MxMo: Brown, Bitter and Stirred

This post is coming to you today from Portland, Oregon-an entire city enamored of cocktails with a particular flair for all things brown, bitter and stirred. At the moment, I’m sitting at  Clyde Common drinking one such cocktail made artfully by my buddy, Jonny Ericsen. Next to me sits our first featured MxMo submitter and famed owner of multiple livers, Rocky Yeh of NW Vivant and his cocktail, Product Placement.

For those of you not familiar with Mr. Yeh, Rocky is a bartender at one of my favorite bars in the country, Vessel and represents a number of products including each of the ingredients in this tasty concoction. This particular iteration was deftly prepared by Daniel Shoemaker at Teardrop Lounge in Portland (Notice the teardrop cutout in the garnish? That’s fancy!). I was very fortunate to be present during the stirring of this particular drink and stole a sip of this very pleasing tipple.

But, of course, this was not the only drink ordered that round at Teardrop. On my other side was Allison Webber- founder of LUPEC PDX, bartender at both Irving Street Kitchen and 23 Hoyt and one of my favorite partners in crime. Her submission comes to us via Twitter and is called the Visiting Fiend. 

This cocktail was prepared by Brian Gilbert as per Allison’s instructions to basically put all of our favorite spirits (rye, Ramazzoti, Cynar and Carpano) in one glass. She really nailed the proportions.

Keeping in line with the Portland posts, our next submission comes from Jacob Grier- talented bartender, barista and Bols pusher. His cocktail, Mexican Train, sounds like it was submitted by Todd Richman- thanks to the heavy representation of Green Chartruese and Ilegal Mezcal in this take on the Tipperary. It also sounds irrefutably delicious.

Since we’re talking Tipperary, next up is Erik Ellestad who is currently examining a few versions of this classic over at his blog, Underhill Lounge. But, this post is all about MxMo and Erik’s submission, Eighteenth Cocktail, plays with his favorite bitter spirit, Gran Classico. I plan on ordering one of these the next time I catch Erik behind the bar at either Heaven’s Dog or Alembic (both in San Francisco).

Now, isn’t that a welcome image? This comes to us from the man who started it all, Paul Clarke. He borrows the baseline recipe for the Bitter Maestro from another San Franciscan bartender, Brooke Arthur of Prospect and softens it up a bit. But, c’mon Paul, who doesn’t want 140 proof rye at 9 am? 

Our next submission comes from Kenn at Cocktailia (who also runs a really great event called Cocktail Camp here in Portland). For our little roundup, Kenn examined the Vancouver cocktail- a favorite at Zig Zag in Seattle.

John, being the bastard he is, called me out on my Wednesday version of MxMo. Thanks, buddy. He did make The Boxcutter, which happens to be delicious, but that doesn’t make him any less of a bastard.

And to follow in the mean-towards-Lindsey-trend, SeanMike over at Scofflaw’s Den blamed a failed cocktail on me. His successful drink, though, sounds quite delicious, and is named after me. Redemption is yours.

Unlike the two previous, Chris Amirault is a nice guy. He also hosts a pretty badass site called eGullet. You can talk with other food and drink enthusiasts, get feedback on recipes and restaurants and generally be a well informed eater and drinker by participating over there. The members of eGullet posted some beautiful recipes and great pictures including one of Chris’ own that is made with just Fernet and Carpano Antica. You can see all of the posts here.

Thomas from Twin Fountain made us a Amer Square which is full of all kinds of bitter delights, but, I have to say, his nightcap recipe just might be my favorite.

This photo could only come from one blog, and no, it’s not Trader Tiki’s. Our bitter friend Ron Dolette from Lush Angeles (who I first met at Zig Zag) submitted the Daral Diablo full of rum and Fernet. Shocking choices from Ron. I mean, it’s like me ordering something brown, bitter and stirred…oh wait.

Now that Ron has me on rum, I can’t help but think of my buddy Jesse Card down in St. Croix and his cocktail, The Spirit Tree which takes a tropical look at classic cocktail ingredients like vermouth. 

And in an effort to make me want to hop on a plane to the Caribbean, Shawn from Rejiggered made a St. Croix complete with homemade Grapefruit Tea Bitters, pictured above.

Speaking of friends who live in exotic locations (and that I only get to see once a year), Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice created Sugarcane and Spice, which is full of rum and sweetness (not unlike Tiare!).

From one rum cocktail to the next, The Mixicologist offers up his brown, bitter and stirred creation- The Creole Lady Marmalade. This sounds like a perfect drink to remember the summer while bracing for fall.

Dennis Schafer wants to keep summer going with his cocktail, Barbossa’s Blood, which is full of more tasty rum. While he didn’t follow the rules exactly, this drink sounds too good to pass up.

Doug over at Pegu Blog reminds us all of a very important point: Old Fashioneds aren’t just for whiskey anymore. You can use a number of base spirits to make simple and amazing cocktails. Here, Doug recommends using rum.

Ed Otte from Wordsmithing Patagruel sends us two stunning takes on the Old Fashioned: The Dandelion & the Katana and Thierry’s Cognac Old Fashioned. I’ll gladly take one of each.

Nancy Mitchell looks at the Old Fashioned as well, but with a floral twist. Her Lavender Old Fashioned sounds equally elegant as it is tough- just like any good lady bartender.

Now that we’re on the topic of classics, let’s see what Kevin Gray- the curator of booze in Dallas- is drinking. He suggests you try The Boulevardier, which is one of my all time favorites. Good choice, Kevin! In fact, his choice was so good that Michael Dietsch from A Dash of Bitters seconded his nomination.

The grandfather of brown, bitter and stirred is up next with Carly’s take on the Manhattan named after her boyfriend’s father. Here’s Bill’s Manhattan.

Andy from Sybaritic Wanderings gives us his recipe for the Cerise Manhattan.

Everyone in the states officially has to stop complaining about product availability, because our buddy Pavel over at Science of Drink informs us on his post about Sazeracs (the cocktail of my dreams as well) that rye is completely unavailable in Ukraine! Pavel, buddy, we need to figure out a way to get you a few bottles!

The Speakista examines the Doral Cocktail after a night out in NYC and decides to substitute rum for tequila to create the La Emarga Tres. Sounds tasty.

Sticking with tequila, we move on to Chris Weigart’s submission over at Urbane Not Cosmopolitan. Tres Anos Despues is an aged riff on The Gibson’s La Manana Despues. I like how Chris attacks a hangover!

Alex over at Malty Puppy offers up not one but two cocktails using Fernet Branca. I love how he’s labeled one the extra bitter cocktail, but seriously, I’ll take both.

Felicia’s Speakeasy

Let’s keep this Fernet Train rolling with Amelia Sauter from Felicia’s Speakeasy. While Amelia isn’t a big fan of Fernet, she did her best to incorporate San Francisco’s favorite spirit in her submission, The Pipe Cleaner.

Chris aka DJ Hawaiian Shirt makes a play on a Manhattan by adding Fernet and Cherry Heering to make The Old Knoxville. And, while Amelia was using Fernet to clean her sink, Chris uses it to stain his linoleum floor, apparently. I can only imagine how black my stomach is!

More Fernet? Yes, please. Here is the Courting Ms. Eva from Mike McSorely. I love the roses and candlelight in the photo to set the mood, but Mike, don’t you know that you just need to bring the Fernet to court the ladies who read your blog? 

And because there’s no such thing as too much Fernet, my friends in Boston, Anthony Roldan and Andrew Rausch created The Beretta Cocktail. Check out their first video post over on Justice Kitchen with Andrew preparing this drink!

Another Bostonian, Frederick Yarm from Cocktail Virgin Slut, brings us the Fioupe Cocktail that he dredged up from The How and When from 1940.

Another (almost) Boston friend, David Delaney Jr., created "I’ve Seen Bitter Days" from his bar, The Citizen in Worchester, MA. This drink has it all: Laphroaig rinse, multiple bitters, Punt e Mes, rye, you name a mean bitter ingredient and it’s in there. Can’t wait to try this when I finally get to visit.

Rowan Leigh at Fogged In Lounge also incorporated Scotch into this lovely drink called The Brown Study. The Averna and Campari really sell this one for me.

Switching from Brown to Black, my long lost friend Josh Hoffman presents an old favorite from Death and Company, The Black Market Manhattan. I think the last time Josh and I hung out this was still on the menu. ZING!

Another Josh (Cole) takes us into the fall with The Smoked Apple Stomp. An apple a day…

Brandon Wicklund from The Real McCoy submitted one of my favorite drinks originally conceived by Guiseppe Gonzalez- the Trinidad Sour. This take is a little lighter on the Angostura, but sounds good to me.

Is the Manhattan too dark for you on summer days? David Dologite gives you a more summery alternative- The Easthampton Redux - packed with strawberry goodness.

The Fritz comes to us from Aaron Lam at The Manhattan Project with a heavy dose of Peychaud’s bitters and some gin.

Is your whiskey smokey enough for you? Why not try infusing Scotch with tobacco. That’s what Kate McGinlay from London Cocktail Guide did. Check out her cocktail here.

Dan Chadwick submitted the Bad Seed over at Kindred Cocktails- the only cocktail using Aquavit in the bunch.

Brevity is the soul of wit, but the Brevity Cocktail takes the soul of a Manhattan and paints it orange.


Over at A Drink with Forrest, Forrest posted Big Bitter Berries with the most diverse group of ingredients in the group.

We pulled Thomas over at House Cocktail out of his comfort zone by requiring a stirred drink, and the results were fantastic. He submitted the Milano Cocktail.

Iain Abernathy from Slow Cocktails added his entry, and even though it’s shaken and not stirred, we’re including it because he’s such a great guy.

So, I believe that’s it for this MxMo. Thanks for playing, and keep it brown, bitter and stirred, my friends.

PS: Did I miss your post? Email me and let me know. I’ll devote an entire post to you!

PPS: I apologize for the delay in posting. I had a few extension requests that I wanted to honor.

PPPS: By the end of this, Jonny had long since gone home (it was actually two days later) and I was back at Clyde where Jeffrey Morgenthaler graciously made me fruity rum based drinks. Do you see what you people have done?

PPPPS: I’m back to the bitter stuff. #ferneteret

09/04/10 at 6:26pm
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