Little Los Angeles Fizz

One of our regular guests dropped in and asked for something “Whiskey, bitter, and sour.” She reminded me, I had last made her the often unjustly ignored Los Angeles Cocktail.

Thinking of something along those lines, I improvised the following, an unholy, and unlikely, ménage à trois between a Cynar Fizz, The Little Italy, and the Los Angeles Cocktail.

Little Los Angeles Fizz

3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Bonded Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup (or to taste)
3/4 oz Egg White
Soda Water

Briefly shake vigorously without ice. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain half mixed drink into fizz glass. Add splash soda to remaining unstrained mixture and strain on top of drink. Squeeze lemon peel over drink and discard.

I delivered the cocktail with a comment that is was, “A Los Angeles Cocktail turned up to 11.”

…Where Angels Fear to Tread.

Angostura Fizz

In his book, “The Gentleman’s Companion,” Charles Baker includes a drink called an Angostura Fizz.

THE ANGOSTURA FIZZ, sometimes Called the Trinidad Fizz, Being a Receipt Gleaned from One of Our Friends Piloting the Big Brazilian Clipper from Here to Trinidad & Rio & on South to “B.A.”

This mild fizz is again like the initial olive sampling; either it suits or it doesn’t, and subsequent trials often show sudden shift to appreciation. It is a well-known stomachic along the humid shores of Trinidad, in British Guiana; wherever the climate is hot and the humidity high, and stomachs stage sit-down strikes and view all thought of food–present or future–with entire lack of enthusiasm. Further than this, the cinchona bark elixir in the Angostura, the other herbs and valuable simples, are a definite first line defense against malaria and other amoebic fevers–especially in warding off their after effect in later months when all actual peril is past.

Take 1 pony of Angostura Bitters, add 1 tsp of sugar or grenadine, the juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime, the white of 1 egg, and 1 tbsp of thick cream–or slightly less. Shake with cracked ice like a cocktail, turn into a goblet and fill to suit individual taste with club soda, seltzer, vichy, or whatever lures the mind. Vary the sweet also, to suit taste. It is a very original, cooling drink as well as a valuable tonic to those dwelling in hot countries. Garnish with sticks of ripe fresh pineapple, always.

Uh, right, Baker at his verbose best, how about this for some less romantic simplification:

Angostura Fizz

1 pony Angostura Bitters (Baker’s “Pony” is an ounce)
1 tsp sugar or Grenadine (to taste)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime
1 Egg White
1 tbsp thick Cream

Shake with cracked ice and pour into a goblet. Fill with club soda, seltzer, or vichy (to taste). Garnish with a pieces of pineapple.

A few years ago, an Italian Bartender named Valentino Bolognese won some cocktail competitions with an Angostura heavy Pisco Sour sweetened with Orgeat.

Trinidad Especial
1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters
1 oz orgeat syrup
2/3 oz lime juice
1/3 oz Pisco Mistral
Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime zest twist.

Even more recently, Guiseppe Gonzalez came up with a variation on the Trinidad Especial for the New York Bar The Clover Club with, what else, Rye Whiskey instead of Pisco:

Trinidad Sour
1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters
1 oz orgeat syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz rye
Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass.

Last night one of our regular guests came in, wanting something to drink but feeling like his previous drinks, and dinner, hadn’t agreed with him. He wanted “Something Fizzy”.

With all those drinks mashed together in my head, I figured I could make him an Angostura Fizz. And indeed, it seemed to fix him right up!

Angostura Fizz
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
1 oz White Demerara Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup (or to taste)
1/2 oz Egg White
Soda Water

Shake Bitters, Rum, Lime, Simple Syrup, and Egg White together vigorously without ice. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Fizz Glass and top with chilled soda water.

The Defend Arrack


Before heading to work the other day, I was reading through Rogue and Beta Cocktails, looking for some improvements to my “Whiskey, Spirituous” game, and glanced at The Defend Arrack by Maksym Pazuniak. Looked cool, but whenever am I going to get a chance to make a, “Batavia Arrack, Bartender’s Choice”?

But then a bartender type came in Monday night, relatively new to the game, and asked if he could try Batavia Arrack, “…and maybe could I make him a cocktail?”

What sort of bizarre coincidence is this?

Well, then!

The Defend Arrack

1 1/2 oz Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz Marie Brizard Apry
3/4 oz lime Juice
1/8 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Orange twist (garnish)

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oil from one orange twist onto the surface of the drink and discard.

“Batavia Arrack is a challenging spirit. Funky and pungent, this doesn’t mix easily. When encountering an animal like this, I like to turn to Apry, a magic liqueur that has an uncanny ability to reign in and blend disparate flavors. /Maks”

Note, Apry has been a bit thin on the ground in California recently, so I used the Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur. I found I needed to up the amount slightly, as it is not quite as assertive as the Apry is. Nothing near an ounce, but a generous 3/4 oz. Your Mileage May Vary.

Do give that a nice vigorous shake, as well.

I believe you will be surprised how, as the nouveau bartender put it, “more-ish” this seemingly unlikely combination proves to be.

3 Dots and a Dash

I’ve always liked the Rum drink called “3 Dots and a Dash” but never learned to make it.

A friend of mine, who also has a cocktail blog, wrote it up last week (Matt Robold over at 3 Dots and a Dash), so I figured it was about time I learned to make the damn thing.

A sort of Rum Punch, it is a delicious mix of potent rum flavors and drinkability.

3 Dots and a Dash

1 1/2 oz Neissen Ambre Rhum
1/2 oz El Dorado 5 Year Demerara Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
scant 1/2 oz Honey Mix*
1/4 oz John Taylor Falernum
1/4 oz St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1 scoop crushed ice (about 6 oz)

Blend or shake very well, until the outside of the mixing tin or glass frosts. Pour into a collins glass and garnish with a pineapple spear and 3 cherries.

*Honey Mix: Combine Honey 1-1 with warm water and shake to combine.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of 3 Dots and a Dash, so this Tabouleh will have to suffice:

I was looking through the fridge the other day and noticed I had a rather large, and totally forgotten, bag of uncooked bulgur wheat towards the back. Realized I hadn’t made Tabouleh in quite a while, so I figured now that tomatoes are starting to come into season, it would make a fine side salad for a roasted chicken.

Tabouleh is an interesting salad to play with, I’ve had them made all over the map. From basically all Parsley to almost entirely Bulgur. It’s sort of left to your interpretation. The mandatory elements, to me anyway, are: Cooked Bulgur Wheat, Parsley, Tomatoes, and olive oil. After that, the sky’s the limit.


Cook bulgur wheat according to the directions on the package it came in. Cool Bulgur, draining if necessary. Get out a large bowl. Finely mince a clove or two of garlic, pour in a couple tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Add a similar amount of olive oil. Chop your herbage and add it, being quite generous. Sometimes this dish is more an herb condiment than a salad. Chop a ripe and tasty tomato and throw it in with the herbs and garlic. Slice a green onion or two and add. Salt generously and toss to mix. Peel and chop a cucumber, (or other crispy vegetable,) and add. Toss again and check seasoning. Add bulgur wheat, maybe some crumbled feta cheese, and freshly ground pepper. Toss, allow to stand at room temperature for flavors to marry.

It is really easy to scale this up and down, it makes a totally classic hippie dish for a potluck. In fact, I believe, in certain cities, like Madison, WI and Berkeley, CA, if, through a bizarre set of coincidences, someone fails to bring Tabouleh as a “Dish to Pass”, all you have to do is close your eyes and say, “Tabouleh,” and it will appear on the table.

Eeyore’s Requiem

When we visited The Violet Hour a couple years ago, one of the favorite drinks we tried there was called “Eeyore’s Requiem”.

It’s a little bit of an odd drink, most drinks are made with the bulk of their ingredients being Spirits.

With Eeyore’s Requiem, it is kind of the reverse. Most of the drink is various bitter Italian liqueurs, or Amaros, and vermouth with the minor part of the drink being Gin.

I later learned that the cocktail was created by Toby Maloney, aka Alchemist on, for The Violet Hour. The recipe was published in a few places, including Serious Eats and

Eeyore's Requiem

Eeyore’s Requiem

Eeyore’s Requiem

1 1/2 oz Campari
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz Dry Gin
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
15 drops Miracle Mile Orange Bitters

Stir on ice until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Express a peel of an orange over the glass, and garnish with a ‘pig tail’ orange peel.

To make the ‘pig tail’ orange garnish, start with a whole orange. Using a channel knife cut, make continuous spiral cut of peel, as you can see in the picture above.

For all the rough and tumble of the bitter ingredients of this drink, it is surprisingly smooth.

For what is is worth, it’s a bit rich, maybe a better after dinner, than before, dinner drink.

Or if you’re serving it before, lighten it with a bit of sparkling water or wine.

In either case, it is delicious!

Litigious Bastard

But, what do you do with the rest of that bottle of Pusser’s you’ve had mouldering at the back of your liquor cabinet?

Litigious Bastard

1 oz Pusser’s British Navy Rum
1 oz Canton Ginger
Juice 1 Lime and 1 half spent lime shell

Shake violently with cracked ice and pour into a bucket. Fill with Soda Water and dash on top a healthy amount of Angostura Bitters. Garnish with a couple of very enthusiastically spanked mint sprigs.

You know, this is actually a bit better than it should be.

And I’m going to have to insist, even though you might be tempted to make the Litigious Bastard with Smith & Cross, that you stick to Pusser’s for this one.

Low Gap Old-Fashioned


06-04-2011, Low Gap Whiskey Old-Fashioned with Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters.

2 oz Low Gap Clear Whiskey
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Water
3 dash Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters
Lemon Peel

Add sugar, water and bitters to the bottom of a heavy glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add cracked ice and pour in whiskey. Stir until well chilled. Squeeze lemon peel over glass and drop in.

A friend sent me this sample from a line of bitters he is working on, the Forbidden Bitters are designed to be an Old Fashioned style bitters in the vicinity of Abbott’s Bitters.

Well, what better to do with Old Fashioned style bitters than make an Old-Fashioned?

And a delicious Old-Fashioned it is!

Another Manhattan-ish Cocktail

I was thinking about what made the flavors of the Low Gap White Whiskey work so well with the flavors in that Manhattan-ish Cocktail, when I got to thinking about combining the floral hop flavors of the Charbay Doubled and Twisted with the floral-anise character of the Meletti Amaro.

1 oz Charbay Doubled and Twisted Unaged California Whiskey
2 oz Chilled Perucchi Red Vermouth
1/2 oz Meletti Amaro
Chilled Soda Water

Build in medium size glass, top with soda.

It’s not as totally awesome and enjoyable for me as the Low Gap and Carpano Antica “Manhattan” but something about the flavors strike me as more in tune with modern Cocktails. I’ll have to try giving it the stirred cocktail treatment one of these days.

Bee’s Knees

Warning! Dangerous Cocktail Geekery Ahead!

The other day I got a text from Erik Adkins, “What do you know about the Bee’s Knees?”

I responded: I know it isn’t a Savoy Cocktail, most people say it is a Prohibition Era Cocktail, and the earliest recipe I know of is from the 1947 “Bartender’s Guide…by Trader Vic”.

Bee’s Knee (sic)

1 oz Gin
Juice 1/4 Lemon
1 tsp. Honey

Shake with crushed ice; strain into cocktail glass.

I said I’d check further and see what I could come up with.

Now my general assumption has always been that the 1947 “Bartender’s Guide…by Trader Vic” used Patrick Gavin Duffy’s 1934 “Official Mixer’s Manual” as it’s source for prohibition and pre-prohibition cocktails.

So I checked P.G. Duffy, but it had no Bee’s Knee. Or Bee’s Knees for that matter.


Well, thinking about it, there were actually 3 big cocktail compendiums published just prior to prohibition in America: “Savoy Cocktail Book”, PG Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual”, and “Cocktail” Bill Boothby’s “World Drinks and How to Mix Them”.

San Francisco Bartender William Boothby is interesting, in that he was a cocktail author that spanned pre-prohibition and post-prohibition cocktail publishing. His first books were published before 1900 and his magnum pre-prohbition opus published in 1908.

Unfortunately, the plates, and most of the original copies of his pre-prohibition publications were destroyed in the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.

After Prohibition, in 1930 he again got into the publishing business with his “World Drinks and How to Mix Them”.

As with other author’s, his goal was to compile as many of the the pre-prohibition and prohibition era cocktail recipes as he could find into the same book. Concentrate all the knowledge in one big book.

On a practical level, I imagine all these authors walking into a publishing office with a big stack of pre-prohibition cocktail manuals and saying, “Here’s my book, just transcribe these. I’ll write the introduction. Thanks for the check, I prefer cash. Have you heard of a little something called the Depression?”

Or, well, in Craddock’s case, not even that. “Here’s a quote for your introduction. You’re the writer, make me sound good.”

So I checked my 1934 edition of home-boy Boothby’s recipe book for the Bee’s Knees Cocktail.


Bee’s Knees

Gin…1/2 Jigger
Lemon…1 Spoon
Orange…1 Spoon
Honey…1 Spoon

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

Huh, wow, could it be that the Bee’s Knees, one of the signature cocktails of the modern craft cocktail movement, originated on the West Coast? Well, either that, or it was in some unknown book in Boothby’s collection, which neither Craddock nor PG Duffy had access to. I guess it is worth noting that Boothby was a West Coast bartender, while both Duffy and Craddock plied their trade in the metropolitan areas of the East Coast. I also sent a note to Greg Boehm, and he confirmed Boothby was the earliest Bee’s Knees recipe he knew of.

Interestingly, this seems to indicate that Trader Vic, instead of using PG Duffy for his source for pre-prohibition cocktails, was actually using Boothby’s “World Drinks and How to Mix Them”. West Coast represent!

Boy, an interesting exercise would be to find out which cocktails were unique to all three of these classic cocktail compendiums.

It might give us more insight into which cocktails were actually Craddock’s, which cocktails were Boothby’s, and which were rightly claimed by PG Duffy.

Now, the prohibition era Bee’s Knees is often excoriated as being a disgustingly sweet concoction, only created to hide the flavor of bathtub booze with honey and lemon.

These early recipes both seem to give lie to that theory; they are heavy on the gin and far lighter on the honey and lemon that any modern cocktail would be.

Here’s a modern recipe for the Bee’s Knees from a website:

Bee’s Knees

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

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

Seems like modern cocktail makers, not prohibition era bartenders, are the ones playing, “Hide the Gin”.


Update with even more cocktail geekery!

I was chatting with Camper English in the Mixo Bar and he mentioned that he also had recently been researching the Bee’s Knees Cocktail.

He mentioned that Jared and Anistasia Miller (of Mixellany, Slow Drinks, and EUVS fame) had claimed that the oldest recipe for the Bee’s Knees was from Frank Meier’s “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks”.

It’s not a book I am super familiar with, so I dug out my Cocktail Kingdom reprint and checked. Indeed there is a Bee’s Knees in Mr. Meier’s Book.

Frank Meier was the head bartender at the Ritz Paris during Prohibition and published his book, “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks” in 1936.  A very influential man in the circles of European Bartending.

His recipe for the Bee’s Knees is as follows:

Bee’s Knees

In shaker: the juice of one-quarter Lemon, a teaspoon of Honey, one-half glass of Gin; shake well and serve.

As this is nearly the Trader Vic recipe verbatim, I think I am going to have to rescind my previous assumption that Mr. Bergeron was using Boothby for a source. Bummer for West Coast Solidarity. He was probably having Meier transcribed, not Boothby, and it was probably Vic’s plagiarizing of the Meier recipe that went on to launch a thousand gin sours sweetened with honey.

On the other hand, Boothby did beat Meier to the punch by publishing a Bee’s Knees recipe in 1930 and again in 1934.

Half right, half wrong. Not bad.

Now I’m gonna have to do a taste test between Bee’s Knees with Orange Juice and without.

Black Prince Cocktail

While it is fun to go out to Smuggler’s Cove, I find I have a semi-low tolerance for tropical drinks.

Fortunately, Martin Cate’s menu encompasses more than just Exotic drinks. In fact, it is nearly a cross section of Rum Cocktails from the beginning of their history to the present day.

For example, the other day I rather enjoyed the Black Prince, which could only be described as a rum version of the NY “brown, bitter, and stirred”.

According to the Smuggler’s Cove menu it is, “A dark and complex concoction consisting of aged Guatemalan rum, Punt e Mes, Averna, and orange bitters. Created by Phil Ward at Death & Co. in NYC, this is an excellent showcase of rum’s versatility.”

In fact I enjoyed it so much, I decided to try to replicate it at home!

I don’t know the exact recipe, and also don’t have Punt e Mes in the house at the moment, but found this version of the drink quite enjoyable.

1 1/2 oz Zacapa 23
3/4 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Averna
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters, 1 dash Fee’s Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Hm, while I liked the Punt e Mes version at Smuggler’s Cove a lot, I think I may like it a bit more with Carpano Antica, as it is not quite so sweet. Gonna have to give it a try again when I get Punt e Mes back in the house.

If anyone knows the exact recipe, drop me a note or comment.


Thanks to Matt Browner Hamlin for the proper Black Prince, straight from Phil Ward:

2 oz dark aged rum
0.75 oz Punt e Mes
0.5 oz Averna
Dash orange bitters

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.