kill computers

We have, finally and officially, moved.

If you are reading this on LiveJournal - well, that whole community.livejournal etc. etc. etc. URL - we are no longer posting on there.

LJ was a fine place to start off at in the blogging world.  I didn't see that much wrong with it, but between having a paid account and using lots of ad blocking software, I would of course not.

I won't get into all the "Behind the scenes" drama that seems to flit around LJ at times - I've always avoided that.

But we've wanted greater control over our future and with our new host we have it.  We'll actually be hosted on Yahoo!'s servers which means that it should be easier for people to hit our site if they're in a location that blocks big blogging areas (such as LJ and Blogspot).

We're moving to WordPress, which means we'll have more flexibility in what we can do, and you'll see that almost right away.

We're going to have some nifty other things, too, as time goes on.  You'll see a "Forums" link, for instance, which isn't active right now but will be down the road.

Enough of the promotional blather, how do you get to this miraculous host of a blog, you may ask?

It's easy.  Just go to

Soon - not right this instant (i.e. 6:01 PM EDT) - you'll be able to use the rest of the Scofflaw's Den URLs:

The best is going to be, though I've liberally linked to

Come on over, we can't wait to see you!
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved

Central Michel Richard

If you remember back a while, we went to a dinner for the Museum of the American Cocktail, where Justin Guthrie, bar manager at Central Michel Richard, made a tarragon gin fizz that I loved.  After the dinner, he sent me a message, inviting us down to visit the bar at Central and to check out some of the goings-on that he has, uh, going on, down there.  It's been a hectic time of year but yesterday Marshall and I finally made our way down there.

And it was a scorcher out!  Coupled with a train breaking down on Metro right in front of me, I was in dire need of a refreshing libation when I made my way into Central.  Justin was right there, explaining how it's gin rickey month here in DC and offering me up a black pepper and lime gin rickey made with Zuidam gin.

Talk about refreshing.  There's a competition going on between several of the bartenders in the area for their gin rickeys, a drink that Justin informed us was invented here in DC.  At the end of the month several celebrity judges, in the cocktail world at least, such as Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Eric Felton of the Wall Street Journal, will see whose gin rickey will reign supreme!

Which makes me disappointed that I didn't try a gin rickey over at PX on Wednesday night, but alas, maybe that's an excuse to go back.

Next up was an apricot sour.  An interesting thing about how they make them at Central is that they use powdered egg whites.  There are several reasons for that, including less questions from customers about safety, cost effectiveness, time constraints, and not having to deal with yolks.  But the big thing is for drinks like their sour is that powdered egg whites are frothier than their real counterparts, which helps when you want to stencil your restaurant's logo on top with a spritzer of what appeared to be bitters:

(Yeah, there was a little dot in there but you know what?  It was still really cool.)

Perhaps unfortunately for me, I'm not a huge apricot fan.  I'd experimented with apricot flavored brandy in the past and it had just reiterated to me that, you know what, I'm just not that much into apricots.  I could still appreciate the drink, it was good, I liked it - but just not in the "I can drink a whole one" kind of way.

(Sound weird, maybe?  I guess.  I've learned a lot lately on how to appreciate tastes without necessarily loving them.)

Next up was a ginger dacquiri.  It was made with Neisson Agricole Blanc rum, a rum that I like in the taste but not in the aroma, so that hit me a bit.  It was also made with creme de gingembre for a light, subtle ginger taste that really enhanced the taste of the drink without overwhelming it.  This was another great summer time drink that I could've drank more than a few of, if we hadn't been whisked into the direction of other drinks first...

About this time they brought out some peanuts for us to munch on.  There were ordinary peanuts and then there were the wasabi peanuts - peanuts in a hard shell, bright green, and a sinus blasting shout of wasabi that I loved, particularly when (weirdly enough) eating multiple of them at once.

Next we talked about quinine.  I've become a bit more discerning in my choices of tonic water lately - I've found that I'm not a huge fan of the Q, but I do like the Fever-Tree and the Stirrings a lot, which makes this month's Imbibe and their taste test of tonic to be reassuring to me - and I have thought about making my own in the past.

Justin had bought bulk quinine and described how it came packaged.  He pulled out a small jar of the dried brown powder and put it in a glass then added soda.  Presto, tonic water!  Mixing it with some G-vine gin (the French gin made from grapes that I first had at our recent trip to New Heights restaurant, which led me to immediately buying a bottle) he made up a refreshing gin and tonic that we sipped on for a while.

(Would it be redundant to say that I would've drank lots of those?  Look, seriously, unless I mention otherwise, just assume that every single one of Justin's (and later Brian's) concoctions was so full of delicious-ocity that I would've sucked down multiples of them gladly - and I'm also glad that I didn't, so I got a chance to try everything else that was coming up on the list.)

While we wiled away the evening, we switched over to trying out some different liquors.  The first off was the Yamazaki 12 year old single malt whiskey - a Scotch in everything but name, since it's made in Japan from Japanese ingredients, though the original distiller had learned his trade in Scotland and even married a Scottish woman.  I'd always wanted to try it and enjoyed it greatly - I think I know someone who is going to get a bottle of it as his next gift.

(No, not me!)

Next up was a taste test of Old Weller 107 proof and Four Roses bourbons.  Old Weller 107 is a good value for its price and tasted to me like a better mixing bourbon rather than one that would be drank straight up.  Four Roses, which is actually owned by a Japanese firm and only sells its whiskey in a 50 mile radius around the distillery, lived up to the grand reputation that I've heard about it and made me quite desirous of a bottle for my own consumption.

After that we went over to a taste test between Pyrat and Pusser's rums.  Surprisingly enough for me, I enjoyed them both quite a bit, even though I'm not the biggest rum guy in the world.  There was a subtle variety to them, we thought that we could taste some orange in the Pyrat, and both went on my list as "maybe I'll get some of these, too."

Not that I really need any more liquor in my collection...

The next drink whipped up for us was a blackberry bourbon cobbler by Brian, one of the other bartenders at Central.

In the background you see the wasabi peanuts; I'll get to the rest of what you see in a few minutes.  But first, take a look at that blackberry!

That's huge tiny E!  And Justin claimed that it was the runt of the batch!

I think he was gluing together other blackberries, but that was just my paranoid conspiracy theory of the night.

That was another Damn Fine Drink.  Cold, thick, refreshing, a bit tart...I wanted a pitcher of 'em.  And a straw.  And for Marshall to get his mitts off the glass...ahhh, well.

We were starting to get hungry and decided to order up.  We split an order of the cheese puffs, which were light and flaky with a bit of cheese in each small one.  They made for great bar food.

Marshall went for the burger, something he's been looking forward to for quite a while.  I was still recovering from burger nirvana thanks to Ray's Butcher Burgers over in Rosslyn Tuesday night so I got what I'd been craving since Wednesday - sauteed calf's liver, which came with bacon and onions on it and on top of some really creamy (I believe) mashed potatoes.

Justin matched up the liver with a pinot noir that was light and fruity, a perfect accompaniment to the liver - he felt they were made for each other.  Marshall enjoyed an Argentinian malbec (I believe it was from Argentina, not Australia - I unfortunately failed to note that) that looked like it was quite good, too.  I made mental notes to bring my brother and his fiancee here for food, they would've loved it.

Finally, we got to the moment that Justin had been waiting for - the Del Maguey Pechuga.  This is a triple distilled mezcal made on an isolated rural hillside by a farmer in Mexico.  On the third distillation he adds in a number of fruits to the clay and bamboo still, then puts in a raw chicken breast, bone structure intact, for the alcohol to filter through.

I am glad that I had a chance to experience it.  Unlike most of the other drinks we had, I probably would not have more than one of those as a drink, especially given the expense, but it was definitely an experience.

At this point Justin had to take off, so we made our goodbyes with him, and he left in the hands of his very capable cohort Brian.  Brian made up a Sazerac for me that did credit to the cocktail gods, using a Van Winkle rye that I hadn't tried before.

For Marshall he made up a "rhubarb negroni", using G-vine gin, Vya vermouth, and Aperol instead of Campari.  I usually use Aperol in my negronis as well so I, of course, approve of such a decision.

(And now I want a negroni!)

I have to say that Justin, and the rest of the staff at Central, were amazing.  They were exceedingly friendly and handled even the most difficult situations that we saw with aplomb, finesse, and diplomacy.  I had a great time down there and meeting the bartenders, wait staff, and of course, Justin, and I cannot wait to go back.   As I write this I'm doing my best to reimagine my Coke Zero and Lean Cuisine pizza as a black pepper lime gin rickey or a blackberry bourbon cobbler and a plate of sauteed liver, so tender you cut it with a butter knife...

Once again, a huge thank you to everyone down at Central!
  • Current Mood
    satisfied satisfied

Upcoming plans

In case any of you wondered...we're coming up on 4th of July weekend, and more importantly, tomorrow is my birthday.  So I thought I'd share my more cocktail-related plans with y'all...

Tonight is pretty ordinary.  Just going to an Irish place up the street with some coworkers (Ireland's Four Courts) for happy hour type drinks.  Though we might stop at Ray's the Steaks new burger place (Ray's Butcher Burgers) for a $6.95, 10 ounce awesome sounding cheeseburger if it's not too insane.

Tomorrow night it's off to The Majestic, owned by the same group that does Restaurant Eve and PX, followed by a trip to PX.  Hopefully we'll get to sit at the bar at PX.

Thursday Marshall and I will be heading over to visit Justin at Central Michel Richard and check out some of what he's got going behind the bar, including something called Del Maguey Pechuga, a triple distilled mezcal that goes through the last distillation with a raw chicken breast in the still.

No plans for Friday as of yet, but Saturday will be my "birthday party", cooking out at my condo complex and perhaps making up the latest drink I invented which I named after my kickball team, "DC Detention".  It's somewhat orange in color and, according to my parents, tastes like Orange Nehi; they thought it would be very dangerous as it was quite easy to drink.

I'll post the recipe once I'm positive I've gotten it straight.

Should be a fun weekend!  I haven't Twitter-ed much lately thanks to Twitter having so many problems but I might try to get some of this on there...
  • Current Mood
    excited excited

That's it for Thompson

My grandfather smokes cigars, my dad smokes cigars, and I smoke cigars.

Granddad typically sticks with Philly Blunts, a fact that amuses me to no small end.  He does like other cigars, he just doesn't go out of his way to get them.  Dad tends to smoke small cigars when driving but has also enjoyed others such as the Lone Wolf cigars I introduced him to a year or so ago.

I smoke a lot of different things.  My usual brands are La Aurora, La Gloria Cubana (typically the Serie R), and Rocky Patel.

Father's Day came by recently and although I am quite slow, I managed to get the presents out only a few days after it.  My dad had commented that granddad was a fan of the "sampler packs" that you can get from various cigar retailers.  I buy most of my cigars locally but thought that it would be easiest to order such a sampler for both dad and granddad.  Looking through a couple of different websites, I eventually decided to go with Thompson.

I've bought from Thompson a long time ago just after college.  Since then I've gotten their catalogs and their e-mails but not paid much attention to them.  In this case, however, they seemed to be the best deal for my time frame and I got two samplers.

I had to provide a phone number for the order which isn't unusual.  The other day I missed a call from an 888 number, didn't think much of it, and there was no message.  I was at work today and another call came in from an 888 number so I answered it.

It was a representative from Thompson.  He confirmed my orders had shipped to the two different addresses that I gave which was nice.  He then started telling me about a deal that they had where you get points for the cigars you buy, and that leads to a discount/refund of some sort, it was free, blah blah blah...

That started tweaking my radar.  I remembered something about a plan somewhere in the Thompson catalog but I usually don't really read them that closely.  There's something about the catalogs and the prose describing the cigars that just turns me off from the catalog (actually, I know exactly what it is - it's how every cigar seems to be sold as the best cigar in the world, with more on "how wonderful it is" than exactly what to expect from it - I feel like I can't trust their marketing).

The salesman eventually said he wanted to give me a free gift and after a few false starts (mostly offering things I already have - maybe because I underestimated how many cigars I smoke in a week) he said he'd send me a sampler of the Thompson house brand (if I recall the name correctly).  Sure, fine, whatever, that's I just need to talk to his supervisor to confirm it, don't worry, I'd have a month to think about it, but it's free, and if I need more time or less time we can figure that out...


The supervisor comes on and only then can I get a confirmation that this is a SUBSCRIPTION to get cigars every month.

Uh - no.

You know, if he'd come on right away and told me "we want you to basically buy X number of cigars a month, and we'll send them to you automatically, and you get free stuff", I probably would've done it.

But giving me the quick-talking hard sell - no.  Absolutely not.

And now I won't buy them from again now.  You know why?  Because that type of marketing makes me not trust you.

Hmmm...maybe their cigar catalogs should've been foreshadowing...

And with that, I think I might go see about restocking my Lone Wolfs...maybe getting some five packs or is my birthday next week...
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
  • Tags
bourbon county

Mixology Monday Bourbon Recap

Wow.  I  The response was amazing this month!

As my fellow scofflaw Marshall mentioned in his write-up, bourbon has a special place in our hearts.  If I had to pick a "desert island' liquor, it'd be bourbon.  If I thought about what I drank the most in college - other than beer - it'd be bourbon (or even after college).  Heck, my parents rubbed bourbon on my gums back as a kid to help with teething!

Well, for all that, I was excited to see the entries this month.  We've got some doozies!  It really makes me want to get back into the bar and make up some of these delicious sounding drinks.

So enough of all that, let's get into the recaps - but first, something else...

I received an e-mail last week from Mike Manning at Bulleit Distillery.  I'd only ever had Bulleit in minis or the occasional mixed drink and he asked if I'd like to have a sample and some material about it.  I, of course, said yes.  Sure enough a package showed up on my doorstep on Monday (and was fortunately brought inside by my brother before the monsoons could wash it away).  Inside was a 750 mL bottle of Bulleit and some papers.

If you haven't had it before you should give it a shot.  I tried about half a shot of it first, just sipped it, and liked it better than I had remembered when I'd last tried it straight.  The bottle is also just neat looking.  I've been into Westerns for a long time and it just looks Western, and it seems they used it on the show Deadwood for that very reason.  It's definitely more authentic than that "Wild Spirit" stuff I used to drink a while ago!

So I've gotta thank Mike for his donation.  I used it in my drinks last night; I'm sure Marshall and I (assuming I let him have some) will have to see how it works out in some others.

One quick other thing: the Den is what we consider an "online speakeasy".  With our new digs (see bottom of the post) we'll hopefully be able to work on the sense of community and camaraderie much better than our current host.  As I see it, Marshall and I are your bartenders for the evening.  Though most evenings there's only one or the other of us on shift; for instance, I handled this MxMo, but I know Marshall is chafing at the bit to host one of his own!

One last thing before the recap: if you're a blogger in the Washington, DC, area, leave a comment or drop me a line at seanmike -at- scofflawsden -dot- com.  I've seen at least a couple of you out there and would love to see who we could get together for a rampage drinking binge cocktail tour of the DC area or something.

Mark Sexaur responded first with a post on his cocktail blog, back a solid week ago, with his drink, a Maker's Mark and Anti-Cola.  He mentions how you can get a chance to get your own barrel of Maker's Mark and also provides the recipe for his "anti-cola" which he thinks is better than coke and, hey, sounds darn good to me!  I might have to give it a shot sometime soon.

Next up we have the Nickel Fizz from Max Heusler, the "editor in fly" of the FlyboyzNYC blog.  This is a combination of bourbon, vanilla beans, and cherries, along with Boylan's black cherry cola - one of the flavors that I can find pretty readily in my local grocery stores.  He doesn't say if he used sweet or sour cherries, but if I made it, I'd use sweet cherries because I've got a huge sweet tooth.

Next up is the Monte Carlo from Married...with dinner.  This is a simple drink of whiskey and Benedictine plus some bitters.  It goes to show, as some other cocktails in this recap will also do, that you don't need fourteen thousand ingredients to make a good drink.  I'd say "or anything esoteric" but I tend to forget that I'm a compulsive collector, and thus, Benedictine might not be in everyone's bar necessarily.  Heck, I've been to bars that didn't have it, or just had B&B...(but that's a rant for another day)....

Keith over at his blog, moving at the speed of life, brings up one of the most classic bourbon drinks out there - the mint julep.  I claim that this is the drink that taught me how to make simple syrup, as the recipe I always used is very similar (well, pretty much exactly the same) as the one in The Joy of  Mixology.  Keith takes it up one step and gives us a few different variants putting in different liqueurs to accentuate the tastes.  Man, I'm thirsty just thinking about's such a nice day outside...sigh.

Bruce at WorldWideDrinks brings us the Allegheny, a mixture of bourbon, dry vermouth, blackberry brandy, and lemon juice.  He also goes into a bit of the history of bourbon, and more specifically the Bourbon county area.  Explaining how Bourbon County was part of the "Kentucky District of Virginia" might help explain why we Virginians still love it so much (other than the fact that, hey, it's good!).

Next we had Seamus over at bunnyhugs with his drink, the Derby, from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.  He describes this drink as a combination between a Manhattan and a whiskey sour which is fascinating to me.  Manhattans are one of my current "go to" cocktails and whiskey sours were one of my favorites back in college (when I wasn't drinking bourbon and cokes, that is).  Seamus also gets bonus brownie points for using Bulleit this month.

Keeping on the Bulleit fixation, Kez over at Kez, mixed gave us the "Kentucky Kernel", which we are warned is not named after the KFC founder but rather refers to the fact that it uses apricot brandy.  Kez also points out that the University of Kentucky's student newspaper is called the "Kentucky Kernel".  That actually fits in appropriately for the bourbon Kez used but as to why that is I'll leave for a trivia question - answer in the comments if you think you know!  (And no, it's not because bourbon is from Kentucky.)

Because I'm a right awful bastard sometimes I even made Marshall follow the instructions I laid down and send me an e-mail with the URL of his beverage posting!  Grumbling, he complied, posting about his Kentucky Orange Blossom, a drink that sounds better than it seemed to end up, and his variation of a Lynchburg Lemonade that he called the Front Porch Cooler.  It is that lemonade variation that stopped me from doing my own, which was going to be primarily lemonade, bourbon, and orange Angostura bitters.  But his sounds pretty good, too.

TraderTiki had to break from his usual retinue of rums to experiment with a bourbon drink and found the only one that he really enjoys.  While I'm glad he found one, I think what that truly means is that the Scofflaw's Den resident tiki expert, Marshall, needs to hunt Blair and pour various bourbon drinks down his throat until we find another one that he likes!  And another one, and another one, and another our hearts, we're really just good, decent, humanitarians.

Oh, that Jamie Boudreau!  He took the bourbon theme to heart SO HARD that he actually WENT to Bourbon county, Kentucky, and visited distilleries, such as my college nemesis Jim Beam and one of my current favorites Heaven Hill.  He talks on and on about the wonderful things he got to do, with beautiful pictures taken, and finally gives us the Seelbach Cocktail, with two different kinds of bitters and a topping of champagne.  I've got to decide if I'm just incredibly envious or what with the stories he had from that trip...

Not being the types to let their personal tastes get in the way of science! the fellows over at Infusions of Grandeur went about making their own cherry bounce - for historical reasons, honestly.  If you're interested in cherry bounce I know that the book Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking talks about it as well as other old-school drinks.  All in all it's a pretty good book, in fact - I should write more on it later.

"The German one", Chris, posted his entry about an Elderflower Manhattan.  Just to warn you, the whole post is in "German", and while I can't read German, I can read the recipe other than its crazy "metric" measurements!  No, I'm just kidding (I say before the Infusions of Grandeur scientists throw beakers at me), I know metric, and I also think that this drink sounds fairly interesting.  Bourbon, dry vermouth, and St. Germain, with a dash or two of bitters...

The drink that another northern Virginia-ite, Jacob Grier, sent in is called "Amy's Mom".  I read his e-mail, which included the recipe, and was pleased when I read his post and saw that I was right about the inspiration for it (the "Bufala Negra" from the Food and Wine 2008 Cocktails guide.  The use of balsamic vinegar in a drink is fascinating to me, and this was another drink I'd considered doing myself - but I didn't have any ginger slices.  (And now I remember that I actually freakin' GINGER...sigh.)

He might be a "rum dood" but Matt sent over a bourbon drink nonetheless.  The Sherman also has rum in it.  Fiddling around with the recipe, Matt added Scofflaw's Den-favorite Creole Shrubb to it and says that it made an okay drink awesome.  That makes me happy to hear and I've got YET ANOTHER DRINK to add to the rotation!  I bet Marshall gets to it first, though.  Oh, and forgot your picture of your drink!

Ian over at the Iceland Spar kept the bourbon manly and simple by just adding nothing more than raw egg to it.  Well, there's also a dash of simple syrup, and you can might want to add a dash of aromatic bitters, and you also grate nutmeg over it...okay, so it's not PERFECTLY simple but it's still pretty bare bones.  And easier than drinking raw eggs by themselves (for you boxers out there)!  If I had a picture of eggs I'd include it with a picture of a bottle of bourbon, but I don't, and I'm lazy, so I included a picture of Ian from his blog.

Lance Mayhew over at "My life on the rocks" comes back to MxMo after missing a few to give us the Screen Door cocktail.  He gets double mega extra super brownie points for not only using Bulleit, but using bacon-infused Bulleit and combining that with a hickory smoked pecan simple syrup and a couple of other things.  Seriously folks, can you READ THAT SENTENCE AND NOT DROOL?  I can't.  My coworkers are looking at me funny now...

If you're anything like me, and for your sake I'd hope so because I'm awesome, the first thing you'd think of when you'd hear the phrase "Amber Daughter" is perhaps the Polynesian equivalent of a "farmer's daughter" joke.  However, A Dram of Brine shows us it's actually a fruity bourbon drink with Bulleit Bourbon, chopped mango, and orange juice plus Angostura.  That sounds like a summer day kind of drink to me!

I've got to admit that I'm insanely jealous of the name of Sonja's blog - Thinking of Drinking - but she shows how appropriate it is for her as she thinks a lot more than I do.  This time, she links to a couple of drinks she invented recently but showcases a classic drink, the Brown Derby.  Of course, she has to add a bit to it, but it only could make it better.

Jay over at Oh Gosh! gives us the Frisco Sour and throws out some cheers to Marshall, too.  The Frisco Sour has two of my favorite things in it - bourbon and Benedictine - plus some lemon and lime juices.  But Jay, where are the bitters?  Where is...dare I say...the love?  (And hey, man, we got ideas for when Marshall hosts a MxMo - but that'll probably be after we move, and we've got to figure out a good topic for him to use...)

Doug over at Pegu Blog thinks he's lame for sticking with a Manhattan, and I'm not one to pass judgment.  What I will say is that a Manhattan is NEVER lame, it's always good, and the bourbon he uses - Blanton - is a bourbon that I dearly love (though I don't have a bottle of it right now).  What is lame is that he uses a generic store-bought maraschino cherry.  Doug - do yourself a favor, marinate some cherries in bourbon and try that.  It's awesome.

At the Art of Drink, Darcy gives us a bourbon Old Fashioned made with birch syrup, along with a good discussion about bourbon in general.  Seriously, folks, I can't drink at work!  Why are you making me so thirsty?  This birch syrup combination sounds, as my brother would say, fan-fugu-tastic.  I'm going to stop by the store on the way home and see if they have birch syrup.  (No!  Must go to gym first!  Sigh.  Wonder if I can bring in a bourbon drink to sip on while working out?)

Natalie, the Liquid Muse, doesn't leave us with a recipe this month but she's got a lot of delicious ones on her site.  Instead, she gives us a funny anecdote about her visit to a bourbon festival last year and why one should be careful about the proof on the bourbons that one is imbibing.  That's a fine lesson to learn for ANYONE out there, believe you me.  Fortunately I have a switch!

The Intoxicated Zodiac uses black tea, sugar, orange juice, and bourbon to make a drink called the Bourbon Freeze.  This is a pitcher drink and Gwen says Aries can drink the entire pitcher by herself.  I'm not an Aries, (I'm a Cancer, and I'll thank you for NOT making the usual joke, given my birthday is in 15 days!) but I think I could drink the whole pitcher, too, and I think it would make for a very fun pitcher to drink.

Over at Ana Bolena perdio su cabeza, home of our LJ friend anavolena , she came up with the very neatly-named Purosangue cocktail, a variation of the Manhattan.  She experimented with various vermouths and Ridgemont Reserve 1792 bourbon, but in the end went with Amaro Ramazzotti, something I've never heard of before but that sounds really good (and like something I'm going to have to buy now, gee, thanks!).  I am glad her chief taster was so excited about a bourbon theme!

Experiment 33.2 had a "Frozen Hawaiian Fashioned", a drink that I had no idea what to think of when I heard the name but once I saw the recipe I thought to myself, you know what, Marshall should make this drink for me.  It uses hibiscus and there's a couple of different routes towards making it in the post, plus some pictures that'll make you wish for tropical climes.

Chuck, over at Looka!, gave us a couple of different recipes.  The first was his long-time favorite the "Fancy-Free Cocktail", a mix of bourbon, maraschino liqueur, and two kinds of bitters.  The other one, the one he was afraid might be duplicated, involved bacon-infusing a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon and using that in an Old Fashioned with maple syrup.  Well, there's at least one CLOSE to it so far...but we welcome everyone's contributions, no matter how many times they've come in!  How many people stop with just one of a drink, eh?

Over at the Lush Life they submitted as a group and so their cocktail assassin, Allan Delgado (pictured left), came up with a Sunset Gun and a Lady Demeter Sour.  Both sound pretty good, and that's now two bourbon cocktails with hibiscus!  They even included videos on three ADDITIONAL cocktails!  The only thing they didn't include was a good still shot for a thumbnail, so hey, I takes what I can find.

At "A Dash of Bitters" Michael pulled out the Preakness Cocktail, yet another one on my list of drinks that I was seriously considering making.  This is pretty close to a Manhattan with Benedictine in it.  There was no picture for it, unfortunately, and I couldn't find a good one in a couple of minutes of poking around and so we'll have to go with this...

My Brilliant Mistakes has a video, too, and has the cocktail called "Bitter Bourbon" - bourbon, Campari, and green Chartreuse.  I can't view the video because I can't view YouTube at work, but I'm sure it's awesome.  We did shots of Chartreuse after watching Grind House the other night and now I'm a big fan of it.  I also note that Cynthia is from the Pittsburgh area, which makes her extra awesome (GO STEELERS!). 

We're off now to one of my regular blogs to hit (when I pry myself out of Popcap games, at least) and that's Marleigh over at SLOSHED!  She gives us the Penny Cocktail this month.  She takes what sounds like an awful, awful drink (Early Times bourbon and Squirt) and turns it into a pleasant cocktail.  I'm reminded of how I used to drink Mountain Dew mixed with Goldschlager for those early morning band practices (I called it a Gold Rush or something like that) or Mountain Dew and Wild Turkey for night parties - and no, I never had a mullet.

Ted at Le Mixeur gives not only a cocktail but a story.  The Ajeticha is based off the Satan Cocktail, and even though he replaces the bourbon in the Satan with rye with the story he used, and since he left in the other recipe, I guess we can let that slide.  It goes from bourbon, sweet vermouth, pastis and Peychaud's to rye, Punt e Mes, absinthe, St. Germain and Peychaud's.

Robert over at Drink Dogma makes a good point - that often in the cocktail world as of late we've ignored bourbon in favor of rye.  Well, I'm happy to say that in my world, I always love me some bourbon, but I will admit that I have fallen prey to that same gambit.  No more, I cry!  I shall make the Maple Leaf Cocktail, a blend of maple syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon, and I will punch rye in the face!  Not really.  I love all my liquor children equally.  They all have a place in the vast scofflaw's liver in a blurred haze of love.

Hey look, over at Blotto they have the Ramazzotti Amaro again!  Their drink is called the Marc Antony, which, if I remember my history correctly, is named after a Roman R&B singer who had a thing for Caesar salads.  It was either that, or I'm starting to get punchy, but I'll console my thoughts of that amaro, bourbon, orange juice and falernum.  Oh, and no picture here, either, so here's a picture of my cat The RZA sitting on top of a computer.  We did not know she was a girl when we named her.  (Her brother is Master Shake.)

Next we had the instigator of this entire tradition, Paul of Cocktail Chronicles, and what I thought had the best name for a cocktail in the whole thing, the FBI Fizz!  Too bad it wasn't the FBI Fuzz...but unfortunately, the drink was quite "eh" to Paul, the mixture of cherry Heering, bourbon, and Jamaican rum topped with soda just not working out.  He didn't even bother to post pictures of it, that's how boring it was!  But since he did, you know, come up with this whole thing, I'll put the MxMo logo over there.

Jimmy of jimmy's cocktail hour gave us this month the Nectarine Daisy, a delicate blend of bourbon, Grand Marnier, sparkling water, simple syrup, bitters, and a nice piece of nectarine.  I'm betting that the fresh nectarine really helps it out a lot here; over here on the Right Coast we don't get 'em as fresh as maybe you can on the Wrong Left Coast.  (No, I'm not bitter about having to go to LA next month, not at all!)

Over at "Beers in the Shower" - and who doesn't take a beer into the shower occasionally? - he came up with a Hick Tipple, featuring bourbon, lime, simple syrup, and Fee's mint bitters, a bitter that I've really dug since I got.  He rambles a bit about other stuff in there, too, but politely enough also provides a link to Jeffrey Morgenthaler's "Bourbon Renewal" post which now I need to re-read.

Mary over at Cooking 4 the Week keeps it short and sweet with a strawberry julep.  I'm not a huge strawberry fan but there's something very summer and refreshing looking about a drink like that.  If I have a bourbon drinking friend who is also big into strawberries I'd definitely make something like this for that person - it looks quick and easy to make yet delicious.

Over at eGullet there were three responders to be included.  Erik "eje" Ellestad, who organized the thread (and thank you!) recalled Murray Stenson's "Porteno".  Tiare came up with something called a "Spiced Paprika Whiskey Sour" which sounds like it hits a number of my favorite things.  Bostonapothecary came up with a drink from the Savoy Cocktail book called The Artist's Special.

Finally, I took advantage of Bulleit Bourbon's kindness and experimented a bit.  First I hit the "Corpse Reviver No. 1" and replaced it with all American ingredients, dubbing it the Corpse Reviver No. 1976.  Next, I fiddled around with the ingredients in the Scofflaw Cocktail to make it one that the two scofflaws here might enjoy more.  Finally, to end off the night I grabbed my trusty shot glass and made a drink that I was certain wouldn't make anyone's cocktail list, the boilermaker.

That's it for this month!  I'm not certain who has it next month during the long hot days of July, when all the lucky bloggers are down in N'awlins and I'm stuck in LA at E3, but we'll see what happens!

And don't forget - Scofflaw's Den is moving!  We are almost done with the site migration; soon, any of our domain names (,, or .org, or .info) will go to the new site (right now only one of those does).  And we'll be posting on there, too.  For now I'll be trying to keep up with copying over our archives to the new site.
bourbon county

Mixology Monday: My Entry for Bourbon

I can't forget to include MYSELF, can I?

Bourbon is an old friend of mine, and with that, I couldn't resist at first going for a variation of a Lynchburg Lemonade.  I had a lot of ideas on how to deal with one of those and then I had this (censored) conversation with Marshall:

seanmike:    so i think i'm going to do a lynchburg lemonade variant for my drink for MxMo
T. Marshall Fawley III (Talk.v10451282F45):    G*****N YOU, I was doing the same!

So I thought about and thought, well, maybe I'll go with Lime-ade instead.  I'd planned on buy the "Simply Limeade" but instead ended up with "Nature's Own" thanks to Giant.

Thus, instead of a Lynchburg Lemonade, I'll go for an Arlington Limeade:

In a mixing glass, muddle 2-3 kaffir lime leaves and 7-8 mint leaves in 1/2 ounce simple syrup.  Add in 2 ounces bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace), 1/4 ounce allspice dram, and four ounces limeade.  Shake, and then strain into an ice filled collins glass, garnish with a kaffir lime leaf and a mint sprig.

I'd suggest experimenting with dropping the amount of simple syrup to 1/4 of an ounce - remember, I have a sweet tooth - and/or pushing the allspice dram to 1/2 ounce.  Even my brother liked this drink, though he commented on how complex it was.

But, hey, here in the Den, we always do more than one drink.  What to do next?

Bulleit Distillery, having seen that I was doing a bourbon Mixology Monday, offered to send me a sample.  I couldn't resist though I'll go more into that in the MxMo recap posting.  I thought and I thought and I thought and finally I decided to thumb through a few books.  In the end I grabbed my copy of The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan.

First was the Corpse Reviver Number 1.  In the book, it's 2 ounces of applejack, 3/4 of an ounce of sweet vermouth, and 3/4 of an ounce of brandy.

With Bulleit Bourbon, having tasted it thoroughly, I thought we should make an All-American version of the Corpse Reviver.  Thus, I give you the Corpse Reviver No. 1976 (the 200th anniversary of the United States, and the year of my birthday):

Corpse Reviver No. 1976
2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
3/4 ounce Vya sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Clear Creek apple brandy

Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Note the ingredients; I wanted to make sure everything was made in the US of A.

You know what?  Tasty.  Even better, actually, when it got a bit warmer.  And that Vya bottle was a pain in the butt to open!

Okay, so there we go, two drinks.

No, no, no, that won't do for THIS MxMo.  I need more!

I've done the "Scofflaw Cocktail" before.  I wasn't impressed with it then; it just didn't taste right, probably too much dry vermouth.  The original recipe, according to The Joy of Mixology was two ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce dry vermouth, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce grenadine, and orange bitters to taste.

I changed that up a bit.  I wanted to make a Scofflaw's Den Cocktail and this is, at least, the first draft of it:
Scofflaw('s Den) Cocktail
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce simple syrup
1/4 ounce grenadine
2 big dashes of Fey's West Indian Orange Bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

That worked well.  It got better, too, as I drank it.  I'd like to experiment with raising the amount of bourbon in it a bit, maybe making it a bit more like a whiskey sour tempered with dry vermouth and grenadine.  We'll have to see.

You'd think that'd do it, but I'm a masochist sometimes.

No, we need one more drink.

It needs to stick out.

It needs to kick past those two Sierra Nevada Pale Ales I had at Clare and Don's...past the half shot of Bulleit I sipped as a taste test...past the two cocktails and the liquor inherent in those...

Oh, no.

It is.

It is THE bourbon and beer drink.

The drink of ages.


Do you need a recipe for it?

A shot of bourbon.  A beer.

You can drop the shot in the beer, or you can do the shot then sip the beer.

Given that the beer you see there is almost 24 ounces of Stella Artois, I went for the latter.

Bulleit has a great freaking bottle, in my opinion.  It's very Western, and they even take credit for it in their material:
"The Bulleit Bourbon bottle, which draws its design influence from the glass produced in the mid 1800s in Pennsylvania and Ohio, reflects the Frontier Whiskey heritage of Augustus Bulleit.  Its authenticity was acknowledged by the Director of HBO's Deadwood series where Bulleit Bourbon appeared regularly."

(Though Augustus died in 1860, and while most of my Deadwood knowledge is from the game Deadlands, you'd have to assume it was for the design of the bottle that it seemed more appropriate.  Either way, I'm a big fan of the design just in general.)

But with the Western influence, to me, that says:  "do shots of me".

So, yeah, I did.  It was tasty.  And the beer is a great chaser, even if it's a be chasing a quality American spirit.  But hey, it's what we have on tap in the kegerator.

Well, I hope you liked my entry.  We've still got time for people to post their entries for MxMo, and so therefor and thusly, I'll be keeping my eyes open - or, more appropriately, will NOT be keeping them open, and instead going to bed.  Hopefully the recap should up by the end of the day of Tuesday, but if it's not, there's only one group you can blame - the government, keeping me from something as important as that for "work".

Now, do I have the cojones for another shot of Bulleit...or is that even a question?  Of course not...
  • tmfiii

Mixology Monday - Bourbon!

Hey Folks!

Another Mixology Monday is upon us and I want to thank Sean aka runoknows, my cohort here at the Scofflaw's Den for hosting this month.  He is doing the heavy lifting of the round-up while I sit back and drink some tasty bourbon concoctions.  Yep, this month's theme is Bourbon

Both of us here at the Den love this spirit, maybe above all others.  For me, the love dates back to my undergraduate days at the University of Virginia.   Our drink of choice was the simple Bourbon and Coke and we certainly had plenty of them.  But now our tastes have changed and I've learned more about bourbon than I ever thought I would.  From wheaters to high-ryes and tastings at one of our favorite DC bars, Bourbon, I feel like my education is ongoing and endless when it comes to this particular spirit.  Of course, that doesn't mean that for the first home UVa football game, I don't break out the Jim Beam and Diet Coke and enjoy a glass or two while cheering on the Cavs.  As an old friend of mine would state whenever he smelled bourbon, "Smells like football season!."

For all my appreciation and love for bourbon, Sean picked a challenging time for MxMo.  The Kentucky Derby and the Mint Juleps are generally my last great dance with bourbon until the heat of summer subsides.  Of course this doesn't mean I completely turn my back on bourbon during the scorching days and nights of summer.  I'll still whip up some Mint Juleps, have a bourbon and coke or maybe just have a nice dram over an ice cube after a long day at work.  But still, bourbon isn't really what I think of as a summer spirit.  This makes finding suitable libations a bit more daunting.

When trying to decide what to write about, I wanted drinks that were refreshing and easily drinkable.  Something with lots of ice, full of flavor and really beat back the hot humid weather.  What I came away with is one winner and one that needed some work.  First, lets look at the one that needed some work.

Kentucky Orange Blossom
1.5 oz bourbon
1.5 oz tangerine juice
.75 oz Cointreau
1 dash orange flower water

*Shake everything with ice and strain into an ice filled rocks glass.

I found this drink while looking up recipes for bourbon drinks.  It was a variation on a bourbon based sidecar that used tangerine juice.  Frankly, I've been drinking lots of sidecars lately so the variation sounded better.  Maybe that should have been a clue . . .  The drink was "eh."   It was very dry and none of the flavors really popped out at me.  The bourbon was muted and even though everything else is orange based, the orange flavor really disappeared.  I was pretty disappointed.  I decided to tinker a little bit and see if I could save this drink, at least for my tastes.  I think it has a great base, but I really wanted to sweeten it up some.  So I pulled out my orange-cardamom syrup and added about half an ounce.  That really brightened up the orange flavor!  I still think it could use a little something extra, but for now, it isn't half bad with the extra sweetness.

The second drink I wanted to give you folks is an original (at least, I didn't do any research so it's new to me!) and is a variation of a Lynchburg Lemonade.  Now as I'm sure you know, a Lynchburg Lemonade is simply lemonade spiked with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.  And since this is a bourbon themed month, J.D. had to step aside.  Here is what I came up with:

Front Porch Cooler
2 oz bourbon
1 oz creme de peche
2 dashes Fees Peach Bitters
1 dash Fees Lemon Bitters
5 oz lemonade

*Shake the first four ingredients with lots of ice and strain into a chilled, ice filled chimney glass.  Top with the lemonade.

Now, a few notes on this drink.  First, taste your lemonade.  Is it really sweet?  Is it very tart?  Commercial or homemade?  You really want the lemon flavor to come through and most commercial lemonades are not very sweet or tart.  If you don't have homemade lemonade that is good and tart, you can always add lemon juice and/or simple syrup to the final drink to up the tartness/sweetness to your own liking.  If you want more peach flavor, consider muddling a slice of fresh peach or two in the glass with the creme de peche then add the other ingredients.  The point is, you can vary this recipe endlessly to find what tastes good to you.  Want to add blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or whatever else to the mix?  Feel free!  Enjoy!

Well, thanks again to Sean for tackling this Mixology Monday!  There certainly wouldn't be a Scofflaw's Den with out him and he deserves a round of applause.  Personally, I'll just buy him a beer sometime.  Or better yet, I've got this nice bottle of Balvenie Doublewood Scotch that I just *know* he'd love to have some of . . .

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

Congratulations to a Local Mixologist!!!

One of the blogs that I check almost every day is Camper English's Alcademics.  In yesterday's post, he linked to an article that he wrote for The Beverage Network's magazine titled "The Beverage Networks 10 Trendsetting Mixologists."

I am happy to report that NoVa/DC's own Gina Chersevani of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group - the good folks behind Rustico, Tallula, EatBar, Vermillion and Buzz Bakery -- is named as . . .  wait for it . . . . one of the top ten trendsetting mixologists.

I had the honor of meeting and talking to Gina at the Museum of the American Cocktail Dinner held at Proof eariler this year and I can honestly say she is one of the nicest, coolest people I've had the pleasure to meet.  I highly recommend trying some of her creations at any of the places above, you won't be disappointed.

Congratulations Gina!!!

You can read Camper's article here.


bourbon county

Mixology Monday "Bourbon" - June 16th, 2008

Yes, we're just about a week out from Mixology Monday, BOURBON!

The scofflaws here at the Den come from a strong bourbon background so it seemed to be an easy choice for me to make when hosting.

Now, here's the real question: what do we want to see from you?

Well, anything bourbon related of course!

There's a fondness, of course, for the traditional drinks, but I always like seeing what random things the brilliant people out there come up with.  For instance, Todd Thrasher's "Smoker's Delight" at PX in Alexandria has bourbon and tobacco in it....

The site migration is taking more time than we thought, so when you have posted (by midnight, Monday, June 16th), send an e-mail to seanmike - at - scofflawsden - dot - com.

You can also post a comment here off of this post (or any other post done by runoknows after this time) but I'd prefer the e-mail.  Include your name, a link to your post, and your drink.

I'll compile them and get them up ASAP.

See you soon!