Past, Present, Future

Since I hold a degree in history I know the importance of knowing and respecting the past.

I know we are entering another classic age of the cocktail. But in this new classic age, will we only admire the past or will we create a new notion of the cocktail that will be remembered 200 years in the future, much like the Old Fashioned?

One has to understand the past in order to make the future better. Simple is fantastic, as I had mentioned earlier, but the future holds endless possibilities.

But where do we draw the line between future classics and marketing anomalies?

I want comments on this.

But I will leave you with a small progression in which I will compare four authors to four cocktails, tell me if you agree…Sazerac, Pegu Club, Whiskey Smash, Flirtini is to William Shakespeare, George Orwell, Stephen King, Danielle Steele…


Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am  Comments (1)  

Harrison’s Flip

In 1862, Jerry Thomas published a drink called General Harrison’s Eggnog in the first cocktail book ever written.  The simple concoction of raw egg, hard cider, and a little sugar was the favorite tipple of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States of America and decorated war hero.  Harrison also bears the distinction of serving the shortest time in office, dying after only 32 days.  Surmise what you will about the medicinal benefits of his drink.  Harrison’s Flip is my homage to the man, and to the sultry marriage of apple and egg.

Harrison’s Flip

1.5 oz Laird’s 100 proof bonded Applejack

.5 oz honey syrup*

.5 oz Allspice Dram

1/2 large egg, lightly beaten

4 plus 2 dashes Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Mime/dry shake then shake hard with ice.  Put last two dashes of bitters directly into the bottom of a chilled coupe and strain flip on top.  Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.  It’s important to add the bitters directly to the glass so as to add their impact to the last sip.  All that sugar up front begs for one last balancing bitter bite.

*honey syrup: combine equal parts honey and water in a jar and shake to combine.


Published in: on August 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Realizations on Approach, cb

So the other day the three of us sat in a board room with one of Boston’s leading restaurant consultants. Here is what I personally gathered…

Know and understand the numbers. Projections of sales, licensing, rent, remodel.

Per example, we had considered as a team that the right location might very well not be an existing establishment. Total gut rehab per sq foot averages 300$. Remodel on existing space…150$/ Sq ft.

Everything is for sale. Everyone has a price. An establishment might not even have considered selling until the opportunity is mentioned and perspective granted.

A business plan is an outline. It needs to be flexible, it needs to be vague in a sense. Outline standards, ethics, potential that can be applied to any of a number of spaces.

You have 3 balls in your court. They are all in reality the same size. As always in life however they are not as they seem. One is heavier – it’s probably filled with lead, one with water, and one…red wine, something overly extracted like a bad Shiraz. Well now one of these is location, one capital, one concept. Think of it this way, you need to juggle all three of these. One at a time is easy because you can focus, put your muscle into the lead one, style and flair with the water, and caution with the Shiraz. Too bad. Juggle. Don’t break your foot, spill water on an electrical outlet, or stain your white shirt. Juggle.

Needless to say…I like my white shirts…and my foot. We’ve got some analytical research coming up. And might I add, this is why there are three of us.


Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 1:48 pm  Comments (2)  

Campari Smash, cb

2 oz Campari

1 oz St Germain

2 dash Fee Orange Bitters

Half a lemon, wedged

7 Basil leaves

-Shake with ice. Hard.

-Double strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice

-Garnish, basil leaf

Published in: on August 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

You’re Doing it Wrong

Let me first say that I am a big proponent of molecular mixology. Still, this is not how you should do it, in my honest opinion.

First off – Jack and Coke. Second off – Shaken. Third off – the margins on that drink must be ridiculous. For the ingredients, the time, and the complexity of that cocktail it should cost, to the guest, $25 to $30. The cost to benefit ratio is completely off for that drink.

Also, who wants to drink pellets of Jack and Coke at 196 degrees below zero?

I love where your heart is, but it can be done better.


Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Riviera Maya

1 oz Blanco Tequila

3/4 oz Lemonheart 151

1/4 oz Batavia-Arrack

1 oz Grapefruit juice

1/2 oz St. Germain

1/4 oz Cinnamon simple syrup

2 dashes Tiki bitters

Shake, then strain over crushed ice…Tiki style.


Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 4:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Teamwork is Infrastructure

A restaurant is only as strong as its infrastructure. If the kitchen’s equipment is not of good standard the food will not be either. If the computer system does not have the proper software to help run the business, that business will not be efficient. These are but minor issues in the grand scheme of things, but it goes by the same mantra, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Having every gear, no matter how small, working in the machine ensures that the machine will work smoothly.

More important than the physical workings of an establishment are its people. The employees can make and can break an establishment. The mantra in which I believe when employing people is, “you do not work FOR me, you work WITH me.” We are a team. We all are cogs in the mechanism.  I will clean the bottles. I will wash dishes. I will run food. I will mop the floor. I will not leave that for barbacks, the dishwashers, or the cleaning crews if I can capably do it. But that means anyone who is my employ will do the same. We all take ownership. If all of us work together to make the establishment better more people will enjoy themselves when they walk through the door. If more people are happy when they come in then they will spend more money and tell others to come in and they, in turn, will spend more money.

In the end, we’re just sellin’ candy, makin’ money.


Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Roby Wolfe, cb

Roby Wolfe was the 1937 Lillet poster artist. His art was vibrant with a dark blue background, a fading black backdrop for the wording, and the lillet lady posed with the yellow and amber tinged grapes with bright red leaves surrounding her.

1.5 oz Lillet Blonde

1/2 oz Lemon juice

1/2 oz Black tea infused simple syrup(1:1 steeped and strained loose leaf black tea to granulated sugar)

6 ea. Raspberries

-Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice

-Shake hard

-Strain through a julep and tea strainer over cracked ice in a rocks glass.

Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genever Smash, cb

Smash: Spirit, sugar, citrus, herb, crushed ice.

3 oz Bols Genever

1/3 of a lemon, wedged

3/4 oz Gomme syrup

dash sea salt

8-10 ea Mint leaves

-Combine all ingredients over ice in shaker

-Shake it. Smash it. This is one drink that the harder the shake the better the product

-Strain through Hawthorn and tea strainer over crushed ice in rocks glass

-Garnish with aromatic bouquet of mint


Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ron Pampero Anniversario – An Insight

Ron Pampero Anniversario

Ron Pampero Anniversario

Since it’s the summer, we wanted to take a look at rums. Cb already made us drool with the Rum Raisin Flip using Matusalem Classico, but let’s move on to one of my favorite rums – Ron Pampero Anniversario.

This Añejo rum was first released by the Pampero Family in 1963 as a 25th anniversary celebration of its founding in 1938 by Alejandro Hernández, the son of a fisherman on the Isla Margarita. Alejandro has laid the groundwork for one of his rums to be the first to be called Añejo.

For such an elegant, dark, rich, and beautiful rum it is very reasonably priced (usually upper $20s). Flavors of nutmeg, butterscotch, prunes, vanilla, cocoa, and coffee flow over your tongue as you sip each amazing ounce. It coats your mouth like honey and leaves with only the slightest hint of burn.

It is an amazing sipping rum, neat or over a cold chunk of ice. Still, it is amazing in a simple, refined daiquiri with fresh lime juice and demerara simple syrup.

Enjoy, my friends.


Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment