Steven D. Lauria

since November 2010 job Banquet Bartender at the Pasadena Convention Center


Clyde Common Egg Nog 30 Dec 2012
5:45 pm

Your Jeffrey’s Original Egg Nog is delicious. I tried it the other night. It’s smooth with a bite of rum and has those hints of nutmeg which set it off. I’m going to swear off that store bought egg nog for now on. Thank you!

Bloody Good Balsamic Mary 19 Sep 2012
9:20 pm

What kind of salt are you using for the “rim?” Thanks.

Bloody Good Balsamic Mary 10 Oct 2012
7:30 pm

Thank you, Kathy. By the way, I want to compliment you on your expertise. I’ve followed your blog here for quite some time…and I love your recipes. They’re creative and delicious. What’s more, they don’t require the purchase of some arcane product at a prohibitive price…which might impress some snobs…but not me. You and Rob Hess are “the bombs.” Thanks. Please keep up the terrific work. Your stuff is being read and used ... and it is much appreciated.

Guion Cocktail 30 Aug 2012
7:11 pm

Thanks, Robert. Yes. (I made a mistake when writing the first missive to you: Martini first, then this Guion.) Now, I understand that there were a lot more very similar cocktails to follow.

Guion Cocktail 30 Aug 2012
11:40 am

Nice job, R"obert, and, as always, thank you for uncovering yet another fine cocktail…this time from the Golden Era of Cocktails.  I find it curious that this cocktial was thought up maybe just a few years before the martini—- gin, dry vermouth, organge bitters, orange-peel garnish. So, the person who thought up this one for the shipping family undoubtedly knew about the martini…and built upon it.  Don’t you think so?

Smitten Cocktail 19 Mar 2013
12:51 pm

Hi, Kathy, The Smitten is in my repertoire of drinks. The citrus salt is delicious around the rim (as well as for the seasoning of chicken). I love the way that the Tobasco “kicks it up a notch,” as another culinary colleague of yours might say. Congratulations once again to you. Outstanding work!

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 30 May 2012
10:13 am

Hi Charlotte—- I want to try your drink—- the Rum Old Fashioned—- but I cannot find vanilla bitters anywhere around here in Los Angeles, California. I’ve querried all of the stores that usually carry hard-to-find bitters…but none have it.  Can you tell me where I might be able to get some? Thanks.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 30 May 2012
11:41 am

Never mind, Charlotte, as I found Bob’s Vanilla Bitters. It’s sold in the West at The Meadows in Portland, Oregon, and they’ll ship; however, it’s about $30 a bottle…plus shipping.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 30 May 2012
12:07 pm

Robert, thank you very much. Yes, I’m thinking about trying some Old Fashioned Bitters.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 31 May 2012
6:52 pm

Charlotte, thanks. Steve, I’m going to try the Old Fashioned Bitters. If you try another…let me know the outcome.  Thanks.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 31 May 2012
9:06 pm

Now, I’m afraid to try it, too, after what you just told me.  A helpful man at the Bitter Truth company told me to try putting a wee bit of vanilla extract in my bitters. He said that I might be happy with the outcome…but I don’t know.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 31 May 2012
9:10 pm

Oh, Steve, I just can’t see spending some $30 plus shipping to buy the vanilla bitters from the only store in the West (which is in Portland) that sells them.  That would make for about a $40 drink.

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 1 Jun 2012
9:52 am

Steve, yes, I love Sailor Jerrys Rum, too, so I likewise hate to see it happen. I was really looking forward to a tasty drink. I think that I’m just going to forget about this one…especially after your valuable input.  Thanks.  Cheers!

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 1 Jun 2012
10:13 am

Oh, good, yes, Steve, please do!

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 3 Jun 2012
4:53 pm

Charlotte, please ask your friend Robert Petrie, d/b/a Bob (out of London, I believe) to try to get more stores in the USA to carry his Vanilla Bitters. I live in Los Angeles, California, and the closest store to me to carry the product is in Portland, Oregon—The Meadow, (503) 288-4633. A bottle costs $30. I’d cosider buying it, but then I’d have to pay shipping on top of that. I’m not going to pay cose to $40 for a cocktail using Sailor Jerry as a base-spirit. For sure, as you say, a bottle of vanilla bitters will go a long ways, but I don’t know of any other cocktails using vanilla bitters. And since it appears as if vanilla bitters is an essential ingredient in your Rum Old Fashioned…I’ll just have to wait until Bob’s Vanilla Bitters is sold in Los Angeles or until I get to Portland, Oregon.


Thank you!

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail 12 Aug 2012
9:24 pm

—Just got myself some Bob’s Vanills Bitters and have now tried this drink. I must say that it is delicious.  First off, the nose gets a full aroma of fresh and clean vanilla before the taste. Then, the taste goes to the middle of the tongue where I can again appreicate the vanilla from the rum and from the bitters mixed with other spices, the most pronounced of which I want to say is caramel; however, the vanilla is not overpowering. The texture is pretty rich and the balance of different flavors from the spices of the rum makes for a nice play on the tongue. It’s not too sweet; not too hot. The lime and orange zests do give it a fresh after taste. Next time, though, I want to use less lime zest, as I think I got a bit carried away with it. I used pretty big ice from bottled water I put into poached-egg cups. The two chunks kept the drink chilled without too much dilution. The vanilla bitters certainly make this drink a success, and it wouldn’t be much without them, I think.

Biter Cocktail 25 Jan 2012
6:00 pm

Hi Ribert,

Yes, “Biter” with a long “i.”  The rule is when the syllable ends in a consonant, the vowel before it is short. So, that would make it bitter—- and the “i” would sound like the “i” in igloo.”  If the syllable ends in a vowel that vowel usually is long, so the “i” would sound like the pronunciation of “eye.”  And, for sure, this is “bi/ter,” ending in a vowel, not “bit/ter.”

This “Biter” cocktail is kind of like the Champs Elysees, isn’t it?  the Champs—- cognac, fresh lemon juice, chartreuse, simple syrup and a dash of Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters, although we’re talking about cognac here instead of gin.

And…of course…the Last Word—- gin, maraschino liqueru, Chartreuse (green) and fresh lime juice.

Green Chartreuse is 110 proof, while Yellow comes in at 80 proof. That’s why I like to use the green.

Thanks for your tip on making a little slice on the side of the lemon (or lime) before squeezing it with the hand juicer.  I’m tired of getting squirted by juice when juicing with my hand juicer and maybe this will work to stop it.

Poet's Dream Cocktail 2 Nov 2011
4:47 pm

Yes, sweet and spicy, cognac-based Benedictine liqueur may work just fine here in this cocktail that otherwise
would be a classic, 19-century martini with equal parts London Dry gin and French Dry vermouth and a couple of dashes of orange bitters (I like Regan’s) and garnished with an orange peel or lemon peel after expressing the oils over the top in a chilled, cocktail glass.

Suburban Cocktail 28 Oct 2011
5:16 am

Hi Robert,

Accoding to the good folks at BarSmarts…the Suburban Cocktail becomes a cooler by adding soda water.  Have you ever tried that…and is it tasty?

Suburban Cocktail 28 Oct 2011
7:57 am

Thanks, Robert. I will take note of your fine answer.

With deference to BarSmarts instructors…they were teaching Creating Cocktails, Alteration of Scale or Temperature, Stretching or Squeezing…and said that a Short Drink (one generally served straight up) sometimes can be turned into a Long Drink or Cooler…or vice versa.

However, they did caution that the level of sweetness in a tall drink or cooler (in a tall glass of Collins glass) must be greater to accommodate dillution ... so a fuller flavored cocktail rather than a well-balanced cocktail is best for the stretch.

For sure, they taught the sour-sweet-strong plus carbonated model…as in Tom or John Collins, Gin Fizz, Mojito…etcetera.

SO…for the Suburban…I’m not sure how that would or could be turned into a Cooler with
ingredients of rye, port, dark rum and bitters. 

What do you think?  Could it be turned into a “Cooler” or “Tall” drink by adding some fresh lemon juice and a sweetener (like maybe simple syrup)?

Suburban Cocktail 28 Oct 2011
8:30 am

Groovy!  Thanks, Robert!! Makes sense to me!!!

Americano (campari, sweet vermouth and club soda garnished with orange twist and built over ice in highball glass) works ... and I understand that the Count liked his Negroni (gin, campari, Italian sweet vermouth built over ice in an old-fashioned glass and garnished with an orange peel or orange slice) with 1-2 ounces of soda for an Americana.

But I’ve never had the Americana and don’t know how tasty it is. I guess that will be left for a future episode.

Again, thank you, Robert.

Suburban Cocktail 28 Oct 2011
10:08 am

Postscript:  Yes, your Old Fasioned (simple syrup, Angostura bitters, expressed oils from orange peel, 2 ozs. bourbon, in an ice-filled—- half filled and stirred, then fully filled and stirred again—- Old Fashioned glass and garnished with a cherry) is superb…and an Old Fashioned with club soda is disappointing at best.

Thank you, Robert.  I look forward to your episodes.  They are very good!

Casino Cocktail 6 Oct 2011
8:10 am

Hi Robert—-

This cocktail appears to be basically an Aviation with the addition of bitters.  Do you think that Harry Craddock got the idea for this Casino Cocktail using simple substitution from the Aviation, which, of course, is gin, maraschino liqueur and fresh lemon juice (plus a little Creme de Violette in the original at the turn of last century for the blue color)?

How to Make Rum Punch 20 Sep 2012
1:01 pm

Hi, Robert. The recipe below the video calls for 19 ounces of the rum and 13 ounces of the simple syrup; but, in the video, the ambassador says that he’s pouring about 26 ounces or the Mount Gay Eclipse and 16 ounces of the simple syrup.

Especially because I know that the cocktail which you post are very-well balanced, would you please tell me which quantity or each would be the best.

Thank you! You are, indeed, one of best!

How to Make Rum Punch 20 Sep 2012
7:32 pm

Hi, Robert. Never mind. I saw your response to David’s missive. I’ll put in the whole bottle of rum and use a tad more simple syrup.

Irish Coffee 13 Dec 2011
8:19 am

Hi Robert,

Thanks for saying that one ought to pre-heat the glass or mug for hot beverages to prevent “hot temperature shock.” 

Would you please explain what adverse effects “hot temperature shock” might have?

By the way, I’m sure that you already know this:  The Irish Coffee was invented at the Shannon Airport in Dublin, Ireland, according to the good folks at BarSmarts.

I prefer Jameson to Bushmills, as the Jameson seems to have more of a “bite.”  How about you?

I recently saw a picture of you when you were a tad younger at Gaz Regan’s “site” during a function that I think was called Cocktails in the Country.  Pictured were yourself and other cocktailian experts.

Irish Coffee 13 Dec 2011
8:46 am

Hi Robert,


Yes, I do believe that the BarSmarts instructors did talk about the Foynes Airbase in Limerick.  I must not have bothered to copy that down in my notes (my bad!)...and due citation was given to Joseph Sheridan.

Do you know whether the Foynes Airbase was an English airbase…and where is Limerick in relation to Dubin?

And, thanks for the anecdote about Sheridan “passing by” a tavern where he might have gotten the “inspiration.”

Good stuff!

Irish Coffee 13 Dec 2011
11:05 am

Thank you, Robert!

Old Fashioned Cocktail 22 Jan 2012
10:28 am

Hi Robert,
Do you thinks that Fee Bros. Old Fashioned Bitters would “stand up too proud” in this drink, as compared to Angostura Bitters?

Old Fashioned Cocktail 22 Jan 2012
10:29 am

That’s…do you"think”...? Sorry about that!