Dorian Gray

Cocktail Dorian Gray

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” stands as Oscar Wilde’s most renowned novel. In the story, a friend paints a portrait of the youthful and charming Dorian Gray. Upon gazing at his captivating likeness, Dorian fervently wishes to retain his youth indefinitely, with the portrait bearing the burden of aging. His wish is granted, and despite a life filled with sin and depravity, Dorian remains outwardly youthful and innocent, while the portrait reflects the toll of his deeds. Only upon Dorian’s death, accompanied by his remorseful attempt to destroy the portrait, does the natural order resume.

This cocktail, featuring a smooth and fruity profile with a prominent orange flavor, traces its origins to One Aldwych in London, England, and is featured in Difford’s Guide.

– 1 1/2 oz/ 45 ml White Rum
– 3/4 oz/ 22.5 ml Grand Marnier
– 1 оz/ 30 ml Fresh Orange Juice
– 3/4 oz/

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Absinthe Sour

Absinthe Sour cocktail

A cocktail for absinthe and sour cocktails enthusiasts.
If you’re curious about absinthe, you can find more information here, and details about the sour cocktails can be found here.
Combine your love for both into this cocktail from Difford’s Guide.

– 5/6 oz/ 25 ml Absinthe
– 1/2 oz/ 15 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
– 1/2 оz/ 15 ml Egg White
– 1/3 oz/ 10 ml Sugar Syrup
– 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain back into the shaker. Shake without ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.

Garnish: Maraschino cherry and lemon zest.

Old-fashioned glass

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Visit my online store for a unique poster featuring this cocktail, along with many other beautiful cocktails and other wine-related subjects.
It’s the perfect way to add a touch

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Wines and Waters of France 2024

You can also open this offer as a PDF document: France_Boat_2024.pdf

As a passionate sommelier and wine educator, I invite you to embark on a unique and immersive journey through the “Wines and Waters of France.” Imagine leisurely week-long boat trips navigating picturesque rivers and canals, surrounded by charming villages, rolling vineyards, and captivating landscapes.

Join me as we delve into the world of French viniculture. I’ll share my in-depth knowledge, liberally pouring theory into practice with curated tastings at carefully chosen wineries. We’ll explore the unique terroir of each region, savoring the diverse flavors and characteristics of each sip.

But it’s not just about the wine. We’ll delve into the local gastronomy, exploring bustling markets, savoring authentic cuisine at charming restaurants, and indulging in local delicacies like artisanal cheeses and freshly baked bread. Each region offers something unique, even for the most discerning palate.

Beyond the vine, we’ll discover

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Train’s A Comin’

This cocktail is crafted with the discerning palate of Concord grape enthusiasts in mind.

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Spider’s Net

As All Saint’s Eve draws near, the time for a spine-tingling Halloween cocktail is upon us. Spiders, creatures with long-standing connections to witchcraft, embody the eerie essence of this celebration. They weave intricate, gossamer nets during this autumn season, setting the stage for the drink known as the Spider’s Net.

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Autumn descends, casting a spell of crisp air heavy with the earthy fragrance of fallen leaves. It’s a season that beckons us toward aromatic, robust, and soul-warming libations.

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Drunken Zebra

Life often resembles a zebra, with its alternating dark and light stripes, but it’s a good journey nonetheless, much like the stride of a striped horse. To infuse more joy into this zebra-like existence, I’ve created the Drunken Zebra, a dessert cocktail or jelly cocktail, call it what you will, based on the delightful combination of Panna Cotta and berry jelly.

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Tequila sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise, a cocktail with a concise recipe but a rich history, reached its zenith of popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, a period that wasn’t necessarily renowned for producing the finest concoctions in American cocktail history. It was an era marked by high cocktail consumption and the birth of many new drinks, but the taste and quality of numerous libations from that time often left much to be desired. Nonetheless, the Tequila Sunrise earned its enduring place on the International Bartenders Association (IBA) list for a good reason.

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If the Margarita stands as the most popular tequila-based cocktail in the USA, the Paloma (meaning “dove” in Spanish) takes the crown as Mexico’s absolute favorite and even holds the title of the national cocktail.

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“Wine and Waters of France” Languedoc tour, October 2-9

Space for 3 person left on our “Wine and Waters of France” tour, October 2-9!

Embark on a week-long boat journey through the picturesque Languedoc region of Southern France, travelling from Argenes to Carcassonne and back along the Canal du Midi.

Our trip begins on October 2nd in Argenes, in the early afternoon, and concludes on October 9th, welcoming the morning.

The voyage promises a blend of leisurely cruising, wine immersion, and exploration of historical and natural marvels.

Discover more about life on board a boat.

With an average of about 3.5 hours on the water each day, we’ll have ample time to delve into the intricacies of the region’s viticulture and bask in the allure of its historical and natural wonders. As we glide along, the landscape will unfold in true Mediterranean splendor, adorned with vineyards, cypress trees, pine groves, and vibrant autumn colors.

The narrative of history resonates profoundly here. Some

Continue reading “Wine and Waters of France” Languedoc tour, October 2-9


In preparation

Gin and Tonic

Gin and tonic, a timeless and uncomplicated gin-based cocktail, has secured its place as one of the world’s oldest and most beloved libations.

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August 1st marks World Albariño Day, a delightful occasion to pay homage to this beautiful grape variety that gives us light, refreshing, and highly aromatic wines, perfect for the summer season.

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Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz

The Mimosa is a well-known and popular cocktail listed in the IBA. It’s delightfully simple: just orange juice and Champagne.

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If you enjoy Aviation but find the bright sweetness of Maraschino Luxardo not to your liking, the Waterlily might be your perfect choice.

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Alice In Wonderland

Find your way into Wonderland.

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Every great spirit finds its essence in the raw material from which it is crafted. For brandy, it is grape wine; for rum, sugar cane; and for tequila, the blue agave, also known as agave azul or Agave tequilana. The domesticated variety of blue agave used specifically for tequila production is known as Agave tequilana Weber Azul.

Continue reading Tequila

Swamp Water

As I mentioned the Swamp Water cocktail in my Chartreuse story, it’s only fitting that we delve into its history.

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Golden Chenin Blanc

Chenin blanc – a noble grape of remarkable potential. Sadly, this grape variety is often underappreciated, perhaps due to the challenges it presents to winemakers. Crafting exceptional wines from Chenin requires knowledge, skill, and dedication; without these, the results may be discouraging.

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English Rose

English Rose – the cocktail that reflexes the quintessential English beauty, intertwining the concepts of women and flowers.

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Amber Room aka Golden Glow

One more cocktail for Chartreuse lovers.

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Andean Dusk

I haven’t crafted cocktails with Pisco in a while. Until I found Andean Dusk, which brought reminiscences of my Andean adventures.

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Let’s delve into the world of Burgundy’s offerings once more. Kir is a cocktail born in Burgundy, crafted from entirely Burgundian ingredients: Aligoté white wine and blackcurrant liqueur known as crème de cassis.

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Burgundy, renowned as the progenitor of globally celebrated grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot noir, birthed another notable offspring deserving of attention— Aligoté.

Continue reading Aligote


April 14 marks Tannat Day, an occasion that beckons aficionados of robust, full-bodied, and weighty red wines to turn their attention to the Tannat grape. Noteworthy is its gradual yet steadfast ascent in the global wine market over the past two decades.

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Mujer Verde

Another colorful character on my cocktail list. For those who appreciate Chartreuse.

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Riesling stands as one of the most globally esteemed grape varieties, enjoying widespread favor among wine enthusiasts until the mid-20th century. Germany, heralded as the birthplace of Riesling, ascended to viticultural fame on the strength of this exceptional grape. The intrinsic connection between Riesling and Germany is underscored by the fact that Riesling constitutes the largest portion among grape varieties cultivated in the country, firmly establishing itself as the quintessential German varietal.

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Kahlua and White Russian

On February 27th, we raise our glasses high in celebration of National Kahlua Day. My recommendation for the occasion is the classic White Russian, a cherished coffee liqueur cocktail whose origins are veiled in mystery.

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Open That Bottle Night

The last Saturday of February is Open That Bottle Night.

You keep The Bottle of good wine for a wedding, solar eclipse, end of a big project, a marathon of two hours, alien to the president, or any other important for you event. But this has still not even happened. Or it happened, but you separated with your bottle at this moment. Don’t wait until this bottle will be open o your funeral. It is symbolic, but you want to try his wine yourself. And almost any wine wouldn’t survive so long.
The last Saturday of February is a perfect time to open such a bottle.

My bottle for tonight is The Boss of Kontos Cellar from Walla Walla Washington state. Bordeaux blend 2015. I visited this winery in 2019, the same time I bought this bottle. It was the exclusive vantage, only for club members, but I had an excellent talk with

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Her Majesty. The cocktail for World Bartender Day

Today, on February 24th, we celebrate World Bartender Day, a day dedicated to honoring those who bring creativity and passion to the art of mixology. In tribute to the men and women in this esteemed profession, particularly those who infuse it with their boundless imagination, I am delighted to introduce my own creation: Her Majesty.

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On February 22nd, we celebrate Margarita Day. This cocktail is undoubtedly one of the world’s favorites and holds the title of the most popular tequila-based cocktail.

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Syrah, undeniably one of the grape world’s cornerstones, commands a distinguished place among the dozen most favored varieties, flourishing in vineyards across the globe. Originating from the Rhône Valley in France, Syrah reigns supreme as the primary grape in the production of North Rhône red wines.

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On February 1st, wine enthusiasts unite to celebrate International Furmint Day, shining a spotlight on a grape variety that might be familiar in essence but perhaps not yet by name.

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Brandy Alexander

January 31st marks Brandy Alexander Day.

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Irish Coffee

On January 25th, we celebrate Irish Coffee Day.

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Washington Wineries. Red Mountain AVA, 2022

Red Mountain Is a small, but interesting AVA located on the southwest slopes of Red Mountain, accordingly. Plenty of suns during days, and long warm autumn provide ideal conditions for high-tannic varieties, that require long ripening. Result – rich, but soft tannins. Cold nights keep necessary acidity; low precipitation and constant winds provide small berry size, and, accordingly, a high concentration of aromatic components.

Several years ago, among the vineyards of Red Mountain, I found a fantastic small family winery Tapteil. They grew mainly Cabernet sav and Merlot and made beautiful wines – pure-varietal and Bordeaux-style. When I drop by this winery in the fall of 2021, the owners had sold out wines, retired and sold the vineyard. It was so pitiful because they made one of the best Washington wines that I ever tried. In 2022 the winery has been under the sign of new owners – Avennia. It is a medium

Continue reading Washington Wineries. Red Mountain AVA, 2022

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy is the comforting embrace of warmth on a cold, damp day, and it’s fitting that we celebrate it on January 11.

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Bloody Mary

January 1st, heralding the dawn of a new year, also brings us World Bloody Mary Day.

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Colter’s Creek Winery, Idaho

What comes to your mind first, that Idaho is mentioned? Most people think about potatoes. I did too. However, potatoes are not the only thing that Idaho can be proud of.

Every (every!) state of the US produces wine for better or worse. However, except for California, Washington, Oregon, and New York more often for worse than for better.

In Hawaii, they grow a small plot of Pinot noir as high as they can (still it is too hot for grapes, and it feels bad), and bring some grapes from California. Wine isn’t worth a good word, but, still, they produce wine om Hawaii.
So, I realized that Idaho state should produce some wine, but never thought about it.

This summer I worked in eastern Washington, a few miles from Moscow, Idaho. One day, my friend took me to her favourite Moscow tasting room. I thought it belonged to some Washington winery (although

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Calendar for Cocktail Lovers 2023

The calendar for the next year is ready.

12 new cocktails with the recipes.
12”×12” (305mm×305mm) close
12”×24” (305mm×610mm) open
Glossy quality paper
Wire bound

The calendar has two new features:

OR-code on each page leads to my articles about the corresponding cocktail. If you would like to know more about cocktail history, peculiarities of preparation and so on, you can easily find it.

Wine/Spirits/Cocktails Days are marked, so you can easier choose the drink for the current evening (morning or day:).

35 USD (+ mailing, if needed)

You can buy directly from me.


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A aromatic and gentle cocktail, perfect for the winter season.

Continue reading Argentina

Rosina Ferrario No. 203

Rosina Ferrario No. 203 pays homage to aviation and the delicate allure of Crème de violette. This Italian twist on the Aviation, a pioneer in its cocktail category, bears the name of Rosina Ferrario, the trailblazing Italian woman who secured her pilot’s license back in 1913, flying the Caproni monoplane under license number 203.

Continue reading Rosina Ferrario No. 203

The Exotic Teapot

The Exotic Teapot offers a fusion of Irish whiskey and the aromatic essence of Rooibos. It’s a refreshing experience with an intriguing twist, thanks to the subtle spice notes imparted by Yellow Chartreuse.

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Vancouver is one of the few cities with its own signature cocktail, a drink that, like the mythical Phoenix, enjoys periods of obscurity only to resurface. Interestingly, this cocktail is just a tad younger than the city itself—almost a century old, or perhaps even older, given the shrouded origins of its first mix. With Vancouver holding such significance in my heart, I couldn’t resist sharing the tale of this connected concoction.

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Winter Pleasure

Winter is not just coming, winter is already here.
And it is not even December yet.
It is snowing the whole day, and the snow even doesn’t melt.
Trying to find the positive side of this sad situation, I remembered, that my supplies of Chartreuse (about Chartreuse) are not only restocked, but also expanded, and the box of perfect cacao powder is waiting in the wings.
That means that I can make a cup of hot chocolate with Chartreuse, the favourite winter drink in the Alps and their foothills.
Perfect. Recommend.
Only make chocolate in European style, not American – rich, heavy, and not too sweet.

Blue Lady

The Blue Lady cocktail emerges as a vibrant member of the colorful Lady lineage, with Victor Cabrin as its creative force. While the origin of the White Lady cocktail remains draped in the veils of history, Victor was undoubtedly enamored with “ladies” in the world of cocktails, birthing several hued variations, including the Blue Lady.

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Fallen Leaves

As night frosts usher in the transformation from fall to winter and trees bid farewell to their last leaves, the opportune moment to savor the Fallen Leaves cocktail emerges.

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Angel’s Share

In the meticulous production process of cognac, one pivotal stage involves the maturation of the spirit in oak barrels.

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Walla Walla. September visit.

At the end of September, we traditionally visited East Washington to try something new.

В Walla Walla we tried three wineries.

Moonbase Cellar

Small family winery. Laine and Drew Pauk founded it only in 2017. Before they did completely different things, but fell in love with viniculture, moved to Washington, and founded the winery. They don’t have their own vineyard yet and buy grapes from the vineyards of Walla Walla AVA and two small unique AVAs.

The tasting room is operated by the owner, and it was very interesting to talk with him. Well, mainly to listen to him only, because as soon as we started to talk, the big and bold company appeared and requested all his attention. So, normal dialogue became impossible, but we heard his inspiring vinicultural speech. He is a fan of wine education and always tries to bring more info to the clients. He uploaded his short educational movie

Continue reading Walla Walla. September visit.

Spring Revival

This year, spring has gracefully danced in a month later than its usual schedule, but this tardiness doesn’t diminish the joy of welcoming it with the third cocktail in my spring mini-series.

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Walla Walla. April visit.

About once a year I make a visit to the wineries of East Washington, tasting the production of the local winemakers. Some of them I love so much that re-visit them from time to time, especially to introduce them to my friends, but usually, I love to try something new considering the huge amount of wineries in this place. My preference is small wineries which wines can be bought only via the winery itself, because wines of big wineries can be found in any huge liquor store in the state, so don’t worth so long ride. A couple of weeks ago we spent a day in Walla Walla, one of the most famous AVA of Washington. About AVA and US wine law you can read here.

This time we visited four new (for me) wineries.

First on our way was Waterbrook, the biggest and most glamorous among them. The huge

Continue reading Walla Walla. April visit.

Valpolicella – Recioto, Amarone, Ripasso. Everything but the squeals…

In the northeast of Italy, in the vinicultural zone Veneto, the wine region Valpolicella locates that produces wine under the same name. This is one of the well-known Italian red wines, alongside Chianti, Barolo, and Brunello, if not in terms of quality, then at least in terms of quantity.

Continue reading Valpolicella – Recioto, Amarone, Ripasso. Everything but the squeals…

Apple Blossom, recipe by R.G. Buckby

This spring has unfolded with an unusual cadence, but we must embrace its unique rhythm. Nonetheless, the apple trees have burst into blossoms, beckoning us to savor the Apple Blossom cocktail in the latest installment of our spring cocktail mini-series.

Continue reading Apple Blossom, recipe by R.G. Buckby

Spring Feeling

Spring has graced us with its presence once more, and as the trees burst into bloom, it’s time to unveil a new mini-series of spring cocktails.

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White Lady

The White Lady cocktail proudly resides in the coveted category of “The Unforgettables,” as per the IBA classification. This timeless and elegant libation first graced the cocktail scene a century ago and continues to hold a distinguished position among cocktail enthusiasts.

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Lunar Shadow

As we reminisce about awe-inspiring cosmic phenomena, such as the unforgettable solar eclipse of 2017, it’s only fitting that we pair these wonders of nature with a corresponding drink, or invent one if it doesn’t yet exist.

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Calendar for Cocktail Lovers 2022

I made a new Calendar for Cocktail Lovers.
12 new cocktails with the recipes.
12”×12” (305mm×305mm)
Glossy quality paper
Wire bound
It can be bought directly from me (if we know each othere it is possibly the best option) or on Etsy.


January – Moose Milk

February – Orange Blossom

March – Bee’s Knees

April – Sakura Martini

May – Maiden’s Blush

June – Paper Plane

July – Lunar Shadow

August – Clover Club

September – White Lady

October – Casino

November – Feuerzangenbowle

December – Ornamentini

Continue reading Calendar for Cocktail Lovers 2022

Bee’s Knee

The phrase “Bee’s Knee” made its debut in the 18th century, serving as a whimsical synonym for something exceedingly small. After all, bees do indeed sport rather petite knees, making the expression quite fitting.

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International Tempranillo Day

Today! Second Thursday of November.

So, don’t forget to open a Rioha bottle with dinner or/and pour a glass of Porto after.

Happy Tempranillo Day!

Paper Plane

The Paper Plane is a contemporary riff on the resurgent American classic, the Last Word, which still holds a cherished spot as my personal favorite cocktail. So, when the Paper Plane appeared on the scene, it was simply impossible to resist the temptation to give it a try.

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Champagne Cobbler

This Champagne Cobbler is a special dedication to my dear friend Rouslan, an ardent admirer of this classic libation. His passionate enthusiasm prompted me to break my prolonged silence on this delightful subject, and I present this concoction with sheer astonishment.

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Clover Club

Behold, another entrancing member of the gin-sour cocktail family, a category that I hold dear. Now, let not its striking pink hue and delicate foamy crown deceive you. This cocktail, originally crafted by and for gentlemen, exudes strength and tartness. Yet, do not be misled, for these qualities do not preclude its appeal to the fairer sex; I, for one, am a fervent admirer.

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International Beer Day

Right now, August 6.
Don’t forget to pour a glass of your favorite beer!

Apple Blossom, recipe by Difford’s Guide

As the sakura blossoms gently fall, marking the culmination of their fleeting beauty, the apple trees burst forth in full bloom, announcing the arrival of spring’s crescendo. It is within this seasonal symphony that we unveil the third act of our spring mini-series: the Apple Blossom cocktail.

Continue reading Apple Blossom, recipe by Difford’s Guide

Sakura Martini

In this very moment, the Sakura trees grace us with a peak of blossoms so mesmerizing, it would be a disservice not to celebrate them. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we introduce the second chapter of our spring mini-series: the Sakura Martini.

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April Shower

As the age-old English proverb so aptly puts it, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.” With spring gracing us with its warm sun, blossoms, and myriad pleasures, despite lingering traces of winter’s grip, I thought it the perfect time to embark on a delightful mini-series of spring cocktails. Our journey begins with the refreshingly elegant April Shower.

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Maiden’s Blush

Maiden’s Blush stands as a testament to the enduring allure of gin-sour cocktails, a category that has captured my heart. This classic libation found its debut in the hallowed pages of Harry Craddock’s timeless 1930 opus, “The Savoy Cocktail Book.”

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Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford, an icon of the silent film era, graced the silver screen as a renowned actress, producer, and Academy Award winner. She co-founded two movie companies and embodied excellence in every facet of her life.

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Pink Flirtini

Today marks February 14, the day of love, roses, and chocolates – Valentine’s Day. On such a special occasion, I couldn’t resist crafting something thematic – a drink that’s pink, light, bubbly, and fittingly named.

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Orange Blossom

Today marks the Lunar New Year, a momentous occasion as the steadfast Ox replaces the lively Rat in the zodiac cycle. May this transition bring forth positive changes and abundant blessings.

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The Casino cocktail, a delightful variation of the classic Aviation, offers a twist where the enchanting Crème de violette gracefully steps aside to make room for the invigorating presence of Orange Bitters. In this transformation, the fragrant essence of Seville oranges replaces the previously dominant aroma of Parma violets.

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Moose Milk

Do you possess an affection for milkshakes? If so, you’re already on the path to understanding the culinary culture of the Canadian Armed Forces. Fear not, there’s no need for expertise in milking moose for this one.

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Dry Martini

“A martini should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously on top of one another.” These words, attributed to Somerset Maugham, encapsulate the timeless allure of the martini, also described as “the elixir of quietude” by E. B. White and “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet” by H. L. Mencken.

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Last Word

As we prepare to say goodbye to a challenging year, what better way to raise a glass than with the aptly named “Last Word”? But let’s not limit its merits to nomenclature; this cocktail has taken its place among my favorites.

Continue reading Last Word


As the holiday season approaches, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect, seasonally inspired cocktail, and that’s when I stumbled upon the Ornamentini. Not only is this cocktail rich in flavor, but its unique and decorative presentation makes it a star at any celebration.

Continue reading Ornamentini

Rob Roy

Rob Roy, the eponymous cocktail bearing the name of the Scottish folk hero Robert Roy MacGregor, pays homage to a man whose legacy has transcended the realms of literature, music, monuments, and even spirits like Scotch whisky.

Continue reading Rob Roy

Calendar for Cocktail Lovers 2021

I made a Calendar for Cocktail Lovers.
12 cocktails with the recipes.
12”×12” (305mm×305mm)
Glossy quality paper
Wire bound
It can be bought on Etsy or directly from me.


Continue reading Calendar for Cocktail Lovers 2021


Aviation is a forgotten and reborn American classic.

Continue reading Aviation


After racking up thousands of kilometers on my bike odometer (I must clarify I’m not a cycling enthusiast, and spinning pedals isn’t my go-to sport), there’s a cocktail I simply can’t ignore: the Bicicletta, which fittingly means “bicycle” in Italian.

Continue reading Bicicletta


As promised, here’s the second vampire-inspired cocktail for the night of the macabre. The first can be found here, along with my musings on vampires as a whole, with a particular focus on Nosferatu.

Continue reading Nosferatu

Nosferatu blood

As the darkest night falls upon the Earth, shrouding it in a veil of horror and the undead’s feast, we find ourselves at the convergence of various traditions: Samhain, All Saints’ Eve, The Day of the Dead, and Halloween—all part of one spectacular worldwide celebration. I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to contribute to the revelry.

Continue reading Nosferatu blood

Glacier Sunset and Glacier Sunrise

While the allure of classic cocktails is eternal and invigorating, there are moments when you yearn to usher in something fresh and novel. It was during my summer sojourn amidst the magnificent glaciers that inspiration struck, birthing a new cocktail concept. As the recipe fine-tuning progressed, this newfound libation spontaneously bifurcated into two distinct yet harmonious creations: the Glacier Sunrise and the Glacier Sunset.

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Perhaps, it’s fitting to place this article after the one about the Daiquiri and accompany it with Hemingway’s iconic phrase, “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita,” bearing the great author’s signature. This famous inscription in Hemingway’s alleged handwriting adorns the walls of La Bodeguita bar in Havana, drawing in tourists and their currency. Intriguingly, Hemingway was indeed known to while away his hours with a glass of Daiquiri at El Floridita, but he did not partake in Mojitos at La Bodeguita. You see, the Mojito didn’t align with Hemingway’s penchant for potent, less sugary libations. The inscription is a deceptive ruse conjured up by the bar’s owner, making it a fitting epigraph for an article on the art of successful promotional trickery. What a pity.

Continue reading Mojito


December marked my third visit to the enchanting Key West, the farthest populated island within the Florida Keys archipelago. I’ve always had an affinity for Florida, having graced its sun-kissed shores many times, and each sojourn never seems enough. But a third venture to Key West? It’s a petite island, wholly encompassed by a charming town. The sunsets are magnificent, the ambiance delightful, so why a third visit? The answer lies in an unfinished chapter from my previous trips—I had missed the opportunity to share a libation with the ghost of Hemingway.

Continue reading Daiquiri

Aperol Spritz

As summer approaches, and in some regions, arrives with its full blaze, it’s time to turn our thoughts toward something as light, refreshing, and radiant as the season itself. Consider the Aperol Spritz, the quintessential summer cocktail of Northern Italy. It’s often said that Italians possess an innate understanding of summer’s essence, and this drink, with its cheerful orange hue, is a testament to that claim.

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Pisco Sour

My first encounter with the Pisco Sour occurred in the vibrant country of Chile, where this cocktail is ubiquitously served, and it still evokes fond memories of my South American adventures. The Pisco Sour reigns as the most beloved cocktail in South America, yet it stands at the center of a spirited debate between Peru and Chile, just like its core spirit – Pisco (for more insights on Pisco, delve into this article).

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Grog, a libation that emerged from the annals of the Royal Navy, stands as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between alcohol and maritime history.

Continue reading Grog

Feuerzangenbowle, fire-tongs punch

As winter stubbornly clings to our shores, I continue my exploration of the delightful realm of hot mulled wines and other soul-warming beverages. Feuerzangenbowle stands as a captivating jewel among traditional German drinks, stemming from the heartwarming concept of gluhwein, the beloved hot mulled wine.

Continue reading Feuerzangenbowle, fire-tongs punch

Mulled Wine

As winter suddenly blankets our West Coast with its pristine snow and icy fingers, it’s the perfect time to delve into the world of mulled wine – and more importantly, to savor this aromatic elixir that promises to stave off the chill. Known as mulled wine, gluhwein, glogg, bisschopswijn, izvar, vin chaud, and bearing numerous other names, it’s the heartwarming nectar enjoyed in almost every corner of the world where wine flows and the weather sometimes commands a comforting, heated libation.

Continue reading Mulled Wine


As December envelops the world in festive decorations, illuminates countless homes with the twinkle of holiday lights, and drives shoppers into a whirlwind of excitement, it heralds the return of a beloved tradition in countries touched by the British Empire’s influence – eggnog.

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Learn to Read Labels. USA.

Unfortunately for wine lovers, USA does not have similar to EU requirements for winemakers. Labels on US wines provide little to nothing information, nonetheless some of it can still be helpful.

Even though European immigrants brought grape vines to American continent long time ago, reasonable winemakery developed in the US only in the mid-twentieth century. Prior to that, usual troubles, such as phylloxera, Prohibition and others occurred on a regular basis. Then it had gradually diminished. At last, currently, the US winemakery is on the ascent (as most of the other wine world). Nowadays, all 50 American states, including Alaska, produce wine. As a matter of fact, some of them use different fruits more often than grape, or they buy grape from other states; it is a fact, that wine produced in any state can now be found on the market. Yet, only four states: California, Washington, Oregon, and New York, represent valid

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In the embrace of summer, under the radiant sun and amidst the warmth, our cravings lean towards the vibrant, the rich, and the refreshing. It’s the season for Sangria.

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Chateau Beau Joubert. South Africa on the American Market

South Africa has been growing grape and making wine since the middle of the XVII century, from times when first Dutch colonists came to the continent of Africa. French Huguenots arrived after Dutch and brought their homeland vines and winemaking experience with them. In XVIII – XIX centuries, South Africa exported perfectly good wines to Europe. However, the country’s winemaking was almost ruined in the XX century. Phylloxera, Anglo-Boer Wars, apartheid and its economic consequences undermined the wine industry. Fine wine production was set aside; grape was mostly used for distillation and in fruit juice industry. Fortunately, latter years of the XX century were marked by changes in politics, economic recovery and restitution of winemaking. South African wines increased their presence on the American market in recent years, and it’s definitely worth to pay closer attention to them.

My favorite shop, Arista Wine Cellar, had recently arranged a tasting of wines from South African Winery,

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Isenhower Cellars. Aroma of Northern Rhône in the cellars of the American Northwest.

Sometime ago, while looking for a few missing wines to complete my lecture, I found a little wine shop called Arista Wine Cellars in Edmonds, WA. The shop has an interesting wine choice and a friendly staff, and there are thematic wine tastings held there on Saturdays. The week that I happened to visit, they happened were tasting wines from Isenhower Cellars, a winery in Walla Walla, WA. The shop offered seven wines for the tasting. The first glass I was handed had white wine and was said to be: “77% Marsanne with Roussanne and some Viognie”. I was a bit confused as I estimated the distance between Walla Walla and the traditional place for Marsanne with Roussanne. All things considered, my glass contained a smooth rich wine with a Northern Rhone aroma.

I should explain. Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognie are classics of the Northern Rhone white wines. While Viognie is spread widely throughout the

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Wines for the sweet tooth

Let’s talk about naturally sweet wines, about the method of their production, about importance of a long, warm sunny fall, and about useful mold.

Naturally sweet wines are wines that are made by natural fermentation, without fortification.

Broadly speaking, the process of conversion of grape juice into wine can be described as transformation of sugar from juice into alcohol by yeast. For dry wine, yeast simply convert all of the sugar into alcohol and die from hunger afterwards. The amount of alcohol depends on the amount of sugar. There is no sugar left into the wine.

How to make wine with presence of both components, alcohol and sugar?

There are several different approaches to make sweet wine.

1. Stop fermentation before all of the sugar is eaten. It is common knowledge that fermentation can be stopped by alcohol supplementation. Although yeast produces alcohol themselves, a large concentration of alcohol is toxic for them. Most strains

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