The Perfect Storm on

This is my favorite beer cocktail of the moment.  Hitachino Nest White Ale is one of my favorite beers.  For starters, it tastes awesome.  Secondly it is great to watch someone who only drinks mass-produced lagers try this and fall in love with this beer.  It also has great flavors that can easily translate into a cocktail.

This beer cocktail was inspired by my bar’s version of a Dark and Stormy where we use a house-made ginger syrup instead of the usual canned ginger beer.  There is also a close connection to a French 75 in this recipe.  The Witbier works great because the spices in it work in harmony with the spicy ginger, and the citrus in the Combier and in the beer work make a delicious match.  I think Cognac is partial to orange, and the Cherry Heering is a natural match.  The Boston Bittahs add to the herbal quality and also lend a lightness to the general flavor profile.

Here is the recipe and a terrible picture.

The Perfect Storm


  • 1.5 oz Pierre Ferrande 1840 Cognac (higher proof, touch sweeter than Ambre, better for mixing)
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Ginger syrup (recipe below)
  • .25 oz fresh lime juice
  • .25 oz Combier Orange liquer (Cointreau works as well)
  • 1 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs
  • 4 oz. Hitachino Nest White Ale
  • .5 oz. Cherry Heering


Shake Cognac, lemon & lime juice, ginger syrup, Combier and bitters, strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Top with 3-4 oz of Hitachino Nest White Ale. Float or drizzle ~.5 oz Cherry Heering to taste and for visual appeal.

Drink, Repeat

Ginger Syrup recipe

  • Peel ginger
  • chop and place in juice extractor
  • mix ginger juice with a rich (2:1) simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio
  • store cold

Top Ten Spring Cocktails on

Spring has sprung and that means a whole new selection of refreshing libations
are making their way to a bar near you.  Here’s a list of the top ten
sipping sensations
for the upcoming season (with some accompanying
recipes so you can muddle them at home)…

Singapore Sling

In a shaker, combine 1 1/2 oz. Plymouth gin, 1/2 oz. cherry Heering, 1/4 oz.
Cointreau, 2 oz. fresh pineapple juice, 2 dashes grenadine, and one dash
Angostura bitters. Shake with ice and strain into a Sling glass filled with
fresh ice. Float 1/4 oz. Benedictine, top with soda, and garnish with a cocktail
cherry and orange slice.

 Blood and Sand

In a shaker, combine 3/4 oz. cherry Heering, 3/4 oz. single-malt Scotch, 3/4
oz. orange juice, and 3/4 oz. Dolin sweet vermouth. Shake with ice and strain
into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

Bourbon Negroni

In a mixing glass, combine 2 oz. fig-and-pear-infused bourbon, 1 oz. Campari,
and 1 oz. sweet vermouth. Stir for 90 seconds and strain into a chilled martini
glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Gin Fizz

  • 2 oz gin
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Carbonated water

Shake gin, juice of lemon, and sugar with ice and strain into a highball
glass over two ice cubes. Fill with carbonated water and stir before

Cherry Bloom

In a shaker, combine 1/2 oz. star-anise ginger syrup, 1 1/2 oz. Knob Creek
bourbon, and 2 oz. dry rosé. Shake with ice and strain into a snifter glass,
over crushed ice or straight up. Top with 3 dashes cherry bitters.

 Mint Julep

  • 4 fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp water

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a collins glass. Fill the
glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Top with more ice and garnish
with a mint sprig.

The Blood and Sand, Carefully Considered on

It can certainly be said that of well-known classic cocktails, the Blood and Sand suffers from a less-than-cuddly reputation. It could be the name, and it could be the ingredients. I certainly doubted the worth of the drink until I tasted it for the first time.  On paper, it looks awful, which is one of the things I love about it. Modern cocktailing suffers from a number of disturbing trends, one of which is that many cocktails I find in bars and restaurants look amazing on paper but fail to deliver once mixed and served. Good cocktails are good for one reason only: they taste great.  The Blood and Sand is no exception. When pressed, I might even say it’s my favorite cocktail.

As with many classic drinks, not much is known about the cocktail’s origins. But that doesn’t stop the Internet from being rife with details. The most common story is that it was invented to celebrate the premier of the 1922 film Blood and Sand, starring Rudolph Valentino as a matador. Most will also say that it was made with blood orange juice. (An understandable assumption given the cocktail’s name.)  The truth is that the first printed mention of the drink is in Harry Craddock’s 1930 volume, The Savoy Cocktail Book. Unlike modern cocktail books, this volume lacked flowery descriptions of the recipes within it. (Mr. Craddock was probably betting on smarmy bloggers taking care of that a few generations later.)  His recipe was simple: equal parts scotch, Italian vermouth (sweet vermouth), cherry brandy and orange juice.

It could be that the story of the blood orange cocktail invented for the premier of a film is true, simply being passed down orally until later being written down. I can find no record of anyone coming forward with evidence to disprove this story. But, the tale could have just as easily been made up by someone writing about the drink, later to be taken as fact. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how the drink came about. What matters is that it is truly delicious when made properly. When thinking about cocktails, the most important thing to consider is the taste. It all starts with ingredients.

The Scotch

Many people make the mistake of using a very lightly-peated or unpeated scotch. I’ve seen recipes calling for Glenlivet, Dewar’s, Oban and others. These scotches get overwhelmed by the other ingredients and disappear into the background. This leads some to worry that the Blood and Sand needs to taste “more like scotch,” and ambitious cocktailers often try to remedy this perceived imbalance by changing the proportions of the drink to increase the amount of scotch present, and/or using a total smoke-bomb. People who do this are missing the point.

Yes, there are some old cocktail recipes that just don’t work. For example, I will never agree with the “French school” view on the sidecar, a recipe that calls for equal parts lemon juice, cointreau and cognac. I, and most other people, find that to be un-palatable. Then the “English school” emerged, thanks (once again) to none other than Harry Craddock, who published an updated ratio for the drink in his 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book: 2 parts brandy to one part each of Cointreau and lemon juice. Most would agree this is a much better drink. We should all recognize that Craddock was a good judge of taste in this case, yet chose to preserve the equal-parts ratio for the Blood and Sand. Surely, he had a reason. Indeed, in the case of the Blood and Sand, we should seek not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to grease the axel: What matters are the ingredients; the proportions are perfect. In fact, they are vital.

Let us go back to the question of the scotch. Harry Craddock was working at the Savoy Hotel in London when he published his famous cocktail guide. The odds are very good that he was using something common: Johnnie Walker, or something like it. I certainly doubt that he was using anything light and delicate. (Sorry Glenlivet fans, but scotch makers weren’t widely using bourbon barrels for aging until the late 1930′s. In Harry Craddock’s London, the scotch would have been a bolder sherry-aged spirit). If we use Johnnie Walker Black Label as a benchmark, what this cocktail needs is something smokey and flavorful that will shine through to join (but not overpower) the other ingredients. Ardbeg or Laphroaig, although amusing to use, do not make for the best drink.

Lately, I have taken a liking to using Highland Park 12 in the Blood and Sand. It is well-rounded, smoky enough, but not so bold as to dominate the drink. It plays fair with the other ingredients. Sadly (but justifiably) the stuff is not cheap. Johnnie Walker Black Label works wonderfully, is affordable, and is likely authentic when it comes to replicating the cocktail as it was intended.

The Cherry Brandy

Some would have you believe that the cocktail has always been made with Cherry Heering. Of course it’s possible that this was the very liqueur the Blood and Sand was first made with. Peter Heering’s famous cordial has been the gold standard in cherry brandy for many, many years. But there were, and are, many other brands.

It is important to distinguish between “cherry brandy,” a term used for sweet cherry flavored liqueur that doesn’t necessarily have to contain any brandy at all, and cherry eau-de-vie, commonly known as Kirschwasser, or Kirsch. Kirsch, though delicious, has no business being in a Blood and Sand. I have also seen it happen that, in the absence of Cherry Heering, inexperienced bartenders and uninformed amateurs at home will try substituting Luxardo’s famous Maraschino liqueur. Anyone familiar with both products knows that this is not a wise choice, as the two liqueurs have little in common other than cherries.

It’s not much of a stretch to presume that Cherry Heering was the very “cherry brandy” that Harry Craddock used at the American Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel all those years ago. But I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that if he wasn’t using it, he should have been. You won’t find a better dark cherry liqueur on the market today, and evidence suggests that in the past 100 years at least, the product hasn’t changed much. You shouldn’t make a Blood and Sand without using Cherry Heering. Period.

The Vermouth

Craddock’s recipe calls for “Italian vermouth.” At the time, this was understood as meaning sweet, red vermouth, whereas “French vermouth” referred to the dry, white variety. Nowadays, of course, you can find sweet and dry vermouth from both countries, as well as a variety of other places.  But I see no reason to try anything fancy by diverging from Craddock’s description. So, Italian vermouth it is. Punt e Mes is one of my favorite vermouths, but it’s far too bitter for this cocktail. Carpano’s other, more well-known vermouth, Antica Formula, is also disqualified. Although delicious, the vanilla in the recipe ends up being rather conspicuous in the finished cocktail.

My favorite Italian vermouth at the moment, and one I think goes best in this particular drink, is Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, a spectacular vermouth made from a 1891 recipe.  This is a vermouth well-worth sipping on its own, a necessary quality in anything you are going to mix into a drink.

The Orange Juice

Here is perhaps the biggest point of contention when it comes to the Blood and Sand. It is a common misconception that the original recipe for the Blood and Sand called for blood orange juice. There are some who say that this is the “blood” in the cocktail’s name. It’s an odd notion, actually, considering that the red hues of both Cherry Heering and sweet vermouth could both just as easily be “blood.” I prefer to see things that way, with the scotch and the orange juice representing the “sand.” Harry Craddock certainly doesn’t specify anything more than “orange juice” in his recipe. Although, of course, it’s possible that the cocktail’s creator used blood orange juice, there’s no real reason to believe this is so.

As it turns out, blood orange juice is quite delicious in this cocktail. The tart, grapefruity notes of the juice lend an interesting character to the drink. But blood orange juice should by no means be considered necessary, and in fact I may prefer the juice of a simple Valencia orange over it. What is most important to consider, above all, is that whatever juice you use must be freshly squeezed.

The Recipe

To sum up, if I were to make a Blood and Sand right now with my preferred ingredients, it would consist of:

1 part Highland Park 12
1 part Cherry Heering
1 part Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
1 part freshly squeezed orange juice

I like 1oz across the board. It yields a drink big enough to say I mean business, but not so big that it becomes indulgent (not to mention tasteless). My general rule is: Always keep your cocktail just small enough that passing up a second drink would be pointless and shameful.

When made correctly, this drink is nothing short of divine. If you prefer things differently, I would love to compare notes.


Going Abroad With a Singapore Sling at Macleod’s Scottish Pub

The Watering Hole:Macleod’s Scottish Pub, 5200 Ballard Ave NW, 687-7115, BALLARD

The Atmosphere:This prime spot on the corner of 20th and Ballard Ave used to house Harlow’s Saloon, but the “pre-fab dive bar” went belly-up, and the space has undergone an impressive facelift since Macleod’s opened in December. The most striking feature is a magnificent, hand-painted map of Scotland on the ceiling, which gives the place sort of a Sistine Chapel feel. There are all sorts of other homages to Scotland, including a wall with framed pictures of famous Scots. The bar itself has been rebuilt too, and the tacky chic favored by Harlow’s was wisely replaced with handsome dark wood shelves to house Macleod’s impressive collection of single malts. It’s slow on a Tuesday afternoon, with indie rock on the stereo and two TVs tuned to Champions League soccer.

The Barkeep:Kevin Parisi moonlights at Amber in Belltown, and also lists a stint a the “Scotch-heavy” cocktail bar Tini Bigs on his résumé. He is set to embark on a three-month long trip to India in May, but plans to return to Seattle and Macleod’s when his odyssey on the sub-continent is over.

The bar’s namesake and co-owner Allen Macleod was on hand as well. Born in the U.S. but raised in Scotland by Scottish parents, he explains that this is his first foray into the business stateside after previously working as a barman in the UK. He’s partnering with the owners of Poquitos and nearby Bastille.

The Drink:Parisi offers two options when given free reign to mix whatever he pleases: something like a Manhattan or “something tiki.” With the sun shining outside, I say something tiki sounds about right. “Good,” he replies. “Then I get to beat something, and that’s fun for everybody involved.”

He shovels ice cubes into a canvas sack, then wails away at it with a heavy wooden muddler. It looks like a good way to blow off some steam, and Parisi jokes, “I’m much happier now,” as he pours the finely crushed ice into a pint glass. He explains that the stress-relieving prep work is for a Singapore Sling, chosen in honor of a friend of his currently traveling in southeast Asia. Parisi uses his iPhone to call up the other ingredients for the century-old cocktail, which originated at Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

The recipe calls for pineapple juice, Gordon’s gin, Cherry Heering liqueur, Bénédictine, and Angostura bitters. He shakes it all up and pours it out, adding a dash more Heering and Bénédictine after tasting a few drops with a straw. There’s no foamy top like the classic Sling, but it looks colorful and tropical served over the ice, and garnished with a dark cherry, and lime and lemon wedges.

The Verdict:The syrupy Cherry Heering is the dominant flavor, and the potent drink tastes a bit like a dark cherry slushy spiked with gin — not something I’d order often, but apropos given the warm weather. On the whole, Macleod’s is certainly worth visiting, if only to chat up Macleod himself. On this visit, he was giving out free beers to a pair of new customers and quoting Trainspotting in his thick Scottish brogue. Discussing the prickly relations between Scots and Englishmen, Macleod dropped the famous line from the film, “Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers.”

The Raines Law Room on

Named for a Prohibition era regulation, The Raines Law Room is almost the antithesis of a St. Patrick’s Day vibe. The street entrance to the cocktail bar is marked just by a small plaque near the doorbell. Inside it’s dark and cozy. The only green I saw was the lime in my drink.

Head bartender Meaghan Dorman (yes, she’s packing Irish ancestry) has created the Madame George. She uses BushmillsBlack Bush Irish whiskey, because she likes the dark, fruity notes, and accentuates with Cherry Heering liqueur and house-made ginger syrup.

If I stop in on Saturday I will consider sitting behind the gauzy curtains in the semi-private area. There’s also a tiny barroom where guests can watch the shaking and stirring.

A topic of conversation will inevitably be the wallpaper’s silhouettes of pretty people in various poses, arms and legs akimbo.

Seating reservations aren’t taken on most nights. If you show up, they’ll take your number and you’ll have to wait elsewhere until they phone you to say a space is available. At 48 W. 17th St. Information:

If Wicker Park were a cocktail, how would it taste? on

If I were to create a cocktail
that embodies Wicker
, the nutty neighborhood I call home, it would be some combination of
PBR, musician sweat and tattoo ink, with a splash of expensive beer and an
artful garnish of skinny jeans and plaid.Thomas Kleiner had something else in
mind. Challenged to concoct a drink that represents Wicker Park and Bucktown,
the general manager of Club Lucky
came up with a 10-ingredient allegory of the neighborhood’s ethnic history and
summer activities, served with a participatory painting installation on the
side.The Six Corner Fizz, as he called it,
was the winner of the inaugural “mixologist mash-up,” held last week at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave.,
to crown the neighborhood’s first signature cocktail. Organized by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of
, the soiree drew some 150 attendees, who voted for Club Lucky’s
fizz over drinks whipped up by bartenders from Tavern, Boundary, Pint and

The Six Corner Fizz, which gets its name from the nexus of North,
Damen and Milwaukee avenues, will be on menu at Club Lucky, 1824 W. Wabansia
Ave., starting this weekend ($10.75) and will remain there the rest of the year,
Kleiner said.

The concept behind Club Lucky’s winning cocktail was a result of
10 days of brainstorming, said Kleiner, who wanted to reach beyond the hipster
movement to showcase the complexity of the neighborhood. According to Kleiner,
the vodkas represent the rich Polish heritage. The fact that the vodkas are
infused with tropical dragonfruit and passion fruit symbolize the Puerto Rican
residents. The prosecco and Gran Gala orange liqueur embrace Club Lucky’s
Italian motif. A sprinkle of pearls, made through spherification of crème de
violette and orange blossom liqueurs, are a floral nod to the Bucktown garden

To acknowledge the neighborhood’s strong artistic community,
Kleiner also made edible blue, yellow, green and pink paints, using milk powder
mixed with blue curacao, crème de menthe, crème de banana and strawberry
liqueurs, and invited guests to paint on a canvas. The communal painting, signed
by everyone who added a doodle, will be donated to the chamber of commerce, he

It was an A for effort, certainly, but the Six Corner Fizz also
tastes good. It’s refreshing and fruity but not too sweet. Made with an egg
white and served on the rocks, it’s a cross between a punch and a fizz, Kleiner
said, a throwback to classic cocktail culture.

The Wicker Park Bucktown
Chamber of Commerce, which partnered with TimeOut Chicago, Google
Places, Drink Deck and 4 Rebels vodka (participants had to use 4 Rebels in their
drinks), plans to make the contest an annual event, said chamber executive
director Adam Burck.

Here’s the recipe for the Six Corner Fizz. The pearls are a bit
complicated to make, so look up spherification instructions online if you

1 1/2 parts 4 Rebels Dragonfruit vodka

1 1/4 parts X-Rated Fusion Liqueur

1/2 part Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur

1/2 part Heering Cherry liqueur

1/4 part fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 part simple syrup

1 egg white (optional)

1/4 part Nobili Del Borgo Prosecco

Pearls made from The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur (optional)

Pearls made from Campari and orange blossom water (optional)

Combine the first seven ingredients and shake without ice. Then
shake with ice, and strain into a stemless wine glass containing ice. Top with
the prosecco. Garnish with a pineapple leaf, Italian maraschino cherry and a
lemon twist.


Irish Whiskey Cocktail Recipes on

by Camper English

A few weeks ago I put out a call for Irish whiskey cocktail recipes for my Fine Cooking column. I received too many responses to use, so I thought I’d gather them here for all to enjoy.

Drew Record of Playground

2 oz Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey
.75 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Cherry Herring
3 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Build in rocks glass with ice, stir, garnish with a brandied cherry.
wiev all recipes under


Retro Fun With Cherry Heering on

I’m hosting a party Wednesday night for 100 people and a big seudah on Thursday. Aside from the logistics involved in hosting that many people, I had to decide what food and drinks to serve. So, I’ve decided to go for classic cocktails made with Cherry Heering!

After all, everything retro is hot now. From the retro style displayed on the small screen in shows like Mad Men and PanAm to some very familiar fashions making their way down the runway again at New York Fashion Week – what’s old is new again. So, I figured why not make a retro-theme Purim complete with everyone’s favorite retro Liqueur – Cherry Heering.

In case you missed the craze the first time around, just know that in the late 60’s and 70’s you could find a bottle of Cherry Heering in almost every Jewish home and shul – it was the liqueur to have. So, whether you are feeling nostalgic, or if you just want a delicious and versatile liqueur on hand, maybe you should stock up on some too.

Besides, it goes wonderfully with hamantaschen or other sweet treats in Purim baskets and after Purim, I plan to use any extra for parties or Shabbos dinners.  It’s great because Cherry Heering and the equally delicious new Coffee Heering Liqueur are both certified OU Kosher and Parve!

Don’t Miss These Two Kosher Liquors for Your Purim Seudah and Gourmet Mishloach Manot!

Dear Hostesses,

Even though this is a sponsored post, I have to honestly tell you that the instant I opened up my bottle of Heering  Coffee Liquor, I closed my eyes and felt like I was in coffee heaven.  The pure aroma of this sweet liquor made me want to swirl a drop of  heavy cream into this perfect blend of Caribbean rum with coffee and cocoa. Throw in a couple of ice cubes and I’m almost  relaxing on a beach in St Barths. Who cares if I didn’t make my hammentashen yet? My packed carry-on is at the front door!

Another not-to-be-missed fabulous liquor by the Heering family is their fruity Cherry liquor!

Nestle a basket of fresh cherries in with this classy bottle and you’ve got one impressive Mishloach Manot!

One recipe to try from this cocktail inspired  blog Through The Liquor Glass:

Great Purim Gift Ideas Come in Mini Bottles of Cherry Heering and Coffee Liqueur on

This week, Jewish families around the world are busy preparing for Purim. Finding the right costume, menu planning, and the preparation of Mishloach Manot/Purim Baskets have made my schedule even busier. This year, I am adding adding a mini bottle of Cherry Heering and Coffee Heeringto my Mishloach Manot/Purim Baskets. Yes, Cherry Heering! This brand was very popular and found in the liquor cabinets of most Jewish homes and shuls in the late 1960′s and 1970′s. Yes, “Old School is the New Cool”! In fact, I would love to know your favorite Cherry Heering memory from those days, please share it in the comments below. These mini bottles are now available at a number of liquor store in the New York Metro area. If you are not in the New York Metro area, or your local liquor stores does not have them, it only takes one day to special order the Cherry Heering mini bottles.

Did you know that Cherry Heering Liqueur pairs wonderfully with hamantaschen or other sweet treats in your Purim baskets? After Purim, serve Cherry Heering cocktails at home at you next celebration or Shabbat dinner. Dairy or meat, no problem. Cherry Heering and Coffee Heering Liqueur is now OU Kosher Certified and Parve! Need cooking ideas? Check out this Purim Yiddish Cooking Video created by the Jewish Forward for some inspiration. Just so you know, it is Yiddish with English subtitles.

I have included some easy drink recipes that will have you looking like a star mixologist to your friends & family.
Cherry Royal

1 part Heering Cherry Liqueur
4 parts champagne or sparkling wine
Pour Cherry Heering liqueur and champagne into a champagne flute and serve ice cold.

Cherry Fizz

2 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Carbonated water
1 Cherry

Shake Cherry Heering and lemon juice over ice and pour into a highball glass with 2 ice cubes in it. Ad carbonated water and a cherry.

Cherry Ginger Martini

1 part Heering Cherry Liqueur
1 part lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
1 small piece of fresh ginger

Muddle fresh ginger in a mixing glass. Add Cherry Heering Liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Note: muddling simply means crushing, so use a muddling bar tool or simply back of a large wooden spoon to crush the fresh ginger pieces.

Coffee Sourz

1 part Heering Coffee Liqueur
1 part lemon juice
1 part simple syrup

Fill a shaker with ice. Add ingredients, shake well and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.

Stores in the New York Metro area, that carry Mini bottle’s of Cherry Heering & Coffee Heering Liqueur.(no on-line retailer currently available) listed below.

Legal Notice   |   Log in to graphic guideline