Jul 062012

During the golden age of the cocktail, a bartender’s only option was to use fresh ingredients. Today’s mixologists are once again returning to fresh fruits and herbs.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing several wonderful recipes that I found in an USA Airways magazine. This week, we’ll make a Raspberry Refresher. With so many places around the U.S. experiencing record high temperatures, this drink promises cool relief.

You’ll need:

15 fresh mint leaves

24 fresh raspberries

Three teaspoons of sugar

Juice of a half a lime

Three ounces of Beefeater gin

1.5 ounces of Cointreau

Crushed ice

Cold soda water

Place mint leaves, raspberries, lime juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle until it’s all mush. Add gin and Cointreau and stir with ice until two-third full. Stir well and add soda to tastes.

Serves two.




Jun 292012

During the golden age of the cocktail, the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a bartender’s only option was to use fresh ingredients. Today’s mixologists (don’t’ you love that term?) are once again returning to fresh fruits and herbs. While we can use fresh fruit year around, the summer is an especially good time to experiment with fruit.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing several wonderful recipes that I found in an USA Airways magazine. This week, we’ll make a Ten Grand.

You’ll need:

Two ounces of Tanqueray No. Ten gin

Eight ounces of cubed fresh pineapple (remove tough core and skin)

Four ounces of Grand Marnier

Squeeze of lime juice

Blend all ingredients. Pour into ice-filled shaker and shake well. Serve in a chilled martini glass.

Serves two.



Jun 222012

Wednesday was the summer solstice. It was the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. Let’s celebrate with a truly classic summertime drink. A first cousin to the Sea Breeze and Cape Codder, the Madras is cool and refreshing. Here’s what you’ll need.

One ounce of orange juice

Four ounces of cranberry juice

One and a half ounces of vodka


Mix the orange and cranberry juices with vodka in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.



Jun 082012

About five times a year, I’m in Athens, Georgia teaching, and when I am there one of my favorite places to eat is the East-West Bistro. Not only is the food great, they have one of the best martinis in town. This week, another drink caught my eye—The Dixon. I’m going to try it this weekend. Do you want to join me?

Where a Mimosa is made with champagne and fresh-squeezed orange juice, The Dixon is made with champagne, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and a sprig of rosemary. Doesn’t that sound refreshing?

Perhaps we’ve found the perfect cocktail for an elegant brunch.





May 182012

Last week, I shared the recipe for a Cuba Libre. This week, we’ll continue with a Cuban theme.

The Mojito is considered to be the Mint Julep’s Cuban cousin. It originated in Havana and was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktails.

While the origins of the drink are subject to debate, Sir Francis Drake is often credited with creating a similar cocktail using aguardiente, a primitive predecessor to rum, in the sixteenth century.

To make a marvelous Mojito, you’ll need:

Two ounces of light rum

Fourth of an ounce of simple syrup

Half of an ounce of lime juice

Two and a half ounces of club soda

Mint leaves

Place mint leaves and simple syrup in to a highball glass with the juice of half of a lime. Muddle the ingredients. Add ice and light rum and stir well. Top with club soda.

A special shout-out to Brian D. Murphy and his book See, Mix, Drink: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Crafting the Worlds’s Most Popular Cocktails.


May 112012

Some friends recently returned from Cuba. When I asked them about the food, all they could talk about was the “Cuba Libres.”  “What’s a Cuba Libre?” I asked. It’s a fancy name for a rum and cola they explained.

I haven’t drank a rum and cola since highschool, but I have to admit it’s sounding pretty darn good to me today. Here’s how to make one.

Mix one and half ounces of light rum with six ounces of cola. (Of course, I’m from Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola, so that’s what I’d recommend.) Pour in a highball glass with ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.




May 042012

Want a snappy cocktail? Add ginger. My friend Roy Otwell makes a mean ginger martini that he boasts is “world famous.”

World famous? Perhaps not—at least, not yet. Still, it’s one of my favorite all-time cocktails. (If we’re really lucky, maybe Roy will share the recipe with us one day.)

My friend Kim McGuire says she’s found a ginger cocktail that can rival Roy’s, and it’s made from tequila. Instead of fresh ginger, it uses Domaine de Canton, a French ginger liquor that sells for about $18 a bottle.

You’ll need:

One and a half part of Domaine de Canton (Kim uses a little less to cut down on the sweetness.)

One part of a premium tequila

Half a part of fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

I can’t wait to try it!



Apr 272012

This weekend, I’m going to my friend Randy’s birthday party; Randy is turning fifty. To celebrate, he’s turned back the clock fifty years to 1962. All week, I’ve been working on my costume—visualize James Bond with a large dash of Mad Men.

Cocktails were a big part of the sophisticated sixties, and one of the most popular cocktails of the era was the Highball.  A Highball is refreshing and simple, and it’s a great entry-level drink for those developing a palate for whiskey. In fact, the Highball was my drink of choice at those University of Georgia football games and the fraternity parties that followed.

It’s super simple to make. Take three ounces of whiskey and mix with two ounces of ginger ale, add ice, and you have a Highball.




Apr 062012

The gym was almost empty this week; a lot of folks are on spring break with their kids. One my best spring breaks was in college when I went to the Bahamas. I can still remember the white-white sand, blue-blue water, and those red-orange sweet drinks adorned fruit and tiny paper umbrellas.

This weekend, let’s pretend we’re on spring break and make Bahama Mamas. We’ll need:

Half ounce of dark rum

A third of an ounce of 151-proof rum

A third of an ounce of coffee liquor

Half ounce of coconut liqueur

Half ounce of lemon juice

Four ounces of pineapple juice

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Then garnish with an orange wedge, cherry—and if you have one—a tiny little paper umbrella.




Mar 302012

My first job after college was with the Burroughs Corporation selling adding machines and computers. At an annual salary of fifteen thousand plus commissions, I thought I was hot stuff.  There was only one problem: I didn’t have a clue how those adding machines worked, much less the computers.

After a long day of cold calling, my fellow salespeople and I would meet for happy hour. Jim, who was a much better salesman than me (he could at least work the adding machines), always ordered a Rusty Nail.

The Rusty Nail combines Scotch with the honey and herbal hints of Drambuie, and it’s simple to make. Pour two ounces scotch whiskey and a half ounce of Drambuie into a rocks glass with ice. Stir well and garnish with a lemon twist.


Footnote: I lasted less than nine months before landing a job in advertising. Still, I learned several valuable lessons at Burroughs:

One: I love sales.

Two: I have to sell something I’m passionate about (and understand).

Three: It’s not a good idea to go to happy hour every night.