Hill Tom Cat gin
.75 oz Black Heath mead
.75 oz Confluence coldbrew coffee
.25 oz lavender syrup
2 dashes Elmegirab's Dandelion & Burdock bitters

Tools - Mixing glass, jigger, ice, barspoon, strainer
Glass - Rocks
Ice - Cubed
M.o.P - Stir and strain
Garnish - twist

Lavender syrup:
-Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil, stirring.
-Remove from heat and add a few sprigs fresh lavender (dried will work)
-Let cool to room temp and strain through seive or cheesecloth

Majin Buu

Majin Buu

1 oz Campari
.5 oz Trinity absinthe
.5 oz Broker's gin
.5 oz lavender syrup
.5 oz lemon juice

Tools - Shaker, jigger, ice, hawthorne strainer, fine strainer
Glass - Coupe
Ice - none
M.o.P - Build, shake 20% longer than usual, doublestrain
Garnish - sunken cherry

the tale:

I was a week behind in writing my spring cocktail menu. I say I wait til the last minute because I work best under pressure but really I’m just an irresponsible dawdler. Our designer was already barking up my tree for the sixteen spring cocktail creations which would fill out the masthead of his National Geographic spoof menu. He sent us the proofs. They were stunning. They only lacked drinks...

But it wasn’t my fault... read the rest


Melting Brook


Melting Brook

4 cocktail cherries
Long rosemary sprig
2 oz Clement Rhum Agricole
.5 oz Green Chartreuse
.5 oz lime juice
.25 oz maple syrup (2:1)
dash Fee Bros Aztec Chocolate bitters

Tools - Shaker, jigger, ice, julep strainer
Glass - Rocks
Ice - Cubed
MoP -
1. In the small half of a shaker, muddle 3 cherries and 1/2 the rosemary.
2. Add other ingredients.
3. Add ice and shake vigorously.
4. Julep strain over fresh ice.
Garnish - rosemary sprig and cocktail cherry

House Cocktail Cherries
Mix in a large container:
-High quality cocktail cherries, rinsed
-1 part bourbon
-1 part Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
-1 part Fernet Branca

Maple syrup
Mix 2 parts grade-B maple syrup with 1 part boiling water and stir until dissolved.

The tale:

I knew she was coming. She had called as I was out the door toward work and told me she was flying in to surprise me for my birthday. She called on her way to the airport. 

I cast a glance around the apartment. Tumbleweeds of doghair in every corner. Rumpled bed. Overflowing laundry hamper. There were tumblers and plates in the sink and my desk was a frenzy of typewriter pages surrounded by crumpled drafts and crusty rags. 

I tidied what I could and headed to work.

Read the rest...


Two to Mango


Two to Mango

2 oz mango-serrano Barr Hill Gin
.75 oz cucumber syrup
.5 oz lime juice

Tools - Shaker, jigger, ice, hawthorne strainer, fine strainer
Glass - Rocks
Ice - Cubed
M.o.P - Shake and fine strain
Garnish - Cilantro-salt rim and lime half-wheel

Mango-serrano Barr Hill Gin
Mix in a large glass container:
-One bottle Barr Hill Gin
-One ripe mango, diced.
-One butterflied serrano pepper, seeds discarded.
Let infuse for a few days and strain back into the labeled bottle.

Cucumber syrup
Heat equal parts water and granulated sugar until dissolved.
Blend simple syrup with one cucumber.
Cool and strain through cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid.

Cilantro salt
Blend one big bunch cilantro with two cups kosher salt.
Spread on a cookie sheet and sun dry.
Swipe glass rim with the lime half-wheel and roll evenly in salt.

the tale:

The sultry evening pulsed with energy as I surfed the wave, riding hard to keep ahead as I worked through new recipes. I adjusted here and there, memorizing a handful of early leaders by sheer reps.

Toward the end of the evening some of our friends from nearby sister bars came in and occupied the corner, enjoying the show. 

My server laid a drink tray on the bar to collect an order. "Dude, you'll never believe this."

read the rest...

Wood Nymph

Wood Nymph

1.5 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
.25 oz Trinity Absinthe
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz heavy cream
.75 oz lavender syrup
1 drop vanilla extract
1ea egg white
soda

Tools - Shaker, jigger, ice, hawthorne strainer, fine strainer
Glass - Collins
Ice - None
M.o.P -
1. Build and mime shake (no ice) 60x
2. Shake vigorously with ice 200-300x
3. Fine strain over 1 oz soda
4. Top with soda until fluffy pillow rises up an inch over the glass rim
Garnish - Pansy, lavender sprig, chive blossom, or other edible flower

the wood nymph:

She flounced into the bar at the end of a hectic Saturday night and laid claim to a section of the mahogany far broader than her willowy body would seem to need. A set of rental keys at her elbow, a yellow legal pad scrawled thick with notes under the other, she planted her palms wide and heaved a sigh. Read the rest...


Bear Hug

Bear Hug

1.5 oz Eagle Rare 10 yr bourbon
.25 oz Fernet Branca
.25 oz Becherovka
.25 oz Cynar
.25 oz Luxardo Bitter Liqueur

Tools - Mixing glass, jigger, ice, barspoon, strainer
Glass - Rocks
Ice - 2-2.5" cube
M.o.P - Stir and strain
Garnish - Picture a tiny polar bear hunting the ice's edge

the tale:

It's early evening. I can tell, because I shot out the streetlight with a pellet gun, to see the night better from my porch. Crickets chirp from somewheres nearby. My skin smells sunbaked. I take a sip from the Old Fashioned balanced on my thigh. Half a joint leans charred and resting on the brass edge of the old sawed-off artillery shell butt that I use for an ashtray, like my grandfather before me. Some classic guitar solo washes over the scene as I brainstorm cocktails for next season's menu.

 read the rest...


Sunday Lemonade

Sunday Lemonade

1 oz Clément Première Canne Rhum Agricole
1 oz Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz turbinado syrup

Tools - Shaker, jigger, ice, hawthorne strainer, fine strainer
Glass - Rocks
Ice - Cubed
M.o.P - Shake and fine strain
Garnish - None. This is a drink disguised.

(Recipe by @ChefJohnny, 2015)

the story:

The ice started cracking up. Spring was in the air, and everyone was cleaning out the pipes to let in air and daylight and revival. Change, as usual, was fraught with unknowns; and growth came with the usual pains.

The only way through it was...read the rest


Copper's Kiss

Copper's Kiss

1.5 oz Zaya rum
.25 oz Combier Royale
.25 oz Ardbeg single malt
.25 oz 2:1 maple syrup (demerara will do)
3 oz boiling water

1 small scoop cocoa nibs
1 orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks
3 thin slices fresh ginger
5 cloves
8 leaves African Blue Basil

Glass - Prewarmed goblet, leather tankard, or heat-safe vessel of choice.
Ice - None
M.o.P -
1. Add liquid ingredients in the bottom stage of a coffee siphon.
2. Add dry ingredients in the upper stage above the filter.
3. Activate the coffee siphon and let hot liquids steep with aromatics for a couple minutes.
Garnish - One leaf of African Blue Basil.

the story:

“Goodnight. Thanks for coming in.” I leaned across the mahogany to offer my cheek with utmost courtesy. She moved in, and I turned my head, kissing her lips.

“Gotcha!” I crowed. “Ha! I just stole a kiss from a cop. I’m adding that to my bucket list right now, and checking it off"...read more


Jack and Coke (for the damned)

12 oz Mexican Coca-Cola
float Jack Daniels (or equivalent)

Glass - Highball.
Ice - Cubed (crushed optional).
M.o.P - Build over ice.
Garnish - Straw (optional).

the story:

He was already jolly when he lumbered in for happy hour accompanied by his grizzled buddy in a construction vest.

“Two Jack and Cokes please,” he said.

“Right on,” I said. These guys didn’t really fit in with our crowd, but who can deny a working man a drink? Even if he looked like a vagrant—read more


IEDs and Lions

1.5 oz High West Double Rye
.5 oz Laphroaig 10-yr
.25 oz amontillado sherry
.25 oz Green Chartreuse
.25 oz turbinado syrup

Tools - Mixing glass, jigger, ice, barspoon, strainer
Glass - chilled coupe
Ice - none
M.o.P - Stir and strain
Garnish - Express a lemon peel and discard. Optional salt rim (for some desert grit)

Read the story:

The melee of a dinner rush has always struck me as a nonviolent battlefield—a live-action war-game executing strategy through tactics; different units operating in their intersecting theaters, everyone maneuvering and straining to maximize efficiency, to scrounge up resources; everyone hyper-alert and buzzing with techniques and experience; everybody feeding on each other, thriving or crashing on the pivot of one misstep; and all the while running a good-natured rivalry between units. 

Most of the time good-natured...read the rest