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Category Archives: Gin

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


The Last Word

Haven’t been really impressed by a drink recipe for a while. This one showed up just in time.

Strong, sweet. herbaceous liqueurs such as Chartreuse, Pernod, Absinthe, can add so much complexity and intrigue to a drink if used in just the right amount and in good company. In my experience, that is unfortunately rare. This one however, is right on the money.

From Speakeasy, makes 2

  • 1.5 oz Beefeater gin
  • 1.5 oz green Charteuse
  • 1.5 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1.5 oz lime juice
  • Lime wheels for garnish

Blood Orange Gimlet


Another seasonal variation of a classic drink. Simple and refreshing.

Get a couple of blood oranges, juice and strain.

Makes 2

  • 3 oz beefeater gin
  • 1.5 oz lime juice
  • 1.5 oz blood orange juice
  • 0.75 oz simple syrup

Passion Fruit Gin Sour


Maracuya pisco sour is delicious but why not gin. After making Clover Club, I discovered that egg white gives an appealing roundness to gin’s herbiness. I also prefer this version in the sense that the base liquor still pokes through and doesn’t get drown out by the overwhelming aroma of passion fruit.

Makes generous 2

  • 3 oz Beefeater gin
  • 1 oz passion fruit concentrate
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz egg white


Shake long and hard.

Raspberry Thyme Smash

Octobor 2,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

My first experience of ‘fancy’ cocktail made at home. Seasonal and exotic for 2008, it was published in the July issue of Bon Appetite. Impressed by how doable it was, I made it over and over again throughout that summer.

Today, with the brunch menu in my hand at Luna Park in the city, my eyes immediately went to the cocktails. It would be my first drink(s) made by professionals in a long time. I was full of anticipation.

Mint Julep was bitter from old, under watered mint. Icebreaker of Ciroc and icewine was weak and sweet with a temperature of more ’cool autumn’ than ’icy winter’. Roadrunner was slightly more interesting with tequila, prickly pear and sage, but diluted.

Now at home, this rasberry thyme drink is still gorgeous to look at and its freshness still tickles my tongue, but that wide-eyed wonder of the first time, is no more.

400+ drinks later, now the bar is set much higher.

Based on Raspberry Thyme Smash from BLT Market (Makes 1):

  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 for muddling, 1 for garnish
  • 7 fresh raspberries, 6 for muddling, 1 for garnish
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) Rangpur gin
  • 2 tbsp crème de framboise (or 1.5 tbsp simple syrup)
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) lime juice


  1. In an ice shaker, muddle thyme leaves, 6 raspberries, simple syrup and crème de framboise if using. Add gin and lime juice. Add ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled glass.
  2. Garnish with the thyme sprig and a raspberry.

Valencia in ice bath

September 27/28,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Got a bottle of Bodegas Hidalgo Amontillado Napoleon. Time to try a spanish martini.

Also got a bottle of Sutton Cellers Brown Label Vermouth.

Love both. The butterscotch/caramel in the sherry is unlike any of my martini experience.

The brown label vermouth adds a particular orangeness to the drink that is borderline poetic. Interestingly, I don’t think much of it straight. Yes, it tastes fresh compared to Noilly Prat. But more like a mediocre white wine lightly infused. But in a martini … it is glorious.

Valencia from The Essential Cocktail (Makes 1):

  • 1 part Bodegas Hidalgo Amontillado Napoleon, or Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth
  • 5 parts Tangueray gin
  • Flamed orange peel (essential)


  1. Shake with ice until ice-cold. Strain into a martini glass.
  2. Cut a square-ish orange peel. Cut it thick with some white pith. Have a lighter ready and going. Fold the orange peel in half over the drink right next to the flame so the essential oil squirts out and ignites. Drop the peel into the drink. Serve immediately.


September 26,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

My current favorite gin is Bols Amsterdam Genever 1575. Soft, silky, herbaceous and balanced. I love it straight and really cold. The taste is transcendent.

It is natural to wonder: Wouldn’t it lift any gin-based drink?

David Wondrich said in Imbibe! that genever doesn’t mix well with white vermouth. But how about vodka?

James Bond (or Ian Fleming rather) *invented* Vesper in Casino Royale with an explicit instruction: “3 measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, and half a measure of Lillet. Shake it very well until it‘s ice-cold.” Dale Degroff uses flamed orange peel as the crowning touch.

It is divine.

Based on Vesper from The Essential Cocktail (Makes 1):

  • 1 ½ oz (3 tbsp) Bols Amsterdam Genever 1575
  • ½ oz Hangar One vodka
  • ¼ oz Lillet Blanc
  • Flamed orange peel as garnish (essential)


  1. Make sure it is shaken until ice-cold. Strain into a martini glass.
  2. Peel a square-ish orange peel. Have a lighter ready and going. Fold the orange peel in half over the drink right next to the flame so the essential oil squirts out and ignites. Drop the peel into the drink. Serve immediately.

In search of Negroni

September 22,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Today is the day I officially throw in the towel on classic Negroni.

I love bitters, but with Campari, its bitterness has to come with a sweetness that’s not only cloying but also artificial.

I don’t know which one came about first, Campari or Robitussin, but whoever came second must have stolen and copied the formula from the other one.

I have had Negroni a few times before, and feel especially inspired after reading Dale Degroff’s The Essential Cocktail. But the 1:1:1 ratio of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth is so throat-cuttingly sweet I just can’t stomach it, every time.

Today, I experimented with a 3:1:1 ratio, then 4:1:1, then 4:2:1. I even tried adding orange juice, lemon juice … all in an effort to somehow retain the bitterness but disguise the cough syrup taste.

At the end, there’s one version I can find myself drinking. Use white vermouth and lose the red all together.

With a ration of 2:1:1, it is reminiscent of martini and the sweetness is significantly toned down. Bitter enough to make you sit up and pay attention but not wince.

White Negroni (Makes 1):

  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) Tanqueray gin
  • ½ oz (1 tbsp) Noilly Prat dry vermouth
  • ½ oz (1 tbsp) Campari
  • 1 orange slice as garnish (optional)


Fill a glass with ice. Pour in all the ingredients. Stir and serve.

Bronx Cocktail

September 21,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Bronx is basically a martini with orange juice. I do find it a bit diluted for my taste but the additional orange bitter in this recipe makes it more interesting than the usual.

I cut 1/3 of the orange juice to make a stronger drink and the rest of the ingredients has a chance to come out.

Based on Bronx Cocktail from MIXSHAKESTIR (Makes 2):

  • 3 oz (6 tbsp) Tanqueray gin
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) Martini & Rossi Rosso sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) Dolin dry vermouth
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) fresh orange juice
  • 5 drops of Fee Brother’s orange bitter
  • 2 orange slices as garnish (optional)