Cocktail (Saturday): The Boulevardier

This week’s cocktail is another I’ve discovered recently: the Boulevardier. This drink first appeared in bartender Harry McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails. His very famous Harry’s New York Bar in Paris served up European-style cocktails with American ingredients for the expats who couldn’t get their fix back in the Prohibition-era US of A. The Boulvardier is a variation on the Negroni, using bourbon (or rye) instead of gin. According to Ted Haigh in his book Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, this drink was the favorite of expat writer and socialite Erskine Gwynne. Among other things, he edited The Paris Boulevardier, a sort of Parisian¬†New Yorker for all the other American expats–hence the drink’s name. Gin and bourbon are the most popular spirits in our house, and most of our favorites revolve around these two standards. I’m also a big fan of Campari (I’ll often drink it straight or with soda as … Continue reading

Cocktail Friday: Hanky Panky

This delightfully named cocktail is a new one for me, recently introduced by my friend (and accomplished mixologist) Chuck Taggart. The Hanky Panky was invented by Ada Coleman, a bartender at the Savoy in London for her friend, Edwardian actor Charles Hawtrey. According to legend (and wikipedia), Hawtrey himself named the drink when he tasted it for the first time and exclaimed “By Jove! That is the real hanky panky!” I’ve no reason not to believe this story, and it really is a fabulous drink. There’s a lot of flavor in this drink. Fernet Branca is an Italian amaro often drunk as a after-dinner digestive. You have to be careful when using it as a cocktail ingredient–it is very bitter and can easily overpower a cocktail. Here, though the dashes of Fernet Branca add a nice complexity to the finish so you’re not in any danger. The Hanky Panky 1 … Continue reading

Continuing the Cocktail Kick: The Demeanor & The Scoff Law

Over the past weekend, Herself and I tried several cocktails we’d never had before. First up: The Demeanor. Gin is a favorite in our house, so we’re always looking for new ways to enjoy it beyond the classic Martini. Herself was also looking for a recipe to use some of the creme de violette we have — so far we have only made a variation on the Aviation with it. We’re not big sweet Vermouth drinkers, either, but it’s perfect in this cocktail: The Demeanor (recipe from the Internet Cocktail Database) 1 oz. gin 1 oz. sweet vermouth 1/2 oz. creme de violette 1 dash orange bitters stir in mixing glass with ice and strain serve in a cocktail glass. When first mixed, the drink resembles a generous pour of stump water, but don’t let that fool you. Within moments, it clears up an turns a warm caramel color. It’s … Continue reading