Category Archives: COGNAC

Comics & Cocktails #6 • Dottie Quinn/The Fade Out

Dottie Quinn and The Fade Out

Issue number 10 of “The Fade Out” recently hit comic shop shelves — and the book sets up pretty much all the pieces for the big conclusion coming in the final two issues.

Since debuting some many months back, every time an issue of “The Fade Out” arrives, I want to frame the comic for its cover alone.

For this month’s cover, one of the secondary characters, a gal named Dottie Quinn, was featured. 

Dottie does PR for the movie studio where the story is set, and has a personal and professional relationship with the main character.

Dottie Quinn

As a fan of comics and detective fiction, I have a great love for this hard-boiled era in which “The Fade Out” is set. And as a professional bartender, I’ve also got a great love of the pre-prohibition and post-prohibition eras and all the the drinks which were created in those years.

So in honor of the comic and the character Dottie Quinn, I put together an original cocktail recently which felt like a throwback — bourbon, coffee liqueur, banana liqueur, Grand Marnier & orange bitters. And I garnished it with a banana chip. 


It’s sort of a blend between a “Talent Scout and a “Revolver,” but with the timing and arrival of this new issue of “The Fade Out,” I figured I better call it a Dottie Quinn — sweet and strong, with a stiff bitter side that’s not overwhelming but is surprisingly balanced and complex.


This series is one of the best comic books being published right now.

Written and drawn by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, respectively, “The Fade Out” is published by Image Comics and set in post-World War II Hollywood. My podcast buddy Jason Sample has compared the comic to the film “L.A. Confidential” and that comparison is right on the mark. This book is noir done write — written and drawn by two guys who’ve proven themselves to masters of this genre.

Brubaker and Phillips are well known for tackling not only this era, but the gritty pulp world— with the series “Fatale” being just one example.

“The Fade Out” started as a murder mystery, with an actress’s death covered up as a suicide in issue number one. It has since evolved into a scandal so large in this pseudo-real Hollywood setting that our two main protagonists don’t even care if they solve the case, they just want to go down swinging and maybe make enough noise that it’ll draw some attention to the crime.

Our main character in the book is the scriptwriter for the movie being shot in the comic, and after coming across the corpse of the actress, he removed himself from the situation and then read in the newspapers the next day that it was a suicide — but he knows better.

Someone in his studio covered up the crime, and rearranged the crime scene to look like a suicide. 

Now that we’re 10 issues in, he and his fellow writer, who’s been made aware of the crime, are on the warpath. They’ve discovered an even deeper issue below the murder of this one, individual actress — and they mean to expose it.

“The Fade Out” is a great little story that’s really taking its time to develop. Brubaker and Phillips immerse the reader in this sleazy Hollywood era and spend each of the first few issues introducing us to more and more players in the story. The middle set of books in the series really catapult the story forward and now I can’t wait for the final issues to bring it all to a head.


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Satan’s Whiskers

Following up on yesterday’s Grand Marnier post, I figured I’d share these photos of the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail I made:


A recipe for the Satan’s Whiskers cocktail taken from Imbibe Magazine:

•1/2 oz. gin
•1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
•1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
•1/2 oz. dry vermouth
•1/2 oz. orange juice
•Dash orange bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


The cocktail first appeared in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, and there were actually two versions, “Satan’s Whiskers (straight)” and “Satan’s Whiskers (curled)” — with curacao in place of Grand Marnier in the latter.

Thirsty For More?
— This post on Cold Glass has a thorough assessment of the drink.

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A French-Themed ‘Double Whammy’

Today is France’s national holiday. It’s also National Grand Marnier Day.

I wrote about France’s July 14th holiday last year, but I didn’t know then that the day is also our National Grand Marnier Day!

An ad for Grand Marnier.

So, technically, I guess it’s Bastille Day, but this article says we’re not supposed to call it that.

Still, it’s a double-whammy of a day to be imbibing French-themed drinks — especially if those drinks have Grand Marnier in them.

First some ideas not related toGrand  Marnier:

  • French 75
  • French Martini
  • St. Germain & Champagne
  • Chambord & Champagne

What Is Grand Marnier?

Grand Marnier is an 80 proof, orange-flavored cognac.

It was created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880.

Grand Marnier is comprised of Cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar.

Satan’s Whiskers

A recipe for a Grand Marnier cocktail taken from Imbibe Magazine:

•1/2 oz. gin
•1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
•1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
•1/2 oz. dry vermouth
•1/2 oz. orange juice
•Dash orange bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Thirsty For More?

— Read this post on Good Spirits News for more Grand Marnier history and a pair of drink recipes.

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