What: I serve cocktails.

Where: The Green Hornet, Xindian

When: Saturday 14 July

*Edit – rescheduled to July 14!

Peter, down at my local watering hole, the Green Hornet has given me the chance to mix up some craft and classic cocktails next Saturday night. The Green Hornet is a small friendly local bar, near the tourist spot of Bitan Lake, and an easy walk from the Xindian MRT Station. They’re not exactly a cocktail bar, but the staff are very much interested in making quality drinks if you ask. The best thing about the Hornet is that it’s very friendly. It is a bar that truly lives up to the dream of being able to go there alone, sit up at the bar, and spend a night in conversation with whoever happens to be there.

I’ve made up a menu of twelve cocktails that I’d like to be able to serve, as long as we can get all the ingredients. If you’re in Taipei, come on down and try some


Whiskey Barrel Old-Fashioned (Bourbon)

– Bourbon, whiskey barrel-aged bitters

– strong, smooth, slightly peppery

– rocks glass





Whiskey Barrel Manhattan (Bourbon)

– Bourbon, sweet vermouth, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, homemade cocktail cherry

– sophisticated, smooth, complex, slightly peppery

– martini glass or rocks glass




Mellow Daiquiri (White Rum)

– Cuban rum, freshly-squeezed lime juice, chocolate bitters

– fresh, smooth, hints of chocolate, vanilla and caramel

– large martini glass with crushed ice




Papa Doble Daiquiri (White Rum)

– Cuban rum, freshly-squeezed lime juice, grapefruit bitters, cherry bitters, maraschino (bitter cherry) liqueur, homemade cocktail cherry

– fresh, complex, well-balanced bitter,

sweet and sour flavours

– large martini glass with crushed ice




Return of the Green Hornet (Tequila)

– reposado (aged) tequila, oolong tea, freshly-squeezed lime juice, ginger syrup, coriander

– surprising, modern, original, with a sting in the tail

– rocks glass





Rehabilitated Tequila Sunrise (Tequila)

– reposado (aged) tequila, freshly-squeezed orange juice, homemade grenadine

– familiar but improved, fresh, colorful, cooling

– highball glass with crushed ice




Rhubarb Margarita (Tequila)

– reposado (aged) tequila, Cointreau, freshly-squeezed lime juice, rhubarb bitters

– refreshing, South-of-the-border crowd-pleaser with a twist

– highball glass with crushed ice




Aviation (Gin)

– gin, lemon juice, maraschino (bitter cherry) liqueur

– sophisticated, elevated, bracing,

– martini glass



Monkey Gland (Gin)

– gin, pastis, homemade grenadine, freshly-squeezed orange juice

– fresh, sophisticated, rejuvenating

– martini glass




Cuba Libre (Dark Rum)

– Cuban rum, (a little) gin, Angostura bitters, freshly-squeezed lime juice, Coca-cola-

– refreshing, the unadulterated ancestor of the lack-lustre rum and coke

– highball glass



B & B Special (Brandy)

– Cognac, Benedictine (herbal liqueur), St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur

– warming, full, sweet, honeyed, spicy, strong

– rocks glass (with or without ice)




Wisconsin Brandy Old-Fashioned (Brandy)

– brandy, Angostura bitters, orange, homemade cocktail cherry, soda or 7-Up

– fresh, fruity, sweet or dry

– rocks glass with crushed ice


Versatile Blogger Award

June 24, 2012

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, I’m afraid. I’ve been on a sort of holiday as a good friend visited. We’ve been mixing quite a lot of cocktails too!

For this post, I’m going to do something a little different and just mention a few of my favourite blogs.

To be honest, I’d never really read blogs until I started writing this one a few months ago. Since then I’ve found several that I like, particularly, of course, little cocktail-related blogs like mine. I’ve learnt a lot, discovered some great little blogs, and recently was happy to receive this award from one of the blogs that I love to read every week.

I have to admit that it’s a little bit spammy – kind of like a chain letter, but on the other hand, it’s a good reason to mention some blogs I like, and it’s really nice to hear that other people like mine. So here goes with the ‘rules’ (for what they’re worth):

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate seven other blogs that you think are amazing.
  • Tell the blogging world seven things about yourself.

Thanks a lot, Putney Farm for nominating me.

Putney Farm is a great blog written by a couple with an orchard/ mini-farm. They post lovely articles and photos of the food they grow and the mouth-watering things they cook with it. And they always mix up a great cocktail to celebrate the fruits of their labour. I love the synergy of purpose and am incredibly envious.

Boozed and Infused is another inspiration. Alicia uses fresh seasonal ingredients to make mouth-watering boozed-up infusions and liqueurs. After reading for a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and now I’ve got one done (Lime and Ginger Gin) and two on the go (Mango Liqueur and Kiwifruit Liqueur). That’s inspiration.

And One More for the Road blogs the exploits of a Vancouver bartender. Not just another cocktail blog, Rhett writes great articles about such things as the classification of fortified wines and the science of taste. Fascinating, practical and interesting stuff that takes making great cocktails beyond just following recipes.

Cold Glass is just beautiful. The design is both minimal and jazzed up at the same time, and the photos of the cocktails make me want to cry with envy. If only my cocktail photos were half as good. And I love the line at the top of each page: “You can make these cocktails. Start right now.”

Everyday Drinking provides booze news from Sydney. Being from the Antipodes myself originally, I like to hear a voice from down under discussing bars, spirits, and new products.

GigGuide Taiwan takes me away from the world of cocktails, to Taiwan, and my old mate Steve’s fantastic site. As the name suggests, the Gig Guide provides a great bilingual guide to upcoming gigs in Taiwan. Steve is relentless, and it seems to me that he personally attends and reviews every musical performance in Taiwan. The man’s a machine.

And now for the seven or so things about myself.

Born and raised in New Zealand – Wellington – I love the place to bits.

Been living in Taipei for over a decade now – love this place too. Wish I could live in both.

Only got into cocktails two years ago, and don’t claim to be an expert, but I can’t stop reading and experimenting on the topic.

Lovely wife is my partner in the journey. We started mixing together, but she lost interest in that aspect. Now she just drinks and provides feedback.

Movies are my other passion, and have been for a long time.

Cats are good.

I like pie (well vegetarian pie, anyway).

PS I finally have a logo, thanks to a couple of my students. Shout out to Calvin and Steven. Nice work, lads!

My first book review, ‘Boozehound’ was cocktail travelogue. The last one, ‘Imbibe’ was cocktail history and archaeology. ‘How’s Your Drink’ – a reworking of author Eric Felten’s former cocktail columns for the Wall Street Journal – is a marvellous piece of cocktail cultural and literary studies.

That isn’t to say that How’s Your Drink: Cocktail Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well, is dense and academic. Far from it. It’s a breezy yet educated read which, much like ‘Boozehound’, mixes great writing about the subject with related cocktail recipes (about 50 in all).

Felten has a lot of the history of the drinks, but it’s certainly a cultural history, heavy on the interesting anecdotes, and peppered with scores of references from literature and film – a touch that I adore – from James Bond to John Updike to The Thin Man to Philip Marlowe. For example, quick pop quiz, what is the first drink James Bond orders in his first novel – a Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred), right? No, it’s an Americano (Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Soda), and he also drinks Gin and Tonic, Enzian, Ouzo, Raki, Old-Fashioneds, Bourbon and Branch, his own signature drink the Vesper, and even a Miller Beer.

Eric Felten

There’s great stuff in this slim 200-page volume; stuff that when researching drinks for this blog I was unable to find anywhere online. I love his comments on the ridiculous gender stereotyping of drinks (I mean “Ladies’ drinks” – what is this? Victorian England?) and his rhapsodic writing about his favourite bar, Blair’s Blue Room, really makes me want to go there. Where is it? You’ll have to read to find out.

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