Carousel Cocktail

A prohibition era style cocktail, the Carousel Cocktail is a modern riff on the oddly named Japalac Cocktail.  Japalac was an extremely popular tinted varnish from Glidden that was heavily advertised on billboards, in magazines, and on radio – so recognizable that it eventually ended up having a cocktail named after it, as was the…

The Phoenix Cooler

I came up with this cocktail at the request of that Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix.  At the time, we were planning a podcast for the Test Kitchen section of his wonderful site.  There was a kitschy recipe for a party platter that resembled a clown/circus theme that we were going to construct, and I…

A Nolet’s Vesper at The Big 4 restaurant and bar, San Francisco

During my 2014 winter holiday travels in the San Francisco Bay Area I made the trek to a few of the wonderful bars and lounges, both historic and new, that San Francisco has to offer. I remembered that my old friend Peter Mintun once played (for 16 years) at the famous L’Etoile restaurant and bar…

Classic Movie Cocktail Scenes: The Thin Man

Perhaps no other single film has done more for popularizing a single cocktail than the delightfully effervescent “Thin Man” film series (or ‘franchise’).  Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett, the first film in the franchise is an adaptation of his bestselling novel “The Thin Man,” first published in 1934 in the magazine Redbook.  The…

The Manhattan Cooler: A summery version of a cocktail classic

This is a cocktail I came up with for a cocktail competition a few years ago, and has proved to be popular at every party I’ve served it at.  A riff on the 19th century recipe that lead to the contemporary Manhattan, I utilize Pama Liqueur in place of the original Orange Curacao, and a…