since February 2010


White Lady Cocktail 31 May 2012
5:42 pm

I’ve actually made this drink before. It’s a simple and natural concoction, so I knew that others would have beaten me to it.

Thanks for the video, Robert. I hope you’ll follow up at some point with a video on the Pink Lady. I’ve come across so many different recipes for that—often with very little in common—that I have no idea what ladies who ordered it back in the day could expect to get.

Income Tax Cocktail 11 Feb 2010
9:04 pm

I’m a big fan of the Bronx and plan to try this variation on it this weekend.

I really enjoy these videos, not only for the professionalism that they exhibit, but also for Robert’s thorough appreciation of history. I think that you can’t really understand anything without learning the history, and cocktails get no exemption. It does seem to be true that cocktail-making was treated as more of an art before prohibition than it has been since, and we should recognize that we can learn from what those “artists” of 100 years ago had to say. Too many bartenders fail to have a Burkean respect for the wisdom of past generations, and this negatively affects the tastes of people buying drinks.

With that in mind, I think it’s worth pointing out that the modern income tax came to us in 1913, when bartenders were on their game—and when income tax rates were pretty inconsequential, by current standards. Food for thought!

Bourbon Crusta Cocktail 13 Mar 2010
12:37 pm

I tried this one last night and it’s fantastic. Bourbon and Luxardo complement each other amazingly well, throughout the swallow. I will definitely be making this again, and pushing it on guests.

Rob Roy Cocktail 13 Mar 2010
1:06 pm

Great video. The Rob Roy is a winner every time. It’s good for ordering out, as it’s easy to explain and doesn’t need a super-good scotch. Upsettingly, though, some bartenders like to omit the bitters, which to my mind makes a pretty bad drink. My preference is to have it with tons of Angostura bitters, and plenty of vermouth. I haven’t gotten the same pleasure from the dry and perfect versions, but that could be a problem with the proportions. I wonder also why “perfect” has this peculiar meaning in regard to vermouth? Makes a “perfect martini” awkward to order, since you have to make sure the bartender understands what you mean by “perfect”.

Renaissance Cocktail 14 Mar 2010
10:22 pm

I’m late getting here, but this discussion of the liquor situation in Washington state gives me a rare but welcome opportunity to be thankful to be living in California, where pretty much all liquors and liqueurs are legally available and easy to find (including Luxardo and Benedictine). Even so, I’ll have to go to San Francisco if I want to pick up a bottle of creme de violette!

I acquired a bottle of peach bitters today, along with a few other things I wanted and a lot of Schnapps-type booze that I will be embarrassed to have seen in the bar (I was helping out a friend who is shrinking the size of his home bar by getting rid of the stuff he doesn’t use—this is the sort of favor I wish I could give more often!). Anyhow, I immediately wanted to know what I could use it in. I tried making one of Joe Gilmore’s “Nixon” cocktails, and it missed the mark by a wide distance. Sloe gin is just not for me. I’m not sure it’s for anyone. Anyway this drink looks good, but will require me to get some Lemoncello. I’m guessing Lemoncello is a lemon liqueur invented by Thomas Jefferson?

Vieux Carre Cocktail 17 Apr 2010
1:52 pm

I’m slowly working my way through these cocktail recipes, Robert, as I slowly acquire the various spirits and liqueurs. Yesterday I found a good deal on a bottle of Benedictine, so I mixed one of these for myself (I’ve found a good method for searching out bargains on rare drinks, but if I reveal it I’ll be shooting myself in the foot).

What a subtle drink! More than with most drinks, I found it pleasurable to let it sit on my tongue for a moment before swallowing it, to really savor the different flavors in the mix. I’ll be sure to try another one tonight—that 1/8 ounce of Benedictine is pretty hard to measure, and I’m sure that the drink is sensitive to the proportions.

The sazerac is also a great drink, and I adore the food at the local Lousiana restaurant—I really must get down to New Orleans one of these days, to get it straight from the source!

French 75 Cocktail 11 Feb 2010
7:14 pm

Huh, I’ve been curious about this drink for a while. It appears to be very similar to a Tom Collins (made not with the mix, but with lemon and simple syrup), just with champagne—err, sparkling wine—standing in for the club soda.

Wet Martini Cocktail 11 Feb 2010
6:49 pm

Awesome video. I’ll have to pick up some orange bitters so I can try both of these. I’ve been making “perfect” martinis lately and everybody is pleasantly surprised when they enjoy them. I don’t understand why vermouth has such a bad rap—it’s in most of my favorite drinks! And even though Goldfinger was one of the two best Bond pictures, I agree that it did a lot of damage with the “shaken, not stirred” line.

For getting people to come around to gin, incidentally, I recommend the gimlet.