Imbibe Responsibly

This is the page where I’m going to list drinks done my way, or simply the way I do drinks if i find them already done well.  There’s nothing new here, at most there are variations on themes or, as I prefer to call them, liquid riffs.

{Goat Note: This page is titled Imbibe Responsibly.  That’s a message for my sons as they come of legal drinking age in the islands they often inhabit.  The drinking age in the United States should be lowered again to 18, and it should be legal at least to serve a small beer (weak 0.5% – 2% ABV beer) or a half glass of wine to teens with the family dinner, outside of any religious context, both to prepare them for adulthood and to help them developed an informed palate.  Rather, we make it highly illegal for them to consume alcohol, or for us to provide alcohol even to our own progeny in our own homes, then we expect the poor sods to manage out in the world on the instant the punishable rules fall away and the illegal becomes suddenly legal by crossing a border, or by turning one day older.  We also expect our young adults to have some sense for how to enjoy a drink – primarily for flavor – but we cannot legally introduce them to the possibilities at the time and place of our choosing.  This is one of many madnesses inherent in our supposedly free, modern, and enlightened society.  And this is strictly my opinion.  S has a different opinion.}

To date, I’ve only had one drink recipe published.   My claim to mixology fame?  The Elder Sage.  I’d been making this nameless drink for a year or so when I learned that Jack Rudy was posting concoctions on their website, so I named the drink and sent it to them.  They kept it posted for over a year, however it’s since been taken down to make room for other drinks – or it was removed because a key ingredient is no longer in production.  While the drink was posted though, it caught just enough attention to survive on the internet, and now you can find it on the Cocktail Emporium, twice.  But they buggered it up, or they simply knew about the demise of Sage before I did.  The “sage liqueur” in the Cocktail Emporium’s version of this drink was very specifically Sage by Art in the Age.  Sing a dirge, for the sage has gone and died.  From Cocktail Emporium, I present their interpretation of my drink:

— build in collins glass on ice —
1.5 oz. sage liqueur
1.5 oz. Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic
1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 dashes of Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
3 oz. sparkling water
by Russ Gooding

I appreciate the attribution.  Hat tipping is important, and something I’ve discussed at length on one of my company websites, also copied here on Goat Waters.  When it comes down to it, this drink is nothing more than a riff on a G&T.  Sage for gin, St. Germain because S loves it and it has wound up in a number of our household drinks, Hopped Grapefruit Bitters rather than a twist of lime.  And I know I wrote soda water, not sparkling water, when I originally submitted this to Jack Rudy’s site.  You drink sparkling water rather than still, if you’re that sort, but when you mix drinks you pour soda water when occasion demands it.  Or at least that’s the way I do it.  Oh well.

The Elder Sage has a nice ring to it, and it may have been chosen by Jack Rudy for no other reason than that the name plays off the ingredient list (and it bears a healthy dose of JR’s Small Batch Tonic, which is only exceeded by their Extra Bitter variant).  Want the gentleman’s version of The Elder Sage?  It’s merely:

The Sage

gw blog the sage ingredients

– build in a collins glass over ice –

The Sages and Elder Sages are all well and good, refreshing on a steaming hot Pennsylvania evening, but these aren’t my go-to drinks, after work or out for dinner.

The drink with which I test a barman’s abilities and the quality of his cabinet is a simple drink, The Negroni.  The best I’ve had out and about in Lancaster was served before dinner at John J. Jeffries.  Kudos to JJJ on that drink and their food, too!  I’ve also had a fine Negroni sitting in an alley at a table for two just outside the bar Mundo Bizzaro in the Pietermaai district of Willemstad, Curacao.

When I build the Negroni at my bar, I build it dark.  And, frequently, spilt.

The Negroni Dark

gw blog negroni dark

-serve neat, or spilt over a single, large cube –

The Blue Coat Barrel Reserve Gin, finished in American Oak Barrels, has a rich, amber color, so that starts the darkness in this Negroni.  Think of it as a crepuscular time of evening.  But we want impending darkness, so splash in the Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters after you’ve stacked up the spirits and you’ll see each drop infuse the Campari’s evening red until that sun has almost set.  The Wormwood Bitters adds more bitter nuances, and the float of Aromatic Bitters sets the stage on which the orange zest can sail.  If you strongly prefer high IBU beers like Stone’s Ruination, if your tongue is stunted by four or five decades of culinary abuse (think jalapenos, habaneros, ghosts, and such), or if you were just born with a blunt tongue, then a drink more bitter than sweet like The Negroni Dark will get through to you.


Here’s where I went on about how to make a spilt drink.  It was excessive.  If you’re curious, you’ll now have to find the subpage on Spilling the Negroni.



The Monkey Gland



Hurricane at Midnight

If the Dark & Stormy is the threat of a storm, then the Hurricane at Midnight is the storm itself.  In the first instance you grab your rain slicker and run to find a rocker under the protection of a cottage awning where you can behold the flash and clap of the passing storm.  In the second instance, batten down the hatches – prepare for nasty weather.  The name is a trifle ridiculous, but after you’ve had a few Darker & Stormier bar drinks that simply weren’t matching claims, you’d know it’s time to give up on the comparatively bolder and start brewing in a separate cauldron altogether.  The Hurricane at Midnight is no tempest in a teapot.  Rather, it’s a glass full up of the noble wrath of Prospero who has ushered in a fire unquenchable in the midst of a tumultuous sea.  This is flamed amazement in the midst of a pitch squall and it will burn in many places, on the ins and on the outs.  You’ll cry with Ferdinand, “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!”

If you would summon a Hurricane at Midnight, then you’ll need stronger stuff that store-bought ginger beer.  Your rum must be hotter, too, than 40 proof.  Navy Strength, if you can find it; “Navy Strength” if you can’t.  You’ll make this drink hot as a smith’s forge, and not a little bit excruciating.

-Serve Over Cubed Ice-

  • 3 oz. Navy Strength Rum, e.g., Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum
  • 8 oz. Fire on the Water Ginger Beer
  • 1/4 Lime Squeezed & Tossed
  • Garnish with….no, no…you don’t decorate this drink, you survive it; maybe they’ll decorate you afterwards

You’ll need to click on over to the Hurricane at Midnight subpage for more details on brewing your own island strength Fire on the Water ginger beer.


Crushing The G & T


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