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Mr. Muddle

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lemon juice

Aww, Nuts!


Creative Differences

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey [Rittenhouse]
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Orgeat [El Guapo Bitters]
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth [Dolin]
1/4 oz Lemon juice
Few dashes Angostura and Orange bitters [Regan’s]

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.


Back in January, a good friend of mine was getting married in Cali.  For a while, he considered having me design a drink for the reception.  Since he lives in NYC, I would come up with a drink, and send him the specs so he could make it himself.  Ultimately, he got cold feet (on the drink, not the wedding), mostly because the venue convinced him to play it safe with a margarita variation (which was still delicious, by the way).  But we both agreed one of the drinks I sent him was worthy of a post, and that time has come. Continue reading “Aww, Nuts!”

Everything but the Kitchen Sink


Clown Car

3/4 oz Mezcal [Del Maguey Vida]
1/2 oz Chile Liqueur [Ancho Reyes]
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur [King’s Ginger]
1/2 oz Carrot Gin [Maine Craft Distilling Chesuncook]
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Kummel

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.


After swapping King’s Ginger and Ancho Reyes with Garnish Girl, I really wanted to use both of them in the same drink.  Mostly because they fall on the weirder end of the spectrum when it comes to my home bar inventory.  But why stop there?  As I looked at other bottles to add to these two, I realized that Kummel (cumin liqueur) and Chesuncook (carrot gin) are equally as odd.  Amazingly, I think these four bottles might actually work together.  A quick glance in my trusty Flavor Bible shows cumin and carrots each having afffinities to ginger and chili spices, so that’s all the confirmation I needed. Continue reading “Everything but the Kitchen Sink”

A Year in Drinks

2016 is officially behind us, so let’s take a peak in the rear view mirror and hand out some some awards (the Muddlees?  Still working on that one).  On to the winners.

Top Three Most Viewed Posts
#3 – It’s Pronounced Yah-grr (featuring the Jagroni) – Negroni variation with Becherovka
#2 – Build a Better Bar Part 1: Poppin’ Bottles (featuring the Training Wheels) – A great intro to Aperol

And the most viewed post is…
#1The Ol’ Switcheroo (featuring the Half Windsor Knot) – This one actually makes me Continue reading “A Year in Drinks”

Better Know a Classic: French 75


French 75

1 3/4 oz Gin [Bully Boy]
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 Simple Syrup
2-4 oz Chilled Dry Sparkling Wine (Champagne, Prosecco, Cava)

Combine everything but the sparkling wine in a shaker, shake with ice. Strain into chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe taken from Epicurious


It’s that time of year again, one of the few points in the year that people actually drink Champagne (outside of weddings and charity fundraisers).  As I mentioned last year, Champagne on its own is mediocre at best.  That’s why on New Year’s Eve I prefer to use it (or the more affordable Prosecco/Cava option) as a component in a cocktail.  At the close of 2015, I mentioned the Seelbach and my take on it, the Seelbeer.  This time around, we’re sticking with another bubbly classic, the French 75. Continue reading “Better Know a Classic: French 75”

Latkes and Libations


Gimel-let

2 oz vodka
1/2 Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Calvados
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Few dashes Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a glass with ice, shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon peel Star of David.


We’re looking down the barrel of the holiday season, so why not keep things festive.  This week I wanted try and come up with a drink to celebrate Hanukkah.  One option was to pull inspiration from the menorah and candles, but Homer already made the best cocktail to incorporate fire.  Instead, I turned to the dinner table, where you will always find a plate of crispy latkes. Continue reading “Latkes and Libations”

Better Know a Classic: Bee’s Knees


Bee’s Knees

2 oz Gin <Boodles>
3/4 oz Honey Syrup*
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients and shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.  You can also change the amount of honey syrup and lemon to fit your palate.  Taken from Dale DeGroff’s The Craft of the Cocktail.


There are some classics that have quite the reputation, even to those not deeply entrenched in the cocktail world.  Your Manhattans, your Martinis, your Daquiris, and so on.  Then there are classics you discover when you get your first proper cocktail book, or when you go to a bar that has a whole portion of their menu devoted to Prohibition Era drinks (or even before) .  The Bee’s Knees falls into this camp. Continue reading “Better Know a Classic: Bee’s Knees”

Chalk Talk


Set the Edge

1 1/4 oz Reposado Tequila <Espolon>
3/4 oz Pimm’s No. 1
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Few dashes celery bitters <Fee Bros.>

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail.  Garnish with lemon spiral.


One of the things I enjoy most about looking through my journal of recipes is determining what season I came up with a drink based on the name.  Sure, seasonal ingredients are an obvious clue, but sometimes there are two or three drinks on the page that all share a common naming theme.  Recently I came across three drinks that I clearly came up with a few autumns ago, because they all had football related names.  Since we’re heading into Week 4 of the NFL season, I figured now is the perfect time to write about one.

Continue reading “Chalk Talk”

Duty Free Drinks


Flying Finn

2 oz Gin <Napue>
3/4 oz Cloudberry Liqueur <Lignell & Piispanen>
1/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Ideally you would garnish with a cloudberry, but a raspberry would work too.  Of course, when I made this, I had neither.


Scotland has Scotch, Mexico has Tequila and Mezcal, Japan has Sake.  Finland has…well, uh..vodka I guess.  There isn’t really a signature spirit as far as I can tell.  But they are all about their berries.  Raspberries, blueberries, lingonberries are everywhere.  There was even one berry I never heard of before…the cloudberry.  It kind of looks like s more bulbous orange raspberry.  We picked up a container on our first trip to Market Square in Helsinki during vacation.  The flavor is tart and a little sweet and kind of musty (in a good way) all at once.  As I read about the various ways they’re used (in pastries, as jam, mixed with cream and sugar), I discovered they are made into a liqueur that is popular in Finland. I guess the Finns do kind of have a signature booze after all. Continue reading “Duty Free Drinks”

Muddle Travels: Finland and Estonia


Everyman’s Right

1 healthy pour of chilled vodka <Saimaa>
1 spoonful of lingonbery and blueberry compote*
a squeeze of lemon juice

I’m using my vacation measurements for this one.  Combine everything in a rocks glass (or equivalent), and give a quick stir.  Garnish with fresh lingonberries and blueberries.

* If you don’t homemade compote on hand, muddled fresh berries or a spoonful of your favorite jam and some simple syrup should suffice.


Hey there!  Mrs. Muddle and I are back from our trip to Finland and Estonia, and we are pleased to report that both those countries have pretty formidable cocktail (and beer) scenes.  If there is one takeaway from drinking in that part of the world, it’s that fresh local ingredients in various forms are all the rage.  And I’m not just talking juices ; there were purees, foams, syrups, and of course garnishes.  Also berries.  Man do they love their berries. Continue reading “Muddle Travels: Finland and Estonia”

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