Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Hello Friends!

Just wanted to drop a little note in here and say I’ll be away for the next couple days—I’m flying out to Seattle for an event & it’s my first time visiting the West Coast! Very exciting!

So let’s see…what do I know about Seattle? It rains a lot…setting for “Fraiser”…people throw fish around and catch them in newspapers…home of Nirvana…people wear flannel…space needle…Real World was there when that guy slapped that girl and threw her teddy bear into the Puget Sound.

I’m very cultured as you can tell.

One thing I know I’ve heard so much about Seattle is they have great coffee, and I’m not talking Starbucks, people. I myself am not particularly keen on coffee unless it’s extra light and sweet with a side of cankles and heart disease, so I generally avoid. But here’s a way I can enjoy Seattle’s finest—the classic Coffee Cocktail. Scratch that—this cocktail appears to have no coffee in it whatsoever and therefore is only marginally related to this blogpost. Ah, well, still sounds yummy and will have to do. Here’s the recipe courtesy of About.com Cocktails.


Coffee Cocktail

1 oz. Cognac or Brandy
1 oz. Ruby Port
1 small egg
½ tsp sugar
Fresh grated nutmeg for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice & shake the bejesus out of it. Strain (if you’re an over-achiever like Morgenthaler, double strain) into a port or sour glass. Dust the top with freshly grated nutmeg and enjoy!


Drink O' The Irish

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya & Happy St. Patrick’s Day, readers. With a last name like Harrigan, you can bet I like to enjoy a few St. Patty’s Day cocktails with my corned beef & cabbage on March 17th.

Ok, so I’m not really Irish—the name’s Armenian actually, and was changed from Harrigian to Harrigan when my family arrived in America. But I feel, since I was taunted and tortured with the following song for the majority of my childhood, I should get to reap the benefits of an Irish-sounding last name:

After all, everybody’s got a little Irish in them on St. Patty’s Day. Get in touch with your Celtic roots with a few tasty (and green, of course) cocktails this eve. Cheers!

The Ugly Leprechaun

1 ½ oz. OVAL Vodka
½ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
½ oz. Hiram Walker Melon Liqueur
¼ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Kiwi Puree
Lime wheel for garnish

Chill a large cocktail glass. Shake ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.


¾ oz. Cream
¾ oz. Hiram Walker Crème de Cacao, white
¾ oz. Hiram Walker Crème de Menthe, green

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with chocolate cookie crumbs.

Irish Cooler

1 ½ oz. Absinthe Mata Hari
½ oz. Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps
½ oz. Cream

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir. Serve over ice in a rocks glass.


MxMo XXXVII: First Time

I’ve been following Mixology Monday for just about a year now but never felt it was the proper place for me—as a marketing professional—to chime in. But when I read this month’s theme, I knew it was the appropriate time to throw my hat into the ring. I’ll explain that in a bit more detail later on but first I'd like to thank the lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston for hosting this round. Here is this month's theme, in their own words:

“This event was inspired by a chance encounter I had with an almost-famous Christian rock musician who, at age 32, had never had a cocktail. ‘I’d like to try one sometime,’ he said, ‘What do you think I should have?’

It’s an excellent question, and one I though best vetted by a wide audience of experts: What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure - but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?’”

What a great question. In marketing, I constantly walk the line between cocktailians and the more common cocktail consumers. It’s important, as a brand, to offer recipes and other content that will appeal, at least in part, to both groups. You don’t want to bore cocktail enthusiasts with super-sweet drinks but by the same token, you don’t want to scare everyday cocktail consumers with loads of bitters and essoteric ingredients. I guess I consider myself a cocktail moderate, just trying to balance it all.

That’s certainly not to say one cocktail recipe can please everyone, but if I were to introduce a newcomer to cocktails I’d pick something that had a bit of the cocktailian touch, without being too intimidating. Consider it a gateway drink that could possibly inspire further exploration and experimentation into classic cocktails and more complex creations. For these reasons and more, I give you the Spring Blossom.

Spring Blossom

1 1/2 oz Oval Vodka
1 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 oz soda water
stalk of lemon grass for garnish

Shake first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; strain into an iced highball glass, top with soda water and garnish with lemon grass.

The Spring Blossom is one of a group of new cocktails we recently had created for a client of ours, OVAL vodka. It immediately stood out, to me, as the best of the bunch. It’s simple, refreshing, and very well-balanced and I think it’d be great for a first-time cocktail imbiber.

Obviously a key ingredient in this drink is vodka, and while it may not be the favorite spirit of the cocktail community, it certainly has consumer appeal. It’s subtle, and won’t overwhelm the newbie like a gin or bold whiskey might.

Then there’s the St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. If one ingredient could bring the cocktail enthusiasts and cocktail masses of the world together this one would be it. Not everyone loves it, but it is generally well-respected and enjoyed in many circles. Its floral notes are intriguing and different for the everyday drinker, with a touch of familiar and comforting sweetness that’s not too much to offend seasoned cocktail veterans.

If anything’s a stretch in the Spring Blossom it’d probably be the lemon grass stalk which, although very visually appealing, could easily be replaced with a slice of lemon (just in case any newbies are out there wondering where the hell they’re going to get their hands on some lemongrass stalks).

If you are new to the cocktail world, I encourage you to try the Spring Blossom (trust me, the St. Germain will be worth the investment and you’ll find a million great cocktails to use it in). For the mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts out there, I ask you to set aside any prejudice and give this one a try. While it may not be your cup of tea, you’ll most likely deem it worthy enough to serve to friends of yours who are just starting to experiment with cocktails. Before you know it, they’ll be whipping up Corpse Revivers and throwing back Sazeracs with the best of them.

Cheers Everyone!