The Scoff-law Cocktail

The word “Scofflaw” has come to mean “A person who flouts the law, especially an unsustainable one.” But such was not always the case. It was in 1923, when Delcevare King, a member of the Anti-Saloon League, posed a contest to create a new word in order to combat the continued drinking which was going on during American Prohibition. The new word was to be one “which best expresses the idea of a lawless drinker, menace, scoffer, bad citizen, or whatnot, with the biting power of ‘scab’ or ‘slacker.'” The $200 prize elicited a huge response. On January 16th, 1924, the Boston Herald announced the winning word as “scofflaw”, with the winnings shared by the two Boston area residents, Henry Irving Dale and Kate L. Butler, who both submitted it. This was not the end of the story however, in just a little over a week, a salvo was launched from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where they created a new drink and christened it the “Scofflaw”.

I have three recipes. One is from Ted Haigh by way of Imbibe Magazine.

The Scofflaw Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. grenadine

Combine with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

One is from Robert Hess.


  • 1 oz Canadian Club Whisky
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • dash grenadine
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

Mr. Hess notes that he has a recipe in a book by the owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where the drink originated. That recipe is also the one printed at CocktailDB, as follows.


  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1/3 Canadian Club Whisky
  • 1/3 Dry Martini vermouth
  • 1/6 lemon juice
  • 1/6 grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

A fourth arrived today from Gary Regan.


  • 2 oz Bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 oz Dry vermouth
  • .25 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Grenadine
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • Glass: Cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Try them all in celebration of Repeal Day.

Grandmother’s Lemonade

The hot days of Summer call for a cool drink, shade, and a lazy breeze through the apple trees. If my taste memory serves, this is Grandmother’s Lemonade.

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. lemon juice
  • 2 qt. minus 1 c. water

Cover the bottom of a half-gallon glass Tropicana Orange Juice bottle with sugar. Squeeze lemons until the sugar is covered and begins to melt. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add water and ice to fill the remainder, about two quarts.

Margarita, Won’t You Come to My Party?

For those interested in the recipe for the gallon of Margaritas which was consumed at my party yesterday, I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe from A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon. Below are the details on which tequila and triple sec were involved in this concoction.

A Gallon o’ Margaritas

Pour each ingredient in a gallon jug, then shake and refrigerate. To serve, wet the glass then roll in salt so that the outside rim is coated, then pour the Margarita over ice.

Bloody Mary is the … Girl I Love

Happy 3rd Birthday, No. 2 Son! Soon we’ll have the family over for a party in your honor, and they’ll be drinking some stuff you can’t, yet.

It must be my upbringing, but when I think of the Bloody Mary, I don’t think of the drink: I think of South Pacific.

So, what shall we have? Shall it be the recipe from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris? The one given by Ernest Hemingway? Some fancy concoction from the Employees Only cookbook? Or a variation using their common base: vodka, tomato, and citrus?

Harry’s Bloody Mary

In shaker or directly in large tumbler: ice, 6 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, 3 dashes of Tabasco, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, juice of ½ lemon, 2 ounces of vodka, fill remainder of glass with top-quality tomato juice, and above all no celery salt.Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails

Hemingway’s Bloody Mary

To make a pitcher of Bloody Marys (any smaller amount is worthless) take a good sized pitcher and put in it as big a lump of ice as it will hold. (This is to prevent too rapid melting and watering of our product.) Mix a pint of good russian vodka and an equal amount of chilled tomato juice. Add a table spoon full of Worcester Sauce. Lea and Perrins is usual but can use A1 or any good beef-steak sauce. Stirr. (with two rs) Then add a jigger of fresh squeezed lime juice. Stirr. Then add small amounts of celery salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper. Keep on stirring and taste it to see how it is doing. If you get it too powerful weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority add more vodka. Some people like more lime than others. For combatting a really terrific hangover increase the amount of Worcester sauce – but don’t lose the lovely color. Keep drinking it yourself to see how it is doing. I introduced this drink to Hong Kong in 1941 and believe it did more than any other single factor except perhaps the Japanese Army to precipitate the fall of that Crown Colony. After you get the hang of it you can mix it so it will taste as though it had absolutely no alcohol of any kind in it and a glass of it will still have as much kick as a really good big martini. Whole trick is to keep it very cold and not let the ice water it down.Ernest Hemingway – Selected Letters, 1917-1961, from a letter to Bernard Peyton, April 5, 1947

Bloddy [sic] Mary

The name is intentionally misspelled because I seem to be unable to type two O’s in a row. In the jargon of my trade, it’s a Blod^Hody Mary.

Last night I dreamt that my grandfather on my mother’s side was about to reveal his secret recipe for a Bloody Mary, and then I woke. It would be a secret because, as far as I know, he did not drink. The recipe that follows is closer to Hemingway’s than to his.

Chill a pitcher, then fill halfway full with ice. Cut two whole tomatoes into large pieces, then puree. This should make approximately a pint of tomato juice. Add to the pitcher. Add one pint of vodka. Stir. Add 1 3/4 oz. lemon juice. Stir. Add 1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce. Stir. Add 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Stir. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir. Grind fresh pepper over the pitcher, about five turns of the grinder. Stir. Wait for your guests.

Serve in a rocks glass, or a highball if you have it. Garnish with fresh pepper and a lemon wedge.

Harvest Punch

We typically host Christmas Day dinner at our house, after my brother-in-law and his wife host the Feast of the Seven Fishes at his. Christmas Day is a more subdued affair, with fewer guests, and more flexibility in the menu. This year we had turkey, and this year I thought I’d serve a punch.

Finding a punch recipe was harder than I thought it would be. There are so many options, and so many of the options require liqueurs and other ingredients that I don’t yet have in my cabinet. Some I considered were Philadelphia Fish House Punch, Garrick Club Punch, Planter’s Punch, Chatham Artillery Punch, and those in this month’s issue of Imbibe Magazine. I settled on this Harvest Punch from Mutineer Magazine. The picture is pretty.

The spirits in the recipe are the fine products of Philadelphia Distilling: Bluecoat Gin and Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure. Unfortunately, none of the shops around sells Vieux Carré, and the absinthe varieties they do have seem to insist on using artificial food colorings. I should have decided earlier; I could have ordered by mail. Fortunately, a nearby shop does sell Bluecoat Gin.

As a result of the lack of absinthe I substituted Romana Sambuca. The punch lost, I’m sure, some complexity, but I wouldn’t know: I’ve not had absinthe. I also left out the cranberry bitters.

I’ve reduced this to serve the eight adults at our Christmas dinner, and still had a quart left over. This recipe can be prepared in the punch bowl or in a mixing bowl beforehand. I used a mixing bowl. I did find that the cranberry in the punch is quite strong, and mellows substantially if it rests overnight.

Harvest Punch

  • 375 ml Bluecoat Gin
  • 4 oz Romana Sambuca
  • 4 oz lemon juice
  • 8 oz cranberry juice
  • 20 oz apple cider
  • 6 toasted cardamom pods
  • 2 toasted star anise
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 16 oz. sparkling water
  • 5 dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry bitters
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Mint sprigs
  • Orange wheels
  • 6 oz. cranberries

Freeze a thin layer of water and cranberries in a bundt pan, filling about a quarter of the pan.

Toast the cardamom pods and star anise over a medium flame. While waiting for them to toast, squeeze the lemons. In a larger mixing bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon juice until dissolved. Add the gin and sambuca, mix until thoroughly combined with the lemon juice and sugar, then add the remaining ingredients, save the sparkling water and the garnish. Stir well.

At this point you may wish to sample the punch to see if needs adjustment. Bear in mind that the punch will be diluted later by sparkling water and ice. I increased the apple cider ration from 16 oz. to 20 oz. to cut the bitterness of the cranberries.

Combine with sparkling water over ice in a punch bowl. Garnish with cranberries, orange wheels, and mint.

Honeycrisp Apple

The recipe below is from Gotham Bar & Grill, by way of Tuthilltown Spirits. I substituted Harvest Spirits’s Core Vodka and Cornelius Applejack instead of Tuthilltown’s Heart of the Hudson vodka and Busnel Calvados.

I don’t need a quart of spiced syrup, and so adjusted the recipe a bit.

  • 1 c. simple syrup
  • 4 cloves
  • a pinch of fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail

Recipe courtesy of Gotham Bar & Grill

  • 1.5 oz. Heart of the Hudson apple vodka
  • 0.75 oz. Busnel Calvados
  • 0.5 oz. spiced simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an apple chip.

  • 1 qt simple syrup
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 1 whole piece star anise
  • 1 whole piece nutmeg, crushed

Add spices to simple syrup. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain spices from syrup through cheesecloth. Refrigerate syrup.

The Wise Sage

James Frederic Rose, of the Temple Bar, New York, has come up with a tasty way to drain one’s bottle of Harvest Spirits‘s Core Vodka. I have misplaced my camera, so you’ll have to do with the distiller’s picture. The recipe below serves two.

Wise Sage

Wise Sage Muddle 6 fresh sage leaves, 4 slices of fresh apple, 2 ounce lemon juice, and 3 teaspoons of fine sugar. Add 4 ounces of Core Vodka. Shake with ice and strain in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with slice of apple.

Johnny Chapman

It’s a real pleasure to have friends over for dinner and cocktails. Last night was just such an occasion. I prepared a short cocktail menu of seasonal drinks that I wanted to try. One used Harvest Spirits Core vodka, another was the Gin Basil Smash described previously, and the third used Harvest Spirits Cornelius applejack: the Johnny Chapman. This proved to be a popular selection.

Johnny Chapman

Build over ice in a Mason jar.

  • 2 oz. Cornelius Applejack
  • 4 oz. fresh apple cider
  • squeeze one lemon wedge
  • top with soda water
  • garnish with a wedge each of apple and lemon

Note: the recipe is from a product description card provided by the distillery.

Gin Basil Smash

Back when I wrote about mixing my wife’s pesto with gin, the Internet didn’t offer up any suggestions of what do with the pesto. Shortly afterward, however, I ran across this video of a Gin Basil Smash, which provided an idea of what to do the next time I have some fresh basil.

I was reminded of this today when I saw someone had come calling after looking for “gin and pesto,” and, more amusingly, saw that my post was the first result in Google for that search, while a few below was Jörg Meyer’s original description of his Gin Basil Smash, which he called Gin Pesto. I can’t read the German, but Google Translate helps — some. One can watch Jörg Meyer make it, if you’d like, in this nice video by Jay Hepburn.

(And, since it’s just a shame that a borrowed item is the top search result for Gin Basil Smash, here’s a link to the Mixology magazine article that was — how shall we say? — borrowed: Gin Basil Smash.)

I have some basil. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll see what this is made of.

Not a Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade

Some friends of ours had us over for dinner last night, and, having heard of my hobby, asked me to come up with something to drink. The guideline was simple — “We like Malibu” — so I spent some time among the recipes on the Malibu Rum website. The Malibu Limbo Lady looked interesting, but I have none of the ingredients. I do have what it takes to mix this Malibu St. Lawrence Lemonade, but I didn’t want to use Sprite.

Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade

The Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade is a fresh and sweet mix of mint, lemon, and coconut.


  • ½ part Malibu®
  • ½ part Absolut® Vodka
  • 3 parts Lemon-Lime Soda
  • 2 sprigs of mint


Fill a tall glass with fresh cubed ice. Smack 2 sprigs of mint between fingers to bruise them and place them in the glass. Pour in Malibu®, Absolut® and lemon-lime soda. Stir vigorously to infuse the mint.

But that’s not what I mixed.

Sometimes one simply needs an idea of what tastes might go well together. I’m not familiar with Malibu, except to know that it’s a coconut-flavored rum. Here’s what I prepared, for two. For this I used a thick, somewhat stubby glass; I’m not sure of its name.

St. Lawrence Lemonade?

  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice (one lemon)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice (one lime)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 oz. Malibu Rum
  • 1 oz. Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 6 oz. Apollinaris mineral water

Place one sprig of mint in each glass and fill with ice. In a mixing glass, combine the lemon, lime, sugar, rum, and gin. Shake with ice, and strain half into each glass. Top with mineral water, and stir. Smack the remaining mint springs and garnish.

Why is it called a St. Lawrence Lemonade?


D and the children planted a nice garden this year in Gram’s front yard: tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn, watermelon, butternut squash, zucchini, and cucumber. We took our first batch of zucchini and cucumber off the vines the weekend of July 17th, and are coming up with some new dishes to eat.

I just happen to have a gin here that claims to taste of cucumber: Hendrick’s. And it does taste of cucumber, if you put a cucumber in the glass with the gin.

First up in the mixing cup was Hendrick’s twist on the martini.

Cucumber Martini

  • 2 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
  • 1/2 part dry vermouth
  • cucumber slice

Stir Hendrick’s Gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Finish with a cucumber garnish.

Then in “Ginning Things Up,” Imbibe Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2009), I ran across mention of the Eastside, a variation on the Southside which adds cucumber.

The Eastside

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • Ice cubes
  • Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: thin slice of cucumber

Using a muddler, lightly crush cucumber and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add liquid ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Float garnish on top of drink.

And the Poughkeepsie Journal just happened to publish a recipe syndicated from McClatchy-Tribune: the Capulet Collins. This is basically the same as the Eastside, but in a Collins glass filled with ice and seltzer water.

Capulet Collins

Mixologist Toby Maloney prefers to make this cocktail with Hendrick’s gin, which has a crisp, cucumberlike flavor note.

  • 3 slices cucumber, each 1/2-inch thick 1 tiny pinch salt
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 5 drops rose water, optional
  • Soda water

Muddle cucumber and salt thoroughly in cocktail shaker. Add 1 sprig of the mint. Bruise gently. Add remaining ingredients. Add ice. Shake. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with remaining mint sprig

A Martini

When anyone asks what I’m mixing up now, I say that I’m attempting to perfect my martini. I have a feeling that will hold true for some time.

I enjoyed a Three Olives martini, garnished with three olives stuffed with bleu cheese, at the Bonefish Grill, so the olives in my refrigerator are stuffed with bleu cheese. (Well, they say it’s bleu cheese, but I don’t see any blue on it.)

Tonight, though, my martini did not have an olive in it, nor did it have vodka.

Begin with a chilled glass. Wash the inside of the glass with Martini & Rossi extra dry vermouth. Stir two jiggers (3 oz.) of Beefeater gin with three cubes of ice, about a minute, then strain into the glass. Twist a lemon peel over the drink. Brush the edge of the glass with the peel, and add it (or discard if you prefer) to the drink.