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The Mary Jane Cocktail

Felicitations, much happiness and biddings of long life go out to our good friends Mary Jane Amato and Chris Clarke, who got married on a perfect, beautiful Saturday in May of 2005.

We were honored that they asked us to come up with a new cocktail for the occasion, which would be served to the wedding guests. Mixological duties fell to Wes this time, who had been knocking around some ideas in his head for Belle de Brillet (a French Cognac-based pear liqueur) for a while and eventually came up with this gem, which is a relative of the Footloose Cocktail and was a big hit at the reception. Even people who don’t normally quaff cocktails loved this one. (We were delighted to hear that MJ’s grandmother, normally very wary of drinking, had at one point finished her second and was considering a third!)

The Mary Jane Cocktail

2 ounces vanilla-infused vodka.
1 ounce Belle de Brillet.
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice.
2 healthy dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters.

Shake with cracked ice for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lime twist.


Not to be outdone, the groom had a drink named after him as well. “The Christopher Michael”, however, was a bit simpler, and was described thusly on the menu: “A bottle of beer.” Natch.

Congratulations, youse two nutty kids!

Fear and Loathing on the Cocktail Trail

[Updated in 2010.]

‘Member a while back, when the Regans called for entries in a cocktail-creating competition? The idea was to honor the late Hunter S. Thompson by creating a cocktail in his honor.

The results are in, via this month’s issue of Gary and Mardee’s Ardent Spirits newsletter. Some of the entries were, predictably, weird.

We got one drink from Chris Gallagher of PUG! Muddler fame that called for a toothbrush garnish, and we haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Another submission, this one from bartender Joe Gonzalez, resulted in a drink that looks like a lava lamp when assembled. Pretty creative, huh?

And of course we had to get one recipe that called for an illicit substance, so we weren’t surprised when Nancy Breslow, a recent graduate of Cocktails in the Country, suggested that the glass containing her “Gonzo Martini” be rimmed with cocaine. “IF (and only if) cocaine is ever legalized,” she added, covering her tail quite nicely. And you seemed so prim in class, Nancy…

The winning entry was submitted by the ever-fabulous LeNell Smothers, former owner of LeNell’s in Brooklyn (one of the greatest spirits shops ever) and currently living in Casa Cóctel in La Paz, Baja California, México. While I can’t necessariy see Hunter drinking too many of these and winding up whapping big hairy bats with a yardstick, Gary opines that Hunter would have approved. We’ll try this one this weekend.

The Fear and Loathing Cocktail

1 slice pink grapefruit, cut about 1/2 inch thick, peel removed.
2 barspoons bar sugar, superfine or granulated sugar.
4 dashes Fee’s Peach Bitters.
3 ounces Bellows Bourbon.

Muddle the grapefruit with the sugar and the bitters in a large Old Fashioned glass. Add the ice and the bourbon, stir the drink and serve.

Seems mighty Suth’un to me — unsurprising, considering that LeNell is from Alabama. I’ll wear my seersucker suit while we’re tippling.