Tag Archives: lime juice

Art of the Cocktail 2013 – El Humo Grande

Wow, it’s been a while. To do a bit of catching up, about a month ago it was Art of the Cocktail here in Victoria. I went to a couple excellent workshops (“Cocktail Archaeology” with David Wondrich, and “Culinary Techniques” with Jeffrey Morgenthaler), had a bunch of delicious drink and food at the Grand Tasting, and, most relevant to this blog, entered the Best Home Bartender competition.

This was my 2nd year entering, and I’m pretty pleased with how things went. I was much more relaxed than last year – still nervous, but I felt reasonably confident in my performance. I think that came from a combination of being quite sure I had a delicious drink, and doing a lot of rehearsing. It also helped that there were a lot of familiar faces both in the audience and behind the bar (all the other competitors were friends – we’d all brainstormed, created, and tinkered with our entries as a group).

My drink came in a very close 2nd place. One place I lost points was that my drink was a little too diluted. When I make it at home it’s with ice right from the freezer, but the ice at the competition had been sitting out and was therefore pretty wet, and I didn’t think to factor that into my planning. Something to keep in mind for next year.

Anyway, the drink I entered, El Humo Grande, is a variation on a drink I’ve posted on here before – the Margarita de Ajonjoli.

El Humo Grande
35ml reposado tequila
20ml sesame-seed syrup
15ml lime juice
Small piece of chipotle pepper
Shake well with ice. Double strain over ice in a Margarita glass. Garnish with a wheel of lime.

Photo Credit: Michael Beach


Pear Rickey

Pear Rickey

Pear Rickey
1½ ozs. dry pear brandy (birnebrande)
¼ large lime
Iced club soda
2 wedge slices fresh ripe pear
Put three ice cubes into 8-oz. glass. Add pear brandy. Squeeze lime above drink and drop into glass. Add soda. Stir. Fasten the pear slices to a cocktail spear and place across rim of glass. Munch pear piecemeal while you drink.

For this recipe I used Okanagan Spirits Poire Williams Pear Brandy, which I picked up on a recent tour of their Vernon distillery.

This is a very refreshing summer drink, light and dry and aromatic. The delightful pear flavour of the Poire Williams shines through, but is also nicely balanced by the lime. This is one I will definitely make again.

The Rickey dates back to the late 19th century, but the PH&BB is the earliest reference I’ve found so far to the pear variety. It shows up a few places online, occasionally calling specifically for ½ oz. lime juice, and sometimes including a bit of simple syrup.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Mixology Monday LXXIV: San Juan Sling


For my second attempt at Mixology Monday, I decided to stick with the theme of this blog and pull something from Playboy’s Host & Bar Book. Andrea at Gin Hound selected cherries as this month’s MxMo theme, so between maraschino, kirsch, and cherry brandy I had a lot of options, but eventually settled on the San Juan Sling. I’d recently done up a pitcher of Singapore Slings for a party, and I think that may have influenced my choice a bit.

San Juan Sling

San Juan Sling
3/4 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. cherry liqueur
3/4 oz. Benedictine
1/2 oz. lime juice
Iced club soda
Lime peel
Shake rum, cherry liqueur, Benedictine and lime juice well with ice. Strain into tall 14-oz. glass half-filled with ice. Add soda. Twist lime peel above drink and drop into glass.

For this recipe I used Bacardi silver and  Bol’s Cherry Brandy.

This ended up being a really nice drink. The Benedictine is the dominant flavour, but it doesn’t take over at all. Rum and cherry make up the finish, and the lime mostly just keeps the sweetness in check. Next party I may do a pitcher of these instead of the Singapore.

I can’t find much on the history of this one. It doesn’t show up in any of my books, and the few recipes I can find online are identical to the Playboy version. There are mentions of a variation that adds Angostura, but no recipes.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Here’s the roundup of MxMo LXXIV posts: Part 1, Part 2

Pago Pago

Pago Pago

Pago Pago
1½ ozs. golden rum
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon green Chartreuse
¼ teaspoon white crème de cacao
½ oz. pineapple juice
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass. Pineapple comes through beautifully.

For this recipe I used Ron de Jeremy, Meaghers crème de cacao, and canned pineapple juice.

Just based on the ingredients I figured this would be a very tasty drink. But unfortunately the Playboy Host & Bar Book cuts the key flavour ingredients down to a sixth of their amounts in the traditional recipe, and it just ends up bland.

The original recipe, as recovered from 1940’s The How and When by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry uses ounces instead of teaspoons for the Chartreuse and cacao, as well as muddling fresh pineapple chunks instead of using pineapple juice. I tried a second one using the classic proportions (but still using canned pineapple juice, since I didn’t have an fresh pineapple handy) and it was a huge improvement.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.

Kirsch Cuba Libre

Kirsch Cuba Libre

Kirsch Cuba Libre
1½ ozs. kirschwasser
½ lime
Iced cola drink
Put three large ice cubes into a tall 14-oz. glass. Add kirschwasser. Squeeze lime above drink and drop into glass. Fill with cola. Stir.

For this recipe I used Schloss Kirsch and Coke.

This wasn’t too bad. I thought that the kirsch, being pretty dry, would cut the sweetness of the cola, but it somehow comes off as even sweeter than straight Coke. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise, I’ve never been that big on cherry cola either. I would happily serve this one to a cherry cola fan, though. I prefer the traditional Cuba Libre to this by far, even after the Rum & Coke bachelor party incident of ’96.

There are a few variations of this floating around online, but they’re all basically the same thing. Very few of them specify exactly 3 ice cubes like this one, though.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.



1½ ozs. rum
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Triple Sec
¼ teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.

Since this recipe didn’t specify any specific kind of rum, I whipped out my bottle of Ron de Jeremy. I also used Meaghers Triple Sec, and Luxardo maraschino. I only rimmed half the glass so I could taste it without the extra sugar.

This was really nice! I was surprised by how well the maraschino stood out – the drink starts out all citrus and rum, but slides into the maraschino flavour at the finish. I didn’t find the sugared rim as off-putting as I usually do, either-  it just added a little extra sweetness whenever I wanted.

There are a lot of variations of the Beachcomber out there, many involving being served over crushed ice. I’m glad the Playboy one is served up, since I don’t think the flavour would stand up to any extra dilution. I’ve seen mentions of possible earlier dates, but the first concrete citation for this drink that I know of is from “Trader Vic’s Bar-Tender’s Guide” from 1947.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.



1 oz. brandy
½ oz. aquavit
½ oz. orange juice
½ oz. lime juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Shake well with ice. Strain into prechilled cocktail glass.

For this recipe I used D’Eaubonne V.S.O.P Napoleon Brandy, Okanagan Spirits Aquavitus aquavit, an organic Valencia orange, and homemade grenadine (using Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe). No garnish was indicated, so I used an origami Viking helmet.

This was quite good. The aquavit was showcased but didn’t take over, and there was just the right amount of sweetness (although if the orange were any less sweet I’d probably want to up the grenadine). The orange flavour stood up nicely as well, balanced by the sourness of the lime.

I haven’t seen this drink in any other book I’ve checked, but it turns up all over the place online (though usually as Fjord instead of Fiord) with the same ingredients in varying proportions.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.