Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


April 2010

I’m Moving!

You can now find me at my very own site:

A Drink on the Rocks

All of my current content has been carried over to the new site, and I look forward to posting frequently!


The Earl Grey MarTEAni

The Earl Grey MarTEAni is destined to be a modern classic.  A simple but very creative twist on an old classic, this is one of my favorite drinks.  My wife and I drink a lot of tea, and my tea of choice is earl grey, made strong and served with milk and sugar.  I am a fan of pairing earl grey with almost anything, so it is no surprise that I like this cocktail as much as I do.

The Earl Grey MarTEAni
(created by Audrey Saunders of New York’s Pegu Club)
1 1/2 oz Earl Grey infused Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
garnish with lemon twist

A couple of notes on this drink.
First, don’t be freaked out by the egg white.  I know many people who won’t even taste this drink because they have an unfounded fear of raw eggs.  However, the chance of a raw egg containing salmonella is about one in twenty thousand.  Just wash your eggs.  When mixed up with citrus and alcohol, the chance of any possible bacteria living is pretty small, especially in a large enough amount to make anyone sick.  When mixing up many classic cocktails, eggs are an important part of the drink, adding both texture and volume.  It’s just not the same without the egg.

Secondly, I often use this drink to explain the “taste” of astringency to people.   Everyone is familiar with the four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.  However, not everyone is familiar with the other two, referred to as astringency and umami.  I describe astringency as the “drying out” taste that is provided by the essence of bergamot.

Vintage Cocktails #18: The Jack Rose Cocktail

The Jack Rose is a quick and simple little cocktail. Comprising only three ingredients, it has a great balance to it, starting with a fruity apple-pom taste and finishing with the tartness of the lemon.

The Jack Rose
1 1/2 oz Applejack
1 oz Lime or Lemon Juice
2-4 dashes Pomegranite Grenadine

MxMo XLVIII: The Rubus Fizz

This months Mixology Monday is hosted by Seattle bartender Mike McSorley, whose theme is Pain in the Ass Drinks:

“…My charge to you all is to document your (least) favorite drink that is the proverbial thorn in your side. It can be virtually anything stylistically –  The point here is to have fun and share that little ticket item that throws you off your cleaning game 10 minutes before last call!”

Now, for many bartenders, I can think of any number of drinks that may quickly become thorns in the side, especially 10 minutes before closing.  In fact, I often feel bad when I walk into Starbucks a few minutes before closing and I know that they have already cleaned up the espresso machine.  But for myself I don’t think that there really are any drinks that I would classify as a pain in my ass. Part of my joy in mixing drinks is the effort that I put into it.  Just as I appreciate a meal that takes me a couple of hours to prepare, I appreciate drinks that take that little bit of extra effort.  So I present the Rubus Fizz, a drink containing both cream and egg white.  A variation on the Ramos Gin Fizz, this drink requires an extraordinary amount of shaking.

The Rubus Fizz

2 oz Dry Fly Gin
.75 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
8 Raspberries
8 Mint Leaves
1 oz Egg White
2 dashes Vanilla
2 oz Heavy Cream

Muddle Mint and Raspberries in mixing glass.
Add remaining ingredients and dry shake to emulsify.
Fill shaker with ice and shake for a good couple of minutes.
Strain into wine glass or champagne flute and top with a splash of soda.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Vintage Cocktails #17: The Pegu Club Cocktail

The Pegu Club was created in the 1920’s at the Pegu Club in Rangoon.  At the time, the Pegu Club was a gentleman’s club in the British controlled province of Burma.  Back then, most bars featured a house cocktail, and unlike many of them, the Pegu Club gained fame outside of its creator’s walls, and has become increasingly popular even today.

As the drink presented in Vintage Spirits differs from most of the other classic recipes that I have seen, I will present both, although the one I put together for myself stayed true to the printing in the book.  The main difference between the two versions is the type of orange liqueur used.  While the classic recipe seems to call for Orange Curacao, the Vintage Spirits recipe calls for Cointreau, a proprietary triple sec.

The Pegu Club (Original Recipe?)
2 oz London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

The Pegu Club (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

I think that these two drinks differ enough in proportions and ingredients to have two different flavor profiles.  Which is better?  I suppose that is a matter of personal preference.  I have only tried the one version as of yet, so let me know if you have an opinion.

The Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz. Probably my favorite cocktail ever, and one that goes back over one hundred years.

It was in the 1880’s that Henry C. Ramos first mixed up his famous potion at his bar in New Orleans. The unique combination of ingredients in this drink requires an extraordinary amount of shaking, and results in an amazing meringue like foam on the top of the drink. It was said that the Ramos brothers employed at times up to 26 shaker boys, whose only duty was to shake the drink until they could go on no longer and pass it to the next. The resulting drink was a light, frothy, easily quaffed beverage. Sadly, as life became paced faster and faster for more Americans, the classic fizzes and long drinks faded in popularity, being replaced by drinks that were quicker to make and consume.

The Ramos Gin Fizz
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
3-4 dashes Orange Flower Water
2-3 dashes Vanilla Extract
1 Egg White
2 oz Cream
Soda Water

Chris McMillian demonstrates the proper way to mix up this delectable libation.


Habanero Tequila
375ml Tequila
15 Habanero Peppers
48 Hours

I removed about 4 oz of the tequila to make room for the peppers. As this was my first time with such a potent infusion, rather than cutting the peppers open, all I did was remove the stem from the peppers and drop them into the bottle. I was planning for a 48 hour infusion, so I started on a thursday night. By friday night, the tequila had a pretty good smell to it, but by saturday around noon it was getting a real kick to it. Had a first taste right around the 48 hour mark. The initial sip was still very much tequila, but that quickly faded to a long lingering habanero finish. Just about right I thought. I made a couple drinks with it, that I will post up shortly.

Vintage Cocktails #16: The Income Tax Cocktail

Today is tax day.  What better day to present the next cocktail in our series.  The Income Tax Cocktail is a variation on the Bronx cocktail.  In fact, the only difference is the addition of bitters.  I compare the Income Tax cocktail to eggs with pepper and the Bronx to eggs without.  Such a small ingredient can make a world of difference. The Income tax cocktail is also a variation on the Perfect Manhattan.  Both drinks feature a base spirit, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

The Income Tax Cocktail
1 1/4 oz Gin
1/4 orange, squeezed into shaker
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Robert Hess from the Cocktail Spirit shows you the way to craft this beverage.

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Vintage Cocktails #15: The Brandy Crusta

The Brandy Crusta. Perhaps one of the most important cocktails of the late 1800 to early 1900’s. This family of cocktails, a fancy version of the venerable cocktail formulation of sugar, spirits, bitters, and water, eventually faded into obscurity in favor of simpler drinks.  However, from the Brandy Crusta we were given the Sidecar, and from the Sidecar we were given the Margarita, one of the most popular cocktails worldwide.

The recipe as follows taken from Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide (1862)

Brandy Crusta
1 lemon
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 oz Cognac
1 tsp Orange Curacao
1 dash Boker’s Bitters

  • Cut the lemon in half
  • Pare the full peel off half and squeeze juice from lemon
  • Moisten glass rim with juice and rim with sugar
  • Insert the lemon peel into the glass
  • Mix the liquors in a cocktail shaker of ice.  Shake and strain into the prepared glass
  • Add 1 small lump of ice, and serve.

Since Boker’s Bitters has been unavailable for many years, Angostura or Orange bitters may be used.

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