Category Archives: Cocktails

Asimov enjoys a McKenzie rye Manhattan

Granted, the Diner’s Journal post on July 16th focused primarily on vermouth, but it’s always exciting to get a mention in the New York Times!

ABC Kitchen Rye Whiskey Manhattan

  • 1 1/2 ounces McKenzie rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashion bitters
  • 1 teaspoon brandied cherry juice
  • 3 brandied cherries, for garnish.
  • Combine ingredients in a glass shaker with ice. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cherries.

My favorite quote, “Of course, what makes this particular Manhattan so good is not merely the vermouth, but the combination of superb ingredients in it.”

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The best way to take your vegetables

Multiple Mary-s

Frank Bruni’s Tipsy Diaries article was about the Bloody Mary this week. 

It was great to see folks moving beyond plain-old vodka as the base.  Bruni found everything from gin to rye to whiskey to oatmeal stout.

Celery and lemons aren’t exciting enough anymore, either.  House-pickled vegetables are taking over; radish, asparagus, kohlrabi, the list goes on.

One of my favorite bases for the Bloody Mary is unaged corn whiskey, a.k.a. white dog, and I was surprised that none of the bars he visited have caught on to how well the corny-goodness matches the sweet-tart tomato.

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Breakfast of champions

Jason Wilson weighs the merits of drinking before 11 am in the article, “Spirits: Corpse revivers, the original energy drink” in today’s Washington Post.

Wilson’s early morning choice was the Corpse Reviver No. 2, a more exciting selection than the typical bloody mary, Irish coffee or pint of beer.

  • 3/4 ounce gin, preferably Plymouth
  • 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 3/4 ounce orange liqueur, preferably Combier or Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon absinthe (may substitute Pernod)
  • Preserved or maraschino cherry, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, lemon juice and absinthe. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.  Garnish with the cherry.

He based his recipe on The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. Ted Haigh has a slightly boozier recipe, calling for 1 oz. each of gin, Cointreau, and Lillet Blanc.  He upped the lemon to 1 oz. as well, and recommends 1 to 3 drops of absinthe or pastis, noting that Pernod, Herbsaint and Ricard would all work, too.

If you’re interested in indulging in a morning tipple and flying under the radar afterwards, this cocktail might be more up your alley.

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Yelp event at Traif

This past Monday night we attended a “Yelp Elite” event, where Yelp rewards its most-frequent and best reviewers by throwing them a little shindig.  Finger Lakes Distilling donated some Glen Thunder to the party that was held at the 8-week-old Traif, in South Williamsburg. 

Noah and I hijacked a table and brought some additional samples for the Yelpers to try. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Lozovzky.

Heather, manager and co-owner of Traif, created some stellar cocktails with the corn whiskey.  My favorite was the Red Pearl and Heather was kind enough to send me the recipe.

Red Pearl

1.5 oz Glen Thunder
1 slice of jalapeno (add or take away for desired degree of spice) 
3 leaves of thai basil
4 cubes of kiwi (skin off, cube-like shapes) 
.25 oz of citrus sour (sour mix–our mix is a combination of lime, lemon, orange, simple syrup and water)
.25 oz simple simple syrup

Muddle the jalapeno, thai basil and kiwi.  Add ice, Glen thunder, citrus sour, and simple syrup.  Shake all together in shaker. Sip and Enjoy!

Just when you thought it was going to be too spicy, the kiwi would kick in. This cocktail was a perfect complement to the porky dishes. Photo credit same as above.

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A high tech gin and tonic for Jimmy Fallon

Dave and Nils were on Jimmy Fallon’s show this past Friday night. Jimmy does a great job of making fun of Nils’s accent.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dave Arnold and Nils Noren make Jimmy…“, posted with vodpod


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Katie Lee’s summer selections

This had the potential to be a disaster, but I was pleasantly surprised by her picks.  <insert jokes about “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” here>  I’m in favor of boxed wine and we’ve featured both the Château du Champ des Treilles and the Christian Venier on our list before.

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Spring-summer cocktails in am New York

photo courtesy of am New York

Nils and Dave were featured in am New York this week.  They put together several delicious bourbon drinks and I’ll include my favorite here:

For the serious mixologist: Bourbon Pecan Sour

2 oz Maker’s Mark
1 1/2 oz pecan syrup**
1/2 oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup (optional – it will sweeten the drink considerably)
pinch of salt

** For the pecan syrup:

200 grams water
3 grams TIC Pretested Ticaloid 210S ( is a good place to find it)
130 grams pecan oil
200 grams sugar

Method for the Pecan Syrup:
Hydrate the Ticaloid 210S in the allspice-infused water with a hand blender. Add pecan oil and blend till smooth.
Add sugar and blend till smooth. This syrup can be stored until needed. It will separate over time, but can be stirred back together by hand.

Method For the Sour:
In a mixer, combine Maker’s Mark, pecan syrup, lemon juice, simple syrup if using and pinch of salt with ice. Shake, strain and serve.

If the idea of using Ticaloid in a drink is intimidating to you, come to class.

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Delta does daiquiri

No, they don’t, but the margarita I ordered a few days ago was surprisingly good.

Margarita, with extra mixer and salted peanuts on my tray table. An airplane wonder, at only $7.

The cocktail featured Sauza gold and Rande Gerber’s “Midnight Bar Collection” margarita mix, bottled by Stirrings.  Gerber, a former model, is married to Cindy Crawford and runs the Midnight Oil/Gerber Group chain of bars and lounges (over 30 properties, including The Whiskey and Stone Rose Lounge in NYC).  He developed a line of cocktails for Delta in 2007.  This mixer had real lemon, lime and orange juice and was not overly sweet. 

Ted Haigh writes the original margarita recipe as this:

1 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, strain into a large cocktail glass and rim with crusted salt. 

Haigh traces this cocktail back to 1937, noting the “Brandy Crusta begat the Sidecar Cocktail, which in turn begat the Margarita.”  Some recipes will call for lemon instead of lime juice and others will call for triple sec instead of Cointreau.  I wouldn’t recommend either of these substitutions.  Even more importantly, do not use “sour mix”; fresh citrus juice is always the way to go. 

I also checked my Grossman’s Guide and was tickled to find something I did in college in print:

“The traditional method of drinking Tequila in Mexico is a ceremony in itself.  The imbiber takes a wedge of lime or lemon, puts a pinch of salt on his thumbnail or on the back of his hand, and pours a chilled jigger of Tequila.  He then bites the lime, licks the salt, and gulps down the Tequila.”

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In the cooler months we featured a French cider from Domaine Dupont.  Wanting to move through the remnants and make it more seasonally appropriate, Marcella had the genius idea to mix it with spiced rum and she dubbed it the Rum-sicle.

This cocktail tastes like an adult creamsicle.

2 oz. Sailor Jerry’s
2 oz. Etienne Dupont cider
1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 dashes salt
3 dash cinnamon

Combine all & shake with ice; garnish with orange peel. 

As per our usual collaborative efforts, Marcella had a few folks around school taste it.  

The initial version didn’t have cinnamon and upon first sip Nils felt something was missing, and damn if he wasn’t right.  We used ground cinnamon, but you could also make a cinnamon simple syrup or grate cinnamon atop the finished cocktail.   I happen to like the pretty flecks we get with our current recipe.

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This is what we do every weekend…

…cigars, stoles, boas, really tall chicks in old-school stewardess get-ups.

Not really, but Ultimat vodka did have one of the cooler exhibits at the Gala kickoff of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this past Friday.  For the full gallery of our shenanigans, click here.


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