Old Fashioned Cocktail: part II – The Templates Project: Classics


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japaneseNow that we’ve seen what makes a great traditional Old Fashioned cocktail we’ll study little variations on the theme…

As seen the OF is just Whiskey, sugar, bitters and citrus oils to brighten things up.

Exchange Angostura for Peychauds and you’ll end up with a very similar cocktail, or maybe you are out of whiskey and will use a Cognac… you all know that right?

The template would go something like this:

Old Fashioned Cocktail Template

       1tsp sweetner

2oz Spirit

   3ds bitters

Build & stir. Garnish aromatically.

This is a 12:1 ratio of booze to syrup and also 3 dashes of bitters per part of syrup. You can increase the amount of syrup, let’s say, to ¼oz and get a 8:1 ratio, adjust to your tastes.

The ingredients should play harmoniously.

Your sweetner and bitters should enhance your base spirit.

I also don’t think a Celery bitters will play well with a smoky Scotch, but it might play well with a highland Tequila…


Having said that, here are some cocktails that use this template:


1tsp Orgeat

2oz Cognac

3ds Angostura

Make like the traditional OF.
This is a very nice match, the orgeat really gets trough the dark berries notes of the Cognac I used (Hennessy VSOP) giving another dimension in taste. I would go dried than 10:1, this is a very powerful syrup.

The orange gets in the end refreshing the palate from the spicy-almond-berry flavor from the cocktail.


Next up one of my favorites use of Amaro…


1tsp Simple Syrup

1tsp Fernet 

2oz Bourbon

Make like the traditional OF.

With amari you’ll need to use a little more than dashes, but use sparingly.
This will go on a 12:1:1 ratio.

A nice variation I like is using Brasilberg/Underberg. Try with your favorite amaro…

Again the citrus helps the threesome here.


Those we’re very simple cocktails to reinforce the power of a well made Old Fashioned Cocktail.

What’s your favorite Old-Fashioned-esque cocktail?


Wait till next post, where we’ll go beyond the template…



Old Fashioned Cocktail – The Template Project: Classics


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This is the first post about the Old Fashioned Cocktail for my Template Project: Classics

The following posts can be seen here: Part II, Part III, Part IV.


I’m starting this series of posts with the OF just to me get a feel of what this will be (since I’m reporting things as they happen).

The cocktails are like the first template we know:

Spirits of any kind, sugar, bitters and water.

As described by that old journal of 1806. Enough of history for now…

What I’ll cover here on this post goes beyond that definition since we’ll get into proportions and technique.


I like my OF silky with a good taste of Bourbon with nice spices and orange oils lifting the spirit.

The first thing that really caught my attention when making OFs was that a nice orange zest lifts up the entire thing, that’s when you start getting to know better the cocktail. That was my eye opener for the OF.

The other thing that is important in OFs are texture, we all have that Limoncello bottle on the freezer, right?

Then we have a perfect sensory boom: taste + smell + texture = Flavor!

Having said that I’m very rigid on how I make my OFs

Old Fashioned Cocktail

      1bs Simple Syrup

2oz Bourbon

   3ds Angostura

I like to start with cold 2:1 Simple syrup, that way I get a richer cocktail.

Then I’ll add the bitters, stir, put in a little ice and wait a little to the syrup gets a little more thick.

Now top your OF glass with ice add the booze and stir to integrate, get that syrup out of the bottom of the glass and make a tasty liquor.

Top off with orange oils (or other citrus available) and it taste like heaven!









The Template Project: Classics


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If I put the blond ponytail it would still be Mr.Potato Head right?

If I put the blond ponytail it would still be Mr.Potato Head right?

Understanding the classics is a must to any bartender worth their shakers.

Once a classic is well understood you can play around with it, a good example of that would be Ribalaigua’s Daiquiris.

But to reach this level of intimacy one must first understand the soul of the classics.

The Template Project is a personal travel through the rediscovery of some classic cocktails, by doing this I intend to get down to its bones and see its true soul.

Once I’ve reached this further I will be able than to feel my way through this classic cocktail in question hence being able to mix it better and even reach further than now I’m able to and have the so desired intimacy to add my own personal touches.


It is also a project to get me blogging more…

It will follow something like that:

  1. A introductory post about the “original” classic with some historical background and my recipe for it;
  2. Some cocktails that are similar to the “original” and, maybe, one “invention” of mine, ending with a Template;
  3. Pushing boundaries in the template;
  4. A overview of the classical and the template itself.

Four posts per week, one template per week.

Since sours are way beaten in the literature and I have confidence in making them I’ll focus more on aromatics cocktails, here’s a list of the classics I’m considering:

  1. Old Fashioneds (just to get things rolling);
  2. Vieux Carré (Vermouth Golden Ratio);
  3. Negroni (and how I got the idea for this project);
  4. Spritz;
  5. Whiskey Smash.

I also think I’m covering three cocktails that don’t get much of attention when you think about templates.

Would you add any cocktail to that list?

Hope some people join me in the discussions I’ll propose!


Mixology Monday LXXXVI Roundup: Pineapple


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Having herd all the cats for this MxMo I must thank you all for playing along.
This month was a lot of fun and lots of people couldn’t help themselves and mix lots of pineapple cocktails, myself included.

From fresh pineapple juice, to less messy pineapple syrups & infusions we even got the effortless canned juice, pinneaple tea, piña colada sorbets and all sorts of tasty & funny delicious cocktails with the King of the fruits!


I would like to start first by summarizing some flavors that really goes well with the pineapple:


Fist we got the Joseph’s post from Measure & Stir, he mixes our lovely fruit into four cocktails with white wine, IPA beer, coffee and curry, go read it!

hanaluana7Next, we have JFL from RatedR Cocktails making a rum forward Pineapple+IPA combo the Hala Luana, he had a hard working making this well balanced, don’t go freepouring this one!

tremWe got the curry again in the Tremzinho, by my friend Morandi, this time mixed with a delicious pineapple tea!

CardiffWhat better to follow next than Pineapple+Chartreuse+Chocolate? Courtesy of our friend Mark from Cardiff Cocktails.

Copenhagen StickGinHoundAndreaAndrea from GinHound also kills two flavors with one cocktail and mix Smoke+Vanilla+Pineapple, inspired by a ice cream lolly she gives us the Copenhagen Stick!

ChrisNext up, my friend Chris from A Bar Above get into the World Cup celebration and mix Ginger & Hot Pepper with the Brazilian spirit in the FIFA Sour.


To finish all those amazing flavors that can get mixed up with our King of fruits I made Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Kingston Club, mixing Anise, Fernet and Pineapple, of course.

I also give two communal cocktails to be shared, the Abacaxi Ricaço, registered by David Embury and my own Familia Jarrito, a Mojito variation.

Enough about how well this bromelia mix with just about everything.

Simple cocktails are always good, next up we follow with some delicious and easy to mix cocktails:


BoozeNerd couple Shaun & Christa gives us the Miss Brooks a tasty mix of Pear Brandy, PJ & bitters, just as simple as that is their take on the Blood & Sand, the Rodolpho (what a great name BTW).


Gin & Juices anyone? With a little herbal Yellow Chartreuse, Morgan from FoodieTails gets it rolling!
We also have three more cocktails, mixing grilled juice, ginger, honey and tequila with our lovely Piña, go Flight to Jalisco with her!

Caribbean Islay worldofdrinks

The Caribbean Islay mix delicious smoky whisky with ginger, honey and funky Jamaican rum! Easy and bold!

Courtesy of Craig from A World of Drinks.


This red and frothy concoction is gave to us by Whitney from The Tipicular Time, it is a lovely mix of Pineapples and tart Razz along with some Rum and Ango, the OntarioAhu!

BananeIn the likes of a French Martini, Ryan from Ryan Companion’s gives us the Amazonia Crown with Cachaça and Banana, making a homage to Brazil! He also makes it with rum and falernum, a Bajan Martini then.


Last on this section, we have a pool & funny memory recall from Mike over Sweet Tea & Bourbon with the Planter’s Punch, the juicy one, no need to shake…

After all those delicious and lazy pineapple cocktails it’s time to get back to work and make some pineapple syrup

pineapple-gomme-cocktailand mix a delicious Pisco Punch, as did Elana from Stir & Strain, with pinneaple gomme


Or a East India Cocktail, as did IJL from Tempered Spirits. He also change the juice for the syrup in the delicious Hotel Nacional Daiquiri.

And why not make a Daiquiri using pineapple infused rum?


This is what Stacy Markow did. She says the daiquiri is the most refreshing drink ever, we can’t agree more and with this pineapple infusion it be like a trip to the beach!


Talking about infusions, infuse your gin with some chuncks of yellow yummyness and make yourself the Riviera, presented to us by the Frog Princesse from Tartiness to Tiki, this delicious cocktails mixes two fellows of pineapple: Campari and Maraschino.And why not go all boozy and make  a Zombie using fresh PJ?


Jessica from One Martini infuses her rum not with fresh fruit, but with a coconut-vanilla tea. After that she makes a cinnamon syrup to make a Mai Tai style cocktail. And I bet this is as delicious as Vic’s, not a sugar bomb. She even make a Rum+Cognac split here.



Fancy a Pinã Colada Sorbet? Head to Sass&Gin and let Laura teach you how you can make your own!
Top that with some bubbles and you get a Sparkling Pinã Colada, what not to like?
And if you feel you’re too grown up to this, try the East Harbor, with some falernum into a swizzled colada.


Enought about hard work again, let’s take a break and eat some pineapple dipped into rum sauce!



Tiare from A mountain of crushed ice also join us! She made two cocktails, a swizzle and a frothy sour style, pictured below


Three types of rum, pineapple, lime, sugar, whites and chocolate bitters. Garnished with some brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg… A mountain of dat, please!

Talking about tiki…


Look at that frothy green ocean cocktail! What a landscape… Jurgen from Swizzzlestick gave us the The Best Year cocktail, straight from his readings from Beachbum Berry Remixed! BTW, I just love myself some licor 43…

MariusIt’s not easy being geen, but got yourself some kiwis (largely consumed here in Brazil), and some green banana liqueur too, why not? This swizzle is gave to us by Marius over AcanePotions. Kiwis and pineapples have lots in common!


Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, right? But when you’re moving to Georgia peaches might be more fit!
Jennifer from Scraps of Life gave us the Southern Hospitality, mixing peaches and pineapple with vanilla rum! We’re all sending good vibes to you new home Jennifer, cheers!


Have a bottle of homemade lemoncello not being used? Well, I have and the BarflySF blogger also do.

Fix yourself the Pisco Piña and get refreshed!

Talking about not so used bottles…


Fred Yarm, our big host, give us the Kuula Hina, mixing Dry Amontillado with pineapple to get an acidic bite to cut through vanilla and falernum syrups. This cocktail was created on shift for a fellow bartender! Nice piece. Go visit Cocktail Virgin Slut to get the recipe!


The kind Putneys from Putney Farm gives us their take on the El Presidente, the one with pineapple. Look that froth!
Called Nuevo Presidente it replaces the grenadine for more complex Créme de Cassis, I must try this spin on the Daiquiri!


Last but not least, the beautiful Muse of Doom from Feu de Vie present us with an amazing pair of fresh pineapple, spicy becherovka and fresh oregano, yes you read it right!
Willing to try this one, also don’t use the dried herb you have lying around your house, go in the quest for fresh ones!

Finally, I would like to thank Fred for letting me host, you guys for giving so many fabulous recipes.
Pineapples goes well with everything!

mxmologoThis is it, section closed.
See you all next month in another MxMo party!



Pineapple Tea – MxMo: 86


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After removing the skin from all those pineapples for this month’s Mixology Monday, let’s put them to goo use.

Pineapple Tea

  • peel from 1 pineapple
  • 1L water
  • spices & sugar to taste

Boil the water with the peels and spices until it tastes good.


This is a popular Minas Gerais’ beverage, usually served in street restaurants after lunch.

The spices are usually omitted, but you can use mint, cloves, cinnamon and/or cardamon.

The tea is a little astringent with a good pineapple taste.


I’ve being playing around with it for a while, here a some cocktails that use this delicious tea:


Familia Jarrito

  • 240 mL Rum
  • 480 mL Pineapple Tea (cold)
  • 60 mL  lime juice
  • 40 mint leaves
  • 10 dashes Celery Bitters

Smack those mint leaves, pour all ingredients into a jar, top it with ice, serve into four ice filled glasses and garnish. Rejoice!


This is a Mojito topped with this light and astringent tea. Instead of bubbles you get astringency!

The plastic pineapple jar is a reference to a comedy show…



The next cocktail comes from my good friend and partner João Morandi (have you seen his post here about spiced rum?)



  • 40mL Cachaça
  • 10mL Curaçao
  • 10mL Simple Syrup
  • 15mL Sweet Vermouth
  • 10mL Lime/Lemon mix
  • 30mL Pineapple Tea
  • 2 dashes Homemade Curry Bitters (steep a pinch of curry into some ango…)

Stir & strain. Garnish with coconut sugar rim


This cocktail is a take on the Crusta, the name is a reference to the steam locomotives that made the trade and transportation from the ports to the countryside.

Hence the ingredients are like a mix of cultures, just like Brazil.

Here’s what John has to say:

In the special brazilian region of Minas Gerais, train is a word used to indicate absolutely everything. The train is also the transportation which connects the countryside and its beautiful landscapes and traditions. The train has this fellowship aura, which comes with great cocktails and friends getting together. Good moments inspires me as this cocktail does.


Next time you’re juicing some pineapples make sure to brew this tea!


You can check the roundup here.

Hope you all enjoyed this MxMo as I did. I’m working on the roundup post, lot’s of great tasting and beautiful cocktails this month!
Thanks you all and Fred Yarm for keeping the party going!


Kingston Club & Abacaxi Ricaço – MxMo 86: Pineapple


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As you might know this Mixology Monday is being hosted by yours truly. To reinforce the theme here’s from my announcement post

Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into guilty pleasures not to be named some 80’s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect!

Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of fruits might be now misunderstood. One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.

Below are some amazing pineapple cocktails that I really like, enjoy!

You can check the roundup post here.


The first one is the Kingston Club, by Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
This is a very refreshing cocktail that uses a full shot of Drambuie.
I’ve been trying to blog about it for a long time and this MxMo was the final motivation.
Jeffrey has just launched a book about cocktail techniques, there he even tell you how to juice a pineapple.

Talking about it, the pineapple is one of the most pain-in-the-neck  fruits to juice, but is totally worth it.

And wait, don’t throw those peels out! But let’s go back to the

Kingston Club

  • 1½ oz Drambuie
  • 1½ oz Pineapple juice
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • 1 tsp Fernet Branca
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz Soda

Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass, top with soda. Garnish with orange zest.

KC2This is just an amazing cocktail. First you can use a full shot o Drambuie, next you pair it smokiness and anise hints with juicy sweet & sour pineapple and on top of that comes the Fernet!
A pitcher of it please!


Talking about pitcher and deliciousness…

ar2Abacaxi Ricaço

  • 1 Pineapple
  • 3 oz Rum (or go all New Orleans style and make equal parts Bourbon, Rum & Cognac. Or Bourbon,Rum & Cachaça)
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • ½oz simple syrup

Scoop the pineapple flesh through its top, to make a cup out of the fruit. Put the fruit in the freezer so it gets rigid.
Blend the flesh with the booze, lime,sugar & 12oz crushed ice.

Serve in the pineapple cup. Makes 2 servings!

This recipe comes from David Embury’s book and although he claims it is a Brazilian cocktail and saying that the name refers to its deliciousness, Rico is a Spanish word for tasty, but in Portuguese it would be delicioso.

Although the cocktail is made in the Brazilian blended style of just throwing things in the blender…
This is a well balanced cocktail and although only having 3oz of booze the pineapple makes the perfect canvas for the alcohol.
And  it doesn’t used condensed milk, which is a typical ingredient in Batidas and is usually overpowering with its sweetness…


In the next segment about pineapple I’ll talk about a typical Minas Gerais’ beverage: Pineapple Tea!


Hope you’re having a great time making delicious cocktails out of a pineapple!

Thanks to Fred Yarm to let me hosting this months party.



Mixology Monday LXXXVI Announcement: Pineapple


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Beautiful photo from Brittany Wright -WA. wrightkitchen

Beautiful photo from Brittany Wright -Seattle, WA. instagram.com/wrightkitchen



Here we are again! Now it’s my time to host this amazing monthly party that is Mixology Monday!

Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into guilty pleasures not to be named some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect!

Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of fruits might be know misunderstood. One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.

Be in a tiki cocktails, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita,

get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!

Want to participate? Here’s how:

  1. Create a cocktail using pineapple.
  2. Post the recipe on your blog, or the egullet’s spirit and cocktail’s forum (thread here), with a photo and your thoughts on the drink.
  3. Add the MxMo logo to your post with a link to the Mixology Monday website, and one back here to Bartending Notes.
  4. Submit a link to your post here on the announcement post, tweet me at @bartendingnotes (include hashtag #mxmo) or send an email to ducktailsbh (at) gmail (dot) com with Mixology Monday in the subject.
  5. Posts must be submitted by midnight June 23th.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with (and who will be the first to post). As always, have fun and we’ll meet back here the week of the 23th!



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No I’m not dead!
It’s been a hard year and although I’m alive and kicking drinking I couldn’t find time to publish here.

This is just a post to get things going again.
You know what they say about diffordsguide recipes right? Even the weird ones are tasty!

I found this the other day while searching recipes with basil to use the ones I’ve bought on the market.

It’s a lovely recipe that also helped me to put good use on that limoncello that’s being used just for shots.



2oz Vodka

½oz limoncello

½ simple syrup

½oz lemon juice

7 sweet basil leaves

Shake, strain & garnish with basil leaves

This is a very refreshing cocktail, which showcase very well the sweet basil, and although it seems to be sweet it is well balanced.

Sweet basil is not common in Brazil, here we have a smaller and more pungent varietal.

Hope you enjoy this “weird” mix and keep up with us, we’ll be hosting MxMo this month!


Margaritas – MxMo 82: Sours


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It’s been a month since my last post, but here I’m again answering the call from GinHound and Mixology Monday.

This is also Tiki Month at the PeguClub blog, with all the sun going on here, and the rainy cold winter on the other side of the globe, nothing better than a well concocted sour to wake up and refresh the body.

Andrea call us to go beyond the usual and take the sour to the next level.

See the round-up here.

Even though being very simple, a proper made sour has magical proprieties, but don’t worry, we always try to make it easy, because everybody deserves magical cocktails.

We’ve done it before with the Daiquiri, the Sidecar and the Gin Sour.
Although they might fit the usual formulas of 3:1:1, 4:1:2 and even 4:2:1, there’s always a secret lying within their perfections.

Take the Margarita for example, it is like a Sidecar, right?
But I digress, the Sidecar uses a spirit with a sweeter profile, while a 100% agave blanco tequila is quite dry and savory.

Add that to a 40% orange liqueur and you and up with a very good dry aperitif packing a good punch of booze, and if you don’t watch out and use a very light tequila like Cazadores you’ll end up with a Kamikaze, totally orange forward…

I prefer my margaritas with a little less alcoholic bite, but a nice tequila taste. Something like…


  • 2oz 100% agave blanco Tequila
  • ½oz Cointreau
  • ½oz Simple Syrup 2:1
  • ¾oz  lime juice

Shake and strain into an ice filled rocks glass rimmed with salt.

Or just make it up, blue and without salt…

This split between liqueur and syrup is very useful and might be done to correct alcoholic strength or reinforce the base spirit.
You might even consider lowering the sweet and sour ratios to the base spirit, like a 4:1:1 Aviation, so you don’t get your base spirit drowned by your liquor.

Hope to have included one more cheat to bring the balance back!

Thanks to Andrea and Fred Yarm for keeping the flame alive…


MxMo: H2O Highballs


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January is the month to put things in order and start the year with the right foot.

In this month’s MxMo, Joel from SouthernAsh, a nice blog about booze, cigar and other “man stuff”, invites us to share our favorites highballs, that one to just get laid back with your mind on your money.

Make sure to check out the RoundUp.

I really like for myself a dry cocktail, trying to utilize the minimum amount of sugar to achieve balance.

I really enjoy some Bacardi Rickeys and Yerba Matte Iced Tea with or without some booze.

Tea is a great way to add flavors without the need to add sugar, be it hibiscus, pineapple or green tea, those healty “skinny” cocktails are all the rage, and you can get them done really simple without artificial sweetners.

I have already done some taste MojiTea with cold infused green tea in sparkling water. Delicious!

But another fun way to add nice flavors to highballs is the Kathy Casey’s H2O cocktails.

Just as simple as that, make some flavored water and add some really quality booze.

H20 Highball Template

  • 1½oz Spirit
  • 4oz Flavored Water

Stir and strain into a beautiful glass.

For my water I used strawberries, hibiscus and cinnamon.

Strawberry Hibiscus Water

  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2oz dried hibiscus flowers

Place all the ingredients in a nice bucket and let it sit for 4h, at least, in your refrigerator.
Don’t muddle the strawberries.

Make sure to use a spirit that will enhance your water, a good quality vodka is a no-brainer here, but you can make one ingredient to enhance the other, maybe some floral-citrus water with gin, or refreshing and herbal with tequila.

Simple and effective a nice way to relax and enjoy all those fresh flavors without any guilt.

Thanks Joel and Fred for hosting the event, see you all in Tiki February!



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