Articles by Eric D. Anderson

Eric D. Anderson

Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (storiesofquitting.com), an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.


Ale Flip Failure - The Rituals
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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…

Albertine Cocktail - Ingredients
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Albertine

The very promising ALBERTINE requests equal parts Cointreau, Yellow Chartreuse, and kirsch (cherry brandy), with a dash of maraschino bitters. This is unusual combination of strong-willed liquors—each is capable of dominating its own drink—and we are curious to see if each ingredient will try to play well with others. Then again it could be a street fight. After…

Ablemarle Fizz - The Ingredients
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Albemarle Fizz

According to Wikipedia (always love saying that), the word ALBEMARLE is the Latinised form of the French county of Aumale in Normandy (Latin: Alba Marla meaning “White Marl”, marl being a type of fertile soil). White marl, eh? The Savoy Stomp blog digs around and finds some more interesting history about Albemarle: It was also an early Virginia colony gone bad,…

The Alabama Cocktail
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Alabama

The ALABAMA is the only beverage in its session without “special” in its name. Humility is important in a cocktail, we are discovering, but it’s also the death knell if you’re a cocktail trying to survive amongst an ocean of self-aggrandizing, self-promoting millennials. A cocktail that has really mastered SEO and branding is the Alabama Slammer,…

AL Long's Special Hot Toddy
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AL Long’s Special Hot Toddy

The first thing any living creature will ask itself after drinking AL LONG’S SPECIAL HOT TODDY is “Who the hell is Al Long?” Jesse asserts that Mr. Long is a veteran of the blue movies, but after significant digging I conclude that Al Long is not actually Al Long at all, but A.L. Long (Armistead Lindsay…

The Airmail Special Cocktail
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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…

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Airmail Special

There is no mention of the AIRMAIL SPECIAL on the Internet, whatsoever, but instead of filling me with excitement, like the A-1 PICK-ME-UP, this dearth of information depletes my energy stores. We are back in the jungle again, with anarchy, and no road map to guide us. Going by what the Bartender Guide tells us, the AIRMAIL…

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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…

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Aggravation

AGGRAVATION 1 oz. Kahlua 1 oz. Scotch (Monkey Shoulder) Milk Fill glass with milk, add ingredients and two ice cubes, stir slowly, and serve. Brian That’s weird, but it’s not bad. It’s the scotch. The scotch is weird. Eric Why is this called the Aggravation? Brian I don’t know. I am in no way aggravated…

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After Dinner Special

AFTER DINNER SPECIAL .75 oz. cherry brandy (Cherry Heering) 1.5 oz. Swedish Punsch (homemade) 1 oz. lime juice Combine with ice; shake. Strain over ice.  Brian It’s good. Lime and Cherry Heering. I can’t taste the punsch. Not overpowering lime. Jason The bitter part is the punsch. This is a citrus bomb. Brian Ladies will…

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After Dinner

AFTER DINNER 1.5 oz. apricot brandy (Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot) 1.5 oz. curaçao (Ferrand Dry Curaçao) 2 oz. lime juice Combine with ice; shake. Strain. Add a twist of lime and ice. Drop in the peel. This week we recorded our tasting notes so we could remember all of the good points. Eric It’s…

DIY Swedish Punsch
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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 -- Litty Mathew -- Greenbar Craft Spirits
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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 -- Melaney Schmidt -- The Standard Hotel
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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…

Affinity Cocktail Port Scotch Sherry Angostura Bitters
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Affinity Cocktail

The AFFINITY COCKTAIL replaces the dry and sweet vermouth of the AFFINITY with dry sherry and port. The Internet knows nothing about this particular variation, although FinestCall.com says: “Incorporating sherry or port into a Manhattan adds tremendous body, depth of flavor and complexity to the drink. Port is a sensational replacement for sweet vermouth. On the…

Affinity Cocktail Scotch Sweet Vermouth Dry Vermouth Angostura Bitters
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Affinity

The AFFINITY is a Perfect Rob Roy for somebody with a vermouth fetish. A Rob Roy is a Manhattan with Scotch, and a Perfect Rob Roy divides the normal sweet vermouth allocation into equal parts sweet and dry vermouths. But while a proper Perfect Rob Roy usually combines 2 parts Scotch with 1 part vermouth (half dry and…

Adonis Cocktail Sherry Sweet Vermouth Orange Bitters
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Adonis

The ADONIS was created by New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1884 to promote a long-running burlesque show called, well, “Adonis.” Punchdrink.com says “Adonis” is often credited as the first-ever Broadway musical, which makes this cocktail’s history pretty special. Finally, a cocktail with a pedigree. This is our first encounter with a sherry-based cocktail, however, and we are,…

Affinity Cocktail Port Scotch Sherry Angostura Bitters
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The Imperfect Mr. Roy: Adonis thru the Affinity Cocktail

Tonight’s session is a low-stakes affair, with only three cocktails on the schedule: the ADONIS, the AFFINITY, and the AFFINITY COCKTAIL. There is port to be purchased and there is dry sherry to be purchased, and once again we are confronted with the utter foolishness of this endeavor. We buy bottle after bottle of obscure…

Always drink responsibly!