Home Slice

Posted in Recipes on October 11, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

If you didn’t make it to Home Slice on Friday night, you were clearly doing something that sucked.  It was a stone jam.  A rad bash.  A shit show, in the best possible way.
Tons of great Detroit food companies were there, Slow’s, Porktown Sausage Project, Brother Nature, etc., all showing off their wares and donating a portion of their sales to the museum.  I was fortunate enough to get to run the bar (as The Sugar House) and put together the cocktail menu.  Fortunately my buds Evan and Todd were willing to help out – I would have been boned otherwise.    Here’s what we were mixing:

The Archbishop
The Archbishop is a traditional “mulled wine,” made with claret, mixed with spices, orange peel and sugar. The recipe comes from Jerry Thomas’ 1887 book, “How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion.” Slightly sweet, with strong notes of orange, clove and cinnamon… served warm, a perfect fall drink.

Autumn Old Fashioned
Franklin Cider Mill cider is reduced down to syrup, paired with Angostura bitters and Rye whiskey, served over ice. Our seasonal variation on the venerable classic, this true cocktail is tart, slightly sweet and nutty.

Champagne Cocktail
This classic Champagne cocktail is made with cognac, bitters and sugar, and topped off with sparkling brut, served in a champagne glass. A balance of sweet and dry, with hints of spice and a citrus nose.

Cherry Bounce
The Cherry Bounce, as detailed by Lord Kendal Banning in his publication from 1784, “The Squire’s Recipes,” is a mixture of whiskey, cognac, cherries, almonds and spices which have been macerated for “three fortnights.” Slightly dry, extremely complex, and quite potent. Simply served over ice.

Fig Leaf
From Trader Vic’s Illustrated Guide to Bartending (1947), the origins of this mysterious drink are unclear but it’s fantastic flavor is anything but. Aged rum, Italian vermouth, lime juice and bitters, shaken, and served down.

Gin Gin Mule
Created by Audrey Sanders at the Pegu Club in New York, this variation on the Moscow Mule is an instant classic. The botanicals of the gin are complemented by the mint and ginger flavors, while the soda makes this a light, yet complex beverage.

Here’s a shot of the syrups, juices and the Cherry Bounce…

I made 96 oz. of cider reduction, simple syrup and ginger & black peppercorn syrup.  Evan and I squeezed 4000 ml of lime juice, and I made 5000 ml of Cherry Bounce, which sat about six weeks.  The biggest seller was the Gin Gin Mule – we used up all the ginger syrup, so we must have made about 128 of them.  The Autumn Old Fashioned was a close second, I am thinking we made about 90 of those, and somewhere around 70 of the Fig Leaf and Cherry Bounce.  Probably 50 or so Champagne Cocktails, and maybe 30 Archbishops… it comes out to about 438 drinks, over five hours.  As I said, a total shit show.  If you’re local to Detroit, we’ve got an article coming out in the Metro Times, with a few shots from the event.  Stay tuned.


Black Heart

Posted in Recipes on October 5, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

1.5 oz. Cruzan Black Strap Rum

.75 oz. Tawny Port

.25 oz. Creme de Cacao

.25 oz. Carpano Antica

Coffee Bitters

Mix, pour over a large cube.  Sip slowly.

Citrus Drinks

Posted in Boozing Basics, Brandy, Liqueur, Recipes, Tequila, The Classics on September 28, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

I’m not ashamed to say that I have a hard time finding balance and consistency with citrus drinks.  I’m attributing this to the variable, which is the citrus itself.  Not all limes are created equal… some are more tart than others, and depending how old they are, how large they are, etc., the amount of juice from a lime (or any piece of citrus) can vary drastically.  So screw that “juice of half a lime” crap… measure the juice, figure out your happy recipe, and adjust accordingly. Here’s my basis for a few of the classics…


1.5 oz. 1o0% Agave Tequila Blanco (Campo Azul or El Jimador)

.75 oz. Curacao (I like Cointreau)

.5 oz. Lime Juice

1 tsp. Pure Cane Syrup (2:1 by weight mixture)

.25 tsp. Ground Sea Salt

Shake / Strain / Up or down

This is the perfect margarita for me, if the lime juice is on point.  If the lime is a little old, it seems to loose it’s tartness, so I’ll use a bit more.  However, I really don’t like overly citrusy drinks.  Also, the sugar and salt are essential… I made this drink 2:1:1 (without either) for a long time, but I’ve got to say it’s a much richer, complex cocktail with them included.


1.5 oz. Cognac

.75 oz. Cointreau

.75 oz. Lemon Juice

.5 tsp. Pure Cane Syrup (2:1 by weight mixture)

Shake / Strain / Up or down

There is something tragic about a Sidecar that’s too sweet, or too citrusy.  It’s just a damned shame… but made correctly, where the ingredients complement each other… man, that shits just wizardry.  Wizardry.

Aviation (Proper)

1.5 oz. Gin (Beefeater or Tanqueray)

.5 oz. Maraschino

.5 oz. Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Creme de Violette

Shake / Strain / Up or down

Balls yes.  The balance on this one is important.  Too much of any of the back three can make this bastard straight up gross, but balanced, it’s a taste sensaysh.

The Pegu Club is also a hard one, but I don’t have any Orgeat syrup… I’ll get back to you on that.  Any particular ones you find difficult??

Shit yes it is.

Posted in Recipes on September 27, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

Okay, some pretty cool drinks I’ve been working on lately… no pics, but would it kill you to use your fucking imagination for once in your fucking life?

“Flow My Tears” the Policeman Said

1.5 oz. London Dry Gin

.75 oz. Lillet Blanc

.5 oz. Lemon Juice

.25 oz. Maraschino

Tons of Chocolate Bitters (Scrappy’s if you can)

Shake / Strain / Down

Really nice, really dry.

The Poopsickle (Working title)

1.5 oz. Black Rum

.75 oz. Fernet

.5 oz. Tamarind Syrup

.5 oz. Lime Juice

Dry shake, pour over ice in a collins glass.  Top with tamarind soda, garnish with a lime wheel… give a brief stir and imbibulate with a straw.  Brown and foamy… what’s not to like?

The AngelHallic

1.5 oz. Bourbon

.5 oz. Tawny Port

1 tsp. Vanilla Infused Agave Syrup

Stir, strain into a 100% Blue Agave Tequila rinsed glass.  Twist 4 lemon peels over, dropping the last into the glass.

This last one I’ve been working on for the U of M fall alumni newsletter.  It’s pretty fucking rad.  Something like a nice, sweet Manhattan, with a smokey tequila rinse.  Bad to the balls.

Not Rogue Cocktails

Posted in Recipes on September 23, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

If you’re not familiar with the Beta Cocktail blog, stop reading and go there now.  It used to be called “Rogue Cocktails,” but apparently they were gonna get sued by some dickholes who make beer by the same name.  They also published a book a while back, full of ass reamingly good drinks.  While the original book is no longer for sale, they are selling a zine, with just the recipes, no pics, no ‘splanations, etc…

I’m not going to publish any of their recipes… if you want them, you can pony up the $7 and they’ll send you a copy.  I will say this… the aforepictured drink calls for “15-21 drops of lemon juice,” “1/8 rim of salt,” and is called The Search for Delicious.  And you know what?  It is.  Major time.

Autumn Old Fashioned

Posted in Bitters, Cognac, Recipes, Rye on September 18, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

I’ve been thinking about a seasonal old fashioned for the menu… Spring is going to be gin, muddled grapefruit peel, a dash of grapefruit bitters & some simple.  The Summer old fash is probably going to be the tequila / lemon peel / chocolate bitters deal.  I had a loose idea that the autumn old fashioned should have warm spices like cinnamon and clove, and probably be whiskey based, but I definitely wanted it to be different from the standard version that will always be available.  So last weekend, I’m at the bar getting my sweet assed drink on with a few homies who are in the business of making sausage, and the topic of apples comes up.  I’ve never really been a big fan of chunks of apples (or any fruit) in my sausage, so John suggested maybe they try a cider reduction instead.  And that’s when it hit me.  What is more fall than apple cider?  Nothing, you fuck, nothing.  So I’ve been working on this one for a few days, and can confidently say it’s a stone cold ruler.

Autumn Old Fashioned

1 oz. Rye

1 oz. Cognac

1 tsp. Apple Cider Syrup

Dash Ango

Pour syrup, ango and booze into glass, and mix briefly.  Add large ice cubes, and stir for about twenty seconds.  Add cinnamon stick, because you’re bad like that.

Cider Syrup (tentative recipe)

10 oz. Apple Cider (preferably from the Franklin Cider Mill)

2 oz. pure cane sugar

Add 8 oz. apple cider to a saucepan, and let reduce down to about 2 oz.  It took me about 30 minutes, give or take.  Add the sugar, and stir over low heat until fully dissolved.  At this point, the syrup should be almost a caramel… really thick.  Add the final 2 oz. of cider, and stir until a uniform consistency is achieved.

I’m sure there is an easier way to get the right consistency, but I just made a small batch, so I’ll update this if I figure out anything better.

Now on to winter…

Saratoga Brace Up

Posted in Absinthe, Bitters, Brandy, Recipes on September 12, 2010 by CaptainMcBoozy

For the “morning after the night before,” I humbly submit the Saratoga Brace Up…

Saratoga Brace Up

1.5 oz. Brandy or Cognac

.5 oz. Lemon Juice

.25 0z. Lime Juice

1 Whole Egg

1 Tsp. Sugar

2 Dash Ango

2 Dash Absinthe

Dry shake, shake over cracked, strain, serve in a fizz glass without ice, top with soda water.

A few thoughts… a fizz should never be served over ice.  A fizz is meant to be consumed straight away,  not lingered over like a cocktail.  Thus a fizz should be served in a glass somewhere between an old fashioned style and a collins.  I personally use an 8 oz. water style glass, which has a relatively narrow neck and helps support the head of the foam.  And one whole egg is probably enough for two drinks.  And feel free to use a syrup if you want.  It’ll make it easier.  And go light on the booze – stick to the 1.5 oz. a called for – this is, after all, a morning drink.  And it promises to be a very, very long day.