It’s A Little Early For Switching… But let’s do it anyway!

Who among us is not looking for signs of the Next Season? This summer has been stressful and bitching hot. In New Orleans we managed to hit our record high temperature not just for a particular day but ever. 105 degrees. But no air conditioning  systems in existence can offset that temp and the accompanying humidity.

Usually about this time on the calendar, mid-September, we are looking towards the east for signs of tropical storms and to the north for cool weather influences. Doing so right now is premature. Instead let’s slowly modify our drink selections. And let’s keep it simple.

Death in the Afternoon

There are only a few successful authors to be considered as resources for cocktails. Ian Fleming qualifies and so does Ernest Hemingway. Here is a satisfying combination with two spirits which yield a most happy pairing.

It’s Hemingway’s recipe so we will take it directly from the pages of his classic tale of bullfighting in Spain: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”:  


It’s been over 100 years from that time in Florence, Italy since three classic spirits were combined to create this recipe, and the success just goes on and on.

1 ounce gin

1 ounce Campari

1 ounce sweet vermouth

Garnish: orange peel

1.       Add the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until well-chilled.

2.      Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

3.      Garnish with an orange peel.

French Harvest

We are often credited, in error, as being the town where French 75 was invented. Hard to discredit a good and oft-told rumor. But as the season moves along and we experience ripe, delicious apples, let’s update this recipe. 1 1/2 ounces Nolet’s silver dry gin

3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

3/4 ounce simple syrup

Le Brun organic cidre (or other dry sparkling cider), chilled, to top

Garnish: lemon twist


 And what would the end of warmer weather be without the inclusion of tequila?  This Mexican spirit is currently outrageously popular, and why not? Distinctive in both bouquet and flavor, the versatility of this specific world-class end result of blue agave harvest and fermentation provides  an endless array of cocktail possibilities over and above the beloved margarita. Often overlooked and under-appreciated, the Paloma should be a part of  every repertoire.

2 oz Espanita Grapefruit Tequila

2 oz fresh Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz Lime Juice

1 splash of Club Soda

2-3 dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Special thanks to Chilled Online and