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Category Archives: Drink


“Ensanguining the skies      How heavily it dies      Into the west away

Past touch and sight and sound       Not further to be found

How hopeless underground        Lies the remorseful day.”

A Bloody Mary for Inspector Morse – Heirloom tomato water, Vodka, Globe basil, super spicy Pimientone de Padró and lime juice. Garnished with Indigo Rose.



Created for Ness, to pair  trout roe on smoked crème fraîche.

I associate Smokiness with … being macho and bold. It is intended to tie the seafood amuse to the rest of the meat courses.

Watermelon Mezcal Shot with Basil

  • A few basil leaves. I grow globe basil which is naturally tiny, so it’s good for both flavoring and garnishing.
  • 1 1/2 oz Hornitos Reposado
  • 1 oz quality Mezcal. I use San Juan Del Rio, for its 96 proof of intensity. Besides, 10% of their proceeds benefit the education of the children in Oaxaca.
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz watermelon juice
  • ~ 1/2 oz simple syrup. Taste it. It really depends on how sour your lime juice and how sweet your watermelon are.


Muddle, add ice, shake, and strain. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Make 1


Bitter makes the world better. It’s the cello of an orchestra. Without it, it feels hollow, soul-less.

Let the winter drinking begin.

Makes 2

  • 3 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 1/2 oz Meletti amaro
  • 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • fresh ginger root
  • 24 fresh cranberries
  • Reagan’s No. 6 orange bitter
  • Slightly < 1 tbsp granulated sugar

If one doesn’t drink with the season, why bother?

Tanqueray, grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitter, neighbor’s backyard hachiya persimmons

Rye over Burbon any day, for me.

Rittenhouse 100, lemon juice, orange juice, brandied cherry.

Raised by a mom who believes every food has some kind of medicinal property (be it malign or benign,) I had my share of fermented sweet rice growing up. Feeling coming down on something? Hurry, a warm bowl of fermented rice soup would surely help. If it didn’t, it’s because I sounded the alarm too late. Often she scrambled an egg plus a few sliced ginger for good measure.

Called Jiu Niang or 甜酒釀, it was unmistakably ricey with a faint nose of alcohol. In my mom’s composed version, the richness of the egg and the spiciness of the ginger warmed up my tummy instantly.

I always loved it, if only all my mom’s concoction could taste this good.

2 drinks here and they only vary in the base liquor. One with Dolin Dry. One with a relatively good Sake. Obviously they make different drinks. But I feel both served my goal: a feminine cocktail that my light-drinking girlfriends will enjoy.

Serve 1

  • 1 ½ oz Dolin Dry, or a junmai ginjo (I use Hakutsuru ‘White Crane’)
  • ¼ oz Meletti
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ oz (or less) simple syrup
  • 1 heaping spoonful of fermented sweet rice (check the refrigerated shelf in any Asian supermarket)
  • 1 splash of Angostura bitter
  • Grapefruit peel as garnish

I strain the rice out since it’s a little unsightly. But they are perfectly edible.

A baking ingredient for spiking whipped cream, last year I found Kahlua actually goes nicely with muddled jalapeño.

A while back Chris at Alexander’s Steakhouse mentioned that he likes to experiment with Indonesian flavors nowadays and uses ‘long pepper’. Cylindrical and baby pinecone looking, it is often used in Indonesian and Indian cuisines and has an assertive peppery taste and nose.

I opt for a simple drink to let the spice be the star. These days I also 100% cold-infuse spices versus the half-hot-half-cold method. Just chop 2 long peppers into sandy grits and let them sit for at least 1 day or 2 in a bottle of Ketel One.

An unapologeticly spicy drink.

  • 1 ½ oz long pepper infused Ketel One
  • ½ oz (plus a tiny splash if you prefer a less sour drink) Kahlua
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice

Rittenhouse, Bulleit, Redemption

Redemption: 95% Rye. 92 proof

Bulleit: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley, 90 proof

Rittenhouse: Not sure how about rye. 100 proof

Colorwise, all about the same, golden straw. Bulleit is the smoothest and the roundest. Buttery on the palate. Rittenhouse bites with a notable bitterness. Redemption is rich, complex and strong.

Bulleit feels like a spring/summer sipper on a porch, while Redemption is the one I will hug on a stormy night. I love Rittenhouse for its forcefulness. I will still use it in my Manhatten.



There are not many recipes I can make straightaway from my new book Speakeasy (lots of homemade infusions) but it seems like what I have had so far truly impresses me. This one is no exception.

Big burbon flavor with just a hint of anise, all with a creamy rich mouth feel.

From Speakeasy, makes 2

  • 3 oz Makers Mark burbon
  • 1. 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 2 oz egg white
  • ¾ oz grenadine
  • ¼ oz Pernod
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish


Shake long and vigorously.