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


This is a cocktail from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s The Grog Log.  Originally a faux-tropical shot served at Dorrians Red Hand Bar in NYC, it was called a Jamaican Dust.

I asked Jeff how the drink grew larger and changed its name. “The Jamaican Dust was a rum-pineapple-coffee liqueur shot that I just morphed into a taller drink; if memory serves, all I did was cut down the pineapple juice and coffee liqueur a bit, subbed gold Jamaican rum for the unspecified “dark rum” indicated, and shook it instead of using a blender.”

I can see why Jeff used the template for the Castaway.  It works, is simple and honestly is one of those drinks that could easily have been served at just about any mid-century Tiki bar.

On a personal note, I opted to use Gosling’s Black Seal rum (from Bermuda) to add a richer character and cut into the sweetness of the pineapple a bit more.  I think it works.  Let me know what you think.

1.5oz dark rum
0.75oz coffee liqueur
3oz pineapple juice
Garnish: Maraschino cherry speared to pineapple wedge

Shake with ice and strain into hurricane or highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with cherry-pineapple spear.

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img_2240Probably most famously known for its appearance in Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” published in 1930, this is basically an Aviation cocktail substituting the creme de violette liqueur with orange bitters.  I’m sure the original cocktail hails from the late 1900’s and proved itself to be popular enough that it still makes appearances in cocktail guides today.

Of note is the minimal amount of lemon juice involved.  You may want to stir this drink instead of shaking.  It’s up to you, but no harm, no foul.

Casino Cocktail
2oz gin
1/4 tsp maraschino liqueur
1/4 tsp lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: maraschino cherry

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

For more information go to: Mr. Boston Drinks

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img_2065There’s no evidence that this drink originated in a bar in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, but who knows?  This is an aperitif-sized Manhattan spin-off that has got to be one of the simplest cocktails in the whole Mr. Boston Guide.

It’s a sweeter, less boozy and aggressive Manhattan at its core.  Actually, I think this is a wonderful way to start a cocktail party.  Batch a bunch of these and pass them out to guests as they arrive for a soiree.  I guarantee they will appeal to everyone who imbibes.

Carroll Cocktail
1.5oz brandy
0.75oz sweet vermouth
Garnish: maraschino cherry

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

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Every once in a while a hidden gem of a cocktail makes its way into a guide, but there’s rarely any information on who crafted it, or the inspiration behind it.  

As it turns out there’s a great story behind this cocktail as told by its creator, Brian Miller.  Here’s what he has to say, “It came about oh so many years ago. It was at Tales and I believe it was my first one. St Germain had just come out and I had been working with the brand. Rob (Cooper) had become a good friend of mine and he invited me to Tales to do some work with him. He had organized some sort of Iron Chef competition using St Germain and asked me to be a part of it. I was reluctant because I hate comps but when the boss asks you, you do what he says. Plus he said the winner would get a brand new car. Of course that sounded ridiculous but Rob is generous enough to do such a thing. I was young (yes, there was a point when I was actually young and not the middle-aged pirate you see now) and like everyone else, I loved Rittenhouse rye and old classic cocktails. So I did a simple riff on the Vieux Carré subbing St Germain for the Benedictine. I think I was more concerned with not embarrassing myself than actually winning. So when I won, I was shocked. I was thinking, what the hell am I gonna do with car in NYC? I could hardly afford rent let alone a place to keep a fucking car. Rob came up to me with a big grin and said, “Brian, let me take you to your new car.” We walked out in front of the Monteleone and parked between two cabs was the little Hoopty. We laughed and hugged each other. It was my first trophy in the cocktail world and I still treasure it to this day.  I later on created another cocktail for St Germain called the Hoopty Cooler. A picture of the car is attached.”

This is a 21st century take on a classic for sure.  Everything is quite balanced, lovely and pops on the tongue.  The only change I would highly recommend, is to either serve this with one large cube of ice, or else serve it straight up in a large cocktail glass.  Serious dilution happens when too much ice is left in the glass as I discovered.  I took the simple step of straining the drink into a large coupe with a Hawthorne strainer and transferring the garnish.


Carré Reprise
1oz rye whiskey
1oz cognac
1oz sweet vermouth
0.5oz elderflower liqueur
1 dash angostura bitters
1 dash peychaud’s bitters
Garnish: lemon twist

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

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At first glance, this looks like a mish-mash of whatever the hell you can manage to find on the backbar and in the fridge, but it actually works.  The reason is that this is simply a citrus Negroni.  The ratios are completely different, but the end result is quite balanced, tasty and elegant.  In fact, you might consider this cocktail a gateway drug to the more intense flavors of the Negroni.

Here’s what creator Gary ‘gaz’ Regan recently told me about this libation: “It’s a typical regan drink since it’s just a riff on someone else’s well-thought-out cocktail! This drink is actually a rip-off of a drink called the Old Flame, created by Dale DeGroff. gaz regan played around with Dale’s formula a little, then named the drink in honor of Dale’s wife, Jill DeGroff, a graphic artist who executes fabulous caricatures of the world’s leading cocktailian bartenders.”

I like it and will gladly drink this if proffered to me. Cheers, gaz!

The Caricature Cocktail
1.5oz gin
0.75oz triple sec
0.5oz sweet vermouth
0.5oz campari
0.5oz grapefruit juice
Garnish: orange twist

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

Note: Use 100% red grapefruit juice, not white.  Very important.

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A slightly more interesting alternative to the venerable Bocce Ball cocktail, this beverage balances out the sweetness of amaretto with the tang of pineapple juice.  For an even more interesting take, try using spiced rum instead of light rum.  Also, make sure to use fresh squeezed orange juice for a better flavor.  As for the grenadine float, good luck with that.  Mine sank right to bottom despite carefully pouring it over the back of a bar spoon.

Caribbean Romance
1.5oz light rum
1oz amaretto
1.5oz orange juice
1.5oz pineapple juice
0.25oz grenadine
Garnish: orange, lemon or lime wheel

Shake rum, amaretto and juices with ice and strain into ice-filled highball glass. Float grenadine on top. Garnish with citrus.


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IMG_0587This cocktail is perfect for springtime. A beautifully balanced and softly heat-laden tiki nuanced cocktail. From the first fragrant nose of a dusting of cinnamon, to the slow burn of ginger heat, this cocktail hits all on all cylinders.

Creator Rafael Reyes has this to say about his creation: “The inspiration behind this cocktail came based on seasonality and love for fresh ingredients, I always have been a big fan of pure ginger juice in cocktails but, you have to have the right balance so it doesn’t showcase as a one noted drink. The combination of Dark rum (Santa Teresa 1796 was normally my rum choice for this), pineapple, spices and demerara created a great marriage enjoyable in any given season.”

If you find it hard to juice ginger, you can buy a bottled version at most health food stores. I also recommend using demerara syrup as opposed to simple syrup to give it a deeper more luxurious flavor and mouth feel. Rafael is also right in his choice of rums, as the solera style version used here is a perfect match for the pineapple juice.

Great drink, Rafael! I’ll be adding these to my list of go-to drinks for guests!

Caribbean Ginger
2oz dark rum
1oz pineapple juice
0.5oz demerara syrup
0.5oz lime juice
0.5oz ginger juice
Garnish: ground cinnamon

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with cinnamon.

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