Monday, December 3, 2012


The name of this drink, Cominciare pronounced co-min-cia-re, is the Italian verb for to begin, or to commence. I chose this name because I feel like this drink is perfect to kick off any occasion. After all I’m using Aperol, which is one of my all time favorite Italian aperitifs, and there’s no better way to begin than with a good aperitif. I was also toying around recently, as a normally would, and I realized that grapefruit is the one citrus mainstay that I don’t mess with too much. Well I decided that needed to change, and I’m glad I did.  For one grapefruit is just plain awesome it really has an incredible balance of sweetness and that wonderful citrus tart. Secondly you don’t need thirty of them to make a handful of drink. Six of them will most likely get the job done for you. So once I made these miraculous discoveries about grapefruit it was only a matter of time before I found what worked well with it. Of course I stuck with gin, why wouldn’t I, it makes way too much sense not to. I’m using Beefeater’s 24 but use any good floral gin i.e. Broker’s, or even Plymouth will work here. I haven’t tried the “Juniper Bomb” gins like Tanqueray, but if that's what you have and it's what you like give it a try and let me know how it is. After the gin, grapefruit and Aperol, I threw in a little more citrus, a little more sweetness and some bitters.

Here’s What You’ll Need

1 ¾ oz Gin (Like I said I use Beefeater's 24)
¾ oz Aperol (You should be able to find this most places, if not those places you’re looking to find it in may not be worth shopping in)
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup 1:1
1 Dash Fee Brothers Gin Barrel Aged Orange Bitters
1 Dash Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
Also Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters would work really well, and Angostura Orange Bitters.

Combine all the ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake hard for about 10-15 seconds. Double strain into an ice filled Double Old Fashioned glass and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

You’re going to get some really great flavors with this drink, first you’ll get that really great citrus flavor and aroma then you’ll taste a subtle sweetness. The finish on the drink is a really great herbal flavor that cleans your pallet and leaves you feeling refreshed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and as always please subscribe to the blog and leave a comment to let me know what you think. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Burnt Scotsman

From Scotland With Love

I put this drink together here recently and it was one of those drinks that just kind of came to me out of the blue. I wasn’t sure if it would work but when I ended up just giving it a try it was one of those instant winners. I literally tried making it one time, and that one time was all it needed.  I’ve named it the Burnt Scotsman because all the main ingredients in it have their origin in Scotland. I recently picked up a new gin that’s distilled in Scotland called Edinburgh Gin. I figured hey one of my all time favorite gins is also distilled in Scotland and of course that's Hendrick’s, so this can’t be bad. Well I was right, it’s not bad in fact it’s amazing. What they’ve done with this gin that’s unique is they've distilled the gin with not only the usual suspects like juniper berries, and citrus peel, but also with pine and milk thistle. It’s really a well-balanced and crisp gin that you could sip on if you so choose. The other Scottish wonders here are Drambuie, and of course what’s more Scottish that Scotch. As you may know Drambuie has a great sweetness that comes from the honey used in the distilling process, and the Scotch I’ve chosen is Laphroaig. The Laphroaig is what really gives this drink its name, if you have never had Laphroaig Scotch you really need to try it and do so as soon as possible. It has an absolutely mind blowing smoke flavor and you can almost taste the ocean from the Isle of Islay in Scotland, that’s the tangy peat flavors coming through. I really think that you’ll fall in love with this drink and it’s deep complex flavors that work really well together.

Here’s what you’ll need

1 oz Edinburgh Gin
½ oz Laphroaig Scotch Whisky
½ oz Drambuie
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Fee Brother’s Gin Barrel Aged Orange Bitters
1 Dash Fee Brother’s West Indian Orange Bitters

What To Do

Combine all the ingredients into an ice fill cocktail shaker and shake hard for 10 seconds. Then double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Float a thin lemon wheel on top for garnish and serve as soon as possible. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Julio Gone Green

Ok, again I know it's been a little while but you understand by now. I made a new drink and I really think you'll like it. I've really been trying to see what ingredients work well together and pushing the envelope as far as what combination of things I can use and make them work well together. This time I really knocked it out of the park. What I've done here is use cucumber, cilantro and habanero together with the great citrus flavors of orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit. And if those flavors alone don't scream "USE TEQUILA" I don't know what does. This drink is a perfect unison of sweet, savory, and spice. Give it a try and as always play with it and see what you get, and please don't forget to let me know.

What You'll Need

11/2 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2-3/4 oz Habanero Simple Syrup (depends how spicy you want it)
Good Pinch of Fresh Cilantro (about 3-5 sprigs, play with this as well I tend to like a little more)
2 Slices of Fresh Cucumber (go a little thinker on these)
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2-4 dashes Fee Brother's Grapefruit Bitters

How To Make It

Start by combining the fresh cucumber, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice and bitters in an empty cocktail shaker. Muddle those ingredients together, but remember you're not making a paste here you're just releasing oils and some of the juices. Once you've muddled them together add the tequila, Cointreau, and Habanero S.S. Add the good ice and give it a good shake. You really want everything very well incorporated in this one plus you'll get a great color in the finished product. Put some of the good ice in a well chilled Collins glass and double strain your drink right into it. Top the drink off with the CO2 and you're almost done. Remember if it looks good chances are it will be good. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber and a sprig of cilantro. Now the most important part, drink it and enjoy every sip you take.

This one goes well with just about any Mexican, Southwest style meal you can think of. I think it's best with some fish tacos. See Tyler Florence's Ultimate Fish Tacos. OMG!!! Enough said.
You can't say that doesn't look amazing.

That's the color you're looking for. The greener the better here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bienaimé Bubbly

Ok, I’m admitting it I need help with this one. I’ve put together this really great drink, it’s super refreshing and has an amazing citrus flavor. I use honey simple syrup that gives it a balance between the tart and sweet. I’ve also used both Littet Blanc and Dubonnet Rouge both are great and both have a key ingredient in common, quinine. I also like to top this drink off with a little Fever Tree Tonic Water, which also has quinine. So I hope you see the common denominator here, I really enjoy that quinine flavor, a little tart, a little sweet and a perfect acidity. So you might be asking yourself , “Then what in the world does he need help with?”  I don’t have a name for it, I don’t even know where to start. So I’m turning to my readers. I’m going to open this post up as a little competition, post your suggestions for a name for this drink and I’ll choose the one I like the best. Just drop your email address inside your post and the winner will get an appropriate prize.  By appropriate I mean a brand new hawthorn strainer and jigger by OXO.

Here’s the drink, make it, try it and come up with a name for it.

1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
½ oz Lillet Blanc
½ oz Dubonnet Rouge
½ oz Honey Simple Syrup*
Fever Tree Tonic Water

Combine ingredients in ice filled cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into ice fill double old-fashioned glass. Top it off with tonic water and garnish with lemon peel.

* For the honey simple syrup just use equal parts honey and water and put it over medium high heat until the honey dissolves and thins out. Remove it from the heat and let in cool. You can keep it in the fridge for weeks. 

The Jack Rose Cocktail

The Jack Rose Cocktail dates back to the early 1900s. It first appeared in William Boothby’s, The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them, 1908. How this drink got its name is not a definitive fact. One theory, and the one I’m sticking with, is that because you use Applejack, and the color of the drink is rose that they just put the two together. A second theory is that the name is a play on the name Jacqueminot Rose or Jacque Rose and a third still is that it’s based on an early twentieth century gangster hit-man. The second and third stories may sound great but I’m willing to bet that like me, the person who first created this libation kept it simple stupid. This drink is surprisingly smooth and has an unbelievably clean finish. Perfect for a hot summer day and super easy to put together.

2 oz Applejack
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
½ oz Pomegranate Grenadine

Shake in an ice filled cocktail shaker, double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with dried whole rose buds. If you can’t find the rose buds or don’t really want to try, just use a lime wedge it works well and looks great.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bouquet Fizz

Ok, I’m back and I know I haven’t posted anything in a while but you know how it goes, we all get a little busy. But don’t worry I have something I really think you’ll like. I’ve been working on a new drink for a little while now and it’s taken quite a few turns and I’ve had to burn through quite a few drinks but I think I have it. I call it the Bouquet Fizz and man is it refreshing. It’s a perfect warm weather drink that literally anyone can enjoy. 

Get This:

1 ½ oz Broker’s Gin
½ oz St. Germain Elderflower
½ Crème de Yevette or Creme de Violette
¾ oz Hibiscus Simple Syrup (See Below)
1 oz Lime Juice
2-3 dashes Scrappys Lavender Bitters
Soda Water
Lemon Zest for Garnish

For the Hibiscus Syrup you’ll need 1 cup of water, 1 cup superfine sugar, and ¼ cup dried hibiscus pedals. Combine it all over medium high heat until sugar dissolves then allow it to cool. If you’re worried about finding dried hibiscus don’t be. It’s much easier than you may think. I found them on Amazon, and you get a lot for your money.

Do This:

Combine all ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top it off with a splash of soda water and garnish with a large piece of lemon zest.

What you’re left with is a drink that’s a little sweet, a little tart, and very floral, it’s an incredible drink that you can sip on while soaking up some sun. At first when I was making the drink I was using far too much elderflower and simple syrup, I really wanted that floral note to stick out but it was way too sweet. I was also using lemon juice instead of lime juice and it just wasn’t quite right. So I dialed back the elderflower and simple syrup and went to lime juice.  Well thankfully I nailed it, the hibiscus and lime pair perfectly and this cocktail is one that I’ll have often this summer.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pisco Sour

This is a drink that I’ve been looking to make for quite some time now, but the list is so long that it just took a while to get to. However the lucky day finally came and I have to say I couldn’t be happier that it did. By now you know I’m going to give you a little background before I go right into the recipe. Pisco is actually a grape brandy, it’s not rum and it’s not tequila although it does seen to have hints of both. Brandy is distilled wine although other fermented fruits can be distilled but these are often referred to as eau-de-vie the most common being apricot. Pisco is distilled with various grapes that come from throughout Peru. Peruvian Pisco is the most popular although Chile also produces there own Pisco. As to the name Pisco it is greatly disputed. Some say it comes from the town of Pisco in Peru, or that is comes from the Mapudungun word pishku meaning boiled in a pot, a language spoken in south central Chile. I don’t really care where it comes from, all I know is that it’s amazing and you need to get on it.

What you’ll need:
2 oz Pisco (I use Tacama Demonio De Los Andes, {Demon of the Andes})
¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
¾ oz Simple Syrup
1 egg white
Angostura Bitters (In a dropper bottle if you have one)
Whole Nutmeg

What you’ll need to do:
Combine all ingredients except bitter and nutmeg in a shaker, dry shake (without ice) vigorously for at least 10 seconds. Add the good ice and shake again, and again vigorously. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass, now the drink should have a great frothy layer on top and you want this. Using your dropper place several small drops of bitters around the top of the drink and using a toothpick drag the tip of the toothpick through each drop in whatever pattern you see fit. Feel free to use my examples they’re easy and they work. Now some freshly grated nutmeg over the top and it’s ready to go. If you don't have a dropper bottle for the bitters just put 2 dashes in before you shake and garnish with the nutmeg still amazing. If you're looking for a place to buy a few dropper bottles, they're very cheap, follow the link to Specialty Bottles in my resources section.

Let me know what you think!

This one has the nutmeg already.

This is way easier than it looks trust me.