Cocktail Name Changer

In a previous blog post we dealt with the subject of cocktail names. You can give a cocktail, or anything for that matter, a fancy intriguing name but none of that matters if the drink is unappetizing. The Complete Bartenders Guide is abundant with amazing cocktail names but (if you’ve been following along) lacking in flavorful cocktails. Once again…

Year 1 Annual Report

Hard to believe, but the Rituals is one year old today. Happy Birthday, Rituals! Where is the smash cake? Yes, our fiscal year begins and ends on April Fools Day—appropriately enough—and so should yours. We had hoped to create a stylish, inventive annual report along the lines of Nick Feltron’s Report, the Warby Parker Year in Review, or the…

The All-White Frappe, The Allen

Pop Quiz: Which of the following are not cocktails we are making today? All-White Frappe Partially White Frappe Flat White Frappucino The New Zealand All-Blacks Allen Woody Allen Ethan Allen GG Allin The Alan Parsons Project Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold Alien Answer: Well, if you read the title to this post,…

The Great Allegheny Slog With Our Friend Alice

This week’s recipes require two new ingredients: blackberry flavored brandy and Russian kümmel. Both of these items have the potential to sit ignored on my shelf for years to come and it’s no surprise I can feel my feet dragging behind me these days. Can’t we just skip these drinks or make some intelligent substitutions…

Alfonso Goes to the Algonquin

One thing this Rituals project has taught me is that a cocktail’s name is actually important. Previously, it didn’t matter much whether the drink was called an Attaboy or a You’re Gonna Get It or a Ronda Rousey (all fictional, by the way). The ingredients were there to speak for themselves, right? Who cared what…

Alexander/Alexandra, Victor/Victoria

The Brandy Alexander has its roots in the 19th century but it really came into its own in the 70s. The Brandy Alexander—cognac, cocoa liqueur, and cream—just sounds like the 70s: . You can picture smoke-filled living rooms in which this drink was consumed; you can see the glassware and the chunky jewelry and the…

Ale, Ale, Prunelle

Ale, ale, prunelle. Like some outlandish alcoholic version of Duck Duck Goose, today we delve into some early cocktail history and end with a defunct liqueur. We also have a guest with us today, James Mann. Eric and I have known James for quite a while. We all met early on in our careers in…

Happy New Year: Another Flipping Failure

Depending on one’s personality, a new year can represent a new start or a chance to really dwell on the past. Let’s be realistic for a second, okay? January is an excellent month to analyze all of the delusional (and unrealized) resolutions of years past—all of the misguided hopes and broken dreams. Pay attention! If…

Mosswood Distillers Whiskey Interview

We met Therese and Jake of Mosswood Distillers at the San Francisco Craft Spirits Carnival. We talked booze and tasted whiskey. They were warm, honest, friendly, and all-around great people, so we decided that we had to meet them in their element and see their operation. So on a warm fall morning we make our way…

What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? Mr. Bill Shakespeare aptly used this question in Romeo and Juliet to show that names are but labels and that the worth of the person is all that truly matters. Today we measure the worth of a few cocktails with the names ALABAMA FIZZ (not too intriguing), ALABAZAM (piques interest), and ALASKA (it’s…

The Carry-On Cocktail Kit Old Fashioned Review

You’ve just boarded a plane. Maybe you’re off on that trip you have always wanted to take to Bali—or maybe you’re on your way back home from that horrible business trip with Ashton from marketing. Whatever it is you just want to sit back and relax, but there are few things on a plane that…

Airmailing a Hot Toddy into Alabama, Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, Brian and Eric (and guest tasters Jesse and Andrew) blundered through a frail cocktail called the Airmail Special. The recipe may have been compromised by an atypical lack of lime juice measuring precision, but the disappointing results felt very familiar. In Part 2, the guys lumber forward toward the remaining two drinks…

Airmailing a Hot Toddy into Alabama, Part 1

Previously on the Rituals: My childhood friend Jason came to Los Angeles to help us deconstruct some weird cocktails (the AFTER DINNER, AFTER DINNER SPECIAL, and the AGGRAVATION) and offer his opinions. It was good to have a different perspective around—to keep Brian and me in check—and this success encouraged us to include guest tasters…

After Dinner Aggravation, Part 2

In Part 1 of the After Dinner Aggravation, Brian, Eric, and Guest Taster Jason tried out two separate “After Dinner” drinks with unprecedentedly positive scores, while still kind of hating them. We pick up where we left off, with Rituals crew building the AGGRAVATION: Next up we have a drink that uses Kahlua and of…

After Dinner Aggravation, Part 1

I hop in the Lyft I requested minutes ago. As I sit into the front seat bottles can be heard clanking and clinking. “How’s your day going,” the driver asks. To which I reply, “It’s about to get better. Heading to a friend’s to have some cocktails.” This is how most of my Lyft rides…

DIY Swedish Punsch

An upcoming recipe requires something called Swedish Punsch, and being Swedish (I don’t know about Brian, but I am if you go back far enough) it seems culturally appropriate for us to make this beverage from scratch instead of resorting to the only commercial version available in the U.S., Kronan, and only using a measly…

San Francisco Craft Spirits Carnival 2015

36 HOURS OF MAYHEM “I’m scared, Brian.” This is not the first time I have uttered these words and it probably won’t be the last. But it is a very real fear this time and it is potent. We are attending our first liquor convention, the San Francisco Craft Spirits Carnival, and we have no…

Gin Class With Melaney Schmidt, Bar Manager at the Standard Hotel

Melaney Schmidt manages the restaurant bar at the Standard where she has created the White Duck (Aperol, Ford’s gin, grapefruit), the Smith & Crossing (Caña Brava rum, Smith & Cross pot-still rum, lime, mint, pineapple, absinthe), and other delicious concoctions. Her focus is on using fresh kitchen ingredients and pairing these culinary flavors with boutique…

Always drink responsibly!