The Orange Russian

Yep, I had to.

The other night in his monologue, Stephen Colbert served this one up on a silver platter.

“You just take a White Russian, you toss in some Cointreau, and a pinch of cat hair — you’re all good.”

orange russian

I omitted the cat hair, dialed down the vodka a bit and subbed the Cointreau for dry Curacao. Despite its origins as a joke, this makes a pretty tasty twist on a White Russian.

Thanks Stephen Colbert. Будем здоровы!

The Orange Russian
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Curacao
1 1/2 oz. Kahlua
1 1/2 oz. half and half

Add vodka, Curacao and Kahlua to a rocks glass with ice. Top with the half and half.

10 to 7

Equal parts cocktails make life so easy — but they’re not merely shortcuts. Some of the best classic cocktails are equal parts cocktails: the Negroni and its variations numbering among my favorites, and of course, the darling of the cocktail blogging scene, the Last Word.

The 10 to 7, created by Gabriele Modica, starts off with gin and Maraschino, but subs lime with lemon and Chartreuse with St Germain. It’s more floral rather than the deliciously herbal Last Word, and holds its own as a distinctive drink. It makes a great brunch drink or aperitif.


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colleen’s kiss


This is my first post in participation with the Mixology Monday challenge, a “monthly online cocktail party.” Each month, bloggers and cocktail enthusiasts create cocktails around a theme — and this month’s theme, posted by Frederic, is mashups. He mentions a few mashups with the Widow’s Kiss, including the Widow’s Word, which combines the drink with perennial cocktail snob favorite, the Last Word.

I recently tasted my first Widow’s Kiss at Cambridge’s Brick and Mortar, and loved its fall flavors. It’s made with apple brandy, Chartreuse, and Benedictine, so it’s just the right combination of sweet, herbal and apple to make an autumn drink that’s not over the top.

My other favorite cocktail of the moment, the Colleen Bawn, shares the same liqueurs — it’s got the Chartreuse and Benedictine, but switches out the apple brandy for rye, and contains a whole egg. The end result is rich, creamy, and so satisfying on a crisp evening.

So, while I didn’t intend to create another mashup with the Widow’s Kiss, I found it fitting to mash it up with the Colleen Bawn.

Thus: I give you the Colleen’s Kiss. The Benedictine and Chartreuse that the two drinks share are combined with the egg and a touch of rye from the Colleen Bawn and Applejack from the Widow’s Kiss. The result is rich apple pie met with the herbal complexity of the Benedictine and Chartreuse. After making a first round with Applejack, I found it a bit too sweet and added in a touch of rye. I’d be curious to see if these proportions change if I get my hands on a bottle of Calvados to use instead.

colleen’s kiss
1 oz Laird’s Applejack
1/2 oz Bulleit rye
3/4 oz yellow chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
1 egg
1 dash orange bitters
Cinnamon for garnish

Combine ingredients except cinnamon in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds, until the shaker is frosted over. Strain and remove ice. Pour ingredients back into the shaker, and dry shake about 20 more seconds. Fine strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cinnamon.


the alaska cocktail

When I was a server, after my dinner shifts I’d head to the sports bar next door with my coworkers for a gin martini and a Caesar salad. The martini would be shaken and served in an oversized glass, and it would have large shards like ice floes floating on top of it.

It was a pretty bad martini, but there’s something I miss about sharing a drink with my coworkers after a long shift. Working in the service industry is almost like playing a team sport — on a good night, the staff is like a well-oiled machine. You know if you’re in the weeds, someone will have your back. And on a bad night, if you make a mistake or get a bad tip, someone’s there to pat you on the back and tell you to keep your head up.

It’s been years since I hobbled up to that bar and sipped a martini in my marinara-stained oxford shirt, but whenever I have one, it transports me back to those days.

Despite my nostalgia for those terrible martinis, I’ve come a long way since then. For one thing, I know that martinis should be stirred. James Bond was wrong. Don’t take it from me, though — this episode of Gastropod includes a good discussion on when to stir and when to shake.

The Alaska cocktail is a simple martini variation — just swap out the vermouth for yellow Chartreuse, and add a few dashes of orange bitters. A simple substitution, but the transformation is significant — slightly sweet, botanical, herbal and bitter.


the alaska cocktail
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz yellow chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
orange peel

stir with ice, strain. express the orange peel over the glass.

st. rita

It’s the first day of Spring, but here in Boston we’re supposed to get a snowstorm. In protest, I’m not leaving my house, and instead I’ll enjoy a nice floral cocktail that reminds me of warmer weather. Cue: St. Germain.

I’ve loved St. Germain, the elderflower liqueur, for a long time. It’s probably my favorite liqueur — sweet but subtle, floral and elegant. It’s great instead of vermouth in a gin martini, stirred into seltzer with a lemon twist, or even better, stirred into Champagne. Here, it’s added as a sweet, floral accompaniment to a margarita.

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