Monday, February 27, 2012


I can’t let Tiki Month go by without posting a tall gin recipe. Gin’s one of my favorite tropical drink ingredients, whether it be with tonic and lots of fresh lime or one of the more elaborate mid-20th century classics like the Fog Cutter, the Suffering Bastard or any version of the Singapore Sling.

Here’s a seemingly smooth but potentially lethal one of my own, the Gin-Tiki. Beware the calm seas and don’t go down with the raft.


  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 1 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
  • 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 1 oz white grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz lime juice
Shake with ice cubes and strain into a 12-ounce collins glass. Fresh ice to fill. Mint garnish.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

NYC Pub Crawling: Amor y Amargo

Back in the old town again, I was meeting a friend after work in the East Village and we decided on Amor y Amargo, a nifty little bar that specializes in drinks featuring all that can be called bitters. So we sat down and turned our bitter selves over to Chris and Nick who were happy to explain and suggest. They pointed out that there were no items on the list that contained juice (bitter perhaps but never sour), and that they didn’t use sugar. (We probably didn’t look like Lemon Drop customers—must be part of the patter.)

I ordered the nicely focused tequila White Negroni. My buddy gave me a sip of his Alpine Afternoon, which we agreed was unusual and a pleasant surprise.

Amor y Amargo also sells gear and bitters, and hosts classes as well. Thanks to everyone there for a very fine time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MxMo LXIV: TIKI!—Rongorongo

February is Tiki Month, and for those of you who’ve been marooned without the joys of civilization, Doug Winship of the Pegu Blog is serving up all things Tiki, including this month’s Mixology Monday. His theme, of course, is Tiki! so grab half the bottles in the bar and make extra ice—this is gonna be a MxMo to remember. ...Or at least to the extent that it’s possible to remember anything after sucking down all those big tropical drinks. Please join me in a monumental Fogged In mahalo to Doug for hosting.


  • 2 oz gold Puerto Rican rum (Ron del Barrilito)
  • 1 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz lime juice
Shake with ice cubes and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice.

With notes of molasses, orange peel and spices twinkling softly like little colored lights, it’s sorta like Christmas all over again in an Easter Island mug. My mugs are 12 ounces, and I could fill them about 3/4 with crushed ice without being left with a dividend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bittercube Jamaican #1 Bitters

Feeling in the mood for a dry, spirit-forward rum cocktail to try my new Jamaican #1 bitters from Bittercube, a bright combination of allspice, ginger and black pepper—all flavors I crave. Of course this calls for a big Jamaica rum.

Jamaica & Spain
  • 1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross
  • 1 1/2 oz fino sherry
  • 2 dashes (24 drops) Bittercube Jamaican #1
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Pistachio notes in the sherry get freaky with the woodsy funk of the Smith & Cross. A friend who likes whiskey cocktails was asking about rum analogs....

Need another rum fix? Doug is serving up the magic of Tiki Month in grand style.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

B&E Manhattan

We drink a lot of Manhattans here at the Fogged In Lounge, so when a new whiskey arrives, I can’t help but try it with a little vermouth and bitters. Breaking & Entering is a bourbon blended by the folks at St. George Spirits. They call it that because they didn’t distill the booze themselves but carted a bunch of barrels back to Alameda from Kentucky. We like local stuff, and when I tasted it back in December, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d start playing with it.

B&E Manhattan
  • 2 1/2 oz Breaking & Entering Bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica)
  • 2 dashes Jerry Thomas’ Decanter Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Orange twist.

My first pass at this was with the Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters I had been drinking all winter with my Buffalo Trace, but it turned the cereal notes a little too soft and round. No flab in the Manhattan, please. Orange bitters worked much better, bringing out some cherry and tasting almost like a Brooklyn Cocktail.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beyond the Sea

A big mahalo to Doug for spurring us all into Tiki action for the month of February. (Sorry I’m late putting on my aloha shirt. Too busy getting... aw, skip it.) Here’s a spice number I made up this morning: cinnamon out front doing the funk with the Smith & Cross. Note the groovy mid-century Tapio Wirkkala glass. Hey, Finland’s an island—sort of.

Beyond the Sea

  • 1 1/2 oz gold Puerto Rican rum (Don Q Añejo)
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaica pot still rum
  • 1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Don’s Mix (B.G. Reynolds)
  • 1 1/2 oz ginger beer (Fever Tree)
Shake all except ginger beer with ice cubes and strain into a double old fashioned. Add ginger beer and ice to fill. Lime garnish.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Maybe it was the odd name, but something made me try this one even though it seemed like just another Perfect Manhattan with an addition. The addition is apricot brandy, which I like with whiskey, and it goes with corn and fruit notes in bourbon especially. I thought the vermouth would dry it down some and round it out, but the version in the CocktailDB is too light and sweet for me with only a mere one and a quarter ounces of spirits. As it often goes with so many of life’s minor difficulties, the solution was to add a bit more bourbon.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz apricot brandy
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Orange twist.

There was an orange slice garnish but it wasn’t doing much except looking pretty, so it became a twist and contributed to the flavor profile. Upping the bourbon didn’t hurt the punch-like fruit notes and turned this into more of a grownup drink.
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