Sometimes you just want the taste of breakfast in your cocktail: cinnamon, vanilla, OJ, a squeeze of lemon, and the smoky essence of the griddle. I got to thinking about the amazing oatmeal I ate for breakfast on Islay — giant bowls of creamy cinnamon goodness that the innkeeper offered to fortify with a tot of whisky — and decided to deconstruct it into a cocktail. I took the island’s smoky whisky (Laphroaig) and combined it with spicy rye, citrus, cinnamon and vanilla. (If you wanted it a bit frothy, you could shake in an egg white.) It’s pretty delicious, but I wouldn’t necessarily drink it before noon!
Penicillin (the cocktail) had a rendezvous with orange liqueur and the spice rack and created Cinnamon Smoke.
- 1.25 oz Sonoma County Rye
- 0.25 oz Laphroaig 15
- 0.5 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz cinnamon-vanilla simple syrup*
- Garnish: cinnamon stick
Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 vanilla bean
Method: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon and vanilla bean and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let cool. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean and store the syrup in the fridge.
This modern classic was created by New York-based bartender Sam Ross. These days, it’s rare to come up with a brand new cocktail that becomes so popular everyone starts putting it on their list, but that’s what’s happened with the Paper Plane.
Simple, balanced and delicious. The easy-to-execute Paper Plane is a must-duplicate at home. Photo courtesy Earls.67.
I discovered it at the new Earls.67 on Stephen Avenue. It’s a perfect transition drink for fall — the lime and Aperol are bright and sunny, while the bourbon and Amaro hint at cooler days.
I also like its simplicity. Like The Last Word and the Negroni, it’s a drink where you mix the ingredients in equal parts; so, it’s almost impossible to mess up — an important consideration if you’re shaking up more than two!
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Nonino Amaro
- 1 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a coupe glass.
— Recipe courtesy Earls.67
I finally made it to Ten Foot Henry on the now-bustling two-block strip of 1 St. S.W. between 12 and 14 avenues, that’s also home to Raw Bar, Taste, Proof and Vine Arts. So many great cocktail options there and I was excited to see what Ten Foot Henry, named after a 1930s comic strip, could contribute to the scene.
The small list, split almost evenly between classic and original cocktails, has something for everyone. I especially liked The Henrietta (read all about it in an upcoming Spirited Calgary column in the Herald) and the Gingered Apple. This yellow drink is like a spicy, candied-apple lemon drop, with an understated acidity thanks to the apple cider vinegar. It goes pow on the palate and makes you think about what you’re drinking. Sip slowly and enjoy.
The Gingered Apple cocktail at Ten Foot Henry goes pow on the palate.
- 1-1/2 oz Zubrowka vodka
- 1/2 oz Iron Works apple brandy
- 1/4 oz apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar-to-water)
- 2-3 dashes Bar Keep apple bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and then double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
— Recipe courtesy Dylan Can, Ten Foot Henry