Author: The Barrister

Mai Tai (Trader Vics)

While gin is the nectar of the gods—and bourbon is the oil to our bodily engines— rum is the elixir that pushes us through the week. Particularly dark rums. Tiki cocktails especially help us manage the long days. For that reason, Don the Beachcomber is a famous man in our household. Don Beach arguably created the Mai Tai in 1933; however, it disappeared from his bar room around 1937. A similar recipe popped up in Trader Vic’s menu sometime in 1944. “Arch nemesis” to the Beachcomber, Trader Vic likely knew of Don Beach’s mix of rums and citrus. While we hold Don the Beachcomber in great esteem, Trader Vic’s variation of the Mai Tai is by far superior to our tastes.

Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s)

2 Parts Amber Rum
2 Parts Dark Rum
2 Parts Lime Juice (Fresh)
1 Part Curacao
1 Part Orgeat (Home Made)
Rock Candy Syrup (to taste)
Mint Garnish

Add all ingredients with ice to a cocktail shaker. Vigorously shake until ice cold. Strain over cracked ice into your favorite glass. Garnish with fresh mint and a used half-lime shell. Sip, and enjoy your little minty palm tree and island of lime.

We will one day explain the rivalry between Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. For now, enjoy the rum!

Smokin’ Margarita

2 oz Mezcal

1/2 oz Tequila añejo 

1 oz Lime juice

1/2 oz Agave nectar

Combine all ingredients over ice, shake, and strain into fresh ice in rocks glass rimmed with salt. I caramelized the lime wheel by dipping it in raw Florida sugar and toasted with a cigar lighter.

To The Point

Let’s get ‘to the point’… we are crushing on this recipe from Imbibe Magazine (with slight modifications):

🔸2.5 oz. rye whiskey

🔸¼ oz. lady grey tea syrup

🔸¼ oz. green Chartreuse

🔸1 dash angostura bitters

🔸1 dash cinsmmon

Add the whiskey, Chartreuse, syrup, and bitters to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass.  Garnish with an orange peel and basil.  Grate cinnamon over the orange peel.

The lady grey simple syrup is easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Make a one-to-one ratio simple syrup and steep lady grey tea in the syrup while it’s warm.

Coconut Chai Fizz

Florida’s winter take on the gin fizz. The first step is to steep coconut chai in a simple syrup.  Once ready, grab your rum and fresh egg white.

2 1/2oz Bacardi 8 Rum
1/2 oz coconut chai simple syrup
1 egg white
2 dashes of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients and shake aggressively for one-to-two minutes, until the cocktail is frothy. Strain into a coupe and garnish with toasted coconut.

Alexander No. 2 (seasonal)

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a seasonal rendition on the classic Alexander No. 2 cocktail:

2 oz Gin
.05 oz Creme de menthe
1 oz Sweet cream (or heavy cream)
1 oz Orgeat

Prepare a cocktail class with an absinthe wash. In a mixing glass with ice, combine all ingredients with the exception of the absinthe. Shake 20 times. Strain into cocktail glass and serve. Garnish with star anise and a light nutmeg dusting.

Gin Fizz

A New Orleans favorite, the Gin Fizz takes its name from the splash of soda water to give it some effervescence. In fact, the Gin Fizz was so popular at one time, drinking establishments would employ teams of bartenders to shake the frothy cocktail. Take your time with this one, it requires a heavy dose of shaking.

1oz Club soda
2.5oz Green Hat gin
1oz Lemon juice
.75oz Simple syrup
1 Egg white

Add the club soda to a Coupe or Collins glass and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice for about 3 minutes. This is called a dry shake. Shake hard to create the froth. Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake very well. Double-strain into the prepared glass.

* The trick is to use all fresh product; make your own simple syrup and use fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Rising Sun

1 1⁄2 oz. mezcal
3⁄4 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1⁄2 oz. fresh lime juice
1⁄2 oz. maraschino

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Using leftover lime, line the rim of your glass with salt and chile (we used crushed New Mexican red chile). Add a lime wheel or bacon to complete the garnish.


Often associated with Tiki cocktails, the Painkiller is a rum cocktail trademarked by Pusser’s Rum.

This cocktail was created in the 1970s by Daphne Henderson at the Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.  Supposedly there is no dock nearby, so patrons have to swim to get to the bar – hence the name Soggy Dollar.


1.5 oz. of Pusser’s Rum
1 oz. dark rum floater
2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. cream of coconut
1/2 oz. orange juice
Grated fresh nutmeg

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add first four ingredients and stir. Pour into cocktail glasses and top with grated nutmeg.


Tuxedo No. 2

This cocktail has been my go-to this week. Slightly sweet, but strong enough to hold its own next to a traditional martini. The Tuxedo cocktail was first recorded in the 1880’s; some say it comes from Harry Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual of 1882, while others claim the cocktail made its first appearance in Lippincott’s monthly magazine: Volume 41 – Page 493 in 1888. Another uncertainty surrounds the cocktail’s origins; it is most commonly believed that the Tuxedo cocktail was created at the Tuxedo Park Club in New York’s Ramapo Mountains. The Tuxedo Club, however, did not open until 1886, and one of the earliest known recordings of this concoction dates back to 1882 – we’ll let you do the math. While this cocktail has some uncertain origins, one thing is certain: this cocktail is perfect for a cold winter night.


1 oz Old Tom gin (Hayman’s Old Tom)
1 oz dry vermouth (we substituted Lillet)
½ bar-spoon Maraschino
¼ bar-spoon Absinthe
3 dashes orange bitters (homemade)

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. The traditional recipe calls to garnish with a Maraschino cherry and a lemon zest twist.

Army & Navy Cocktail

The Army & Navy Cocktail first appeared in David A. Embury’s Fine Art of Mixing Drinks in 1948. The original recipe calls for equal parts lemon and orgeat, and for less gin. We are a little heavy-handed with the gin in the Barrister’s Barroom. If you dont prefer a gin forward cocktail, try one and a half ounces of gin instead of two full ounces.

-2oz gin (London dry)

-3/4oz orgeat (almond syrup)

-1/2oz lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

-2 dashes angostura bitters


Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain and add a lemon peel or the traditional maraschino cherries for garnish.