Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tokyo Iced Tea or Tokyo Tea

The story of the Tokyo Iced Tea is that after World War II, US soldiers stationed in Japan enjoyed this drink so much they had to attach an uncouth name to it. This is a layered cocktail and very lovely to look at. The green on the bottom is supposed to be the Tokyo river which supposedly turned green from the bombings. The ice and yellow of the pineapple juice is the city and its buildings, the diluted layer of tequila at top is the Tokyo smog, and the cherry garnish is the red Japan sun.
The drink is a misnomer because it does not resemble a long island iced tea at all. In a tall ice filled glass, add equal parts vodka and midori. splash of triple sec. pineapple juice. top with tequila.

Shirley Temple

This is a virgin cocktail and a HUGE sugar rush for kids.
ginger ale, splash of grenadine.

Red Devil

Another drink bartenders always get wrong.
Tall ice filled glass, add equal parts southern comfort and vodka. Splash of sloe gin and grenadine. Top with orange juice. Shake. garnish with a cherry. An Alabama Slammer is the same drink, except instead of sloe gin use amaretto.


The mojito is a wonderful drink when made right. It should not be served in the winter, no matter how delicious. It is a summer drink made with mint so fresh the room fills with its aroma, and limes, juicy and succulent. The mojito is strong, but sweet and refreshing.
This is a cocktail I struggled with for a long time. In fact, the entire time I worked at the Cubbyhole I never got it right. This recipe is for four mojitos because no ever orders just one. In mixing glass add 8 - 10 lime slices, four tablespoons sugar, pinch of mint. Muddle. This means to squish the lime so the juice is released and to bruise the mint. Don't obliterate the mint.
Add a little ice. top with white rum. shake, pour into four tall glasses. add soda. not sprite.
A nice alternative to the mojito is to add fruit flavors like mango and pomegranite. my facorite is to add fresh strawberries.

Mai Tai

Ask 20 bartenders how to make this drink and you will get 20 different recipes. My recipe is right.
In tall ice filled glass. 1 part light rum, splash of amaretto, splash of grenadine, almost top with pineapple juice. SHAKE. Top with a heavy splash of dark rum. Garnish with as much fruit as you can. THIS IS A LAYERED drink. And lovely to behold.

Lemonade Martini

I make all martinis based on fruits exactly the same way... based on the same formula. Appletinis, mango martini, strawberry martini, lemon drop, etc. When I teach people how to make these drinks I tell them that the best way to make a great tasting drink every time is to simply use lemon vodka, splash of sour, triple sec and lime juice; then add whatever fruit that drink requires. The exception being with the appletini which I instruct to add a splash of ginger ale as well.
When I make these cocktails, I do a little more leg work than my students, and the result is much more delicious. I muddle a quarter of a lemon, tablespoon of sugar, and a couple of lime slices. Top with ice, add vodka and cointreau, then add a splash of whatever fruit. (the same formula is excellent for making margaritas, but with the citrus reversed. Muddle a quarter lime, a couple of slices of lemon and a teaspoon of sugar.)
In the case of a lemonade, I add ice, then a part with water. Shake, then add a splash of sprite, and a heavy splash of soda.
For a Lemonade Martini, I rim the glass with sugar, put it in a cooler while assembling the drink. I use a good vodka and cointreau. If someone orders a lemondrop I make them this, and they always say it is the best lemon drop they have ever had.


A spicy and sweet cocktail, made with fresh ginger and strawberries.
In mixing glass, muddle 3-5 strawberries, tablespoons of shredded ginger. Add ice, splash of cointreau, equal parts lemon vodka and vodka. shake. pour over ice. top with ginger ale.

Crushed Apple Cider Martini

For some reason, the Appletini is a wildly popular drink in just about every bar in the country. They are a dark green color because the recipe calls for apple puckers which is artificially colored green. The drink is then garnished with of all things, a cherry. It makes no sense. Taste is okay, but overly sweet. If someone orders an Appletini from me, I like to add a little ginger ale to it. If gives the drink a nice flavor and some bubbles. This cocktail is NOT an Appletini. I like to make seasonal cocktails, so when October and November roll in apples are an obvious choice. Made from fresh apples, one sour and one sweet, the drinks color is a light yellow... not green. Who came up with green as a color for apple juice?
Slice into small pieces, quartered Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. Muddle in mixing glass with two slices of lemon, teaspoon of sugar, pinch of fresh ginger. Splash of cointreau, vodka, splash of lime juice. Shake over ice. splash of ginger ale. Pour into martini glass and garnish with an apple.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Watermelon Martini

I HATE sour mix. And it seems like most bartenders depend on it. A sweet, fruit based martini never requires sour mix. Further more, a fruit based cocktail should be dependent on the actual fruit it is based on for flavor and not based on puckers artificially flavored. YUCK!
In mixing glass, muddle two tablespoons watermelon and one lemon slice. Add ice, one part citron vodka, one part kettle one vodka, splash of cointreau, splash of pineapple juice. Shake, pour into martini glass. Garnish with watermelon.
This image shows an alternative to the Swedish Fish martini as a cocktail, the watermelon blueberry margarita, the Doctor Who, and the Watermelon Martini

Watermelon Blueberry Margarita

I like to offer seasonal drinks. Summer is not only a time of great fruit offerings but also a great opportunity to make really delicious and REFRESHING cocktails. This is no exception. Despite the fact that it is a margarita at heart, it is particularly refreshing due to the watery sweet awesomeness of watermelon.
In mixing glass, muddle 5-6 blueberries, two tablespoons watermelon, 5 lime slices, 2 lemon slices. Add ice, tequila and cointreau, shake vigorously, pour over ice and garnish with blueberries and water melon.
Somebody really liked their margarita.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


'cause everybody knows Cleopatra was a booze hound. The Cleopatra is delightful summer cocktail for the Vodka Martini drinker. It is a stiff cocktail, not for the faint at heart. It is flavorful but not too sweet. Ideal for someone that wants to taste more than just booze but also really, really, likes the taste of booze. Pictured here are the Doctor Who (green), the Purple Long Island Iced Tea, the Gummy Bear Martini (red), the White Chocolate Martini, and in center is the little Cleopatra.
in mixing glass muddle four strawberries, add ice, splash of St. Germain (elderflower), Grey Goose vodka, top with a small handful of mint. Shake vigorously. pour over ice in rocks glass. top with mint.

Swedish Fish

Riding on the success of the Gummy Bear cocktail, I devised a drink that really does taste like a Swedish Fish candy. This candy is much sweeter and more tart than a gummy bear and so too is the drink. Can be served on the rocks in a tall glass or as a martini.
in mixing glass, muddle a quarter lemon, some limes, dusting of sugar. add ice, equal parts citron vodka, vodka, raspberry vodka. splash lime juice, splash pineapple juice, blue curacao. shake. pour into chosen glass. add splash of sprite. garnish with fish.

Purple Long Island Iced Tea

Had a customer once ask, "I've had the blue long island, can you make it any other colors?" "I can make it any color you want," I replied. "okay! make me a purple one."
in tall, ice filled glass. Equal parts, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, blue curacao. splash of red grenadine, sour mix. shake. add sprite.

White Chocolate Martini

I've been to a couple of chain restaurants who've attempted this drink, but none of them really taste right. Mine is the best. I think if you are going to name something a lemonade it should taste like lemonade. That's why my gummy bear and swedish fish cocktails taste like the candies they are named for. Same goes for the white chocolate martini. This cocktail is creamy and sweet. And its fans are extremely loyal. I've had customers that only come to drink it. And they were willing to brave some very annoying nights at the Cubbyhole to get it.
Rim martini glass with Kahlua and dip into crumbled oreo cookies (no cream filling). Place glass in cooler. In mixing glass, equal parts citron vodka, Vanilla vodka, WHITE Creame de cocao and frangelico. Add ice. Top with heavy cream. Teaspoon of confectioners sugar. Shake vigorously. Pour into martini glass.

Kurticus (Lemonade)

De Lish US!!! My friend Kurt was the inspiration for this cocktail as he created and brought a very similar recipe to a picnic. I altered it a bit but paying homage to him it is named for him. First and foremost, this is a lemonade; made fresh and delicious. The recipe is in two parts, because this can be made virgin and still end up being delightful. Most bar tenders would simply add vodka to the lemonade to spike it, which is okay, but it isn't a Kurticus. And the Kurticus is MUCH better.
Lemonade: In mixing glass, muddle a half a lemon, a dusting of sugar, and three lime wedges. top with ice. Splash of roses lime juice, splash of pineapple juice. top with water. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice in rocks glass. Add heavy splash of soda water. Kurticus: In mixing glass, muddle a half a lemon, a dusting of sugar, and three lime wedges. top with ice. Splash of roses lime juice, splash of pineapple juice and a splash of water. top with rum and heavy splash of cointreau. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice in rocks glass, rimmed with sugar. Add heavy splash of soda water.

Gummy Bear Martini

The Gummy Bear tastes like a Gummy Bear. I used to just put a gummy bear in all random shots. The squeals of joy from people when they discover something from their childhood hiding in their drinks always make for a fun drinking experience. It was inevitable that I would create a drink around the gummy bear. The gummies also soak up some alcohol and expand, so they are especially tasty at the end of the drink.
In mixing glass, muddle lemons wedges and a dusting of sugar. Add ice. Equal parts lemon vodka and vodka. Splash of triple sec, lime juice and heavy splash of cranberry. Shake. Pour into martini glass. Garnish with three gummy bears.

Sea Mystery

The Sea Mystery is a savory cocktail of complex flavors. It spirit is cognac or brandy. I prefer Corvoisier. This recipe hides cognac's kick and creates a smooth ride. It almost tastes like red sangria, but is not made with wine.
In mixing glass, muddle strawberries and lemon. Splash of sweet vermouth, heavy splash of pomegranite juice, add ice, top with cognac. Shake vigorously. pour into Martini Glass or serve on the rocks. Lemon twist garnish.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Doctor Who

So here it is the Doctor Who. My most successful signature drink. It's a great name and fun cocktail. People absolutely love it. It is a bit sweet, but a great flavor combination of coconut and pineapple. It is a sweet drink but it isn't too weak. A happy safe medium. Also, the color is extraordinary. I know, I know, it's not BLUE. My next Doctor Who homage will be blue. I like to put glow sticks in this drink from time to time.
Here are customers enjoying Doctor Who shots and it as a cocktail.
Recipe: equal parts malibu and midori, 1 part bacardi rum, a heavy splash of blue curacao, 2 parts pineapple juice. Shake, pour over ice. top with cherry.

Monday, September 3, 2012

So it is time to upload an assload of pictures. I have not updated, because frankly, doing so and coming here is too depressing. A jolting reminder of my loss. I have taken a few photos since December 2010, some I like enough to share, so here they are:
This is Alaska, and it is always pretty. These photos are from August 2000. I don't have a good place to put them so I'm putting them in this post.
Don't know when this eclipse happened, but it was sometime around January, 2011.
Tanya made this sign and posted the picture of Gandalf with the collage of pictures at the Cubbyhole behind the bar. A sweet gesture on her part. He was a fixture outside with his giant brick pushing skills with face. Always drew a crowd.
Meet Anna and Sugar. I thought the house was dog proof. Well, it probably is, but definitely not puppy proof. They were sweet and they shit everywhere, and I was not quite ready for the commotion after Gandalf's passing, but I was happy to foster them none the less.
Brooklyn, River Cafe:
This is Felix. Originally I called him Boo Radley, but Felix is better. I had an uncle named Felix, but I never met him so... FELIX. Possibly the sweetest, happiest, kissiest doggy ever.:
I called him Felix the Destroyer of My Christmas Cactus. A plant which I loved and reminded me of my old friend Rick Siar who gave it to me. I took care of his plants and cats simone and ariana while he was in rehab for crack addiction after he pawned my TV which I loaned him after a cute crackhead stole HIS TV. Rick is easily the best cook I have ever known. I met him at Warren Wilson after I was fired from security for looking at porn in the library after hours. My new job was in the kitchen with him, I loved it, and we became fast friends. Last time I saw Rick was in Florida around 2001.
Fourth of July, 2011. That's a trifle. Took it to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Met up with Eric and his boyfriend William, and some vegan girl I can'T think of her name right now, but she lives in Vermont. Eric bamboozled me out for a BBQ in the park. I threw a fit, and we went out and bought a grill so I could have meat. Lucas was there too, with his new but now also defunct boyfriend. I brought Felix and Eric brought August. They met for the first time and got along great.
August brought some happiness with a much needed family vacation. As usual was located at Hilton Head.
The highlight of my visit to Hilton Head was also painful. Been going to that island my entire life and I always spend an unrealistic amount of time in the water. Never been stung by a jelly fish, never known anyone to be stung by a jelly and I have only actually seen a jelly fish IN the water once or twice. This year however, I went in the water every day for five days and was stung each day. I really just couldn't believe that I would get stung every time. the last day I got stung my niece was in the water with me and got stung too. I had to carry her out screaming while i was being stung repeatedly on the foot. The ER doctor said that I definitely made the top 10 of worst jelly stings! Now that's an honor.
October brought more happiness and stability, my friend Eric moved in with me. This is just a funny picture to me. It won't mean anything to anyone else who happens to see it.
We soon hosted my annual pumpkin carving party. We all got a little too drunk to carve anything. The pumpkin harvest pretty much sucked anyway and I tried to find other things to carve such as gourds and watermelon.
Roommates - Eric, Salinas, and Felix
Matt and Charlie on Superbowl Sunday:
In March, Salinas got lost in St Vincents hospital next door. After several days of searching Eric got him back. He is covered in soot in these photos. My parents visited in March as well, so I went with them to, surprise, surprise, my favorite place on Earth, the American Museum of Natural History.
In April came Oscar the Turtle
May brought Spring and Dinner guests, bolognese and Chocolate Trifle
an impromptu rib dinner on the rooftop with eric, tony and kurt.
JUNE! another Hilton Head trip, but this time I came armed with Eric. We rented a red convertible. it was fun, we went to Savannah, bought a remote control flying shark, and did not see ONE jelly fish.
July and August brought more fun. Coney Island with Danny and Eric and a trip to Fire Island where Felix frolicked in the sand and sea. The Bronx Zoo too and all its wonderous sights.