The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I had the good fortune of spending some time with bartender Colin Field at the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz in Paris recently. We discussed many topics ranging from cocktails to shotguns, mostly cocktails. This is a calvados and champagne based concoction of his creation and is a great way to start a cold winter’s eve.

While this is a recent creation it comes from one of the all time classic cocktail birthing grounds and it has all the characteristics of a good cocktail.  It was created in 1994 by Colin at the Bar Hemingway.  Based on the name I am guessing it was somewhat of an accidental discovery, but that is purely conjecture on my part so let's move on to the best part.

There is just something about Calvados that calls out to be consumed in the late fall and winter, this is a perfectly balanced blend of flavors that will dance across your tongue. In deference to Colin’s unimpeachable credentials (and an already perfect cocktail) I am leaving the proportions just as he wrote it.  Begin with an old fashioned glass, add one and a quarter ounces of calvados, a teaspoon of sugar, and two sprigs of fresh mint, muddle.  Fill with ice and add one and three quarter ounces of apple juice, stir, and top with champagne (about three ounces).

1 ¼ oz calvados
1 ¾ oz apple juice
1 tsp sugar
2 springs of fresh mint
Place the first four ingredients in an ice filled old fashioned glass and stir. Fill with champagne.

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