Five Cocktails for a party!

I love cocktail parties. Especially ones that give me the opportunity to take my guest’s palates to another level.    This little cocktail party served notice that great mixed drinks don’t have Fireball or Tito’s in them.  Far from.  They take great parts and incredible craft spirits and bring these liquid driven adventures truly to a higher place.

I was given a bottle of Martinique Blue Cane Rhum Agricole recently and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to serve it than with Royal Rose- Simple Syrup of Cardamom and Clove and a bit of seltzer water.

Just over on Mt. Pelee’


  • 3 oz. Clement Bleue Canne Rhum Agricole (100 Proof)
  • 1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Cardamom and Clove
  • 2 oz. Seltzer
  • 2-5 drops Lemon Bitters (of your choice)


To a cocktail mixing glass filled ¾ with ice

  • Add the Rhum Agricole
  • Add the Simple Syrup
  • Stir well to combine
  • Pour into a Collins Glass with ice
  • Top with the Seltzer
  • Dribble the bitters over the top and serve

The second cocktail took a simple drink known as the gin and tonic and quite literally, raised the bar with thirty different types of gin.  The crowd favorite?  A little gin in a gorgeous bottle from Scotland named Caorunn.  For some reason (well known to those of us who love artisanal gin) the Caorunn has a richer texture and ‘ginny’ character that worked so well with the multitude of tonic waters that I brought with me.  Amongst the gins were The Botanist, SW4, No.3., Martin Miller’s Pot Still, Hat Trick, FEW, Nolet, Beefeater, and many others.

 Not Just Another Gin and Tonic


  • 3 oz. Gin of your choice (Caorunn was the crowd favorite)
  • Lemon Zest (no pith!)
  • 5 oz. Cane Sugar Tonic Water- the crowd favorite was Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic (Bed, Bath and Beyond)
  • Aromatic Bitters – like Angostura, often used in a “pink gin”


  • Flavor the glass with the lemon zest then the Angostura Bitters
  • Add ice
  • Add the Gin
  • Top with the Tonic
  • Stir and Serve

I’m sure that the third drink is where you want to get going- and that would mean immediately!

The Soda and Cocktail Syrup named Fruitations is where this drink really takes off.  I used the brilliant Tangerine syrup and combined it with Mezcal and then finished it off with a Cane Sugar Ginger Beer from Australia named Bundaberg.  Brilliant stuff.  A wedge of fresh lime and lemon bitters sent this drink further than it has ever been prior.  Trust me.

Just up Near Mexico City


  • 2 oz. Mezcal of your choice
  • Orange Zest
  • 1 oz. Fruitations Soda and Cocktail Syrup (Tangerine)
  • Splash Ginger Beer
  • Aromatic or Lemon Bitters



  • Moisten the inside of a rocks glass with the orange zest
  • Add ice
  • Let cool
  • In a Boston Shaker add:
  • The Fruitations Syrup
  • The Mezcal
  • Cap and Shake hard to combine
  • Double Strain over the ice filled rocks glass
  • Splash of Ginger Beer
  • Dot with Lemon Bitters
  • Spray the lime wedge over the top
  • Serve with a smile

The next drink was my own take on the classic Old Fashioned, and it departs from the classic in one very determined way.  I chose to roast several different kinds of oranges in a bath of both Balsamic vinegar and Demerara sugar until caramelized and bubby- about 2.5 hours at 350 degrees covered.  The final ½ hour is uncovered to add a bit of darkness to the softly cooked fruits.  I then roasted some Luxardo cherries until warmed through and quite soft- about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Set to cool so you won’t break your expensive crystal with sizzling hot fruit, pricy whiskey and ice!


Not your typical Old Fashioned


  • 2 tablespoons or so of the oven roasted citrus and cherries
  • 2 oz. Barrell Bourbon Whiskey- I used unreleased batch #012
  • bitters of your choice


  • Muddle the roasted fruit
  • Add the whiskey
  • Stir gently
  • Dot with bitters
  • Serve

The final drink was the easiest to duplicate because once you are able to buy a good quality Absinthe, you’ll be more than ½ way there.  Any of the fine Absinthes made by Jade would work beautifully, as would the Lucid line.  There is one thing that I must stress.  The lack of color is far preferable to the ones with color added.  It’s just my preference.

 Just a Normal Louche


  • Jade Absinthe
  • Drizzle of iced water
  • Great Conversation


Release the chilled water from your Absinthe fountain slowly and gently into 2 oz. of Absinthe, sip and repeat until sated


 Barrell Bourbon and Barrell Whiskey are a great choice for any cocktail. Being cask strength, the distinctive profile of each batch stands up to even the boldest cocktail ingredients. Try it for a new twist on your favorite whiskey cocktail or enjoy one of the many cocktails created by Warren Bobrow with Barrell in mind.
The Manhattan: as transposed by Warren Bobrow
The Manhattan: as transposed by Warren Bobrow

The Manhattan: as transposed by Warren Bobrow


2 oz. Barrell Bourbon

1 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth- Essential

½ teaspoon Angostura Bitters  (sort of like the foundation for a pink gin)

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries


Add the Angostura to a Martini Glass and wash it around to coat all interior walls of the glass

Add one or two large cubes of ice

Add the Barrell Bourbon

Add the Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth


Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry on a bamboo cocktail skewer

Hamilton Avenue Milk Punch
Hamilton Avenue Milk Punch

Hamilton Avenue Milk Punch


2 oz. Barrell Bourbon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

6 oz. whole milk

1 oz. heavy cream


Mix all ingredients in a Boston Shaker with ¾ fill of ice

Shake hard

Pour into a two coupes

Alexander Hamilton's Dilemma
Alexander Hamilton’s Dilemma

Alexander Hamilton’s Dilemma


1.5 oz. Barrell Bourbon

4 oz. orange juice

4 dashes Angostura Bitters


Into a Collins Glass filled with ice

Add the Angostura

Add the Orange Juice

Add the Barrell Bourbon- Stir and serve

Society of Uniform Manufacturing
Society of Uniform Manufacturing

Society of Uniform Manufacturing


1.5 oz. Barrell Bourbon Whiskey

4 oz. Fresh Lemonade

4 Dashes Angostura Bitters

splash seltzer


To a Collins Glass Filled with ice:

Add the Lemonade

Pour the Barrell Bourbon over the top

Dash with Angostura

Add a splash of seltzer

Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution


1.5 oz. Barrell Bourbon

4 oz. Ginger Beer

Orange Bitters


Add the Ginger Beer to an Old Fashioned glass

Pour the Barrell Bourbon over the top, dash with bitters and serve