For what it's worth I'm a bit behind regarding the bulk of the tech world. I'd give examples but they're likely to come across as tedious and self-indulgent. Which is a combination I'd like to avoid (though I freely admit that posting stuff on a blog situates those adjectives within arm's reach).

Anyway, for whatever reason, when going back and trying to clean up some previous posts I noticed two were missing from last summer. It's probably my fault and I'd kick myself if I knew how I did it. But I don't, they're just gone, that's all.

They concerned two drinks and this intro is an effort to dodge (re)writing a proper post on them. I found the pictures though, they're below along with the recipes. One is for the Ramos which is a pain-in-the-ass but still worth knowing and making occasionally because it's a classic that's enjoyable as all get out.

And, without making too much of an aside, I think sometimes there are factors beyond flavor that can influence the appreciation of a drink. Fleeting, intangible things like mood, weather, company, the music that happens to be playing, etc. Or, they may be more specific like ice, glassware, or a new/unknown ingredient. The Ramos, however, has other factors at play - time and effort. It's part of the deal with this one. Whether you order it or make it for yourself, knowledge of the labor involved is a consideration. Once it's in front of you though...well, then it's all pleasure. 

The second drink is one I made called Smoke and Bitters. Previously, it was posted as Amari e Fumar but I've gotten used to the translated title. I have a lot of favorite things when it comes to drink ingredients, this one has four of them. The drink lives up to its name. If those qualities appeal to you, give it a spin.

Also, on a totally unrelated note...let's say you get in from a busy night at work sometime in the wee hours of the morning and decide to collect your thoughts with a nightcap before retiring to bed. Two sips in you rethink that decision and go to bed anyway. If all of that happens and the following day you spy the remainder of the drink while enjoying an extra cup of coffee and, for no real reason other than curiosity, you add one to the's possible that, depending on the nightcap, you'll find yourself with a warm and tasty beverage. That drink follows as well.


Ramos Gin Fizzes

Ramos Gin Fizzes

Smoke and Bitters

Smoke and Bitters

The Wind Up

The Wind Up


Ramos Gin Fizz - Henry C. Ramos, New Orleans, late 1800s
2 oz Gin
1 oz Heavy Cream
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup 
1/2 Egg White
4-6 drops Orange Blossom Water
Soda Water

Dry shake all but soda, then add ice and shake as long as you can/feel like it. Pour a couple ounces of soda into a Collins glass and double strain the drink on top of it. Add some more soda to the mixing tin that doesn't have all of the spent ice in it and use that to top off the drink.

Purists will say 12 minutes for the shake. I've tried all sorts of times and haven't noticed a big difference between 8-12. That can still be a bear though. Usually, I land somewhere between 2 and 4 minutes. Adding the soda to the serving glass before straining is a trick I picked up from Fred Yarm's book Drink & Tell. Some recipes include (controversially) a couple of drops of vanilla claiming that it gives the drink a mysterious quality. Give it a shot sometime. It's a nice, subtle twist.


Smoke and Bitters
1 oz Tequila, silver
1 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Mezcal (I usually use Del Maguey Vida)
1/2 oz Fernet
Garnish - Grapefruit Twist

Stir, strain, up


The Wind Up
1 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Barrel Proof Bourbon

Heat the first three and add to hot coffee. 

I saw this technique for heating ingredients to be used in toddies a few years ago and have used it ever since. You put hot water in the small portion of a shaker and the ingredients to be warmed in the larger one. Rest the large one on top of the water in the small one for a couple of minutes while you prep the rest of the drink/work on something else, stirring it occasionally.  

This is basically The Wind Down scaled back and supplemented with coffee. When I make it I usually take the Wind Down's ratio, add zeroes and use those numbers in milliliters. 4:1:1 becomes 40, 10, 10. The result, prior to coffee is 60 ml, which is about 2 oz. That's only a 1/2 oz more than the total listed above...but it's good, so I like that extra 1/2 oz. I know, I probably should have just written it in milliliters above.


also - I watched the Wha Happened? clip while putting this together. Still cracks me up.