Coffee Amaro Flip

Bittersweet Coffee FlipI think that Flips, in all of their forms, are an interesting type of cocktail.  This drink is kind of a grownup eggnog – rich and creamy but not cloyingly sweet, with a bittersweet component which creates an intricate cocktail that speaks rum, coffee and the deep, earthy flavors of Amaro Nino. Perfect for the Holidays!

  • 2 oz White rum
  • 1 oz. Amaro Nino
  • 3/4 oz Cream
  • 1/2 oz 2:1 Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur – I used Starbucks
  • 1 Lg Egg
  1. Chill a large Coup with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice and dry shake for 30 seconds (Make 4 of these and you can have an extra slice of pie!)
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass
  5. Allow the foam to rise to the top for 15-20 seconds then grate a little nutmeg on the top.



Pumpkin Bisque Shooters

Pumkin Bisque Shooters

I love pumpkin and I’ve always been a fan of pumpkin bisque.  I like mine to be savory.  Save the sweet for the pie!  Since I have a more than passing infatuation with rum, I simply looked to combine two of my favorite flavors.  I tried this warm, with bourbon and with dark rum.  Not great in any combination.  But cold bisque and gold rum were the perfect match.  The bitter sweet flavor of the apple brandy foam is perfect with the savory, slightly spicy pumpkin bisque.

I have included the recipe for my pumpkin bisque below, but you can use your own or even your favorite prepared brand.

For 2 Shooters:

  • 2 oz. Cold Pumpkin Bisque – see below
  • 1/2 oz. Gold rum such as Cruzan or Mount Gay
  • 1 dash Simple syrup
  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Apple Brandy Foam – see below
  1. Combine pumpkin bisque,rum simple syrup and bitters in a mixing glass without ice and stir to combine.
  2. Divide between 2 tall shooters
  3. Gently float the Apple Brandy Foam on the shooters
  4. Serve immediately

Apple Brandy Foam

  • 3 egg whites (4 1/2 oz pasteurized egg whites)
  • 3 oz. Applejack Brandy
  • 2 oz. Fresh Orange juice – double strained
  • 2 Dashes Bar Keep Apple Bitters
  1. Add all ingredients to an iSi Whipper
  2. Seal the whipper and shake to further break up the egg whites
  3. Double charge the Whipper with N2O, shaking after each charge
  4. Refrigerate for 2 hours before use.  Will keep refrigerated for a few days.

Pumpkin BisquePumkin Bisque Shooters 2

  • 1 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 Cups Diced Onion
  • 2 cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. Butter
  • 1 – 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt to Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Dry Sherry
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  1. Saute the onions in the butter until translucent – about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 30 sec.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cream and simmer for 30 min
  3. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Return the puree to the pot, add the cream and continue to cook until heated through.
  5. Serve immediately or cool for the above shooters.



Icy Fingers


I had read about freezing martinis and thought it would be fun to try.  Frozen martinis are nothing new, but my various recipes turned into an interesting experiment.  Just to set things straight, a “frozen martini” is not a slushie like a “frozen margarita.”  It is a batched martini, placed in a bottle and put in the freezer.

So, why freeze a martini?  Well, a frozen martini is colder than ice and bone dry with a silky-smooth mouth feel.  As the temperature of a drink decreases, so do the flavors of sweet, sour, and bitter, while the taste of salt or brininess increases.  Herbal and floral flavors also change with some increasing and others decreasing. These changes can be amazing – both good and bad!  More on that in a minute.

Classic Dry Martini with olives on black background. CopyspaceBatching cocktails makes sense for events, pop-ups and even when entertaining at home. The ability to pour a craft cocktail from a bottle really helps when you are “in the weeds” bartending.  It’s also nice at home when you would like a little more but don’t want to make a whole martini.

There are a couple of caveats. First is your freezer. Even if you have a commercial freezer, you need to have a freezer thermometer. The temperature needs to remain stable at around 50 F.  A temperature of 00 – 70 F will allow you to serve a cocktail at 25%-30% ABV.  Prior to attempting to freeze your martinis you need to measure your freezer’s temperature at various times of the day.  It will probably be coldest in the morning when it hasn’t been opened.  The coldest temperature is the one you will use to calculate your batches’ ABV.

The second caveat is that liquids lowered to subfreezing temperatures tend to form ice. There are a few things you can do to make this occur less often.

Martini cocktail on counter bar.

  • Keep the ABV close to 30%. This will give you a little margin of error.
  • Shake the bottle really well to thoroughly mix your batch before freezing.
  • Avoid bumping or jarring the bottle once it’s frozen.
  • Use a screw cap or cage top bottle. Don’t use a bottle with a cork.  Removing the cork will create a slight vacuum in the bottle.  Enough to turn the batch to ice.

When your batch does ice, (and it will happen), just set it on the bar and let it warm up.  Add a little gin and refreeze the batch.

When selecting your gin, I recommend a London Dry.  At least choose something that is not overly herbal or floral.  I’ve settled on Botanist.  The subtle salinity really works when frozen.  For an example of what doesn’t work, I tried Gompers Gin.  I really like Gompers.  It makes a great Martini or G&T.  But there is a subtle flavor of pear in Gompers that when frozen, overwhelms every other flavor.  So much for that batch.

House Martini SignOur recipe:


  • 1 1/2 oz. Botanist Gin
  • 1/4 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Bianco Vermouth
  • Short dash Olive Bitters

For a 500 ml Batch with a freezer set to 50 F, this calculates to:

  • 300 ml Gin
  • 50 ml Dry Vermouth
  • 50 ml Bianco Vermouth
  • 100 ml water
  • 4 dashes Olive Bitters

Use this spread sheet to calculate your batch volumes:  ABV Batch Freeze Calc

A 20% dilution will make the drink a little strong but allows you to freeze it without icing.  The spread sheet’s freezing calculation is only accurate for an ABV of 20% – 34%.  It uses the fact that the freezing point of alcohol is a strait line in that ABV range.

Lastly, remember to freeze your glassware!

To serve:

  1. Pour desired volume of Frozen Martini into a frozen cocktail glass
  2. Garnish with olives


Lily’s Aperitif


I saw somewhere a cocktail recipe that contained Gin, Suze and Blue Curaçao.  The drink was, of course, a brilliant green.  So in my pursuit of holiday cocktails, this was perfect!  This wonderful aperitif is named after Lily the Haunted Doll.  She is the slightly creepier version of the Christmas surveillance doll “Elf on a Shelf.” The idea being that, after you adopt her, she haunts various places in your home.

For the cocktail, we chose the slightly floral Oxley Gin, Suze, Carpano Dry Vermouth, and blue curacao.  The nose is bright with citrus and juniper from both the Gin and Suze.  The taste is bittersweet with orange, botanicals, and a bit of spice.  The finish is long with juniper, a touch of pine and gentian.


  • 1 oz. Oxley Gin
  • 2 oz. Suze
  • 1 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Blue Curaçao
  • 2 drops dry orange bitters
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass
  4. Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard the peel






Worms Song

We have used agave or maguey worm salt, (Sal de Gusano) in versions of mezcal and tequila Manhattans.  The Sal de Gusano gives the drink a slight salinity and a savory background note. I’ve seen a Black Cat recipe that included Old Tom Gin, Mezcal and grapefruit.  So, never being reluctant to mess with recipes, we’ve come up with a version of Old Tom Gin/Mezcal Manhattan with the grapefruit aperitif, Caperitif.

For this cocktail, we have chosen Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin.  This Old : Gran Mitla Sal de Gusano 100 Gram Jar ... style gin is distilled with juniper as the only botanical, barrel aged in new American Oak, then sweetened with raw honey.  The Mezcal we selected is Mezcalero No. 12, which was made from wild agave.  Together they create a very pleasant cocktail.  The nose is juniper with a touch of smoke and floral notes.  The taste is juniper, honey, and a bit of wood.  The finish is slightly sweet and savory.



  • 1 oz. Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin
  • 1 oz. Mezcalero Mezcal
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth – we used Dolin
  • 1/4 oz. Caperitif
  • 1 pinch sal de gusano
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients, except the sal de gusano, in a mixing glass with ice.  Add the sal de gusano and stir to chill.
  3. Double strain into the chilled cocktail glass