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Thursday Barlogue: Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia

Thursday Barlogue: Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia

The first time that we walk into any bar or restaurant we’re really unprepared for what the experience will be like. Sure, we may have read a Yelp review or followed a friend’s recommendation, but until we step through the door and the night begins, we’re pretty much a blank slate. This becomes a bit complicated when a restaurant reopens, especially when the name remains the same, but the space and the concept change. Let’s take that a step further and say that the restaurant was also a neighborhood icon with a very unusual upstairs bar, and was much loved by everyone who went there. When revisiting a place like this, it’s hard to really start out as a blank slate. As eager as we may be for our spot to reopen, we’re a bit hesitant too. After all, we have our memories, some of which we may be downright nostalgic about, and it can be hard to have an open mind.

My love affair with Friday Saturday Sunday began years ago when it was our go-to spot in the city. We spent many ordinary nights there sitting at the upstairs tank bar, but we also celebrated a number of important life occasions in the restaurant as well. I’ve been eagerly awaiting their return for some time now, tracking (almost stalking) their progress through head bartender Paul MacDonald’s Instagram account where he’d been posting amazing cocktails. Upon walking through the door of the new Friday Saturday Sunday, my first impression could be summed up in 1 word: elegance. From the large black and white tiles on the floor, to the marble bar and the gorgeous light fixtures above it, to the reclaimed wainscoting and mirrored back wall, rescued from an 1890s office building in NYC, everything spoke of the polish and refinement you’d find in a classic cocktail bar. But there was genuine warmth and comfort here too, in the greeting we received at the door, in the music playing on the sound system, in the plush seating at the bar, and in Paul himself, who goes out of his way to initiate conversation and establish that bartender-customer relationship that is so very important. We had several cocktails at the bar that first night including an Oxford Comma (pictured below) with Nicaraguan rum, lemon, coffee and red wine syrup, topped with soda, and an Assassin’s Handbook with Jamaican rum, mulled wine shrub, Averna, and habanero. We also had the opportunity to taste a Fibonnacci in Winter with Old Tom gin, Cardamaro, crème de cacao, absinthe, and overproof brandy, the latest in Paul’s series of cocktails with measurements based on the mathematical Fibonnacci sequence. If that’s not innovation, then I need a new definition of the word!

I returned to Friday Saturday Sunday last week to sit at the bar to have dinner and some conversation about this blog post. When I questioned Paul MacDonald about the beverage program, I found that his answers gave me so much to think about. Paul believes that bars are a lot like kitchens, in the sense that you strive to create complex, yet balanced flavors in cocktails in much the same way as you do in food, with each drink making a certain statement. The major difference that he sees between the two is that bars offer a great deal more flexibility than kitchens. A bar can go off the menu and offer its guests just about anything they might wish for, within the limits of inventory, of course. He favors an 8 cocktail list that’s always changing, and utilizes the widest range of possible ingredients, while still giving him the opportunity to feature unusual house-made products like smoked eggplant syrup. However, it’s a guest-driven experience, and the off-menu options are a vital part of the bar program at Friday Saturday Sunday. Customers should feel just as comfortable ordering a standard Manhatten or even a vodka club, as they do ordering from the cocktail menu. Paul feels that this comfort level is established when there’s trust and understanding between the bartender and the guest, and that all begins with conversation.

Benji Satlow is responsible for the wine program at Friday Saturday Sunday, and he shares MacDonald’s guest-based focus. Because the restaurant is 70% a neighborhood spot, Benji wants customers to be comfortable with the wine list in terms of both variety and cost. He likes concentrating on lesser known winegrowing regions because he can find better values there than he can in more familiar areas. For example, Benji replaces the typical by-the-glass California Pinot Noir offering with a Teroldego Rotaliano from the Trentino region in Italy. It has a similar flavor profile, but it’s a much better wine for a much better price. Similarly, he substitutes a Lebanese Mediterranean blend for a Côtes du Rhone, with the same idea in mind. These values carry over to the wine list, which is substantial and diverse, and which includes brief keyword descriptions after each selection to help guests make the right choices. The wine list also reflects the fact that the food menu selections require versatile wine choices in order to hit just the right notes in terms of pairing. There are also 3 wines on tap: a Prosecco, a Dolcetto, and a Côtes du Rhone Rosé, as well as an outstanding selection of dessert wines that includes a Reserve Banyuls aged outdoors in big glass jars, a 12-year-old Amontillado, a 1986 Pedro Jimenez, and a Samos Muscat that is especially good with orange tarragon biscotti.

I also had an opportunity to speak with Chad Williams, head chef at the restaurant. He talked about the intentions behind the rebirth of Friday Saturday Sunday and the understanding of all involved that the most important thing was to keep the vibe of the original establishment intact. Despite the fact that Chad knew he needed to update the menu for 2017, he wanted to do so in a way that seemed natural, creating seasonal selections that were contemporary, yet still approachable with the freshest ingredients possible. This was, above all else, a neighborhood place with a neighborhood feel. The interior of the new space, designed by Hanna Whitaker, also had to reflect this concept. The upstairs dining room echoes the elegance and warmth of the downstairs bar, while having an open, airy feel to it, quite the contrast from when the space was dominated by the tank bar. The murals on the wall depict the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, but they’re meant to represent and replicate the feel of nearby Rittenhouse Square. Seating is intimate, yet comfortable, and the service is impeccable.

I finished up my night having dinner at the bar, enjoying Scallop Ceviche, Confit Carrots, and Chad Williams’ favorite dish, the Roasted Potato Gnocchi with potato gremolata and burnt cream, all of which were simply outstanding. The gnocchi, in particular, was like a visit to pasta heaven! I also sampled a few more of Paul MacDonald’s complex, yet balanced cocktails like the one pictured above that doesn’t have a name yet but is made with Old Grand-Dad Bonded, Dubonnet Rouge, quince syrup, savory bitters (black mustard seed, peppercorn, caraway, star anise, and fennel), and sparkling wine. I chatted a bit with bartender Karen Baker, who has been in the business for 16 years, spending a number of those in Chicago honing her skills before returning to Philadelphia, where she has watched the craft cocktail movement shift its emphasis towards drinks made with precision, creativity, and expertise. As the bar filled up I was able to watch the customers settling in, becoming comfortable, and feeling very much at home. This new Friday Saturday Sunday has managed to capture and preserve the spirit of the original one I loved so much, and that makes me very happy. Looking around the bar I’m fairly certain that I’m not the only one who feels that way!

Friday Saturday Sunday   261 S 21st St, Philadelphia, PA    215-546-4232

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A Roundup of Christmas Cocktails

A Roundup of Christmas Cocktails

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just a few days away. It seems like yesterday that I was posting about cocktails for Thanksgiving! I thought I’d do the same kind of recap for you of some of my favorite drinks for the upcoming holiday week. There are a total of 8 all together, with 3 of them being brand new. Once again I’ll rank them from easiest to most difficult, beginning with the before dinner drinks. Just click on the cocktail’s name to be taken to the post that contains the actual recipe.

This Champagne Elderflower Cocktail from thekitchn.com is a perfect low alcohol before dinner drink that’s easy to make in large quantities. The Verdi Prosecco is very inexpensive but it works well in this cocktail and its lower price helps to offset the cost of the St. Germain. You can use the strawberries or you can use more of a holiday fruit like cranberries, pomegranate arils, or red currants (pictured above). If you don’t have champagne glasses you can also use a wine glass or a cocktail coupe. Be sure to keep this drink as cold as possible. The sweetness of the St. Germain can quickly become overwhelming as it warms up!

Champagne Elderflower Cocktail

Serves 8

1 (750-ml) bottle Verdi Prosecco, well-chilled
1 cup of St. Germain, chilled
12-oz of a good club soda, chilled
1 cup sliced strawberries

In a large pitcher, combine all of the ingredients and stir. Add ice and stir to chill, but strain into a new pitcher, leaving the ice behind. Pour into glasses and scoop a few strawberries into each glass. Keep any unused portion very cold until serving.

Some notes:
The recipe can be made without the club soda, but cut the St. Germain by 1/4 cup.
To make just one cocktail, combine 1 ounce of chilled St. Germain and 3 ounces of chilled Prosecco in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold. Add a few sliced strawberries or any other fruit.

This Aperol Spritz from aperol.com is just as easy to make as the Champagne Elderflower Cocktail, especially in large quantities. What’s really nice about this drink is that you can substitute any of the other apertivos like Campari, Cynar, or Cappeletti for the Aperol and just keep all the proportions the same. This one gets served over ice so it’s a bit easier to keep cold. It’s also very low in alcohol which makes it light and refreshing.

Aperol Spritz

Serves 8

1 bottle of Verdi Prosecco, chilled
2 cups Aperol, chilled
1 cup good quality club soda, chilled
Lemon strips or peels for garnishing

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a pitcher and stir well. Pour into wine or champagne glasses over ice and garnish with a lemon strip or lemon peel.

To make one drink, use 3 oz of Prosecco, 2 oz of Aperol, and 1 oz of club soda.

I’ve included the Old Time Holiday Shrub on the list because it’s very different and because it was such a hit when I poured it at Gorshin Trading Post 2 Fridays ago. This cocktail is made with a McClary Bros. shrub (available at Gorshin), which is basically like a fruit vinegar that gives the drink a surprisingly refreshing taste. If you can’t find the McClary Bros. there are many other shrubs available. Feel free to substitute.

What I love so much about the Pomegranate Elderflower Martini is the fact that it’s not overly sweet. So many martinis that include Pomegranate as an ingredient end up being a sugary nightmare. This one is definitely an exception to that rule, especially if you use an unsweetened Pomegranate juice like Knudsen or Lakewood. You’ll want to serve this drink very cold either before or after dinner. I prefer martinis in smaller glasses; otherwise they warm up too quickly!

The Confident Man from Joe Campanale and tastingtable.com is one of my all-time favorite holiday cocktails. We served it last year on Christmas and it was quite the night! It’s a perfect blend of vodka, St. Germain, Aperol, and grapefruit juice that will work just as well as either a before or after dinner drink. It’s name comes from its gorgeous pink color because only a confident man would be seen drinking a pink cocktail. These go down very easily so plan to make lots and expect overnight guests!

I’m including The Ghost of Christmas Present in this list because it’s a riff on a bourbon smash that will appeal to dark spirit drinkers as well as those who are open to giving bourbon a try. The combination of the Cherry Heering, the pomegranate juice, and the blood orange juice make this a very fruit forward drink that will work either before or after dinner. This cocktail will also give you the opportunity to try making a burnt sugar simple syrup, which can add such depth to drinks that contain spirits like bourbon and rye. If you don’t have the DRAM wild mountain sage bitters or a place close by where you can buy them, you can definitely substitute aromatic bitters.

Scrooge and Marley was another very popular cocktail that I served at Gorshin Trading Post this past Friday night. It’s made with Old Overholt rye which is fairly spicy, and Art in the Age ROOT liqueur, a super fun spirit to have on hand for sipping and for cocktails. This drink also uses burnt sugar syrup, once again because of its affinity for the darker spirits, and aromatic bitters. I would recommend this as an after dinner drink, but many rye drinkers would disagree with me on that!

My final cocktail, Silent Night,  is a new one that I plan to serve at Gorshin Trading Post this Friday. It’s centered around the wildly spicy spirit called St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram that I’ve been wanting to try for the last year. My friend Mathias Bable, bartender at Charlie was a sinner. picked it up for me last week at Astor Wines in NYC. The base spirit in this cocktail is bourbon because I thought the spice of a rye would be a bit too much with the St. Elizabeth. From there I added in Dave’s coffee syrup and chocolate and orange bitters. The result is a super smooth dark cocktail that reminded me of a drink I had a long time ago on Christmas Eve at my parent’s house. I was standing outside on their front porch because it was snowing, and I was struck by how incredibly quiet the world seemed at that moment.

Silent Night

2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
¼ oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
¼ oz Dave’s Coffee Syrup (available at Gorshin)
1 dash Jack Rudy chocolate bitters (available at Gorshin)
1 dash Fee Brothers orange bitters
Orange peel for garnishing

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled ⅔ full with ice. Stir with a long-handled bar spoon until cold (about 30-45 seconds). Using a julep strainer, strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice, preferably one large cube if you have it. Express the orange peel over the drink, give it a twist, and drop it in. Enjoy!

If you can’t find the St. Elizabeth you can substitute ½ oz of Amaro Ramazzotti (easy to find), and 1 dash of Jack Rudy aromatic bitters for the orange bitters.

I hope this helps to give you a jump start on your Christmas week cocktails. Remember to batch your drinks if you want to make enough for a crowd. One caveat on that: since my Cocktails for a Crowd post, I have learned from Death & Co. to reduce my citrus and bitters in a batched cocktail by ¼. So if a batched cocktail calls for 1 cup of lime juice, you should reduce that down to ¾ cup.

See you all on Friday!

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A roundup of great bottles to give as holiday gifts!

A roundup of great bottles to give as holiday gifts!

With Christmas being just 10 days away, there are lots of holiday parties to go to and some people on your list that you haven’t bought for yet. If they happen to be cocktail lovers or if you’re looking for host/hostess gifts, then I have some spirits for you today that would be perfect. I’m giving you recipes as well so you can include them with your gift. First up on the list is Plymouth Gin, a bottle to give to that person in your life that you really want to convert/corrupt into becoming a gin lover! Plymouth is soft, elegant, and very accessible, and is described by Death & Co as an excellent “gateway gin.” I’ve taken their lead here and prepared their recipe for a South Side, an excellent gateway gin cocktail!

South Side

5 mint leaves
2 oz Plymouth gin
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup (1 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiling water)
1 dash aromatic bitters

Gently muddle the mint with the simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients along with your 1 large cube and 2 small and shake vigorously for 20 seconds, or until the shaker is very cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint sprig. Enjoy!

While any of the Italian Amari would make a great gift either for the host/hostess or for the cocktail lover in your life, the Montenegro stands out as the most easily approachable and a great place to start. Pictured above is the way I like to drink it best after dinner, over 1 medium cube in an oversized vintage shot glass. Refer back to my post from November 21 for my recipe for a Witchy Woman and to read more about the Montenegro.

The Del Maguey Chichicapa is a little on the pricier side, but it would make an outstanding gift for the tequila or mezcal lover. Made from agave grown in a single village in the mountains of Oaxaca Mexico, it is described as being rich, sweet, and bold with flavors of “butterscotch, smoky bacon, grilled pineapple and sea salt.” The cocktail pictured above is called the Itzamana from Eloisa Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Itzamana

1½ oz Del Maguey Chichicapa
½ oz Cynar
¼ oz Orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
¼ oz Maraschino Liquor (I used Luxardo)
1 vanilla bean for garnishing

Combine all the ingredients except the vanilla bean in a mixing glass and fill 2/3 full with ice. Stir using a long-handled bar spoon until very cold (about 45 seconds). Strain using a julep strainer and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the vanilla bean and enjoy!

As I’ve said a number of times, Ancho Reyes has become one of my favorite liqueurs to use in cocktails. It’s versatile and fun, adding a real kick to darker drinks like an Old-fashioned, or serving as a counterpart to white rum in a spicy lemonade. The recipe I’m sharing with you is called The Bee Sting from the blog Honey & Birch and is a riff on the classic The Bee’s Knees.

The Bee Sting

2 ounces gin
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz honey simple syrup*
½ oz Ancho Reyes chile liqueur
Lemon slice for garnishing

Add all the ingredients (except for the lemon slice) to the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your ice (1 large cube and 2 small if you have them on hand). Shake for 15-20 seconds until cold. Strain using a Hawthorne strainer and then pour over ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with the lemon slice. Enjoy!

*To make honey simple syrup, combine ½ cup water and ½ cup honey in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until honey dissolves, stirring occasionally. When honey has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool before using. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

Any of the historical spirits from Art in the Age would make a truly unique holiday gift to give your cocktail lover. There are 4 varieties: Root, Sage, Rhubarb, and Snap, each based on a recipe from the colonial era. The AITA website has a collection of great recipes; what’s pictured above is my Scrooge and Marley, a holiday drink posted earlier this week.

Scrooge and Marley

2 oz Old Overholt rye whiskey
¾ oz ROOT liqueur
¼ oz burnt sugar syrup*
2 dashes Jack Rudy aromatic bitters
Orange peel for garnishing

Combine all the ingredients except the orange peel in a mixing glass and fill 2/3 full with ice. Stir using a long-handled bar spoon until very cold (about 45 seconds). Strain using a julep strainer and pour into an old-fashioned glass over 1 large cube. Express the orange peel over the drink. Garnish and enjoy!

*Heat 2 cups brown sugar over low heat until melted; don’t stir it too much, but be careful not to let it really burn. Remove from heat and slowly add 1 cup hot water ( it will splatter some but will calm down as the water goes in). Stir together well. Return the pan to the heat and continue cooking another 5 minutes over low heat. Syrup will be thin when hot and thickens as it cools. You can make less than this. Just keep the ratio at 2:1.

All the bottles I’ve talked about today are available at Canal’s on Rte 38 in Pennsauken or Total Wine and More in Cherry Hill. If you click on the print button on this post you’ll be able to edit out everything except the recipe you want to print.

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Barlogue: Farm & Fisherman Tavern, Cherry Hill, NJ

Barlogue: Farm & Fisherman Tavern, Cherry Hill, NJ

Our first visit to Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill, NJ was shortly after it opened in November of 2013 when we met with family there for an early dinner on a Saturday afternoon. We were a group of 10 hungry people, including 2 young children, and we were hoping that we could have some shared plates, find something for the kids to eat, drink some good local beers, and peruse an excellent wine and cocktail list. Oh and we needed a few vegan options as well! Sounds like a tall order, right? I have to admit that I was skeptical that we’d find everything that we were looking for. Restaurants that offer true communal style eating where things are meant to be shared, and where you can order large plates for the table, are a rare find in South Jersey. Farm & Fisherman did not disappoint us on that day, or on many days to come as it quickly turned into one of our go-to spots.

The offerings at Farm & Fisherman reflect the seasons, and many of the ingredients that go into the food and desserts, as well as the cocktails, are locally sourced, creating continuity across the menus. 80% of the beers are local and almost all the wines are domestic, except for the 2 sparkling selections on the menu. The cocktail list is short, but innovative, featuring modern variations of classic cocktails, a few barrel-aged options, as well as 2 of the classics themselves: a Barclay Bee’s Knees and an Erlton Manhatten. The Appletini contains Stateside vodka, and the Pine Barrens uses Rowhouse gin, both spirits that are distilled right here in Philadelphia, and there are future plans to bring in a local whiskey as well. In addition to many of the drink ingredients being locally sourced (like the cranberry jam in the Pine Barrens cocktail), many of the bitters and syrups are made right in house. There is also a house-made tonic, which I had the opportunity to taste and it’s excellent. The fact that these components are house-made allows Farm & Fisherman to expand the boundaries of each cocktail just a bit, while keeping other parts of it very familiar. A cocktail can be made the same way a hundred times, but the addition of an in house simple syrup will introduce nuances of flavor and create depth that wasn’t there before. On the night that I stopped in I sat at the bar so I had the opportunity to watch the bartenders, Meredith and Marilyn, as they prepared drinks. They both took great care in making their cocktails, measuring everything precisely. When I questioned the restaurant’s general manager, Ben Menk, about this level of precision, he said it guaranteed consistency from drink to drink, and developed an understanding of the importance of each ingredient. Music to my ears!

As I said earlier the food menu items are meant to be shared. There are snacks, appetizers, and “For the Table” selections like the Cheese and Charcuterie Plates and the Breads and Spreads that are just amazing. There’s also a great selection of entrées, salads, and sandwiches, many of which are gluten free or vegan. The desserts are also made with seasonal components, so that the berries in a cocktail are quite often the same berries you’ll find in the daily pie. There’s that continuity again. The wait staff is well-informed and courteous, the hostesses warm and friendly. All this is in a space that is both industrial cool and reclaimed wood warm, accentutated by comfortable seating and tables that can easily accommodate 2 or 10. Once you’ve visited Farm & Fisherman there’s no doubt that you’ll be back a second time, and before you know it it’ll become one of your go-to places too.

The cocktail pictured above is the Pine Barrens, made with Rowhouse gin, cranberry jam, house-made aromatic bitters, garnished with a fresh pine sprig and a Luxardo cranberry. It was both refreshing and warm and spicy at the same time. Perfect for the season!

Farm & Fisherman Tavern   1442 Marlton Pike East   Cherry Hill, NJ 08034    856-356-2282

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More holiday gift shopping: Books for the cocktail lover in your life!

More holiday gift shopping: Books for the cocktail lover in your life!

Sitting right next to my liquor cabinet is a stack of cocktail books that I’ve collected over the last two years. As someone who really loves this subject, I can tell you that I truly value this little library that I’ve accumulated, because each book provides me with a different perspective on things. Some have beautiful photographs and amazing drink recipes, while others are more scientifically or historically based. I reach for them every day, either as a resource for the cocktails I make, or as background knowledge for the things I write about. Last week I told you about some local gifts for your cocktail enthusiast; this week I’m going to continue in that vein and talk about the specific books that I think would make great Christmas presents this year. I’ve also made a cocktail from each book and included the recipe exactly as it’s written. I’ve tried to keep the drinks on the simple side and the ingredients fairly accessible. There might be 1 or 2 that you have to hunt for, but if that wasn’t true then you’d think that someone else was writing this post! So let’s get started…

books1

A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson tells the story about how the world of cocktails has changed over the last 20 years by interviewing many of the key players involved in the Cocktail Renaissance. He’s also included recipes for forty cocktails that appear at the end of each chapter. This is the book to buy for your drink lover who’s also fascinated with bars and bartenders, and who really wants to learn how the cocktail world evolved into what it is today. Pictured above is the Gin-Gin Mule from Audrey Saunders whose “quest was helping people get over their phobia about gin.”

The Gin-Gin Mule

¾ oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
6 sprigs of mint, some leaves reserved for garnish
1 1/2 oz Tanqueray gin (I used Bluecoat)
1 oz ginger beer (I used Fever Tree)

Combine the lime juice, syrup, and mint in a shaker tin and muddle. Add the gin and ginger beer and ice and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

books2

Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails is comprehensive guide to almost everything there is to know about cocktails, from equipment, to spirits, to techniques, and recipes. There are great illustrations and photos throughout that really help to illuminate the text. One of my favorite things about this book are the interviews conducted with regulars at the Death & Co. bar in NYC. This is a great gift for both the experienced home bartender and the one who’s just getting started. The drink above is called Pete’s Word, a surprising combo of smoky Scotch and lime juice. It was created by bartender Phil Ward and is a variation of the classic drink called The Last Word.

Pete’s Word

¾ oz Laproaig 10-year Scotch
¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe. No garnish.

books3

Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle is an extremely fun read for the book lover in your life who also loves to make cocktails. It puts a literary spin on 65 different drink recipes and also includes some bar bites, drinking games, and fun illustrations. The cocktail above is Love in the Time of Kahlua, the cocktail interpretation of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. Its spicy garnish and coffee flavor make it a great holiday drink too.

Love in the Time of Kahlua

1 oz light rum (I used Bacardi)
½ oz Kahlua
2 oz light cream
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg to taste (I used nutmeg)

Combine the rum and the Kahlua over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Pour the cream on top and sprinkle with a little spice.

books4

Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske (with Georgette Moger-Petraske) is the only book written by the legendary bartender who opened Milk & Honey as a speakeasy in NYC in 2000. His influence was incredibly far-reaching, and many people believe that he may have single-handedly launched the Craft Cocktail Movement that brought great drinks back into fashion. Included in this book are 75 recipes, as well as techniques, home bar suggestions, and service standards, making it a great gift for the novice or the expert. The drink above is The Gold Rush, created by T.J. Siegal, Petraske’s friend from childhood, and a major investor in Milk & Honey. This drink went on to inspire The Penicillin, created by Sam Ross, also a Milk & Honey alum.

The Gold Rush

¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz honey syrup (1 cup honey to ½ cup hot water)
2 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)

Combine the lemon juice, honey syrup, and bourbon in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously until the drink is sufficiently chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with a single large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.

books6

The Experimental Cocktail Club features recipes and stories from the four partners who owned and operated the cocktail bars of the same name in London, Paris, Ibiza, and New York. This book is filled with gorgeous photographs of truly innovative cocktails, and would be a great choice for the drink enthusiast who also loves to travel. In the picture above is the Madame Rêve, another great holiday cocktail.

Madame Rêve

1 large strawberry
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz spice-infused Aperol (I added 1 dash of aromatic bitters instead)
Champagne to top

Place the strawberry in a cocktail shaker, muddle, then add the lemon juice and the Aperol. Top with ice , then shake vigorously until frost appears on the outside of the shaker. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top off with Champagne and serve.

books5

That brings us finally to The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart, the book that really inspired me to learn as much as possible about the ingredients that go into cocktails. I love that it’s told from a botanist’s point of view. For me it combined my love of gardening and plants with my growing infatuation with making cocktails and understanding what’s in them. The drink above is Dr. Struwe’s Suze and Soda named after Dr. Lena Struwe, a botanist from Rutgers University that made studying the gentian plant her life’s work.

Dr. Struwe’s Suze and Soda

2 oz Suze
2 to 4 oz club soda or tonic water (I used Q tonic water)
Lemon twist

Pour the Suze over ice, top with the soda water or tonic water to taste, and add a twist of lemon.

Join me tomorrow for my Friday Musings post. I’ll be featuring an amazing cocktail called Bad Moon Rising created for me by the equally amazing Mathias Bable from Charlie was a sinner in Philadelphia. I’m so excited to share it with you!

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