Monday, August 26, 2013


I have to admit that on my last trip there, I very much enjoyed my time in New York (due in large part to my favorite bar yet - my only complaint is that it's half a continent away) but I have a real fondness for Upstate.  Reminds me of home, probably; more so than the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.  Here's a drink named in its honor (think of it as "halfway to Toronto").

1 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse, appropriately)
1 oz applejack (Laird's Straight Apple Brandy in this case)
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin here)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1 dash aromatic bitters (Angostura)

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish?  What's that?

If you want to use a decent Italian vermouth (Carpano Antica or its ilk) you can probably back off to 1/2 oz and possibly omit the bitters, though I haven't tried it this way.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gin & Juice, Fancy Style

Are you familiar with the Minnesota State Fair?  I went along today at the family's behest, and it was only a flask of Few Standard Issue Gin that kept me alive through the experience.  Turns out that it serves as a wonderful spike for all manner of mixers.  Here is a drink that I made afterward to carry forward the trend.

1 1/2 oz navy strength gin (most brands should work in this)
1/2 oz pomegranate-blueberry syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake and strain over fresh ice.  Top with 2-3 oz carbonated cucumber water to taste.  Stir and spritz a quick blast of absinthe over the top using an atomizer.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Double-Dry Martinez

The concept of a "dry Martinez" is faintly ridiculous, since the Martinez is essentially the older, sweeter cousin to today's Martini.  For bonus irony points, this isn't even really all that dry, though it is a fairly-dry rendition of the Martinez formula.  It is brand-specific (that's the "double" part of the name) and I apologize for that, but this Dry Rye stuff really does deserve hunting down.

2 oz St. George Dry Rye gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth (Dolin here)
1/4 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin again, any decent vermouth would do fine)
1/4 oz maraschino (do I even need to specify Luxardo at this point?)
1 dash simple syrup (not exactly "dry" but helps with the balance)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters (an astonishing combo with the Luxardo)

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; squeeze an orange twist over the top if available and discard, then garnish with a lemon twist.  That's what I did, anyway; a twist of either citrus will do just fine as garnish.

Glorious Evening Fizz

Here's a somewhat random variation on the "Morning Glory Fizz", a curiously tasty cocktail that I stumbled across in Imbibe! and which has become a personal favorite hangover helper.  I made this one on a warm summer evening, hence the name, and it was just too tasty not to write down.

2 oz scotch
3/4 oz ginger syrup (a nice spicy version created by combining juiced ginger and sugar)
3/4 oz lime juice
3 dashes celery bitters
1 egg yolk

Rinse the inside of a fizz glass with absinthe and place in the freezer to chill.  Combine the above over ice, shake well, and strain into the prepared glass.  Top with 3-4 oz of chilled, carbonated cucumber water to taste, then twist a lemon peel over the top and discard.