Monthly Archives: August 2015

My Favorite Southern Tier Beer

Today was quite warm and felt like an appropriate end to August here in Western New York.

Tonight though I’m sipping a fall beer and thinking of the coming season:

Harvest is easily my favorite beer by Southern Tier. Some people fiend for Pumking and others I know like to nurse Old Man Winter on long, cold, snowy nights. But for me, few of their beers taste better than a Harvest — especially outdoors as the summer weather cools and autumn arrives.

And what makes Harvest even better!? A shot of Jameson right in the glass:




Shopping Local At Reverie Creamery

I just finished some pistachio gelato that I picked up today at Reverie Creamery.

I tasted a few cheeses while I was at the shop, but aside from their main stock-in-trade I was really impressed with all the exclusive local products they’re selling.

I know this is a cocktail blog, but as my Farm To Table posts showed this past summer — I’m also very interested in showcasing my corner of Western New York. Plus, even though they’re not food or drink products, some of the stuff I saw at Reverie (like the clove-scented soaps from the Chautauqua Soap Company) still had me thinking about flavors and bitters and possible cocktails:


In the photo below is a locally-made cutting board  as well as local honey:


And here’s a closer look at the honey:  

I should’ve gotten a photo of all the unique gelato and sorbet flavors, as well as the several styles of pickles and cornichons — but I’ll have to leave that for next visit. 

Just as with the locally-made items Reverie was stocking from makers within Chautauqua County, they also sold items from makers elsewhere in the state — like products by the Brooklyn Brine Company. I’d never seen or heard of “Whiskey Sour Pickles” or styles like Maple Bourbon Bread & Butter until my stop at Reverie yesterday.

3943 Route 394
Mayville, NY 14757

From their website:

Founded by Riko Chandra and Jim Howard, Reverie is a newly established artisan cheesemaking company in Mayville, Chautauqua County, NY. Initially, Reverie will focus on small batch production of artisan cheeses made from goat’s milk. Our artisan products will reflect a meaningful relationship to the land and Western New York’s agricultural heritage through which we connect, experience and savor the flavors of our place and region.

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Hold Fast The Summer

August is cooling down here in Western New York and although it’s not quite autumn yet, the fall flavors are already in full effect.

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the cool temperatures and long sleeves, the pumpkin flavor and falling leaves — all of it! And I didn’t even mean to make a rhyme there!

Still, despite the fact that I love the fall, it’s hard to let the summer slip away so easily — especially when we’re still in the month of August.

And for that reason there’s this “Hold Fast The Summer.”

Hold Fast The Summer is a transitional drink, one part warm-weather nostalgia and one part acceptance of the changing seasons.

The recipe is easy — just Plantation’s pineapple rum, DeGroff’s pimento bitters and apple cider:

1 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 oz apple cider
1 dash DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

Stir equal parts Stiggins’ Fancy and apple cider over ice with DeGroff’s pimento bitters then strain and shoot — or double the recipe and enjoy over ice. Adjust the cider accordingly to suit your tastes and prepare mentally for the colder weather coming in the months ahead.


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Building On The Prizefighter #1

The Prizefighter #1 is a cocktail that was created by Nick Jarrett.

I’ve written about the drink before, and you can read that post here.

Last night I was serving something to customers that was sort of like the Prizefighter #1, but different in that it had pineapple juice… So I figured I’d give the drink its own post today (and I don’t know if Nick Jarrett has already made this variation, so if someone knows… Leave me a comment).

Ingredients in the Prizefighter #1:
•1 oz. Fernet Branca
•1 oz. Carpano Antica
•3/4 oz. simple syrup
•1/4 oz. lemon juice
•6-8 mint leaves
•3-4 lemon wedges
•Pinch salt

Pineapple Prizefighter


And here’s how I made the above drink last night:

•1 oz bourbon
•1/2 oz. Fernet Branca
•1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
•1/2 oz. simple syrup
•1 oz pineapple juice
•1/2 oz. lemon juice
•6-8 mint leaves
•3-4 lemon wedges
•Pinch salt
•Sierra Mist


Now, whereas with the Prizefighter #1 you shake and double-strain and serve up or on the rocks, I was serving this pineapple drink in a Collins glass finished with Sierra Mist.

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Prosecco Ice Cream Float

This drink is also dessert. Or rather, this dessert is also a drink.

I stumbled across a list of boozy dessert drinks on the other day and made a note to myself to try this Berries & Prosecco Ice Cream Float:


The original post comes from a site called and from the date it looks like the article ran in the magazine at the end of last summer.

Here’s their recipe:

Berry-Prosecco Ice Cream Floats
Serves 4

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of dry Prosecco
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pint of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

I didn’t have the recipe on hand when I made the drink at work earlier tonight, but playing it by ear worked out pretty well.

I tossed chopped strawberries and blueberries in sugar and then put scoop of vanilla ice cream, topping it with Prosecco and the berries. Easy stuff. And delicious!


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National Whiskey Sour Day

I read on Good Spirits News that today is National Whiskey Sour Day!

As with all these random-seeming drink holidays, I won’t put up too much fuss or question its origin — as any reason to celebrate a cocktail is reason enough!

Whiskey Sour

About This Cocktail:

For my Whiskey Sour pictured above, I used Woodford Reserve:


•2 oz rye or bourbon or other whiskey of preference. I actually used 2 oz of Woodford Reserve bourbon, which has a lot of rye in its mash bill.
•.5 oz simple syrup
•.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Some recipes for the Whiskey Sour cocktail call for an egg white, as a lot of old sours recipes do… But a lot of recipes these days list egg white as “optional.” I didn’t use egg white in the drink pictured above, but you’ll find it listed in some of the recipes I linked to in this post.


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Pistachios, Popcorn, Booze & Batgirl

It’s Monday night and my work week starts tomorrow, but I’m busy thinking of all the stuff I did this past week. And it just occurred to me that I never really blogged about this past week at all… So, here’s my week of cocktails in quick recap!

On Wednesday I served pistachio shell-infused vodka as a Moscow Mule:


On Thursday I made a special daiquiri with buttered popcorn-infused rum and a coca-cola simple syrup:  
On Friday I used the Coca-Cola syrup in an Old Fashioned, a Mojito and this Kraken Daiquiri:  

And on Saturday, a customer took this great pic of a drink I made — the Borden Chase:

And on a sad note, also this week, actress Yvonne Craig died.Yvonne Craig played Batgirl in the 1962 Adam West Batman series. And for those who don’t know, I’m as serious a comic book fan as I am devoted to cocktails. I write a monthly column and co-host a weekly podcast.

I wish I would’ve gotten this creative and created something, but thankfully The Way Station in Brooklyn is remembering Yvonne Craig with this cocktail:

The above photo comes from The Way Station’s blog and isn’t something I shot a pic of, though I’d like to stop and try this drink in honor of Yvonne Craig.

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