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‘Recipes’ Category

  1. Really, Mr. Boston? #1

    November 26, 2014 by Russ

    To celebrate the imminent arrival of our newest cocktail book, Death & Co. (from the NYC bar of the same name), your intrepid and occasionally lazy writers here at Root & Glass have chosen to start a new regular feature.  One that looks back at another book on our shelf and decides to mock it shamelessly.  You know… for the kids!

    But I want to make it clear now, we are not trying to disrespect this book.  It does serve as a reliable benchmark for some fairly arcane information.  In the opening chapters, one can easily find information about unit conversions, illustrated and named glassware, and equivalent measures for 19th-Century quantifications (I have this page bookmarked; how am I supposed to remember what a pony-glass is, or how many bottles of wine a Rehoboam is?).  The copy we have was a thoughtful gift from two dear friends, so no, we bear this book no ill will.  However, there are some *very* mockable parts to it.

    The guidelines for these posts are quite simple.  We will be temporarily ignoring all of the classics, forgotten gems, and newer curiosities that Mr. Boston faithfully chronicles in order to scrutinize a claim made right on the front cover:

    A lot better than the Mr. Akron book. That's just a collection of sad, black and white photos of dead shopping malls.

    Sounds like a lot, right?

    Wow, I mean, with 1,500 recipes that’s gotta have it all!  After all, these must be things that the ‘Master Mixologist” has to need!  Well, it sure does, and this series of posts will be highlighting some of the recipes that made me stop reading and exclaim, often audibly, “Really, Mr. Boston?  Is THAT how we’re filling this list of 1,500?”

    To kick it off, I bring you the ‘recipe’ that spawned the idea for this series.  Picture it in your mind: a fresh, new, first-day-on-the-job young bartender, standing tall at the local aspiring cocktail bar, suddenly facing the frightening wall of public demands.  All of that training and advance studying fly out of their brains at the first non-bottled request from the thirsty face of a shouting customer.  In a blind panic, they reach for the trusty old copy of Mr. Boston that is safely camped out under the bar and flip to refresh their memory without giving away the impression that they have no idea what words just entered their ears.  They turn the pages in a mounting frenzy until they reach their goal, and they read:

    "Oh, THREE ice cubes!  I always forget that part!"

    To be attempted by Master Mixologists only, please.

    Then they calmly close the book, place it back on the shelf, and raise their arm in a sudden, involuntary upward swipe that ends with the heel of their hand connecting to their forehead with a resounding SMACK.

    Really, Mr. Boston?  You counted this one?  You thought, perhaps, that your all-encompassing volume just wouldn’t be complete without this one?  That it needed to be preserved, in case the terms ‘on the rocks’ got a reader wondering if it supposed to be granite or marble?  UGH.

  2. Vroom vroom!

    November 13, 2014 by Russ

    While a good friend was over, trying to save this heap of a computer from eating itself (I totally blame this jumble of wires and defective drives on the lack of posting, by the way), I was flipping through the ol’ Mr. Boston’s recipe book, looking for something new.  Since I’m telling you this story, you can probably already tell that I found it.

    I was trying to use up our existing bottle of Dolin dry vermouth in order to give me an excuse to open the new dry vermouth by Ransom Spirits that we procured (thanks, Morganelli’s Party Store!) and am super-excited about.  We got to try a lil’ sample of it on our summer roadtrip, in Portland, where there is a store called Meadow that primarily sells chocolate, salt, and bitters.  I know, I know, it was amazing.  The best part?  They have samples available of most of their items!  So we fell in love with Ransom’s dry vermouth, came home and asked nicely, and Morganelli’s came through in a big way with the dry AND the sweet by Ransom!  If the sweet is anything like Whipper Snapper and their Old Tom gin, I have every confidence that it is also top-notch.

    So, in comes Mr. Boston and the something new.  I trip across a recipe that uses dry vermouth, is simple, new, and unexpected.  On paper, the Ferrari doesn’t come across as a particularly good drink.  I was especially skeptical, since I am not a fan of the bitter component of vermouth in general.  With the what-the-Hades attitude that usually precedes a revelation, I threw one together and was mildly stunned at the outcome.

    A surprisingly tasty, and simple, combination of sweet and bitter. DON'T skip the garnish!
    Recipe type: Cordials
    • 1 oz. Amaretto
    • 2 oz. Dry vermouth
    1. Mix over ice in an old-fashioned glass and stir. Squeeze a lemon twist over it, run the twist around the rim of the glass, and drop it in.

    I used Luxardo amaretto, because I am completely in love with it.  It ends up being a refreshing and sweet drink, with the best qualities of each ingredient complimenting the other.  The 1:2 ratio ends up a little sweeter than Elyn prefers, but my excellent tech-saavy buddy and I found it delicious.  Absolutely do not neglect that lemon twist; in fact, make it an extra-robust one.  Those lemon oils really bring it all together.

  3. Again? So soon?

    October 19, 2014 by Russ

    Just last weekend, I’d mixed up so- pardon me, compounded some punch for a few friends coming in from town.  They were wise enough to give me warning and express an interest in tasty drinks, so I compounded a batch of Billy Dawson’s punch.  It’s a delicious hot punch made with an oleo-saccharum of lemon peel and demarara sugar, lemon juice, rum, cognac, arrack, and a few ounces of porter (I used Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout) over boiling water.  It’s a lovely thing, and our guests annihilated it in short order.

    Now, scarcely a week later, I get to make another punch!  Here in Columbia, we are lucky enough to in good company of other cities that host their own TEDx events.  The organizers of the event throw a few little shindigs for the selected speakers, and one of the first is the photo shoot party so that the publicity can begin.  We two here at Root and Glass are lucky enough to have been called on again to compound a punch for this party.

    Since I have been making punch for this long, and there will be a few repeat guests, I will be repeating the Regent’s Punch… to see if I’ve gotten any better at this, of course.  Not at all because I dearly love this recipe and couldn’t find a better one quick enough.  This involves more delicious rum, arrack, and cognac, but here there is pineapple syrup (steeping right now), green tea (cooling off and about to go in the fridge), champagne mixed in at the end, and this time the oelo-saccharum is made with orange and lemon peels.

    Regent's Punch
    A 200-plus-year old recipe, accredited to King George IV, when he was the crown Regent.
    Recipe type: Punch
    • Oleo-saccharum (4 oz. white sugar, peels of 2 lemons and 2 oranges)
    • 1 pint green tea
    • Juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges
    • 8 oz. VSOP cognac
    • 2 oz. Jamaican rum
    • 2 oz. Batavia arrack
    • 2 oz. maraschino liqueur or pineapple syrup
    • 2 bottles of brut champagne
    1. Prepare the oleo-saccharum
    2. Steep the green tea (2 tea bags or 2 tsp of loose leaf) for 5 minutes and add, dissolving the sugar
    3. Juice the lemons and oranges into the bowl and stir
    4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the champagne
    5. Refrigerate for an hour or two
    6. When it's time to serve, pour it into the bowl and gently stir in the champagne
    7. Yields 10 cups

    Here’s to you, TEDx Columbia!  I sure hope you and your new 2015 speakers enjoy this punch.  It’s fit for royalty.

  4. The Root and Glass Bloody Mary Mix

    November 12, 2013 by Elyn

    photo 3

    Let me start this post with a confession. I don’t drink Bloody Marys. You are probably thinking you shouldn’t take my advice on them right about now but hear me out. While I don’t drink Bloody Marys, I absolutely do drink Bloody Mary Mix. See, when I was a child, my mother’s favorite drink was the Bloody Mary and (it being the 80s) she loved ordering them in restaurants where they came garnished with a side salad. Celery, pickles, olives, steamed shrimp. If you could dream it, it came on top of those Bloody Marys. After I got old enough to really start hogging the garnishes, she began just ordering me my own (without the booze, naturally.)

    Although the initial allure of the Bloody Mary was the cornucopia of savory delights perched atop it, I soon became quite enamored with the drink itself. Cold, thick, salty, and spicy. For a 5-year-old, I had a pretty adventurous palette and I came to really enjoy Bloody Mary Mix.

    Bloody Mary Mix

    Believe it or not, I never tried one with booze until I was of legal age. I ordered one in an airport bar about a week after my 21st birthday and. . . Blech. My Bloody Mary was watered down with vodka! Gross. Since then, I’ve tried them a few more times with different spirits. The most acceptable was reposado tequila but I’d still rather have my Bloody Mary’s sans booze, thank you very much. This seems like an odd admission for a cocktail blogger to make but I wired up those taste buds long ago. Naturally, you can take this mix recipe and do whatever you would like with is. I’m sure it is tasty with your choice of spirit (if you’re into that sort of thing.)

    This recipe is also missing a very common ingredient, Worcestershire sauce. Initially that came out of a frantic substitution when I realized I was out half way through making my mix (mise en place, people!) but I am beginning to think it was a happy accident. I subbed in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to make up for it and after getting some Worcestershire and tasting them side-by-side, I think I prefer it this way. It has the added bonus of making this mix vegan (at least until you garnish it with blue-cheese stuffed olives.)

    Bloody Mary Mix

    The Root and Glass Bloody Mary Mix
    • 32 ounces V-8
    • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
    • 2-3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
    • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon celery seed
    1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Adjust to taste but be aware that the horseradish develops over time. Best after at least 6 hours when the ingredients are thoroughly married and chilled.
    2. Serve over ice and garnish with any manner of delicious salty things. If you're in the South, grab some dilly beans or pickled okra. If you're lucky enough to have dinner guests that bring you fancy olives, toss some of those in there.

  5. MxMo LXXVIII – The Magellan

    October 21, 2013 by Russ


    It’s Mixology Monday time again, and the challenge this month is to be “Intercontinental.”  The idea is to include ingredients from as many continents as possible, including tools, glassware, names, or back stories.  We chose to stick to the mixing ingredients, in order to remain as legit as possible.  I’ll leave the Gold Star work and Antarctica jokes to those more qualified than myself.

    This contribution is called The Magellan, and here’s the recipe:

    The Magellan
    Recipe type: Cocktail
    • 1-1/2 oz. Banks 5 Island rum
    • 1 oz. Swedish Punsch
    • ½ oz. Garam Masala syrup
    • ½ oz. lime juice
    • 1 egg white
    1. Chill your coupe glass and combine the rum, Punsch, lime, juice, syrup, and egg white in a shaker with NO ice and shake like crazy.
    2. Add ice and shake like crazier.
    3. Strain into the chilled coupe
    4. Gently sprinkle a pinch of Garam Masala seasoning on top of the foam and smile.
    5. For the Garam Masala syrup recipe, we used ⅓ cup each jaggery and water and ½ tsp Garam Masala. Combine in a small saucepan and heat. Then allow to cool and strain through cheesecloth.

    In rear: the Annex of the Bar of Glory!  BEHOLD

    Sorry, photo-lovers, I already juiced the best looking lime for the drink!

    If you’ve not tried it, this rum is worth hunting down.  Banks 5 Island rum is named for its blend of rums from 5 different places: Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and one undisclosed location (but I trust them, even though Guyana isn’t an island).  The nose gives you the funkiness of the Jamaican rums and, oddly, a hint of raisins.  Not an unpleasant thing here or in many white, unaged whiskeys, take my word for it.  The taste is smooth and distinctive with a decent burn, while retaining its sweetness.  As far as MxMo, since Guyana is solidly in South America and the rest of the islands of the West Indies (a grossly inaccurate name) are considered part of North America, that’s two continents in one shot!  Boom!

    Next up is the Swedish Punsch, another delightful ingredient that we first read about in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.  This is a rum-based liqueur, seasoned up with various delicious spices.  Basically, Swedish Punsch is to rum as Drambuie is to scotch.  We use Kronan here at home, available on DrinkUpNY.  They include in their description that Kronan is made from sugarcane spirits from the East and West Indies, creating the first link back to the rum.  Kronan Swedish Punsch is, as the name suggests, made in Sweden, so that makes Europe continent #3.

    Finally the fun part: the Garam Masala syrup.  Instead of regular sugar or, my preference, demerara sugar, I wanted a simple syrup that would connect with the complex Garam Masala seasoning.  The best thing we could think of to match the spices of India was jaggery.  It can be made from a lot of things, but this one is molasses-based and in a loaf form.  We used a 1 to 1 ratio of water to jaggery and melted it down with 1/2 tsp. of Garam Masala, also from our local Indian market.  This only yields a small amount of syrup, but it can be easily doubled up since many of the ingredients dissolve.  Anything that doesn’t dissolve will have to strained out through a cheesecloth once the mixture cools.  It’s a complex, dark, and smokey ingredient that works beautifully with the Swedish Punsch.  This also brings full circle to the continental aspect of the cocktail by crossing the waters that Columbus couldn’t and making it all the way to India.  Make Asia continent #4!

    For extra foam, shake extra hard.

    That pinch of Garam Masala on top of the foam guarantees a nice, spicy punch (Punsch?) on the nose.

    The lime juice brings a light, tart note into the mix, and the egg white does its usual magic and makes the mouthfeel silky and smooth without affecting the taste.  If anything, that egg white makes all of the molasses and spices seem almost chocolatey.  To this day, I’ve not made or tried an egg cocktail that I didn’t love.

    Now, the lime could be from anywhere, so there’s no additional land mass there.  The egg could also be from anywhere… but is the same color white as the snow and ice of Antarctica!  POW, that’s fi- nah, just kidding.  Four is enough for me, and this drink is tasty enough for anyone.  Big thanks to Stewart at Putney Farms blog for the inspiration!

    Here’s what everyone else came up with!

  6. House Favorite – The Corpse Reviver #2

    October 7, 2013 by Russ

    CR2 3

    I think it’s about time to showcase a drink that I truly love.  This version first came to me from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, where the excellent Dr. Cocktail speaks to its origins.  The good doctor tells a much better story than I do, so I won’t try to recap it for you; I will leave the history to the experts and tell you about this wondrous potation in the present… as I sip one with a smile on my face.

    First, the recipe:

    Corpse Reviver #2
    Recipe type: Cocktail
    • 1 oz. gin
    • 1 oz. Cointreau
    • 1 oz. lemon juice
    • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
    • 1 to 3 drops absinthe
    1. Shake and strain into a chilled glass, then drop in a stemless cherry to lurk in the bottom.



    Glass head not required, but recommended!
    Pictured: the usual suspects. Delicious, delicious suspects.

    The ingredients:

    I will leave the gin to you, gentle reader, to decide on.  I’ve tried London Dry gins that did just as well as smaller batch fancy gins, and whichever gin strikes your fancy will come through quietly and whisper lovely things in this drink’s ear.  I like Small’s gin in this for the smooth botanicals and the touch of citrus that plays well with the next three ingredients.

    The Cointreau and Lillet are must-haves, both in general and in this drink, so take on substitutions at your own risk.  The key to this cocktail is the delicate balance (AKA mystical chemistry) between all four main ingredients, and I haven’t found anything that can fill in for these two in this recipe.  Triple sec is too sweet and orange curaçao is too straight-forward orange to let the Lillet really shine.  Careful measurement and fresh lemons are absolutely mandatory, but I don’t need to tell you that…. do I?

    As for those drops of absinthe, I recommend all three.  If anise puts a bee in your bonnet, dial it back to only one drop, but don’t leave it out!  It seems like a few drops of the green fairy wouldn’t have much to say against four ounces of goodness, but there are no strongly-flavored ingredients to compete with here.  On the other hand, don’t feel like a strong absinthe will be too strong.  I used four drops of a rouge absinthe we found at Merchant in Madison, WI, and it barely came through in the drink.  Let the beast out… but only for a few drops.

    Finally, that garnish.  If you haven’t already experienced the joy and enlightenment of Luxardo Maraschino cherries, there is nothing I can say that will measure up.  They are sheer perfection at the end of a good cocktail, and the Corpse Reviver #2 is no exception.  Just make sure you save it for the very end; it’s absolute bliss.

    Hurry up and take the pic, Russ!  That drink is going in my face!

    The Verdict:

    This cocktail is so damn good it gives me goosebumps.  A good friend of mine was until very recently a teetotaler, but has ended this persuasion because life has been treating him very well (which is the right reason to decide to imbibe, in my humble opinion).  He came to me for his first drink after seeing me mix and gush with other good friends about the virtues and furors of liquor, and this was the one I chose to break him in with.  He was not disappointed.

  7. Istiklal Caddesi a MxMo Smoke Recipe

    September 22, 2013 by Elyn

    Istiklal Cadessi


    Since we are a brand new blog, it is pretty intimidating to try out our first Mixology Monday. Nonetheless, we were inspired by this month’s smoke theme.

    They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire– it isn’t necessarily true if we’re down to the smoldering embers, but, well, they say it anyway. In our case, where there was fire, now there’s smoke, and it’s time to stoke your enthusiasm for the next challenge.

    Elana gave us the lovely challenge of a cocktail with smoke and we have two to share with you. The first is one I’m calling Istiklal Caddesi after the street that forms the cultural hub of Istanbul.

    What does Istanbul have to do with smoke? Well, I was lucky to spend several weeks traveling in Turkey during the cold winter of 2005. On a backpacker budget, I stayed in lots of cheap hotels that were drafty and had inconsistent warm water. The place my travel companion and I would often go to warm up was one of the many tea shops scattered around any urban area in Turkey. Inside you could escape the cold, have a cup of strong and sweet tea, play backgammon, and rent a hookah to pass the time.

    Istiklal Cadessi

    This drink is an homage to those memories and also designed to be sipped as an accompaniment to enjoying a hookah. The recipe is functionally an apple brandy sour with some Turkish flavors tossed in to make it a little more special. My favorite shisha flavor has always been apple or cardamom so both of those flavors go into the drink via the apple brandy and cardamom syrup. Sumac is a tart berry that is a common cooking ingredient in Turkish food so the sumac tincture is there to blend the lemon and brandy harmoniously. Finally, the lapsang souchong syrup stands in for that strong, sweet, hot tea that I drank so many glasses of. Plus, it brings in the smoke flavor for the drink. This drink, like a hookah, is only subtly smokey but the flavor is definitely there. Enjoy!

    Istiklal Cadessi

    Istiklal Caddesi
    Apple brandy, cardamom, lapsang souchong, and sumac evoke the hookah smoke-filled tea shops of Istanbul.
    Recipe type: Cocktail
    • 2 oz. Laird's 7-Year Apple Brandy
    • 1 oz. lemon juice
    • 1 barspoon sumac tincture*
    • ¼ oz. cardamom syrup**
    • ½ oz. lapsang souchong syrup***
    • 3 dashes Fee Brother's Barrel-Aged bitters
    1. Combine all ingredients. Stir with ice. Strain into a glass with a single large ice cube.
    2. * Sumac tincture: Combine 3 tablespoons dried sumac with a ¼ cup vodka. Allow to steep covered for 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth until sediment is removed.
    3. ** Cardamom syrup: Bring 1 cup of water and ¼ cup cardamom pods to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup sugar. Allow cardamom to steep in syrup for 3 days. Strain to remove cardamom pods. Store in an old salsa jar.
    4. *** Lapsang Souchong syrup: Prepare lapsang souchong tea at normal strength. Stir in equal amount of sugar. Half-heartedly attempt to remove label from IKEA lingonberry syrup bottle. Give up. Store in the bottle anyway.