Cocktails and Spirits


depending what part of the world you are in there are some fun mail order whiskey tasting clubs


I’m in Virginia currently, which has the most unnecessary restrictions on alcohol I’ve ever encountered :frowning:

None of the mail-order sites I’ve found so far will ship anything but wine into VA.


@smbols don’t know what part of Virginia you’re in, but most of the ABC stores there I’ve been to have had a decent selection of scotches (Islay or otherwise). If you’re northernly, there are lots of interesting liquor stores in DC…


There’s a really wonderful one in Georgetown.


anyone here drink mezcal straight? I’ve tried a few (work at a restaurant/bar) and haven’t found anything I like more than Del Maguey Chichicapas… it uses the dimensionality of smoke but fills it with citrus. Nice bite for slow sipping (whiskey goes too quick…) and not the most absurd price tag for a solid bottle.

looking for recs for other mezcals I ought to try!


Definitely. It’s the only way I enjoy it.

Here’s an excellent and very accessible article you may enjoy on mescal, how its made and some recommendations. And here’s an article that’s just about recommendations.


I love Del Magueys Vida because it tastes like smoked pineapple. It is so good in cocktails, too, you can see above my Neon Demon. I have swapped it out for the Chichicapas to good effect.

I don’t drink too many spirits straight, but mezcal would be one of the few that I actually enjoy (besides a good rum.)


Illegal Joven is good and i got a hot tip from my sister-in-law who used to work in a big mezcal bar to check out Sotol Sotol Article


twenty characters for Vida


Sotol is… interesting. I’d recommend seeing if you can get a small quantity of it before getting a large quantity, as I found it rather hard to drink myself (still managed, somehow).

Another agave derived spirit I’d seriously recommend is Bacanora. I find it has the complexity and smoothness of a nice mezcal but without the smokey/peaty character.

A bit hard to find but worth it imo!


Thanks for the yesfolk recommendation! Came across some today and it was fantastic. Will definitely be going back to try the other flavors.


I had some in a bar/restaurant the other night when I was designated. A mock G&T made with Seedlip and it was pretty nice. Nice viscous quality that you don’t get from non-alcohlic liquids often (in my experience). I’m trying to drink less, too. I ordered a bottle for the house, and some overpriced, but awesome, Fever Tree tonics. I’ll report back.


It’s the only way I can drink it. It doesn’t mix well with others, IMHO. Like peaty malts.


Love fever tree. They have nice and spicy ginger beer too


A great classic before dinner cocktail:


  • 3 cl Campari
  • 3 cl Red Vermouth
  • A splash of soda water

Mix the ingredients directly in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice-cubes, add a splash of soda water and garnish with half orange slice.


Thats real heavy on the bitters, think I’ll have to give it a try.


Here’s one of my favorites, bright and dry:
Corpse Reviver #2
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Cochi Americano (or other dry/blanc vermouth)
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice (squeezed will give more oil than reemed)

Shake well in a shaker of ice and strain into a chilled coup glass that is well coated with
Absinthe (just pour a small amount in and swirl in the glass coating it)

Serve with a twist of lemon peel as garnish (twist so oils land on surface of drink).


Unsolicited commentary follows. :slight_smile:

A “splash” of soda could be a mere splash, or a whole a lot more, all according to taste. The other flavors are strong, so you can stretch this one out into a “tall drink” by adding more soda water—nice on a warm afternoon.

Of course, replace the soda water with gin and you’ve more or less got the Negroni. Or replace it with bourbon, and you’ve more or less got the Boulevardier. Or replace it with prosecco (or a brut spumante) and you’ve got the Negroni sbagliato.

This drink was conceived with Kina Lillet, which was handy in London during the US Prohibition years, but which completely disappeared from the market many decades ago… oddly, nobody seems quite sure when. Moreover, nobody seems to remember what it really tasted like (an apparent reflection of how obscure Lillet had become). The only certainty is that it contained a lot more quinine than any of the current products under the Lillet brand. Kina Lillet may have also been sweeter… or drier. In any case, Kina Lillet was an elemental quinquina, a French style of wine aromatized (flavored and embittered) with quinine (and in the case of Lillet, probably no other botanicals).

Since the current Lillet products are weak sauce, the idea of substituting Cocchi Americano was promoted by Cocchi’s US importer because Cocchi Americano has similar color and its flavors are kinda/sorta in the same ballpark, but it presents a stiffer bitter spine than current wine-forward Lillet products. Americano is an Italian wine style aromatized with gentian, but also (in this case) quinine and citrus.

Anyway, the Corpse Reviver #2—like many other Kina Lillet drinks (nearly all dredged up from books published in the 1930s)—can only be experienced ersatz, today. YMMV. Heck, the drink could even be better with Cocchi Americano. Apparently, we’ll never know.

p.s. Neither quinquina nor americano are vermouths; vermouths are aromatized wines built around yet another Alpine botanical, wormwood. I would substitute the blond-colored Lillet Reserve or Lillet Blanc before resorting to any vermouth I am acquainted with in a Corpse Reviver #2.


Interesting. The versions I first saw had dry vermouth. I tried other substitutions (including Lillet) before deciding I liked the Cochi Americano sub best. Didn’t know this had been pushed by the importers themselves! At any rate this is how I like them, but I play with everything and think others should do the same.


A couple things going on with “versions”. One is that there were quite a few drinks named “Corpse Reviver” kicking around from at least 1895. Various drinks named “Gloom Chaser” and “Eye Opener”, too. Those were obvious pick-me-up names in the day. The one now popularly known as “Corpse Reviver #2” is known that way purely because Harry Craddock assigned that particular recipe “#2” in his popular book The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), where it first appears. (The #1 recipe listed is a sort of brandy Manhattan.)

The other is that, as was common, and sadly still is, the recipe was subsequently replicated in other books, usually without attribution, and often with changes or errors introduced. (Indeed, The Savoy Cocktail Book itself is packed with un-attributed, error-prone copies of recipes from earlier books—bald, yet sloppy plagiarism.) Today, this happens on the web, too. :slight_smile:

Absolutely! Frankly, it’s the only way to make an old drink like this as good as it can possibly be in today’s world. Many of the better cocktail bars have put considerable effort into adapting this very drink to be the best they can make it employing today’s ingredients. Just in case somebody asks for it.