Ian Picco

since December 2010 job Specialty Coffee Roaster


La Paloma Cocktail 19 Oct 2013
5:45 pm

Okay, so I had to improvise here…I was fresh out of limes, and did not have grapefruit soda on hand. Here’s what I was working with:

1800 Sliver
Lemon Juice
Kosher Salt
Empire Bottling Works Spruce Beer (soda)

I picked up the Spruce beer at a novelty soda shop, and on it’s own it tastes like a cleaning product. I thought maybe this drink would be a potential use for it. Low and behold, it wasn’t to bad.

My modifications to the recipe were using lemon vs lime (though I think lime would make more sense) Spruce beer instead of the grapefruit soda, added a dash of simple, and stirred/garnished with a long sprig of rosemary.

It tastes like Christmas in Mexico. Feliz Navidad!

Bridal Cocktail 20 Sep 2011
3:44 pm

Since your martini video, I drink nothing but an “original” martini. I find it much more agreeable with my palate. I will be making this variation as soon as I’m finished typing this! It’s good to see regular episodes back in full swing!

Celery Sipper Cocktail 25 May 2011
4:06 pm

I just tried this cocktail with a few substitutes because I couldn’t wait to try it. I used Fee’s Celery Bitters instead of fresh celery, and ginger ale instead of soda, because that is all all I had on hand. Sipping on it now, and it is quite delicious. I am interested to see the difference when I have all the appropriate ingredients on hand.

Brandy Alexander Cocktail 2 Feb 2011
5:44 pm

Hey Robert, i have an unrelated question to this episode. I did a search to see if you had done an episode about it before, but I couldn’t find anything. My question is about free-pouring vs jiggering (measuring). Since I stumbled on to your site, I jigger every drink i make now. I feel that it is a really practical thing to do. And since I only make drinks for myself and my friends at home, i’m not too concerned with how i’m being viewed.

However, I was at a party last weekend and i jumped behind the bar to mix a drink, and my friend started making fun of me for using a jigger. You see, he is a “real” (employed) bartender, who free-pours like every other bartender in this town. Since I’m only a hobbyist, I felt a little intimidated. But I still felt like I was doing a more “proper” thing by measuring. After all, craft is about precision; ain’t it?

I would like to know your take on the subject, or perhaps see a future episode tackling the argument. I’m really only concerned because I have a potential opportunity in getting a part time gig behind the bar a new craft cocktail bar that may be opening soon in Tulsa. I’m just wondering what the manager might have to say about jiggering, and what kind of argument I could have in its defense.

If you already have an episode or an article you could direct me towards, that would be great. Do you talk about it in your book? I still need to pick that up :-) Thanks for help, keep up the good work.

Brandy Alexander Cocktail 3 Feb 2011
2:58 pm

Thanks for the words gentlemen. All great things to think about. I believe I will continue jiggering, for I would have a hard time trusting a carpenter who uses no tools to measure his cuts. But on the other hand, I might begin to practice free pouring with a bottle of water. It might behoove me to master both techniques, so I can adapt to more situations. Cheers All!

Holiday Stinger Cocktail 15 Dec 2011
2:19 pm

Okay, so I’ve never had a stinger in any form before. I made one last night, as instructed above, and find the creme de menthe way overpowering. It’s like drinking mouth wash. It took all I could to commit to drinking the rest, but I must say it was much more enjoyable towards the end. I want this to be the digestif at my family christmas get-together, but I’m afraid in these proportions they may have the same wincing reaction as me. I’m going to try making the next one with only a 1/4 oz of creme de menthe to see if it is more palatable. Robert, can you tell me if the green variety is perhaps stronger (mintier) than the clear variety? I have nothing against minty or super herbal liqueurs, but I must say this one’s rather strong and medicinal.

Holiday Stinger Cocktail 19 Dec 2011
7:38 pm

Okay, so I went back the drawing board on this drink. I took a few liberties and mades some mighty tasty improvements. First I tried to up the cognac to 2 oz, still too minty. Then the menthe down to 1/4oz, better but still too toothpasty. Here’s what I just mixed up, and now the drink is much more balanced and complex. Though it may no longer be a stinger, it is nonetheless a delicious digestif. The recipe:
1.5 oz brandy
1/4 oz green creme de menthe
1 barspoon simple syrup
dash Fernet Branca
dash fee’s aromatic bitters
dash angostura orange bitters
Mix together with ice and serve in chilled cocktail glass.

This also produces a nice chartreuse color as opposed to the dark green food color look of the drink above. If any body tries this variation, let me know what you think. cheers!

Manhattan Cocktail - Stirred vs. Shaken 19 Dec 2010
5:32 pm

Hey Robert, great episode! I am a new subscriber, and I have many questions, but I’ll limit myself to only two here. Where can I purchase that great looking mixing glass you use here? I’ve been searching all over the web and can’t find a thing like it. Also, speaking again about cherries. Is it the Luxardo Cherry you use here or do you use something different? I remember having a similar looking cherry at a cocktail bar in New York, which was dark, and almost candied or dried. Would this be the Luxardo? Thanks for your help, and thanks for inadvertently making my cocktail party this weekend a smash hit. Looking forward to watching all the episodes!

Last Word Cocktail 15 Jan 2011
10:28 am

Funny that now, 3 years after this video, this old “unknown cocktail” is now on the menu at not 1 but 2 bars in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m glad people are finally catching on here.