At our house, we’ve decided to make monthly “drink menus”.  They live on the fridge, just like the bar menus do at Bourbon & Branch.  Now, on the one hand, this is insanely precious and annoying.  But, on the other, it allows us to track what we were drinking when.  On the third hand – the one my hunchbacked assistant dug up from the graveyard and grafted to one of my cats, that is – it saves me the frustration of having to think up drinks for everyone on a given night.  If my roommate can’t decide what he wants to drink (a sadly frequent situation), or my friend who jokingly suggests jagerbombs a little too often asks me to make him a cocktail, I can hand him the list and say “Point to where they touched you”.

DECEMBER 2008

LA BETE
blanco tequila, st germain, rinquinquin
orange twist/mint leaf

REMEMBER THE MAINE
rye, sweet vermouth, cherry heering, herbsaint
lemon twist

21ST AMENDMENT
bourbon, apricot brandy, swedish punsch,
aromatic bitters, orange bitters,
herbsaint wash

MARTINI DU FLEUR
gin, dry vermouth, st germain, crème de violette

GINGER ROGERS
gin, domaine de canton, mint, lime juice
seltzer/champagne fill

ZOMBIE
black rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup

ADONIS
sweet vermouth, sherry, orange bitters
orange twist

WHISKEY SKIN
irish whiskey, cane syrup, lemon peel
hot water fill

On the fourth hand – that one’s just going to have to remain a mystery, folks – it also allows me to decide which drinks I want to remember, and which drinks I can just let slide.  La Bete (“the beast”, in French, at least if you imagine that there is a tiny carat diacritical over the first ‘e’ that I am too lazy to figure out the keymapping for), is a cocktail of my own invention that is beautiful, simple, and which I have renamed a million times (I posted it here first as a nouveau-Martinez).  It also never gets made, for some reason.  Whenever I make one I enjoy it, but I’d always prefer to make a Paloma.  So it goes onto the dustpile of drinks I remember when I want to impress small-town bartenders (bartenders in big cities are notably harder to impress, preferring to regain the upper-hand by arguing the more technical points of Pegu Clubs).

From this list, the drinks that got made the most were the Adonis, for which my girlfriend is mostly to thank, and because it’s always nice to have a drink that doesn’t set you so far back on your heels at once; the Remember the Maine, because both I and my roommate will drink almost any variation on a Manhattan; the Whiskey Skin, because it has been cold as the dead fingertips on my third hand for the last month; and, surprisingly, the 21st Amendment.  That one is devilishly complicated to make (being a Jamie Boudreau creation), but is unremittingly delicious.

Oh, and the Martini du Fleur is a classy rename of the Flower Power Martini, which I feel obligated to mention so that this paper is not rejected for improper citation.  Sadly, despite being a brilliant drink, it also goes on the reject pile.  In fact, I think the white-liquor cocktails (the Martini du Fleur and La Bete) on this list didn’t work because they were the cocktail equivalents of Bandit, by Robert Piguet – beautiful, stark, and brutal, not really the drinks for a cold winter evening and peasant stew.

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