Category Archives: Drinks

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey
There’s Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskey and in America we have Rye and Bourbon. Here are three more cocktail ideas.

There are at least three different cocktails called the “Derby.” This is the one associated with the race held at Churchill Downs in Kentucky.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Whiskey Crusta
A New Orleans classic, invented in 1850.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Shake with ice, strain into a sugar rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel. The glass should be prepared in advance so the sugar can harden.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

This rye whiskey drink was invented in Paris while America suffered through Prohibition.

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

It was invented in Paris so, of course they used French vermouth. Try it with Italian vermouth – much better.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

Some Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some Cocktails Made With American Whiskey
There’s Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskey and in America we have Rye and Bourbon. Here are three classic cocktails made with American whiskey.

Vieux Carré
This one was invented at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, and is named for the “The French Quarter” – le Vieux Carré (“Old Square”).

Mix all the ingredients in a rocks glass with ice.

Bourbon Smash
Not unlike a Mint Julep but with a bit of lemon added to offset the sweetness.
 Muddle the lemon and 3 sprigs of mint in a shaker. Add the bourbon, simple syrup, ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

My wife Bridget and I went to four bars in the New Orleans’ French Quarter to try Sazeracs and take away the best recipe. This was our favorite but after four Sazeracs I could only remember the recipe and not the name of the bar where I got it – maybe the Hotel Monteleone? Put ½ shot of Anisette in a small rocks glass. Coat the sides of the glass with it and then add some ice. In another small rocks glass add: a few dashes of Peychauds Bitters and 1 tsp of simple syrup. Mix, add ice and stir. Add a shot of rye and stir. Empty ice and excess Anisette from 1st rocks glass and strain mix of Peychauds, syrup and rye into it. Float a few dashes of Angostura on top.

*Simple syrup – Heat one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Stir until it’s clear and liquid.

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Robert Iulo at Yelp

Swizzle Stick Cocktails

Swizzle Stick Cocktails


Originally from the Caribbean, swizzle sticks were used by bartenders to mix rum cocktails. It’s a stick made from the wood of a tropical tree called the Quararibea turbinate. Its branches naturally grow outward like the spokes on a wheel. You rub it quickly between your hands and it works something like a whisk.

You can get one here – Cocktail Kingdom



If you don’t have a swizzle stick, use a long handled bar spoon.

Classic Frozen Daiquiri

Three simple ingredients and one of them should be Cuban rum but…




Swizzle with shaved ice and pour into a cocktail glass.

Meyers’s Swizzle

This is one my father taught me.20161108_160522



Swizzle 1st 4 ingredients with shaved ice. Pour into a cocktail glass. Add more ice and Angostura. Serve with a short straw.

Simple syrup – 1 part water / 2 parts sugar  Mix in a small pot, heat and stir until it’s clear.


Improvise – serve in a tall glass topped with some club soda.

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Scotch Cocktails

Scotch Cocktails


Save the top shelf Scotch like Johnny Walker Black for sipping on the rocks. Something like J&B is less pricey, still a good Scotch and perfect for cocktails. My father, who was a bartender when he was a young man always said that someone who orders a high end liquor in a cocktail is being pretentious because when it’s mixed they can’t tell the difference anyway.

The Churchill

The Churchill cocktail was created for Winston Churchill, a Scotch drinker.



Shake with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Rob Roy

Rob Roy was named after the Scottish folk hero. It’s pretty much a Scotch Manhattan.



Stir ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


A Rob Roy can also be served on the rocks.

Rusty Nail

A nice mix of a cordial made from Scotch and honey, and Scotch.



This one is served on the rocks so you can mix it right in the glass.



Scotch Hot Toddy



Mix Scotch and sugar in a cup. Add heated milk and stir. You might try this with a sprinkle of nutmeg.


Here’s one more that got it’s own post some time back –

atholl-brose2ATHOLL BROSE

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Cocktails Made with Gin

Cocktails Made with Gin

Invented by the Dutch 350 years ago, this colorless spirit, flavored with juniper berries was originally called genievre or jenever. Lately, it’s been replaced in popularity with vodka but for the four cocktails made with gin listed here, there is no substitute.

Belmont Cocktail

belmont bbelmont

Very simple – just shake the 3 ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Pink Lady

pink b


Put the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously & strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

White Lady

white awhite

Everything goes into the shaker and shake thoroughly because of the egg white.

Old Tom Martini

martini b


An early Martini recipe – put gin and Vermouth in a mixing glass and stir (never shake) with ice. Pour into a chilled Martini glass and add bitters and olive.

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I grew up with Marie Brizard. That was my father’s go-to brand of anisette. The bottle was on the table  after every dinner to sweeten our expresso. It was a low enough  proof so I got to use some in my coffee too. I don’t remember too many people drinking it straight. Anisette is very sweet. Maybe an old lady who needed a drink for a toast and didn’t want anything too strong would have some. Sometimes I’d get a sip of it in a cordial glass if I had a cough or sore throat.



Although some people think it’s main ingredient is liquorice root, anisette is made by macerating the seeds of the anis plant in a neutral spirit. I have an anis hyssop on my balcony (see the heading photo) but I’ve never tried to gather the seeds. A friend recently suggested that I can make a passable anisette using its leaves by filling a jar have full with them, then filling it with vodka. Strain it after a month, and add sugar syrup to taste. I may try that when my plant is bigger toward the end of the summer.

Anis Seeds
Anis Seeds

My Aunt Lena use to make her own anisette with anis essence she’d get from a local pastry shop. That’s a main ingredient in anisette biscotti so all the pastry shops had it. The essence would be added to black market grain alcohol and sugar syrup. She’d mix it in a big pot on her kitchen table. I remember being small enough to stand on the table to stir it with a long wooden spoon.

Anise Biscotti
Anisette Biscotti

When I was growing up, the only time I ever saw sambuca was if someone brought a bottle back from Italy. It wasn’t imported to the US back then. And as much as it tastes like anisette, sambuca is made from the elder berry plant. It’s a higher proof and is now much more common here than anisette.

anisette and coffee

I still generally use Marie Brizard but when it’s available I buy Anis del Mono, a Spanish brand. I like the monkey on the label. There are other anis flavored liquors made around the Mediterranean: Pernod, raki, ouzo and anazone but anisette is the best for sweetening expresso.


anisette bottles

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Atholl Brose

Atholl Brose

Atholl Brose

The Scottish legend is that the 1st Earl of Atholl got a rebel leader drunk with this and beat him in battle. True or not, Atholl Brose is a tasty drink and maybe was worth it for the rebel.

There are lots of different recipes for Atholl Brose. Some people soak the oats in water to make the brose and then mix an equal amount of Scotch with it. Others leave out the cream. I suggest you try this one and then improvise. Use a good blended Scotch but no need for anything too expensive.

atholl brose ingredients

Mix the Scotch and steel cut (not instant) oatmeal in a bowl. Cover it with cheese cloth and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 2 days.

Strain it into a 1 quart sauce pan (be sure to squeeze out every drop of Scotch from that cheese cloth). Add 2/3 cup heavy cream and ¼ cup honey. Bring it to a simmer and stir.

Give it a couple of shakes before pouring. You can serve it hot in the winter and cold or on the rocks in the summer. I’m not really encouraging it, but since it’s made with oatmeal you might want to try it with breakfast.

Atholl brose ingredients (minus the cat)
Atholl brose ingredients (except the photobombing cat)

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Cocktails – some new ones

The Fall Classic Cocktail

We got this recipe from the bartender who invented it for the Sept. 2011 Landmark Feast at the American Museum of Natural History.

Fall Classic

Fall Classic Cocktail

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Add a sprinkle of Angostura.

*cider thyme syrup – 2 cups cider, 1 cup sugar and a few sprigs of thyme. Boil slowly until clear and let it cool. Remove thyme and it’s done.

Bull Shot

Not as dainty as a Mimosa but a very good brunch drink.

Bull Shot

Pour all ingredients over ice in a 10 oz glass, stir and garnish with a lemon wedge.


Philly Special

Philly tended bar in a place on Stanton Street between the Bowery and Forsyth in the 1960s when it was still the Lower East Side (pre-gentrification). This was his creation.Philly Special

Pour both over ice – simple!

Philly Special

Vodka on the Rocks

A Russian friend gave me this one. Sounds simple but there’s more to it than you might think.

Vodka on the Rocksod

Vodka on the Rocks

Cut a cucumber into thick slices and freeze them solid. Put them into a rocks glass as you would ice, and cover with Vodka.

1st – melting ice doesn’t dilute your drink.

2nd – there’s a fresh aroma of cucumbers with every sip


A Brazilian friend taught me how to make Caipirinhas. We went to buy limes and I asked how many should I get. She said, “How many Caipirnhas do you want?” So that’s one lime per drink.


Lime – Sugar – Cachaca

Cut the 2 ends of a lime so that you have a barrel shape. Cut that into 4 rings and stack them. Cut that stack into quarters so you now have 16 small wedges of lime.

Put the lime into a heavy duty rocks glass and crush with 2 tea spoons of sugar.

Add ice and fill glass with Cachaca and stir. Some bartenders add a splash of 7-Up.


Cocktail Miscellany


Cocktail Miscellany

Coffee Sport

cafe sport

     My Aunt Lena made a few bottles of this  once a year around candlesChristmas time. She always sent some to my elementary school’s convent. The Sisters of Charity loved this stuff. We didn’t get the recipe from my aunt before she died but after some trial and error Bridget & I managed to come up with it.


Make double strong espresso (10 heaping teaspoons / 850 milliliters water) and filter twice with paper filters. Heat in double boiler until it’s reduced to half.

Combine:   450 milliliters of 190 proof alcohol with 300 milliliters of syrup and stir.

Add 380 milliliters of coffee concentrate and stir. It’s ready as soon as it cools.

The end result should be about 70 proof

Pomegranate Liquor


Bridget & I made this one up.


Filter the juice of 6 medium pomegranates (about 500 plus milliliters)

Reduce in a double boiler to 475 ML

Add 300 milliliters of 190 proof alcohol and 160 milliliters of simple syrup for about 70 proof.

Scotch Bonnet Infused Tequila

scotch bonnet z

This is meant to be sipped and savored, un-mixed and no ice. It’s very  HOT.

scotch bonnet
Scotch Bonnet by Scott Conary

Pour 1 liter of tequila into a wide mouth bottle or jar. Take 8 Scotch Bonnet peppers and pierce with a knife and add to the jar. Set aside one month and strain into a bottle.

Maraschino Cherries

cherry jar


Pick through and wash the cherries and put them in a jar. Heat the Luxardo and fill the jar to the brim. Wait two weeks. Done.

* It’s really better with pit but remove them if you’ve got time on your hands.

Simple Syrup

Using syrup makes mixing cocktails much easier.

1 part water / 2 parts sugar

Heat until clear

Pinot Noir Punch

punch bowl

This was adapted from Duffy’s 1956 edition of the Official Mixers Guide


Mix and chill first 5 ingredients and pour into a punch bowl over a *block of ice with citrus fruit slices frozen inside and add chilled Pinot Noir (or Burgundy). Add chilled club soda just before serving.

*Slice some lemons, limes and tangerines and put them into 4 sandwich size zip lock bags. Add water and freeze. When frozen, put the frozen contents of the bags into a large zip-lock, add more water and freeze. This should leave you with a colorful block of ice to keep the punch chilled.

RECIPESd 9-25-14