Drinks you can count on, adult version

Besides discovering and rediscovering the joys of cooking, baking, crafts, sorting and cleaning, happy hours just got happier for some as people also explore the joys of home bartending*. While I myself am on a temporary alcohol retreat (picked a perfect time didn’t I?) not everyone is.  And for that I raise a glass to fellow liquid experimenter Robert Lockwood.

I met Robert a good twenty five years ago when he joined the Portland Revels.  Little did I know at the time that lurking beneath that musician’s exterior was a mixologist par excellence (and fabulous chef, but that is for another time).

He’s taken his housebound opportunity to come up with more lucsious libations. I think Robert may be a supertaster because his potions are extraordinary.  This is one of his latest: The Caribbean Queen


How to mix a Caribbean Queen

1 1/2 Oz white rum (in this case Banks 5 Island Blend)
3/4 Oz Dry Curaçao (the real thing) or Cointreau
1/2 Oz Falernum syrup (BJ Reynolds or see the recipe below)
1 Oz lime juice
3 dashes Peychaud Bitters
1/4 Oz grenadine

Dash bitters

Shake with an ice cube and serve in a coupe with one cube.


And if your abstaining like me, try The Virgin Queen

  • 3 oz orange juice or sparkling water w/ orange
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Falernum syrup
  • Dash of bitters
  • 1/4 Oz good grenadine (or pomegranate syrup or concentrate)


If you want to try to make the Falernum syrup yourself (a fancy-assed ginger based simple syrup) try this recipe:

1/4 + 1/8  cups blanched almonds, preferably with the skin removed, coarsely chopped or sliced
1/8 cup peeled, roughly chopped ginger
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 star anise pods
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup sugar

2 cups water

Place almonds in a large glass jar, cover with 1 cup of water let sit for 30 minutes and then strain out the water.

Put the strained almonds back in the jar, add the second cup of water (1 cup again), refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Rinse out the jar.

Place the cloves, allspice and star anise in a large saucepan over medium heat, tossing frequently for one minute. Then add the almonds and water to the pan. Be sure to use whole spices otherwise the mixture will get muddy.  Then, add ginger and sugar to saucepan, stirring continuously. When mixture nears a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, add the lime zest and stir.  Refrigerate until used.


Have fun and enjoy responsibly.


* Please note I do not mean to minimize the challenges people with addiction  issues are having at this time. Please feel free to skip this post if this is an issue for you or try to virgin version

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