Got the blues?

Maybe the economy has you down, the political climate depresses you, or you’re just sad because it’s Monday, there’s ample reason to feel a little blue these days. Now I would never prescribe liquor as a treatment for passing sadness (go do something fun instead!), a couple of drinks Martha and I have enjoyed lately seem like the perfect thing for the blues. Because they’re blue. Yeah.

Both drinks come from the invaluable Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie by Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Dr. Cocktail.

Leatherneck Cocktail

  • 2 oz blended whiskey (Crown Royal, for example)
  • ¾ oz blue curaçao
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice

Shake over ice; strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

I have a confession to make: I do not own blended whiskey. So what did I do to make this drink? Well I was making two, so I “blended” the dregs of a bottle of 100 proof Wild Turkey (3 oz) with a last bit of Bulleit Bourbon (1 oz). I know that’s not blended whiskey – and probably a sign that I have a problem – but it made an okay version of the Leatherneck. Such is my shame.

This drink is the color of radioactive blue only achievable with blue curaçao.

Blue Moon

  • 2 oz gin
  • ½ oz Crème Yvette or crème de violette
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice; strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

While the Leatherneck Cocktail’s garish acid blue gave off an exuberant vibe with a strong hint of desperation – a drink for a Friday night, perhaps – the Blue Moon is all refinement and class right down to its subdued blue color, a distillation of the intense purple of crème de violette.  You can almost hear the strains of the eponymous song wafting across the room as soon as you open the shaker.


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4 comments on “Got the blues?”

  1. Mike 15 November, 2010 at 11:41 am

    These both look pretty good. Any ideas on a good absinthe drink? I have heard there are wide discrepancies in the quality/flavor? of the liquor, depending on where its from.

  2. Tom 15 November, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I wouldn’t call them absinthe drinks per se because absinthe isn’t the principal spirit, but I like the contribution absinthe makes to Corpse Reviver #2 and the Monkey Gland — though I am actually using Pernod rather than an absinthe (Google will yield recipes).

  3. Alyssa 16 November, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    This recipe and your previous post about Satan’s Whiskers is making me seriously consider a trip to the bookstore to get this “Vintage Spirits” book you’re using. Fancy fun!

  4. Tom 16 November, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Alyssa: Definitely check it out! It’s a really interesting book and it has opened my mind to cocktails in a new way. The only downsides are you’ll be much more limited in your options for going out for cocktails in the Twin Cities (there’s always the Bradstreet) and you’ll obtain a lot of obscure bottles that are only useful for making one drink (but that’s not really a downside).

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