3 Boozy Hot Chocolate Drinks for Cold Winter Nights

Winter Nite

Snow is rolling in across the Northeast and some places are expecting to receive up to a foot or more of snow. After a long morning of shoveling your going to need something to warm you up. Or maybe you … Continue reading

The Volstead Act Company 1947 and 1933 Bitters Review

1933 Bitters

The Volstead Act Company is a brand new company formed in July 2013. They are a family owned and ran business. Currently they produce a limited range of 2 different varieties of bitters and 2 different syrups. In this review … Continue reading

Roasted Orange, Vanilla, and Clove Juice in a “Beertail”

Oranges

I know your probably reading that title and wondering how good this actually is. Depending on who you are it probably doesn’t even sound appetizing. But give it a shot, the resulting mix is delicious. Orange Moon 2 oz Roasted … Continue reading

Interview with Phil Ward of Mayahuel

Photography by: Rahav Segev

Photography by: Rahav Segev

Mayahuel is completely dedicated to Tequila and Mezcal. While I never had the bad memories associated with it like most, I just never developed a taste for it. It was a spirit that did nothing for me. Mayahuel single-handedly changed my entire perception of Tequila. So today we chat with Phil Ward, Co-Owner and Beverage Director, of Mayahuel.

How did you become so interested in cocktails?
I stumbled into a busier barback position at Flatiron Lounge 6 weeks after they opened. Got curious, got obsessed, haven’t looked back.

What is your approach when it comes to formulating cocktails and what inspires you?
Its all about balance and templates. Every good cocktail is a blueprint for other good cocktails. What inspires me is a pretty cheesy question no offense. I like inventive and delicious things.

You mentioned that asking about your inspiration was a cheesy question. I find it fascinating though to find out what inspires bartenders to create drinks that reflect them as an individual. So to that affect how would you describe your style as a bartender? How do your drinks reflect you as an individual?
Your assuming drinks reflect an individual. Sorry to be a pain in the a– but I don’t know that is always true. Though if I had to say how my drinks reflected me as an individual (if they do) I’d say that they are simple yet complex.

One of my favorite drinks on Mayahuel’s older menu is the “On the Bum”. What was the inspiration behind that drink?
It was based off the Mai Tai.

No wonder I enjoy it as much as I do, seeing how the Mai Tai is one of my all time favorite drinks. Now how did you come up with the name “On the Bum”?
It was a tribute to Beach Bum Berry

Jamaican rum has a characteristically funky flavor and mezcal tends to have a smoky quality. What led you to combining these two strong flavored spirits in the same drink?
Well I always say when you put two tyrants in a room they will either kill each other or figure out a way to make peace and work together. I also maintain that any two things can go together if you find the right bridge to bring them together.

You mentioned that if you find the right bridge you can bring what could be opposing forces together. In the On the Bum what was the bridge and how did you go about finding it? Was there a particular direction or flavor profile you were seeking?
The orgeat was probably the main bridge in the drink. I just knew that orgeat played nice with both separately which is generally the best clue as to what can bridge the gap between two things.

I noticed that one of the ingredients of the On the Bum is Medley #2. It reminds me of how Don the Beachcomber created things like Dons Spices #2 and Dons Mix. Was this intentional? Did you want to leave something to drinker’s imagination?
Yes and yes

So what is the secret mix that makes up Medley #2?
Its a blend of Cane Sugar and Regan’s Orange Bitters

Simple yet effective.

Do you have any projects or drinks you are currently working on?
Yes I am helping with all the Fatty Crab/Cue Venues including the one we just opened in Hong Kong. I also will be helping open Ebanos Crossing in Los Angelos in two weeks.

Sounds like you are quite busy with all these projects. How was it different creating drinks for the Hong Kong market? Did you find it a challenge? If so How?
Every place is different. Hong Kong is a “younger” market as in cocktails haven’t quite created a market for themselves there to a large degree. There are some places but its not quite taken off completely yet. (won’t be long in my opinion) Biggest thing in such markets is to make drinks accessible for newbies.

Thanks again Phil for taking the time out of your packed schedule to chat with us.

On the Bum
1 oz Del Maguey Vida infused with Pineapple
1 oz Smith and Cross
3/4 oz Fresh lime juice
3/4 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Medley # 2
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a low ball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Mayahuel
304 East 6th St
NY, NY, 10003
(212) 253-5888

The S.S. Bourbon

SS Bourbon Smash by Amanda

On a recent trip to Pouring Ribbons my brother was looking for something off the menu that was sweet and spicy with Bourbon. Our bartender for the evening, Amanda, served this up. Essentially it is a bourbon smash, with an extra kick, that performs a perfect balancing act between sweet and spicy.

The SS Bourbon
2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Hot Honey
3 pieces of Lemon 8ths (3/4 of a half lemon)
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
1 dash of Cinnamon Bitters

Muddle the lemon with the honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon, bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass over a big chunk of ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Notes:
The resulting cocktail is initially sweet and boozy before the hot honey rears it’s head and coats your throat complemented by the acidic bite of lemon. If spicy is your thing then definitely give this one a try. I didn’t have any fresh mint at the time so I garnished it with a lemon wheel.

How to Make Hot Honey
According to Amanda, the hot honey is a blend of Serrano and Habanero chiles with honey that is then strained and mixed in a ratio of 3 parts honey to 1 part water. There is no specific recipe, so you can make the honey as hot or as mild as your taste buds will allow. If you wish to take the easy way out you can try Mikes Hot Honey which this syrup is based upon.

PaQui Silver Tequila Review

PaQui Blanco Tequila

Pacqui is produced in small batches in the town of Tequila in Mexico. In the Aztec tongue paQui means “to be happy” and indeed drinking this small batch tequila is a pleasant experience.

On the nose the sweet and sugary agave aromas waft up to your nose. This is quickly followed by fruity aromas with fresh green grass and subtle minty notes dancing in harmony. There is nary a trace of burn.

On the palate it is smooth and velvety with rich agave notes. The grassy and slight herbal notes make their presence known on the mid palate followed by a light peppery note with a hint of palate cleansing citrus.

PaQui retails for about $35 for 750/ml.

While PaQui can easily be sipped neat it makes a wonderful addition to cocktails.
The first cocktail is one created by me.

Bright Lights at Night
2 oz Blanco Tequila (PaQui)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Rinse of St. Germain
2 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
Rinse the cocktail glass with St. Germain. Add the tequila, Lillet, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice, stir for approx 25 seconds, and strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

For a slight variation on the Margarita try this drink from the Jones Complete Bar Guide.
1.5 oz of Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 Egg White
1/2 Maraschino Liqueur
Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake for another 10 seconds then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Note: Maraschino Liqueur is not the juice from a Maraschino cherry jar.

Or for your dessert fix try the Frostbite cocktail a mix of tequila, cream, and creme de cacao.

Interview with Troy Sidle of Pouring Ribbons and Alchemy Consulting

Photograph by Jakob Layman

In today’s interview we sit down with Troy Sidle of Pouring Ribbons which recently opened in NYC. In just a short time it has become one of my favorite bars in NYC due to its welcoming atmosphere coupled with exceptional … Continue reading

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days: Royal Daiquiri


The Royal Daiquiri is a tasty twist on the original daiquiri. The proportions and preparation of my drink are different from the ones originally offered by Don the Beachcomber.

Crème Yvette is a violet, citrus, and vanilla liqueur that was first produced in the 1890’s. It went out of production but was revived by the Cooper Spirits Company, the makers of St.Germain. It is a combination of 4 berry fruits (blackberry, raspberry, cassis, strawberries) that is blended with dried violet petals. At the end of the maceration process honey and orange peel is added. It has rich sweet berry notes balanced out by a delicate violet flavor. Lingering in the background are touches of orange and hints of silky vanilla.

The Royal Daiquiri
2.5 oz Gold Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.75 oz Crème Yvette
1 dash of Orange Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
Notes:
Despite the hefty amount of Crème Yvette the drink is not sickly sweet. The floral notes from the Crème Yvette add a nice delicate touch and the vanilla complements the flavors of the rum. There is a delicious berry aroma and flavor that makes you yern for the long warm days of summers.

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues with the: Look Normal and a bonus drink, the Freshman Daiquiri
If you missed yesterdays Daiquiri Post: La Florida Cocktail

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Flor de Caña 4 Year Review & The Daisy de Santiago, Boukman Daiquiri

Flor de Caña is a brand of rum distributed by Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua. It was founded in 1890 by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and is today headed by a fifth generation member of the Pellas family. From it’s humble roots it has grown into one of the most widely recognized rums along with holding one of the largest rum reserves in the world.

In this post we will be taking a look at the Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum.
On the nose there are is an initial intense alcohol aroma which assaults the nose and it is impossible to get any discernible aromas off the spirit. After it opens up there are aromas of caramel, tropical fruit (pineapple and banana), and a hint of freshly cut grass on a summer afternoon.

Upon tasting there are initial flavors of caramel and more tropical fruits. This is followed up by some earth tones, a touch of coconut and the just discernible presence of vanilla. This last subtle touch of vanilla is due to the 4 years that the rum spent in aging in oak barrels. There are hints of sweetness in the beginning but the rum has a dry finish. Not to be forgotten either, this rum is still rough around the edges and has a some alcohol burn. This is acceptable as this rum was not designed to be sipped on it’s own but rather as a wonderful additions to cocktails. Give it a try in your next Mojito or Daiquiri and it will be a rewarding experience. Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year retails for around $15/750ml. Sample provided by representatives of Flor de Caña.

The first drink this evening comes to us from Charles H. Baker
Daisy De Santiago
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.75 Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Club Soda
Shake first three ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled wine glass filled with cracked ice. Add club soda and then float chartreuse on the top. Serve with a straw and garnish with mint sprigs.
Notes:
If you like daiquiris then you will enjoy this as it has the same flavor profile. It’s tart and refreshing with added herbal complexity and effervescence.

The next drink up is an original creation. I have been wanting to Bonal in a cocktail for some time. Bonal is a cross between an amaro and sweet vermouth. It has the bitterness of gentian and the sweetness of stone fruits.
Heads or Tails
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.75 oz Bonal
.25 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
Stir all ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange coin over the drink and drape over the side of the glass
Notes:
When you bring the drink up to your nose you are immediately enveloped in rich orange aromas. The amaretto adds a touch of nutty sweetness to the background.

The last drink is a a creation from Alex Day of the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philly.
Boukman Daiquiri
1.5 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.5 oz Cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
.75 oz Lime Juice
.75 Cinnamon Syrup
Shake and strain all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Notes:
This is quite possibly one of my favorite rifts on the classic daiquiri. The addition of the cognac and the cinnamon adds richness and texture. This is one not to be missed and can be enjoyed year round.

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Celebrate the Unofficial End of Summer with a Cobra’s Fang

With today being the unofficial end of summer it’s time to whip up something refreshing and strong, the Cobra’s Fang.

The Cobras Fang is an original Don the Beachcomber’s invention.  The exact recipe for the drink remains unclear. My personal favorite is a version created Brian Miller of Lani Kai.

Cobra’s Fang
1.5 oz 151 Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Passionfruit Syrup
.25 oz Cinnamon Syrup
.25 Falernum
1 dash of Angostura
1/8 tsp of Absinthe
Shake and strain over crushed ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick. 

Notes:
The citrus helps to keep the drink light and fresh with the passionfruit adding the exotic sweetness with a hint of sweet spiciness from the cinnamon. The rum makes its presence known throughout the drink with
the Angostura and Absinthe helping to tie all the flavors together. I also enjoy adding about .75 oz of Dark Jamaican Rum when I want an even boozier drink.  This is the type of drink that helps to keep fall/winter at bay.

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