11 Cocktails to Serve This Summer!

Though there certainly aren’t any cocktails out there that should be actively avoided during the summer (though I’m on the wagon these days so I’m avoiding them all), you’re probably less likely to want to stretch out on a lounge chair at to the pool delicately sipping on a hot buttered rum.
So here come ten cocktails that tie in beautifully with the summer season. Some are sweet, some are fizzy, some contain amazing liqueurs you should be familiar with, and some will just look damn good in your hand as the sun sets over your balcony every night between now and September. Happy summer, everyone!

Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito, although the exact origin of this classic cocktail is the subject of debate. One story traces the Mojito to a similar 19th century drink known as “El Draque”, after Francis Drake. It was made initially with tafia/aguardiente, a primitive predecessor of rum, but rum was used as soon as it became widely available to the British (ca. 1650). Mint, lime and sugar were also helpful in hiding the harsh taste of this spirit. While this drink was not called a Mojito at this time, it was still the original combination of these ingredients.

Some historians contend that African slaves who worked in the Cuban sugar cane fields during the 19th century were instrumental in the cocktail’s origin. Guarapo, the sugar cane juice often used in Mojitos, was a popular drink amongst the slaves who helped coin the name of the sweet nectar.

The Mojito

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

The Manhattan is one of the few cocktails that never seems to go out of style.  As a boy, I remember them being enjoyed by my parents and their friends. And as an adult they are regularly ordered at the bars by my own contemporaries.

“Contemporaries” is my fancy way of referring to Laura and Sean: my hag and my mentor.

Laura and Sean were the ones who ordered me my very first Manhattan a few years back at Martuni’s, a slender tavern and piano bar wrapped around the corner of Valencia and Market Streets in San Francisco.  I first found the Manhattan’s sweetness slightly off-putting, but was eventually won over by it’s smooth finish and gentle kick.

The Classic Manhattan

1 1/2 to 2 ounces quality bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry or lemon twist (or in my case, both)

Add bourbon, vermouth and bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice.  Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish appropriately.

Next: The Moscow Mule

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String of Pearls Cocktail (Vodka, Creme de Cacao, Half and Half, and a Hershey’s Kiss)


The String of Pearls is a sweet, smooth, dare my drinking friends say “cozy” after-dinner drink to serve on a night you’re staying in with a movie on TCM. They also might fit alongside the Sidecar, Whiskey Sour and Horse’s Neck at a 1940’s Prohibition-themed party. The creme de cacao and the half-and-half pretty much sweep any alcoholic bite right out of the glass, so be careful. They go down fast.

Recipe for a String of Pearls Cocktail Click Here

Ten Cocktails to Serve Before Labor Day


Though there certainly aren’t any cocktails out there that should be actively avoided during the summer, you’re probably less likely to want to stretch out on a lounge chair next to the pool sipping on a hot buttered rum.

So here come ten cocktails that tie in beautifully with the season. Some are sweet, some are fizzy, some contain some amazing liqueurs you should be familiar with, and some will just look damn good in your hand as the sun sets over your balcony every night between now and September.

The Manhattan is one of the few cocktails that never seems to go out of style.  As a boy, I remember them being enjoyed by my parents and their friends. And as an adult they are regularly ordered at the bars by my own contemporaries.

“Contemporaries” is my fancy way of referring to Laura and Sean: my hag and my mentor.

Laura and Sean were the ones who ordered me my very first Manhattan a few years back at Martuni’s, a slender tavern and piano bar wrapped around the corner of Valencia and Market Streets in San Francisco.  I first found the Manhattan’s sweetness slightly off-putting, but was eventually won over by it’s smooth finish and gentle kick.

The Classic Manhattan

1 1/2 to 2 ounces quality bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry or lemon twist (or in my case, both)

Add bourbon, vermouth and bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice.  Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish appropriately.

Next: The Moscow Mule
Continue Reading

Starbucks Customer Goes Berzerk

Four years after I first posted this video I shot to YouTube, not a day goes by without a new comment hitting my in box. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and they seem to be split right down the middle. Some insist the cashier was required by law to accept the hundred dollar bill. The rest think that the woman was just a crazy… well, bitch. Having witnessed it first hand, I tend to side with them, but I’m open to argument. Two things I can tell you for sure about this video:

1.) Because I took it into the manager of the store the next day in defense of the cashier, I got free coffees for a month.

2.) I still laugh every single time I hear my mom at the end say, “What is WRONG with her???”

Video is below. What do YOU think?

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The Rob Roy

The Rob Roy is a scotch whiskey version of the classic Manhattan.  Scotch whiskey is used instead of rye whiskey in honor of Robert Roy MacGregor, the famed Scotsman who battled against feudal landlords in the Scottish Highlands during the 18th century in an effort to reclaim his land and protect his family.

The Rob Roy

1 1/2 oz Scotch
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
Angostura bitters to taste
Maraschino cherry for garnish (a lemon twist may be substituted)

Stir the first three ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish and serve straight up, or mixed in rocks glass with ice.

As the default Rob Roy is made with sweet vermouth, there is no need to ask for it “sweet,” though you can order “dry” or “perfect” versions. A dry Rob Roy obviously substitutes in dry vermouth for the sweet, while a perfect Rob Roy uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouths.

The origins of the drink are sketchy, though many peg it to the Waldorf-Asotria hotel in 1894, where a drink was created and named in honor of the opening of a Broadway show called Rob Roy by American composer Reginald de Koven.  Rob Roy opened at the Herald Square Theatre on October 29, 1894 and became one of de Koven’s biggest New York successes, ringing up 164 performances.

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