American Beauty Cocktail -- The Rituals

“American Beauty”: Kitchen Sink, Act III

KITCHEN SINK: A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS ACT III “AMERICAN BEAUTY”   A cold feeling of hopelessness descends upon the two men in the kitchen. Or maybe it’s just the advancing chill of night as the sun retreats behind the earth. The counter is littered with bottles and spent fruit. One man recites the next recipe…


“Amer Picon Cooler”: Kitchen Sink, Act II

KITCHEN SINK: A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS ACT II “AMER PICON COOLER”   Passage of time. The sun clicks downward in the sky. The two men in the kitchen, Brian and Eric, address the next recipe in the ancient bartending manual. This is what it says: AMER PICON COOLER 1.5 oz. Amer Picon (substituted Amaro CioCiaro)…

Ambrosia for Two -- The Rituals

“Ambrosia For Two”: Kitchen Sink, Act I

KITCHEN SINK: A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS ACT I “AMBROSIA FOR TWO”   A warm summer afternoon. A kitchen. Two men in early middle age make cocktails while their wives consort in the living room. One man, Brian, consults a bartender guide. A recipe awaits. AMBROSIA FOR TWO 3 oz. brandy (Pierre Ferrand cognac) 3 oz….

Amabile Beone

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…

Alcohol is Fun - The Rituals Favorite Coasters

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,…

Allegheny Cocktail - The Rituals

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 Special

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…

Alexandra Cocktail

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…

Alexander With Prunelle

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…

Ale Flip Failure - The Rituals

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…

The Rituals - Alabazam Cocktail

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 Airmail Special Cocktail

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…

The Rituals -- The Aggravation Cocktail

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…

Affinity Cocktail Port Scotch Sherry Angostura Bitters

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…


Absinthe Cleanup thru the Adam and Eve

I arrive at Brian’s thinking how grateful his wife Amanda must be now that we have finished the cooking and bottling portion of the Rituals (at least for awhile). The ACADIAN MEAD is aging in his closet, sure, but it’s out of sight and out of mind. We’ll be using our homemade ANISETTE today and our DIY CRÈME…

Always drink responsibly!