Cocktails, Spirits and Mixology

A reformed defense attorney, Marshall is the CEO of Scofflaws Den LLC a cocktail & spirits consulting company offering training and consulting to restaurants and bars, public and private cocktail classes, specialty cocktails and assisting with private events. His original recipes have been featured in various food and beverage publications and he has won multiple cocktail competitions. He writes about cocktails, spirits and the booze industry at ScofflawsDen.com and AARP Blog. Any and all views are his own and possibly influenced by a cocktail.

Making a Proper Martini

This may be one of the most shocking posts I’ve ever written. Like pulling a band-aid off, this is better said quick: that “-tini” you’ve been drinking for years is not a martini at all! A martini does not contain chocolate, apple, other fruit flavorings (except orange bitters), olives or onions. A martini is made with only three ingredients that cannot be altered, unless you don’t want to call the resulting drink a martini. Those ingredients are gin, vermouth and …

Autumn Jewel

One of my favorite liqueurs is Chartreuse. The spicy, herbal, and sweet liquor has been produced by the Carthusian Monks in France since the early 1700′s. The two most common types found in the liquor store is the Green or Yellow variety. The Green variety, arguably the most popular, comes in at 110 proof and is flavored with 132 plants and herbs. It’s color comes from the chlorophyll in these herbs and plants. The Yellow variety is much milder in flavor …

The Three Keys to a Great Manhattan Cocktail

This past Saturday I was teaching a class on cocktail bitters and one of the students mentioned they had purchased a well-known cocktail book and it only contained two recipes containing bitters. That got me thinking about drinks where bitters are an essential ingredient AND are so simple in execution that it would seem difficult to mess up. This lead me to the Manhattan Cocktail. The Manhattan Cocktail was created near the end of the 1800′s, most likely at the Manhattan …

Fall Out of Summer; A Classic Cocktail With Summer and Fall Spirits

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to the summer season. I’m guessing that’s just because most people get a three-day weekend. But if your weather has been anything like our weather here in Virginia, summer is not going quietly into that dark night. It’s felt mid-July rather than early-September since the holiday weekend. With that in mind, I went about finding classic cocktail that had that summer-turning-to-fall feel. While perusing several of my cocktail books, I came across this little …

America’s Early Booze – Applejack

When most people think of American spirits, the first thing to pop to mind is bourbon. In fact, the United States Congress passed a resolution in 1964 that stated bourbon was identifiable as a distinctly American spirit much like Scotch is distinctly identifiable with Scotland. However, in Colonial America the hooch of choice was often a fermented beverage made with the abundance of apples left over from harvest. Applejack is essentially an American cousin of the French Calvados. The original Applejack was …

Let’s Get Fresh!

There’s still a few good days left of summer so before the weather turns a few degrees cooler and the leaves begin changing colors, I wanted to invite everyone to get fresh! Huh? Let me explain. My cocktails change just like the seasons. As summer begins, I start thinking of fruity, refreshing cocktails. Gin, rum and tequila start showing up more than whiskey and brandy. More than any other season, I want to incorporate those fantastic fruit flavors of the …