Mr. Boston is Back! The Classic Guide Reborn Online

The first bartending book I ever owned was the 50th Anniversary Edition of Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. It was published in 1984, back when the brand was still owned by the Glenmore Distillery. If memory serves, I picked up at B. Dalton Booksellers on the bargain table a few years after that.

I didn’t know anything about cocktails or mixing drinks. And truth be told, this book didn’t teach me much about it either. I’d never heard of half the things in it and certainly didn’t have the money to buy any  of the products and experiment. The recipes were a little strange as well. But I still found it fascinating to flip though, and kept it on my shelf for many years. (It’s still sitting there.)

Now the fine folks at Sazerac — the current owners of the name — have put Mr. Boston’s guide on the web for us to play with. Not only does it have all the recipes, but information on tools, techniques, and other goodies. I’ve started playing with it and it’s a fun website. It’s especially cool that you can compared how the recipes for the drinks have evolve over the years.

The recipes aren’t definitive, in my opinion. But they’re still worth looking at and exploring.

Visit it at Mr. Boston Drinks.

mr boston cocktail recipe book


Sale on “Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde”

In celebration of the release of my latest ebook, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More, I’m running a sale on my first ebook.

For the next 2 days (starting right now, Sunday 12/8/2013), Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink is available for only 99¢. After that, the price goes up to $1.99 for 2 days, and then returns to full price. So don’t miss your chance! The reviews have been great and I think it’s a lot of fun.

If you prefer a print edition, there’s also one of those available for Zombie Horde. But it costs more.

For the complete descriptions and links to the various versions, visit Professor Cocktail’s books.

Professor Cocktail's Zombie HordeProfessor Cocktails Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More

Cocktails Drink Recipes

Some Holiday Cocktails to Try

The bars are closed on Christmas, but that doesn't mean a festive cocktail wouldn't hit the spot. You just have to mix it up yourself. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Highball Holiday hiro cocktail 
Carte blanche  Gin peppermint fling

Whiskey Highball

2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
Lemon-Lime Soda or Ginger Ale
4 Dashes of Aromatic or Angostura Bitters

Build over ice in an old-fashioned or highball glass, depending on how much mixer you want. The bitters give it a nice Christmas-spice taste that I find festive and delicious.

Holiday Hiro Cocktail

One part Hiro Sake Red (Junmai)
One part Spiced Rum
One part Apple Cider
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Combine equal parts sake, rum and apple cider. Either heat together in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Carte Blanche

1 1/4 oz Crown Royal Maple Whiskey
1/3 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cozy Christmas Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Amaretto
1 oz The Perfect Purée Coconut Puree, thawed
4 oz Hot Chocolate

Combine ingredients into a mug. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve hot.

Gin Peppermint Fling

2 oz Citadelle Gin
1 oz Heavy Cream
1/2 Egg White
2 oz Peppermint Simple Syrup (see below)

In a shaker, build cocktail in order of ingredients listed. Dry shake (without ice) vigorously until egg white becomes frothy and heavy cream is incorporated. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled, peppermint-rimmed cocktail glass.

Peppermint Simple Syrup

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Water
10 large Red/White Peppermint Candy Canes

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Dissolve sugar and candies on medium heat, stirring continuously. After sugar and candy has dissolved, heat the syrup to just short of boiling, until it begins to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.

Peppermint Garnish

Red/White Peppermint Candy Canes
Peppermint Simple Syrup

Crush candy canes and place on a flat plate. Moisten the edge of the cocktail glass with the peppermint syrup. Dip the edge of the martini glass into the crushed candies and allow rim to dry for one minute.

Cocktails Drink Recipes

Christmas Party Cocktail Recipes

Here are the recipes for the specialty cocktails we served at our Christmas party. They all seemed popular with our guests.

Poinsettia Punch
Adapted from a recipe by Frank Cisneros, Gin Palace in NYC

1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 tsp. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Spiced Pear Margarita
Adapted from a recipe by Piero Rodriguez, Zengo in Washington, DC

3/4 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Pear Liqueur
1 1/2 Spiced Pear Puree
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

Spiced Pear Puree

2 whole pears peeled and diced
1 quart of water
Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to taste

Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Blend all ingredients and strain. Cool before use.

Grand Cherry Tiki
Adapted from a recipe by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru 

1 1/2 oz Grand Marnier Cherry
3/4 oz Lime
3/4 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
2 Dashes Angostura or Tiki  Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a maraschino cherry.

Maui Mai Tai

1 1/2 oz Gold Rum
1/2 oz Orange Curaçao
3/4 oz Orgeat 
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with crushed ice, then pour (unstrained) into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Christmas cocktail


Christmas Party Cocktail Menu

Here's the drinks menu from our big Christmas party last weekend. The most popular were the Spiced Pear Margarita and Grand Cherry Tiki. The only one I had was a Poinsettia Punch, and it was delicious. I'll share the recipes later this week.



Tom and Jerry
19th-century variation on Egg Nog, served warm.
Dark Rum, Eggs, Milk

Buttered Rum
Sounds gross, but is quite
Sugar, Butter, Bitters

Pear Margarita
Pear and spice, tastes real
Pear Liqueur, Spiced Pear, Lime, Sugar

An autumnal twist on the
Cointreau, Lemon

Poinsettia Punch
vibrant cocktail inspired by the holidays.
Lemon, Cinnamon, Grenadine, Allspice Dram

Beloved by Wisconsinites around
the world.
Sugar, Bitters, Orange, Cherry

Cherry Tiki
The delicious flavors of the
Marnier Cherry, Lime, Orgeat, Pineapple

Mai Tai
A Hawaiian spin on the Mai Tai.
Rum, Curaçao, Pineapple,
Orange, Orgeat

Apple Cosmopolitan
Also available in caramel.
Apple Vodka, Licor 43, Cranberry, Lime

Always Available
Manhattan, Martini, Mai Tai, Assorted Highballs

J. Montgomery, Proprietor

Cheat Sheet Links

The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall.” –Charles Bukowski

Professor Cocktail

Cheat Sheet Links

The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

"The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude." –James Joyce

That's it for now. If you have any suggestions for next week's round-up, please let me know.

Cheat Sheet Links

The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“When you stop drinking, you have to deal with this marvelous personality that started you drinking in the first place.” –Jimmy Breslin

  • In the New York Times, Robert Simonson takes a Tiki tour around the greater New York area.
  • More from Robert Simonson, also in the Times: some classic cocktails don't deserve to be rediscovered, as this panel discussion related.
  • Also in the Times, the great Mark Bittman lists twelve summer cocktails that actually taste like booze.
  • Wayne Curtis wanted to have part of an iceberg sent to Manhattan. Turns out it was a lot harder than he anticipated.
  • In the Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Rothbaum reports on the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which took place over the past several days.
  • More from Rebecca Rothbaum, also in the Journal: cocktail nerds are visiting a Brooklyn bar for the chance to mix drinks in a cocktail shaker once owned by Charles H. Baker Jr.
  • In Forbes Magazine, Steven Bertoni does a tequila tasting with John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire founder of Patrón Tequila. (There's a short article, but most of it is a video.)
  • For ABC News, Nick Watt discovers the gin revolution and the return of the Martini. (Article plus video.)
  • In the Kansas City Star, Anne Brockoff writes about the growing popularity of shrubs, drinking vinegars that are usually made from various types of fruit.
  • Good news! There are some new videos up on The Small Spirit: Robert Hess shows you how to make a Blood and Sand and an Attention.
  • Inc. Magazine interviews "rising tequila stars" Moy Guindi and Danny Schneeweiss of Milagro.
  • In the Austin American-Statesman, Emma Janzen takes a comprehensive look at what's happening in tequila today.
  • On CLASS Magazine, Simon Difford and Ian Cameron round up 5 hazelnut liqueurs. They give top marks to category leader Frangelico.
  • Also in CLASS Magazine, Camper English visits Washington, D.C. and reports back on four bars to visit. The only one I've been to is the Columbia Room and I highly recommend it.
  • Writing for the Reuters wire, Kara Newman talks about Dawa, Nairobi's "medicinal" cocktail.
  • More from Kara Newman, also on Reuters: a trip to Chile to sample some pisco, the traditional South American brandy.
  • More pisco news: in The Oregonian, Paul Clarke discusses the spirit's status as the perennial "next big thing."
  • On Serious Eats, Will Gordon tries Gosling's pre-made Dark 'n Stormy drink. He gives it the thumbs-up, although wonders how necessary it is. My reaction was pretty much the same.
  • In Details Magazine, Christopher Ross says that he's finally found the first good cocktail app: Bartender's Choice. I'm going to have to give it a try.
  • On the Whiskey Advocate blog, Mike Miyamoto, master distiller for Suntory, explains Hakusku Japanese whisky.
  • The Huffington Post offers up recipes for 10 easy Champagne Cocktails, courtesy of Saveur Magazine.
  • Also in the Huffington Post, Tony Sachs suggests a dozen aged tequilas to sip. I haven't tried most of these, but this looks like a really good list.
  • On Food Republic, Emily Saladino rounds up the 8 best airlines for drinking. "Hands down, the best airline drinking is on Virgin Atlantic."
  • Bacardi has triumphed over Pernod Ricard in their fight to use the Havana Club name in the United States. As a result, Pernod registered a new brand name for the U.S. market, Havanista, in hopes of one day selling Cuban rum here.
  • The AP reports that Maker's Mark has won a court case protecting its exclusive use of the wax seal on its bottles.


Cheat Sheet Links

The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.” –-Mark Twain

  • In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson writes about Buffalo Trace Distillery's Single Oak Project. As I mentioned before, I find this fascinating.
  • Also in the Washington Post, more from Jason Wilson: the James Hotel (New York and Chicago) has an "in-room mixology experience," where they'll send up a tray full of tools and mixers to go with the booze in the mini-fridge. That way, you can mix real drinks with quality ingredients.
  • Also in the Washington Post, Paul Abercrombie visits France's Cognac country and finds a lot to drink in.
  • In the San Francisco Chronicle, Gary Regan writes about a new drink: a whiskey Cherry Cobbler, made with rye whiskey and ruby port. Sounds tasty!
  • In the Chicago Tribune, Zak Stambor has good things to say about Redbreast Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey.
  • In Arrive Magazine, Kara Newman writes about moonshine. I haven't tried any 'shine yet. I suppose I should. I do, after all, live in Virginia.
  • On, Larry Olmstead has a three-part series on gin. Part 1 covers gin and the classic cocktail renaissance. Part 2 discusses London Gins. Part 3 features the original Martini gin and a distillery tour.
  • Also from Kara Newman, a report for Reuters on the spirits scene in Glasgow — it's not just Scotch.
  • In the National Post (Tortonto), Margaret Swayne visits Guyana, home of Demerara rum. (The El Dorado 12 Year Old is one of my favorites.)
  • In Details Magazine, Christopher Ross writes about the mash-up between Tiki drinks and amaro. Yes, please.
  • In New York Magazine, Matthew Latkiewicz tells you everything you need to know about carbonated cocktails.
  • In the New York Post, Max Gross writes about the Asian influences showing up in New York City cocktails.
  • In the New York Daily News, a pair of cocktail recipes from Audrey Sanders and Jim Meehan: the French Pearl and the Strawberry Rhubarb Daiquiri.
  • CLASS Magazine rounds up 6 top vanilla liqueurs. Their favorite is Navan from Grand Marnier. (I believe this is no longer produced.)
  • Also in CLASS, Ian Cameron writes about Ian Burrell, the Ambassador of Rum.
  • On, Jacques Bezuidenhout shows you how to make a Margarita, Paloma and Spiced Old Fashioned.
  • There's a new entry in Serious Eats guide to various spirits — this time the subject is mezcal.
  • Also on Serious Eats: Maggie Hoffman suggests 5 silver tequilas you should try. (I haven't tried any of these! We did our own tequila taste test a while back.)
  • The Denver Post visits Adrift, a new Tiki bar in the Mile High City, and gives it the thumbs up.
  • Las Vegas Weekly reports on the success of Tito Beveridge and his Tito's Handmade Vodka.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Beam is booming, with first quarter sales up by 13%.
  • The 2012 World Beer Cup was held recently and the winners have been announced.


Cheat Sheet Links

The Cheat Sheet: The Professor’s Guide to the Best Cocktail and Spirits Links

"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off." –Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler)