Tag Archives: Bitters

The Jewish Manhattan from Daniel Handler

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson


2 oz Rye
0.25 oz Manischewitz Concord Grape Red Wine
Angostura Bitters


Instructions per Mr. Handler:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour in the rye and the Manischewitz, and add one dash of Angostura bitters for each living female relative over the age of seventy in your extended family.
Shake, then pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry you’ve plucked from a fruitcake someone gave you.
Sip frugally while arguing over something that does not matter in this world or the next, and allow the ice to melt in the shaker.
When it has melted completely, pour it into your cocktail glass and convince yourself that you are drinking a second cocktail for free.

Read More…

Gin Pahit

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson


4 or 5 dashes Angostura Bitters
3 – 4 oz Dry Gin

Shake the Angostura into a stemmed cocktail glass. Per Charles H. Baker, from whose book (Jigger, Beaker, & Glass; 1939) this recipe is taken: ‘Tip the glass like the Tower of Pisa and twirl it between thumb and fingers. Whatever Angostura sticks to the glass through capillary attraction is precisely the right amount.’ Pour out any bitters that do not cling. Fill the glass with gin. Alternatively, you may put both ingredients in a shaker, then shake and strain.

We recommend the former method, with the gin and the glass being ice cold.

Featured Glassware:  Octavie Martini by Villeroy & Boch


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So, you’re out of vermouth, but want a martini?  Swirl a few drops of bitters and add some gin, presto, you’ve got yourself Gin Pahit, Pink Gin, or Gin and Bitters — however you choose to call it.  You might even call it a martini sans vermouth.  It’s a powerful drink to say the least, and one that gives credence to the English phrase “stiff upper lip”.  After drinking one of these, your lip will indeed be quite stiff, and proper, and, well, British.

Today, we offer an outtake from “Gin: A Global History”, focusing on gin’s role in empire building, and how gin cocktails went hand in hand with conquest. Read More…

1912 – Arizona, Prostitution Row, and the Virgin Cocktail

2 oz Dry Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 tsp Grenadine or Raspberry Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice
Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a cherry, naturally


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Today may be Valentine’s Day, but it is also – more significantly – the Arizona Centennial,  marking the 100th anniversary of  our 48 contiguous united states and, as a by-product, the end of the Old West.  After all, when your last “territory” dons statehood, things stop being as fast and loose as they once were.  Fortunately for us, we’re talking Arizona, which – state or not – has always seen things its own way.

“Forty-Eighth Star To Be Placed On Flag Of The American Nation On St. Valentine’s Day” read the February 14, 1912 headline in Arizona Journal-Miner.  Across the state, canons, dynamite, bells, and, guns of all sizes would toll 48 times in honor of President Taft’s signing of the statehood proclamation and George W. P. Hunt’s assumption of the Governorship of the state.  And, while the term “Arizona Territory” may conjure images of the Old West, by 1912, Arizona the state was a relatively civilized place.  Contained in the very same issue of the Journal-Miner mentioned above are advertisements for Model Ts, Sealshipt Oysters, Wine Companies, Electricity, Cigars, and Hart Schaffner & Marx suits – all the comforts of a modern life.  Of course, that was in the cities. For those looking for it, the rough and wild west of old was still very much alive in mining towns like Jerome. Read More…

The Glorious Guyana from Ken Albala

2 oz Peated Scotch Whisky
2.5 oz Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Ripe Banana
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to a blender with 1 cup of crushed ice
Blend until smooth and pour into a tall glass or tiki glass
Feel free to garnish with fruit, but it may just get in the way
Consume many

Featured Glassware: Boston Double Old-Fashioned by Villeroy & Boch


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There’s no way around it, so I’ll just cut to the chase:  If forced to be a member of the Donner Party, my one condition would be that I was allowed to bring along Ken Albala.  My reasoning is simply that if we were going to have to eat people, at least Ken would know how to make them delicious.  I do not mean to imply that Ken has cannibalistic tendencies – it’s just that, if ever a method for preparing a food item existed, Ken would not only know about it, he probably would have replicated it.  Except for cooking people – I’ll pay Ken the courtesy of drawing the line there.

For the past year, Ken has been a key resource for some of our most historical recipes, namely Buttered Beere and Punch Biscuits.  This past October, during our Halloween series, I mentioned to Ken that we were doing a drink called the Bloodbath, and he excitedly replied “With real blood?” and proceeded to advise me on how to acquire and handle the same.  As a food historian and professor at the University of the Pacific – not to mention author or co-author of books including Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Lost Art of Real Cooking, Beans: A History, and the just-released Food and Faith in Christian Culture – Ken is a man who obviously knows his way around a slab of ribs and then some.  Read More…

Spiced Curaçao Coffee from Tiare Olsen

2 oz Chairman´s Reserve Spiced Rum
0.25 oz Orange Curaçao
0.25 oz light brown Muscovado Sugar
1 cup freshly brewed strong full-bodied Coffee
Master of Malt Curaçao Bitters
Whipped Cream

Add spiced rum, orange Curaçao, coffee and bitters to a large mug or heat-resistant glass and stir together. Top with whipped cream and dust cinnamon or nutmeg over

Garnish the glass by wrapping a golden bow around it

Featured Glassware:  NewWave Caffè by Villeroy & Boch


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Today, we officially kick off our ‘Tis the Season… for Drinking campaign featuring 12 holiday drinks brought to us by some of our favorite people.  As it happens, today is also St. Lucia Day, the celebration of an Italian saint particularly popular among Scandinavians.  For me, the day holds special significance as a reminder of my Swedish heritage – but not in the way that you might initially think.

With the name David Solmonson, more often than not, people assume that I’m Jewish.  It’s never been an issue – I don’t know why it would be – with the sole exception of the time in 4th or 5th grade when I was randomly called upon and asked to regale my classe with the story of how my family celebrated Hanukah.  There was no preamble or warning, just “David, make with the menorah story.”  Not knowing the menorah story or anything about Hanukah, I did the only thing that came to mind – I told everyone about St. Lucia instead. Read More…