twenty-twelve toddy

3/4 oz canton ginger liqueur

1/2 oz tuaca

1/4 oz aveze gentiane liqueur

1/2 oz lemon juice

combine ingredients in a warmed mug or glass and top with 4-6 oz of hot water.  sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over the top.  lemon zest garnish.

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sage advice

1 1/2 oz vodka

1/4 oz aveze gentiane liqueur

1/4 oz aperol

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz simple syrup

4-5 sage leaves

 

press all but one sage leaf in the bottom of a mixing glass and cover with ice.  combine ingredients except for aperol and shake.  strain into a chilled coupe or martini shell, then sink aperol.  clap remaining sage leaf and float on top as garnish.

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permanent vacation

1 1/2 oz reposado cachaca

1/2 oz bonal quina-gentiane liqueur

3/4 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz simple syrup

1 egg white

 

combine ingredients over ice and shake hard.  strain over fresh ice into a chimney and float several dashes of angostura bitters.

meant to be drunk through a straw while inhaling the aromatics of the bitters on top.

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costa brava

1 1/2 oz white tequila

1/2 oz zirbenze stone pine liqueur

3/4 oz grapefruit juice

1/2 oz lime juice

1/4 oz simple syrup

 

combine ingredients over ice and shake.  strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. orange zest garnish.

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mexican standoff

1 1/2 oz white tequila

1/2 oz bonal gentiane-quina liqueur

1/4 oz cynar

1/4 oz pernod

combine ingredients over ice and stir.  strain into a chilled coupe or martini shell. lemon zest garnish.

the bar was out of green chartreuse tonight, which is an ingredient in one of our new cocktails.  a customer really wanted one, so i faked this up for them to drink.  i’m told she really liked it.

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speakeasy

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz ramazzotti amaro

1/4 oz cynar

2 dashes angostura bitters

2 dashes orange bitters

 

combine over ice in a mixing glass.  stir and strain into a chilled martini shell.  orange zest garnish.

 

a bartender challenge from an italian who saw our amaro collection and wanted something with ramazzotti.  both the other bartender and i liked it, and i think it will undergo some further tweaking before a final recipe is settled on (i added a dash of fernet to one version that i quite liked but am still thinking on).  it took me a while to think up a name for it.  in fact i had to make myself one and sip it awhile before it came to me (naming drinks, for those of you who don’t know, is one of my favorite things to do).  i think it fits, especially with all the new school speakeasy-style bars that seem to be popping up everywhere these days:  it’s gin-based, it has two different amaros in it, there are dashes of bitters involved, and the flavor is complex and herbal and weird-good in the way that new-style old-school drinks often are.

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left-handed angel

1/2 oz st. germain

1/4 oz campari

1/4 oz blood orange juice

sparkling wine

 

combine ingredients in a flute, top with sparkling.  orange twist garnish.

 

blood oranges abound at the restaurant these days (made two batches of a beautiful soju with blood orange and thai chilis and a little bit of ginger last weekend; we’re almost out), and i’ve been keeping a small bottle of the juice on hand lately.  i wanted to run a new special this week, and i’d had it in my head that a blood orange/campari/sparkling wine thing would be good and go over well.  when i actually made it, it was too astringent, and needed some leavening.  blood orange juice tastes more like grapefruit than orange, and so the note of sweetness i might have gotten from regular orange juice was lacking in today’s concoction.  enter the st. germain, which i have heard referred to as ‘bartender’s ketchup,’ which gave the front end the sparkle and verve it needed to carry the heavier, more resonant back end, in which the blood orange and campari linger on the tongue, leaving a pleasant bitterness that sets the stage for the next sip.  and, of course, it’s a lovely shade of red, and looks good with the twisted orange zest sticking out of it.

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sweet lucrezia

1 1/2 oz asian pear bourbon

1/2 oz sweet vermouth (i use punt e mes)

1/4 oz cynar

1/4 oz lemon juice

2 dashes whiskey barrel bitters (angostura would do just fine)

dash simple (optional, makes the drink a touch more accessible)

 

combine ingredients over ice and stir.  strain into a chilled martini shell.  cherry garnish.

 

much to my chagrin, my infusions rarely sell themselves, and so i have to contrive recipes to move them sometimes.  i came up with this one for one of our regulars, a guy who enjoys him some bourbon and is not afraid of something rich and dark and bitter on the backside, which is what this cocktail is.  add the dash of simple and it becomes a lot more accessible, but in its pure form, this is a cocktail for serious drinkers with grown-up palates, with a subtle depth and a rich and lingering bitter note that resonates on the palate for a goodly while after the sip is swallowed.

and yes, you could make this with uninfused bourbone, and it would likely be just as interesting, if slightly less complex.

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asian pear bourbon

2 asian pears, sliced thin

2 vanilla beans, split

2-3 cinnamon sticks

4-6 oz ginger, sliced thin

2 bottles bourbon (i used jim beam)

maceration time: 3 weeks

 

while i am happy enough about how this one came out, i can’t help but wish i’d used stronger-flavored pears, like bartlett or bosc.  the asian pear has a nice, subtle flavor, but that’s exactly the problem: it’s too subtle.  as a result, the infusion took longer, and the result is a little thinner than i was hoping for.  i’m still happy enough with it, and expect to sell it out this weekend, thanks to the sweet lucrezia, and the pear does take the edge off the bourbon, which is what i was aiming for.  but next time (and for those of you playing along at home), i will use a more robustly flavored pear.

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slow burn tequila (updated)

3 oranges, pithed, peeled, and sliced thin

5-6 cinnamon sticks

2-4 anaheim or korean peppers, sliced

4 thai chilis, sliced

2 ruby peppers, crushed

2 bottles of white tequila

 

i’ve been experimenting with this one, since the first batch came out so well, and have, as you can see, updated the recipe accordingly.  i’m most pleased with the heat level, and the interplay between the different peppers, which go from very mild to very hot.  as to the drinking experience, the orange and cinnamon serve as a sort of launching pad, and then your tongue starts heating up, and just when you think it’s going to get painful it levels out.  ninety seconds later it’s over.

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