Top Ten Cocktails Drunk at Chez Mordo, 2012
We drink cocktails every evening at Chez Mordo (my house). I like to try as many different cocktail recipes as I can reasonably afford the ingredients for. There are several that stand out and have become favorites of mine and Fra Mordo’s. Some are highballs, some are cocktails. Listed in order of frequency and quantity consumed.
1. Gin and Tonic
Old reliable, never fails to refresh. Typical house gin is either Beefeater or Citadelle, depending on which is on sale at Wine Source. House recipe begins with 2 oz. gin in a 12 oz glass filled with ice. Big squeeze of lime wedge, top up with tonic, usually 365 brand or Canada Dry. Good for what ails the body and mind.
2. Rye and Limonata
I’m a big fan of rye from all sorts of distillers but the house brand is Pikesville. I make this in the same proportions as a G&T with a big squeeze of lemon wedge, top up with San Pellegrino Limonata. So tasty, so simple!
3. Richmond Gimlet
This is a recipe from one of my favorite blogging bartenders, Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This is a summertime favorite at Chez Mordo when the mint patch threatens to overtake the front yard. 2 oz. gin, 1 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice, a handful of fresh spearmint leaves. Shake hard with plenty of ice so that the mint is a bit shredded and makes a nice confetti when you strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. God damn it, that’s a fine cocktail!
As much a ritual as it is a refreshment, I like a standard recipe of 2 oz. rye, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, one dash of Angostura bitters. Stir with ice for about 30 seconds, strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry. Bulleit 95 Small-Batch Rye has become my go-to rye for a Manhattan but Pikesville rye makes a fine drink too.
This is such a delightful cocktail, the only thing that keeps it from being my most-favored is how pricey Chartreuse is. 1.5 oz. cognac, .75 oz. Chartreuse, .5 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, one dash orange bitters. Stir with plenty of ice for at least 30 seconds, strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel. Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées!
6. Greenpoint Cocktail
This lovely variation on a Manhattan is best enjoyed with a high-proof rye whiskey like Rittenhouse or Wild Turkey 101. 2 oz. rye, .5 oz. Chartreuse, .5 oz. Punt e Mes vermouth. Stir with plenty of ice for 30 seconds, strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
7. French Gimlet
St-Germain is fascinating liqueur; its flavors are a challenge to combine with many spirits. The French gimlet is, to my palate, the most successful use of St-Germain, especially with Hendrick’s gin. 2 oz. gin, 1 oz. St-Germain, .5 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice. Shake with plenty of ice and strain into a chilled 4oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lime peel. Enjoy and “consult your mirror and evince your best gimlet-eyed stare.”
8. Casino Cocktail
This drink made a late run in 2012 for a spot on this list. Most recipes call for Old Tom gin but I find a London dry to be more than serviceable. Luxardo Maraschino is such a fascinating liqueur and the Casino plays it well. 2 oz. gin, .75 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, .5 oz. Maraschino liqueur, one dash orange bitters. Shake gently and strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo or other quality cherry.
9. Toronto Cocktail
The Toronto takes advantage of unique flavors of Fernet Branca amaro in yet another variation on the Manhattan from our brethren in Canadia. 2 oz. Canadian whiskey or rye, .25 oz. Fernet Branca, .25 oz. simple syrup, two dashes Angostura bitters. Stir with plenty of ice for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel. Frisky!
10. Diamondback Cocktail
This recipe was also a late-2012 discovery, otherwise it might have been enjoyed more frequently at Chez Mordo. Created at the Diamondback Lounge in the late Lord Baltimore hotel. 2 oz. rye, .5 oz applejack or other apple brandy, .5 oz. yellow Chartreuse. Stir with plenty of ice for 30 seconds, strain into a chilled 4 oz. cocktail glass. Cheers, hon!
Enjoy these fine drinks responsibly and as ever, drink them while they’re still laughing at you.