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

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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FullSizeRender-800I couldn’t discover much about the origins of this unusual cocktail except that it dates to around 2007.  Basically a Margarita variation with red wine, it works surprisingly well.  I’d almost hazard a guess that whoever came up with the recipe, did so by accident.  But, be that as it may, it is a gorgeous color and the flavor is definitely more intriguing than your usual tequila daisy.

(I’ve never heard of a cactusberry, but I have heard of a dragonberry, which is why I chose this Oz book as a background.  My mind works in strange ways sometimes. – ed.)

Cactus Berry
1.25oz blanco tequila
1.25oz red wine (Merlot or Shiraz is recommended)
0.5oz triple sec
0.5oz simple syrup
0.25oz lemon juice
0.25oz lime juice
1 splash lemon-lime soda
For glass: lime wedge, coarse salt

Rim chilled cocktail glass with lime and salt.  Shake remiaing ingredients with ice and pour into glass.

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IMG_7904-800I knew this cocktail tasted familiar, but the name didn’t ring a bell.  So, I tracked down Eric Alperin who told me the origin behind this tasty libation.

“It’s a spicy highball that we make with our homemade ginger syrup, lime and rye. It also goes by the name “Presbyterian”. I have been making them since my time working in the Milk & Honey family in NYC. When I partnered on The Varnish and opened it back in 2009 the Cablegram made it on one of our early menus. I remember that between the choice of using the name “Presbyterian” and “Cablegram” we chose the later.”

I agree.  I’d much rather be surprised by a cablegram than a Presbyterian at the end of the day.

2oz bourbon
1oz lemon juice
0.5oz simple syrup
ginger ale

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IMG_7881-800Here’s a modern classic that itself is a spin on a venerable cocktail, the Sidecar.  Crafted by Las Vegas bartender extraordinaire Tony Abou-Ganim, he chose spiced rum instead of Cognac and a cinnamon-sugar rim instead of a plain sugared one. Brilliant!

Personally, I don’t include a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the drink as printed in the Mr. Boston guide.  It muddies the look of the drink and adds a unpleasant powdery mouthfeel.  The original version doesn’t call for this, anyway.

Here’s what Tony has to say about this drink: “The Cable Car is a simple balance of Captain Morgan spiced rum, orange curaçao, and fresh lemon sour, served up in a cinnamon-sugar rimmed cocktail glass. Perhaps the best known of my original recipes, it was created in 1996 as a signature cocktail for Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, a nightclub and cocktail lounge atop the historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. One of the city’s landmark properties, the Sir Francis Drake is located along the world-famous Nob Hill cable car tracks. Its Starlight Room is affectionately referred to as the lounge that can be found “between the stars and the cable cars.”

Cable Car
2oz spiced rum
0.75oz triple sec
0.75oz lemon juice
0.5oz simple syrup
Garnish: lemon twist, ground cinnamon
For glass: lemon wedge, cinnamon sugar*

Rim chilled cocktail glass with lemon wedge and cinnamon sugar.  Shake remaining ingredients with ice and strain into glass.  Add lemon twist and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

*Cinnamon sugar – Mix equal parts superfine sugar and ground cinnamon.

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IMG_7797-800This is a drink that hails back to The Savoy Cocktail Book compiled by Harry Craddock in 1930.  However, there are a few differences.  Here is the original recipe:

1 Dash Absinthe
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 1/2 oz Dry Gin
1 1/2 oz Caperitif

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Add a Cherry.

Now here is the version as published in the Mr. Boston Guide:

Cabaret Cocktail
1.5oz gin
0.5oz dry vermouth
0.25oz benedictine
2 dashes angostura bitters
Garnish: maraschino cherry

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Add cherry.

These really are two entirely different cocktails, even though they are both Martini variations.  Sadly, the original ingredient called Caperitif is no longer made.  It was a South African wine-based quinquina, similar to today’s Lillet Blanc.  Although it may make a comeback someday.  We’re seeing a lot of long forgotten vermouths back on the shelves these days.

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IMG_7777-800Cocktail recipes are merely templates upon which bartenders impose their own ideas of ratios and ingredients.  So, it’s no surprise that many of the most popular cocktails are those which have been “improved upon” from the original version.  The story of the Bushwhacker goes back to 1975 and the era of the Fern Bar.  Apparently Linda Murphy, the owner of the Pensacola Sandshaker Beach Bar had vacationed in St. Thomas and discovered the drink at the Sapphire Beach Village.  She then tried to recreate it once back home.  It proved to be an instant hit, so much so that only eleven years later the first annual Bushwhacker Festival was held.  It continues to this day.

All that being said, this is very much the love child of the White Russian.  Think of it as a liquid candy bar.

0.5oz coffee liqueur
0.5oz amaretto
0.5oz light rum
0.5oz Irish cream liqueur
2oz half-and-half

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

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IMG_7761-800I had no idea that finding a bottle of strawberry schnapps was going to be such a hassle.  But, after going to five(!) different liquor stores, I finally found one.  And truth be told, it’s not a bad drink.  I’ve snuck a few sips here and there.  But, in the fruit driven Burning Sun, it really does make the difference between a bad cocktail and one that works.  The key here is to make sure that you use a high-proof schnapps and not just a bottom shelf liqueur.  The alcohol will cut through the sweetness of the pineapple juice and balance everything out.

As for using a strawberry as a garnish.  That’s a great idea in the summer, but seeing as it’s now February, not something I’d recommend.  I bought some frozen organic strawberries, but they lacked the full flavor of what would have made a wonderful edible garnish.

Burning Sun
1.5oz strawberry schnapps
4oz pineapple juice
garnish: whole strawberry

Pour into ice-filled highball glass and stir. Garnish with strawberry.

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