The Masked Bandit


 attention bay area people: cask and sfwtc now stock don cuco sotol

The Gripping Conclusion

  • 2 oz redbreast 12 year (cask strength, if you can get it)
  • absinthe rinse
  • ¼ oz real grenadine
  • creole bitters
  • big lemon rind (one in shaker & one in the glass)


The Ruby Slipper

cocktail, port, whiskey

the ruby slipper cocktail

  • fresh ginger root, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 oz high west silver oat whiskey
  • 1½ oz tawny port
  • clear creek douglas fir eau de vie rinse
  • 1/4 oz real grenadine
  • angostura bitters & a few dashes of peach bitters

rinse the inside of the glass with the douglas fir eau de vie. muddle the ginger in the oat whiskey using ½ inch cubes (as much or as little as you prefer…. but i suggest you muddle at least 2 cubes), sieve into your shaker with the rest of the ingredients. shake, serve & garnish with a cube of fresh ginger root.

Garden Cocktails

as promised, here are the two cocktails i created for the Wildflower Craft Cocktail and Twilight Tour at the San Francisco Botanical Garden last week.

1. zenzerosa

  • muddled ginger (2 to 4 half inch cubes depending on your love of ginger; muddle in the bourbon, then sieve it into your shaker with the remainder of the ingredients)
  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • 1 oz japanese plum wine
  • ½ oz cocchi americano
  • creole bitters & peach bitters
  • garnish with a chunk of candied ginger.

2. wiggy #2

  • muddled rosemary (a few thick sprigs, muddle quickly in the whiskey and sieve into your shaker so as to the release a bit of the oil without adding too much chlorophyll)
  • 1½ oz pear liqueur
  • 1 oz high west silver oat whiskey
  • ¼ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • lemon bitters

garnish with a small sprig of rosemary.

Wildflower Craft Cocktail and Twilight Tour at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

hey, bay area people, cocktail lovers and botanigeeks; i’ll be creating & serving a couple of cocktails using garden-sourced ingredients at the San Francisco Botanical Garden on april 18th at 7PM. it should be a gorgeous evening so buy your tickets now as they’re selling a very limited number. hope to see you there.



Wedding Cocktails

last week i had the honor of creating two cocktails for a friend’s wedding. one representing the bride, and one the groom:

The Sea Cucumber

  • 1½ oz vodka (as vodka goes, karlsson’s gold is pretty nice and actually has some sort of flavor)
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • ½ oz grenadine (i prefer to use the real stuff, so i chose small hand foods)
  • ¼ oz orgeat (i also used small hand brand)
  • ¼ oz lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • muddled cucumber
  • fee’s rhubarb bitters

thoroughly muddle several thick slices of cucumber in the vodka. strain into your shaker with a fine wire mesh. add the rest of the ingredients, shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a ¼ cuke slice.
for best results, watch the video below whilst enjoying your sea cucumber.

Smokey & the Bandit (the groom has some deeply bromantic feelings for burt reynolds):

  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • ½ oz mezcal
  • ½ oz real maple syrup
  • ¼ oz lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • fee’s black walnut bitters
  • peaty single malt rinse
  • candied ginger chunk garnish

rinse the inside of a chilled cocktail glass with a peaty single malt whisky like ardbeg, laphroaig, smokehead, or bowmore. shake ingredients over ice, strain into the peat-rinsed glass, and plop a chunk of candied ginger in there.
oh… and here’s your soundtrack.

The Vow of Silence

  • 2 oz dill-infused brandy
  • ½ oz frangelico
  • 1 oz coconut milk
  • ½ oz orgeat syrup
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • float a wee sprig of dill on top

shake vigorously with ice & serve in a cocktail glass. float a small sprig of dill for garnish.

Unnamed Vanilla Moonshine Cocktail

last night i stumbled upon the bottle of BT white dog that i dropped some vanilla beans into a month or so ago, and stuffed behind a bunch of other bottles on my counter. needless to say the vanilla flavor was DEEP after being in the bottle for so long.

  • 2 oz vanilla-infused buffalo trace white dog mash #1 (split & drop a couple vanilla beans into a bottle & let infuse for a week or two)
  • ½ oz amaro
  • 1 oz cardamaro
  • orange bitters

Oaxaca Five-0

  • 2 oz blanco mezcal
  • ¾ oz pineapple-cilantro shrub syrup (find a shrub recipe on the internets, and make your own. it’s easy!)
  • ¼ oz strega
  • fee’s gin barrel aged orange bitters

shake with ice – strain & serve in a cocktail glass with a cilantro sprig garnish.

Sotol Cocktail #15

  • 2 oz sotol
  • ½ oz aperol
  • ¼ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz ginger syrup
  • fee’s gin barrel-aged orange bitters

The Right Honorable (a homemade carrot brandy concoction)

here’s a seasonal cocktail made with stuff from my local farmer’s market. and brandy.

homemade carrot brandy.

  • 2½ oz carrot brandy *
  • ½ oz tangelo juice
  • ¼-½ oz fresh ginger juice (add a bit more if you enjoy the tingly burn like i do)
  • ¼ oz honey syrup (1:1 h20 -> honey)
  • fee’s orange bitters

carrot brandy

    • 1 750ml bottle of christian brothers frost white brandy
    • 1 large fresh carrot, sliced thin (~ <3mm). enough to fill a mason jar 1/2 full.
    • 1 large (1 qt) mason jar

slice the carrots and toss them into the mason jar. cover to the top with brandy. let sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks & give the jar a good shake daily. bam. carrot brandy.

The Jade Emperor

The Jade Emperor, chinese spirits, cocktail

  • 2 oz fen chieu
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • ½ green chartreuse
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ¼ oz gum syrup
  • grapefruit bitters

The Universal Lord of the Numinous Treasure


Mijiu (Rice Baijiu)


  • 2 oz mijiu (rice baijiu)
  • ½ oz st. george qi black tea liqueur
  • ¼ oz lemon juice
  • ¼ oz gum syrup
  • peach bitters

You had me at “Sorghum”.


way tastier than I expected. here’s a recipe:

  • 2 oz fen chieu
  • 1 oz apple juice
  • ½ oz strega
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ¼ oz gum syrup
  • rhubarb & creole bitters

World Alcohol Consumption: What Are People Drinking & How Much?

uganda waragi

Uganda Waragi. Yep, It comes in a plastic bag.

lately i’ve been reading up on what people distill & consume across the globe. i found this table on wikipedia (oh, how i love tables) listing all the world’s counties and how much alcohol each consumes (measured in liters of pure ethyl alcohol consumed per capita in a given year). most notable, uganda consumes the highest percentage per capita of “other” (non- beer/wine/spirits), which is probably mainly in the form of waragi (which is a blanket term for a handful of distillates, of which bananas & palm are a common source).

south korea leads the world in spirits consumption by a surprisingly large margin (mainly soju, a sweet potato, barley and/or tapioca distillate), but if there were an official alcohol consumption olympics, moldova would go home with the lion’s share of the medals. moldovans consume beer, wine & spirits in roughly equal amounts (lots & lots). conversely, it’s no surprise that several middle eastern islamic states have the lowest overall consumption. and apparently, we americans like our beer, though i personally can’t stand the stuff (tastes like liquid bread… but i will partake in the occasional belgian ale).

it’s also interesting to dig deeper & learn about what the principal crops are that are grown in different regions of the globe, as well as factors like geography, climate, economy, and what the people who live in each region have done with those crops in re; distilling alcohol. some distilling traditions go back almost 10 centuries, as with the cultures that inhabit(ed) what’s now the US southwest, mexico and parts of central america.

The Fireplow

D. Wheeleri

Sotol is a distilled spirit made from the Dasylirion wheeleri (commonly known as Desert Spoon or, in Spanish, sotol), a plant that grows in the wilds of Northern Mexico, New Mexico, West Texas, and the Texas Hill Country. It is known as the state drink of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila. There are few commercial examples available. It is produced in a manner similar to the more common artisanal mezcals of central Mexico.

At the Fate Bell Shelter, which is on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, sotol is depicted in paintings on the rock walls. Sandals, baskets, ropes, mats, and many other items of sotol fiber show it was a highly important resource to Ancient Pueblo People of the Basketmaker culture. These artifacts date to around 7000 BCE.

A humanoid figure with a spray of spiky leaves for a head and a black stripe down the middle of its body may represent the magical spirit of sotol. Sometimes it appears in connection with hunting scenes. Sometimes it appears surrounded by orange ochre flames and black smoke.

source: Wikipedia

assemble – shake – serve in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist

The MarQinez

it’s pronounced “chee”, but your classy, cultured ass already knew that.


  • 2 oz st. george dry rye gin
  • 1 oz carpano antica
  • ¼ oz qi black tea liqueur
  • ¼ oz luxardo
  • fee’s west indian orange bitters
  • angostura bitters


The Gomez

  • 2 oz st. george dry rye gin
  • 1 oz bonal apertif
  • ½ oz darjeeling tea
  • ¼ oz luxardo
  • fee’s west indian orange bitters
  • angostura bitters


Quote of the Day

I am a drinker with writing problems.

Brendan Behan

The Manny

    • 2 oz rye whiskey (sazerac 6, michter’s, or rittenhouse)
    • 1 oz bonal
    • ½ oz green chartreuse
    • ¼ oz honey syrup (1:1 honey>water)
    • equal parts fee’s orange bitters & fee’s black walnut bitters. add to your taste
    • orange twist


The Avanti

  • 1.5 oz aquavit
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ oz orgeat syrup
  • ¼ oz luxardo maraschino liquer
  • cherry bitters
  • 1 bing cherry



laird's apple brandy cocktail

  • 2 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy (the 100 proof stuff)
  • ½ oz allspice dram
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. orange marmalade
  • 1 egg white
  • angostura bitters
  • fee’s orange bitters

dry shake everything but the apple brandy & marmalade vigorously for 30 seconds, add the brandy, marmalade & ice and shake again, strain & serve. garnish with an orange peel.

Soup of the Day

stolen from sf cocktail week’s facebook wall

A Couple of Quickies

when i get home from work, i tend to not really want to futz with making elaborate cocktails. here’s a few i came up with over the weekend.

numero uno

  • 2 oz rye
  • ½ oz aperol
  • fee’s black walnut bitters (add to your taste. i love the flavor of this stuff, so i shake kind of heavy)
  • ¼ oz bing cherry juice
  • bing cherry garnish

numero dos

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1 oz stone’s original ginger wine
  • scrappy’s chocolate bitters (ditto above: and FYI, this is a straight cacao bitter, unlike fee’s aztec chocolate or bittermen’s xocolatl, which have some added spiciness)

that’s it. enjoy.

The Madras-Oaxaca Express

Madras-Oaxaca Express Mezcal Cocktail

The Madras-Oaxaca Express

  • 2 oz unaged/blanco mezcal
  • ½ oz concord grape simple syrup
  • ¼ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • lime twist
  • cardamon bitters (use no more than 5 or 6 drops. it’s strong)

serve with a nice, hot vindaloo.


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