Recent Posts


Coke’s Ingredients

A few years ago I wrote a piece on the Secret of Cola and the ingredients used to make cola flavoured beverages. Obviously, Coca-Cola is the king, but Pepsi isn’t doing too bad. The fact is cola flavoured products are tremendously popular, but very few people actually know what makes that flavour so unique. I’m not going to rehash that […]


Cola: The Secret Formula

This site is named Art of Drink for a reason, and I’m trying to cover all aspects of the liquid world, not just alcohol, even though that is usually my main topic. In this article, I’m going to discuss what is probably the number one mixer in the world, and that’s cola, be it Coca-Cola, Royal Crown, Pepsi or any […]

Ammonia Coke with Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia

Ammonia Coke

Adding things to Coca-Cola is a time honoured tradition, one that immediately comes to mind is rum. Another is Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia. Now, this isn’t kitchen cleaner ammonia, which would be a big mistake, this is a pharmaceutical preparation that has been used for over a century, even before Coke was invented. For druggists, this preparation was an over-the-counter […]

Angostura Phosphate Recipe

Angostura Phosphate

If you had a hangover in the early 20th century and you asked a pharmacist or saloon keep for a solution to your problem, this would have been a common drink that would get you functional again.

Blog Post

San Francisco Dog and Pony Show

It’s that time of year when a select group of spirit judges convene on San Francisco and go about sorting through the hundreds of alcohol products to determine their rank in the spirit continuum. The ranking system is designed never to offend anyone, especially the companies paying $400 to submit their product, and especially the ones who’s products are so […]

Cocktails, History

Wet Grave

An opportunity to present drink history to the bar community in New Orleans always inspires my creativity. With so many great bartenders and mixologists churning out great cocktails, my efforts are less public than they once were. I’ve eschewed the shotgun approach for the more refined sniper tactics. The Wet Grave is one of those bullseye cocktails that combines everything […]


Soda’s Influence on Cocktails of the Big Easy

On April 5th, 2010 I will be flying down to New Orleans to present at the Museum of the American Cocktail. The presentation will be on the influence of soda on cocktails, specifically those of New Orleans fame. Many newspaper articles from the 1800s put New Orleans in second place for soda consumption after Atlanta which shouldn’t come as a […]


Goombay Smash

When you think about the Caribbean, you envision warm beaches, cool breezes and rum. With its increased popularity around the world, rum drinks are being exported from the tropics, and just not the pina colada. There are a number of great rum-based drinks, including the Mojito, Rum Punch and the Pain Killer. The Goombay Smash is a lesser know rum […]


Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

On any given day, if I were offered a properly made Ramos Gin Fizz I would never turn it down. This is a drink with a long history, dating back to 1888 and a unique taste and consistency that is hard to find in almost any other drink. The trick to the Ramos Gin Fizz is creating a stable foam, […]


Portland Cocktail Week

Last time, on Art of Drink…..Darcy had spent a night out with Rocky visiting some cool places in Seattle. The following day (Wednesday) was an easy morning followed by a ride with Rocky to Portland, for Portland Cocktail Week and the Distillers Festival. An already fun week was capped off with a top notch group of bartenders and industry people. […]


Bars & Cocktails in Seattle

After Victoria, I headed down to Seattle for basically a day, but I made the best of it with the help of Rocky Yeh (NW Vivant). If anyone knows good food and good drinks it’s Rocky. A group of use took the ferry and then all disappeared for a good night of sleep. After a restful night of sleep I […]


Art of the Cocktail: Day Two

This would be day two of Art of the Cocktail, and it was—not surprisingly—a busy and educational day. Three sessions were in the queue for me, one on Italian cocktails, another on working with oddball ingredients and finally a dash of tiki to finish the day. Of course, this was all followed by a night of drinking fine cocktails and […]