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September 18, 2008

Signature drinking

moon-tiniQuestion: What is your signature drink?

If you had to pick one drink you love that also says something about you, what would it be? As you can see, my drink is a martini garnished with a slice of moon. I call it a moon-tini.

Actually, I like a Chivas Regal on the rocks. Die hard scotch fans would scoff at me, since you're only supposed to put a dash of water in your scotch (and drink it at room temperature), but I don't care. That's how I like it, and that's my drink.

And I like what it says about me ... 

Chivas is a blended double-malt. It's complex but goes down pretty smoothly -- especially on ice. It's not too salty or smoky, and has a rich history.

Frank Sinatra and the rest of the rat pack drank Chivas. So did my Pop Pop, who, when I was younger, seemed infinitely cooler than Sinatra.

Just last weekend, I enjoyed a fine glass of Chivas 18-year with Pops on the Eastern Shore. Now that's pleasant living. 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (31)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Bombay Sapphire and Tonic with 2 limes. Its been a staple for me since I turned 21. Cool, crisp, and goes down smooth.

Crown and Ginger, the best mixed drink in the history of the world.

I've been drinking Stoli O since my early 20's. Right now my signature drink is a "00-soda" (Stoli O, soda , splash of O.J.). It used to be Stoli O and cranberry but I have evolved past that. Me personally, the clearer the drink the better. I can't drink brown liquor responsibly.

Drew, I'm with you on Bombay. That's the best gin out there. But why two limes?

Speaking of signature drinks, have a gander at OMG's wild and crazy post here:

Whiskey Ginger!

Jack Daniel's on the rocks, usually with the local down-home beer du jour (Natty Boh here in Baltimore, Dixie in New Orleans, Lone Star in Texas, etc.)

my cousin "invented" his own Orangsicle drink-Stolie Vanilla and diet orange Sunkist soda on the rocks. What that says about him, I dunno.

Powers on the rocks.

Sam will verify that I vary my drink a lot—almost monthly. Spring is for French 75s. Summer is for South Sides if I have George Lee on hand, gin & tonics or Mojitos otherwise. August saw me drinking bourbon and ginger, which morphed into Jameson & ginger the last two weeks while I was in Ireland.

But if forced to choose: the Sidecar. Classic. Stately. Tasty. Every bartender should know how to make it. Most don't.

Mine better come with sugar on the rim, garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.

Gin and tonic, double lime with Boodles Gin.

To get the Sinatra connection you've addressed corrected...Frank Sinatra was only connected to Chivas very late in his career when they sponsored a World Tour of his. His longtime signature drink was Jack Daniels and prior to that it was Crown Royal. As far as his pals, Dean Martin was into scotch. However, his brand was always J&B.

Lay off Drew. He used to ask for 4 limes.

lemonade from smith

Drew, that's my drink. Bombay & T, double lime!! If you ever feel dangerous just skip the tonic!

Sam, just think it gives it better flavor.

And I see that wonderful Smith has come back to the Midnight Sun blog.

JC (Jaques Cardin) Apple Cognac on the rocks.

Just a little hint of apple is in it so it's more like tasting the aroma.

It depends on what clear alcohol I have in my freezer and what else I can mix it with. If I have no mixers, sometimes water does the trick. If I am not that thirsty and feel like gettin' crazy, just rocks. Last week I was drinking rum and snapple. When I ran out of snapple, I used whatever crystal light concoction my girlfriend mixed to mellow out the rum flavor.
But my faves are Johnny Walker and soda at weddings and Stoli O and soda any other time. or beer.

1) Boris Karloff
Homemade Elderflower liquor, Plymouth Gin and Kiffier Lime

2) Smoker's Delight
Tobacco, Honey Syrup, Honeycomb and Basil Hayden's Bourbon

3) Chicas Fizz
Plymouth or Hendricks Gin, Rose Water, Fresh Lemon Juice, Cream & Egg Whites

looks like we have the beginning of Twain's drink menu!!!

Blacktooth Grin(read: Crown and Coke). Or if I need to play catch up, Drew from Greektown's drink is always reliable.


I thought about sharing some of our drinks, but opted not.

The drinks I listed are very popular, well known cocktails that any person who calls themselves a professional bartender should be able to prepare. :)

Vodka gimlet


Gin rickey


All these drinkers, and virtually no mentions of bourbon. (Jack Daniel's is Tennessee whiskey.) No Maker's Mark Manhattans on the rocks . No slow-sipping Woodford Reserve. The world is going straight to hell.

Recently it has been bourbon and ginger . Makers is preferred but when the paycheck starts to run out I go for good old Seagrams 7. Or when that inner high roller calls I will irresponsibly throw down on a bottle of Knob Creek or Gentleman Jack.

Right now I have to go with a Gin Martini with blue cheese stuffed olives- had a great one at Sacha's last night. In the darker colder months its Bourbon- I like Basil Haydens straight or Beam and coke in a pint glass- I actually realised how spoiled we are by the mixed drink in a pint trend thats been going on here in B-more at certain bars for a few years now when I was visiting a friend in Arlington last year and ordered a Beam and coke and it came in a wussy highball. I asked him for my 2nd one in a pint glass, and he looked @ me like I had 2 heads! silly neighbors to the south :)

DiSarronno & Sprite for me!

I guess I'm a crappy unprofessional bartender cuz I don't know how to prepare any of the above mentioned drinks Mr. Twain posted. And I'm okay with that. Who would drink a drink with tobacco in it anyhow? That's just gross in my opinion.

Come now Colleen -- this is revolutionary stuff! I mean, there's no second-hand smoke when you drink tobacco!

Actually Mark Twain, you are quite wrong. Those are not popular cocktails. Those are signature house cocktails from a specific bar. My guess would be milk and honey, pegu club or more locally, PX. Your chicas fizz is really close to a new orleans gin fizz. If you ordered those cocktails by name outside of the bar you drink at, they would have to ask you what is in the drink because they would have no idea what those drinks are. They do sound great though.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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