Oh, Sheela!

‘Cause with you is where I got to be, yeah.
–“Oh, Sheila”, Ready for the World, 1985.


When in the Washington, D.C. metro area, one of my favorite places to go for lunch is Rasika West End. I would strongly recommend that each person get their own palak chaat appetizer-no sharing! In fact, get two, and skip the entree. And for a beverage, try the Sheela….a delectable blend of Absolut Elyx vodka, rosemary and ginger honey, and lemon juice, with a star anise garnish. Beautiful food, beautiful cocktails. Since you’re getting two appetizers, you might as well get two of these, too.

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Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

As If By Magic

One of my favorite things in the whole world is when drinks appear as if by magic. I went to meet a friend for dinner tonight, and found this upon arrival:


And it was magical.

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Published in: on April 9, 2017 at 4:02 am  Comments (1)  

National Whisk(e)y Day

Today, if you did not know, is National Whisk(e)y Day. What’s the difference between whisky and whiskey, you may ask? “Whisky” refers to the spirits from Canada, Scotland, and Japan. (Who knew the Japanese made whisky?!) “Whiskey” refers to spirits from the United States and Ireland. In honor of this occasion, we celebrated with Bpulevardiers*+

* The “p” is silent.
+ Really, I tried to post this from my phone, and it didn’t go so well. So let’s try this again….
Today, if you did not know, is National Whisk(e)y Day. What’s the difference between whisky and whiskey, you may ask? “Whisky” refers to the spirits from Canada, Scotland, and Japan. (Who knew the Japanese made whisky?!) “Whiskey” refers to spirits from the United States and Ireland. In honor of this occasion, we celebrated with Boulevardiers….bourbon, campari, and dolin rouge. Yum.

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Published in: on March 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Happy Rooster

By now you know that we at the P & P Drinking Company like to make our own beverages.  But every now and then, it’s nice to go out.  And, if you are lucky, you’ll find someone like Diane, who has tended the back bar at the Happy Rooster in Philadephia for eight years.  Whether you are looking for a classic gin martini “dry as the Sahara and slightly dirty” or the perfect French martini or a damn fine Cosmo, Diane will hook you up.


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Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Glamorous Columbus, OH

Over the summer, I went to glamorous Columbus, OH on business.  (For Microscopy & Microanalysis, where I gave a talk entitled “Correlating Substrate Properties with Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Performance.”  Scintillating, I know.)  As it turns out, Columbus has a much more vibrant restaurant scene than I was expecting, which was good.  But it is totally not a vodka town, which is not-so-good.  But bourbon?  Oh, yeah….there was bourbon.  There were two bourbon cocktails that particularly stood out:

  • At the Eagle, a bourbon punch with Old Forrester, Ginger Liqueur, Cranberry, White Grape, and House Sour Mix
  • At Bakersfield, the “Red Headed Stranger” (because how could I not?), with Old Forrester, Domaine de Canton, lemon just, Angostura, and cayenne.

Old Forrester is not my bourbon of choice (that honor goes to Buffalo Trace), but these cocktails were both pretty smooth.  (Of course, the addition of Canton always helps.)  As we moved toward cooler temps, these give us a nice base to play around with.

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Published in: on November 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer Nights

Summer lovin’, had me a blast….

This past summer, I went up to Lake George with friends.  (See here, and here.)  They took care of the accommodations and the food; I was responsible for the bar.  A couple of bottles of Chakana malbec, and a couple of bottles of Shingleback Black Bubbles sparkling shiraz, and, of course, vodka, vodka, and vodka.  (Unless you’re new here, you knew that was coming.)  I made a blackberry-basil simple syrup, and a cilantro one, too.  And threw a couple of cordials in the box, like Canton and Cointreau.  I was prepared.  We drank all of the reds.  (I also had a couple of bottles of white, but those came home unopened.)  Here are three of our summer night cocktails, all stirred with ice, and best enjoyed lakeside:

Drink #1:

  • 3 parts Absolut Citron
  • 2 parts Canton
  • 2 parts cilantro simple syrup
  • lemon lime seltzer

Drink #2

  • 3 parts Esme blackberry vodka
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 1 part blackberry-basil simple syrup
  • blackberry juice
  • lemon lime seltzer
  • fresh basil for garnish

Drink #3

  • 3 parts Esme blackberry vodka
  • 1 part Canton
  • 1 part blackberry-basil simple syrup
  • 2 parts sparkling limeade
  • lemon lime seltzer

It turned colder, that’s where it ends….

Thinking about bourbon for winter.

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Published in: on October 18, 2016 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Of a French Martini and Martinique


Our friend Jules blew in from out of town, and for once, we at the P&P Drinking Company had the pleasure of someone else making cocktails for us.  One of Jules’ specialties is a French martini, which is usually vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice.  The twist here is that Jules prefers vanilla vodka (Stoli, natch) for a slightly more refined flavor.  DEEEE-lish!

But…uh-oh! For the second round, we only had about half of the vanilla vodka that we needed.  I was going to grab some unflavored vodka, but Jules spied the Pearl coconut vodka and decided to give that a whirl.  Such is the inception of the Martinique, a Caribbean spin on the French Martini, and O! M! G!  It is absolutely a cocktail meant to be served on the veranda on a summer evening, watching the sun set and the fireflies flicker.

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Published in: on June 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Raspberry Birthday

She had a raspberry birthday, the kind she had in the year she was born….

(Sung, obviously, to the tune of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret.”)


In honor of the BFF’s birthday, and Prince’s recent passing, we at the P & P Drinking Company decided that the order of the day was to devise a purple cocktail.  Hence, the Raspberry Birthday was born.

The Raspberry Birthday:

  • 4 parts raspberry vodka (we used Stoli, natch)
  • 2 parts blue curacao
  • 2 parts grenadine
  • raspberry lime seltzer

Rim glass with purple sugar*.  Shake first three ingredients with lots of ice.  Decant into sugared glasses and top with seltzer.

The purple color was so much more beautiful than I expected, and the seltzer balances all of those sweet things nicely….a nice homage to both a birthday and a musical legend.

(*To make purple sugar:  Mix 1/2 a cup of sugar with 10 drops of red food coloring and 4 drops of blue, and mixmixmix.)

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Published in: on May 30, 2016 at 11:25 pm  Comments (2)  


Happy New Year!  Now that the whirlwind which is the holidays is starting to wind down, we have a minute to catch our breath.  At our annual holiday fiesta last month, we decided to try a champagne cocktail.  Traditionally, champagne cocktail is made with cognac and champagne.  But we at the P & P Drinking Company *might* be a little less conventional than that.  (Which you may have realized already.)  This is our permutation, I mean pomutation, of a champagne cocktail:

2 parts prosecco (because why use champagne when prosecco is so lovely?)

1 part pomegranate juice

1 part pomegranate seltzer (we used Polar brand)

1/2 part pomegranate vodka (we used Three O)

pomegranate seeds, to garnish

We mixed it all up in a pitcher….and it was totally crisp and refreshing, with layers upon layers of pomegranate flavor that really worked.  A nice alternative to both a traditional champagne cocktail, and to the sweet Cosmo-esque martini that we also served.

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Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maple Bourbon


Lately, we at the P&P Drinking Company have been slightly obsessed with the idea of maple and bourbon together.  Maple-bacon-bourbon cupcakes came to us in a dream a while back, but we haven’t had time to execute them yet.  (We anticipate an highly complex experimental design that requires multiple iterations…. applications are being accepted now for volunteer tasters!)

So when our friend brought out his copy of “Shake:  A New Perspective in Cocktails” by Eric Prum & Josh Williams, and his bottle of Hirsch bourbon, we were all over their version of the Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour.  The only problem was the lack of one necessary ingredient:  lemon juice.  Not to be deterred, he suggested the (slightly genius) substitution of ginger beer, which led to this delicious concoction:

The Maple Bourbon Not-So-Sour

  • 3 parts bourbon
  • 1.5 parts ginger beer
  • 0.75 parts maple syrup
  • fresh rosemary

Crush a spring a rosemary and add to shaker with all other ingredients.  Add some ice, and shakeshakeshake.  Strain into glasses & garnish with additional rosemary.  (You know, for beauty.)

The rosemary comes out far more strongly than expected, the maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness without being too cloying, and the bourbon and ginger play so very, very nicely together.  This drink is in the “Fall” section of the book, but we have every confidence that it will sustain us well into winter (and possibly even into spring.)

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Published in: on December 14, 2015 at 2:37 am  Leave a Comment