Imbibing Mr. Boston: The Caricature Cocktail


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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Brandied Port Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Brandied Madeira

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Bourbon Renewal Cocktail

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.

Imibibing Mr. Boston: Bourbon and Elder Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Bourbon à la Crème Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Boston Gold Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Boston Cocktail

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.

Imibibing Mr. Boston: Bossa Nova Special Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Bosom Caresser Cocktail

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Borinquen Cocktail

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.

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Boomerang Cocktail

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.

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.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: The Bone Cocktail

IMG_4539-800I’ve lived in Syracuse, NY since 1969, and I don’t ever recall a cocktail created here that was served with a bone garnish.  And yet, that’s what I am told when I tried to track down the origin of this cocktail.  I suppose it is possible since we are famous for our Dinosaur BBQ restaurant and bar which makes fantastic pork and beef ribs.  Be that as it may, this drink is still pretty cool, and is based on an iteration of the original originally served at Farmers & Fishers in Georgetown (arch rival of Syracuse University, oddly enough).

The recipe as published makes way more than a single shot, as you can tell by a quick glance. More like two shots, so there’s  enough to share.  I enjoy the way the Tabasco sauce works with the lime and simple syrup.  Really intriguing.  I used three drops of hot sauce instead of three dashes.  It allowed the fire to support the bourbon instead of overwhelm it.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the original garnish which was a rib bone, but was transmogrified into a slice of bacon candied with brown sugar and cinnamon, then dipped into chocolate ganache by the time it reached Georgetown.  Now, I’m hungry….

The Bone
2oz bourbon
0.5oz lime juice
0.5oz simple syrup
3 dashes hot red pepper sauce

Shake with ice and strain into chilled shot glass.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Bombay Cocktail


Chances are, if you’ve done any cocktail research you’ve come across the name Harry Craddock.  Harry was an American bartender working at the London Savoy Hotel during prohibition and author of “The Savoy Cocktail Book”, still in print after 83 years.  The Bombay is one of the creations you can find in its pages.  Whether he invented it or not, is unknown.  I’m not sure why the Mr. Boston Guide calls for anisette, since absinthe was originally used and is widely available today.  I made it with anisette however, and felt it was too sweet.  I did like the orange and licorice flavor though.

1oz brandy
0.5oz dry vermouth
0.5oz sweet vermouth
0.25oz triple sec
0.25 tsp anisette

Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.