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Day 325, Cocktail 329

The day before St. Patrick’s day and I was going to have one last Irish cocktail to prepare myself for my all day pub crawl with my buddies Mike and Brett.  As I thumbed through the Ultimate Bar Book I found a cocktail named Everybody’s Irish.  How could I lose with this cocktail, right?  Well, I lost.  Big time.  For once my thought that there’s no way this combination of ingredients can taste good came true.  I’m going to post the recipe here, but I can not suggest that you actually try this one, unless of course, some person in the distant future attempts to recreate my journey because I’ve become famous.  Even then, though, I’d give dispensation to skip this drink!

So, without further adieu, I give you Everybody’s Irish.

  Everybody’s Irish

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • 1/4 oz green Creme de Menthe

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a green olive.

Overwhelming mint and anise flavors just knocked me on me ass with this one.  While I did drink it all, it was awful, with the brine from the olive just adding injury to the insult of this cocktail.  I think it’s whole purpose is to be green, which it is – a very bright, almost flourescent, green!  One last note, Chartreuse is one of the few liqueurs not in stock at the Twilight Lounge, so substituted Pernod.  The flavors of the two are very similar although the Pernod is not green like the Chartreuse.

My next post will get into our adventures from St. Patrick’s day.  Until then…


Day 291, Cocktail 288

The stream of consciousness continued on Thursday as I moved forward with more Lillet Blanc.  I had been thumbing through Mittie Hellmich’s “Ultimate Bar Book” looking for more recipes that used the Lillet.  I didn’t really see anything in the fortified wine section so I started looking through the whiskeys when I came upon the Prince Edward.  The history on this cocktail is a little murky – hell, who am I kidding – I couldn’t find anything on the history of this cocktail.  Frankly, that suprises me a bit, but on with the show anyway.

  Prince Edward

  • 1-1/2 oz scotch
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/4 oz Drambuie

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a rocks glass with ice, or in my case, an ice ball.  Garnish with an orange slice.

This is a tasty cocktail.  The Drambuie really sweetens it up and helps the floral and orange flavors of the Lillet shine and not be overshadowed by the scotch.  I used Johnny Walker Red, which gave a nice, smokey backdrop to the cocktail.  This was a very nice sipper, indeed.


Day 285, Cocktails 283, 284 & 285

Nothing like a trip to Bryant’s to get caught up!  Brother Mark and I (along with another of Mark’s friends) stopped by there not too long ago for a Men’s League night.  We were delighted to find Emily, Michael and Katie Rose behind the bar.  That always means good things are in store for us!

My first was an effort from Emily, and it was fantastic!  Named the Robin’s Nest (see the picture), she used Hendrick’s gin, Domaine de Canton liqueur, lime juice, rich syrup and muddled cucumber, salt and pickled ginger to create a dazzling mix of ginger and cucumber flavors.  The rich syrup is fuller and, well, richer – and is made with demerara sugar instead of the regular white sugar I use in my bar syrup.  This was an outstanding drink from Emily and if you walk ito Bryant’s and find her behind the bar you really need to try one of these.

Next up was a no name cocktail from Michael that he put together to satisfy my craving for something in rye and orange flavors.  His cocktail included Sazerac rye whiskey, Aperol, orange bitters and Lillet Blanc.  A very tasty cocktail, this one had just the right mix of sweet orange and floral flavors that complimented the Sazerac extremetly well.  I enjoyed sipping this one as we bantered with each other and the other patrons at the bar.

My last drink of the night was a Katie Rose effort, and she put together a fantastic effort.  Following up on my rye and orange inclination, she used Sazerac rye, Aperol, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Reagan’s bitters, Angostura bitters and lemon juice.  You would think between the bitters, Cynar and Punt e Mes that this would be a very bitter, difficult drink.  It wasn’t, though.  The Aperol helps sweeten it back up, counteracting the bitter flavor of the Cynar (which is a liqueur made from artichoke among other things) and the Punt e Mes, which is a bitter Italian vermouth.  The flavors in this cocktail are bold and strong, yet also work well together, creating a taste explosion in my mouth.  Well done Katie, especially considering she overcame a sprained thumb which made shaking painful for her.

If you are in Milwaukee and have not been to Bryant’s you really do need to try it out – you won’t be disappointed.


Day 254, Cocktail 252

Do not attempt to adjust your television…This is what happens when you have one too many.

OK, seriously, are there any Twilight Zone fans out there?  One, two, that’s it, just two?  Oh well.  At least my troll’s hair color matches tonight’s cocktail.

So, I concocted this cocktail on Tuesday, trying to use up my pomegranate juice after I realized it has a relatively short shelf life.  But that’s OK, because it’s good for you, right?  Well it is, but I just read a report today in Business Week magazine that states that the health effects of pomegranate juice have been overhyped, the company that makes POM Wonderful is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission for making unfounded health claims and that pomegranate juice is no better for you than good ‘ol orange juice.  *Sigh”  At least it tastes good in cocktails.

  POM Wonderful

  • 2 oz rasberry flavored vodka
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake the night away.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel. 

Ok, ok, yes, I used flavored vodka!  It was purchased during a moment of weakness nearly 2 years ago and I’m trying to get rid of the stuff!  Other than that, this is a tasty little number, similar to that chick fave the Cosmopolitan (conscpicous in its continued absence from this blog).  In fact, Gwen asked for another one tonight, cementing its place in the chick cocktail section of my recipe rolodex.

It’s back to real cocktails in my next post (hmmm, must have been to Bryant’s again).


Day 246, Cocktails 242 & 243

Notice how everyone is always eyeing a good cocktail, especially when its made at the Twilight Lounge?  I mean just look at it…Gumby is all over it, Pokey is charging in, Kevin Mack is trying to head Pokey off and Bernie Kosar is about to hoist himself up into the drink.  And Chief Wahoo?  Why do you think he’s grinning?

Tonight I had a few fresh oranges and a brand new juicer (thanks to Gwen and the girls) to try out.  By now, you regular readers know that I border on a fetish for orange and rye whiskey, so this should be no suprise to you.

  Whiskey Special

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz orange juice

Combine in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with an orange peel and a dusting of ground nutmeg.

Hmmm….my official taste tester wasn’t too crazy about this, and I kinda’ agreed with her.  The flavor of the dry vermouth overwhelms the drink and the nutmeg just tastes gritty.  So what to do?  Well, that’s easy, try again!

  Whiskey Extra Special

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/8 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Combine in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with an orange peel.

Now that’s more like it!  The Luxardo stays in the background and allows the orange flavors and rye to blend and play together very nicely.  This turned into a nice, semi boozy cocktail that I could drink all night!  Alas, work calls tomorrow, so I’ll hold myself to one tonight.


Day 244, Cocktail 241

I hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas!  We certainly did here at the Twilight Lounge.  At left you can see the newest addition to the Lounge staff.  I hope he works out as the in house entertainer.  Next to him is the latest drink (and the last Christmas cocktail) to come out of the Twilight Lounge.

This cocktail is a twist on the mule style of cocktails.  Basically, a mule is a base spirit, ginger ale or beer and lime juice.  For my Christmas mule I switched it up and used lemonade, Old Ballycastle Ginger and seltzer water to mix with my tequila. 

  Christmas Mule

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 1/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • selzter water

Place a couple of ice cubes in a collins glass.  Add the tequila, lemonade and Old Ballycastle.  Stir to mix.  Add several more ice cubes to fill the glass about 3/4 full of ice.  Top with seltzer.  Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh cranberries.

You don’t see tequila used in many holiday cocktails, but our friends south of the border certainly do celebrate, so why not?  The Old Ballycastle adds just a hint of ginger and the tequila comes through as well.  Notice that I stirred the drink with only a couple of ice cubes.  I’ve learned that when mixing a drink in the same glass you will be drinking it from that this is a much easier way to get a good stir without slopping all over the place.  I also used fresh cranberries as my garnish – I just love to do this with nearly any holiday cocktail.  There are two reasons for this.  First is that by Christmas the fresh cranberries are usually gone (I buy a bag around Thanksgiving, and they will last a couple of months if kept refrigerated).  The second is that they add a festive touch, and are good to eat as well!

Next up for the Twilight Lounge is our first ever New Year’s Eve party!


Day 200, Cocktail 195

Buck week continued Thursday night at Ivee’s.  I had come up with a cocktail that continued my buck theme that I figured Davey would have all the ingredients available.  It sounded like a good idea when I thought of it…

  Monterrey Buck

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters
  • lime wedge
  • ginger ale

Fill a collins glass with ice and add the squeeze the lime wedge over the ice.  Add the tequila and bitters and top with the ginger ale. 

This is a twist on the Monterrey Mule and after my experience adding bitters to my classic bourbon and coke in the Bourbon Buck, I figured this would be a tasty cocktail.  I still think it would be, except I didn’t get to taste it in all its glory.  It turns out that Davey did not have ginger ale as I figured he would.  He offered to make me “bar” ginger ale.  I said sure before I asked what is “bar” ginger ale.  Just what is “bar” ginger ale?  3/4 cola and 1/4 lemon lime soda…uh, sure, you can call it “bar” ginger ale, but it sure didn’t taste like ginger ale.  **Sigh** 

I ended up switching to gin and tonics for the balance of my night of Beat Stan at trivia, with no apparent ill effect.  At least something worked out!


Day 187, Cocktail 184

Friday night and I was on taxi duty for daughter number two.  She had not one, not two, but three Halloween parties that she wanted to attend.  Gwen and I made her cut it down to two, but it still left me with quite a bit of taxi duty last night.

In between all the running around I managed to come up with a new, original cocktail to help us stay in the Halloween spirit.  Apple is a natural flavor for fall and even Halloween inspired cocktails (anyone up for some bobbing for apples with Charlie Brown and the gang?).  Calvados was a natural choice for me to use.  But what to mix it with?  How about some rye whiskey and maple syrup?  The result was named by Gwen, let’s check it out!

  Caramel Apple

  • 2 oz Jim Beam rye
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

I did not garnish this, although an apple slice or a caramel candy would both be fun garnishes.  A more traditional garnish would be an orange peel.  As the name suggests, this did end up tasting somewhat like a caramel apple, thanks to the blend of the apple flavored Calvados and the maple syrup.  While this might not be a true Halloween cocktail, it is definately a tasty fall treat that can be enjoyed in front a fire inside or outside!


Day 104, Cocktails 103 & 104

Saturday was a fun, family day at the Wisconsin State Fair, and we managed to avoid eating any food on a stick.  We did see the chocolate covered bacon on a stick, and it did not look appetizing at all.  We were also fortunate to have our friends from St. Louis, Andy and Jennifer, and their two daughters, come over for a cook out and some swimming Saturday evening.  It ended up being quite a little party.

When Andy and Jennifer arrived that signalled the beginning of cocktail hour.  The problem was that when asked what they wanted, Jennifer and Gwen both said “Whatever”.  I’d never hear of a cocktail with that name and didn’t find anything on the CocktailDB web site either.  So I set about making up a cocktail for the girls.

Whatever Cocktail

  • 2 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1/2 oz cucumber juice
  • 1/4 oz St. Germain
  • 1/8 oz peppermint schnapps

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to completely chill.  Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

My inspiration for this was the Love and Happiness.  However, rather than muddling cucumber I used my juicer to squeeze cucumber slices.  And, since I’d pretty much used all the mint from my garden, I added the peppermint schnapps to add just a hint of mint flavor.  It must of worked, because the girls loved it and I thought it worked out pretty well too.

It didn’t take long before the girls were ready for a second cocktail.  Jennifer joined me in the Twilight Lounge and wanted to have something named for her.  I asked what she liked and she told me vodka, rasberry and tequila.  I nearly pulled out the rasberry vodka, then thought about using vodka and chambord.  I even briefly considered the Sleigh Wreck, but I wanted to wait on that one.  I asked if she liked ginger and Jen said “yeah, its OK.”  So, I started thinking about a twist on a mule style cocktail combined with a margarita.  Thus, the Jennifer was born.


  • 2 oz Cadadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 oz lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  You know what’s coming…shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

Jen and Gwen loved this, and so did I.  Much more sophisticated than a mule and a flavorful twist on a margarita, this cocktail definately shifted the party into high gear.  I can’t wait until this fall when we’ll see Andy and Jennifer again!


Day 75, Cocktails 74, 75, 76, 77

Bryant’s was definately the place to be last night!  Representatives from Lillet, the French maker of this delightful apertif wine/liqueur hybrid were in town for Bastille Days and had come to Bryant’s for a tasting.  In addition to having the opportunity to try both the Blanc and Rouge by themselves, Mark and I also had the chance to taste multiple cocktails featuring Lillet as part of the mix.

We got there about an hour or so before the actual Lillet event was to start, soooo, what better way to start the evening with  THE cocktail that features Lillet?  Of course, I’m referring to the original Vesper of James Bond and Casino Royale fame.  Chad was behind the bar and mixed up the perfect start to the evening for me.


  • 2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 oz Ketel One vodka
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with lemon peel.

This drink was absolutely sublime!  The balance between the gin, vodka and Lillet was perfect!  I could have drunk these all night…but there was more to try!

Next on the list was a Chad Doll original that he called the Nice (as in the French city, not as in being polite) Cocktail.  It consisted of Cynar, Lillet Rouge, orange bitters, lemon juice and kosher salt.  As usual, it was prepared in a shaker and served in a coupe.  I have to admit that this one was hard to describe.  The flavors were similar to raisins or even prunish.  The salt was evident in the background.  If you’ve ever had an Italian Amaro, this was somewhat similar.  It was interesting!

My next cocktail was prepared by Nicole, our Lillet Ambassador for the evening.  She has already been blending flavors for us, letting us taste the Lillet with various ingredients such as muddled apricot and with pear liqueur.  The drink she made for me was called the Muse and consisted of Hendrick’s gin (a favorite of hers for mixing with Lillet Blanc), muddled cucumber and mint, Lillet Blanc and lime juice.  This was a delightful cocktail, the Lillet blending very well with the Hendricks and mint for a bright, refreshing flavor.

Finally, to cap the night, it was back to Chad.  He had been toying with the Lillet Blanc and yellow chartreuse most of the night and put together this unnamed cocktail for me.  It consisted of mezcal, yellow chartreuse, Lillet Blanc, rum and orange bitters.  This, my readers, was mind blowing.  The smokey flavor of the mezcal and slightly sweet rum was mellowed perfectly by the chartreuse and Lillet.  This cocktail was a great end to the evening and I hope Chad remembers how he made it as I will definately want this one again!

So, I am finally ahead of the game here with my cocktail count.  Don’t worry, though, I’ll be using my time this weekend to get ready for my first Tiki week of the summer!