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Day 128, Cocktail 128

First, the good news.  Not one, but two of my submissions for Colleen Graham’s August bourbon cocktail recipe contest at have been published!  I’m really excited because only six cocktails have been published from the contest!  (Please don’t pop my bubble and tell me that their were only six submissions!)  Published on the web site were the Badlands and my Daddy-O Patio Bourbon Cooler.  Woo hoo!

Ok, got that out of my system – although I am still pretty stoked!

So Mark Stoffel stopped by tonight to drop of daughter number 2 after she had babysat.  He dropped on down to the Twilight Lounge and helped me with tonight’s cocktail.  I have some pineapple juice left over from last night, so I started searching for something that uses pineapple on the CocktailDB.  I found the Algonquin, a classic cocktail named for the Algonquin Hotel in New York.  In the 1920’s the Algonquin hosted a roundtable of writers and poets of the era including Dorothy Parker and Robert Sherwood.  This was one of their cocktails.


  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 oz pineapple juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish (and this is optional) with a cherry.

This was actually the second verson of the Algonquin that we made tonight, and was the one I preferred.  This recipe came from the Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich.  I thought this version was a little mellower, with the rye taking center stage.  The original recipe I tried tonight from the CocktailDB used 1-1/2 oz of rye, 3/4 oz dry vermouth and 3/4 oz pineapple juice.  In this version the vermouth was dominant and just didn’t seem to play as well with the pineapple and rye. 

What I find interesting about tonight’s experience is that this isn’t the first time that I’ve found different proportions of ingredients for classic cocktails.  The lesson for me is that if you don’t quite like the way a classic (or any cocktail for that matter) tastes, tinker with it so that you do like it.


Day 127, Cocktails 125, 126 & 127

Whew, what a day!  We had planned to swim and grill out this afternoon and invited our friends Greg and Patty to join us.  When they arrived we all got into the pool and cooled off from another hot day (at least hot for us !) and got caught up with all the news.  About mid afternoon it was time to try out our first cocktail of the day (fortunately, I don’t have to twist Greg and Patty’s arm very hard).  I decided to give a drink recipe sent to me by a high school classmate Mary Sheldon Hyatt a try.  It’s called the Dia Del Amore (which is what Valentine’s Day in Mexico is known as).  As best I can tell, this recipe comes from the fine folks who produce St. Germain, so it should come as no suprise that it uses…ta da…St. Germain.

Dia Del Amor

  • 1-1/2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 dashes Tabasco

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Prepare a rocks glass by salting the rim.  Add 4-5 ice cubes and strain the drink into the glass.  Garnish with a lime twist. 

This drink was fantastic!  Mary, thanks for sending me the recipe.  We all enjoyed it!  The sweet, elderflower of the St. Germain was a terrific compliment to the tequila.  I was pleasantly suprised by this as I have not worked with tequila and St. Germain before.  The tabasco added just a hint of smokey, pepper flavor, but really no heat at all.  This cocktail is really a great substitute for your typical margarita, and really blows away nearly any typical restaurant ‘rita made with overly sweetened mixes. 

While we were on the patio enjoying the Dia Del Amor, I handed Greg my new copy of The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich (and a huge thanks to Ashish for giving me this book – it is fantastic!).  Greg, not being one to miss an opporunity to drink my booze started flipping through the tequila section.  It didn’t take long before he started to quiz me. 

 “Do you have silver tequila?” 

“Of course.”

“Pineapple juice?”

“Actually, yes.”

“Angosturo bitters?”


“Club soda?”

“Yes, why?”

“Because we should try a La Conga next.”

And try we did. 

  La Conga

  • 2 oz silver tequila
  • 1/4 oz pineapple juice
  • 3 dashes Agnosturo bitters
  • seltzer water

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the tequila, pineapple juice and bitters.  Top with seltzer water, stir and garnish with a lemon slice.

This is an unusual cocktail in that it is mixed directly in the glass.  That said, it didn’t really catch the fancy of any of us today.  The bitters really dominate the flavor of this drink and I don’t think it really had enough pineapple juice since we didn’t catch any flavor of it in the drink.  If I were to try this again I would double the pineapple juice and cut the Agnosturo to 2 dashes and see how that goes.

We took a break from cocktails to have some dinner, but it didn’t take long to head down to the Twilight Lounge and try our third tequila cocktail of the day, also from The Ultimate Bar Book.

  La Bomba

  • 1 oz gold tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the tequila, Cointreau, pineapple juice and orange juice in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the grenadine. 

The grenadine ends up sinking to the bottom which gives the drink a very nice visual appeal (it’s the cocktail in the picture above).  It also adds a layer of flavor as you work your way through the drink.  This was another delicious drink that was very well balanced and enjoyed by all of us today. 

So, to paraphrase Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad.  Give these cocktails a try and let me know what you think.


Day 86, Cocktail 89

Yep, it’s another obtuse and obscure post title…what can I say?  Hall and Oates popped into my mind mostly because I’ve been listening to The Bird and The Bee’s new release “Interpeting the Masters, Vol. 1 (A Tribute to Daryll Hall and John Oates)”.  Wow, I never thought I’d see Hall and Oates regarded as masters.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them in the 80’s just like everyone else.  It’s just, well, really, Masters?  Any way, if you have not heard of The Bird and The Bee, check ’em out.  You’ll thank me some day.

So, back to cocktails.  I was idly flipping through The Cocktail Bible this evening looking for something to catch my eye.  I’ve still got a bunch of drinks bookmarked that I’ve not tried, but none of them were tickling my fancy.  Then, I turned the page, and there it was.  A cocktail called the Indian Summer.  Vodka, gin, pineapple juice, all good.  Kahlua?  Really?  I’m not a coffee fan (witnessed by the fact that the bottle of Kahlua sitting at the back of the liqueur shelf at the Twilight Lounge moved here with us from St. Louis).  But I thought, what the heck.

As I pulled out the vodka, I saw my bottle of Kajmir sitting there, all lonely as well.  While it’s not been around as long as my Kahlua, this bottle has had a couple of birthday’s.  It was a gift and I just haven’t found too many ways to use the offbeat liqueur that is a blend of brandy, vodka and vanilla.  At 40 proof, its not that strong.  It just goes against my not using flavored vodka grain I guess.  However, as I contemplated the Kahlua I was about to use, I thought that the vanilla flavor would be a nice compliment.  Thus, the Mocha Summer was born.

  Mocha Summer

  • 1 oz Kahlua liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Bombay gin
  • 1/2 oz Kajmir liqueur
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • tonic water, about 1/2 oz

In a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes combine the Kahlua, Bombay, Kajmir and pineapple juice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass (you’ll need your 6 ouncer for this one) and then top with about 1/2 oz of tonic water.  If you really want to go uptown, shave some dark chocolate on the top for a garnish.

The vanilla in the Kajmir did it’s job and blended with the Kahlua to give a chocolate flavor the drink.  Meanwhile, the tonic water just lightened this up enough to keep it from being too heavy.  When Gwen took her first sip I thought she had just died and gone to heaven!  I’m pretty sure we’ll see this again at the Twilight Lounge.


Day 80, Cocktails 82 & 83

I’m pretty sure that Jack Lord, after running down yet another bad guy on Hawaii Five-O didn’t have a cocktail with an umbrella sticking out of it.  Nah, Jack was a man’s man and wouldn’t be drinking frilly cocktails.  However, being in Hawaii, I’ll bet he’d have had the local version of something like a Margarita or daiquiri.  No, not the kind you get at Friday’s or on Bourbon Street filled with crushed ice and sickly sweet with syrup.  I’m talking about the real deal, with booze, a little more booze and a little bit of fresh juice.  Fortunately for Jack, I have just the drink for him.  I came up with this a couple of years ago during my first great tiki awakening. 


  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry or thin lime slice.

This follows the classic cocktail construction of 1 part liquor, 1/2 part liqueur and 1 part or so of mixer (usually fresh juice).  What you get here is the Hawaiian version of the above mentioned margarita or daiquiri.  Not too sweet, not too tart, this cocktail is just right.  The orange of the Cointreau and the bitters play very nicely with the rum, and everything is well balanced (of course it is, I drank numerous versions to get it just right!).

For a fun variation of the Hawaiian, try this on for size.

  Blue Hawaiian

  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Again, combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes. Shake to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

The flavor of this is very similar to the Hawaiian, but the the blue color gives it more of a tropical beach appeal or is reminiscent of the deep blue of the ocean off Hawaii’s coast.  Try them both and let me know which you like best!


Day 79, Cocktail 81

What does every good tiki cocktail need?  An umbrella, of course!  Harry Yee, the “Dean of Hawaiian Bartenders” is credited in some circles with being the first to use the umbrella as a drink decoration.  He was definately the first to use an orchid as a drink garnish while at the Hawaiian Village Hotel bar on Waikiki.  Yee is credited with creating a number of tropical classics.  One of my favorites combines the usual suspects of rum and pineapple with almond flavored orgeat syrup, a favorite flavor of mine in tiki drinks.


  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz white Puerto Rican rum
  • 1-1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat syrup

Mix the ingredients with 8 ounces of crushed ice and pour into a chimney glass or tall tiki head glass.  Garnish with maraschino cherry speared to a pineapple wedge and an umbrella (of course!).

I cheated a bit and put 8 oz of ice cubes in my blender with the liquid ingredients and then used the puree button.  The final outcome is the same and this is easer if you don’t have crushed ice readily available.

This is a very flavorful drink that doesn’t overpower you with rum flavors.  Don’t be fooled, the vodka helps give this some pop. but the predominate flavor is the pineapple and orgeat with just a hint of rum.


Day 78, Cocktail 80

Tiki week continues tonight with another new cocktail.  But before we can drink, we need a glass to put it in!  If you are a regular reader, you’ve already read my rantings regarding cocktail glasses.  However, when it’s tiki time, the rules get thrown out the window and cool, retro tiki barware takes center stage.  Most of my tiki recipes can be served in one of these fun glasses – I have a set of 6 of the center fellow while his two friends are one offs.  Half the fun of tiki glasses (the not drinking from them half) is in acquiring them.  I never buy my tiki glasses “retail”.  Rather, thrift shops, rummage sales, flea markets, craigslist and ebay are my sources, and so much more fun!  And don’t worry about them matching, finding different glasses is what makes using them so much fun at a party!

Now, about that cryptic post title.  Some of you of a certain age should remember the old Hai Karate cologne.  You know the one that drives women so mad with the desire that the unsuspecting wearer has to resort to karate chops to keep the many attackers at bay.  (Yeah, like that really happened to me!)  Well, tonight’s cocktail is named the Hai Karate is a Beachbum Jerry original from his Intoxica recipe book.

  Hai Karate

  • 2 oz amber rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/8 oz maple syrup (the real stuff!)
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 6-7 ice cubes.  Skake well to mix and then pour (ice and all) into a tiki glass or collins glass.  Garnish with a lime or orange wedge.

A very nice tropical, fruity blend that allows the rum (in this case, Appleton Reserve) to shine through.  The maple syrup adds just a touch of woody sweetness that blend very well with this drink.  Once again, I’ve looked at a recipe and thought “you’re kidding” but it really does work!


PS – I will be doing a second tiki week in August, so if you have a favorite tiki recipe, let me know!  If I use your recipe during tiki week II you’ll win an official Twilight Lounge keepsake of your very own!