Cocktail Archive
Dizzy Izzy Dizzy Izzy Cocktail

One of my favorite lesser known classics is a drink called the Bizzy Izzy, created by Tom Bullock, who was the head bartender at the Pendennis Club in Louisville. The Bizzy Izzy was first published in his very own book, "The Ideal Bartender" in 1917 and includes bourbon, sherry, pineapple gum syrup, and lemon juice. This drink is light and refreshing without forgetting that bourbon is the base. The sherry helps accomplish this with a rich nuttiness that compliments the strong oak characteristic of any bourbon. Personally, I prefer to use an Amontillado Sherry in the Bizzy Izzy. I loved the drink and the name so much, I had to come up with some sort of twist on its concept and name to pay tribute to the lesser known talents of Tom Bullock.

I dabbled around with different flavors, creating this a few years ago when bitters-heavy drinks were all the rage. With everything kept in balance, I think bitters-heavy drinks are still awesome. I eventually came to using Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy, Angostura bitters, and Olorosso Sherry all in equal parts, thereby creating a happy marriage of some of my favorite things. With the load of Angostura bitters, I thought Dizzy Izzy would be a more than appropriate name. The apple brandy and the spice of Angostura bitters are very complimentary of each other. The sherry is still there to add the rich walnut character making it a great sipper while transitioning into the colder months. The added sweetness of the Olorosso helps balance the bite of the Angostura bitters. The pineapple gum and lemon are still there to help bring out the fruit in the apple brandy. A mouthful of a description for a rich and complex drink that is still refreshing. One of my favorite drinks to make, so please come in and give it a try or even better, start with a Bizzy Izzy.

-Evan (November 2013)

Bizzy Izzy (my revised recipe)

  • 1 ¼ oz. Bourbon
  • 1 ¼ oz. Amontillado Sherry
  • ⅔ oz. Pineapple Gum
  • ⅔ oz. Lemon Juice

Dizzy Izzy

  • ¾ oz. Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
  • ¾ oz. Angostura Bitters
  • ¾ oz. Olorosso Sherry
  • ¾ oz. Pineapple Gum
  • ¾ oz. Lemon Juice

Make it (both drinks):

Build ingredients in shaker. Shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice in highball glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.


Snow Angel Snow Angel Cocktail

This month’s featured cocktail is a variation on the Fallen Angel from The Savoy Cocktail Book first published in 1930. Harry Craddock wrote The Savoy Cocktail Book to showcase the drinks from the famed London hotel bar; The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. The American Bar was a cocktail mecca for international travelers particularly Americans during prohibition. Harry Craddock was one of a handful of well-respected American bartenders who decided to flee the United States during prohibition and perform his craft the legal way in front of an entire new audience mostly unfamiliar with the American cocktail.

The Fallen Angel is much lesser known than other cocktails included in the book such as the Corpse Reviver #2 and Hanky Panky that have become staples at modern cocktail bars. I stumbled across it while browsing through the book, hoping to come across something interesting that I may have overlooked in the past. The drink is simply a gimlet with crème de menthe and bitters, certainly not the most creative of the bunch. This cocktail may not seem to be the most appealing to the novice, but certainly very “Savoy” in style and concept. The name and simplicity is worthy of giving it a twist to pay homage to all the delicious gin and citrus based cocktails from the Savoy.

The gimlet is known as a very refreshing and bracing mix of gin and lime, while the Fallen Angel’s addition of crème de menthe and bitters intensifies the bracing effect. Certainly some more seasonal flavors could add life to this concept, such as the classic French winter time combination of chartreuse and hot chocolate. Combining this in a refreshing mix can only really be appreciated during the colder months, so why not create something unexpected. From there I present you the Snow Angel, a refreshing, bracing, and festive mix of Gin, crème de menthe, chartreuse, Chocolate Bitters, and lime.

-Evan (December 2013)

Snow Angel

  • 1 ½ oz Dry Gin
  • ⅓ oz Green Chartreuse
  • ⅓ oz White crème de menthe
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ⅛ oz simple syrup
  • 2-3 dashes chocolate bitters

Make it:

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf floating atop.


Toddy from Ipanema Toddy from Ipanema

This month’s featured cocktail is the Toddy from Ipanema. This winter warmer takes inspiration from a classic Brazilian drink called a Quentao. The Quentao involves boiling apples with numerous spices such as cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and fresh ginger and last but not least the base spirit is Cachaca . Cachaca (kuh-Shaw-Suh) is distilled from fresh sugar cane juice and is made only in Brazil. Cachaca is known for its peppery, citrusy, earthy kick not unlike Tequila.

The Toddy from Ipanema makes use of a barrel-aged Cachaca produced by Novo Fogo which lends its warm spice and rich fruit character to a shrub-like concoction we simply call a Spiced Apple Tonic. For starters, Shrubs are a vinegar based drink that are sweetened and flavored with various fruits and/or spices. Our Spiced Apple Tonic was created as a cure-all for imbibers seeking relief from a mild cold or just looking to get warmed up. To make it, we boil equal parts apple cider and apple cider vinegar locally produced by Rockridge Orchards with various spices. Our spice blend includes mulling spices (allspice, cloves, cardamom, star anise, and orange peel) along with cayenne pepper and a load of fresh ginger. Finally, it then gets sweetened with honey creating what we think is the closest thing to a winter cure-all of a beverage there possibly could be, all while still being delicious. Please stop by and warm up from the cold with our Toddy From Ipanema.

-Evan (January 2014)

Spiced Apple Tonic

Bring 1 cup of cider vinegar and 1 cup of apple cider to a boil with 3 tbs. of mulling spice, 1 tbs cayenne pepper, and 1 lb. finely chopped ginger. Allow to boil for 10 minutes. Take off heat, strain through several layers of cheese cloth and 1 cup of honey to liquid and stir in till completely mixed.

Toddy from Ipanema

  • 1 ¾ oz Novo Fogo Barrel-Aged Cachaca
  • ¼ oz Spiced Apple Tonic
  • 4 oz boiling water

Make it:

Build ingredients in preheated mug. Squeeze in lemon wedge and serve with a cinnamon stick.


Poloma Poloma in bottle

The Paloma is a simple mix many should become more familiar with. It’s simply Tequila, Lime, Salt, and Grapefruit Soda. Palomas are more commonly consumed in Mexico than the iconic Margarita. Its simplicity and balance of ingredients make it easy to understand why. Our Paloma Cuvee takes inspiration from the classic preparation. We named it such since we batch our blend of ingredients to create the perfect “fancy” version and not to mention it’s bottled in Champagne splits, so the name seemed fitting. In its truest form it’s an easy-going, refreshing drink and like all other fine cocktails, greater than the sum of its parts. However, as this drink has grown in popularity north of the border, the variations have only increased. A lot of bartenders and consumers are fans of going fresh whenever possible. Many started subbing in fresh grapefruit juice and Soda which misses a little something that you get from just cracking open a Squirt or Jarritos Toronja. For one, it lacks some of the candied grapefruit notes and an obvious second, the simplicity and lack of fuss.

When multiple French liqueur producers like Combier, Giffard, and others started to make their Pamplemousse Rose (or Pink Grapefruit in English) liqueurs available, I went through several bottles of the stuff just testing its limits in different drinks, coming to the conclusion this may be the new St. Germain, or as it has become known as “Bartender’s Ketchup.” Never before have I given much thought to needing a grapefruit liqueur in the first place, making it that much more of a surprise. This liqueur varies between brands but ultimately they highlight the tangy, bittersweet, vibrant flavor of grapefruit.

Of course, I eventually ended up attempting the fresh route on the Paloma with this new discovery of a liqueur and I loved the results. I was able to create something that was true to being a Paloma yet made higher quality ingredients shine. Our decision to bottle the Paloma other than being trendy was to put the simplicity back in to the Paloma. There are a lot of cocktail trends, many of them come and go, but ultimately they should never be applied if they don’t make the end result better or at least add to the experience. Along with the simplicity of the Paloma, I think it is one drink that can be sipped from the bottle like a beer, bringing a new experience to a highball where their sole intent is to be served over ice to allow the flavors to mold through keeping a constant chill and dilution. With all this said, Pamplemousse Rose is worthy in many cocktails I suggest giving it a go and the fact that the Paloma is practically a cousin of the Margarita, this drink should be a must try for many.

-Evan (February 2014)

Poloma

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Squeeze of a half lime
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Jarritos Toronja or Squirt

Make it:

Build in ice filled high ball glass, stir to mix and drop in lime shell.


Our Paloma Cuvee is a blend of Reposado Tequila, Combier Pamplemousse Rose, Fresh Grapefruit and Lime Juice and Fleur de Sel that we carbonate and then add to Sparkling Mineral Water and then bottle.


Salud!


La Diabla La Diabla Cocktail

For March we are featuring our La Diabla. The La Diabla is a twist on an El Diablo; building on the classic's qualities of a refreshing berry/ginger forward highball. Trader Vic first created the combination of Tequila, Creme de Cassis, Lime, and Ginger Ale and was featured in Trader Vic's Book of Food and Drink from 1946.

To build on the rich cassis and ginger we simply include Strawberry infused Tequila which adds a bit of floral all while tying in the cassis and our house made ginger beer together very well and evolves the drink into something entirely new. We think it's the perfect tall, refreshing drink to lead us into the warmer months. Give it a try at Bar Code or make a batch for friends at home. Here is the recipe:

-Evan (March 2014)

La Diabla

  • 1 ¾ oz. Strawberry-Infused Tequila*
  • ½ oz. Creme de Cassis (black currant liqueur, use a quality brand such as Combier, Giffard or Merlet)
  • ¾ oz. Lime Juice

Make it:

Build in Highball glass filled with ice, top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.

*Strawberry-Infused Tequila:

  • 1 750ml bottle of tequila
  • 2 cups of chopped strawberries

Make it:

Place in covered container and allow to sit for 2-3 days. Any longer and the infusion will become bitter from an over-extraction of the strawberries. Make sure to use a 100% agave tequila. We use a Reposado for this recipe.



Le Saisonnier Le Saisonnier Cocktail

This month's featured cocktail is the Le Saisonnier. The Le Saisonnier is new to our menu and here to kick off spring with a mix of Mezcal, Pineapple, Sage, Genepy, Lemon and Saison. Its inspiration is mainly to highlight and compliment the spicy, funky, grassy, yeasty notes of the classic Belgian ale, Saison. Saison's literal translation is "season" and was primarily brewed in the fall and winter to keep the saisonniers, or seasonal farmers, occupied. The saisonniers were offered the beer throughout the work day through the long days in the warmer weather with the goal of consuming the beer before summer's warmer weather spoiled the beer. The modern Saison has become the perfect spring beer particularly for our mild, temperate spring weather. We recently put Ommegang Hennepin Saison on tap and we think a pint is not only delicious but is the perfect Saison to complement this cocktail.

Pairing the intriguing savory notes of Saison with herbs has become common place in the culinary/beer world. While Mezcal's earthy, mineral rich, and obvious smokey notes go well with the great pairing of sage and pineapple, I thought this very complex combination was the right fit to match with a Saison. To add further complexity particularly in the herbal aspect, a little Dolin Genepy is added. Think of Genepy as a more mild Chartreuse. This drinks comes together as an excellent choice for the craft beer drinker looking to mix it up and also pairs great with watching the M's break .500 this year.

-Evan (April 2014)

Le Saisonnier

  • 1 oz. Mezcal – we use Fidencio Classico
  • ¾ oz. Dolin Genepy
  • Scant ½ oz. Pineapple Gum Syrup – we make our own, but suggest using Small Hands Foods Pineapple Gum
  • 3 Sage leaves slightly torn
  • ¾ oz. Lemon Juice

Make it:

Shake with ice and fine strain into ice-filled highball glass

Top with about 2 oz. of Saison and garnish with a sprig of sage



Old Fashioned Old Fashioned Cocktail

There are very few drinks I get more questions about than the Old Fashioned. Like they say what is old is new again. It's great to see more people today better understand how a few ingredients can compliment each other in a cocktail and not much more than two or three ingredients have made for a great cocktail that can stand the test of time. The Old Fashioned is the purest form of the cocktail's definition: Spirit, Sugar, Water and Bitters as first referenced in the Hudson, New York newspaper, The Balance, and Columbian Repository in 1805. The cocktail took on many forms in early years and broadened its definition as it has continued to do so today. It was thought the Old Fashioned began as customers would order a cocktail, "the old fashioned way." Which at the time likely meant a clear instruction for the bartender to dress up the popular tipple of the time, rye whiskey with sugar, bitters and possibly some peel of lemon or orange for aromatics. The Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky is often credited with the birth of the Old Fashioned, yet this is often disputed due to the simplicity of this cocktail was likely created before the Pendennis was around. There is no doubt that the Pendennis Club provided life and history to this drink as well as the bar's Kentucky roots make it a somewhat plausible story.

As previously stated, I get a lot of questions on how to make a proper Old Fashioned but why is this the case when it's so simple? Like all cocktails, their basic foundation has been lost over time due to a loss of technique and understanding of ingredients amongst bartenders across the country since Prohibition. I often point out that a bottle of Angostura Bitters (a necessary ingredient) has a fairly classic recipe for an Old Fashioned printed on the label, so how can you screw it up? It calls for a sugar cube to be muddled with a splash of soda, to help break it up and garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Most today would debate that it was originally the peel of an orange or lemon and the cherry came much later on due to its later popularity in garnishing drinks. Otherwise, the recipe is spot on. Over time, muddling the sugar cube with soda included the orange and cherry as well. And a splash of soda turned into filling the glass with soda and throw in a preference for sweeter drinks, you now have something that more so resembles a boozy orange Fanta.

This is not what the Old Fashioned was intended to be nor does it don the sophistication of three simple ingredients shining together. Given that I've made thousands of these behind a bar and drank a few too, the following recipe is what I've found that can be simply translated to multiple base spirits and will surely result in a great cocktail without a lot of effort.

-Evan (May 2014)

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz. Rye or Bourbon
  • ⅓ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • ¾ oz. Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup:

Stir together 3 parts sugar to 2 parts water in a pot on the stove. Use only a little heat to incorporate the sugar and avoid boiling to prevent a cooked flavor. Simple syrup can be left in a bottle in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Make it:

Two options for the build: Stir briefly in mixing glass to chill, incorporate and for a small amount of dillution and strain over cubed ice. Or you can prepare the drink how it was likely done originally and build in the glass that will be served by stirring together in a rocks/old fashioned glass with a few cubes and topping with another cube or two before serving. Cut a large peel of orange which can be made easy by using a Y shaped potato peeler and gently squeeze out the oils well above the drink and garnish with a cherry on a pick. The Cherry to me is a welcome addition. Why not if using tasty cherries? Real Italian Maraschino or Amarena cherries are strongly recommended here. Also, I prefer to use a large bamboo pick to double as a stir stick. Feel free to give the muddled sugar method a try. I prefer using simple for the ease of controlling the sweetness and mixing the ingredients becomes a quicker and easier process. Using a cube can benefit mouth-feel and make the sweetness consistent as long as it's the preferred amount of sweetness and it gets well incorporated into the drink.


What is also great about this drink is that since it isn't very temperature sensitive nor does it rely on aeration, these can easily be made in advance in a large pitcher and left in the refrigerator to later pour over fresh ice. So give this a try to toast with some friends or come to Bar Code to try our variation where Woodinville Rye provides the base and we age the premixed drink in a Woodinville Rye Barrel to allow the whiskey to get better acquainted with sugar and bitters as well as further add some of the spice of the barrel back into the drink. Using different base spirits, sweeteners and today's vast selection of bitters can provide a million variations. A few to try would be subbing out a portion of the Rye for a little sweeter, richer rum like Zacapa or El Derado 15yr to create some contrast between the sweet molasses and spice of the Rye. Or try all rum with a dash or two of chocolate bitters and some Demerara sugar or cane syrup could be beneficial here or Anejo Tequila, with honey and grapefruit bitters. It's a cocktail that any aficionado should master as their own, so go ahead and get to working on a recipe or two you can call your own!