Writing Page 8

The Cocktail Scarlet A: Reclaiming the Honor of Apple Booze

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Once upon a time, apple cocktails had a great reputation. Or better put, they had a great reputation until the late 1990s. That’s when DeKuyper launched the awful Jolly-Rancher-like liqueur Pucker. (Before Pucker, DeKuyper was best known for its “Hot Damn!” cinnamon schnapps; it should have stopped while it was behind.) Clearly targeted at college-age binge | Read More

Guyana Manhattan: The Cocktail That Will Change Your View of Rum

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I would wager that when most people think about rum, they imagine tropical cocktails—Daiquiris, Mojitos, Piña Coladas, all manner of big, fruit-forward drinks in the Tiki tradition. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, who doesn’t love a Mai Tai? But rum has so much untapped potential beyond your standard-issue island fare. My rum | Read More

The Boozy Ice Cream Shake That Doesn’t Suck

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I’ve been known to poke fun at my father’s drinking stories. Especially his tales of over-consuming blended ice cream Brandy Alexanders back in the 1980s. The classically trained bartender in me thought such a concoction should go the way of jorts and REO Speedwagon. But I reconsidered when I was doing research for our new bar | Read More

Give It A Whirl: A Great Home Bar Requires a Great Blender

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In the age of mixology, blenders are easily the most maligned piece of bar gear—and for good reason. Reason number one: The noise. Nothing disrupts a sedate cocktail lounge more than the high-pitched wailing of a commercial blender as it chews through large ice cubes. Reason number two: Over the last 30 years blended drinks | Read More

No St. Paddy’s Day Is Complete Without Irish Coffee

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The St.-Patrick’s-Day-industrial complex has completely bastardized drinking on March 17. People find the closest knockoff Irish pub to guzzle green swill, car bombs and Guinness out of keg cups—sometimes all at once. That’s not quite for me. However, I’m also not the Grinch Who Stole St. Paddy’s Day, doing everything I can to deprive the | Read More

Bowie Knife: A Pink Cocktail for All You Manly Men


Many self-proclaimed manly men wouldn’t dare order a glass of pink wine, let alone bubbly pink wine. One look at that pale hue, and they think strawberries, bubblegum and Sex and the City. But if manly men believe those qualities bear any resemblance to rosé, they’re letting their eyes deceive them. Rosé is where the lush, | Read More

A Perfect Fix: Perfect the Classic Sidecar with this Sweet Addition


The first bar I worked while in architecture school didn’t serve hard alcohol. I poured beer from taps, bottles, and cans. I slopped bowls of chili, and didn’t actually make anything during my first four years behind the bar. But I was interested in learning how to make cocktails, and had the good fortune early | Read More

Spanish Coffee: A Pacific Northwest Cocktail to Warm You During Winter

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While working behind the bar the other night, a guest visiting Portland for the first time asked me which drink was considered the city’s quintessential cocktail. Admittedly, the Pacific Northwest doesn’t have the rich cocktail history that other places boast. There is no Ramos Gin Fizz (New Orleans), Manhattan (NYC) or Brandy Old Fashioned (Wisconsin)—i.e., | Read More

Three Cheers to Eggnog


Ever since I was old enough to have holiday memories, my favorite thing about the season has always been eggnog. As a minor in the 1970s, of course, I was relegated to the cheap, artificially colored, gelatinous goop that came from a grocery store carton. Thickened with unrecognizable ingredients such as carrageenan and guar gum, | Read More

On Smoke in Cocktails


My good friend Evan Zimmerman is something of a mad scientist when it comes to cocktails. When I’m looking for inspiration, I often head across town to his bar, the Woodsman Tavern in Portland to sit and learn from him. On one of my most recent visits, he pulled a trick out of his sleeve | Read More

A Holiday We Can All Cheer To


This year on December Fifth, in bars all across the country, people will come together to drink old-fashioned and new-fashioned cocktails from or inspired by the Prohibition Era. Often outfitted in period dress and accompanied by 1920s-style swing music, guests will revel through the night to celebrate the day. Why all the fuss? Because this | Read More

Thanksgiving Meets the Tropics—A Pumpkin-Spice Dark And Stormy


At first glance, a Dark and Stormy seems out of place at the Thanksgiving dinner table—normally the exclusive purview of turkey, sweet potatoes and canned cranberry sauce. After all, the Dark and Stormy is Bermuda in a glass, the official drink of the island nation. And so, it’s the drink for when you’re marooned in | Read More