Mother-In-Law Cocktail

•June 26, 2009 • 4 Comments

I’ve just received my copy of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, and let me tell you, it’s a glorious piece of work! More recipes, more history, better cover and binding, and bigger, better pictures than the original.  The back of the book has a section for the  Pioneering Champions of the Forgotten Cocktail, which lists the 25 most influential online cocktail pioneers. It is with great gratitude that the good Doc chose me as one of the pioneers, however it is with great dismay that I have to point out an error, one that was probably done on my end (I tend to be a sloppy on the keyboard and I suspect that Ted’s substantially better and more careful), that states that  my blog was started in 2003, when it was actually started in 2005. The only good thing to come of it was that my name was finally put in front of that dastardly Jeffrey Morgenthaler, owner of a blog that for some unknown reason (besides better writing and wit, I’m sure) gets many fold more traffic than mine.

So there you have it, I’ve written about it before, and now that I have it in my hands, I have to insist that each of you go out and buy a copy. Or wait. But only wait if it’s because you’re going to Tales to have Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh sign it for you.

I’ll leave you with an interesting recipe from the book, as it’s been a while since I’ve given you a cocktail recipe. Since I’ve recently acquired one of these I thought that it might be best to share the:


1 teaspoon Peychaud’s bitters
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon Amer Picon
½ oz orange curaçao
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz maraschino liqueur
9 ounces bourbon
shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain.

As one can see by this recipe, it’s obviously for an experienced drinker (ok maybe three experienced drinkers, as this is a recipe that is supposed to be strained into three glasses; but it’s still a lot of booze). The Mother-In-Law, as Doc tells it, was truly obscure, coming to him from Brooks Baldwin by way of Chuck Taggart.

As told to Doc by Brooks, from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails:

“My grandmother (born in New Orleans in 1895) inherited this recipe from her mother-in-law shortly before the beginning of the First World War. As specified in the original recipe, my mother concocted this libation by the quart and stored it in an antique lead crystal decanter. Informed that science had linked lead crystal to lead poisoning, my grandmother said: ‘It’s a pretty bottle, so hush’”

As for my own two bits: you gotta love the amount of bitters!

Tales Spirit Awards

•June 23, 2009 • 3 Comments

The Spirit Award nominees for Tales of the Cocktail have been announced, and unlike previous years, Seattle has little representation. Fortunately our good friends at Zig Zag Café have once again been able to bail out our city’s reputation by being the only spot nominated. Now if we can only get Eric to NOLA to accept the award and watch the hilarity ensue!

The following is the list of awards and nominees:

World’s Best Drinks Selection

Criteria: A venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits and liqueurs. The judges will favor discernment as well as sheer numbers of bottles stocked.

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
Le Lion Bar de Paris, Hamburg
ZigZag Café, Seattle

Best American Cocktail Bar

Criteria: This award recognizes the influence on cocktail trends within the United States and seeks to award the country’s best cocktail bar.

Death & Co, NYC
Pegu Club, NYC

World’s Best Cocktail Bar

Criteria: Only truly world-class bars will be considered for this illustrious title. Some bars attain worldwide recognition and this award recognizes the very best of the best.

Door 74, Amsterdam
High Five Bar, Tokyo
Pegu Club, NYC

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar

Criteria: Only bars which opened after 1st March 2008 may be nominated. This award aims to reward new creativity and ideas as well as well executed drinks.

Clover Club, Brooklyn
Drink, Boston
Quo Vadis, London

World’s Best Hotel Bar

Criteria: The classic ‘American Bar’ played an important role in the history and development of cocktail culture. The judges are looking for hotel bars, which uphold this tradition (but are not necessarily old) and offer five-star service and consistently well-made drinks.

Dukes, London
The Connaught, London
The Merchant, Belfast

American Bartender of the Year

Criteria: From Jerry Thomas onwards, American bartenders have been amongst the most influential on drinks styles and cocktail culture in general. This award seeks to recognize the most influential American bartender today. The winner should be proficient at making all recognized classic drinks and also have created contemporary cocktails, which have been copied by his/her peers.

Audrey Saunders
James Meehan
Phil Ward

International Bartender of the Year

Criteria: The absolute best drinks mixer in the world. The winner must have received international recognition of their work with their own recipes crossing borders to appear on cocktail menus in numerous countries. (US citizens are not excluded.)

Agostino Perrone
Charles Vexenat
Tony Conigliaro

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

Criteria: The best book published in 2008 regarding cocktails, liquor, and bars, bar design or bartending in general. New editions of existing works may also be nominated.

Cocktails Made Easy – Simon Difford
Mud Puddle Books – Greg Boehm
The Essential Cocktail – Dale DeGroff

Best Cocktail Writing

Criteria: Great journalism is one of the best ways to communicate to the general public the value and significance of great cocktails and related products. This award is for any non-book journalism (Magazine, Newspaper, Website, etc) that promotes bars, bartender, or cocktails in general.

Camper English
Dave Wondrich
Gary Regan
Jared Brown & Anistatia Miller

Best New Product

Criteria: This is awarded to what the judges consider to be the best new cocktail ingredient (spirit, liqueur, syrup or juice) or piece of cocktail equipment (muddler, shaker etc.). To qualify products must be on general retail sale in at least three US states.

Angostura Orange Bitters
Bols Genever

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

Criteria: The judges seek to reward innovative and thirst inducing cocktail menus. Both the design and content will be considered.

Hawksmoor, London
Le Lion Bar de Paris, Hamburg
Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Best American Brand Ambassador

Criteria: An award, which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands across America.

Jacques Bezuidenhout, Partida
Julio Bermejo, Tequila
Simon Ford, Plymouth

Good luck all!


•June 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The EUVS has finally updated their website and it’s a doozy.

Check it out!

Reason #396 To Go To Tales of the Cocktail

•June 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

Every year as Tales of the Cocktail rolls around I get asked by scores of people if it is really as fun as it sounds (answer: resounding yes). I also get asked if it would be something that a cocktail enthusiast would enjoy, as people wonder if it is something that is exclusively for bar professionals (answer: if you like cocktails, you’ll love Tales!).

And so with these questions in mind, I give you reason #396 to go to Tales of the Cocktail.

This year, Greg Boehm, brilliant mastermind of Mud Puddle Books and all around nice guy is heading to New York this year with three things on his mind. One, he is releasing the next six books of his wonderful antiquated collection. Two, he’s having a rare book auction (it’s the books that are rare, not so much the auction). And three, he is also moderating a panel entitled Cocktail Book Fetish which is described thusly:

Obsession is a feeling that top book collectors Greg Boehm and Jeff Masson know all too well. Join them as they discuss the past and present state of cocktail book collecting with a level of detail and humor that only the obsessed have. Using time lines, top ten lists and the precious books themselves they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the must-have, most influential and even most overrated cocktail books published over the past 250 years. All attendees will receive “The Cocktail Book Fetish” handout which includes a seminar summary as well as a few of the oldest, best and worst drink recipes in history.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Greg’s doings, get over to his website (or read what I said here) and check out the books that he’s begun to reprint.

Now some of you may hmm and haw over reprinted books, but let me assure you that what he’s done with these reprints is something special. Not only has he reprinted the originals, but he has pulled out all stops, faithfully reproducing the paper, cover and even the binding of the originals. It is as if you were holding the original, but for one thing. Not  content with merely reproducing the originals, he has had cocktail luminaries of our time write intros for each of the books, and at Tales this year, he will release the next of his series of reproductions, that goes a little something like this:

Recipes for Mixed Drinks by by Hugo Ensslin (1917)

The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them by Bill Boothby (1908)

Drinks by Jacques Straub (1914)

Artistry of Mixing Drinks by Frank Meier (1936)

Cocktails: How to Mix Them by Robert Vermeire (1922)

Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler (1895)

He’s starting to make me question the thousands I’ve spent on the originals!

Now before I sign off and let you buy tickets for this year’s events (even though Greg’s seminar conflicts with my own on cocktail photography), I just want you all to be aware that our good friend Greg is not content with just giving us the means to learn the classics. He’s now intent on having us make those classics with style as well. Mr. Boehm has finally secured a (hopefully) steady supply of quality European and Japanese barware to the US, in hopes that we may never have to use a bar spoon with a rapidly disappearing red plastic top again. Go to his site to learn more.

There you have it, reason #396 to go to Tales. See you there in two weeks!

It’s getting closer….

•June 15, 2009 • 2 Comments

It’s almost that time of year again. That time of year when bar chefs, mixologists, bartenders and booze-ophiles from all over the planet pack their bags, head to the airport and fly to that cradle of cocktailian history: The Big Easy, The Crescent City, The Paris of the Americas , NOLA, or New Orleans, Louisiana!

And the reason for this mass migration? Why Tales of the Cocktail of course, where New Orleans is the annual host to the internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine, and culture. This event brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community — award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs, and designers — for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of drink making. Each year offers a spirited series of dinners, demos, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours, and parties; all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made, by some of the best bartenders this planet has to offer!

There are many reasons to be going to this event, and the copious amounts of free booze flowing is the least of them. This year I’ll be working the tasting rooms of St. Germain and Yamazaki, as well as doing a number of seminars, including one on how to do the cocktail photography that you see on this site with little to no skill and a tiny budget. But the real reason that I’m telling you about this today is because I’ve just received an exciting email from Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, one of the many talented people at Tales this year that went a little something like this:

Friends, history buffs, cocktail enthusiasts, creative thinkers…it has been half a decade since Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails was released, to more fanfare than I could ever have imagined. In two weeks, Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, the deluxe, revised & expanded edition, will hit the shelves.

This is a sincere avowal of my belief that the new edition is better than the first. Here are some reasons I think so: There are fully 25% more forgotten recipes to try. The book is over twice as long. (Why 25% more recipes but twice the pages? I’ll explain…)

When I penned the first edition, I did so under the most unlikely of circumstances. I was buying my first house. I was moving into it. I was refurbishing it. I was getting married. I was working on the biggest movie project in Hollywood at the time. You see, that first edition began as a simple beauty project….recipe, pretty cocktail picture, cute anecdote. Anyone who knows me or has seen that book can imagine how long THAT plan lasted! The problem was…the book also had a deadline. While I was very proud of it (and thrilled by the response to it) I was aware – even before it was released – that some of the history was incomplete and less clear than I wished. Cocktails were included for which there was no time to ponder and supply the explanatory text they surely deserved. And, I admit it, there were errors. The book did look good but, as a longtime graphic designer, I knew where its every visual weakness lay. And it was paperback. It would not open and lie flat. This meant copies were quickly trashed attempting to actually use them behind the bar.

I agreed to do this new deluxe edition because I was assured a vast degree of creative control that many authors can only dream of. The result, as I said, is a book twice as long with lots more history and drink explanations (for both the original drinks and the many newly revealed ones as well) but that’s only the tip of the Kold-Draft ice cube. This new book is hardcover. The cover is water resistant. The result of a clever binding trick, the book opens to any page and lies flat. The substantial historical research yielded photographs, discoveries, and insights, much of which will be newly revealed.

In the original book, I did not have complete control over the the drink photography, which was done thousands of miles away from me. The deluxe edition was photographed right here at Casa de Cocktail. I was the art director, stylist, bartender. I personally chose the photographer, the ultra-talented Claire Barrett. I think you’ll see the difference; all of the images in the book are larger too.

Time moves on. Thus far, everything I’ve mentioned is a revision, an extension, and enhancement. The cocktail world has expanded and bloomed into full flower around the globe. The changes over the last critical five years have been extraordinary – and it’s all chronicled in the deluxe edition. The resource appendix was entirely rewritten with expanded, up-to-date resources. Most importantly, there is a completely new section of the book looking at the Internet and the effect it has had on the cocktail renaissance we now enjoy. I name the twenty-five most influential online cocktail pioneers, interview them about it, and share their thoughts.

There you have it. This is the book I always wanted to do; the best Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails I am capable of.

It hits the shelves July 1st, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon right now via this link.

Special note: it’ll be on sale at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, July 8th-12th where I will be happy to personally sign your copy!

Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail

Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails was one of the first books that really got me interested in the history of cocktails, so I’m very excited for this book to be released! To add  to my excitement, I’m also one of the contributors to his online section of the book!

So there you have it, yet another reason to go to Tales (you need to get that book signed, don’t you?) with many more to come in the following weeks.


Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails

Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails

Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer



•May 31, 2009 • 15 Comments

Once again, I wrote the following for a great Slovak bar magazine, entitled appropriately enough, Bar Magazine. Occasionally Stanislav will contact me and ask me to create a recipe for him in the “molecular mixology style” that will fit in with the magazine’s theme of the month. This month the theme was the Caipirinha.

While molecular “caviar” provides a fun accent to bubbly cocktails, the larger “ravioli” can be served as a drink unto itself. What makes “ravioli” different than “caviar” (other than the size of course) is the fact that the insides hold a substantial amount of liquid, so that when one breaks the skin of the “ravioli” a mouthful of flavor oozes out.

As this month’s theme was to be the Caipirinha, I decided to take the three ingredients involved and present them in a different manner. Due to the Caipirinha’s distinct character, recognizable by muddled limes and crushed ice, I felt that to offer a liquid variation of the drink would take the tradition in the wrong direction. As I’ve always considered the Caipirinha to be a “chunky” libation, I wanted the molecular mixology twist to pay homage to that characteristic of this time honored beverage.

Enough talking! Let’s go to the lab and start mixing!


200 mL cachaça
100 mL lime juice
100 mL simple syrup
4 drops green food coloring
2 ¼ tsp sodium alginate
place all in a glass container
blend with an immersion blender
fill a deep spoon with the mixture
lower into a calcium chloride bath
leave for ~ 2 minutes or until a skin forms around the “ravioli”
rinse off with cold water and refrigerate until ready to serve


2 tsp calcium chloride
250 mL water

Another variation of this “ravioli” would be to freeze a small spoon of cachaça in liquid nitrogen and then wrap the solid alcohol in a sodium alginate mixture that is just lime and sugar. When one bit into the prepared “ravioli”, the only thing inside would be melted (liquid) cachaça, a pleasant surprise indeed! As liquid nitrogen is substantially more difficult to acquire (and handle) than hydrocolloids, I decided that the simpler recipe provided may be the way to go.




Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer

Cobbler’s Dream

•May 24, 2009 • 15 Comments

The winner of the Hotel Monteleone Cocktail Contest has been determined (click here to find out more), and I realized that while I was busy telling you what not to do to win the competition, I should have been telling you the first rule of cocktail contests: know your audience (or judges in this case).

New Orleans, as those of you who have visited surely already know, is notorious for its sweet cocktails. Even when ordering proper dry cocktails like the French 75 or Old Fashioned you need to specify that you want your refreshment to be extremely dry whilst partaking in the Big Easy (and even then your libation will probably be fairly sweet). If you clicked above to read about the winner and his creation, you might have noticed that his creation’s proportions had equal parts liqueurs to base spirit (2oz liqueurs to 2 oz of rye to be exact). This was then topped up with a splash of a sweet soda and a couple of dashes of Fee’s bitters (the most candied of the orange bitters varieties). Not only is this drink very sweet (by my standards), but it is also refreshing, thanks to the crushed ice and bubbles, a perfect combination for New Orleans, whose sweet tooth is perhaps secondary only to its cloying heat. For the creation of this astute recipe, I tip my hat to Brian Robinson of Arlington, VA, for creating an interesting cocktail perfectly tailored for the locale that it was going to be made in!

As for my thought process when coming up with a recipe for this contest, I wanted something that gave a nod to the hotel’s past as well as acknowledged the fact that it’s located in a city of great cocktail history: New Orleans.

I started off with rye as a base (not unlike Brian) for not only is it used in such New Orleans classics as the Sazerac, the Vieux Carré and the Cocktail à la Louisiane, but it also has a connection to New Orleans entrepreneur Thomas Handy who imported rye for the Sazerac house when that evil louse decimated France’s vineyards, drying up this country’s supply of wine and naturally, cognac. Besides, we all know that I’m a sucker for rye drinks.

Next up was to find an ingredient to pay homage to the Monteleone’s founder, Antonio Monteleone. As he was of Italian descent, I immediately went to sweet vermouth, but not wanting to be too boring, I switched it up a bit and threw in some Punt e Mes instead. A little more bitter and interesting than your average vermouth n’est-ce pas?

Peychaud’s bitters were a natural fit, seeing as they were created in NOLA (and without bitters it wouldn’t be a cocktail now, would it?), and a dash of St Germain added a touch of sweetness and honored the city’s French heritage.

The drink at this point was great, but needed a little something extra, and as any visit to New Orleans should include a visit to Jean Laffite’s Old Absinthe House I figured that the cocktail glass should also pay a brief visit with absinthe as well.

So enough jibber-jabber, let’s mix up the:


1 ¼ oz rye (I used Rittenhouse 100 proof)
¾ oz Punt e Mes
¼ oz St Germain
dash Peychaud’s bitters
stir, strain into absinthe rinsed cocktail glass
garnish with brandied cherry

This is such a tasty beverage that despite the fact that it didn’t win the competition, I feel like I’ve come ahead a winner. Guests at the bar who have tried this drink have all raved, with one describing it as complex without being complicated. I think that about sums it up. This will definitely go into my box of tricks to be pulled up with great frequency.

Why the name Cobbler’s Dream? Antonio Monteleone was a nobleman running a successful shoe factory when he was lured to NOLA by the American dream, and as it didn’t win the contest and therefore transform into the Monteleone Cocktail, the Cobbler’s Dream it will remain.

Cin Cin and Sante!

Cobblers Dream

Cobbler's Dream

Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


•May 17, 2009 • 6 Comments

When designing cocktails for a contest such as the Hotel Monteleone’s, one has to consider what a bar/restaurant is able to produce on a regular basis. So, just like the Whis-Kebob wouldn’t be good to win this contest with, as it uses ingredients that are too difficult for a hotel to come by, today’s drink, the Contessa, wouldn’t be a good fit either, as two of the four ingredients are hand-made, something that a large operation like a hotel is definitely not looking for.

Then why am I presenting you with this recipe, instead of one that may win the Monteleone’s contest? First of all, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do when it comes to submitting recipes for contests. Secondly, it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in Seattle right now with blue skies, temperatures soaring to 26˚C and the sweet smell of spring in the air, so the Contessa is a perfect drink for such a day, and I thought it best to share it with you.

Without further ado:


2 oz Pisco
½ oz raspberry syrup
1 ½ oz grapefruit juice
shake hard and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass
mist the surface with a spray of lavender tincture
(if you’re feeling a little daring, mist the lavender through a lit lighter for spectacular effect and added aromatics)

For the raspberry syrup I just heated a pint of frozen raspberries (stirring all the time) in one part water until the water started to boil, and then added two parts sugar and stirred until dissolved. I immediately took the pot off of the heat when the sugar dissolved and let cool for 30 minutes. When the syrup was cooler, I separated the solids from the liquid and bottled, adding two ounces of vodka to each bottle for longevity.

The lavender tincture was simply made by macerating dried lavender in high proof vodka for one week and then filtering.

The Contessa is a bright refreshing libation that is doubly floral for the pisco and the aromatics provided by the tincture. I predicted last winter that floral notes were going to be hot this summer, and I’ve started to see that come to fruition with people making lavender bitters, hibiscus being bottled in syrup, and now Gran Centenario making a hibiscus infused tequila with their latest offering Rosangel. The age of the flower is amongst us!

Enjoy the weather if you’ve got it, but remember, tomorrow is the last day that the Hotel Monteleone is taking recipes for the competition so get them in before it’s too late!



Drink and Picture by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer



•May 16, 2009 • 4 Comments

While the following “cocktail” is not one that I would suggest for the Hotel Monteleone’s Cocktail Search (only two days left: I hope that you have entered!) as it would be a little difficult to put out in great numbers at a busy bar, it is a recipe that I had contributed for Slovakia’s Bar Magazine that I’d thought some of you may enjoy.  It went as follows:

One of the uses of molecular mixology is to bring an element of fun into the bar. Often times as one gets serious about the craft of the cocktail the element of fun gets lost, and in a business such as bars it is important to remember that entertainment is just as important as good service, comfortable atmosphere and a well crafted cocktail.

This week’s simple theme of Whiskey Sour along with the rapidly changing weather and Daylight Savings had me thinking of the barbeques that will soon be coming my way. Whiskey and BBQ naturally go hand and hand, but what if, I thought, you put the two together? Enter the Whis-kebob!

Half whiskey sour, half shish kebob, the final product really surprised me in that it tasted exactly like a whiskey sour with a subtle bacon finish. Fun to look at, fun to eat and not too difficult to make, ensure that this one stays away from the children as the cotton candy will entice them, but the 100˚ whiskey will knock them on their butts.



place two whiskey jellies on a plate
sprinkle with powdered citric acid
encapsulate with cotton candy ball
skewer and serve


6 oz bacon-infused rye
½ tsp agar
¼ tsp xantham gum
blend ingredients together with an immersion blender
let sit for five minutes
heat to a boil in covered pot
immediately remove from heat
let cool and whisk smooth
pour through a fine strainer into cubed molds and let set


slow-cook 2 pieces of American or “streaky” bacon
place bacon (along with fat) in a jar with 8 oz Rittenhouse  100˚ rye for at least six hours
remove bacon
place jar into a freezer overnight
strain out solid fat pieces
filter bourbon through a coffee filter



Picture and Drinks by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer

Chamomile Sour

•May 15, 2009 • 11 Comments

Just a quick reminder that the deadline for the Hotel Monteleone Cocktail Contest is rapidly approaching, so please make sure to get your recipes in before it’s too late. Four restful days in a glorious hotel for merely submitting a simple drink recipe?! You should be submitting your recipe now, instead of reading this drivel!

For inspiration, I’ll provide you with a recipe that we’ve recently taken off of the menu at Tini Bigs, as we’ve updated the drink menu to better reflect the season.

The Chamomile Sour was something that I swore was created by someone like Audrey from Pegu Club, or Jim from PDT, but after consulting with them, we decided that is was probably a Jamie Boudreau original, inspired by Audrey’s fantastic Earl Grey MarTEAni. While the Chamomile Sour is no longer available at the bar, it is a drink that will make a return when the weather turns cold again, as not only is it a damn tasty drink, but it was extremely popular as well, unusual in that recipes with scotch and egg normally don’t go over with the general public all that well.

So without further ado, I present for you, the:


2 oz chamomile scotch
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
1 small egg white
place all ingredients in shaker and froth with cappuccino blade
(for more on eggs in cocktails, click here)
add ice and shake hard
strain into a chilled cocktail glass

To make the chamomile scotch, place half of an ounce of dried chamomile flowers into a jar with a bottle of Famous Grouse. Let sit for 20 minutes, and then separate and filter the chamomile from the scotch.

Chamomile is one of those natural flavor pairings with scotch, along with anise/licorice, ginger and cherry. While this looks like a simple sour on paper, the Chamomile Sour is really a complex and refreshing libation, which I encourage you to try one day.

I hope this has inspired you to come up with your own simple creation that may very well get you four free nights at the Hotel Monteleone.

UPDATE: I’ve been asked before, and asked again where I get my frother from.You can click HERE to see how to get all the tools that I use, or you can click HERE for access to only the frother.

À votre santé!

Chamomile Sour

Chamomile Sour

Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer

Wanna Win…

•May 7, 2009 • 3 Comments

….four free nights at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans?

Read below:

The Hotel Monteleone is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Carousel Bar on May 21, 2009. From 1949 until about the late 60’s or 70’s there was a drink on the specialty drink menu called the Monteleone Cocktail. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the exact recipe or ingredients were. The Hotel Monteleone is hosting an online contest to accept drink recipe nominations for a new official Monteleone Cocktail. The recipes will be judged by VIPs who will be at the Carousel anniversary celebration on May 21. There are no requirements on types of liquor or style of drink, but all drink entries must be received by May 18, so that the ingredients may be acquired and drinks prepared at the May 21 event. Participating bloggers should post their entries online, and all participants should e-mail their drink recipes, along with their name, address and phone number, to The winning entry will become the new official Monteleone Cocktail, and the winner will receive four free nights at the Hotel Monteleone during Tales of the Cocktail 2009.

So mix ’em up and send ’em out for a great time in a fantastic city.

Hotel Monteleone

Hotel Monteleone

Morning Glory Cocktail & Combier

•February 16, 2009 • 14 Comments

It’s funny how the memory works (or in my case, doesn’t).

I’ve been making the Morning Glory for at least five years now, and it wasn’t until quite recently that I discovered that I’d been making it incorrectly this entire time. I’ve been telling every patron who would listen that this fantastic drink had a history dating all the way back to 1862 (when further examination occurred, I discovered it was actually 1887) and constructing it with Champagne instead of seltzer. And I call myself a professional (even if some of you don’t)!  So, as I actually use my own site as a reference from time to time, I’d thought that I’d write a post about this lovely libation, in hopes that I’ll stop doling out incorrect information and cocktails (although I have a feeling that it’ll take a lot more than one post to correct my failing memory).

The obvious way to get on with this, would be to cover the Morning Glory as first laid out by Jerry Thomas in 1887 and as copied from my Bon Vivant’s Companion, 1928 First Edition, #22 of 160.


Use medium bar glass

Three dashes of gomme syrup
Two dashes curaçao
One dash of absinthe
One pony of brandy
One pony of whiskey

One piece of lemon peel, twisted to express the lemon oil
Two small pieces of ice

Stir thoroughly and remove the ice. Fill the glass with
Seltzer water or plain soda, and stir with a teaspoon having
a little sugar on it.

Somehow, years ago, from this recipe I retained the following, which I have now renamed the:


1 oz cognac
1 oz rye
¼ oz Combier Liqueur D’Orange
dash simple syrup (for texture)
dash Boker’s bitters (use Angostura if necessary)
absinthe rinse
stir and strain into rinsed cocktail glass
top with splash of Champagne
lemon twist or cherry garnish

As you can see, I’ve twisted the recipe around a bit, most notably upping the orange liqueur, reducing the syrup, adding bitters (they truly do make everything better) and, of course subbing the bubbly for the soda water. This is a really complex drink with a lot of brown spirit that still manages to pass trippingly over the tongue. While it is the perfect cocktail for this time of year, I don’t find it unimaginable to be quaffing this libation in the hotter months as well.

With further modification (however slight) we come to a new cocktail, substantially different enough from our good friend Jerry’s original creation to be honored with a new moniker. I give you the:


1 oz cognac
1 oz rye
¼ oz St. Germain liqueur
dash simple syrup (for texture)
dash Boker’s bitters (use Angostura if necessary)
absinthe rinse
stir and strain into rinsed cocktail glass
top with splash of Champagne
lemon twist or cherry garnish

The perceptive ones out there will quickly realize that the only difference between the Royale and the Aurora is the swap of St. Germain for the orange liqueur.  While perhaps a subtle change, this little substitution makes a big difference in the cocktail and is a perfect example of how versatile St. Germain really is: I’ve yet to find a cocktail where the sub of St. Germain for orange liqueur or maraschino hasn’t worked. (Full disclosure: I am now Seattle’s St. Germain Ambassador, but if you look at the dates of earlier posts, you can see that I’ve been a big fan of this spirit since its initial release). That said, I find this variation to be my favorite of the three (and not just because it’s my creation).

You may have noticed that I specified a specific orange liqueur with the Morning Glory Royale. Long time readers of this blog will realize that I always use Cointreau as my orange liqueur in my cocktails, but today I’ve changed it up with Combier. Why the shift? Well, quite frankly, they sent me a sample and I found it enjoyable enough to mention. Here is some info from their website:

Combier Liqueur d’Orange is prepared in the distillery’s inner room surrounded by the age and warmth of century old copper stills and the intoxicating scent of fruits and berries from the surrounding Loire Valley. It is here where the magic begins.
In line with Combier family tradition, the Master Distiller carefully marries the fragrant orange peels with sugar beets delivered straight from the fields of Normandy along with pure alcohol from outside of Paris.
From there the Master Distiller uses a triple-distillation process- hence the term ‘triple-sec’- whereby the ingredients are three times distilled in the very same century-old copper stills first used by the Combier family. The copper and age of the stills add depth, while the triple-distillation process ensures that only the most pure and aromatic liqueur makes it into each bottle. Hence its crystal clear color.
Each bottle of Combier is produced, packaged, and shipped from the same location since the 19th century.

But what does it taste like? Like Cointreau, this spirit is bottled at 40 % ABV, but I find that it has a bit more of the bitter orange component than Cointreau has, which helps belie the inherent sweetness of the liqueur. As compared to Cointreau, Combier is definitely more assertive both in flavour profile as well as perceived heat. While I would prefer sipping Cointreau neat, Combier’s assertiveness lends itself very well to cocktail construction, and I would have no issue swapping one spirit out for the other, which I think is high praise, given my high regard for Cointreau.

I’ve run out of things to say (or rather, time to say them), so I’ll wrap this up until next time: if I can only remember what the hell the theme of this post was…. Liqueurs? Jerry Thomas? Oh yeah, the Morning Glory a drink invented in 1862 containing cognac, whiskey, absinthe, curaçao, and Champagne.

Thank God for the web.


Morning Glory & Aurora

Morning Glory & Aurora Cocktails

Cocktails and pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Singapore Slingshot

•January 25, 2009 • 16 Comments

Recently I wrote the following for a great Slovak bar magazine, entitled appropriately enough, Bar Magazine. Occasionally Stanislav will contact me and ask me to create a recipe for him in the “molecular mixology style” that will fit in with the magazine’s theme of the month. This month the theme was Singapore Slings.

The Singapore Sling’s original recipe has always been one of speculation, but I’ve always been a fan of the one found in Robert Vermiere’s, Cocktails and How to Mix Them (1922), which holds true to the definition of a Sling with gin, Benedictine, cherry brandy, lemon juice, soda water, Angostura bitters and orange bitters as its ingredients. It should be noted that there were no Sling recipes with a juice other than lemon or lime in it before 1921, and therefore I eschew any recipe that calls for pineapple, orange or any other flavour of juice as a component in this venerable libation.

Today we are going to play around with the concept of the Singapore Sling, as many before me have, by offering up a “shooter”-sized recipe that has a twist: we are going to use some basic molecular mixology techniques to add visual and textural interest.


2 oz gin
2 dashes aromatic bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
6 cherry caviar
6 Benedictine caviar
place caviar into shot glass
carbonate gin and bitters with Perlini
strain into shot glass
garnish with candied lemon wedge

3 oz Cherry Heering
1 oz water
1 oz lemon juice
¼ oz sodium alginate
mix all ingredients together with an immersion blender
let sit for 5 minutes
place in plastic bag and vacuum seal
release seal and place mixture into a plastic squeeze bottle
drop small balls of mixture one by one into a calcium chloride bath
rinse with Cherry Heering when set
store in a 1:1 Cherry Heering/water bath

4 oz Benedictine
1 oz water
¼ oz sodium alginate
mix all ingredients together with an immersion blender
let sit for 5 minutes
place in plastic bag and vacuum seal
release seal and place mixture into a plastic squeeze bottle
drop small balls of mixture one by one into a calcium chloride bath
rinse with Benedictine when set
store in a 1:1 Benedictine /water bath

You may notice that the Slingshot possesses all of the flavours of the original Sling: Benedictine and cherry in the form of bursting caviar, lemon juice in the form of the candied lemon wedge, and we’ve carbonated the gin and bitters with the Perlini cocktail system to give one the illusion of soda water, but with the alcoholic punch of a shot.

The Perlini is a fantastic system that acts as a cocktail shaker, but also allows one to carbonate the ingredients within. This allows me to not only carbonate the gin mixture, but also allows me to chill and properly dilute it, ensuring that the shot is indeed a pleasant one.

The proper way to imbibe the Slingshot would be to take a bite of the candied lemon, followed by a large sip of the shooter, thus ensuring that you have the sensation of lemon on your palate when you consume the liquid portion of the drink.


Singapore Slingshot

Singapore Slingshot

Drink and picture by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Jinga and Leblon

•January 19, 2009 • 5 Comments

Today we are going to discuss cachaça, and specifically Leblon. So to get us started, straight from the Leblon website (because you all know that I’m a lazy bastard), we have some basics about Leblon and cachaça:

So what is cachaça anyways? And is it a rum or not?

Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane juice. It is the third most consumed spirit in the world behind only vodka and soju/shochu, the asian distillates made predominantly from rice. Historians date the initial creation of cachaça between 1532 and 1550 in Brazil, predating the date of creation of rum (1651 in Barbados) by more than one hundred years. Unlike rum, which is usually made from molasses, cachaça can only be made from fresh cane juice, and can only be made in Brazil. 99% of cachaça is consumed in Brazil – over 1.3 billion liters per year. Brazilian law requires that cachaça be distilled no higher than 54% alcohol by volume, and bottled between 38% and 48% alcohol by volume. That being said, most export cachaça is about 40% alcohol by volume.

So why then the rum question? According to U.S. law, any spirit derived from sugar cane must be labeled as rum and in cachaça’s case: Brazilian Rum. This nomenclature has been in dispute for some time, with discussion and consideration of separating cachaça into its own ‘class,’ like tequila, or an ‘appellation’ within a broader class, like cognac and champagne. With the increasing popularity of cachaça, more and more people are asking for the distinction, especially since the cultural and sensorial differences between rum and cachaça are so significant.

So what are those sensorial differences? Since cachaça is made from fresh cane juice, and not molasses (a derivative of sugar cane), it has a fruitier, fresher nose than rum. Its taste is subtly sweet and fresh, and since it comes directly from the crop, cachaça has distinctive vegetal notes reminiscent of tequila (in fact, many mixologists and sommeliers liken cachaça more to a tequila than a rum because of the unique vegetal notes in the nose).

Leblon cachaça is distilled at their state-of-the-art distillery, Maison Leblon, in the fertile Minas Gerais region. Their approach to cachaça is unique: Gilles Merlet, the master distiller, approaches the fermentation, distillation, and finishing of cachaça like a fine wine. Using techniques from his native land of France, Gilles manages every detail of the creation – from the hand-selection of the cane and his proprietary fermentation approach, to the Alambique batch-distillation and light-casking, triple-filtering, and master-blending. Gilles rests the final distillate in XO Cognac casks from France, giving Leblon an extra-special touch. As a result, Leblon cachaça has a delicate, fruity nose, combined with an ultra smooth finish.

Now that we have a handle on this fine spirit, let’s start mixing with it. Those few regular readers of probably have noticed my fixation with using bitters as a major ingredient within the cocktail recipes created as of late. That infatuation isn’t going to stop today, but my fascination with naming those bitered cocktails after magic phrases has stopped (mainly because all of the good, short incantations have run out).

My latest concoction has even more bitters than the previous recipes, with a full half ounce of the bitter solution bathing amongst the other ingredients. Like the other recipes I’ve supplied, these drinks may have bitter notes (and this one a bit more than the others) but it still shows as being less bitter than a Negroni, so don’t be afraid to bust off the protective dropper lids of your dasher bottles and pour more bitters than you have ever deigned to put in a single cocktail before!

So grab your bartending tools, grow a pair, and whip up a:


2 oz Leblon cachaca
¼ oz Angostura orange bitters
¼ oz Fee’s peach bitters
¼ oz Giffard’s Abricot du Roussillon (or use Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Apricot)
½ oz grapefruit juice
1 ½ oz Champagne
stir all but champagne over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
top with Champagne
give a light stir with a sugar coated spoon

UPDATE: After finishing off the rest of the grapefruit this morning, I became aware of how sweet it was, so if you happen to use a grapefruit (or juice) that is a bit on the bitter side, please add a dash of simple syrup.

This is a wonderfully dry, fruity libation that would probably be best consumed in the French Riviera in June (or perhaps since we’re using cachaça, the Leblon district of Rio would be more fitting). Unfortunately, it’s not June, and I’m about as far away as the French Riviera (or Rio, for that matter) as one can get right now, so I’m going to have to close my eyes as I take a sip of the Jinga to be mentally transported. Ahhhhhhhh, there it is!

The tropical, floral aspects of the Leblon play wonderfully with the orange, peach and apricot flavours of the bitters and liqueur. The grapefruit juice helps mellow and lengthen the bitter edge of the considerable volume of Fee’s and Angostura, while the addition of sparkling champagne adds an elegance that just wasn’t present until introduced.

For the final step of the creation of this drink, dip your (now wet after stirring) bar spoon in some sugar and knock off any of the excess. If you do this before giving your cocktail a final light stir, you’ll get a pleasant effervescence that wouldn’t have occurred without this finishing touch.




Cocktail and pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


It’s Coming…….

•January 17, 2009 • 14 Comments

You may have heard rumours, but allow me to confirm them: Crème Yvette is coming back. Described as a liqueur made with parma violet petals with vanilla and other spices, the good folks at St. Germain have taken it upon themselves to resurrect this once defunct spirit.  Keep your eyes peeled and your wallets opened and I’ll let you know as soon as it is available for sale!

Creme Yvette

Creme Yvette

Pax Sax Sarax

•January 12, 2009 • 14 Comments

Burns Night is rapidly approaching (January 25th) and since we don’t really go into the food aspect of bars here on, there won’t be any recipes for haggis. What we will discuss however, are scotch based libations, focusing on a recent creation of mine.

Continuing with our heavily-bittered, magic-worded cocktails of late, I present for you our first concoction, the Pax Sax Sarax. Like the Zim Zala Bim and the Alabazam before it, this is yet another fantastically complex cocktail that uses a boat-load of bitters to good effect.

According to The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic, the magic phrase Pax Sax Sarax was found in an Elizabethan manuscript in the British Museum, and was purportedly used to prolong orgasm. It was also used to “prevent a person from firing a gun while you are looking into the barrel” according to Albertus Magnus, Being the Approved, Verified, Sympathetic and Natural Egyptian Secrets or White and Black Art for Man and Beast, so as you can see, this is a potent concoction indeed!

Call up Penn and Teller so you can dazzle them with the magic behind the:


2 oz Glenmorangie single malt
1/4 oz Peychaud’s bitters
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
stir all ingredients with ice
rinse cocktail glass with absinthe
strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with 3 brandied cherries

UPDATE: It became apparent today, as I served this libation to guests at my bar, that it is imperative that one not only garnishes this cocktail with the cherries, but that the guest knows that this is part of the experience. The cherries make this cocktail. Ensure that you don’t eat them all at the beginning or at the end, but rather space them out throughout the drinking experience.

While these latest concoctions may have a ton of bitters in them, I want to point out that these aren’t extremely bitter drinks. The bitters that I have used aren’t overly bitter by themselves, especially in the case of Peychaud’s which has a pleasant, sweet anise-y finish. One should also keep in mind that I am balancing the bitters with an equal portion of liqueur in both the Zim Zala Bim and the Pax Sax Sarax. The reason why this drink was pretty much a no-brainer for me (the proportions were bang on in its very first incarnation) is as simple as this: licorice and cherry are natural flavour pairings for scotch. The key for this drink was to pick a scotch that was neither too peaty or barrel influenced. Glenmorangie seemed like the obvious, readily available option for this drink, and sure enough it didn’t disappoint.

This is a drink for scotch drinkers, and despite the outrageous quantity of Peychaud’s bitters present, the scotch still makes its authority known. The bitters, cherry and absinthe flavours all work with the scotch, instead of against, and while I wouldn’t suggest this drink to a scotch neophyte, I would probably put it in my top three drinks to give an experienced scotch palate, along with the:


1 ½ oz Famous Grouse
¾ oz sweet vermouth
1/8 oz Benedictine
dash of Peychaud’s bitters
stir all with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
your choice of lemon twist or cherry garnish (both work well)

and the


2 oz Famous Grouse
½ oz ginger liqueur
½ oz amaro Nonino
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with lemon twist.


Pax Sax Sarax

Pax Sax Sarax

Picture and drinks by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Partida and the Zim Zala Bim

•January 2, 2009 • 11 Comments

One may notice, as one peruses the plethora of pages on this paltry pile of posts (sweet alliteration: 100 bonus points awarded!), that there is little said about tequila, but when the temperature outside makes me pine for warmer climes, I’ll transport myself there in the cheapest and quickest way at my disposal: through my glass.

While I wouldn’t call myself a tequila expert, I have been lucky enough to do a tasting or two, and through my experiences I have become quite fond of one line in particular: Partida. Beautifully packaged, well crafted, and not insanely expensive, this has definitely become my go-to-tequila, and as such I’d thought that I’d share my experiences with you along with one of my proudest creations as of late, the Zim Zala Bim.

But first, let’s talk tequila.

Partida Tequila was rated higher than any other leading tequila brand based on aggregate scores in a recent taste test conducted by The Academy of Tequila, the official tequila tasting board of Mexico, so you see; it’s not just me who likes the stuff! Partida maintains exceptional standards of quality and consistency to produce 100% blue agave tequila that has been aged for seven to ten years and which is meant to be luxuriated over as one would with a fine scotch.


Partida Blanco (Unaged)

Smooth, clean and crisp flavours of fresh herbaceous agave with notes of brine, olive and citrus. Good acid is present along with an elegant, off-dry finish that’s not too assertive.

Partida Reposado (Aged Six Months)

You are greeted by subdued and graceful aromas of vegetal agave. This is a delicate, peppery reposado that underscores a honeyed, almost almond and milk chocolate palate. The finish is elegant and enduring with the agave in perfect harmony with the wood. The reposado is easily my favorite of the three offerings that we are trying today, especially from a mixing standpoint

Partida Añejo (Aged 18 Months)

A beautiful golden/copper hue, the añejo demands to be sipped slowly to enjoy all of its complexities. The añejo’s honeyed nose allows the agave to take a back seat to the barrel, without having it be overpowered. The palate is elegant (there’s that word again) with spicy marzipan, honey, vanilla, Xmas fruitcake and a finish that just won’t quit. This is definitely a beautiful way to end an evening.

And as it wouldn’t be a proper Spirits and Cocktails post without a cocktail, without further ado, I present for your consuming pleasure, the amazing, the splendorific, the marvelous, the incredible, the shocking…..


2 oz Partida Reposado
2 bar spoons Regans’ orange bitters
2 bar spoons St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
1 bar spoon fine sugar
stir all ingredients to dissolve sugar
add ice and stir
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
squeeze the oil from a lemon peel into glass and toss the peel

This cocktail was inspired by a recipe that I had found and posted about earlier: the Alabazam. The Alabazam has been getting a lot of play here in Seattle lately, even making the list of my favorite local bar, and I thought that it was high time that I created my own take on this lovely libation, based upon what drew me to the recipe in the first place: a boat-load of bitters.

Just as it is the bar spoon of Angostura that makes the Alabazam, it is the two bar spoons of Regans’ orange bitters that makes the Zim Zala Bim. It should be noted that while this drink will work with Angostura orange bitters (it’ll just be a completely different beast) it will not work with Fee’s orange bitters, so you may as well go out and get yourself a bottle of Regans’. Gary Regan’s getting on in years now and any little bit of support we can offer will bring him one step closer to a retirement that is (trust me) loooooong over due (that’s right Gary, that was a dig at your age). The spiciness of Regans’ orange bitters pairs beautifully with the spicy sweetness of Partida’s reposado, and unfortunately Fee’s orange bitters are just too simple to do the tequila justice in this case.

St. Germain offers a touch of sweetness to counteract the bitters as well as a beautiful floral note that just makes this drink sing. The sugar is merely there to add a bit of viscosity and to take off any edge that the alcohol may offer.

The Zim Zala Bim is one of those easy concoctions to create that will absolutely wow your guests with its zippy complexity, and as such I have decided that this new creation is an instant Jamie Boudreau classic that I will prepare for years to come, using it to blow away that jaded tequila drinker who is tired of having nothing but margaritas and the million variations that bartenders have created under different nomenclature as their only option for a tequila cocktail.

Zim Zala Bim

Zim Zala Bim

Drink and pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Last Minute Xmas Shopping

•December 21, 2008 • 5 Comments

Scrambling at the last minute to fill your holiday shopping lists? Here are a couple of ideas:

David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks is the quintessential guide for every bartender, and what used to be a difficult find that drained the wallet is now made much easier, thanks to Mud Puddle Books.



Fancy a Champagne cocktail over the holidays? Kim Haasarud has 101 of them to choose from with her latest book, 101 Champagne Cocktails.

101 Champagne Cocktails

101 Champagne Cocktails

If you have a space on your bar for one of the most beautiful and unique bottles of 100% agave tequila around, then you have to get yourself one of 1800’s gorgeous, artist designed bottles. Each artist has only 1800 bottles made, so get yours quickly before they run out. I’d give you tasting notes but the bottle is so friggin’ beautiful that I can’t bring myself to open it! (The bottle art shown at the bottom of the post is by Josh Ellingson of San Francisco.)

1800 Tequila

1800 Tequila

And speaking of beautiful bottles of tequila, Maetro Dobel’s Diamond Tequila would be a good addition for that Patron drinker in your life. This is a tequila that is a distinctive blend of three aged tequilas: Reposado (rested 15 months), Anejo (rested 24 months), and Extra-Anejo (rested for 36 months) and then been filtered to appear as though it were a blanco.

Maestro Dobel

Maestro Dobel

That’s all I have for you this time around. Good luck with your Xmas lists and Happy Holidays!

1800 Tequila

1800 Tequila

Pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Attention Bay Area Bon-Vivants

•December 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

You are invited to a special event to help raise funds for our colleague and friend, Tony Devencenzi in his great time of need. This event is being organized by the San Francisco bartending community in coordination with the San Francisco Chapter of the US Bartenders Guild (USBG), and Tony’s Friends and Family.

As many of you know, last Sunday night Tony was struck by a car in San Francisco while walking as a pedestrian. He suffered major head injuries that required surgery to save his life. He is now in recovery at the San Francisco General Hospital where he has been in good hands.

Tony has a lot of family and friends by his side and expected to make a full recovery. Yet, Tony needs our support. Tony was recently hired as a new bartender at a position that was to receive full health benefits after an initial grace period. He did not yet have insurance at the time of the accident and will be missing a lot of time from work as he heals.

Please join us on January 5th at Enrico’s Café in North Beach in San Francisco for this event, where all proceeds will go directly to support Tony.

More details will be sent shortly, including specifics on how to make a donation online. If you are interested in making a donation for a raffle or in helping to spread the word, please email Debbie Rizzo at She is seeking our help in finding spirit, wine and beer sponsors, getting people out on the 5th, monetary donations and silent auction items.

Thank you, in advance, for your support of Tony as he recovers from this terrible injury. We hope to see you in January!


David Nepove, Debbie Rizzo,  H. Joseph Ehrmann, Jennifer Sobb,

Jackie Patterson, Reza Esmaili, Jayne & Steve Devencenzi, the SF Chapter of the USBG, The USBG Bartenders Relief Fund, Sara Lamson and other friends and family.

No Matter…..

•December 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

….how hard one tries, how much one may want something to work, the wooden square will not fit into the circle hole. Not while playing by the rules of someone else’s game anyway.

Perhaps it is truly time to find a game where I can make up the rules……

Who’s Down With The R.B.C.?

•December 8, 2008 • 3 Comments

Today’s post will continue with the “wine-tail” theme of late, but this time we will be using a Muscat dessert wine.

Dessert wines are a natural fit for cocktails as they are not only adding the fortified “grape-y” flavours of vermouth, but also the sweetness of a liqueur. The Muscat that I chose was from Australia, a luscious example with great raisin-y characteristics and sharp acidity, ensuring that this dessert wine wasn’t too “sticky”. I’ve always found that guests bring dessert wines for dinner parties, so this is an excellent way to use any that may be left over.

Ladies and gentlemen, break out the can-openers and Cognac and prepare a:

R.B.C. (Rutherglen’s Border Cocktail)

1 ¼ oz Cognac
¾ oz Muscat
½ canned pear
2 dashes Angostura bitters
shake hard and fine strain into a cocktail glass

This libation works well both as a cocktail to match with dinner or a liquid dessert. While the Muscat adds some sweetness, I was careful to choose one with high acidity and the addition of Angostura bitters helps balance out the drink. Be sure to use pears that are packed in their own juice and not syrup, as you don’t want any extra sweetness added to the drink.

As a reminder to all, fine straining is the act of straining the liquid from one’s Boston shaker and Hawthorne strain into a second strainer, like this one, before the liquid hits your cocktail glass. This will ensure that your creation is smooth and clear, and that none of the pear chunks will escape into your glass, leaving you with all of the flavour of the pears and none of its texture.



Drink and picture by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


From Seattle to Prague to New York and Back Again

•December 1, 2008 • 8 Comments

Old Town Square

Old Town Square

I keep saying that I am going to post about my recent travels, so here it be:

It started several weeks ago when I hopped aboard a plane heading to Prague. I had been invited to present seminars for the first ever Czech Bar Awards and was stoked to see a city that I had heard so much about.

Arriving at the airport with next to no sleep (I had worked the night/morning before) I looked forward to taking a couple of sleeping pills and waking up in another country at the exact same time that I boarded the plane: albeit one day later. Getting settled in my seat I noted with some dismay that I was surrounded by babies: I think every baby on the plane was sitting in the row in front of me. Sleep seemed less and less likely as the flight went on and the harmony of babies ensured that there wasn’t a moment of quiet or non-airborne toys headed in my vicinity.

Landing in Prague I was greeted by Martin Batha, the young bartender who had organized the seminars that I was to present in two days: but first, Prague!

After getting settled in to the hotel and exploring the immediate area while Martin gathered the last of the ingredients needed for the seminars, Martin picked me up and we began touring the old city. Driving to the old town square we got out of the car and walked through the historic city as we meandered by the opera, the Astronomical Clock, several beautiful churches, across the river via Charles Bridge and up a hill until we finally reached Prague Castle, which, according to Guinness, is the world’s largest ancient castle.

Bugsys Toilet

Bugsy's Urinal

Having done the tourist thing, we decided that it was high time for a drink. We first stopped off for a well-crafted Manhattan at U Prince, before we headed to La Bodeguita Del Medio for a Hemingway Daiquiri made with an unusual tasting maraschino liqueur that I had not seen before. After wetting the whistle we decided to head to Bugsy’s Bar, a superb bar specializing in the classics as well as their own creations, which would go on to win Best Cocktail Bar at the awards ceremony the next day. The two highlights at this bar were the drink menu (an eighty page, bound, illustrated, hardcover opus) and the washrooms (check out the picture of their urinals). Our bartender, Martin, was kind enough to supply me with a signed edition of their bar menu: the hospitality here was exceptional! The standout drink at Bugsy’s had to be the Arkansas Gent, a well crafted libation consisting of Bourbon, Benedictine and Angostura bitters.

Next stop was Tretter’s Bar, another American bar with a cocktail menu similar to Bugsy’s (in that it was huge and hardbound). They were kind enough to give me a copy of their tome here as well, and it made for good reading on the plane back to New York. (While they had a healthy supply of classic cocktails, I feel that Tretter’s’ specialty is “food cocktails”, utilizing ingredients such as rosemary, basil, jasmine, tamarillo, marmalade, lavender and cigar leaves with their spirits.)

Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock

We then wandered over to Bar and Books (yes, just like the one in New York) for a nightcap. This was hidden down one of the labyrinthian streets that constitute Prague, and I was extremely grateful to have Mr. Batha as my guide as I’m sure that I wouldn’t have been able to find any of these great watering holes without his assistance. As the wee hours of the morning approached, we decided to call it a day and headed home.

The next day arrived all too early and we headed down to the Awards venue to get set up for my quick presentation. This, the first ever Czech Bar Awards, was held in an old abandoned warehouse that was filled with tents, lights and music. It was indeed a fun space to have a party. I was not the only one doing a presentation today, Philip Duff of Bols and now door74 fame, was present to do a presentation for the Czech speaking audience as well. Philip was lucky enough to play with Havana Club’s Maximo (an insanely expensive, extra añejo rum: think more expensive than Louis XIII) to make a darn tasty Rum Old-Fashioned (utilizing my Boker’s bitters in the process) of which I had not one, but two during the course of the night. Yes I am a glutton for all things boozy and free. My presentation entailed my mixing of a drink that utilized foam and fire. In other words: good for TV.

Here’s the recipe (you may have seen this on Evening Magazine recently if you live in the Pacific Northwest):

Mexican Cloud

1 ½ oz tequila blanco
1 oz pomegranate juice
dash of rhubarb bitters
dash of simple syrup
stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
top with elderflower foam
brûlée with green Chartreuse flame

Bar Awards

Bar Awards

After the awards ceremony we then proceeded to the venue that the seminars were to be held the following morning in order to do prep. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say that I appreciated the help offered me that night and that I didn’t get back to the hotel until 4am. We had to be back at the venue for 7:30am. ‘Nuf said.

Realizing that there was no point to sleeping, I stayed awake that night (morning?) to watch the U.S. election, all the while wishing that the timing of my trip was just two days different as I would’ve loved being in New York for the election. It looked like a fun, up-lifting time was had by all. As John Stewart said, even in New York people were actually looking you in the eye with a smile on their face.

7:30 came all too early and I was whisked off to the venue for the seminar. TV screens were set up with video cameras, press and bartenders from Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Germany and who knows where else present. Four hours of talk on US trends and molecular mixology were presented after which I was thoroughly exhausted and ready for some shut-eye (I had only slept one of the last three days after all). This was not to be however, as the plan was to travel 3 ½ hours by car with Stanislav Vadrna to Slovakia to check out his bars: UFO and Paparazzi. As exhausted as I was, and how unappealing 7 hours in a car sounded at that moment, I acquiesced and am glad that I did: UFO was a beautiful venue, extending far above a bridge that splits Bratislava in half (and the Truffle Shine: Yamazaki 12 yr, truffle honey, orange bitters and hand carved ice ball was divine), while Paparazzi was quite simply one of the best bars that I’ve ever been too. I do have to say that the hospitality presented by the people in both Czech Republic and Slovakia was outstanding, a trait that I feel more of us here in the States could pick up on.

We got back in almost enough time to catch my 7:30 am flight (a long story that is too depressing to tell) back to New York for the next leg of my trip: the Martin Miller’s Masters Gin Competition.

By the time I arrived at my hotel in NY I was exhausted and beginning to feel quite ill (I wonder why, what with all of the airplane travel and one day of sleep in the last four?). To sum up the Martin Miller’s event in a nutshell let’s just say: drink, drink, drink, eat, drink, sleep, drink, drink, compete, eat, and collapse from exhaustion, strep throat and god knows what else.

For a little more detail, the competition was loosely a US vs UK competition where several US bartending “masters” went up against their UK counterparts.

Team US:

  • Daniel Shoemaker -Daniel is a 14-year bartending veteran from San Francisco who now owns the Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon. Daniel’s passion for mixology showcases what Teardrop is all about – creating innovative cocktails with local spirits which draws almost as much attention in foodie circles as the city’s top chefs.
  • Vincenzo Marianella – Vincenzo is often referred to as the “Cocktailian Deity of Los Angeles”. Vincenzo has been named Best Bar Chef in 2006 by and LA’s Best Bartender in 2006 by Anthony Dias Blue of The Tasting Panel Magazine. Vincenzo is currently behind the stick at Gordon Ramsey’s recently opened London in Los Angeles.
  • Giuseppe Gonzalez – Giuseppe is currently the head bartender of Clover Club in Brooklyn, the newest venture from Julie Reiner of New York’s Flatiron Lounge. Giuseppe’s approach is simple – he brings awesome drinks, trains awesome bartenders and make sure everyone leaves that bar with an amazing feeling. Giuseppe is a second generation bartender, who has lived in Europe and the Caribbean before coming to New York City. Giuseppe provides a cocktail menu that educates the guest while still making it easy for them to order off menu.
  • Thad Vogler – Thad has been bartending for almost 20 years and has worked in the spirits industry in Paris, Ireland, Tokyo, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize and of course San Francisco. Thad has helped design, open and then manage the bars at the Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, Coco 500, the Presidio Social Club, and the Lounge at the newly remodeled Jardinière. Quite recently, Thad helped to design the bar at Camino restaurant in Oakland.
  • Jamie Boudreau – If you’re here, I’ll assume you know who I am.
  • Erik Adkins – Erik is bar consultant to Flora restaurant in Oakland and the beverage manager at the Slanted Door restaurant on the pier in San Francisco. Erik’s cocktail technique highlights the use of the freshest herbs and spices from the kitchen at the Slanted Door which has established Erik as a bay area standout behind the bar.
  • Sam Ross – Recently nominated for global “Bartender of the Year” at the 2008 for Tales of the Cocktail, Sam is now behind the bar at the famed Milk & Honey. Sam’s cocktail journey began when he helped his mother and sister open a cocktail bar in Melbourne, Australia called Ginger in 2001. Ginger was very successful in Australia and was/is considered one of the front-runners for cocktail culture in Australia. Upon arrival in New York City, Sam teamed with Sasha Petraske and was part of the opening bar teams at both Little Branch and East Side Company Bar.

Team UK:

  • Jake Burger – “Johnny Cash meets rugby league” Jake is one of the most respected bartenders in the UK and has held court in Leeds for well over a decade. His bar, Jake’s, has won multiple awards for its incredible cocktails and peerless spirit selection. As well as being a shrewd operator and top bartender, his, is always the warmest welcome. Beware you might not get out alive!
  • Ben Reed – Ben opened and tended bar in some of London’s most infamous nightspots including Mezzo and the Met bar before forming IPbartenders with Tai Altman and Angus Winchester. As well as training thousands of bartenders over the past 7 years, Ben also has a range of bestselling cocktail books and starred in the BBC’s ‘Shakermaker’ TV show.
  • Jason Scott – Jason comes from Edinburgh, Scotland where he is the head Superhero at Bramble Bar & Lounge where he was recently named “Top Mixologist” by the Drambuie Chef’s Association. In addition (we have been told), Jason has spider like abilities including superhuman strength and the ability to cling to most surfaces (including bars). Jason is also extremely agile and has amazing reflexes – we are also told he also has a, “spider sense,” that warns him of impending danger (and bad cocktails).
  • Sean Muldoon – For 15 years Sean has overseen the bar at Belfast’s beautiful Merchant hotel, home of the $750 original Wray & Nephew 17 y.o Mai Tai. Without doubt, it is one of the slickest and most well run bars in the UK; Sean’s encyclopedic cocktail list is both ambitious and brilliant.
  • Giles Looker – Giles has been bartending in London for the past 13 years working alongside the likes of Dick Bradsell, Dale DeGroff and Sasha Petraske. Six years ago, Giles established a company alongside Michael Butt by the name of Soul Shakers Ltd. Since that time, Giles has set up numerous award winning bars including, Trailer Happiness, Mahiki, The Player, Lace Market Hotel, Quo Vadis, Whiskey Mist, Kukui , 30/7 (Moscow), Myhotel, Coco club (Switzerland) and Cantaloupe group. In addition, Giles has worked with Virgin Atlantic Airlines in developing the world’s first onboard mixology service, designing service systems and signature cocktails for the airline’s Lounges and Upper class bar service.

A Bartenders View of the Judges

A Bartender's View of the Judges

And the judges were:

  • Dave Wondrich – Dave Wondrich is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history. The New York Times has labeled him “A living iPod of drink lore and recipes”. Dave also helped to found the Beverage Alcohol Resource, America’s first serious training program in spirits and mixology. In 2003, his first book, Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated and Irreverent Guide to Drinking (Hearst Books, 2002), was awarded a Silver Ladle at Australia’s biennial Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards. In 2005, Wondrich published his second cocktail book, Killer Cocktails: An Intoxicating Guide to Sophisticated Drinking (HarperCollins), which Glamour named the “Year’s Best Drinks Guide.” His most recent book, Imbibe!, about the life and drinks of “Professor” Jerry Thomas, was published by Perigee books in November 2007, and was an instant success among cocktail aficionados and mixologists across the country.
  • Gary Regan – Gary Regan writes The Cocktailian, a bi-weekly column, for The San Francisco Chronicle. In the past he has written regular columns in The Malt Advocate, Nation’s Restaurant News, Cheers Magazine, and The Wine Enthusiast, concentrating on cocktails, bartenders, and the cocktailian craft. His work is also published in magazines in the U.K., Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Gray is also the author of many books, including “The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft.” Together with his wife Mardee, Gary hosts, publish a free e-mail newsletter, Ardent Spirits, and maintain a Worldwide Bartender Database that serves to put spirits companies in touch with their most important ambassadors: The men and women who hold forth from behind slabs of mahogany all over the globe.
  • LeNell Smothers – LeNell Smothers owns LeNell’s Ltd, a wine and spirit boutique in Red Hook that specializes in American whiskey, cocktail education, bitters, and small family wineries from around the globe. Her background includes work in many aspects of the beverage industry such as bartending, managing a restaurant, retail liquor sales, and even wholesale wine sales. LeNell’s Ltd has been recognized by numerous publications including GQ Magazine as one of the “Best 50 Stores in America”, and also by New York Magazine as “Best Liquor Store” in New York City.
  • Paul Clarke – Paul Clarke is a Seattle-based writer specializing in spirits and cocktails. He is a contributing editor to Imbibe magazine; the spirits and cocktails columnist for the online food journal Serious Eats; and contributes articles on spirits and cocktails to the San Francisco Chronicle. Since May 2005, Paul has documented his exploration of fine spirits and mixology on The Cocktail Chronicles (, one of the first exclusively cocktail-related blogs on the Internet. Over the past three years he has written in-depth essays covering nearly 200 drinks, along with details of his exploration and home-brew of classic and sometimes obscure cocktail ingredients.  Clarke is also the founder and moderator of Mixology Monday, a monthly online cocktail party that has attracted scores of participants from around the globe.
  • Sasha Petraske – In 2000 Sasha Petraske made his mark by opening the now legendary Milk & Honey in Manhattan’s lower east side. He helped to revive the lost art of classic 19th century style mixology. Since then, Sasha has opened Little Branch in the west village, further solidifying his place amongst the cocktail millieu. Milk & Honey and Little Branch are recognized internationally for being on the cutting edge of the cocktail industry. Sasha has been written about in major publications around the world for his contributions to cocktail culture. New York Magazine named him one of the most influential New Yorkers of 2006.
  • Ann Rogers – Ann is the founder of Tales of the Cocktail, an annual spirits and culinary event celebrating the history of the cocktail in New Orleans. She has planned, implemented and promoted the event since its inception in 2003. Now in its sixth year, Tales of the Cocktail, through Ann’s leadership, has attracted countless culinary and cocktail celebrities as presenters and hosts of the event and several top liquor brands and national magazines as sponsors for Tales of the Cocktail. Tales of the Cocktail is now considered by many to be the premier cocktail event in America.

Essentially we all arrived in New York and went bar hopping for three days. On the fourth day we had to come up with a concoction using Martin Miller’s gin and then create a classic that was picked at random by our good Master of Ceremonies, Jon Santer. I wish that I could tell you more of this wonderful event that was held at Death & Co. (thanks again Alex), but quite honestly by the end of it I was so sick I don’t recall much. I do remember having no sense of taste at the time and realizing 15 minutes after it was my turn that I forgot a rather important ingredient, but this was an event that seemed less about competition and more about camaraderie. At least that was my addled perception.

In the end of it, it was a great time had by all, and I have even more respect for all of my brethren across the pond than I had one week previously (with the exception of that bastard Ben Reed-he knows why).

As for the winner? Sam Ross of Milk and Honey fame won with a fantastic punch (dubbed the Palin Punch) that had what appeared to be half of a Xmas tree frozen in a huge block of ice in a punch bowl.

Congrats Sam, congrats all those that competed and congrats to Martin Miller’s gin for putting on one heck of an event!

Martin Millers Gin

Martin Miller's Gin

Drink and Pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

•November 28, 2008 • 12 Comments

Repeal Bourbon

I’ll assume that you are all stuffed with turkeys (those of you living in the States, anyway) and while you are coming out of your tryptophan-induced comas you’re probably realizing with horror that Xmas is less than a month away. But while you’re freaking out about visiting relatives and the perfect gift for your loved ones, I want to remind you that there is an event much closer and much more important than all of that damn goodwill to men hoopla: Repeal Day.

For those of you that have been living in a dry cave for the last 75 years, Repeal Day is the day that we celebrate the 21st Amendment, that little piece of paper that allowed America to drink freely after thirteen years of imposed drought. If you want to find out more on Repeal Day, please click here. And for a fun video, click below.

While some people think that I’m insane to take such an event so seriously, allow me to assure you that I’m not the only one. This madman has been accused of leading the charge for this all-important event, and our good friends here have been getting more and more involved with each passing year. Now Brown-Forman has jumped on the bandwagon with their release of Old Forester Repeal Bourbon.

First of all:

The Press Release

Old Forester will release Old Forester Repeal Bourbon, a new, one-time, limited-release bourbon expression celebrating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Old Forester Repeal Bourbon will come in a mock circa-1933 375ml bottle and carry an Old Forester replica label from that era. Bottles are expected to arrive in stores nationwide in early December. (Editor’s Note: they’re already out there)

Old Forester became America’s first bottled bourbon in 1870 when Louisville-native George Garvin Brown recognized the need for a bourbon of consistent high quality and began putting Old Forester in glass bottles. Brown, a pharmaceutical salesman, was so sure of the quality of Old Forester that he put his hand-written guarantee on each bottle – a practice continued today. Old Forester is the only bourbon in existence today that has been produced continuously for over a century, including between the Prohibition years of 1920 and 1933 when it received one of only ten government permits to produce bourbon for medicinal purposes when alcohol sales were otherwise illegal in the United States. No other bourbon sold in the U.S. today can make that claim.

“Repeal Bourbon celebrates the rich history of Old Forester’s role as the founding brand of Brown-Forman,” said Joe Murray, Brand Manager for Old Forester. “Old Forester still lives up to its claim of ‘There is nothing better in the market’ over 135 years since its inception and is proud to be the only bourbon produced before, during and after Prohibition.”

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon will come in a gift pack which in most markets will include a scroll of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended Prohibition, and an Old Forester snifter. Repeal Bourbon is 100-proof and will retail for a suggested retail price of $24.99 wherever Old Forester is sold. (Editor’s Note: you can find it cheaper)

“Repeal Bourbon is bottled from a special selection of Old Forester barrels that exhibited a more robust character that is similar to the Old Forester that was bottled during Prohibition,” added Chris Morris, Master Distiller for Old Forester. “The flavor, presented at Prohibition’s required 100 proof, is a full, deep, charred oak character that will appeal to bourbon-lovers everywhere.”

Tasting Notes

Pouring out my first dram of this strikingly rich-hued copper liquid, I couldn’t help but wish that they had included a cork for the bottle instead of a plastic screw cap. (I guess one can’t have everything.) The first sip made me immediately aware of the 100 proof nature of this whiskey so I added a tiny dash of water and swirled it around to help open up the whiskey before I tentatively inhaled and sipped. Spicy oak, citrus, charcoal and a discernable aroma of bacon (yes! freakin’ bacon! woo hoo!) were followed by hot, dry flavours of rye and caramel corn. This showing of Old Forester had nice acid and was ending with a clean, moderate finish, encouraging me to take another sip. Between the presentation of the packaging and the quality of the product I felt inclined to immediately purchase another bottle for posterity.

Well, I’ve told you about it and we’ve tasted it, now it’s time to mix with it. While I’ve created a drink in honor of Repeal Day before, it was scotch based and as the post is about Old Forester, let’s create a new concoction using that bourbon as a base.

Ladies and germs, I give you the:


1 ½ oz Old Forester Repeal Bourbon
¼ oz Forgotten Flavours Swedish Punch
¼ oz Rothman and Winter Apricot Liqueur
dash of Bitter Truth Repeal bitters
stir and strain into an absinthe rinsed, chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a brandied cherry

This incredibly tasty libation marries the fruity flavors of the punch and liqueur and has them doing the Lindy Hop with the bourbon. The Repeal bitters tie it all in together and the absinthe adds nice aromas and back notes. While this was pleasant with a lemon twist garnish, a kirsch-and-brandy-soaked cherry made it decadent.

You may notice that I branded all of the spirits used in this recipe today. I normally don’t tell you name brands unless I’ve received a free sample or unless the supplier is so small that I wouldn’t expect them to hand out a sample to every Tom, Dick and Blogger. In this case not only did I get free samples, but I wanted to provide a recipe that very, very few people will be able to replicate. (If you’re wondering why few will be able to recreate this concoction, let’s just say it’s difficult for those in North America to get Bitter Truth or Forgotten Flavours products, and that it will be next to impossible for those in Europe to get the Repeal Bourbon). One could say that I’m feeling a little rascally today.


Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Drink and pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Starry Night

•November 24, 2008 • 5 Comments

Thanksgiving is on its way and for most this means various bottles of wine being popped open while cooking, while eating and while digesting dinner.  And while I’ve given you one very seasonal cocktail with the Ignis Fatuus, I feel that another is in order. Given that someone is bound to bring a bottle of Chardonnay to your soiree, why don’t you show off and make a cocktail with their grape juice and be as big of a star as the turkey.

I present for you, a:


2 oz chardonnay
½ oz Poire Williams (pear eau-de-vie)
½ oz maraschino liqueur
stir and strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with star anise

While the star anise in this cocktail is more for décor, it does lend a very slight flavor to this drink the longer that it sits in the glass. The anise and pear work wonders together, so sip this one slowly as the flavours do change as the cocktail warms up, and while it is true that for most cocktails this is not a good thing, the temperature change actually works with this cocktail.

Starry Night

Starry Night

Drink and picture by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


Mr. Boston

•November 22, 2008 • 11 Comments

First Edition Mr. Boston

First Edition Mr. Boston

Many moons ago, when I was a neophyte trying to figure out the difference between a Madras and a Cape Codder, I was given, as a Christmas present,  a little guide known as the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. It was from my mom (yes , I have one of those) and it was revised, updated and on its 63rd edition in 1988. I still own that water damaged, (who’s kidding who: alcohol damaged)  worn edition,  filled with recipes for the Tequila Sunrise, Blue Margarita, Fuzzy Navel, Melon Ball, and the exceedingly complex Bourbon Straight Up (I’m not even making that up).

As bad as some of the drinks were in that edition, it is important to note that Mr. Boston has a much storied past, beginning with its inception in 1935. In the beginning Mr. Boston was merely a company tool to shill Mr. Boston brand spirits, but the recipes were interesting, with such libations as the Chrysanthemum (vermouth, Benedictine, absinthe) the Opera (gin, Dubonnet, maraschino) and the Bolero Cocktail (rum, applejack, vermouth). As times changed, so did the drinks, until we were left with editions that had abominations like those I first listed, causing many of us to write off Mr. Boston as a reputable source for quality recipes.

But that all started to change when our good friend Robert Hess put his hand (and voice) into the creation of their Platinum Edition two years ago. Suddenly there were good, balanced recipes to be had, and there was hope for all: the only downside of the Platinum edition was that it was a little large and cumbersome to be kept behind the average bar.

Well that has all changed. I’ve just received the latest edition of Mr. Boston’s Bartender’s Guide and while it is similar in size to my compact 1988 edition, as soon as you look at the list of contributors you realize that it is also quite different:

Dale DeGroff

David Wondrich

Gary Regan

Tony Abou Ganim

These are accompanied by a huge list of outstanding bartenders from across the globe, including, wait for it, yours truly.  And as exciting as it was for me to have recipes included in what was my very first bar book, it was even more exciting to see that that mad man Jim Meehan (bartender extraordinaire and co-editor of this edition) even created a drink named after me!

My fellow bon-vivants, I give you the:


2 oz rye whiskey
¾ oz Dubonnet
¼ oz Fernet Branca
¼ oz St. Germain Elderflower
stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon twist.

Why the DuBoudreau? Well, it started with me giving him a recipe that was very similar to the one above, to which this mad genius added Dubonnet and changed my orange twist into a lemon. Dubonnet + Boudreau= DuBoudreau.

I have to admit (grudgingly) that I like Jim’s version better as the Dubonnet helps better integrate the powerful taste of Fernet (although I still stand by the orange twist).

You know what to do next. Click on the links and add this one to your collection!

Still to come: my trip to Prague and New york.

2009 Mr. Boston

2009 Mr. Boston