Brad Simpson

since November 2012


How to Not [email protected]%& Up a Daiquiri 25 Nov 2012
8:27 pm

I’ve always enjoyed Embury’s 8:2:1 ratio personally, but I’ll certainly have to give this one a try. I like the style of the video, and I like to see the dark rum in there. I typically prefer it with dark rum.

Thanks for doing this one.

Amaretto Sour Cocktail 8 Dec 2012
12:27 pm

While I would agree with those who say that this should not be called an Amaretto Sour, I have no doubt that it is an excellent drink. As soon as I find a good-quality cask-strength bourbon in my area, I’ll be making these.

However, it should be noted that if a drink is already created and named, regardless of how one feels about the recognized recipe, then it is already created, and named. Classics don’t have anything to do with it. We can track down the history of the Cosmopolitan to what, 1988? Hardly classic. And yet, among bartenders, a Cosmopolitan has a fixed set of ingredients: vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and cranberry juice.

After I’ve given these a try(and I have a high expectation for them), if they make it into my cocktail book as I intend to make them regularly, I will list them as a Morgenthaler Sour. Because it is NOT an Amaretto Sour, it is a variation of an Amaretto Sour.

Grapefruit Negroni Cocktail 15 Dec 2012
11:23 am

While I personally prefer the Negroni in a 1:1:1 ratio(although I have been known to have them over ice more often than up), this is undoubtedly a much friendlier way to introduce people to the Negroni, and Campari in general. I’m going to play with this the next time I have some grapefruit kicking around.

In regards to the name, I think “Grapefruit Negroni” is appropriate here. It differentiates it from the traditional Negroni, which satisfies the purists. And the fruit prefix identifies the additional flavour. If I were to write it on a cocktail menu, I’d put it on as a Grapefruit Negroni, or the Ruby Red Negroni.

And the interesting thing about the supposed history of the Negroni(Count Negroni, and all that) is that despite this story(which was spread around by Campari), this cocktail didn’t appear in print in a cocktail menu until the mid-50s. One would think that a prominent Italian cocktail like this would be mentioned in the Savoy, or other prominent books of the time.

Singapore Sling Cocktail 1 Dec 2012
11:31 pm


This is one of those drinks that has been challenging me. I’ve found a billion and one recipes for it, and all vary significantly. I am curious about a couple of things, though.

1) Doesn’t this take the basic “Sling” concept and beat it with the complicated stick? I have found several books that make this drink as a traditional gin sling(gin, water, sugar, and lemon) with an addition of cherry(be it cherry liqueur, cherry brandy, kirsch, or Cherry Heering specifically).

2) I noticed that you still had quite a bit of liquid left in your shaker after pouring(as did I, when I made this). I’ve seen references that call for this drink to be served without ice(which makes no sense to me), or in a gigantic tiki glass. I assume that because you were filming, that excess just went down the drain. How would you handle that in the bar, if someone were paying for it?

3) I’ve also seen several recipes that suggest the addition of soda water or ginger ale to this drink. I could see that making a significant difference in the end product, diluting the flavours to some degree and adding an element of effervescence. What are your thoughts on this?

I can see that 2 and 3 could be taken in a contradictory context, which is certainly not my intent.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Mai Tai Cocktail 1 Dec 2012
11:17 pm

Mr. Hess,

I’m a fledgling home mixologist, and I’ve just strayed into this world of tiki. I’m also presented with a few challenges. I live in a small town, far from major shopping centres, and so ingredient access can certainly be difficult.

I’ve also got a love of classic bartending. I blame watching Chris McMillian on the Internet for that. I have a strong desire to keep things as faithful to the originals as I possibly can. I haven’t had a problem with this recipe, but I do have a quick query regarding orgeat syrup.

I’ve read the above comments, where you’ve suggested that almond syrup could easily replace orgeat syrup. I’ve also got orange blossom water that I could add to almond syrup. And I also see that the original Trader Vic recipe calls for sugar syrup. What about removing the orgeat/almond syrup and the sugar syrup entirely, and substituting a liqueur, like Disaronno or Pisa nut liqueur? Do you see that as interfering significantly with the balance of the cocktail? Right now, I’m looking at this:

1oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco(I assume this is unavailable to you)
1oz Appleton Estate V/X(looking at finding a replacement for this)
1/2oz Grand Marnier
1/2oz Disaronno or Pisa
1/2-3/4oz lime juice
1oz dark rum float(Gosling’s Black Seal or Cruzan Black Strap)

Could you recommend another common gold rum to replace the Appleton’s(or maybe it’s a dark rum, the whole bit regarding rum differentiation confuses me)? I’m not that impressed with it. I think I may have seen Lemon Hart locally as well. And a preference for the dark rum float? The thick molasses tones of the Cruzan may work well here(I’ve tried both but own neither).

It’s a great video in a great series.