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


I don’t know about you, but when I think of Canadian breezes I get chills.  Sure, they have beautiful weather for a few months of the year, but in the winter it gets so cold that even the St. Lawrence river freezes over.  So, let’s try to focus on a pleasant wind that refreshes.

Most Canadian whisky is blended and goes down smooth.  It’s a bit unusual to have so many other fruity ingredients added, so I opted for Black Velvet Reserve in this one, and it definitely paid off.  The whisky flavor was present and not buried. Overall, I was reminded of a Singapore Sling in some ways.  It’s that cherry/pineapple mix.

You’ll notice I left the garnish off.  Only reason being that I didn’t have any fresh pineapple on hand, and truth be told, the drink doesn’t need it.

Canadian Breeze
1.5oz canadian whisky
0.75oz pineapple juice
0.5oz lemon juice
0.25oz maraschino liqueur
garnish: pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry

Shake with ice. Strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with pineapple and cherry.

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Take a look at the photo of this cocktail. You see what I did there?  A visual pun.  The garnish is in the shape of a “C” for Camino, and the glass is decorated with rays.

Anyway, this is an amazing drink courtesy of Ted Henwood.  The ingredients are so disparate, that it looks like a Frankenstein’s monster.  And yet…  An aged tequila works beautifully with a dry sherry.  If you think of this drink in basic terms, it has all the requirements: base spirit, wine based modifier, sweetener and bitters.

Lovely, and each ingredient enhances the other.  Great job, Ted!

Camino Del Ray
1.75oz anejo tequila
1oz oloroso sherry
0.5oz drambuie
1 dash rhubarb bitters
garnish: lemon twist

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

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IMG_9078Ok.  There is everything wrong with this cocktail.  Scotch and Irish whiskey?  No sweetener?  What gives?

As it turns out this is one of the cocktails included in the seminal book published by the Savoy Hotel in the 1930’s and still in print today.  Who Cameron was, we don’t know.  What bartender threw this together, we don’t know.  What we do know is that the cocktail calls for orgeat syrup, not orange bitters.  Think about it.  Any base spirit and lemon juice is going to be nasty without some kind of liqueur or syrup.  What makes this cocktail work is a mystery, as much as a Blood & Sand (another Scotch cocktail).  All that being said, when made PROPERLY, this is a great cocktail.  The key here is to not overdo it with the orgeat.  So, my recommendation is 1 ounce each of the whiskies, 1/2 ounce lemon juice and 1/3 ounce orgeat.  You don’t need the orange bitters, but if you want to, you can toss in a dash of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters.

Try it and see what you think.  It’s surprisingly tiki-like and would work well with a pineapple/cherry garnish.

Cameron’s Kick Cocktail
0.75oz blended scotch whisky
0.75oz irish whiskey
0.5oz lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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Well, it’s been longer than I had planned, but I am back on the Imbibing Mr. Boston Project again. 

Calvados for those who don’t know, is a French apple brandy.  Personally, one of my favorite sipping spirits.  It has more of a rustic and earthy character than Cognac, and works especially well in cocktails.  If you like Screwdrivers or Bronx cocktails, I’m sure you will enjoy this one as well.  The Calvados adds a richness and depth that you won’t get from a white spirit.  Also, make sure to use fresh squeezed orange juice and double strain the cocktail after shaking to avoid any pulp getting into the drink.

Calvados Cocktail
1.5oz calvados
1.5oz orange juice
0.75oz triple sec
1 dash orange bitters

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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IMG_8187At first glance, this doesn’t even sound like a cocktail.  Coffee liqueur and soda water?  But, it’s one of the few thousand cocktails chosen for the 75th Anniversary Edition of the Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide, so I have to give it a try.

Where this drink originated is a mystery.  About all I can figure is that it is a nod to the popular custom of drinking sparkling water and espresso, but that’s just a hunch.  In any case, this cocktail tastes better than expected.  I’d gladly have one of these at the end of the day.  Even the lime adds a bit of refreshment if you give it a squeeze over the glass.  Salud!

Cafe Cabana
1oz coffee liqueur
soda water
Garnish: lime wedge

Pour liqueur into ice-filled Collins glass.  Fill with soda water and stir.  Garnish with lime.

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IMG_8117-800This Canadian cousin to the Bloody Mary is one of the most popular cocktails in Canada.  In fact May 13th has been officially declared Caesar Day in Calgary, Alberta; and in 2009 a petition was sent to Parliament hoping to have the Caesar named as Canada’s Official Cocktail.  What is amazing is that the drink still hasn’t caught on outside the borders of Canada and yet 350 million of the drinks are enjoyed every year.

The Caesar was created by Walter Chell in 1969 at the Calgary Inn in Alberta, Canada.  Inspired by an Italian dish called Spaghetti alle vongole (the “vongole” being tomato sauce and clams), he worked for several months perfecting the recipe. There’s also a bit of serendipity that oddly enough took place at the same time.  The Mott’s Tomato Juice Company had developed a clam flavored tomato juice cleverly called “Clamato” just a few months after the drink debuted at the Marcos, the Italian restaurant located inside of the Calgary Inn.  The Mott’s product suddenly took off, as people being people wanted a quick mixer to use at home instead of making their own from scratch.

Today, you can still get a Caesar in the same location where it was born although the hotel is now the Calgary Westin and the restaurant has been taken over by a chain called The Keg Steakhouse & Bar.  You would be better off asking for a hand-crafted Caesar at the James Joyce Pub located just a few blocks away.

Now, on to making the drink itself.  I decided to make my own house made “Clamato” to avoid the corn syrup and MSG in the industrial product.  See below for the recipe.  This also allowed me to bypass adding the Worcestershire sauce and salt as listed in the Mr. Boston recipe.  I also chose to skip the celery salt rim.  It’s salty enough a drink as it is.

I like the slight character of the sea that the clam juice adds, as well as the heftier spice from the Worcestershire sauce.  I think this would also work quite well if you rinsed the glass with an Islay Scotch.  Be that as it may, the Caesar is definitely in a class of its own and is well deserving of a place in mixology history.

For glass: lemon wedge, celery salt
1.5oz vodka
4oz tomato-clam juice
0.5 tsp horseradish
1 dash worcestershire sauce
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
Garnish: celery stalk, lemon wedge

Rim highball glass with lemon and celery salt, and then fill with ice. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into glass.  Garnish with celery and lemon.

*Homemade Clamato
5oz canned tomato juice
1oz clam juice
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 dashes of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
2 tsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 pinch chili powder
4 dashes of celery salt
1 pinch Himalayan salt

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IMG_8062-800I’ve no idea who came up with this drink, but I can tell you this: Cádiz is a province near Jerez, Spain.  This where sherry comes from.  Interestingly, both the words sherry and Jerez come from the name of the Persian ruler Rustam Shirazi who wanted a style of wine similar to Persian wine made with the Shiraz grape.  Sherry, Jerez, Cadiz, Shiraz….  Oh, and sherry was also called sack many years ago.  Perhaps because the bottles were protected by small burlap bags.  Anyway…

This is a particularly one-dimensional drink in spite of the interesting ingredients.  This is also a tiny cocktail if made with the amounts given in the recipe. You could easily double it and still be ok to drive home.

I used an Amontillado sherry.  The drier the better to offset the brandy and triple sec.  Overall, the drink is ok, but I don’t ever need to have one again in this lifetime.

0.25oz blackberry-flavored brandy
0.25oz dry sherry
0.5oz triple sec
0.5oz half-and-half

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

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