Location: Lower East Side of Manhattan Island, far southern delta of the Mohawk/Hudson River watershed, Turtle Island, Earth.
Cocktail Ideology: The Golden Rule.
Cocktail Strategy: Focus on balance, everything else will likely work out.
First Cocktail Memory: Making my own Shirley Temple during cocktail hour with my folks at the age of 6 or 7… in my house that meant ginger ale, grenadine, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a maraschino cherry.
Cocktail Inspiration: It changes daily… food, booze, a song, a conversation, a daydream, a memory, a thirst.
Cocktail I can’t live without: Manhattan. I have a decanter from my late grandfather on my bar at home that I keep filled with pre-mixed Manhattans for everyday (well, evening) consumption. 8:3 Old Overholt Rye to Martini sweet vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura bitters per 4 oz., on the rocks. When I make ‘em one at a time, I use Rittenhouse rye, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and Fee Bros. aromatic bitters, and serve it up with a flamed orange peel.
Favorite Bar Tool: A 60 oz. chrome cocktail shaker/pitcher with a pour spout that I can use to shake up & serve 6 cocktails at a time at parties.
Secret Ingredient: Orange bitters. In a 2 to 1 Martini with good fresh vermouth. It pains me how few people have ever had a Martini they way they were meant to be made.
Guilty Pleasure: A shot of Jameson and a cold Bud. Except wait, guilt? Hmm. Pass.
Milk or Dark: Definitely dark. Preferably while sipping a tawny port after a big meal
Dogs or Cats: I like both. But I’ve never gotten over my first, a gift after my allergy to pet fur disappeared in my late teens. See you in heaven, Caroline (On The Line Never Getting Through).
Sauna or Steam: I love the Turkish steam bath with fresh eucalyptus leaves at the Hotel Quito in Ecuador’s capital. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, just walk purposefully through the lobby like you have a reason to be there – don’t look at the desk on the right – and head down the stairs to the left.
If you were stranded on a desert island what three bar tools would you want to have with you?
I assume this island is in the tropics somewhere and has a freshwater spring, and at some point, a handful of bastard colonists planted sugar cane, coconut palms, and pineapples? Then I guess I just need a pot still, a shaker and an ice machine. Piña Coladas anyone?