John Dandy

John DandyBourbon goes with many things, but apples, cinnamon and chocolate top my pairings list.   For the bourbon in this cocktail, I used Ranger Creek’s .36 Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey which gently nips but doesn’t bite.  It brings the flavors of vanilla, cinnamon and a touch of oak.  If you choose a different bourbon, I suggest something that isn’t overly smooth.  I used Bigallet China-China Amer as a modifier.  Alone, this liqueur tastes of bitter orange, citrus, and cherries with an earthy, root touch similar to cola, (think bourbon and coke).  I added the bitters for complexity and to introduce chocolate, additional cinnamon and a bit of dried fruit from the fig bitters.

John Dandy

The nose of this Manhattan-esque cocktail is bright orange, fruit, vanilla and cinnamon.  The initial flavors are apple, vanilla with a touch of oak, followed by chocolate, dried fruit and a bit of spice.  The earthy tone comes late and the finish is fruit, spice, cinnamon and vanilla.  As noted below, don’t get this cocktail too sweet.John Dandy2

  • 1 oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Laird’s Applejack
  • 1/4 oz. Bigallet China-China Amer
  • 1-2 dashes 2:1 Demerara simple syrup – depending on the sweetness of your maraschino cherries
  • 1 dash Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 dash Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig Bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish
  1. Chill a coup or other stemmed cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the garnishes in a mixing glass with ice
  3. Stir to chill and strain into chilled glass
  4. Express orange peel and discard
  5. Add cherry




Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Slán, in Gaelic, roughly translates to “goodby”.  That is the theme for this Month’s Mixology Monday.  It’s over.  It’s done.  Kaput.  So now is goodby to the World’s Best Online Cocktail Party. Hosted by our leader and fearless cat herder, Frederic Yarm of the Cocktail Virgin Slut blog, the actual theme for the final Mixology Monday is the Irish Wake.  A most appropriate way to say, “Slán”

Wow! Mixology Monday I, April, 2006.  Almost 11 years ago.  Back then, you probably had a Motorola RAZR with 5 MB of memory and a VGA camera.  Trendy people had a Nokia Chocolate.  Or, if you were into taking pictures, you might have had a Sony Erickson with a whopping 3.0 megapixel camera!  You listened to music on your iPod but there were no iPhones.  No. 9 Park, Milk & Honey, Employees Only and Bourbon & Branch were cranking out the cocktails we love, but they weren’t using St. Germain.  It would be a year before that was introduced.  How things change.

SlantIt would be interesting to know how many cocktails were posted and how many individuals participated in the 115 Mixology Mondays since April, 2006.  I’ve participated for only a little over 2 years.  I’ve always looked forward to it and had the privilege of hosting twice.  I will miss Mixology Monday.

For me, toasting to someone’s memory calls for a shot. Unfortunately, I have raised a glass for several family members and friends that left us.  Some were far too young.  The one Mixology Monday I missed over the past two years was when a close friend died and I wasn’t feeling too creative.  But an essential part of a wake is to celebrate the life that’s ended.

I find that creating a new shot is a bit difficult.  While you can sip a shot, they are by nature made to be downed quickly.  This means that you’re not going to savor the flavors.  So subtlety is out the window.  Plus, shots are generally not served cold.  This means that sweet, sour and salt are dramatically different.

I usually try not to get too esoteric or or use a bunch of ingredients in my cocktails.  This time I’ve done both.  The Slán combines Irish whiskey, fernet, blood orange liqueur, Pineau des Charentes and Punt e Mes infused with coffee and roasted cocoa nibs.  The infusion only took an hour, but it does need to be made in advance.  When you offer someone a shot, it matters how much effort you put into its preparation.


All of these ingredients are very good as stand alone drinks.  I think that Jameson has developed some really amazing whiskeys and their Black Barrel is one of the best.  The Luxardo Fernet is one of my favorites.  It is a touch sweeter than most.  I had to mess with the Punt e Mes adding coffee and a touch of chocolate.  I’ve only recently started using Solerno, but I’m intrigued with the blood orange.  The Penau des Charence adds a touch of sweetness and richness from the cognac.

Even though this is a shot and goes down quickly, there is a lot going on.  The nose is Irish Whiskey, with the distinct caramel and malt of the Black Barrel, there is also vanilla and herbs.  The taste is caramel and toffee from the Jameson with sweetness from the Penau with a background of bitterness from the Punt e Mes and the Fernet.  There is also coffee, orange and touch of woodiness from the Jameson and the Fernet, especially on the finish.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz. Coffee & Roasted Cocoa Nib Infused Punt e Mes – see below
  • 1/4 oz. Penau des Charence
  • 1/8 oz. Luxardo Fernet
  • 1/8 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with 1 or 2 ice cubes.
  2. Stir to chill slightly
  3. Strain into 2 shot glasses

Punt e Mes Infused with Coffee and Roasted Cocoa Nibs

  • 250 ml (8 oz) Punt e Mes plus more for diluting
  • 30 gm Cracked Black Coffee Beans
  • 3 Tbl Cocoa Nibs
  1. Heat the oven to 325
  2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and scatter the cocoa nibs across the pan.
  3. Roast in the oven until they smell like fresh brownies – about 10 min
  4. Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or a baggie and rolling pin
  5. In a lidded glass jar, combine all of the ingredients and allow to infuse for 1 hr.
  6. Strain through a metal coffee filter and then through a paper coffee filter
  7. Taste and dilute with additional Punt e Mes to taste.  I added an additional 1/2 by volume.
  8. Keeps refrigerated for a few weeks.

So here is to all of those who followed or contributed to this and all of the Mixology Mondays past:

CheersMay the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be at your back.

May the best of your past be the worst of your future.


MxMo CXIV – Digestifs

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

I love bitter!  So, naturally, I love this theme! I think the amari and other digestifs add an amazing complexity to any style of cocktail, (well, I haven’t tried it with Tiki drinks – yet!)  This month we have two cocktails to offer.  We obviously have the Holidays in mind as these are both rich and creamy drinks!

Danny Boy

Danny BoyThis is a rich, bittersweet version of an Irish coffee.  I’ve used coffee syrup, which is easy to make and works much better than hot brewed coffee in cold cocktails.  The flavors are coffee first with a background of bittersweet and a creamy texture.

  • 2 oz. Cold brewed coffee syrup – see below
  • 1 oz Irish whiskey – I used Tullamore Dew Special Reserve 12 yr.
  • 1 oz. Licor 43
  • 1/2 oz Montenegro
  • 1/2 oz 2:1 Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Cream
  • Coffee beans for garnish
  1. Chill a large Coup with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients, except garnish, in a cocktail shaker with ice
  3. Shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass
  5. Allow the foam to rise to the top for 15-20 seconds then carefully drop three coffee beans on top for garnish

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.

  • 2 oz White rum – I used Treaty Oak
  • 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.

Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup

Making a cold syrup concentrates the flavors of the coffee.  Definitely use a coffee you like to drink!  We use a dark roast from Starbucks.

  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 5 cups water
  1. Combine coffee and water in a container stir well and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.
  2. Strain, first through a fine mesh filter, then through a paper filter
  3. Keeps refrigerated for 1-2 weeks


The Corpse in the Sand (No 2)

Corpse in the Sand

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s already Mixology Monday for October!  This Month we are hosted by Frederic of the  Cocktail Virgin and the theme is “Mashups.”  The challenge is to combine 2 cocktails into one Monster.  I started thinking of Scotch drinks, but nothing seemed to be anything special.  Looking at the Blood and Sand, a cocktail made with equal parts Scotch, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice, I was reminded of several other equal parts cocktails.  These included the Last Word, the Negroni, the Corpse Reviver,  the Vieux Carré (sort of) and the Blood and Sand.   I played around a bit and settled on “Monster Mashing” the Corpse Reviver (No 2) and the Blood and Sand.blood-and-sand poster

As noted above the Blood and Sand, which was named after the popular movie of 1922, is made with equal parts Scotch, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice.  The Corpse Reviver (No 2), which dates back to Harry Craddock, is made with equal parts gin, maraschino liqueur, Lillet, and lemon juice with a dash or wash of Chartreuse.  My initial attempt was to use the Blood and Sand recipe and substitute gin for the Scotch and lemon juice for the orange juice.  so the drink was:

  • Gin
  • Cherry Heering
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Lemon Juice

Corpse in the Sand3This drink was good but was pretty much Cherry Heering with citrus and some other background flavors.  So I decided to use maraschino liqueur rather than the Cherry Heering.  This works very well.  The herbals of the gin and vermouth are allowed to come through, but it’s really just a Corpse Reviver with sweet vermouth instead of Lillet.  So I decided to bring back the Scotch.  I did this with a Scotch wash and a shot back.  Now the Scotch plays along in the background bringing back the Blood and Sand like that other voice in the monster’s head!  Serving the Scotch along on the side re-enforces it’s presence as you enjoy the cocktail.

The Corpse in the Sand (No 2)

  • 3/4 oz. London Dry GinCorpse in the Sand2
  • 3/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth – I used Dolin
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 oz. Single Malt Scotch – I used Cragganmore a Speyside Scotch.  I wouldn’t suggest anything too peaty or smokey.

Corpse in the Sand4

  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Pour the Scotch into a Shaker tin with enough ice to chill the whole cocktail.  Stir briefly to coat the ice and slightly chill and dilute the Scotch.
  3. Strain the scotch into a whiskey or shot glass and set aside
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker and shake to chill.
  5. Double strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
  6. Serve the cocktail with the Scotch along side.Corpse in the Sand 5jpg


How Dry I AM – MxMo CIX

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

It’s Mixology Monday May 2016!  This month’s theme, hosted by Nick of the Booze Barn, is “Dry.”  Around here, we like dry, (maybe why we live in South Texas)!    The idea this month is to make a cocktail using a dry base spirit with no more than 10% sweetener/juice and 10% fortified wine, or no sweetener and 20% fortified wine.  The word “Dry” immediately brought to mind a local distillery here, but I’ll come back to that in moment.  I’m going to start with an Old Fashioned.

Speaking of preferring dry cocktails, I make Old Fashioneds bitters forward with minimal sweetener.  After reading the requirements for this theme, I got to thinking about how often I have difficulty making drinks sweet enough for some people.  The classic Old Fashioned is a bit sweet.  Most of my Old Fashioned recipes call for 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sweetener such as simple or honey syrup or agave in a 2 ounce pour with 2-3 dashes of bitters.  This is less than half of the above requirements for this theme.  So here is one of my favorites, the Apple Old Fashioned:

Apple Old Fashioned

Apple Old FashionedThis cocktail combines spicy Rye with a hint of apple from the bitters.  Add to that a touch of smooth honey syrup and you have a drink that is light on the tongue but still bitters forward.  You may want to adjust the ratio of bitters to syrup depending on your taste, but this month keep it dry!

Notice that this is essentially a built cocktail.  I stir it in a mixing glass without ice to combine the ingredients prior to pouring it over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.  Similar to scotch on the rocks.  Initially the flavors will be strong with very little dilution.  As you sip the cocktail and gently swirl it, the drink will chill and dilute.

Apple Old Fashioned 1

  • 2 oz. Rye whiskey such as Templeton or Sazarac
  • 1 generous dash of Bar Keep Apple Bitters
  • 1/2 tsp of honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part water)
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  1. Combine the rye, bitters and honey syrup in a mixing glass without ice.  Stir to combine.
  2. Pour over a large ice cube in an un-chilled single old fashioned.
  3. Express the oil from the lemon peel and drop it into the drink.

Desert Kiss

When I’m thinking of combining a base spirit, especially gin, with a liqueur, I usually go first to the ‘Golden Ratio’ of 1 1/2 spirit: 3/4 fortified wine: 1/4 liqueur.  With the requirements for this month’s MxMo, I decided to mess with one of my favorites: Gin, Bianco vermouth and Chartreuse.  Reducing both the vermouth and Chartreuse really alters the drink in a very good way.  There is London Dry Gin, the unmistakably qualities of the vermouth and the herbal notes of the Chartreuse.  Add a little lemon oil and the fragrance of sage and it’s all good!Desert Kiss

  • 1 1/2 oz. London Dry Gin
  • 1/4 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth
  • 1 tsp Chartreuse
  • Lemon peel and fresh sage leaf for garnish
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the gin, vermouth and Chartreuse in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard
  5. Spank the sage leaf in your palms and float it on the drink

1-dorcal-front-doorNow, back to my comment above that the word “Dry” immediately brought to mind a local distillery here in San Antonio.  Dorçol Distillery, located in Southtown has been making an apricot brandy or ‘Rakia.’  The nose on their Kinsman Rakia is, as you would expect, sweet and fruity just like a brandy should be.  But, it is bone dry.  I even measure the brix and it came in between vodka and London Dry gin.  I obviously like their product.  Added to that, is my appreciation for what these guys are doing with the community, helping to revitalize an historic part of the City.  They have a small bar at their distillery which is quickly becoming a serious attraction.  Among the many offerings is a Rakia Martini:

Rakia Martini

This cocktail has the dry fruity apricot flavor of the rakia which is enhanced by the herbal notes of Lillet.Rakia Martini B

  • 2 oz. Kinsman Rakia
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the Rakia and Lillet in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass
  4. Ask your liquor store to order some Kinsman Rakia



Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old FashionedI got the idea of jerky infused white whiskey from the Ranger Creek folks at this years San Antonio Cocktail Conference.  My original intent was to use it to make Bloody Mary’s.  However, I found that the tomato overwhelmed the jerky flavor.  More importantly, I started out making a huge mistake which resulted in me pouring half a bottle of Ranger Creek .36 White down the drain.  More on that below,* but for now, on with the cocktail.

Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey is their ‘White Dog,’ or unaged bourbon.  It is slightly sweet and a bit grainy with a hint of fruit.  It also has the ‘bite’ of white whiskey.  As a base spirit for infusing, it brings it’s own flavor profile and is an interesting substitute for vodka or grain alcohol.  For the infusion, I used my own beef jerky which is flavored with soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, Pick-a-Pepper Sauce, crushed red peppers, cayenne and liquid smoke*.  I let the jerky and whiskey steep for 2 weeks, tasting daily.  Here are the recipes:

For the Infusion

Jerky Infused White Whiskey 2

  • 375 ml Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey**
  • 20 grams Beef Jerky – without added nitrites
  1. Double filterCombine ingredients in a mason jar, seal and allow to sit at room temperature
  2. Shake daily
  3. After 2 or 3 days, begin tasting daily until flavors are fully developed: 7-14 days
  4. When the infusion is ready, loosen the mason jar lid and set the jar upright in your freezer overnight.
  5. Freeze a metal coffee filter for at least 2 hours
  6. Place frozen coffee filter inside a paper coffee filter over a funnel and filterDouble filter in filter the whiskey into a measuring cup.  The metal filter will catch the larger bits and the paper will filter the rest.  This will remove the frozen fat.  If you use a warm filter, the fat will melt and pass through the filter.
  7. If there is still fat floating on your whiskey, repeat steps 4-6.

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned

Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned sm

This is a complex cocktail.  The nose is pecan, caramel and coffee – like your Mom’s kitchen on Sunday morning when she had pecan rolls in the oven and coffee brewing on the counter.  So your nose prepares your tongue for something sweet.  Wrong!  The first taste is a combination of jerky, pecan and bitter chocolate with the whiskey in the background.  Then it’s coffee and finishes with the whiskey and spices of the jerky.  Nothing sweet about this cocktail.  I used my own Coffee Pecan Bitters but you can buy various brands at better liquor stores.  You want to use enough bitters to add flavor and just balance the bitterness with the agave.  The jerky infused white whiskey does not do well with sweet.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Beef Jerky infused White Whiskey
  • 2-3 dashes Coffee Pecan Bitters
  • 1-2 dashes Agave syrup
  • Lemon Peel for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the garnish in a room temperature single old fashioned glass and stir to combine and to dissolve the agave.
  2. Carefully drop in a single large ice cube
  3. Express the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

In case you don’t know what dried beef looks like!

This recipe creates a fairly spicy jerky.  If you want to cut the heat, drop the crushed red pepper and chose a mild Louisiana style hot sauce.  You can dry this in a dehydrator or in your oven.  If using an oven, set a half sheet pan on the lowest rack to catch drips and then lay out the jerky strips directly on racks set above.  Four pounds will require 2-3 racks.

  • 4 lbs. Beef Bottom Round cut into thin strips
  • 3 Tbl. Soy Sauce (Not low sodium)
  • 1 Tbl. Louisiana, or similar, hot sauce
  • 1 Tbl Pick A Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbl Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Tbl. Cayenne
  • 1 Tbl Liquid Smoke
  1. In a mixing bowl large enough to hold the meat, combine all of the ingredients except the beef.  Stir well and begin adding the beef mixing as you go.  Be sure all of the beef is as well covered as possible.
  2. Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 30 min or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Spread the strips on your dehydrator trays or oven racks.
  4. Dry overnight at 125° F for the dehydrator or 150° F  for your oven.
  5. Store jerky in a loosely covered container to allow air circulation.
  6. I have no idea how long it will keep.  It is always gone in less than a week!

*I did not find organic beef jerky at the store.  The organic, ‘uncured’ varieties were venison, turkey and salmon.  So I used a decent brand of beef jerky.  Unfortunately, the whiskey was very efficient at extracting the sodium nitrites, or ‘pink salt’, used to preserve the jerky.  The result was a predominant metallic taste.  The infused whiskey was irretrievable.  So, either use your own homemade jerky or buy a brand that has no added nitrites.

**Doc Elliott’s Mixology receives no compensation for brands mentioned.



Kumquat Sour

Kumquat SourI love kumquats, partly because it’s a fun word, but mainly because of the sweet and sour flavor.  It’s the only citrus I know of that you eat whole – peel, seeds and all!  A few years ago, I bought and planted a kumquat tree and eagerly awaited it’s first season.  What I did not know was that there are 2 types of kumquats that are common in the US.  The small one that we see in the grocery stores, which are the ones that you just pop into your mouth, and a larger, rounder variety that is not really amenable to eating out of hand.  Guess which one I got!  Well, what to do with a plethora of beautiful, small citrus that is sweet and very tart?  Make cocktails, of course.

The juice of these kumquats tastes a bit like orange, but has a tart/sour taste as well.  It is similar to lemon or lime juice in its tartness.  So I thought of a sour.  First up was a bourbon kumquat sour.  When I say that this that did not go well at all, I mean; “at all!”  What really surprised me was that the juice went very well with Irish Whiskey. I used Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt.  The Tullamore Dew has the earthy, grassy flavors of Irish whiskey with the flavors of fruit, (apricot, pineapple, raisin) and wood.  This blended perfectly with the sweet/sour/tartness of the kumquat.  The kumquat juice is a bit sweeter than lemon juice, so I backed off on the simple syrup.  Here is the recipe:

Kumquat Irish Whiskey SourKumquat Sour 2

  • 2 oz. Tullamore Dew 10 year old Single Malt
  • 1 1/2 oz. Fresh kumquat juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1 large egg white (can use 3 Tbl. pasteurized egg whites but it will not be the same)
  1. Add all ingredients, in order to a shaker and shake for 30 sec without ice to emulsify the egg white.
  2. Add  ice cubes  to the shaker and shake to chill 15-20 sec.
  3. Double strain into a chilled coup and serve



Blood, Smoke and Sand

Blood, Smoke and SandThis cocktail is simply a Blood and Sand with a little smokey twist.  According to an article by Gary Regan on, the Blood and Sand first appeared in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book and was probably named after the 1922 silent movie.  History aside, the Blood and Sand is an elegantly simple cocktail.  It’s equal parts scotch, Cherry Herring, sweet vermouth and orange juice, shaken and served straight up.  You can change the flavor of this drink a little by switching around different types of vermouth but the key ingredient is scotch.  I prefer a Highland Single Malt or a smooth blend for this cocktail.  The complexities of a Speyside are lost in this drink and an Islay can be over powering, but a touch of smoke is a great addition.  This version of a Blood and Sand gets that smokey twist from a mist of Laphroig as a garnish.  Just fill an inexpensive atomizer, (available here) with Laphroaig and you’re good to go.blood-and-sand poster

  • 3/4 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Cherry Herring
  • 3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
  • Mist of Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch
  • Orange peel for garnish

Blood, Smoke and Sand Bottles

  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill
  3. Double strain in to the chilled cocktail glass
  4. Express the orange peel over the drink and float the peel
  5. Apply 2 or 3 mists of Laphroaig from the atomizer over the drink
  6. Serve immediately



Brace Yourself MxMo CV

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday


It’s Mixology Monday CV and we’re excited about hosting!  The theme, “Brace Yourself,” is a challenge to concoct a cocktail that will fortify the will to venture forth into Winter.  With the fun and games everyone is having this weekend on the East Coast, it’s a fitting theme.

This month we offer two drinks, (actually 2 shots), to provide the liquid courage required for our outdoor adventures.  Both use a spirit that is rarely even mentioned in cocktail circles.   Since I am likely the only contributor to Mixology Monday that has a bottle of this stuff, a back story is required.  We were at Parliament in Dallas a while back and started chatting about their barrel aging program.  They gave us a shot of an aged drink to see what we thought.  It was definitely whiskey, but was mellowed with a hint of spice, vanilla and cloves.  We weren’t able to guess, so we asked what it was:  Fireball Whiskey!

We use our barrels to age successive cocktails/spirits/fortified wines.  The fun is in the adventure of how each cocktail affects the next inhabitant of the barrel.  Being a little uncertain about what I’d put in a barrel after Fireball, I went with the barrel stave in the bottle.  It took a little longer than I expected, but after 4 weeks the Fireball was approaching the flavors we’d experienced at Parliament.  Now for the shots:

Into the Wind

Into the Wind

I thought of this immediately after our trip to Parliament. Porter’s Fire, which is a Canadian Whiskey with “cinnamon and hints of vanilla,” posted a drink combining it with amaretto.  So, substituting the new and improved barrel aged Fireball for the Porter’s Fire, you get the sweetness of the amaretto cut by the spice of the aged and mellowed Fireball.  Toss in Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters for a little added complexity.  If it’s still too sweet for you, reduce the amount of amaretto.

  • 3/4 oz. Barrel Aged Fireball Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Amaretto
  • 2 Dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
  1. Combine ingredients in a shot glass
  2. Serve

Frost BusterFrost Buster

Amaretto is good so why not Jägermeister?  The clove and vanilla with the remaining spice of the cinnamon in the aged Fireball, blends with the herbs in the Jägermeister.

  • 3/4 oz. Barrel Aged Fireball Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Jägermeister
  1. Combine ingredients in a shot glass
  2. Serve



I served both of these shots this past weekend and got thumbs up all around.  So sip’m or slug’m, they’ll keep you warm for at least a minute or two!




Rusty Nail LgThe theme for this month’s Mixology Monday, brought to us this month by Dagreb of the Nihil Utopia blog, is Forgiving Cocktails, as in a “little too much of this and a touch to little of that.”  The challenge is to submit a cocktail that is tolerant of a bit of sloppiness in its preparation.  This lack of precision is, of course, exactly the opposite of what we generally do for this online cocktail party. While things like Rum and Coke or Jack and Coke came to mind, I decided on the Rusty Nail. In the past, I firmly believed that Scotch should be mixed only with ice or a few drops of water, if that.  This belief also included the doctrine that real Scotch wasn’t blended!  Well, I finally saw the light and discovered that good Scotch can make a great cocktail and that well made blends can make a great Scotch.

Mixology Monday

Mixology Monday

Sometime back, I posted the Smokin’ Nail.  This is a tea smoked combination of Single Malt Scotch and Drambuie.  I have seen Rusty Nail recipes use anywhere from 4:”1 Scotch:Drambuie to 1:1.  For the Smokin’ Nail, I used 4:1.  Since the exact ratio is variable, you should get a decent cocktail even from an inexperienced bartender.  In addition, you can add bitters and/or a twist of lemon.  Dave Stolte muddles a lemon peel and bitters in an old fashioned glass, and then builds the drink  adding ice, Scotch and Drambuie.  At this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, the folks from Monkey Shoulder were serving up a delicious Rusty Nail.  This is my version of that cocktail:

Rusty Nail

  • 1 1/2 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Drambuie
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters – optional
  • 1 lemon peel – optional
  1. Chill an Old Fashioned Glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the Scotch, Drambuie and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass over a large fresh ice cube
  4. Express the lemon peel over the cocktail and discard the peel.

I like adding the bitters.  They decrease the sweetness of the Drambuie without detracting from its flavors.  The lemon peel adds further complexity.

So, a fresh glass, a chunk of ice, some Scotch and a little Drambuie – you’re good to go!!