The Brandy Blazer. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Because I love the interconnectedness of all things, including cocktails, My Girl Friday suggested a Daisy, which was in fashion in the 19th century, then out, then back in in the 20th, and could be again in the 21st, but not in Ohio, where ordinary citizens such as myself are unable to purchase it due to Ohio’s crazy liquor laws.

But it’s damned gloomy and wet here in Cleveland and I am loving the idea of more brandy after last week’s Gascon Sidecar, so today it is the Brandie Blazer, which is in effect—connection here—an old-fashioned made with brandy. I’m adding some lemon and orange zest along with brown sugar to balance the Bitters, Old Men (I used the smoke bitters, which gives it a hint of the Islay whiskys I love, but citrus bitters or Angostura are fine). I love, love bitters, especially as the weather grows ominous and the indoors are so much more appealing.

I’m flaming both zests, a big chunk, then adding separate, nicely cut zests as garnish. Use plenty of zest oil, which really makes a difference here.

Welcome, Brandie Blazer, named in memory of a certain 12-year-old girl who insisted, insisted, we get a dog, then named her Brandie, with a heart over the i, and promptly had nothing further to do with her. So that’s what we’ll call it here, the Brandie Blazer. Where’s the “heart” option on my keypad to go over the i?

Happy weekend, all!

The Brandie Blazer

  • 5 grams/1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 5 grams/1 teaspoon bitters
  • 75 grams/2.5 ounces Cognac
  • 1 fat chunk of orange zest
  • 1 nice curl of orange zest
  • 1 fat chunk of lemon zest
  • 1 nice curl of lemon zest
  1. Combine sugar and bitters to dissolves sugar.
  2. Add the Cognac and stir. Add ice, as you wish.
  3. Flame the oils from the chunk of orange zest over the glass, followed by the oils from the chunk of lemon zest.
  4. Garnish with the pretty zest curls you’ve prepared.

Serves 1

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© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.






13 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour: The Brandy Blazer”

  • KristineB

    What’s in the Daisy that we can’t get here in Ohio? Wikipedia’d it but still not sure what laws? Just curious.

  • Eric Souder

    “but not in Ohio, where ordinary citizens such as myself are unable to purchase it due to Ohio’s crazy liquor laws…”

    What is it that you can’t get in Ohio (beside <12%ABV beers)? As I'm not horribly far from KY (where just about everything liquid is sold legally) I'm interested to see if it would be worth the exodus from OH to make the cocktail you mentioned!

  • Allen

    A new drink in my book, and a thoughtful one. Can’t help but think of your blue toe nail.
    Cheers to you and your inspiration.
    Happy Friday All

  • Ken

    Sounds delicious, and as the days get colder and darker here in “sunny” San Francisco this could be a serious treat.

    One thing, I see from the photo that you bend the orange skin so that it’s convex, squeezing pith-to-pith; I learned to squeeze the skin the opposite way, so that the orange skin becomes concave. Now I have to go to the store to get an orange to see which method expels more orange oil, because the smell of burnt orange is one that I like very much.

    A very practical and serious experiment for a Friday night, I believe.

    Cheers and happy Friday!

  • Allen

    Verdict is in:
    Wife likes it, I tweaked it by reducing the bitters to one dash and adding 2 oz. cognac/ brandy, 1/2 oz Islay (Ardburg) scotch, and flamed twist. She prefers your recipe, I like mine a little better, both are great.
    Bartender geeks use Demerara syrup, I like the idea of using brown sugar. It’s always in the pantry.
    I will try and find my drunken post of the smokey Rob Roy, it was posted while you were in Portofino, drunk, after reading Don Winslow’s Savages. Crazy writing. May have gotten deleted by the blog police.
    Will cease posting at this time, before buzz kicks in.

  • allen

    Day 2, post buzz:
    Mixing cognac & sing malt? – wacky, crazy, nuts!
    But damm good!

  • Carol

    I can’t seem to understand burning off the essential citrus oils. I want them to make it to the surface of my cocktail. What am I missing?


  1.  Flaming Zests