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April 2015

For Your Inner Rule Breaker -- The Scofflaw

This cocktail is unusual in that both the drink and the word originated during Prohibition.  The drink came from Paris (birthplace of the Boulevardier) and the word came from Boston (birthplace of the Ward 8).  A Boston newspaper sponsored a national competition to create a term defining a lawless drinker, and the word "scofflaw" was the winning entry.  It immediately entered the popular vernacular and has been with us ever since.  

Want to drink like a bad boy or girl?  Follow the lead of these guys (left to right, John Dillinger, Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Machine Gun Kelly)
Want to drink like a bad boy or girl? Follow their  lead (left to right, John Dillinger, Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Machine Gun Kelly)

2 ounces rye (Rittenhouse or Bulleit work nicely)
1 ounce dry vermouth (Noilly Prat is top notch)
Juice from 1/8 a lemon
.75 ounces glorious grenadine syrup
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine in a shaker with ice, shake like you're running from The Untouchables (your choice about whether Robert Stack or Kevin Costner is Eliot Ness), and strain into a chilled glass.

Thanks to Herbs & Rye, a great off Strip bar and restaurant in Las Vegas, for introducing me to this cocktail.  I knew I would like the place as soon as I saw that it listed its cocktails by era.

Just remember -- cocktail history is part of American history.  So appreciate history and have a Scofflaw!


DR DR Gimme The News -- The In The Dominican

The DR refers to the Dominican Republic, not doctor as in the title of the classic Robert Palmer tune. I've gone to Punta Cana on vacation, and my experiences there have been full of leisure and libations.  Adapted from a drink recipe at the Paradisus Palma Real, here's how you can be in the Dominican:

With a rum based cocktail in hand and a view that evokes the Allman Brothers song "Blue Sky," how can you go wrong?
With a rum based cocktail in hand and a view that evokes the Allman Brothers song "Blue Sky," how can you go wrong?

2 ounces dark rum (hola Barcelo Imperial)
1.5 ounces coconut water (I prefer Zico)
.5 ounces super simple syrup

 Combine in a shaker with ice, stir as if you're doing the bachata, and strain into a chilled glass.

When it comes to Dominican rum,  I'm a big fan of Barcelo Imperial.  I discovered it at Sanctuary Cap Cana courtesy of a Dominican guy next to me at the bar. Other Dominican rums such as Brugal are good, but Barcelo Imperial is better.  You can get it online, and I've even found it a local liquor store or two that occasionally carries it.

For the coconut water, use whatever brand you like.  Just make sure that it doesn't already contain sugar, otherwise the cocktail will be too sweet when you add the super simple syrup.

Although the In The Dominican is not as "alcohol forward" as other cocktails in the Den, it is refreshing, delicious, and possibly dangerous.  It may make you muy caliente and give someone a bad case of loving you.


Modern Day Rumrunning

Havana Club
Mi amigos Cubanos.

Cuban rum is liquid forbidden fruit in the U.S.  It was the base of a daiquiri I had in Panama, and the cocktail was glorious. Until very recently it was illegal to transport Cuban rum into the United States.  Even though changes in federal regulations now  allow people to bring in limited amounts of Cuban rum in certain circumstances, distributors still can't ship it to the States.

My wife and I recently seized the opportunity to get Cuban rum with both hands (technically four between the two of us).  While going through duty free in the Dominican Republic (another country that makes excellent rum) we came across a display of Havana Club.  In the blink of an eye a couple of bottles were ours.  We didn't lie when we came through Customs -- we declared that we were carrying rum.  We just didn't mention what country produced it.

Is what we did rumrunning?  Technically no because what we did is legal.  But the experience was fun and allowed us to channel the spirits (pun intended) of some Americans during Prohibition.

A quick note about Havana Club -- read the label to confirm its origin.  According to my research some rum distributed under this name is made in Puerto Rico, so obviously there's no problem with bringing that product to the mainland (as I once had to remind an ignorant client, Puerto Rico is part of the U.S.).  Don't worry, the bottles in the picture come from Cuba.  My wife and I read the labels.  Twice.

 

 

 

check Havana Club