“You’re gonna be a Scotch drinker,” my Grandma Rose said to me at the end of a Christmas dinner, with an approving smile. I was all of about six years old. This was still the 1960s and everybody drank. I had asked for, and was given, a sip of my father’s after-dinner cordial, a tiny glass of Drambuie, and had claimed to like it. I did like it, in fact—unlike that nasty martini my father would often have (story of that first taste here). The Drambuie was syrupy sweet and I marveled at the way the alcohol seemed to blow up inside my mouth. Alas, a sip was all I would get. My tastes today, contrary to Rose’s prediction, run to bourbon, but I still love the flavor of Drambuie, the Scotch-based liqueur. It and Read On »

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Owing to a misspent youth and for reasons I’d rather not get into, I have no taste whatever for blended Scotch whiskeys. Thus the dearth of Scotch-based cocktails during the Friday Cocktail Hour. But there are some fine Scotch-based elixirs that deserve attention, such as the classic Rob Roy, inspired by a 19th-century Broadway show. This was a tradition back then, naming drinks after shows—a tradition worth reviving, I think.  How about it, mixers out there? Give me a Kinky Boots! Or go downtown with a Designated Mourner. Or my fave theater experience of the year, also at the Public Theater, Here Lies Love. I’d love to hear that uttered at a bar. “What’ll it be, pal?” “Here Lies Love.” “Comin’ right up.” Herewith, a true classic, served in classic proportions. I am forced by my Read On »

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Back to New Orleans, where cocktails seem to be bursting from the seams. While Michael is carousing in Vegas, this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour is a guest post from Bellocq‘s sister saloon Cure (@cureNOLA), which is also located in New Orleans. Cure is yet another creation of the cocktail minds of Kirk Estopinal and Neal Bodenheimer. It was inspired by the historical period when cocktails grew out of medicine and home remedies. Their concept is to have their guests step a bit into the past while they have a libation and a quick nibble that are both healthful and enjoyable. With the fall arriving, Neal Bodenheimer wanted to share with us his creation, For Whom the Sun Rises, which is a twist on the Hemingway Daiquiri.—EJ By  Neal Bodenheimer For Whom the Sun Rises started out as a thought Read On »

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Looks like vermouth is gaining steam in the cocktail world across the pond, via Independent UK.

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