Based on one of my favorite all time cocktails the Boulevardier, I concocted the Blackberry Bombardier as a riff on this famous classic.

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Campari
  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Absinthe
  • 1 Blackberry

Muddle the blackberry, add the other ingredients, shake and double strain into a coupe or over a big cube. Careful not to overdo the Absinthe, I keep mine in a dropper bottle and I do about 1.5 dropper fulls. I often serve this up but decided to put it over a big cube for the photo. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Vieux Carre Cocktail

The Vieux Carré

Tales of the Cocktail kicked off today in New Orleans and the buzz on twitter has me jealous that I’m not there. While no substitute for being at totc, enjoying a Vieux Carré seemed like the appropriate way to celebrate with my cocktail brethren. Vieux Carré is the french name for the french quarter (old square) of New Orleans and this cocktail was created there in 1938. Wonderfully complex and  fun to experiment with, the Vieux Carré has long been on my short list of favorite cocktails.

  • 3/4 oz Rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Cognac (or brandy)
  • 3/4 oz Sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura
  • 2 dashes Peychauds

Stir briskly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.

Del Rio cocktail from Josh Harris and Scott Baird

Del Rio cocktail from Josh Harris and Scott Baird

Josh Harris and Scott Baird

Photo courtesy of Liza Gershman

Today we are featuring a cocktail from Josh Harris and Scott Baird of The Bon Vivants. Through The Bon Vivants Josh and Scott are cocktail ambassadors that specialize in cocktail menu and program development, custom events, brand representation and their soon to be released line of unique bitters and bar tools. Josh and Scott are also partners in Trick Dog, with friend Jason Henton. Trick Dog is slated to open at the beginning of 2012 in the Mission District of San Francisco and will be a 30′s – 50′s inspired non-pretentious cocktail bar serving food until late in the evening.

Very excited to feature this cocktail from Josh and Scott. It has a lot of complexity with the tequila and sherry doing a great job of subduing the St. Germain into providing nice floral undertones and not taking over the flavor profile. Sante!

Del Rio

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila Plata (Josh and Scott recommend Tequila Ocho)
  • 3/5 oz Fino Sherry
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing beaker. Add ice and stir until well chilled and diluted. Strain into a chilled coupe. Using a potato peeler, peel a small. piece of grapefruit peel, zest the top of the cocktail, rub around the top of the glass, and drop in. Enjoy.

The combination of the Tequila and Sherry is divine. I’ve been a big fan of Tequila Ocho, if you can spend the extra money it’s worth it.


Great response for Mixology Monday LVIII: Niche spirits, here is a roundup of all the submissions. There was a ton of response so if I mistakenly missed your submission please email me and I will rectify the situation.

My own Cazaubon Cocktail

Jacob Grier’s Scandinavian Spring

Paul Clarke’s Pisco Bell Ringer

Kim’s Pisco Sour

Dennis Schafer’s Evening in JulyEvening in July

David’s Holland Old-Fashioned

Drink of the Week’s Deft Blue

Ed’s Sourvit and Pisco Shenzhen

Kennedy’s Jack Rose

Alex’s Transalpine Cocktail

Jordan’s Happy ‘Rack

Mackenzie’s Lapageria Rosea

Rowan’s Solar Radio

Keith P’s Batavia Arrack Daiquiri

Wang’s Ginger n’ Maryann

Dagreb’s Dolofónos

Adam Pollack’s The Hiding Quetzal

Eric Kruse’s Tofaha

Dan Chadwick’s Torres del Paine

Ereich Empey’s The Michigander

Mix n Sip’s Elephant Jam

Frederic’s Forty Virtues

Dave’s Jack Rose

Nancy’s Carmen Sandiego

Erik Ellestad’s Suffering Mixologist

Lucash Krech’s Applejack Cocktail

Lindsay’s Daddys Eggnog

Chris’s The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

Chris Elford & Tristan Willey of Amor Y Amargo NYC Rumble Seat Cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz King’s County Moonshine
  • 0.5 oz Lillet white
  • 0.25 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 6 dashes Luxardo Maraschino
  • 8 drops Bittermen’s Mole Bitters

Stir, serve up. No garnish.

Jordan Gray’s The Grasshopper Lies Heavy:

  • 3/4oz Batavia Arrack van Oosten
  • 3/4oz maraschino liqueur (i use maraska)
  • 3/4oz Cynar
  • 1/2oz Bonal
  • 3/4oz lime juice
shake, serve up, no garnish
Cazaubon Cocktail

Cazaubon Cocktail

I’m excited to host the June 2011 edition of Mixology Monday. I chose niche spirits for the theme. My personal favorite niche spirit is Armagnac, France’s oldest but lesser known brandy. While Cognac focuses more on creating the perfect signature blend, Armagnac celebrates the differences between different vintages. Even from the same producer, different bottlings of Armagnac can vary wildly in flavor which gives the spirit much more room for exploration.

I just got back from a trip to France where I visited the Bas-Armagnac region that is central to Armagnac production. I named my cocktail after the small town I stayed in called Cazaubon. To pair with the Armagnac, I chose Byrrh Grand Quinquina, a French fortified wine. Byrrh is a bit softer than vermouth with heavy wine flavors and just a mild quinine flavor to add bitterness.


  • 1 1/2 oz Armagnac (Tariquet 100% Folle Blanche 12 year)
  • 3/4 oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Apricot Liquor (Marie Brizzard)

Shake, strain and garnish with a lemon zest.


The craft cocktail scene in Paris is just emerging, however, there are already a few established bars that are getting it right.

The first place we visited was Candelaria which you enter via a non-descript door in the back of a taco shop. Candelaria has been open only a couple of months but the cocktails were top notch. Of particular note was La Guêpe Verte, a mix of pepper infused tequila, cucumber, coriander, agave, lavender and lime juice. The atmosphere was intimate and their spirit selection was top notch. Definitely worth visiting if you’re in Paris.

I was really looking forward to Prescription Cocktail Club as that was the one bar I had already heard of. It had a prohibition-era vibe, the street front had no sign and once inside it had the familiar speakeasy look that is popular in the U.S. We arrived at an unusually busy time, so we didn’t stay long but I had a Boulevardier that was well made.

The last bar we visited was Curio Parlor which was really nice inside with vintage touches and a giant stuffed peacock. Maybe it was the fact we had primo seating but I enjoyed the vibe better here than Prescription, both bars along with Experimental Cocktail Club have the same owner. Cocktails were well executed as expected and there was plenty of cocktail geekery talk at the bar.

Tequila seems to be the hot spirit in Paris. Most of the menus were somewhat Tequila heavy. Fair bit of rum, not much whiskey and surprisingly not much featuring French brandies.

Pictures (starting from the top):
1. La Guêpe Verte from Candelaria
2. Candelaria
3 & 4. Curio Parlor

Location:Rue du Sommerard,Paris,France