The Poisoned Earl (Recipe)

this is maybe the only one i actually have a photo of, because i made it up well after i had stopped working at a bar and actually bothered to take the time to pose it. it’s very boozy and fairly sharp so it’s definitely not for everyone, but i like it as a kind of aggressive aperitif.

The Poisoned Earl
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters


¼ oz. double-strength Earl Grey tea (cold)
1 oz. grappa
1 ¼ oz. gin

[stir with ice]

Strain into a double old-fashioned glass
Garnish with a dried lemon wheel/slice

if it’s too sharp, add a big fancy hand-cut ice cube.

Heartwarmer (Recipe)

this recipe came from a game we used to play behind the bar. the game starts with somebody putting one ingredient into a tin and then passing it off to someone else, who adds another ingredient and passes it back (or to another person) and so on. you’re allowed to taste the mixture as the game goes along but nobody is allowed to say what they put in, so the quality of the drink that comes out of it depends on everybody having a decent palate and not fucking things up along the way. sometimes it ends up in disaster and sometimes it ends up being tasty. this is one of the better ones, with ingredients listed in the order they were added.

½ oz. Cardamaro
1 barspoon amaretto
½ oz. Lemon Hart 151
1 barspoon Luxardo maraschino
¼ oz. cinnamon syrup
¼ oz. demerara syrup
½ oz. 100 proof apple brandy
1 oz. Elijah Craig

[stir with ice]

strain into a Nick & Nora or coupe

[image By Nheyob – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0]

Lemon Meringue Gin Fizz Royale (Recipe)

this is one of my favorite drinks to make for people because it seems way more elaborate than it really is and it’s balanced enough that even people who claim to not like gin, sweet drinks, or egg white drinks generally still end up enjoying it. it’s also fine without the lemon bitters, orange flower water, St. Germain, or the ‘royale’ part, but if you’re gonna make it you might as well include the boozy bubbles at the very least just to make it extra fun 🥂

Lemon Meringue Gin Fizz Royale 
1 oz. lemon juice
1 dash lemon bitters
2 drops orange flower water
½ oz. vanilla bean syrup
2 oz. gin
1 egg white


Rinse a single old-fashioned glass with St. Germain

[shake with ice]

Strain into glass
Top with champagne
Garnish with a Peychaud’s bitters design

for a simpler recipe that doesn’t require the St. Germain, just add ¾ oz. of vanilla bean syrup instead of ½. eventually i’ll post a recipe for the syrup but really it’s dead simple so you could probably figure it out on your own. 

[image By Scott Akerman –, CC BY 2.0]

The Dickbird, The Inverted Dickbird, and the Stirred Inverted Dickhead (Recipe)

The Dickbird was one of my earliest original recipes, named after one of my coworker’s favorite insults for other coworkers. we worked at a tiki bar so it was my first attempt at a fake tiki drink, which is kinda repetitive i guess since ‘tiki’ is pretty much entirely cultural appropriation and awful mid-century fakery. so, uh, yeah, tiki’s pretty racist a lot of the time and our bar was not really an exception.

in my notebook i had two recipes for The Dickbird with slight differences in the juice and garnishes. i prefer the taste of the latter but the garnish on the first one probably looks better. the main thing is that it’s supposed to be juicy and savory with a garnish that looks sorta like a bird’s plumage that could also look kinda like a dick.

The Dickbird #1
1 handful of smacked basil (as in, get a handful of basil and slap it once or twice with your other hand)
1 oz. lime juice
1 sugar cube


1 barspoon cold-pressed pineapple juice
1 barspoon Amaretto
1 ½ oz. Famous Grouse
½ oz. reposado tequila


Pour into a grand service glass with another handful of smacked basil at the bottom
Top with crushed ice


Top with a floater of:
¼ oz. Cherry Heering
¼ oz. Angostura bitters
1 barspoon Gosling’s 151

garnish with a pineapple stalk and two brandied cherries, forming the unique plumage of the Dickbird

The Dickbird #2
1 handful of smacked basil
¾ oz. Lime juice
¾ oz. Pineapple juice
1 barspoon passionfruit syrup
1 barspoon Amaretto
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 ½ oz. Famous Grouse
½ oz. reposado tequila


Pour into a grand service glass
Top with crushed ice


Top with a floater of:
½ oz. Cherry Heering
1 barspoon mezcal
1 barspoon Angostura bitters

Garnish with a mint spring and two brandied cherries, forming the unique plumage of the Dickbird

The Inverted Dickbird was for guests who wanted a Dickbird but preferred tequila to scotch. it’s a little simpler aside from the garnish, which requires making an ice nest/bowl by putting crushed ice in a citrus press.

The Inverted Dickbird
1 handful of smacked mint
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. guava syrup
1 ½ oz. reposado tequila
½ oz. scotch
½ oz Cherry Heering


Top with crushed ice


Top with a floater of:
2 barspoons Campari
2 barspoons Aperol
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Garnish with brandied cherries in an ice nest

by the time i got to inventing The Stirred Inverted Dickbird, i was just trying to be kind of a dick by making a drink that would be a huge hassle so that if any of my guests/regulars came in and requested it from one of my co-workers they’d have a hell of a time making it, sort of like a prank from beyond the grave/shift (this will be a recurring theme of my recipes).

The Stirred Inverted Dickbird
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters


1 barspoon amaretto
1 barspoon sambuca
3 barspoons midori
½ oz. sweet vermouth
½ oz grape manischewitz
½ oz. and 1 barspoon of sherry vinegar
½ oz. reposado tequila
1 ½ oz. scotch
Top with cubed ice


Strain into a Nick & Nora

[image By Domenico Salvagnin from Legnaro, Italy – Bird of Paradise, CC BY 2.0]

wine: it’s great!

i have no willpower to write vaguely intellectual things about videogames, which was the original plan, so instead imma write about wine, which is fun and great.

wine! i started drinking wine in my teens i guess because my family likes wine and i’m semi-related to somebody with a vineyard, but i didn’t really have the palate for any sort of alcohol until my early twenties (i didn’t ~enjoy~ beer until i was like, 25). the first wines i bought on my own were Charles Shaw cabernet sauvingon, which used to be ‘two buck chuck’ in california but has subsequently seen some price rises, and jugs of Carlo Rossi, which has some of the best commercials around.

that said, i first learned about wine thanks to The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio show that i listened to cassette tapes of when i was a kid. the show was sponsored by Petri Wine, with the Petri Wine guy visiting Dr. Watson to hear a story as the framing device for each episode. the best ones start with the Petri rep trying to talk to Dr. Watson about wine, which Watson really does not give a shit about. it’s wonderful, and the theme song is neat.

right at this very moment i’m drinking Camino del Ángel Merlot from Sainsbury’s, which had a letter ‘A’ ranking out of ABCDEF, with A being ‘light’ and ‘F’ being, uh, ‘full’, or something? i don’t really remember. anyways, it’s good and i like the scent. i used to be a bartender and had to describe wines with the usual wine-drinker vocabulary so i’m trying to avoid it here because eh, who needs wine recommendations from me. 

it took me a while to figure out what kind of wine i liked but i’ve at least gotten to the point where i know what i prefer (i say prefer because there’s really no kind of wine i dislike). for red my favorite flavors are dirt and mold without a lot of spice, for white i like rocks (or ~mineral~), and my favorite kind of wine is Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rosé, and not just because it comes in a neat bottle and has a lovely pink color. Provençal rosé would 100% be one of my desert island drinks, even though if i was actually on a desert island i’d definitely die from dehydration after like two days. it’s light and dry but still refreshing while leaving your mouth feeling clean and nice.

i also particularly enjoy dessert/sweet/fortified/after-dinner wines like port and muscat, but i’ve actually started moving away from them since i’ve moved to Scotland. i figured i should take the opportunity to drink/learn about scotch, which as of now i can only really enjoy after a long dinner because i still don’t love smoky drinks. scotch is a weird one because i love the dirt flavor you get from peaty scotch but generally the more peat there is the more smoke there is, so i’ve yet to find a particular scotch that would be my go-to brand/label/flavor profile. in terms of an after-dinner spirit my favorite will probably always be armagnac, so if that’s an option i tend to go for that over wine or scotch anyways. it’s totally evil and fucked up but there’s definitely a part of me that loves armagnac enough that i’d eat an ortolan if the opportunity presented itself.

anyways, writing this was fun so maybe once i feel like scanning things again i’ll post some of my custom recipes from my bartending days, including the spec recipes i half-blood-princed to make way better than the ones written by our ‘chief mixologist’ (lol)