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The X-15, Saturn, and the Finer Points of Bad Behavior

My father introduced me to model airplane kits, and I was hooked. I always enjoyed the fun of learning about the airplanes, selecting the “next one,” working through the pieces of the kit, adding paint and decals, getting my fingers glued together, and finally adding each finished airplane to the growing collection on the shelves above my desk.

One of the last kits I assembled, and the strangest of the lot, was the X-15 rocket plane, Continue reading “The X-15, Saturn, and the Finer Points of Bad Behavior”

Extra effort, extra reward: the Pearl Diver’s Punch

Cocktailing is not so very different from cooking or baking—gather ingredients, follow the recipe, enjoy—but while I’ll put up with all sorts of preparation and procedure in baking or in cooking dinner, I find that I value simplicity and off-handed quickness in drink making.

Continue reading “Extra effort, extra reward: the Pearl Diver’s Punch”

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail is built squarely on a tropical Caribbean foundation—despite the fact that Bermuda is hundreds of miles out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The drink combines rum, lime, and sugar—the combination Jeff Berry refers to as “the Holy Trinity of Caribbean mixology”—but the sweetness is applied in the form of nutty, gingery falernum syrup and orange liqueur.

Continue reading “The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail”

Swizzling the Noa Noa

Jeff Berry’s Noa Noa is designed in the classic tradition of Caribbean cocktails—at its heart, it’s an easy mix of rum, lime, sugar and ice. In fact, you could consider it a minted version of the basic Daiquiri.

Continue reading “Swizzling the Noa Noa”

A return to Havana: the Airmail Cocktail

Some months back, I made a passing reference to the Airmail Cocktail. The Airmail deserves more attention, and what better time to talk about champagne and rum than New Year’s Eve.

Continue reading “A return to Havana: the Airmail Cocktail”

Lemonade with an Attitude: The Fog Cutter

Remember that drink we made as kids, the thing we so blithely called the “Suicide”? The one where you mix all the kinds of Kool-Aid you can find, pour in a couple kinds of pop, and then double-dog-dare each other to drink it?

I don’t think I ever actually took that dare. Urgent red, neon green, curaçao blue, all mixed together… that stuff looked vile. It looked dangerous.

Continue reading “Lemonade with an Attitude: The Fog Cutter”

Planter’s Punch

There are many names for this version of rum, citrus and sugar: “Planter’s Cocktail,” “Jamaican Rum Punch,” and most commonly, Planter’s Punch.

Planter’s Punch is more of a drink category than a single recipe. In its simplest form—rum, sugar, lime (or lemon), water, perhaps some tea, and spice or bitters—it is clearly the direct descendant of the classic rum punches of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Continue reading “Planter’s Punch”

Have one in Havana — the Hotel Nacional Special Cocktail

In the 1930s, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba was one of the world’s grandest. Rising from a rocky ridge overlooking Havana Harbor, it was new, gorgeous, and imposing. Its stately opulence attracted celebrities, politicians, gangsters, and wealthy travelers from all over the world.

And it helped to reinforce Havana’s reputation as a comfortable cocktail destination for Prohibition-weary Americans. Continue reading “Have one in Havana — the Hotel Nacional Special Cocktail”

Navy Grog

Donn Beach’s Tiki standard Navy Grog was not far removed from its seafaring namesake.

Fancier, yes. And a bit more potent, perhaps.

Continue reading “Navy Grog”

The Mary Pickford Cocktail

The Mary Pickford cocktail is fruity and summery, a rum and pineapple forerunner of the tiki concept. And April 8 is Mary Pickford’s birthday, so let’s make some. Continue reading “The Mary Pickford Cocktail”

The velvet glove — Chatham Artillery Punch

Are you ready to take on one of the grandest, and most insidious, punches of all?

It’s whiskey, brandy, rum, and Champagne all bundled up together. The result is Chatham Artillery Punch, a tricksy and seductive charmer—an iron fist in a velvet glove. Continue reading “The velvet glove — Chatham Artillery Punch”

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