Archive for the ‘gaz’s Cocktail Book’ Category

Cocktails in the Country Unveils Brand New Category of Cocktails

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Cock Reviver #1

I like to start the day off with a jolt at Cocktails in the Country and I came up with a formula a few weeks ago that works pretty darned well.

It’s a simple drink, spirits forward, and I think of it as a shooter, though you might want to sip it at your leisure if you don’t feel up to the challenge.

As is the case with many new drinks, I was at a loss for a name for my new baby, but Lucinda Sterling, from Middle Branch, New York, came to the rescue: “It’s a Cock Reviver,” he said!

And so, for your drinking pleasure, I bring to you The Cock Reviver #1.  If you’d like to create a Cock Reviver of your very own, it must contain either Jagermeister or any bottling of Del Maguey Mezcal, or both, in order to qualify for Cock Reviver Rules.

The Cock Reviver #1

.75 oz (22.5ml) Del Maguey Vida Mezcal

.75 oz (22.5ml) Jagermeister

.75 oz (22.5ml) La Quintinye Royal Vermouth Rouge

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled glass of your own choosing.  Get it down yer!

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Posted in CitC, CitC 2016, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Combustible Edison

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

This column originally appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, 2012

Combustible Edison

I was in Boston a few weeks back, attending the first annual Boston Cocktail Summit.  It was a grand affair that culminated, from my point of view, in me being roasted, Friar’s-Club-style, by some of my best friends in the business.  They were far too kind to me.  Thank you, friends.

I was privileged to meet Brother Cleve whilst I was in town.  He’s a local legend in the Cradle of Liberty, and lest he hasn’t been on your radar, you might like to know that this man wears many hats.  Brother Cleve is a DJ, a bartender, a bar consultant, and a musician.  He’s also one very fascinating dude.

In Boston, Brother Cleve is the recognized godfather of their cocktail scene, and his music career, as a member of the band, Combustible Edison, ties in nicely with reputation as a cocktailian, since they played lounge music.  The kind of tunes that are suitable to accompany a few rounds of sophisticated spirits and the like.

The original band was a 17-member affair known as The Combustible Edison Oriental Foxtrot & Heliotropical Mambo Orchestra, and it was put together to perform the music for a revue called The Tiki Wonder Hour.  Brother Cleve described the revue as, “a truly surrealistic Las Vegas styled cabaret show, hosted by Satan.”  Sounds good to me.  Eventually the band was whittled down to just five members, and the name was shortened.  They toured the country for quite a few year in the nineties.

The leader of Combustible Edison, a man known as The Millionaire, also created Combustible Edison, the cocktail, and his recipe for the drink appeared on the back cover of the band’s first CD, I, Swinger, as well as being featured in Paul Harrington’s groundbreaking 1998 book, Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century.

Combustible Edison is a pyrotechnical extravaganza of a drink, involving flaming brandy which is poured from a height into a glass filled with a mixture of chilled Campari and fresh lemon juice, and if you find a bartender who is willing to make this drink for you, I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Brother Cleve reminisced to me about a night in the 1990s at the Café Montmarte in Madison, Wisconsin where, as Combustible Edison was playing, the bartender made a dozen of their eponymous cocktails by pouring the flaming brandy from an oversized brandy snifter, into pre-prepared glasses as he walked the length of the bar, leaving “trails of fire along the bar.”  Please don’t try this at home.

If you do want to put together something similar in your kitchen, though, I highly recommend that you try the Edison cocktail.  It’s made with exactly the same ingredients, but this version doesn’t call for igniting the brandy, so it’s far more suitable for home consumption.  And this way, you’re sure you won’t get roasted.

The Edison

2 ounces brandy

1 ounce Campari

1 ounce lemon juice

1 lemon twist., as garnish

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled champagne coupe.  Add the garnish.

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Posted in cocktailian, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Arts vs Crafts

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Art vs Crafts

By gaz regan

A Blog Posting Commissioned by Absolut Vodka


I’ve always wondered about the difference between art and crafts, so I questioned a few people about it recently, and it turns out that the main difference is that crafts are useable—think a knitted tea-cosy or kiln-fired vases–whereas art is to be admired, looked at, and groked, as it were.  Both, I’m told, require humans to be involved, so a machine that cranks out 1,000 tea-cosies an hour isn’t crafting them—it’s just making them.

My friend, Ektoras Binikos, manages to combine art and crafts—he’s a very serious artist, and he also crafts some fabulous cocktails.  His Absolut Kelly cocktail, for instance, tastes beautiful, and it’s also a joy to behold.

In using Absolut vodka in the drink, Ektoras is using a finely-crafted product.  Sure, the stills in Ähus, Sweden, where Absolut is made, produce a great deal of vodka on a regular basis, but without the guidance and expertise of Per Hermansson, the Master Distiller at Absolut, and another personal friend of mine, their vodka wouldn’t be such a finely-crafted product.

Distillation is a very complicated process, and although I could probably ramble on for a couple of hours about how it all works, my knowledge of this subject is miniscule when compared with the likes of Per Hermansson, so I’ll just ask you to trust me on this one.

Try an Absolut Kelly, and taste art and crafts coming together as one in the glass.  It’s a thing of great beauty.


Absolut  Kelly

Ektoras Binikos, 2nd Floor on Clinton, New York

ABSOLUT KELLY by Simon Jutras

 Picture by Simon Jutras

“I created the Absolut Kelly cocktail to be a transformative experience based on Joseph Beuys’ idea of the ‘anti-image’.  The outward appearance of the Absolut Kelly—with its gray, muted tones—belies its combination of unexpectedly colorful, complex flavors. All components were carefully selected to represent the ethos and sensibilities of this great art institution that is the Sean Kelly Gallery.” Ektoras Binikos

1.5 parts Absolut vodka

.5 part Becherovka

1 part lime juice

1 part yuzu juice

1.5 parts gum Arabic syrup or simple syrup

3 shiso leaves (2 for garnish)

2 lime wedges

4 drops of Mastiha water

3 drops of Hella Citrus Bitters

3 drops of Bergamot Bitters

Meyer lemon zest (or lemon/lime zest)

100 mg of activated charcoal powder

Smoked sea salt for garnish

In a martini shaker, muddle 2 lime wedges, one shiso leaf, the gum Arabic syrup and the Mastiha water.   Add ice and remaining ingredients except for the Bergamot bitters. Shake well.  Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice and rimmed with smoked sea salt.  Garnish with 2 shiso leaves and top with 2-3 drops of Bergamot bitters.

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

The Poor Suffering Bar Steward

Friday, May 10th, 2013

The New York Times, February 29, 2004:  “scialom–Joe.  Internationally acclaimed mixologist and creator of the Suffering Bastard.” Joe Scialom The obituary went on to say that Joe would be sorely missed by his family, but gave no clue as to where he lived or died.  I had a mission.  I had to discover how to make a Suffering Bastard, and hopefully I’d find out something about Joe Scialom along the way.

            Google turned up no results whatsoever when I plugged Joe’s name into their search engine, but the words suffering and bastard, when entered in that order, surrounded by quotation marks, yielded “about 805 [hits] in 0.13 seconds.”  I was onto something.

   offered a recipe that called for gin, rum, lime juice, bitters, and ginger ale, and several other cocktail-related sites gave similar formulas for the Suffering Bastard, so I thought I should perhaps consult some of my old cocktail books.  Trader Vic Bergeron, the restaurateur who helped forward the Tiki-Bar movement started by Donn the Beachcomber in 1934, wrote a couple of cocktail recipe books, and I had a feeling that the Suffering Bastard was perhaps served at one of his joints.  I have only his first tome, though, published in 1948, and there was no sign of the drink there.  Next I consulted the index in Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log (1998), a fine compilation of Tropical drink recipes written by Jeff Berry and Annene Kaye.  My search, looking under “Rum Drinks” and “Gin Drinks” yielded naught.  Time to go back to my Google search.

   sported a recipe for the drink and a little additional information:  “Served at the Rongovian Embassy, Trumansburg, New York, sadly out of business.”  And I got even more information at where I found a recipe submitted by a certain John Lara, who thoughtfully added, “The series of drinks, Suffering Bastard, Dying Bastard, Dead Bastard is from the Rongovian Embassy to the USA., a weird bar in Trumansburg, New York.  Only a few have done the series and  found their car. Generally you end up waking up on a golf course somewhere.”  What’s this?  There’s more than just one bastard out there?  Three bastard drinks from one bar?rongovisn embassy

            While all this was going down I received a phone call from my good friend Doctor Cocktail, a drink maven in Los Angeles.  “You’ll never believe this,” I told him, and went on to spill the story about the three bastards from the Rongovian Embassy.  “No,” he said, “The Suffering Bastard is a drink from Trader Vic.”  Turned out that Bergeron did, indeed, include a recipe for the drink in his 1972 book, Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide (revised), but it was a mundane affair, calling for Trader Vic’s Mai-Tai “Mix,” according to Doc.  We decided that the Rongovian Embassy story was far more interesting.

            I heard from Doc one more time in regard to the trio of bastards.  He e-mailed to inform me that the Suffering Bastard was included in Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log, but the drink was listed under “Bourbon Drinks,” since their Suffering Bastard contained bourbon–not the rum found in the other recipes.  And underneath the formula was a short history lesson:  “From Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, Circa 1950.”

            The book went on to tell the story about The Suffering Bastard.  It supposedly started out as The Suffering Bar Steward, words supposedly uttered by a harried bartender at Shepheard’s bar, and misheard, and subsequently bastardized, so to speak, by a group of British military types.  There was no mention of Joe Scialom, though.  I was beginning to feel sorry for the poor bastard.

            A Google search for “Rongovian Embassy” led me to, a web site that informed me that this joint was once again in business, but not much more information was there save for their phone number, so I called, chatted to Mike Schott, a convivial bartender, and eventually I got the ear of Susan Elardo, a long-time manager of this quirky joint that features live music, Mexican food, and three bastard drinks on the cocktail list.

            Elardo guided me to Alex Brooks, the man who opened the Rongovian Embassy in 1973.  He now lives in Maine, is retired from the hospitality industry, and pursues his hobby of painting to pass the time.  Brooks* chuckled when I mentioned the drinks, but he wasn’t really sure where the recipes came from, and he’d never heard of Joe Scialom.

            Months passed.  I was lost.  I was suffering, too.  This story had so much promise, but I’d reached a dead end.  God took pity on me, though, and made me look through the 2002 book, Esquire Drinks, by David Wondrich, when I was looking for an entirely unrelated cocktail.  Lo and behold–Wondrich had covered the Suffering Bastard.  And he covered Joe Scialom, too.

            Turns out that Joe was, indeed, the bar steward at the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo that Beachbum Berry mentioned in his Grog LogEsquire magazine reported on the man, and the drink, in 1947.  Scialom created the drink as a hangover cure–“to be un-hung, you must be re-drunk” the book tells us–and its original name was, indeed, The Suffering Bar Steward. 

            Rest easy, Joe Scialom.  Your suffering is over.  Lucky bastard.

The Suffering Bastard

Adapted from a recipe in Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking, by David Wondrich, 2002.shepheards hotel

1 ounce bourbon

1 ounce gin

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 dash Angostura bitters

Ginger ale

2 sprigs fresh mint

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add the bourbon, gin, lime juice, and bitters.  Shake for approximately 15 seconds.  Strain into an ice-filled collins glass.  Top with the ginger ale, and add the garnish.

* Update 2013:  I’ve kept in touch with Alex Brooks over the years—he’s a fascinating man, and when he was young he actually knew Charles Baker, Jr. who apparently visited the island of St. Thomas when Brooks and his family lived there in the 1960s.

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

Swizzles Defined by

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Q From Joe Fordham: Do you know where swizz is from? I used it as an exclamation of disappointment when I was a boy growing up in England, “Bloody swizz!” My British dictionary says it comes from swindle but I was trying to explain it to an American who was dumbfounded by the term.swizzle sticks

A I know it well. As with you, it was a word of my youth. All the reference works I’ve consulted agree that it’s from swindle. But, as so often, there’s more to it.

Swizz (or swiz as modern dictionaries prefer to spell it) is a shortened form of swizzle. This is a late-eighteenth-century word for what a slang dictionary of the following century defined as “a compounded intoxicant”. It was usually rum or gin with bitters, made frothy by stirring. Hence swizzle-stick, which survives as a term for a stirrer of liquids, usually alcoholic. The origin of swizzle is unknown; it’s first recorded in Captain Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue in 1788. This is from a few years later:

The landlord I soon found to be a knowing little chatty fellow, and one who knew how to please his guests. Never was I more entertained in my life than by his company. He was not one of your common dry brained swizzle venders [sic]; no, sir; he had read several characters carefully in the book of nature, and knew how to render a reason.
The Freemasons’ Magazine (London), 1 Aug. 1795.

There are some signs that a century later the word had become shortened to swiz, a development that was hardly surprising. The slang lexicographer Jonathon Green found it in the London humorous magazine Punch of 11 October 1884: “Political picnics with fireworks and plenty of swiz ain’t ’arf bad.”

What happened next is obscure, but we know that by the first years of the twentieth century the word had shifted into schoolboy slang for a cheat, scam or disappointing outcome. The first example in the slang dictionaries is from a letter from the poet Wilfred Owen dated March 1915 but a syndicated anecdote turns up in a number of transatlantic newspapers a few years earlier. It hadn’t become an Americanism — it had been borrowed from the British magazine Tit-Bits, a little tale in a careful transcription of contemporary London pronunciation:

“Now, there’s Jimmy Simpk’ns. ’E tell me only the other day that every time ’e takes a dose o’ cod liver oil ’is ol’ woman puts a penny in ’is money box. ’E must be gettin’ rich.” “No, I ain’t!” bawled Jimmy. “W’y, I’ve found out it’s all a swiz! When it gets ter ’arf a crown, she takes it out and buys anuvver bottle.”
La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wisconsin), 26 Feb. 1909. Cod liver oil was a medicament with an unpleasant taste often given to children by the spoonful at the period to help prevent rickets; half a crown in old British money was two shillings and sixpence or thirty pence; old woman here must be the boy’s mother.

The missing link is how swiz changed its meaning from alcohol to swindle, if it did and wasn’t a reinvention. Swizzle and swindle are similar but not sufficiently so for the one to easily transform into the other, even though the former was a fixed and frequent element of English vocabulary at the time. There has to be more to it.

Eric Partridge suggested in his Origins in 1958 that the original swizzle, like other mixed drinks, was pleasant to drink but very treacherous. I wonder whether the reputation of licensed victuallers in the nineteenth century for cheating their customers might have had something to do with the shift of meaning.

About this newsletter World Wide Words is written, edited and published in the UK by Michael Quinion. ISSN 1470-1448. Copyediting and advice are provided by Julane Marx in the US and Robert Waterhouse in the UK. The linked website is

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

Recipe Etiquette

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I frequently get emails from bartenders who get upset when they see anyone making specific drinks who use their own recipes, rather than the original formula.  Recently I heard from someone who couldn’t stand the thought of making Mai Tais with rums other than Wray & Nephew, for instance, since that was the brand that Trader Vic used when he first created the drink. 

“I hope you’re using the 17-year-old bottling,” I told him.  That was the one that the Trader used, and the only place you can find it these days is at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast.  Order one of their Mai Tais and get ready to pay £450 sterling for it.

It wasn’t too long ago that I heard from another bartender who believed that, unless a Negroni is made with equal parts of gin, Campari, and vermouth, it can’t be called a Negroni.  I beg to differ.

I’ve tackled this question so many times that I’m pretty much bored to death with it, but I’ve obviously not convinced the whole planet yet, so here I go again:

First I need to point out that there is no regulatory board governing the names of drinks, quantities in recipes, etc.   And next I should say that I believe we’d do ourselves a service by looking toward the world of food for guidance in this matter. After all, both chefs and bartenders are in the business of following, or creating recipes, right?

If a chef makes a Béarnaise sauce, do you think that he or she first finds out how Jules Colette, the chef who created the sauce Paris in the 1800s, made his Béarnaise? No, of course not.  Do you complain about a dish of shepherd’s pie because it has no peas in it and your mother always put peas into a shepherd’s pie?  No, I bet you don’t. 

To cite a cocktail example, let’s look at the Cosmopolitan.  Cheryl Cook, the woman who invented the drink in 1985, made it with “Absolut Citron a splash of triple sec a drop of roses lime juice and just enough cranberry to  make it ‘Oh so pretty in pink.’”

Toby Cecchini and Dale DeGroff both twisted her recipe, removing the Rose’s lime juice, replacing it with fresh lime juice, and calling for Cointreau instead of generic triple sec.  Is it okay to call their versions Cosmopolitans?

I think that it’s important, whenever possible, to find out how specific cocktails were originally made. But most bartenders out there, I think, enjoy putting their own twist on all classics, so let’s not get bogged down in minutiae. Don’t you love going to Tommy’s for a Margarita because they make their very own version of the drink there? And it’s still a Margarita, right?

See also “How to Name a Cocktail” by Darcy O’Neil

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

The Birth of the Cosmopolitan

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Being the Whole and True Story, or Stories, Behind the Creation of the Last True Classic Cocktail to Be Born in the Twentieth Century

NEWSFLASH:  Since I wrote and published what you’ll find below, a certain Cheryl Charming has published a far more in-depth article on the subject, and if you want the real nitty-gritty, I highly recommend that you go read it HERE


Cointreau made her up.  That was my conclusion when, after years of trying to track down the mysterious Cheryl Cook, supposed creator of the Cosmopolitan cocktail, I came up empty handed.  I believe it was William Grimes, of the New York Times, who first mentioned Cook’s name to me, and the good folk at Cointreau agreed.  “She’s somewhere in Miami,” they told me.  This all took place in the mid-1990s, hen e-mail was, to me at least, in its infancy, so all of my tracking had to be done via phone, and by snail mail.  How very tedious.

Cointreau was probably the chief beneficiary of the Cosmo explosion, although many versions were made with generic triple sec.  Those in the know, however, usually went the Cointreau route, loving the liqueur for it’s dry sophistication, as well as its intense orange zest flavors.  And Absolut Citron probably fared well too because of this, now classic, cocktail, but many other citrus-flavored vodkas appeared on the heels of the Absolut bottling, so it probably had to share the jackpot with the rest of the products that threw their figurative hats into the ring.

It seemed to make sense to me, though, that the drink was created by the marketing department at Cointreau, and omeone there invented a fictitious bartender who they touted as having created the drink.  That would add legitimacy to the cocktail, right?  I thought that Cointreau was behind this for many a year.

Various other people were credited with having invented the Cosmo along the way, though the two people who were cited feat most often both vigorously denied that they were the ones to first mix the pink drink. Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail himself, claimed that he first sampled Cosmopolitans at the Fog City Diner in San Francisco, and again at New York’s Odeon, and in both cases they were made with Absolut Citron, Rose’s Lime Juice, and cranberry juice.  Dale simply added Cointreau to the mix, and used fresh lime juice instead of Rose’s, when he introduced the drink to his customers at the Rainbow Room in 1996.

Toby Cecchini, in his book, Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life, says that he first encountered Cosmos at the Odeon when they were introduced to him, circa 1987, by his co-worker, Melissa Huffsmith, aka Mesa.  Mesa had worked at the Life Café in San Francisco, and the drink that she knew as the Cosmopolitan, as served at Life, was made with plain old vodka, Rose’s, and grenadine.  Uuurgh.  Cecchini didn’t much care for the drink, but he did sort of go for the pink, so he re-invented it using Citron vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and cranberry juice.

When I read about this in Cecchini’s book, I thought to myself, Goddammit, man, you did, too, invent the Cosmopolitan.  Why so shy?  And I wrote as much for Cheers magazine in 2005 when they asked me to pen a piece about the origins of various drinks. Although I’d met him only once, in early 2004, I had a soft spot for Toby.  I should fill you in.

In September, 2004, I published a review of Cecchini’s book in our e-mail newsletter, Ardent Spirits.  Here’s an excerpt from the review:

“Cecchini’s denial of responsibility for the Cosmo isn’t the only thing that’s annoying about this book, but we’re still recommending that you run out and buy Cosmopolitan, the book, immediately. Why? Because Cecchini, love him or hate him, has the soul of a true bartender, and it fair shines from the pages of this book.

“Toby has an annoying habit of using words that are not only too long for a bartender to know, but also too obscure for most people to understand.   He does the same with foreign phrases, too, but once we got over being really tee-ed off with him for being so obviously over-educated, I was enthralled with his book.”

I got hold of Toby’s e-mail address, and as soon as the review was published I sent him a link.  If you’re going to insult someone publicly, I thought, you should be the first person to break it to them.  Cecchini replied promptly:

“Gary, I just read the review; love it: guilty as charged.  If there are two things I want my customers/readers to take away from a brush with me, they are arrogance and annoyance–provided they like whatever else they’re     imbibing . . .  Thanks for the lovely review.”

Now I loved the man.

A few months later I found myself on a press junket to the Cognac region of France with Toby, and various and sundry other scribes, so I posed the question:

“Why do you keep denying having invented the Cosmo?”

“Because nobody ever believed me when I laid claim to the drink,” he told me.  Fair enough, I thought.

It’s important, at this part of the story, for you to know the tale of the birth of another drink, the Kamikaze.  And it’s also important that you understand that this story is strictly as I lived it, not necessarily the whole truth of the matter.

In the 1970s I was tending bar at Drake’s Drum, an earthy joint on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  Dave Ridings, an old friend from England who took me in when I arrived on these shores, had gotten me the gig, and it was a job I adored.  The same Dave Ridings introduced me to Kamikazes, telling me that Scott Lamb, then a bartender at Botany Bay on East 86th Street, had been the guy who first poured the drink for him.  It was made with Stolichnaya vodka, and a few drops of Rose’s lime juice.  Just a few drops, mind you.  Stirred over ice, the Kamikaze was strained, normally into a rocks glass, and it was a shooter.  A drink to get you drunk.  Ridings asked Lamb what the difference was supposed to be between the Kamikaze, and a very dry Vodka Gimlet.  “You don’t want to commit suicide after a Vodka Gimlet,” said Lamb.

Kamikazes ruled on the Upper East Side for many a year.  I was there.  I witnessed this.  Any time there was a lull in the conversation, someone would order up a round of Kamis, and we’d get back on track.  Looking for fun in all the wrong places.  Kamikazes were magic pills.  Guaranteed to get the party going again.  And that decade was one, very long, very drunken, and often drug-filled party.  It wasn’t until years later that I heard about Kamikazes being made with Cointreau and fresh lime juice.  Being sipped, instead of gulped.  From Martini glasses, no less, instead of rocks glasses.  How the hell did that happen, I wondered.

(That’s Dave Ridings in yellow.  He and I were playing at silly buggers, circa 1974)

But that’s how it goes with cocktails.  Someone invents a drink.  Perhaps two or three or seven people invent the same drink at the same time–this often happens when new products hit the shelves, and cocktailian bartenders don their creative hats to figure out how to use the new bottling.  The drink spreads its wings and flies from place to place—or or it simply dies on the spot—and every bartender who gets his or her hands on the recipe tweaks it a little.  The drink changes.  Or it doesn’t.  Perhaps the name changes.  There’s just no way to figure out exactly what will happen to any given formula once it makes the round of America’s bars.  Now let’s get back to the Cosmopolitan.

On Sunday, September 25, 2005, at 11:24 p.m. E.S.T., a certain someone in Florida clicked on the “send” button, and transmitted an e-mail to Mardee Haidin Regan and me:

Hello Mr. & Mrs. Regan!  I was recently made aware of various article written about me and the Cosmopolitan. I have also recently purchased your book, ‘New Classic Cocktails.’

My name is Cheryl Cook.  I was a bartender from 1985-2000 on South      Beach.  I was commonly refereed to as “The Martini Queen of South Beach. I have spent the past several years working as a Producer & Technical Director in the Event Industry.  I also have traveled with a Dance Company around the World for many years. During this period I was out of the ‘Bar’ loop.

The story goes like this….. A friend, actually the first person I served a Cosmopolitan to, (who also witnessed 15 years of South Beach being “crazy” for Cosmopolitans), found an article a couple of weeks ago giving me credit for the Cosmopolitan and called me.

I served my first Cosmopolitan to Christina Solopuerto the night we received the ‘First’ bottle of Absolut Citron. Christina was sitting at my bar, at’ The Strand on South Beach,’ in 1985. The Strand was under the original ownership of Gary Farmer, Irene Gersing and Mark Benck. Within 30 minutes the entire bar had a Cosmo in front of them.  Within 45 minutes the entire restaurant had one.  I had already emptied the ‘one   and only’ bottle of Absolut Citron, so I had to squeeze lemons into the regular Absolut.

Regarding  ‘Sex And The City’ popularizing this drink; Patricia & Rebeca Fields, the Costume Designers (Mother & Daughter Team) for the entire run of ‘Sex And The City,’ were customers of mine for 15 years.  They sat at every bar I ever worked and watched, first hand, the sheer onslaught of South Beach Cosmo drinkers.

 By the way, I even named my cat Cosmo!

 Any way, thank you for the acknowledgment.  I have always kicked myself for not seeing to some kind of recognition. [so] thanks for my 15 minutes!

Call or write if you would like.  Cheryl Cook

Cheryl Cook, circa 1985

My God!  Cheryl Cook exists.  This e-mail made my day.  Now I had to try to verify who she was, and whether or not she really did invent the Cosmopolitan.  Bear in mind that I don’t consider myself to be an investigative reporter.  I’m not even a journalist in my eyes.  I’m a writer.  I write from my point of view.  And of course, I’m a bartender, too, which helps me get to the bottom of some cocktail-related stuff, simply because I know how bartenders’ minds work.  I fired a few questions to Cheryl to see how she would respond.  Here’s how that went:

1.  What was the original recipe?

Absolut Citron a splash of triple sec a drop of roses lime juice and just enough cranberry to  make it “Oh so pretty in pink” and topped with a curled lemon twist.

2.  How did you come up with the recipe?  What made you put those specific ingredients together?

The Martini had just made its come back.  Women were ordering them just for the glass but many could not drink them because they were too strong.  My idea was to create a “pretty” cocktail that they could drink and serve it in a Martini glass.

3.  How did you come up with the name?

Cosmopolitan Magazine had done a several page spread on female Maitre d’s and Nathalie Thomas from the Strand was one of the featured Maitre d’s.  She had that issue with her daily!

I was sold at this point.  This woman obviously created the drink.  But I pressed further.  I wanted more evidence.  Here’s an excerpt from another e-mail from Cheryl:

I believe it was Southern Wine and Spirits that was handling the Absolut products at the time . . .  I was the Head Bartender of the Strand on Washington Avenue . . .  My Southern Wine and Spirits rep brought me a new Absolut product, “Absolut Citron.”  He said, create something Cheryl. I love a challenge and I had wanted to create a new drink for the Martini glass so..….The ingredients, as I always phrased it, “Absolut Citron, a splash of triple sec, a drop of roses lime and just enough cranberry to make it oh so pretty in pink,” fell in suit.  Basically this recipe is a no brainier, mixing wise. Merely a Kamikaze with Absolut Citron and a splash of cranberry juice. My objective was also a “design” task. To create a visually stunning cocktail in a beautiful glass. Pretty and pretty tasty too. Not so much trying to reinvent the wheel, just bringing it up to speed.

For me, this is the sentence clinched it:  Merely a Kamikaze with Absolut Citron and a splash of cranberry juice.  That’s exactly what the drink is.  Cheryl merely took a tried and true recipe and tweaked it a little.  She wasn’t boasting about her creativity, she was telling it like it was.  And Cheryl gives way too many details for this story not to be true.  The way in which she came up with the name, for instance, is at once believable.  Cheryl Cook is the real deal as far as I’m concerned.  God bless her little pink heart!

So the drink made its way across the country, landing in San Francisco, then New York, and along the way, the recipe was butchered.  Typical, huh?  But just as the drink that I first knew as the Kamikaze, made with only vodka and Rose’s, ended up as a cocktail containing Cointreau and fresh lime juice, the bastardized version of Cheryl’s original formula fell into the hands of a couple of cocktailian bartenders in the Big Apple who nurtured it, and kissed it back to life.  God blessToby Cecchini’s heart, and God bless Dale DeGroff’s heart, too.

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

La Vie en Rose, Harry Glockler’s Signature Cocktail for the G’Vine Summer Ball, 2012

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Harry Glockler, Riva Bar, Berlin

La Vie en Rose

40 ml G’Vine Floraison

20 ml Lillet Rosé

Dash Eau de vie de Framboise

Dash Grenadine

Mix all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain

into a martini glass.

Garnish with a single raspberry afloat a white rose petal.

40 ml G’Vine Floraison

20 ml Lillet Rosé

Dash Eau de vie de Framboise

Dash Grenadine

Mix all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain

into a martini glass.

Garnish with a single raspberry afloat a white rose petal.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

French Fizz, Sebastian Schneider’s Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball, 2012

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

French Fizz by Sebastian Schneider, Beau Bar, Dusseldorf

45 ml G´Vine Floraison

15 ml lemon juice

12.5 ml Giffard Parfait Amour

½ egg white

60 ml Champagne

Shake it without champagne and strain into chilled champagne glass. Fill with champagne and garnish with dry violet flower.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Le Murmure de Lily Fleur, Mariano Garcia’s Signature Cocktail for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Mariano Garcia, Mandarin Oriental hotel, Barcelona

Le Murmure de Lily Fleur

50 ml G´vine floraison

20 ml Esprit de June

25 ml Lemon juice

20 ml ginger and lavender syrup

Cardamom bitter (homemade)

Egg white

Shake all the ingrdients and serve in a martini glass.  Garnish with a lavender flower and candied ginger.


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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

G’ungle Gentleman: Mischa Bonova’s Signature Cocktail for the G’Vine Summer Ball, 2012

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Mischa Bonova (known to her friends as Mascha Potato!  C’est vrai!)

G’ungle Gentleman

50 ml G’Vine Floraison

30 ml freshly squeezed Pineapple juice

15 ml white grape shrub

10 ml fresh lemon juice

15 ml Averna

5 dashes orange bitter

Shake all the ingredients, strain over 1 big chunk of ice into bigger old-fashioned glass.

Garnish: pineapple and grape covered by brown sugar caramelised with the torch on the pan. Then skewered and attached to the rim of the glass together with a big pineapple leaf by using a small tweak.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Paris to Cognac en G’Vine: Hedi Mesma’s Signature Cocktail for the G’Vine Summer Ball, 2012

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Paris to Cognac en G’Vine

50 ml G’Vine Floraison

20 ml Esprit de June

3 White grapes

8 leaves of Fresh mint

1 dash Grapefruit bitter

Champagne Blancs de Blancs

Shake all ingredients except Champagne and strain in a martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit zest, a white grape brochette and a fresh mint head.  Pour a shot of Champagne and serve it along with the martini glass.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Smooth Criminal by Henning Neufeld, 2011 World Class Finalist from Switzerland

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Henning Neufeld, 2011 World Class Finalist from Switzerland

Smooth Criminal

55ml Zacapa 23 rum

30ml Lime juice

15ml Orgeat

Ginger ale to fill

6 Basil leaves, as garnish

3 cm piece of Lemongrass stalk, as garnish

Build in a Collins Glass, and add the garnishes.

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book, World Class Cocktails 2011 |

Fleur de Lys by Iain McPherson, Voodoo Room, Edinburgh

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Fleur de Lys by Iain McPherson, Voodoo Room, Edinburgh

50 ml G’Vine Floraison

25 ml Dubonnet

12.5 ml Grapefruit liqueur

1 barspoon (5 ml) Sugar syrup

Shake all the ingredients apart from lemon zest in a shaker with

cubed ice. Fine strain into a coupette. Zest lemon over the drink

and then garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Queen Lavender by Pawel Rolka, Coq d’Argent, London

Monday, June 25th, 2012

G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Queen Lavender by Pawel Rolka, Coq d’Argent, London

40 ml G Vine gin Floraison

10 ml Limoncello Sette vie

10 ml Lillet blanc

2 dashes Orange bitter

30 ml Reduced tonic water with lavender flowers

Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon zest and a lavender flower.

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Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Rum Zwizzele by Patricia Toribio, 2011 World Class Finalist from the Dominican Republic

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Patricia Toribio

2011 Finalist from the Dominican Republic

Rum Zwizzele

Glass: Cocktail

Garnish: Orange slice

Method: Shake, strain

2oz Zacapa 23 rum

½oz Falernum

1oz Lime juice

1 dash Angostura bitters

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book, World Class Cocktails 2011 |

Gigi by Franky Marshall, Tippler, New York

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

Gigi by Franky Marshall, Tippler, New York

60 ml G’Vine Nouaison

15 ml Crème de Pêche

15 ml Rosé Wine Syrup

22 ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Sparkling Rosé Wine Float

Shake all ingredients, except Sparkling Rosé Wine, with cubed ice.

Strain into All Purpose Wine glass filled with crushed ice.

Float Rosé Wine

Garnish: Dehydrated Strawberry and Fried Basil

Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

La Belle Époque by Jessica Arnott, Victoria Room, Sydney

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012

Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

La Belle Époque by Jessica Arnott, Victoria Room, Sydney

40 ml G’Vine Nouaison

10 ml Apricot Eau De Vie

20 ml White grapefruit juice

10 ml chamomile and nutmeg infused honey water

A dash of egg white

2 dashes Bittermen’s Boston Bittahs

Dry shake, then shake with ice and fine strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with grapefruit zests and chamomile flowers.

Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

The Floraison by Shaher Misif, Cantina, San Francisco

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

The G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program World Finals 2012.  Finalists’ Signature Cocktails for the G’Vine Summer Ball

The Floraison

Recipe by Shaher Misif, Cantina, San Francisco

Gin Connoisseur 2012

60 ml G’Vine Floraison

40 ml White vermouth

10 ml Orgeat syrup

20 ml Lemon juice

20 ml Sugar syrup

Angostura Bitter

40 ml Tonic

2 dashes of ground Aleppo pepper

Shake all ingredients except the Aleppo pepper and tonic water, and strain into a tall glass. Complete

with tonic water and the Aleppo pepper and stir briefly. Garnish with a cucumber slice and an orchid


Posted in G'Vine Cocktails 2012, gaz's Cocktail Book |

Jubilee Cocktail

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Created by gaz regan for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the Occasion of Her Diamond Jubilee, June 5, 2012

“I admit that I originally put these ingredients together to create a drink that looked Royal, but I think you’re going to be amazed when you see how well the elderflower, violette, and goldwasser play together.  They create an incredibly complex backdrop without letting your attention stray too very far from the gin.  The Queen Mother would have approved, I think.” gaz regan60 ml (2 oz) London Dry Gin*

22.5 ml (.75 oz) Belvoir elderflower organic cordial**

15 ml (.5 oz) Rothman and Winter Crème de Violette***

15 ml (.5 oz) Danziger Goldwasser****

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled champagne coupe.  The gold flakes in the goldwasser serve as the garnish.

*Beefeater and Tanqueraygins are both highly recommended for this drink.  They are both superb examples of London Dry Gins–Gins fit for a Queen, no less–and both companies hire me on a very regular basis . . .  (I should add that G’Vine Nouaison Gin works well here, too, and the good folk at G’Vine also help pay my rent, but it’s not a London Dry bottling (though it’s a superb Distilled Gin), so I can’t mention it here . . .)
**It’s British, it’s organic, and it’s delicious.

***Yes, it’s Austrian but it’s so darned good and we needed that Royal Purple Hue for this drink

****And this one’s German, but so is the British Royal Family if you look back far enough (not too far, really), and I needed those spectacular gold flakes as a “crown” of sorts.

Congratulations, Your Royal Highness!

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

Ménage à Manhattan

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Ménage à Manhattan

by gaz regan

The hour arrives; we chill our cocktail glasses. Crisp, clean ice fills the tall tumbler where sweet sour mash and deep crimson vermouth tumble together over the cubes; liberal dashes of bitters fall into the fray. The long, slender bar spoon slowly enters the glass, gently easing its way between the slick cubes, turning slowly, introducing the threesome to one another.

The ménage à trois indulges in prolonged foreplay, the ice melting, ever so slowly, over their bodies. They caress, probe, taste, and explore each other’s desires. Time passes; they find their roles. Whiskey is a dominant soul, fiery yet gentle, gruff yet soulful, he wants to control the passion. But dear, sweet vermouth, her body slathered with rich, ripe fruits, tongue coated with sensuous spices, gently insists her whims be met. The struggle for power subsides into a blissful compromise; each has found its soul mate.

The bitters slip in, out, and around the intertwined couple, softly nuzzling every nook and cranny, making the union complete. Passion is high as they leave the ice–the time is very, very near.

The glasses reach our lips. Oh God, that’s good. We smoke cigarettes.

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Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book, Not So Trivial Trivia, Quotes |

Last Word

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Adapted from a recipe found in Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up, 1951.

“Courtesy Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit.  ‘This cocktail was introduced around here about thirty years ago by Frank Fogarty, who was very well known in vaudelville.  He was called the ‘Dublin Minstrel,’ and was a very fine monologue artist.”  Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up, 1951.

In 1912, according to The New York Morning Telegraph, Frank Fogarty was considered to be the most popular entertainer in vaudeville.  “The single thing I work to attain in any gag is brevity,” said Fogarty when asked the secret of his success.  “You can kill the whole point of a gag by merely [using one] unnecessary word.”

Murray Stenson, a man considered to be one of the world’s very best bartenders, brought this drink back to life in 2009 after he found the recipe in Saucier’s book.

“The drink became a cult hit around Seattle, then Portland and was eventually picked up at cocktail dens in New York City, where many bartending trends are set. The Last Word then started to appear on drink menus in Chicago and San Francisco and spread to several cities in Europe — especially around London and Amsterdam — and beyond,”  The Seattle Times, March 11, 2009.  Article by Tan Vinh.

22.5 ml (.75 oz)  dry gin

22.5 ml (.75 oz)  maraschino liqueur

22.5 ml (.75 oz)  Green Chartreuse

22.5 ml (.75 oz)  fresh lime juice

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Frank Fogarty, “The Dublin Minstrel,” one of the most successful monologists in vaudeville, often opens with a song and usually ends his offering with a serious heart-throb recitation. By making use of the song and serious recitation Mr. Fogarty places his act in the “entertainer” class, but his talking material is, perhaps, the best example of the “gag”-anecdotal-monologue to be found in vaudeville.  Mr. Fogarty won The New York Morning Telegraph contest to determine the most popular performer in vaudeville in 1912, and was elected President of “The White Rats”–the vaudeville actors’ protective Union–in 1914.  Writing for Vaudeville by Brett Page

Further Reading

Paul Clarke’s Last Word

Camper English on the Last Word

Wikipedia’s Last Word

Last Word by Tan Vinh in the Seattle Times

Last Word in Saveur by Laura Sant

Click HERE to order the Annual Manual for Bartenders: 2012

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |


Friday, March 9th, 2012


“J. Pierpont Morgan’s Alamagoozlum: the Personal Mix Credited to that Financier, Philanthropist & Banker of a Bygone Era.”  The Gentleman’s Companion:  An Exotic Drinking Book by Baker, Charles H. Baker, Jr., 1946.

60 ml (2 oz) genever gin
60 ml (2 oz) water
45 ml (1.5 oz) Jamaican rum
45 ml (1.5 oz) yellow or green Chartreuse
45 ml (1.5 oz)simple syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) orange curaçao
15 ml (.5 oz) Angostura bitters
1/2 egg white

Shake hard over cracked ice and strain into a chilled champagne coupe.*

Make It Bounce Better In The Mouth

This from our friend Michael Quinion at

Weird Words: Alamagoozlum

It’s a wonderful word, one of the best of the exotics that came out of North America in the nineteenth century. It’s still to be found, though you’re likely to encounter it in the company of the Corpse Reviver, the Fogcutter, the Monkey Gland and the Widow’s Kiss.

The original alamagoozlum was maple syrup. The name may have been a blend of French-Canadian and American terms, since it’s conjectured it was created from “à la” (as in à la mode) and “goozlum”, with a “ma” thrown in to make it bounce better in the mouth. The goozlum or goozle was the throat, windpipe or Adam’s apple, possibly a variant form of “guzzle”.

The word was rarely recorded in the old days. The Bradford Era of Pennsylvania in 1888 did its best to confuse unwary etymologists by composing a ditty that included the lines, “From Alamagoozlum / To Kalamazoo, / We can bamboozle ’em!”

World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2012. All rights reserved. The Words website is at .

*I’m well aware that the picture of the drink depicts it in a cocktail glass as opposed to a champagne coupe.  Fact is, that it’s not even a picture of an Alamagoozlum, but it looks pretty much like one and I thought it prettied the page up a little.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |


Friday, January 27th, 2012

45 ml (1.5 oz) cognac
30 ml (1 oz) Cointreau
15 ml (.5 oz) fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist for garnish*
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

*Yes, traditionally the Sidecar gets a sugar-rim, but I don’t like sugar rims.  If you really have to do it, though, please coat just half of the rim so that we troublesome bastards can make our own decisions.

The Sidecar’s Family
The Sidecar is the first known member of the New Orleans Sour family, a group of drinks calling for a base spirit, an orange-flavored liqueur, and citrus juice.  I named this family “New Orleans Sours” in The Joy of Mixology, giving a nod to “Santina, a celebrated Spanish caterer” who worked in the Big Easy in the mid-1800s, and was credited by Jerry Thomas in his 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion) as having invented the Crusta category.  Other drinks in this family include the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan, the Kamikaze, and the Lemon Drop.

Takes on the Sidecar

David Wondrich’s Sidecar

Robert Hess’ Sidecar

Eben Freeman’s Sidecar

Andy Gemmell’s Sidecar

The Roots of the Sidecar
No discussion of the Sidecar can be complete without mention of the Brandy Crusta, a drink found in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion.  The drink is made with brandy, curaçao, simple syrup, bitters, and lemon juice.  It’s basically a Sidecar with bitters.  (An easier-to-see-at-a-glance recipe is featured in his second book, pictured below.)

Recipe for the Brandy Crusta found in Jerry Thomes’ 1887 book

The Bar-Tender’s Guide or How to Mix all Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks

Sidecar Bits and Bats

A Bar in London

Robert Vermiere, author of the 1922 book, Cocktails, How to Mix Them, contended that “[The Sidecar] is very popular in France. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club.”

A Bar In Paris
“[The Sidecar] was invented by a friend of mine at a bar in Paris during World War I and was named after the motorcycle sidecar in which the good captain customarily was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened.”  The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, 2nd edition, by David A. Embury,1952.

A Bar in New York

“On my night off I went visiting a few places—busman’s holiday.  In one place, the young bartender approached me for the order.  He said he could make any kind of drink I wanted.  So just for the fun of it I said, ‘Could you suggest something in the line of a cocktail?’

‘Yes sir, just let me make it, and you’ll like it.’

Sure enough he made one, and the minute I tasted it I knew it was a sidecar cocktail that I had originated many years ago.  I was rather surprised myself, and, over the young man’s objections, I almost but not quite convinced him that it was the drink that I originated.”  My 35 Years Behind Bars: Memories and Advice of a Bartender, Including a Liquor Guide by Johnny Brooks.  New York, Exposition Press: 1954.

A Foreign Importation

“The ‘Sidecar’ and `Presidente’ cocktails are among the foreign importations that have a considerable following.  Red Jay Bartender’s Guide.  (No author credited)  Philadelphia: Dr. D. Jayne and Son, Inc, 1934.

Sidecar Variations

Credits reflect location of creator when they created the drink.

Apple Sidecar
Adapted from a recipe by Ryan Magarian, Portland, Oregon
45 ml (1.5 oz) vodka
15 ml (.5 oz) apple brandy
30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice
30 ml (1 oz) simple syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) fresh tangerine juice
Shredded tangerine zest, for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

Autumn Sidecar
Adapted from a recipe by Trudy Thomas, Liquid Remedy, Inc, Phoenix, AZ.
Splash of agave nectar
2 Slices of Orange
2 fresh basil leaves
45 ml (1.5 oz) [yellow tail] Chardonnay
15 ml (.5 oz) brandy
Splash of Grand Marnier
1 orange twist, as garnish
In an empty mixing glass, muddle together the agave nectar, orange slices, and basil leaves.  Add ice, the [yellow tail] chardonnay and the brandy. Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar.  Float the Grand Marnier and add the garnish.

Bistro Sidecar
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Kathy Casey, Kathy Casey Food Studios, Seattle.
45 ml (1.5 oz) brandy
15 ml (.5 oz) Tuaca
15 ml (.5 oz) Frangelico
7.5 ml (.25 oz) fresh lemon juice
7.5 ml (.25 oz) fresh tangerine juice
1 roasted hazelnut, for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass rimmed.  Add the garnish.

Mexican Sidecar
Adapted from a recipe by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Head Bartender at El Vaquero, Eugene, Oregon.
30 ml (1 oz) Presidente Mexican brandy
30 ml (1 oz) Patron Citronge orange liqueur
30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a sugar-rimmed chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

Sidecar (Redux)
Adapted from a recipe by Thad Vogler, San Francisco
If you can’t lay your hands on a bottle of the Osocalis Alambic brandy called for in this drink, just use the finest aged brandy you have on hand.  If you don’t have the Qi White Tea liqueur, though, you just can’t make this one properly.  Sorry!
45 ml (1.5 oz) Osocalis Alambic brandy
22.5 ml (.75 oz)  Qi White Tea liqueur
22.5 ml (.75 oz)  fresh lemon juice
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sommelier’s Sidecar
Adapted from a recipe by Duggan McDonnell, Cantina, San Francisco, circa 2008.
Chances are that you won’t be able to find the single-barrel riesling brandy called for in this recipe since it was made specifically for Duggan McDonnell’s bar, Cantina, at the St. George Spirits distillery in Alameda.  Just substitute the very best brandy you can lay your hand on-this is a fabulous drink.
45 ml (1.5 oz) single-barrel riesling brandy
22.5 ml (.75 oz)  sauternes
15 ml (.5 oz) Cointreau
15 ml (.5 oz) Meyer lemon juice
1 dash simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
1 grapefruit twist, for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the garnish.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |


Friday, December 30th, 2011

The Sazerac, which dates back to the 1850s, was originally made with a cognac base, but when France suffered the phylloxera epidemic that decimated her vineyards in the late nineteenth century, Americans started using straight rye whiskey instead.  After all, if there are no grapes, there’ll be no wine, and without wine, you can’t make cognac.
15 ml (.5 oz) absinthe
60 ml (2 oz) straight rye whiskey
15 ml (.5 oz) simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe, add crushed ice and set it aside.  Stir the remaining ingredients over ice and set it aside.  Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared glass, and strain the drink into the glass.  Add the garnish.bitters”

Sazerac Variations

Creole Sazerac
Adaopted from a recipe by Tim Etherington Judge, India.
“This drink came to life after a particularly invigorating conversation with a French guest where we discussed the influence of French drinks across the world. This drink showcases 3 generations of French influence, from the Chartreuse mountains near Grenoble to the French Antilles of Martinique ending up in the style of the favourite cocktail of the famous Creole town, New Orleans.” Tim Etherington Judge.
Green Chartreuse rinse
50 ml (1 2/3 oz) Rhum Clement VSOP
10 ml (1/3 oz) Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
1 barspoon of 50/50 sugar syrup
Fill a small old fashioned glass with ice and a rinse of Chartreuse Green. In a mixing glass filled with ice place the Rhum, Creole Shrubb, Peychaud’s bitters and sugar syrup; stir until cold.  Discard the ice from the first glass leaving a hint of the Chartreuse behind and strain in the rhum mixture. Spritz an orange peel across the top of the drink to emphasize the orange notes of the drink and discard.

Highland Sazerac
Adapted from a recipe by Don Lee, PDT, New York
Yellow Chartreuse, for rinsing the glass
45 ml (1.5 oz) Hennessy cognac
15 ml (.5 oz) Glenmorangie 10-year-old single malt scotch
7.5 ml (.25 oz) simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled, yellow Chartreuse-rinsed , ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Add the garnish.

La Tour Eiffel
San Francisco Chronicle, 2007.  by gaz regan.
I was recently press-ganged into joining a bunch of bartenders in the Cognac region of France on a trip to tour 10 Cognac houses in 96 hours. If you figure that around four hours a day were given over to feeding our weary bodies, and we managed to get an average of, oh, say, five hours sleep a night, we were left with six hours per distillery, including travel time. There was barely time left for drinking, but we managed to elbow up to the zinc bar quite frequently all the same.

We visited the “Big Four” Cognac houses, like Martell, Hennessy and Courvoisier, as well as a number of smaller producers, where we met some of the quirkier characters in the Cognac business.

Benedict Hardy, the charming and savvy head of the Hardy Cognac house, and seemingly one of the very few women higher than bottling-plant level in the Cognac business, helped me brush up on my French over a sumptuous dinner followed by a few tots of her company’s finest Cognac. During dinner the conversation turned to the first “Star Wars” movie. I seized the opportunity to increase my French vocabulary, and now, when bidding my French friends au revoir I leave them with, “Que la force soit avec vous.” They’re always mightily impressed.

At the house of Cognac Frapin I met a remarkable man by the name of Max Cointreau. He’s now the patriarch of the Frapin household and a descendant of the people who created Cointreau in the mid-1870s. It’s one of my very favorite liqueurs. And Max Cointreau is a delight.
I didn’t hear any earth-shattering secrets about Cointreau from Max, save the fact that it was originally deemed a “triple sec” because the third recipe used during the development phase of this fine, dry, peppery orange-flavored liqueur, was the one that is still used today. I was also amused to hear that Max’s father used to tell his Scottish mother that English was merely French, pronounced badly.

On the last day of our trip my fellow bartenders and I staged a cocktail demonstration for various and sundry Cognac dignitaries. We’d been asked to create new drinks with a Cognac base for the occasion, and I created a variation on the classic American cocktail the Sazerac. I wondered how would it have been made if the drink had been developed in Orleans, France, instead of New Orleans. I had no time to actually experiment with the formula that I came up with through my musings, though, so I prayed that it would prove at least palatable.

The Sazerac started its life as a Cognac-based drink, but since the late 1800s it’s been more commonly made with bourbon or rye whiskey. This is due, most people think, to the late 19th century phylloxera epidemic that decimated most of Europe’s vineyards, thus limiting Cognac. Pernod is commonly used to rinse the glass used to serve a Sazerac, yielding a wonderful aroma of anise as the glass nears the nose, and simple syrup and Peychaud’s bitters — another anise-centered component — round out the ingredients.

There was no need to dispense with the Pernod in my new drink, but I surmised that any French bartender worth his salt would have discarded the simple syrup in favor of Cointreau. All that was left to figure out was what a 19th century barkeep in the Loire Valley might have used instead of Peychaud’s bitters? Suze was the answer.

Suze was created in France in 1889. It’s a digestif that relies on gentian, the roots of a European plant that are both bitter and aromatic, as its focus, and although it can be found easily in France, Suze can be difficult to procure in the United States. My cocktail, which I named for the Eiffel Tower, since the Parisian landmark opened in the same year that Suze was created, was well received by our amis francais, and I suggest you give it a try if the fancy takes you. The drink is dedicated to those 50-some people who gathered that afternoon at the office of the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de Cognac. Unbeknownst to them, they tasted the drink before anyone else in the world. Yours truly included.

Que la force soit avec vous, mes amis.

7.5 ml (.25 oz) absinthe, to rinse the glass
75 ml (2.5 oz) XO cognac
15 ml (.5 oz) Cointreau
15 ml (.5 oz) Suze
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Pour the absinthe into a chilled champagne flute, and by tilting the glass and rotating it at the same time, coat the entire interior of the glass.  Add a few ice cubes to the glass, and set it aside.  Stir the remaining ingredients over ice, discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the champagne flute, and strain the drink into the glass.  Add the garnish.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

Alabama Slammer

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Because of blue laws it is illegal to drink beer containing more than 6% alcohol by volume in Alabama.  Violators can be fined $1,000 and face up to a year in an Alabama Slammer.
30 ml (1 oz) sloe gin
30 ml (1 oz) amaretto
30 ml (1 oz) Southern Comfort
60 ml (2 oz) fresh orange juice
Shake over ice and strain into four shot glasses.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

A Clockwork Orange

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Adapted from a recipe by Chris Halleron, Duffy’s, Hoboken, NJ.

“This drink’s also known as ‘A Glass of Evil.” Chris Halleron
120 ml (4 oz.) blended scotch
30 ml (1 oz.) Grand Marnier
30 ml (1 oz.) fresh orange juice
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
1 orange slice, as garnish
Shake over ice and strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.  Add the garnish.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

After Hours

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Adapted from a recipe by Satvik “Rick” Ahuja, Quarter Bar & Restaurant, Leicester, UK.

“I created this drink as gin is usually used in pre dinner aperitif style drinks eg. Martini, Negroni, G&T etc., or as refreshers in Fizzes, Tom Collins, Aviations etc. I wanted to create a drink to show how gin could be used to great affect in the after dinner category where brown spirits usually tend to dominate. Hence my use of a slightly softer yet rooty style of gin which marries well with the spice from Kummel and the nuttiness of the Maraschino also gives it the desired sweetness without making it overly cloying or heavy,”  Satvik “Rick” Ahuja.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Plymouth gin
10 ml (.3 oz) Luxardo maraschino liqueur
10 ml (.3 oz) Kummel
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters # 6
1 maraschino cherry, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

A La Recherche De L’Orange Perdue

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I think that this name means something akin to “In Search of the Lost Orange.”  It probably rolled under the table or something.  The recipe was sent to me by a certain Richard Privette who said that the drink was created by Paul Child, Julia’s husband, and that he found it in Chef Jacques Pepin’s autobiography.  The original recipe was in tablespoons, and it had no methodology, so I fiddled with it a little, and this what I came up with.
Makes 600 ml (20 oz)
90 ml (3 oz) dark Jamaican rum
135 ml (4.5 oz) dry vermouth (Julia swore by Noilly Prat, so . . . )
22.5 ml (.75 oz)  sweetened lime juice (Rose’s, we presume)
1 orange, peeled and quartered
30 ml (1 oz)s  fresh lime juice
5 dashes orange bitters
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Cointreau
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
Place all ingredients in jar of electric blender and blend for 20 seconds. Strain through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, and refrigerate.  Pour into chilled cocktail glasses.

Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |