Trip Report: Paris
For any spirits or cocktail connoisseur the place to visit in Paris is La Maison du Whisky. LMDW is the primary distributer for many spirits from around the world in France. They opened a store in St. Germain des Pres to showcase all the fine products they carry. The store has an extensive selection across three stories and a fabulous tasting room on the top floor.

The staff was friendly and knowledgable and their selection was very impressive. Many American whiskies and products from Mexico have little to no distribution in Europe but LMDW is changing that. They even had Rittenhouse rye in stock which I can’t say any place in San Francisco.

Our host Stanislas let us sample some fine Armagnacs and Calvados that we were interested in, while I recognized some familiar brands they definitely carried many products from producers that are not available in the U.S. We also sampled the very last of their Rittenhouse private barrel that was exquisite. I had never seen a red label Rittenhouse before. The highlight must have been the 1956 Armagnacnwe sampled that was out of this world!

The other reason I came here was to pick up some French aperitifs that are not sold in the U.S. One I’ve already posted about but for the rest you’ll have to stay tuned to this blog. ;)

Location:Rue du Sommerard,Paris,France


Just flew into Paris and my friend Safy presented me with a bottle of Noilly Prat Ambré, the elusive third vermouth from NP that is only available in France and in somewhat limited quantities.

First taste is impressive, looking forward to trying it in a cocktail.

P.s. You’ll hopefully see a number of these short trip reports as I make my way through France and Spain over the next three weeks.

Location:Rue de Cluny,Paris,France

I am honored to be hosting the next Mixology Monday event on June 20th. For those readers not familiar with Mixology Monday, it’s a monthly online cocktail party. Each month the host chooses a theme and participants are challenged to post a cocktail recipe that fits with the theme. 

Junes theme will be “favorite niche spirit”, so any cocktail where the base ingredient is not bourbon, gin, rum, rye, tequila, vodka etc would qualify.  So whether you choose Mezcal or Armagnac get creative and showcase your favorite niche spirit.

To participate:
Have your post up on your blog by midnight on Monday June 20th. If you don’t have a blog email me at filip {at} adventuresincocktails {dot} com by Saturday June 18th with your submission and I will include it in my round-up post.

You will also need to link to this blog and link the Mixology Monday logo to their web site. Last but not least reply to this post with a link to your submission. I will post a round-up post on Tues/Weds that will have all the entries.

For more info on participating visit the mixology monday.



Piwonia cocktail


This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Dave from the The Bar Man Cometh blog. Dave choose Flores de Mayo – Floral Cocktails as the theme.

My mother was visiting for Mother’s Day and a floral cocktail was in order; this month’s theme was serendipitous indeed. In honor of my Polish mother the cocktail was named Piwonia, (pronounced “pivonia”), the Polish name for the peony flower. We had just bought her peonies for Mother’s Day and the hue of this cocktail matched them perfectly.


  • 1 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz Lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • 1 dash TBT Aromatic bitters
  • 1 strawberry

In a mixing glass muddle the strawberry then add the ingredients. Shake well and double strain (with a sieve) into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a rose petal for contrast (as opposed to a peony petal).

21 Hayes Cocktail

21 Hayes Cocktail

I received an email from Rick a reader of the blog asking if I knew any good recipes that use Pimm’s No. 1.  A Pimm’s Cup is the first thing to come to mind, however if you’re looking for more of a sophisticated cocktail then I’d recommend Jeff Hollinger’s 21 Hayes cocktail which draws inspiration from the Pimm’s Cup. This cocktail is named after the 21 Hayes bus line in San Francisco that runs outside Absinthe restaurant where Jeff invented this cocktail.

21 Hayes

  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Pimm’s No 1
  • 1 barspoon Simple syrup
  • 3 slices cucumber

Muddle two slices of cucumber to a pulp with the Pimm’s No 1. Then add the rest of the ingredients and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cucumber slice.


Tequila Ocho Plata

Tequila Ocho Plata 2010 vintage

Looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a nice sipping Tequila? I had the opportunity to attend a Tequila tasting over the weekend courtesy of Liquor.com. There were many fine products available for sampling and some of my favorites such as Siete Laguas tasted well against their competition. The highlight for me was being able to sample the range of Tequila Ocho.

Ocho has taken a new approach to Tequila, rather then developing their signature flavor they are looking to celebrate the differences between agaves from different vintages and estates. Every bottle has a vintage year and the name of the single estate where the agaves were sourced.

To my knowledge this is the first time someone has gone to market with Tequila that demonstrates the difference in terrior for Tequilas. The Ocho line-up includes a plata (unaged tequila), reposado (aged 8 weeks & 8 days*) and anejo (aged 1 year*). The difference with Ocho is that  each expression can be from a different vintage and estate thus producing different Tequilas. Each Tequila gains it’s uniqueness from the estate the agaves were grown on and one can taste the difference altitude and micro-climate can have on the flavor.

The entire range of Ocho was exquisite, even their unaged plata was a delight to sip on. Sampling their 2009 Plata from Rancho Las Pomez (photo above is the 2010), there was even balance across the flavor profile with fruity flourishes that dance on your tongue alongside spicy notes. The texture is silky and it’s hard to believe an unaged spirit can be so smooth (for a whiskey guy like me).

Ocho was also tasting their new for the U.S. market extra anejo product which stole the show in my opinion. It will command a hefty price tag when it’s released but then again most extra anejo premium Tequilas are pretty expensive.

The entire range of Ocho products is not inexpensive, even their plata is $45-$55. However I would highly recommend their products for any serious Tequila fan, you will not be disappointed with the quality.

*Don’t quote me on the age statements, these are from memory