Some Recipes, Notes, and Thoughts on Cocktails

This page collects my notes on making classic cocktails and recipes for cocktails that I have concocted (either from wholecloth or as variations on other recipes).

Classic Cocktails

1.5 oz gin (Aviation)
.5 oz lemon juice (or a bit more, maybe 4 tsp?)
2 tsp (1/3 oz) Luxardo maraschino
2 tsp (1/3 oz) creme de violette
Garnish: cherry
This is my preferred ratio when using Aviation gin; St George's Botanivore gin and Plymouth gin also work with this ratio. For other gins, the ratio may need to change.

2 oz rye
1 tsp rich simple syrup
4 dashes Peychauds bitters
stir; strain into absinthe-rinsed 6oz tumbler
express lemon peel over glass, wipe around rim, and (optionally) drop in drink
Best not-crazy-expensive ryes that I've tried in it: Sazerac 6-yr-old (if you can find it), Bulleit, Rittenhouse... otherwise, depending on the rye, you may need to change the ratio of sugar and bitters to rye. For instance, Old Overholt and Templeton are too sweet for this ratio.
As for the absinthe, St George lends a deliciously rich quality to the drink; Vieux Pontarlier is ideal; something lighter, like KŁbler, is only marginally better than a non-absinthe like Lebanese arak (which does make a decent substitute, although it's not quite viscous enough).

Real Maraschino Cherries
Use Melissa Clark's absolutely perfect (and very simple) recipe for making your own maraschino cherries. If the jar seals itself while cooling, unseal it; you're storing it in the refrigerator anyway, and nothing's been heated enough to be sterilized, so this way you won't risk botulism. Also, definitely use fresh sour cherries (so this is a once-a-year recipe). The cherries will improve immensely as they age.

Drinks I've invented or substantially modified

Carquinez (derived from the Martinez)
1.5 oz gin (a light gin such as New Amsterdam works well)
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
dash of Angostura bitters
dash of orange bitters (optional)
Stir with ice, strain into a tumbler or cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Since this was a variation on the Martinez, I named this after the Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is one over from the Martinez Bridge...

Herbal Old Fashioned
2 oz St Georgeís Dry Rye Gin
2 tsp Creeping Charlie simple syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir over ice; strain into rocks glass with fresh ice.

Creeping Charlie Simple Syrup
1/2 cup leaves (loosely packed) of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar. At a high simmer, turn heat down to medium-low, let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for half an hour. Strain through a sieve (press solids to extract all the liquid) and then through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bottle. Store in refrigerator for a couple of weeks. To extend shelf-life (still with refrigeration), add a pinch of cream of tartar when mixture starts to simmer, and add a splash of vodka after bottling.

Singapore Spring
2 oz Starlight Grappa (conceivably some other highly floral grappa would work as a substitute)
1 oz pure kalamansi juice (preferably fresh-squeezed, or =2 pkts of frozen Manila Gold Pure Calamansi)
1/2 oz St Germain
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
Shake over ice, double strain into cocktail glass.

Monkís Malice
2 oz Lairdís applejack
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 squirt Urban Moonshine maple bitters
1 dash Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters

Silver Age
2 oz High West OMG Silver Rye
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Clockwork Orange
2 dashes Reganís orange bitters

Let Bleeding Hearts Lie
1.5 oz Bulleit bourbon
.5 oz Zinfandel (Gnarly Head old vine 2014; can substitute, perhaps to an advantage, with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth)
.25 oz Bruto Americano (if lacking, can sub by mixing 4 parts Campari : 1 part Fernet Branca)
.25 oz Green chartreuse
3 dashes each Bitter Truth celery & Jerry Thomas decanter bitters (miniature bottle; maybe 2 dashes normal-size bottle?) (do not use a different celery bitters)
Rinse glass with Grand Marnier

1.5oz blood orange juice
1.5oz bourbon (Bulleit, or other high-rye bourbon)
.75oz Grand Marnier
1/3oz maple syrup
1/3oz lemon

Christmas is Coming
A note on the name: I put this drink together on Christmas Eve, with the intention of making something "Christmassy"; we were cooking a goose. Hence, I thought of "Christmas is coming, / the goose is getting fat..."
1.25 oz Plantation dark rum (probably cannot be substituted)
.5 oz Riptide rye (probably cannot be substituted)
.25 oz Sandeman tawny port
2–3 drops Peychaud's bitters
2–3 drops Australian Bitters aromatic bitters

Sangue Amaro
Variant I. (based on Victorís Secret from PDT)
2 oz Rittenhouse rye
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz blood orange juice
1/4 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
shake with ice; double strain

Variant II.
2 oz Rittenhouse rye
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters
1/2 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
When properly diluted, this drink should be five ounces; you can also simply add an ounce of water and chill in the freezer for 30–45 minutes.
No garnish, but a flamed orange peel might be nice.

Sangue Amaro (Variant II)

Clockwork Horse (based on the Stallion cocktail from Left Coast Libations)
2 oz Plymouth gin
1/2 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
1/2 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Clockwork Orange
1 dash 50/50 orange bitters*
(*50/50 orange bitters are half Regan's, half Fee Bros.)

Daniel Boone (based on the George Washington cocktail from PDT)
1 oz Rittenhouse rye
1 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
3/4 oz Rothman & Winters Orchard Cherry
Rinse cocktail glass with 4 squirts Elemakule Tiki bitters (can also serve in an old fashioned glass, with a large ice cube); cherry garnish optional.

Dog in a Bonnet (based on Jaime Boudreau's Whitehook cocktail)
2 oz Dogmaster White Whiskey
1 scant oz Dubonnet + 1/2 tsp Angostura bitters (to bring Dubonnet up to a full ounce)
1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino
Garnish: cherry

Some non-alcoholic drinks

Virgin Margarita
2 oz lime juice
2 oz orange juice
1 oz agave nectar
pinch of salt
dash of Fee Bros. lemon bitters (optional)
dash of orange bitters (optional)
shake over ice, strain

Virgin Mai-Tai
1.25 oz lime juice
1 oz orange juice
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water (= about 1.5 oz)
1/4 oz rich simple syrup
1/4 oz orgeat (or 1/4 oz almond syrup with dash of rose water and orange blossom water)
dash vanilla
shake with ice and pour (donít strain) into collins/double old fashioned glass
garnish with 1/2 lime shell and sprig of mint