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Archive for the ‘Mr. Boston 75th Anniversary Official Bartenders Guide’ Category

IMG_7694Basically a brandy old-fashioned, this is an effectively beautiful cocktail.  When I say “old-fashioned”, I mean one without the garbage; the muddled fruit.  I’ve done away with the smashed cherries and orange wheel, the pointless soda water.  The real key here are the bitters.  They bring everything together, and lift this simple cocktail towards the sublime.  All that being said, make sure you use at least a VS, or preferably an XO cognac in this.  You are showcasing the brandy, not merely using it to add some alcoholic pizzazz.

Brandy Cocktail
2oz brandy
1 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: lemon twist

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Add lemon twist.

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IMG_7404

What at first appears to be a variation on the classic Sidecar, instead turns out to be an utter failure.  If you look at the ratios, you will quickly conclude that this drink is damned sour.  After making it to spec, tasting and wincing, I then doubled the amount of cassis.  Still no good.  The problem is that creme de cassis is a much lower proof than a top shelf triple sec or curacao.  Thus, you really need to double the cassis ratio to lemon juice.  This makes for a huge cocktail.  So, here is my suggestion: 3 parts brandy, 2 parts creme de cassis, 1 part lemon juice.  See what you think.  It’s still just average in my opinion.  Which is a shame, because I love a good cassis.

Brandy Cassis
1.5oz brandy
1oz lemon juice
0.5oz creme de cassis
Garnish: lemon twist

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Add lemon twist.

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IMG_7391So, where were we?  Oh yeah.  Brandy drinks.

The next one listed in the Mr. Boston index is the Brandied Port.  or I guess you could call it the Ported Brandy, as the ratios are exactly the same.  It’s a fairly simple drink, but absolutely spot on.  I love the depth that the tawny port adds, plus the touch of maraschino liqueur sweetens it up while at the same time giving it a slightly nutty character.  Lastly, the orange wheel serves a dual purpose.  Visually, it brightens the drink to a summery warmth, while at the same time giving a dandy perfume of orangey goodness.  I could drink a few of these no problem.  Enjoy!

Brandied Port
1oz brandy
1oz tawny port
0.5oz lemon juice
1 tsp maraschino liqueur
Garnish: orange wheel

Shake with ice and strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass.  Garnish with orange.

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IMG_4778-800Definitely an old school cocktail with a refined taste.  I liked this well enough, but felt it would be better served up in a cocktail glass or snifter.

Stay tuned for yet more brandy drinks!

Brandied Madeira
1oz brandy
1oz madeira
0.5oz dry vermouth
garnish: lemon twist

Stir with ice and strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Add lemon twist.

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IMG_4765-800A classic created in 2004 by Jeffrey Morgenthaler from his days in Eugene, Oregon.  He has this to say about it’s creation, “This one was named after a band that my business partner, Tony Figoli was in a long time ago. I thought the name was absolutely brilliant, so I decided to do up a drink to commemorate the band – and my favorite spirit at the time. I think the creme de cassis really works well with the sour component of this drink, and who can beat American whiskey on a warm spring evening?”

It is an interesting variation on a whiskey sour for sure.

Bourbon Renewal
2oz bourbon
1oz lemon juice
0.5oz creme de cassis
0.5oz simple syrup
1 dash angostura bitters

Shake with ice.  Strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass.

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IMG_4736-800It seems as if this drink was originally created in 2006 by Simon Difford.  However, it’s original name was the Elder Fashioned.  Much classier, don’t you think?

It is a tasty drink, and one I was surprised by.  The sweetness of the bourbon works well with the fruitiness of the elderflower.  I would also recommend an orange twist as a garnish.  The original recipe by Mr. Difford called for orange bitters, so you may also try that.

Bourbon & Elder
2oz bourbon
0.75oz elderflower liqueur
1 dash angostura bitters
garnish: lemon twist

Stir with ice and strain into chilled old-fashioned glass.  Add lemon twist.

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IMG_4709-800In spite of being rather heavy and almost syrupy; this has a really nice balance of flavors.  I’d easily order one of these instead of cake or pie.  To be honest, I didn’t have vanilla liqueur on hand, so I substituted a high quality vanilla vodka.  I think it helped by cutting the sweetness a bit and lightening the overall mouthfeel slightly.  The original recipe apparently called for a vanilla bean to be used as a flavoring garnish instead of the liqueur.

This seems like the kind of drink that would be brought out after a hearty old Kentucky home formal dinner, so I also took the liberty to serve it in a more genteel choice of glassware.

Bourbon à la Crème
2oz bourbon whiskey
1oz dark creme de cacao
0.5oz vanilla liqueur

Stir ingredients with ice.  Strain into chilled old-fashioned glass.

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IMG_4695-800Another cocktail named after Boston with no connection to the storied city as far as I can tell.  One look at the ingredients and you can tell that this is probably from the 1960’s.  Ok as far as balance, but certainly lacking in depth.  Do yourself a favor and change out the vodka for a nicely aged rum, and you’ll have a far better cocktail.

Boston Gold
1.5oz vodka
0.5oz creme de banana
2oz orange juice

Shake with ice and strain into ice-filled highball glass.

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IMG_4671-800Not sure why this is called a Boston cocktail.  There are certainly more famous drinks that have their origins in Beantown.  Perhaps this is one of the original Mr. Boston creations from 1933.  It does appear in the first edition.  As well, it has the flavor profile of a post-prohibition drink.  Plenty of fruit flavor to cover up the taste of badly made alcohol.

I thought this was a bit too apricot heavy.  I’d cut back the brandy to 1/2 ounce.

Boston Cocktail
0.75oz gin
0.75oz apricot flavored brandy
0.5oz lemon juice
0.25oz grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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IMG_4664-800A tiki style cocktail from the dark ages of mixology, this comes from a cocktail competition held at the Nassau Beach Hotel in 1969.  Interestingly, The Beatles stayed at this hotel in 1965 while they were filming their second movie, “Help!”.  Other than that, I don’t have a lot of history on this rather herbal tropical drink.  The Galliano gives a slight anise touch which won’t be to everyone’s liking.  As for me, it lifted it from being bland and one-dimensional.

Make sure that you “dry shake” the mixture before adding ice.  This helps break up the egg white into foam.  Pineapple juice also creates a foam when shaken, so this is extra foamy.  Make sure you use a good sized glass.

Bossa Nova Special Cocktail
1oz dark rum
1oz galliano
0.25oz apricot flavored brandy
2oz pineapple juice
0.25oz lemon juice
1 egg white
Garnish: maraschino cherry

Shake without ice.  Shake with ice and strain into ice-filled highball glass.  Garnish with cherry.

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IMG_4640-800An early use of a titillating cocktail name to encourage more sales.  Of course these days people would probably call this a “Second Base” or something similarly juvenile.  Be that as it may, this is a light and interesting drink which might lead to an interesting evening.

There aren’t too many calls for madeira wine in cocktails, so after checking my fortified wine cabinet, I discovered I would have to go out and buy a bottle yesterday.  I ended up with the “Rainwater” style which is considered an apéritif, and which I thought would work well with a VSOP Cognac.  The triple sec adds just enough of a sweet orange character to keep this from being too dry.

Bosom Caresser
1oz brandy
1oz madeira
0.5oz triple sec

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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IMG_4602-800Here’s a cocktail with an interesting name.  Borinquen is the Taino word for Puerto Rico.  So, you will want to use a Puerto Rican rum in this recipe.  The Tainos are actually the native Arawak indians.  It seems that Cristóbal Colón, who we know as Christopher Columbus gave them the name Taino because it was the first word they used upon meeting the Italian Captain.  Taino means peace.  And in fact, they were quite peaceful.  So much so, that the Spanish called them the children of God.  Gente en Dios, which was inevitably shortened to endios, which became indians.  See how everything comes around?

Anyway, in case you’re wondering what borinquen means, it translates to “land of the brave lord”.  As for who created this Tiki cocktail, I have no idea.

Borinquen
1.5oz light rum
1oz lime juice
1oz orange juice
0.5oz passion fruit syrup
1 tsp 151 proof rum

Process with 1/2 cup crushed ice in blender on low-speed. Pour into chilled old-fashioned glass.

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IMG_4591-800Created not so long ago in Seattle, Washington by the previous owners of Mona’s Bar & Grill (Tito Class and Annette Serrano) this cocktail was brought to the attention of the world by Robert “Drinkboy” Hess.  You can watch a video of him making one here.

If you like citrus flavored drinks, but don’t necessarily want all the calories of using juice and simple syrup, this is a pleasant alternative.  A perfect drink for a warm afternoon, it is both simply elegant and easy to prepare.  Think of this as a beginner’s Martini.

Bordeaux Cocktail
1.5oz citrus vodka
0.5oz lillet blanc
Garnish: lemon twist

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Add lemon twist.

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IMG_4567-800Another cocktail whose origins remain a mystery.  Suffice it to say that there have been several iterations of drinks with this name over the years, one of them listed in the Savoy Cocktail Guide.  However, that is an entirely different recipe.

This is basically pink gin with a touch of cherry.  Overall, an interesting twist (no pun intended) to the venerable Martini class of cocktails.

Boomerang
1.5oz gin
1oz dry vermouth
1 tsp maraschino liqueur
1 dash angostura bitters
Garnish: lemon twist

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Add lemon twist.

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