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Nick Caruana

Nick Caruana

Lover of classic cocktails, whiskey, bitters and amari. Moonlighting as a cocktail blogger at The Straight Up (drinkstraightup.com).

  • Website
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Favorite foods: Besides cocktails, whiskey, bitters and amari? Love a good steak, tacos, tuna tartare, anything spicy.
  • Last bite on earth: A Boulevardier and a 16oz steak with a side of tacos.

Classic Drinks: The Chrysanthemum

Many new bars these days have a 'low proof' section of the menu, featuring cocktails that aren't spiked with whiskey, gin, rum, or other strong spirits. As trendy as these drinks may be, they're not new. The Crysanthemum, for example, is a concoction dating back before Prohibition. It's made with dry vermouth and herbal, honeyed Benedictine, flavored with a touch of anisey absinthe. More

Employees Only Martinez

Awesome! Glad you liked it. It's totally awesome even without the bitters, especially if you throw a little bit of something anise flavored like a dash of absinthe or chartreuse.

Darkside

@GaiaGoodness Natural Foods - Awesome. Hope you like it!

@I_Fortuna - I agree on all accounts. Love this drink!

5 Gin Drinks You Should Make This Spring

That sounds interesting and tasty. Thanks!

Irish Cocktail: A Classic Drink for St. Patrick's Day

Jim,

Definitely. I actually had thought about using Old Tom for The Dutch Alps. Barrel aged genever would also be pretty delicious.

Classic Drinks: If You Like Negronis, Try the Quill

@Arkham Razors - I definitely enjoyed your suggestion. Funny that there was a classic out there doing this as well!

@smprada - Good catch. It's the dyslexia, I swear.

Classic Drinks: The Old Pal and a New Friend

dorek,

While the classic is with Bourbon, I sometimes make it with rye as well. It's a bit less sweet. Some people call that version "1794."

Classic Drinks: The Old Pal and a New Friend

Francois, That is really interesting, thanks for the info. I think a few famous bar books were self published at the time, so it wouldn't be a stretch to think that the book really got going with publisher once he started back at the New York Bar.

As far as Ciro's, my understanding was that Harry worked at Ciro's in London, which was open in 1919. He obviously could have worked at the one in Deauville as well at a later date as you said.

It's also good to know for sure that according to your scan, the drink definitely is not in the 1922 edition.

Classic Drinks: The Old Pal and a New Friend

I was the same way for a long time. Boulevardier being my favorite cocktail, I kept trying Old Pal because I wanted to like it. I'd give it a go, "yep still hate it," then forget about it for a while. Eventually it started to grow on me. Hate turned to, eh it's ok, to this is not bad. Now I love it, especially when in the mood for something dry and bitter.

Meanwhile I've had a couple friends who certainly aren't that into cocktails absolutely love it first shot (these are few and far between though).

Classic Drinks: The Chrysanthemum

Nice. I'll have to check it out! Thanks!

The 6 Best Budget Ryes

@Hassouni, @Big Sugi, I second the Montgomery County stores for DC area folks. I can usually find Overholt for around $10 and Bulleit rye (and bourbon) for between 15-20 bucks.

Classic Drinks: Andrew Jackson and The Old Hickory Cocktail

It's definitely by far the oldest cocktail to use vermouth I've seen, making it a tough sell. But like many classics, it's hard to nail down what's true and just stuff of legend. Pure speculation, but being a French dominant area, could this style of vermouth been present in New Orleans during Jackson's time? I dunno. Even the author admits it's "according to hoary but unsubstantiated tradition." Either way it's a good story and a great drink.

Show and Tell: Your Home Bar

Awesome to see other people's stashes. Very impressive!

Sekkyo - I also have multiples of each of the "Pappy's" (#7). They are just buried a bit to keep them from being grabbed by unknowing friends for shots or coke, etc.

Ian Tuck - strong work!

Philmosk - No Comment ;)

A Guide to Defunct Cocktail Ingredients

Great post Dietsch!

Did you come across anything about Calisaya? It was "revived" a few years back, but seems to only be available in limited markets (luckily DC is one of them). It has a pretty cool history, related to the discovery of quinine for malaria. I featured it recently on my site, but couldn't find a lot as to when it disappeared and whether or not other folks are making it outside the US.

aphonik - that is awesome. You've got some great history there.

A Guide to Defunct Cocktail Ingredients

When you start looking through vintage cocktail books, one thing you'll quickly notice are the names of obscure ingredients. Now, some of these ingredients are still in production—you might have to hunt a while; you might even need to have a friend bring a bottle home from overseas. But others are truly defunct, no longer made. What did they taste like? How were they made? Here's our guide to a few bitters, liqueurs, and cordials that truly have disappeared...and a few that are being revived by upstart brands. More