Weapons for Winning the War against Sobriety
It’s Friday afternoon, 1645 ZULU. You’re pinned down at your desk – Excel spreadsheets have you in enfilade; you’re taking indirect fire from your boss over this week’s deliverable; and those bastards in accounting have you zeroed with emails about your expense reports. You open your drawer looking for your bottle of single malt. You need something, anything to stem the tide of work bearing down on you. Catastrophe! Your bottle is dry. It was imbibed in celebration of your last product’s completion (you didn’t even drink most of it, just sprayed it into the air). You cower under your desk, awaiting the inevitable, frantically sending out emails to your team in hopes of receiving some sort of support, when suddenly, this article comes across your screen. You frantically begin to read, and find yourself armed with a veritable arsenal of cocktails. You know that in one-five mikes, you’ve got the support you need, so you hunker down, finish your work, and regroup at your home bar with the following weapons:
Revolver: Created by Jon Santer, owner/operator of Prizefighter (6702 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA). A boozy cocktail with some dark sweetness (thanks to the Tia Maria) and some citrus on the nose. Perfect for putting in a pocket flask “just in case.”
2 Oz. Bulleit Bourbon
½ Oz. Tia Maria
2 Dashes orange bitters (try Bitter Truth’s orange bitters)
Stir, julep strain into a martini shell/champagne coupe, and garnish with a flamed orange twist.
Hollow Point (so what if they’re banned by the Hague Convention?): Created by Kevin Diedrich of the Liholiho Yacht Club (was a popup, is now turning into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in San Francisco). This cocktail fuses rye and a Navy-strength rum (e.g. upwards of 90 proof) with some serious herbal and aromatic notes from the Punt e Mes vermouth and Benedictine liqueur. One sip from this and you’ll feel it hit you and spread – just like a hollow point.
1 Oz. Punt e Mes Vermouth
¾ Oz. Rye (I like Old Overholt)
½ Oz. Benedictine
Stir, julep strain into a martini shell/champagne coupe
The Daisy Cutter: Created by Andrew Mitchell of The Tippler (425 W 15th Street, New York, NY). This drink is on the sweeter side, but has its sweetness nicely rounded by the Peychaud’s bitters, the brandy’s booziness, and the lemon juice. It also has absinthe, which is one, legal, and two, non-hallucinogenic. Bonded apple brandy tends to be higher proof, so don’t have too many of these, or you might wind up like this soldier at Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s swearing in ceremony.
2 Oz. Bonded apple brandy (Consider Laird’s Bottled in Bond)
.75 Oz. Lemon Juice
.5 Oz. Strawberry Syrup
1 Dash absinthe
1 Dash Peychaud’s Bitters (essentially cherry anise bitters)
Shake, double strain into a martini shell or champagne coupe.
French 75: Originally created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris, this cocktail is named after the French 75mm field gun, widely considered to be the first modern artillery piece. It initially fired fuzed high-explosive rounds, but was eventually used for lobbing chemical shells into enemy trenches. It’s light and refreshing, but also packs a wallop.
1 Oz. London Dry Gin (the original recipe probably called for cognac)
½ Oz. Lemon Juice
½ Oz. Simple Syrup
Shake, double strain into a champagne flute, top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
Maybe you need a battle cry?
Remember the Maine!: Originally published in Charles H. Baker’s “The Gentleman’s Companion” with the proviso to “treat this one with the respect it deserves, gentlemen.” Baker named this drink after the “…memory of a night in Havana during the unpleasantness of 1933,” a reference to General Batista’s “Revolt of the Sergeants” in Cuba. It’s slightly sweet, but has enough booze to be a solid tipple.
2 Oz. Rye
¾ Oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Bar spoons Cheery Heering
½ Bar Spoon Absinthe
“Stir briskly in clock-wise fashion – this makes it sea-going, presumably!” Serve in a martini shell/champagne coupe, garnish with an orange twist.
Once More Unto the Breach: Created by Ruben Gzirian of The Gibson (2009 14th Street NW, Washington, DC). The front end of this cocktail has the woodiness of the scotch and the vermouth providing bold flavor without being too heavy. The cassis helps accentuate the sweetness of the vermouth and balance out the cocktail. If you know your Shakespeare, this drink might help you “imitate the action of the tiger.”
1¾ Oz. Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch
½ Oz. Sweet Vermouth
¼ Oz. Crème de Cassis
Stir, julep strain into a martini shell/champagne coupe, float Bordeaux Superieur as a garnish.
So there you have it. You’ve established a base of fire, called in close air support, and have a rallying cry to boot. Now get out from under the desk and have a good weekend. Sobriety doesn’t stand a chance.
Alex Hecht is editor of Molotov Cocktail. He works as a Security Analyst in Washington, DC. Before working for the man, he managed the Gibson, a cocktail bar in DC’s U Street corridor. Alex’s life is admittedly mellower now, but his liver probably thanks him for that.
Photo credit: Holger Neuert