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


This is a serviceable tropical cocktail that oddly enough calls for vodka.  To be honest, you would do just as well to use an ounce and a quarter of light rum, as the pineapple juice all but overwhelms any subtleties of the spirits.

You’ll notice that I did not garnish this drink.  That’s what happens when I forget to buy pineapple wedges.  I did decide to use cobbled ice instead of cubes.  It looks better and keeps things well chilled.

Caribbean Cruise
1oz vodka
0.25oz light rum
0.25oz coconut rum
1 splash grenadine
4oz pineapple juice
Garnish: pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry

Shake first four ingredients with ice and pour into ice-filled Collins glass. Fill with pineapple juice. Garnish with pineapple and cherry.

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Cara Sposa is an aria from the opera Rinaldo composed by George Frideric Handel in E minor in 1731. Though light, the piano accompaniment provides an underlying pulse, lending the song a sense of propulsion; at the same time, the vocal line is appropriately dreamy and languid. While the vocal range is not especially demanding, the accompaniment provides little pitch support for the voice’s sometimes unusual intervals. When well performed, this richly expressive song is one of the most impressive and moving in the entire repertoire.

As for the cocktail itself, it tastes like one of those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges that you can find in the candy department.  Likewise, a little goes a long way in this cocktail.  In other words, ultra sweet.

Cara Sposa
1oz coffee-flavored brandy
0.75oz triple sec
0.5oz half-and-half

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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Very much a tiki style cocktail, minus the flowery garnish and giant mug filled with crushed ice. The spices are the key element here, both with the bitters and the falernum. You could easily double this recipe and serve it over crushed ice with a sprig of mint and a hibiscus flower for color and a straw and it will work just as well. Hell, make a punch out of it by multiplying everything by 16 (whole bottle of rum, 4 ounces of lime, simple and falernum, and a tablespoon of bitters). It’s all good.

Captain’s Blood
1.5oz dark rum
0.25oz lime juice
0.25oz simple syrup
0.25oz falernum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: lemon zest spiral

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

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IMG_0341The creator of this drink is Eric Alperin, co-owner of L.A.’s The Varnish, who crafted it for the St. Germaine company in 2008.  It debuted at Tales of the Cocktail, which is entirely appropriate as it is the premier cocktail festival in the world.

Think of this as an elderflower martini with a touch of NOLA bitters. Everything works well here, like a bouquet in a glass.  I especially like the bitters, as they add both color and a touch of spice.  Great work Eric!


1.5oz gin
0.5oz dry vermouth
0.5oz elderflower liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


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A quite tasty libation!  An alternative to a Hot Nutty Irishman, the only downside to this drink is a fair amount of cash to buy a spirit, two liqueurs and several garnishes.  All that being said, the one garnish that is totally unnecessary is the orange wheel.  Although I originally added it as a garnish, it seemed to overwhelm the glass. As for using it to rim the glass, instead use my standard trick.  Dip the edge of the glass into the base spirits (in this case brandy) and rotate to cover 360 degrees of rim.  Then transfer the upside-down glass to your plate of rimming sugar.  Citrus juices tend to make things sticky, whereas the spirit evaporates pretty quickly but leaves the sugar firmly in place.

For glass: orange wheel, superfine sugar, ground cinnamon

1oz amaretto
1oz simple syrup
0.5oz brandy
0.5oz coffee liqueur
4oz hot coffee

Garnish: whipped cream, toasted sliced almonds, maraschino cherry

Rim pre-heated Irish coffee glass with orange and blend of sugar and cinnamon. Pour next four ingredients into glass. Fill with coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream, sliced almonds, and cherry.

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A desserty cocktail that is basically a White Russian.  The ratios of this are 1-1-1, so I upped everything to an ounce each.  It makes a slightly better appearance in the glass that way, otherwise it sure looks skimpy.

I also opted for organic heavy cream to give it an over-the-top mouthfeel.  If you’re worried about too many calories, you are certainly welcome to use half-and-half.

Cappuccino Cocktail
0.75oz vodka
0.75oz coffee-flavored brandy
0.75oz half-and-half

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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A ubiquitous drink from the 1980’s?  Not really.  As Professor David Wondrich noted in an Esquire article from 2007, “Crosby Gaige, a New York bon vivant and man-about-the-theater, published his Standard Cocktail Guide in 1944. Right there on page 80 is a recipe for what he calls the Cape Cod Collins: Puerto Rican rum, cranberry juice, lime juice, soda. A rum Codder. Did Gaige invent it? We dunno, although he was prone to that sort of thing. If not, he caught it early, anyway: it’s highly unlikely that anyone could’ve made a Cape Codder before 1930, when Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail hit the market — cranberries aren’t the kind of thing you juice at home.”

True enough.  I’ve never juiced cranberries.

What makes this drink besides its lovely color and simplicity, is that it tastes damn good.  Always, always, always squeeze the lime into the drink to achieve the best result.  Oh, and use silver rum if you so desire.  Rum is more native to Cape Cod than vodka anyway.

Cape Codder
1.5oz vodka
5oz cranberry juice
Garnish: lime wedge

Pour into ice-filled highball glass. Stir well. Garnish with lime.

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